Skip to main content
Postgraduate

MA Global Collaborative Design Practice

Student holding model that has been sliced in half to reveal inside showing recycled filling.

MA Global Collaborative Design Practice, Camberwell College of Arts, UAL
College
Camberwell College of Arts
Start date
September 2022
Course length
2 years (full time)

MA Global Collaborative Design Practice pushes design practice beyond the creative industries, towards strategic, interdisciplinary roles which positively address social challenges.

Applications closed 2022/23

We are no longer accepting applications for 2022/23 entry to this course. Applications for 2023/24 entry will open in Autumn 2022.

Course overview

MA Global Collaborative Design Practice builds dialogues and projects between international communities and contexts. It aims to interpret and respond to social and environmental challenges through the exchange of distinct perspectives.

The course is co-hosted and co-designed by University of the Arts London (UAL) and Kyoto Institute of Technology (KIT) in Japan. You will join a studio community that spans locations and cultures and work collaboratively with fellow students over 2 years.

These interactions take place both physically in-person and remotely online. Your projects grow from time spent together in each city and through exploring the possibilities of digital interactions over distance. You will receive 2 Master’s awards upon graduation. A Master of Arts from UAL and Master of Engineering from KIT.

The course helps you frame social and environmental challenges through global perspectives, comparing key frameworks and texts such as the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals and Pluriverse: A Post-Development Dictionary. Equally, it helps you frame challenges at a local scale by comparing first-hand experience of distinct locations, communities and cultures. This global/local approach is an exploratory, inclusive, ongoing group activity. It helps the course shift and evolve its own perspectives and approaches over time.  

UAL and KIT bring complementary strengths in the arts and in science, technology, engineering and mathematics to the course. We come together through shared understandings of design practice as being rooted in hands-on, user-centred making and testing.

We are committed to positive engagement with social and environmental challenges through our faculties and communities. Our dual studio, labs, workshops, and curriculum help you ‘make to communicate’ in diverse teams and ‘make to test’ ideas in distinct locations and realities.  

We welcome applicants from across design disciplines and from fields such as the sciences, engineering and humanities. The design process is used as a meeting point and shared working language between these different skills and standpoints.

You will explore various modes of interaction, collaboration and making together over 2 years. By doing so you can establish the fundamentals for practice in cross-cultural and interdisciplinary roles directed towards the societal challenges of our time.

What to expect

The 2 cohorts, one based at Camberwell College of Arts, UAL in London and the other at KIT in Kyoto, share a programme of study throughout this 2-year programme, interacting in-person and remotely. This dual studio community develops creative responses to the core themes and questions that underpin the course, which are: 

Global 

How can we interpret shared challenges in distinct local contexts and address them practically and/or speculatively together? 

Collaborative 

How can empathy and inventiveness help bridge cultures? How can exchanges in diverse teams prompt new models of cross-cultural and cross-disciplinary learning?  

Design           

How can we develop design prototyping as a non-textual language for sharing and iterating ideas? 

Practice

How can designers practice beyond the creative industries, in cross-discipline responses to societal challenges?

Course Structure

Students and course-dedicated teaching teams from each university experience all units as one group. Students in London and Kyoto participate in all units together.

The teaching takes 3 forms:

  • A third of the course is led and assessed by the KIT teaching team. They are supported in sessions by the UAL teaching team
  • A third of the course is led and assessed by the UAL teaching team. They are supported in sessions by the KIT teaching team  
  • A third of the course is jointly led and assessed by the UAL and KIT teams

The course will operate from a dedicated joint studio space. This is an active learning environment and community, which exists physically in both London and Kyoto and digitally in between. This studio and associated physical and digital workshop/lab spaces are key to our practice-led approach to designing and learning as a community.

Contact us

Register your interest to receive information and updates about studying at UAL.

Contact us to make an enquiry.

Course units

Year 1

This year draws together our course community through project-based learning and different modes of interaction. The themes are:

  • Global/local contexts and interactions
  • Collaborative mindsets and skillsets
  • Iterative prototyping and design innovation
  • Practice engagement and evolution

Together as students and staff we explore the origins and futures of these themes and terms through regular community debate. We interact in 4 ways:

  • September - December: The 2 cohorts start year 1 in their base London and Kyoto studios. Interaction takes place in-person locally and online globally
  • January - March: Kyoto students travel to the London studio for whole cohort, in-person interaction
  • April - May: Kyoto students remain in the London studio, but the London students travel to the Kyoto studio. Interaction takes place in-person locally and online globally
  • June - July: Kyoto students return to Japan to re-join London students for whole group in-person interaction

UAL and KIT units are designed to complement one another thematically. They are scheduled to fit alongside one another in the following groupings. Students carry out all units.

