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MA Material Futures

College
CSM
Start date
September 2019
Course length
2 years full time (60 weeks)

Course summary

The intersection of craft, science and technology. Material Futures is a two-year Masters course dedicated to exploring how we will live in the future through trans-disciplinary practice and expert collaboration.

Our aim is to actively re-think the future

Through collaboration, risk-taking and blurring the boundaries between craft, science and technology we aim to look beyond existing disciplines to anticipate our future needs, desires and challenges for the 21st century.

We encourage a wholly multi-disciplinary approach to design

Taking materiality as the starting point of the design process, literally the things we can touch, feel, interact with and observe, we integrate high and low technological materials and processes to respond to the environment around us. Our students explore and come from a diverse range of disciplines, mostly, but not limited to, the worlds of fashion, architecture, industrial, communication, textile, critical, digital and speculative design.

Research is intrinsic to our design process. We advocate research-driven design

We believe that it is only by observing and analysing how we live today that we can begin to consider and explore how we can live more sustainably tomorrow. Considering the current and future context of design decisions is key to our ethos, combining social, political, scientific and economic inquiry and insights to help inform future design scenarios and speculations.

This course is part of the Jewellery and Textiles Programme.

Great reasons to apply

  • You’ll be exposed to new materials, processes, technologies and design methodologies and use materiality as a platform to critically interrogate, explore and make sense of how we should occupy a more sustainable future.
  • You'll develop experimental design work alongside innovative design proposals and work collaboratively with MA Industrial Design, MA Design Ceramics, Furniture or Jewellery and MA Communication Design students to critically interrogate the complexity of the global and local context of your work.
  • Our graduates continue to forge highly successful futures, whether it be working in the creative industry, setting up their own studios, or going onto further study or research roles within academia.
  • We practice a wholly multi-disciplinary approach to design, not only recruiting students with a whole host of different backgrounds and skills, but also introducing them to the very best practitioners from the worlds of science, technology, craft and design.
  • Our graduates go on to do amazing things, working not only at the very forefront of the creative industries, but also in the leading laboratories, research centres and creative startups across the globe.

Open days

The next open days will be scheduled from January to April 2019, please check back here by mid November 2018 to book online.

Scholarships, awards and funding available

WESLDET MA Material Futures Scholarship

Postgraduate loans of up to £10,000 are now available for eligible UK and EU students. A full list of eligibility criteria and information on applying can be found on our postgraduate loans page.

MA Material Futures students trying out traditional coracle making workshop in the Brecon Beacons.

Student work

Course catalogues

MA Material Futures stories

Katie-May Boyd – MA Material Futures
Katie-May Boyd – MA Material Futures

Creative Unions: Katie-May Boyd

With the Central Saint Martins Creative Unions exhibition now at a close, we continue to take a closer look at the themes and works which comprised the show. Society is organised through […]

Take Five: Davide Piscitelli

With Degree Show season now over, we continue to take a look back at our students’ final projects and the inspirations behind them. Me: ‘Hey Google, what is your dream?’ […]

Show Two: Maison/0 Green Trail Winners Announcement

2018 marks the inauguration of the Maison/0 Green Trail. Guiding visitors through Show Two: Design, the Green Trail signposts the best of our students’ sustainable projects.  Spanning all disciplines in […]

the experiment
the experiment

CSM x Tokyo Tech: The Experiment

This year has seen Central Saint Martins forge a new partnership with Tokyo Institute of Technology (Tokyo Tech), the foremost university of science and engineering in Japan, focused on exploring […]

Course details

Information provided by the University is accurate at the time of first publication. Courses, however, remain subject to change. Changes may be necessary to improve the quality of educational services, in order to meet the latest requirements of a commissioning or accrediting body, in order to bring course content in line with best practice activities across the Higher Education sector, in response to student feedback, and/or due to a lack of student demand for certain units or options. Events may arise outside of the reasonable control of the University which lead to changes to courses. Such events may include industrial action, civil disorder, severe weather, and changes in applicable laws and/or safety requirements.

