Design for Performance and Interaction MArch

London, Bloomsbury and London, Hackney Wick (Here East)

What happens when we design not in three dimensions but four? This radical, multidisciplinary Master's degree teaches students to understand and design performances and interactive experiences.

UK students International students
Study mode
UK tuition fees (2023/24)
£16,100
£8,050
Overseas tuition fees (2023/24)
£32,100
£16,050
Duration
4 terms
30 months
Programme starts
September 2023
Applications accepted
All applicants: 17 Oct 2022 – 31 Mar 2023

Applications open

Entry requirements

A minimum of a second-class UK degree in an appropriate subject or an overseas qualification of an equivalent standard. Applicants with extensive experience in the field may also be considered. A design/creative portfolio is also expected. Applicants will be asked to submit a portfolio of their design work once their completed application has been received, and should not send or upload work until it has been requested.

The English language level for this programme is: Level 1

UCL Pre-Master's and Pre-sessional English courses are for international students who are aiming to study for a postgraduate degree at UCL. The courses will develop your academic English and academic skills required to succeed at postgraduate level. International Preparation Courses

Further information can be found on our English language requirements page.

Equivalent qualifications

Country-specific information, including details of when UCL representatives are visiting your part of the world, can be obtained from the International Students website.

International applicants can find out the equivalent qualification for their country by selecting from the list below. Please note that the equivalency will correspond to the broad UK degree classification stated on this page (e.g. upper second-class). Where a specific overall percentage is required in the UK qualification, the international equivalency will be higher than that stated below. Please contact Graduate Admissions should you require further advice.

About this degree


Students learn how to use software that simulates performance spaces and the behaviour of people in different conditions. They learn how to manipulate software and physical hardware to create both simulated and actual 1:1 performance space and performances in an architectural context. 

Who this course is for

The programme is designed for students who wish to develop careers in physical and virtual interaction design, the design of performance spaces and the creation of performative events at a range of scales and venues.

What this course will give you

Throughout this programme, students gain advanced skills to design for performance and interaction, informed by multidisciplinary theories taken from performing arts, digital media, spatial interaction, anthropology, sociology, cybernetics, cognitive neuroscience and aesthetics.

Structured to offer the widest scope for creativity, the programme facilitates and empowers students to find their own unique design vision, with an emphasis on prototyping, from interactive objects to staged events and performance architecture.

The programme is taught in UCL's cutting-edge facilities at Here East, Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park - a space renowned as a hotbed for technological innovation and home to some of the UK's leading performance and design companies. These world-class facilities provide an ideal space for the large-scale construction of installations, as well as for public events.

The Bartlett School of Architecture helps students to prepare for successful careers in a range of fields. We aim to be an exciting and innovative place to study architecture, located in the heart of London with global perspectives. Our students have the opportunity to develop their creativity, curiosity and dynamism, and learn the skills they need to build a better future for people and the planet. Our school is consistently ranked highly in UK and global league tables, and our staff are at the forefront of international research and teaching with award-winning buildings all over the globe.

The Bartlett is the UK's largest multidisciplinary Faculty of the Built Environment. Our work is all about human spaces. That means physical structures like homes, buildings and cities, but also the invisible structures that govern these things: political and legal systems; financial frameworks and social norms; even our understanding of the past, present and future. Combining design, history, theory, digital representations and models across all of these areas, we understand the structures shaping society today – and we work to make them fairer and more prosperous. The Bartlett is ranked #3 globally in the Built Environment and Architecture subject area (QS World University Ranking 2022), and our research is recognised as internationally leading (UK REF 2021).

The foundation of your career

Students have the opportunity to develop advanced knowledge and experience of:

  • the design and production of well-considered spaces
  • performances and interactive assemblies
  • presenting work in a portfolio context
  • the application of analytical and sensing programmes
  • the application of digital and analogue setting and performance techniques
  • the production of an illustrated written research report in an academic context.

Employability

Careers in physical and virtual interaction design, the design of performance spaces and creation of performative events form one of the most vibrant parts of global design endeavour in the 21st century. They are also the subject of extensive academic research.

Teaching and learning

The programme is delivered through design, fabrication and performance tutorials, skills workshops, seminars, lectures, site visits, group working and (optional) field trip. Assessment is via design and skills portfolios, written coursework submissions and verbal presentations.

In terms 1 and 2 full-time students can typically expect around 18 hours per teaching week through lectures, workshops and tutorials. In terms 3 and 4 (Summer term included), students will be completing their own dissertation research, keeping regular contact with their dissertation supervisors.

Outside of lectures full-time students typically study the equivalent of a full-time job, using their remaining time for self-directed work and completing their thesis and portfolios.

Modules

Students undertake modules to the value of 180 credits.

The programme consists of six compulsory modules, taken over fifteen months if studying full-time.

Upon successful completion of 180 credits, you will be awarded a MArch in Design for Performance and Interaction.

Please note that the list of modules given here is indicative. This information is published a long time in advance of enrolment and module content and availability is subject to change.