Unit Grouping 1

These units establish the community and studio, both locally in London and Kyoto and globally through online interactions. You will work both individually and in teams to explore the fundamentals of human-centred, collaborative and cross-cultural approaches to design.

UAL Unit 1: Global and collaborative

This unit introduces key themes in cross-cultural and collaborative practice. It explores:

  • Landscapes - historic and contemporary dialogue and debate
  • Mindsets - sensitivity to distances between people
  • Mechanisms - methods for bridging these distances
  • Networks - wider communities and frameworks
  • Stewardship - steering and supporting teams
  • Precedents - existing and emerging models of global and collaborative practice

KIT Unit 1: Design for interactions

This unit explores human-centred research processes, fibre science and multi-sensory interactions with products, services, environments and interfaces. It focuses on the use of sustainable materials - natural or synthetic - and physical computing to prototype tools rapidly for interaction that offer alternatives to verbal means of communication.

Unit Grouping 2

These units further explore our experiences and understandings of our studio and how we interact as a community through it. As a combined London-Kyoto cohort we change locations and roles by visiting or hosting each other and exchanging places.

We draw on and develop fundamental understandings from the initial units. This guides design prototyping and innovation models in live user-centred and external-facing projects. Camberwell Unit 2 works together with KIT's 2 smaller units, 2A and 2B.

UAL Unit 2: Design practice

This unit uses design prototyping as an accessible 'meeting point' process for developing ideas and dialogues between design practitioners, project stakeholders and project end-users. It focuses on local, user-centred projects and global-scale mapping of practice models.

KIT Unit 2A: Design for innovation

This unit introduces models of design innovation, identifying how social, technical and design considerations can be managed together. It tests business principles in non-commercial contexts through collaborative group work and role play.

KIT Unit 2B: Design for process and projects 

This unit is a live project in collaboration with a public, private or non-profit sector organisation. It is a test space for interdisciplinary teamwork. It will balance ethical, social and sustainable principles with innovation strategies and imperatives. 

Year 2

This year helps you cultivate practice aims and opportunities through a major project which you can undertake as an individual or in a team. This is underpinned by a professional placement, immersive fieldwork and participatory practice. It is supported by a subsequent period of tailored dissemination to strategic contexts and audiences.  

The 2 cohorts return to their original base studios in Kyoto and London and work for the entire year from these locations (by default but open to individual negotiation).

Joint Unit 3 - UAL and KIT Unit 3: Final Major Project

This unit is jointly led and assessed by UAL and KIT. It draws on and further activates learning and communal bonds from year 1. The emphasis shifts to you – as individual students and as a cohort – to take the initiative in shaping interactions within and beyond the course through a major project.  

This unit asks you to develop and direct an in-depth design project that responds to a defined societal challenge. There are 3 complementary parts:

  • A living brief - an evolving project framework document
  • A living body of research - immersive fieldwork and participatory dialogues
  • A living outcome - a design prototype that shows understanding and respect for the context it responds to
  • You can undertake the project as an individual or in a  team 

Unit Grouping 4

These are the final units. They help you transition between your completed major project and your full shift to independent practice beyond the course. 

UAL Unit 4: Disseminate - Solo

This unit helps you define your practice values and disseminate your work. Audiences and contexts may relate to:

  • Employment
  • Research and enterprise funding
  • Further study
  • Competitions and awards
  • Contributions to events
  • Panels or publication

KIT Unit 4: Disseminate - Cohort 

This unit presents the variety of design approaches taken by the London-Kyoto cohort over 2 years. It does so through a collective physical, virtual or hybrid event that engages with external communities, stakeholders and networks at the forefront of collaborative practice. 

Note: All year 1 units must be passed for students to progress to year 2. 

The award classification will be calculated using the average of both second year UAL units: The Major Project unit (40 UAL credits) and the Dissemination Solo unit (20 UAL credits).

Mode of study

MA Global Collaborative Design Practice is offered in full-time mode and runs for 72 weeks over 2 years. You will be expected to commit an average of 40 hours per week to your course, including teaching hours and independent study.