If you have accepted a place on a course, we shall notify you of any changes as soon as reasonably practicable.


Material Futures is a two-year Masters course at Central Saint Martins, dedicated to exploring how we will live in the future.

Through hands on making we explore emerging sciences and technologies, new processes and materials as well as current trends and behavioural insights to generate new design scenarios, speculations, artefacts and applications that will help contribute to a more sustainable tomorrow.

Some of the key themes we interrogate include trend forecasting and future insights, future crafts and materials, the convergence of science and design and smart or interactive materials. The course is divided into two units across two years.

Industry collaborations

We try to work with at least one paying client on a live brief each year. These projects are carefully considered to provide students with not only valuable commercial experience, but also to expose them to those industries and practitioners who are pushing the boundaries and who are at the very forefront of their associated disciplines.

Working on a live project could involve working with a laboratory and a new science, creating new insights for a cutting edge research and development department or creating a new artefact or film for an exciting commercial client.

Such collaboration could lead to the purchase of your intellectual property. All paid projects are conducted within a carefully developed legal framework, which includes student agreements to protect your work and help you realise its commercial value.

Once you’ve graduated, you may be picked as part of a small team to work on a live creative brief, organised by our Innovation and Business department, under the supervision of an experienced tutor. This can be a valuable first step in working professionally in a chosen discipline and has resulted in graduates being hired by clients.

Course units

Unit One - Design Challenge

Unit One offers and intensive and reactive learning experience, students are exposed to a broad variety of new ideas and technical processes through a combination of workshops, lectures, experts and individual project briefs. Providing a bombardment of new ideas, processes and skills, students are challenged to deconstruct their previous experience and expertise and instead adopt an open, experimental and multi-disciplinary approach to design. We value working with industrial partners and usually incorporate at least one live project in Unit One.

Unit Two - Design Futures

Unit Two is designed to allow students to reflect on their experiences within unit one and consider their own design agenda and desired role within the creative industries. By combining the new processes and methodologies introduced to them in unit one, as well as their previous skills and experience, students formulate a single project proposal. All Unit Two projects are directed by a single research question, driven by the student’s personal definition of Material Futures in the context of a more sustainable future. Collaboration is key to unit two and all students pursue external support from established practitioners and experts to help validate and strengthen their final projects.

Our graduate's projects explore the entire spectrum of materiality, from analogue craft processes to smart and interactive technologies and sciences.

Staff

Marta  Giralt

Marta Giralt

Year Leader, MA Material Futures

Kieren  Jones

Kieren Jones

Course Coordinator and Senior Tutor, MA Material Futures.

Attua  Aparicio Torinos

Attua Aparicio Torinos

Visiting Practitioner, MA Material Futures

Stephen  Hayward

Stephen Hayward

Contextual Studies and Dissertation Tutor, MA Industrial Design.

Research Tutor: Professor Carole Collet
Academic Coordinator: Chloe Griffith
Visiting Practitioner: Agi Haines

How to apply

Opportunities for all

We are committed to making university education an achievable option for a wider range of people and to supporting all of our students in achieving their potential both during and after their courses.

We welcome applications from people with disabilities. If you have a disability (e.g. mobility difficulties, sensory impairments, medical or mental health conditions or Asperger’s syndrome) we strongly encourage you to contact us on disability@arts.ac.uk or +44 (0)20 7514 6156 so that we can plan the right support for you. All enquiries are treated confidentially. To find out more, visit our Disability & Dyslexia webpages.

Entry requirements

The standard entry requirements for this course are as follows:

*          An honours degree in a relevant subject area OR

*          An equivalent EU / international qualification

AND three year’s professional experience in a relevant setting.

APEL - Accreditation of Prior (Experiential) Learning

Exceptionally applicants who do not meet these course entry requirements may still be considered. 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

*          OR a combination of these factors.

