Design for Performance and Interaction is a novel academic field and UCL is one of very few institutions where it can be studied. The core idea that drives the programme is that the creation of spaces for performance and the creation of performances within them are regarded as symbiotic design activities.
Modes and duration
Full-time students study for 37.5 hours per week during term time. Typically, lectures and seminars occur on two days per week. Part-time and Flexible mode students normally attend half this amount.
Tuition fees (2021/22)
Note on fees: The tuition fees shown are for the year indicated above. Fees for subsequent years may increase or otherwise vary. Further information on fee status, fee increases and the fee schedule can be viewed on the UCL Students website: ucl.ac.uk/students/fees. The published fee is for the whole programme and is charged in year one. It is payable in three equal instalments (31 October, 7 February, 2 May). No fees are charged in year two, For part-time students, half of the fee is charged in year one, payable in three equal instalments (31 October, 7 February, 2 May). The second half is charged in year two and is subject to the inflationary increase (3-5%). This fee is payable in three equal instalments (31 October, 7 February, 2 May). No fees will be charged in year three.
Fee deposit: All full-time students are required to pay a fee deposit of £1,000 for this programme. All part-time students are required to pay a fee deposit of £500.
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.
English language requirements
If your education has not been conducted in the English language, you will be expected to demonstrate evidence of an adequate level of English proficiency.
The English language level for this programme is: Standard
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.
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.
Select your country:
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
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.
- Design for Performance and Interaction: Thesis Portfolio, Final Projects (60 credits)
- Design for Performance and Interaction: Thesis Report (30 credits)
- Design for Performance and Interaction: Contextual Theory (15 credits)
- Design for Performance and Interaction: Introductory Design Workshops (15 credits)
- Design for Performance and Interaction: Thesis Portfolio, Initial Projects (30 credits)
- Design for Performance and Interaction: Skills Portfolio (30 credits)
There are no optional modules for this programme.
There is a field trip as an optional part of the programme.
No placement is offered as a part of the programme.
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.
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.
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: ucl.ac.uk/students/fees-and-funding.
UCL offers a range of financial awards aimed at assisting both prospective and current students with their studies.
Scholarships relevant to this department are displayed below.
- Deadline: 31 May 2021
- Tuition fees plus £15,364 maintenance/yr (Duration of programme)
- Based on financial need
For a comprehensive list of the funding opportunities available at UCL, including funding relevant to your nationality, please visit the Scholarships and Funding website.
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.
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.
Why study this degree at UCL?
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.
Department: Bartlett School of Architecture
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Application and 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.
This programme requires two references. Further information regarding references can be found in our How to apply section.
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: ucl.ac.uk/prospective-students/graduate/taught/application.
Who can apply?
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.
- All applicants
- 31 May 2021
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.
For more information see our Applications page.Apply now
What are we looking for?
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 6 weeks and decline any other offers for programmes at the Bartlett School of Architecture. If you do not respond within 6 weeks, your offer will be withdrawn.
Please note that the School of Architecture does not allow deferred entry to any of its postgraduate programmes. If you have an offer of admission but cannot take it up, you will not be able to defer it and will have to apply again for entry the following year.
UCL is regulated by the Office for Students.