Learning and teaching methods

  • Briefings, seminars and lectures 
  • Cross-cultural dialogues 
  • Dedicated local and global studio spaces 
  • Identified reading and reference 
  • Immersive fieldwork 
  • Individual and group tutorials 
  • Individual or collaborative major project 
  • Language support and tuition 
  • Physical, virtual and blended modes of interaction 
  • Practical and speculative project-based learning
  • Presentations, crits and debates  
  • Reflective writing 
  • Self-assessment and peer-assessment 
  • Set, self-initiated and live projects 
  • Technical workshops, libraries and archives 
  • 2D, 3D, 4D making and prototyping  
  • User-centred design processes
  • Virtual and physical study trips

Assessment methods

  • Crits and formal reviews 
  • Collective physical, virtual or blended event  
  • Cross-institutional review teams 
  • Design portfolios - 2D/3D/4D outcomes and process
  • Peer-assessment 
  • Presentations
  • Project frameworks and research files
  • Reports and illustrated essays 
  • Self-assessment 
  • Self-evaluation
  • Viva Voce interviews and debates 

Staff

How to apply

Information for disabled applicants

UAL is committed to achieving inclusion and equality for disabled students. This includes students who have:
     
  • Dyslexia or another Specific Learning Difference
  • A sensory impairment
  • A physical impairment
  • A long-term health or mental health condition
  • Autism
  • Another long-term condition which has an impact on your day-to-day life
Our Disability Service arranges adjustments and support for disabled applicants and students. Read our Disability and dyslexia: applying for a course and joining UAL information.

Entry requirements

Standard minimum entry requirements for this course are:

  • BA (Hons) degree (alternative qualifications and experience will also be taken into consideration)
  • Personal statement
  • Portfolio of work

Entry to the course will be determined by the quality of your application, looking primarily at your portfolio of work and personal statement.

APEL - Accreditation of Prior (Experiential) Learning

Applicants aged 22 years or over who do not meet these course entry requirements may still be considered in exceptional cases. The course team will consider each application that demonstrates additional strengths and alternative evidence. This might, for example, be demonstrated by:

  • Related academic or work experience
  • The quality of the personal statement
  • A strong academic or other professional reference
  • A combination of these factors

Each application will be considered on its own merit, but we can not guarantee an offer in each case.

English language requirements

All classes are taught in English. If English is not your first language you must provide evidence at enrolment of the following:

IELTS level 6.5 or above, with at least 5.5 in reading, writing, listening and speaking (please check our English language requirements).

Selection criteria

We will assess your application on how you demonstrate the following:

  • You are motivated to direct design practice towards social and environmental challenges
  • You are willing to work collaboratively, both between disciplines and through user-centred processes
  • You are open-minded, self-reflective and seek different perspectives and cross-cultural dialogues
  • You develop and share project work through sketching, prototyping and making, whether in design or related fields
  • You inform project work with critical awareness of cultural, social, historical and environmental contexts

 

Personal statement

This should be about 500 words long and include:

  • Your reasons for choosing the course
  • Your current creative practice and how this will help with your future plans
  • If you do not have any formal academic qualifications please describe your relevant education and experience

Portfolio advice

Portfolios should show the following:

A range of practical project work and/or in-depth, sustained working or life experience related to social challenges at global or local scales. This work can be within a design discipline or related discipline. This experience professional or personal.

We seek evidence of:

  • Feeling - motivation and empathy to work towards a social purpose through processes that are cross-culture, user-centred and collaborative
  • Making - iterative making (sketching, prototyping, hacking) leading to resolved outcomes, whether in a design context or another
  • Thinking - strategic and speculative thinking when analysing challenges and synthesising responses
  • Hunger - ambition to reconsider, reshape, reimagine future design practice boundaries and roles

Video task

  • We'd like you to submit a 2-3 minute video to help us learn more about you
  • Please speak clearly in English and face the camera
  • Your video task is submitted along with your portfolio. Read our guidance for how to submit your video task and which file types we accept

As part of your video task please respond to the following questions:

Tell a story about a complex problem you see in your local context. What makes it complex? Who is affected by the problem? Who benefits from this problem remaining unsolved? Describe how you might intervene in this problem through design.

Making your application

Applications closed 2022/23

We are no longer accepting applications for 2022/23 entry to this course. Applications for 2023/24 entry will open in Autumn 2022.

Apply

Home students apply by direct application.

What happens next

Communicating with you

After you’ve submitted your application, you’ll receive a confirmation email providing you with your login details for the UAL Portal. We’ll use this portal to contact you to request any additional information, including inviting you to upload documents or book an interview, so please check it regularly.

Please add ccw.ukeu@arts.ac.uk to your contacts to ensure that you do not miss any important updates about your application to UAL.

Initial application check and selection

We check your application to see if you meet the standard entry requirements for the course. If you do, you will be invited to submit a digital portfolio through UAL’s online portfolio review system. These will be reviewed by the academic team.

Following the review of the digital portfolio, we select a small number of applicants to move on to the next stage of the process. These applicants will be invited to attend an online interview.

How we notify you of the outcome of your application

You will receive the final outcome of your application through the UAL portal.