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

English Language Requirements

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

Selection criteria

Applicants will be selected on the basis of the following criteria. These criteria are assessed through a review of the Personal Statement, Portfolio and Interview. Interviews are only arranged on the basis that the portfolio demonstrates the applicant’s ability to skilfully generate and communicate a range of ideas addressing problems relevant to the discipline.

Portfolio Criteria for all Applicants

The quality of portfolio demonstrating:

  • Strong design and technical skills
  • A personal approach to developing a design concept (including research, design development and final outputs)
  • A knowledge and understanding of materials
  • A creative approach to visual communication and presentation.
Interview Criteria for all Applicants

In addition to the skills demonstrated in the portfolio and in the written project proposal, the applicant’s potential ability will be assessed using the following criteria:

  • The ability to discuss your portfolio, through verbal or written means, demonstrating a critical perspective of your work
  • A clear understanding of your design context and an engagement with issues that affect your industry
  • The ability to have an informed conversation about your role as a designer
  • Motivation, commitment and understanding of the ethos of the MA Material Futures course.

What we are looking for

We are looking for people who are highly driven and passionate about design and who keep informed about the material, ethical, moral, social and political issues that affect the creative industries today as well as how they locate themselves and their work within a global context of design.

Making your application

For EU applicants concerned about Brexit, please see our dedicated page: Brexit Information for Students.

You should apply by clicking on the link to the direct form below. The application form can be saved as you fill it out, so you do not need to complete it all at once. You will also have the chance to review all the information and make any necessary amendments before you submit the application form.

Start your application now

Central Saint Martins does not accept applications for deferred entry. You should therefore apply in the year you wish to study.

Before you apply, please take time to read the guidance below. You will be asked to provide the following information when completing the online application form:

General information

Personal details (including legal full name, date of birth, nationality, addresses)

Current English language level

Current and/or previous education and qualification details

Employment history

Personal Statement

Your personal statement should answer the following questions (suggested word count for each question is 100 words):

  • Biography (what experience would you propose to bring to MA Material Futures personally?)
  • Why have you chosen to apply for MA Material Futures rather than another Masters course?
  • What do you understand ‘Material Futures’ to mean?
  • Tell us about the most interesting innovation, project or piece of research that you have come across recently
  • Describe something you believe will have an impact on the future of design (this could be something social, economic, environmental or a breakthrough in science, for example).

We cannot consider your application if you do not provide all of the information above.

Application deadline

To guarantee consideration you must apply in full by 22 April 2019.

There are two application points for this course:

Application Point 1

Apply in full by 3 January 2019

Submit a digital portfolio by 10 January 2019

Interviews take place during January 2019

Final application outcome by 11 February 2019

Application Point 2

Apply in full by 22 April 2019

Submit a digital portfolio by 29 April 2019

Interviews take place during May 2019

Final application outcome by 10 June 2019

There are two ways international students can apply:

  • One of our official representatives in your country
  • A direct application.

If you are applying directly you click on the link to the direct form below. The application form can be saved as you fill it out, so you do not need to complete it all at once. You will also have the chance to review all the information and make any necessary amendments before you submit the application form.

Start your application now

Central Saint Martins does not accept applications for deferred entry. You should therefore apply in the year you wish to study.

Before you apply, please take time to read the guidance below. You will be asked to provide the following information when completing the online application form:

General information

Personal details (including legal full name, date of birth, nationality, addresses)

Current English language level

Current and/or previous education and qualification details

Employment history

Personal Statement

Your personal statement should answer the following questions (suggested word count for each question is 100 words):

  • Biography (what experience would you propose to bring to MA Material Futures personally?)
  • Why have you chosen to apply for MA Material Futures rather than another Masters course?
  • What do you understand ‘Material Futures’ to mean?
  • Tell us about the most interesting innovation, project or piece of research that you have come across recently
  • Describe something you believe will have an impact on the future of design (this could be something social, economic, environmental or a breakthrough in science, for example).