The programme is structured so that Term one introduces students to initial design projects. Supporting these projects are lectures, a theoretical study and skills training. You will be asked to choose a research focus at the start of Term two and undertake preliminary ‘proof of concept’ projects supported by further skills teaching. You will develop your preliminary projects into a design thesis (as ‘Prototypes’) commencing in Term three. This is supported by a design thesis written report where the theoretical background to a key aspect of your design thesis is investigated. This is written in the form of a conference paper and is presented to incoming students in Term four (the autumn term). The design thesis is concluded in Term four (as ‘Productions’) and is exhibited at the end of the term.    

Please note that the list of modules given here is indicative. This information is published a long time in advance of enrolment and module content and availability are subject to change. Modules that are in use for the current academic year are linked for further information. Where no link is present, further information is not yet available.

Students undertake modules to the value of 180 credits. Upon successful completion of 180 credits, you will be awarded an MArch in Design for Performance and Interaction.

Fieldwork

There is a field trip as an optional part of the programme.

Placement

No placement is offered as a part of the programme.

Accessibility

Details of the accessibility of UCL buildings can be obtained from AccessAble accessable.co.uk. Further information can also be obtained from the UCL Student Support & Wellbeing team.

Fees and funding

Fees for this course

UK students International students
Fee description Full-time Part-time
Tuition fees (2023/24) £16,100 £8,050
Tuition fees (2023/24) £32,100 £16,050

Full-time: Published fee is for the whole programme and must be paid in Year 1. No fees are charged in Year 2..
Part-time: Published fee is for half the programme and must be paid in Year 1. The other half must be paid in Year 2 and is subject to an increase of up to 5%. No fees are charged in Year 3.
Note: SLC instalments and UCL fee payment deadlines do not align. You will therefore have a shortfall in your fees to UCL. You will need to personally fund any shortfall until the remainder of your loan is paid to you by SLC.

The tuition fees shown are for the year indicated above. Fees for subsequent years may increase or otherwise vary. Where the programme is offered on a flexible/modular basis, fees are charged pro-rata to the appropriate full-time Master's fee taken in an academic session. Further information on fee status, fee increases and the fee schedule can be viewed on the UCL Students website: ucl.ac.uk/students/fees.

Additional costs

All students are required to pay a fee deposit of £2,000 for this programme.

There is one optional field trip for this programme, which costs students a maximum of £500 each. We estimate that students spend between £250-£500 on specialist materials throughout the programme.

All students work differently so costs incurred depend on the approach they take to the brief given. The school encourages students to use recycled materials in their models and presentations, not only is it sustainable, but also cost effective and potentially innovative. The school also offers subsidies for exhibition costs. 

For more information on additional costs for prospective students please go to our estimated cost of essential expenditure at Accommodation and living costs.

Funding your studies

UCL offers a range of financial awards aimed at assisting both prospective and current students with their studies.

Any additional funding available from The Bartlett School of Architecture and the Built Environment Faculty Office are advertised on the respective websites.

For a comprehensive list of the funding opportunities available at UCL, including funding relevant to your nationality, please visit the Scholarships and Funding website.

Bartlett Promise Scholarship - Master's

Deadline: 31 May 2023
Value: Tuition fees plus £15,364 maintenance/yr (Duration of programme)
Criteria Based on financial need
Eligibility: UK

Bartlett Promise Sub-Saharan Africa Masters Scholarship

Deadline: 31 March 2023
Value: Fees, stipend and other allowances (Duration of programme)
Criteria Based on financial need
Eligibility: EU, Overseas

Brown Family Bursary

Deadline: 8 June 2023
Value: £15,000 (1 year)
Criteria Based on both academic merit and financial need
Eligibility: UK

Next steps

Students are advised to apply as early as possible due to competition for places. Those applying for scholarship funding (particularly overseas applicants) should take note of application deadlines.

There is an application processing fee for this programme of £90 for online applications and £115 for paper applications. Further information can be found at Application fees.

When we assess your application we would like to learn:

  • why you want to study Design for Performance and Interaction at graduate level
  • why you want to study Design for Performance and Interaction at UCL
  • what particularly attracts you to the chosen programme
  • how your academic and professional background meets the demands of this challenging programme
  • where you would like to go professionally with your degree

Together with essential academic requirements, the personal statement is your opportunity to illustrate whether your reasons for applying to this programme match what the programme will deliver.

We recommend that you apply for a maximum of two programmes. Multiple applications are less likely to result in an offer of admission.

Tier 4 Student Visa holders are advised to meet the English language proficiency of their offer no later than the end of June, in order to allow sufficient time to obtain a CAS number and visa.

To accept your offer, you must pay the non-refundable fee deposit within 4 weeks and decline any other offers for programmes at the Bartlett School of Architecture. If you do not respond within 3 weeks, your offer will be withdrawn.

A design/creative portfolio is required from applicants. Applicants will be asked to submit a portfolio of their design work once their completed application has been received, and should not send or upload work until it has been requested.

Please note that you may submit applications for a maximum of two graduate programmes (or one application for the Law LLM) in any application cycle.

Choose your programme

Please read the Application Guidance before proceeding with your application.

Year of entry: 2023-2024

UCL is regulated by the Office for Students.