Design for Performance and Interaction is a novel academic field and UCL is one of only 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 (2020/21)
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. 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.
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
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.
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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.
- 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.
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.
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.
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: 14 May 2020
- £15,000 (1 year)
- Based on both academic merit and 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.
There is an application processing fee for this programme of £80 for online applications and £105 for paper applications. Further information can be found at: www.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
- 24 July 2020
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
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