Immigration history check

Whether you are applying online or through a UAL representative you will need to complete an immigration history check to establish whether you are eligible to study at UAL.  If you do not complete the check we will not be able to proceed with your application.

We cannot consider your application if you do not provide all of the information above.

Application deadline

To guarantee consideration you must apply in full by 22 April 2019.

There are two application points for this course:

Application Point 1

Apply in full by 3 January 2019

Submit a digital portfolio by 10 January 2019

Interviews take place during January 2019

Final application outcome by 11 February 2019

Application Point 2

Apply in full by 22 April 2019

Submit a digital portfolio by 29 April 2019

Interviews take place during May 2019

Final application outcome by 10 June 2019


After you apply

Communicating with you

After you have successfully submitted your application, you will receive an email confirming we have successfully received your application and providing you with your login details for the UAL Portal.  We will request any additional information from you, including inviting you to upload documents or book an audition, through the portal.  You should check your UAL Portal regularly for any important updates and requests.

What happens next

Initial application check

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 portfolio through the UAL Portal.

Portfolio

Your portfolio should be up to 20 pages and demonstrate:

  • Strong design and technical skills
  • A personal approach to developing a design concept (including research, design development and final outputs)
  • A knowledge and understanding of materials
  • A creative approach to visual communication and presentation.

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

Interview

Applicants who are invited to interview may be interviewed either in person or by skype.

In addition to the skills demonstrated in the portfolio and in the written statement, the applicant’s potential ability will be assessed using the following criteria during the interview:

  • The ability to discuss your portfolio, through verbal or written means, demonstrating a critical perspective of your work
  • A clear understanding of your design context and an engagement with issues that affect your industry
  • The ability to have an informed conversation about your role as a designer
  • Motivation, commitment and understanding of the ethos of the MA Material Futures course.

How we notify you of the outcome of your application

You will receive the outcome of your application through the UAL Portal.

Fees & Funding

Home/EU fee

Tuition fees for 2018/19: £5,550 per year. Please note that fees for second year of study will be subject to inflationary increase.

£500 per annum discount for all students who have completed a PG Dip/Cert or an undergraduate course including Grad Dip/Cert, at UAL.

You can pay course tuition fees in instalments for this course.

ELQ

Home/EU students whose chosen course is at a level equivalent to, or lower than, a qualification that they already hold, would will be charged the fees shown above, plus an additional £1,100 (called the 'ELQ' fee). Students in receipt of Disabled Students' Allowances (DSAs) are exempt from ELQ fees and will pay the original fee, regardless of the highest qualification held. If you have a query regarding the ELQ fee, please use our register your interest form.

International fee

Tuition fees for 2018/19: £13,890 per year.

£500 per annum discount for all students who have completed a PG Dip/Cert or an undergraduate course including Grad Dip/Cert, at UAL.

You can pay course tuition fees in instalments for this course.

Additional costs

In addition to tuition fees you are very likely to incur additional costs such as travel expenses and the cost of materials. Please read the information on our additional costs page.

Accommodation

Find out about the accommodation options available and how much they will cost.

Scholarships and awards

There are a number of scholarships and awards available to students on this course. Use our search tool to find out more information.

Scholarship search

Careers and alumni

MA Material Futures has established various links with industry in London and beyond, allowing students to work on international design projects and initiatives. MA Material Futures itself has contributed much to debate around design, both through the media and by organising and delivering papers at international conferences.

MA Material Futures students are expected to establish their own network of contacts and develop collaborations within industry as part of the development of their Masters project. Employers have included Adidas, Distance Lab, Banff New Media, Castelbajac, Donna Karan, Etam, Hussein Chayalan, Line Consultants, Louis Vuitton, Margiela, Media Lab Europe, Nicole Farhi, Speedo, Ted Baker, Design Lab, Trend Union and Nissan Design Europe.

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