Applicants for this course may be given an alternative offer. This decision will be based on our assessment of your creative and potential interests.

Feedback requests:

This course receives a high number of applications. Unfortunately, we can’t provide feedback to everyone who is unsuccessful. We can only provide feedback after you’ve had an interview. We are only able to provide feedback to you directly, or to someone you have told us in writing can receive it on your behalf. If you would like to request feedback - please email ccw.ukeu@arts.ac.uk.

Deferring your place

This course does not allow offer holders to defer. If you want to start later, please re-apply when applications open for that academic year.

Transfers

If you are currently studying at another institution and if you have successfully completed 60 credits in the equivalent units and modules on your current postgraduate course and wish to continue your studies at Camberwell College of Arts, you can apply to transfer. The Admissions Tutor will consider applications on a case by case basis, subject to places being available. You must apply directly to the course via the course webpage as early as possible. Further information can be found in our UAL External Student Transfer Policy.

Application deadline

Other

We are no longer accepting applications for 2022/23 entry to this course. Applications for 2023/24 entry will open in Autumn 2022.

When you'll hear from us

This course receives a high volume of applications. We need to make sure that we give all applications equal consideration, so the course team will review them all after the application deadline date. This means that offers won’t be sent to successful applicants until after the deadline.

Remember to check the outcome of your application in the UAL Portal. Find out more about what happens after you apply.

Applications closed 2022/23

We are no longer accepting applications for 2022/23 entry to this course. Applications for 2023/24 entry will open in Autumn 2022.

Apply

There are 2 ways international students can apply to a postgraduate course:

Read our immigration and visa information to find out if you need a visa to study at UAL.

You can only apply to the same course once per year. Any duplicate applications will be withdrawn. Read the UAL international application advice for further information on how to apply.

What happens next

Communicating with you

After you’ve submitted your application, you’ll receive a confirmation email providing you with your login details for the UAL Portal. We’ll use this portal to contact you to request any additional information, including inviting you to upload documents or book an interview, so please check it regularly.

Please add ccw.international@arts.ac.uk to your contacts to ensure that you do not miss any important updates about your application to UAL.

Initial application check and selection

We check your application to see if you meet the standard entry requirements for the course. If you do, you will be invited to submit a digital portfolio through UAL’s online portfolio review system. These will be reviewed by the academic team.

Following the review of the digital portfolio, we select a small number of applicants to move on to the next stage of the process. These applicants will be invited to attend an online interview.

How we notify you of the outcome of your application

You will receive the final outcome of your application through the UAL portal.

Applicants for this course may be given an alternative offer. This decision will be based on our assessment of your creative and potential interests.

Feedback requests:

This course receives a high number of applications. Unfortunately, we can’t provide feedback to everyone who is unsuccessful. We can only provide feedback after you’ve had an interview. We are only able to provide feedback to you directly, or to someone you have told us in writing can receive it on your behalf. If you would like to request feedback - please email ccw.international@arts.ac.uk.

Deferring your place

This course does not allow offer holders to defer. If you want to start later, please re-apply when applications open for that academic year.

Transfers

If you are currently studying at another institution and if you have successfully completed 60 credits in the equivalent units and modules on your current postgraduate course and wish to continue your studies at Camberwell College of Arts, you can apply to transfer. The Admissions Tutor will consider applications on a case by case basis, subject to places being available. You must apply directly to the course via the course webpage as early as possible. Further information can be found in our UAL External Student Transfer Policy.

Application deadline

Other

We are no longer accepting applications for 2022/23 entry to this course. Applications for 2023/24 entry will open in Autumn 2022.

When you'll hear from us

This course receives a high volume of applications. We need to make sure that we give all applications equal consideration, so the course team will review them all after the application deadline date. This means that offers won’t be sent to successful applicants until after the deadline.

Remember to check the outcome of your application in the UAL Portal. Find out more about what happens after you apply.

Fees and funding

Home fee

£6,045 per year

This fee is correct for 2022/23 entry and is subject to change for 2023/24 entry. Tuition fees may increase in future years for new and continuing students on courses lasting more than one year. For this course, you can pay tuition fees in instalments.

Home fees are currently charged to UK nationals and UK residents who meet the rules. However, the rules are complex. Find out more about our tuition fees and determining your fee status.

International fee

£15,165 per year

This fee is correct for 2022/23 entry and is subject to change for 2023/24 entry. Tuition fees may increase in future years for new and continuing students on courses lasting more than one year. For this course, you can pay tuition fees in instalments.

Students from countries outside of the UK will generally be charged international fees. The rules are complex so read more about tuition fees and determining your fee status.

Scholarship search

Careers and alumni