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Everything you need to know about joining Catalyst

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General

How to contact us

Please get in touch however you prefer. We love to chat.

Address

Catalyst - Institute for Creative Arts & Technology

Funkhaus 

Nalepastrasse 18

12459 BERLIN

Germany 

Telephone

Tel: +49 30 2900 9052

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COVID-19

We expect our summer courses to be running normally with a distancing and hygiene protocol in place. Similarly, we anticipate all courses starting in September 2021 to be running onsite with distancing and hygiene protocols in place, or until required differently by the Berlin senate. 

Even though many universities across Europe moved their semesters to an online-only format, our classroom structure allowed us to safely remain operational. This was possible because compared to most universities, our regular class sizes of 16 are extremely small - and our facilities accommodate 49 separate learning spaces.

Travel to Germany

Please visit the German Federal Foreign Office for official travel updates.

COVID-19 FAQs
Open days and visits

We organise regular opportunities for you to visit our campus, meet the team, and experience our vibrant community.

Open days

Our virtual open days have been so successful and so appropriate to our international audience that they have become our main open day formats. We will still be doing at least one onsite open day per year.

All of our open days allow you to discover our facilities and equipment, speak directly to our tutors and students, learn more about our educational approach and get a good idea of the general Catalyst vibe and what it feels like to join us.

The next virtual open days are on:

  • November 2021 (date tbc)

Sign up on our Events Page

Individual drop-ins

These can be arranged on Mondays by contacting our Admissions team

Get in touch
Moving to Berlin

Berlin is the most exciting destination on the planet for producers, musicians, sound engineers, DJ’s, filmmakers, performers and artists. It’s bold, it’s gritty, it’s cutting-edge and it pulsates with a creative youthful energy which never fails to put a smile on your face.

But it's also a big city and you'll need some tips for how to settle in, find somewhere to live, prepare yourself to study and enjoy your new home.

More details
Catalyst events

Check out our events calendar for showcases, guest lectures, performances, workshops, and other gigs and experiences hosted by our community.

Events
Student testimonials

Of course you want to hear from students who have actually attended our institution. We've created a whole page of testimonials and information about real students experiences

Testimonials
Funding

Please check with your relevant local organisation on funding options for your studies. Our Admissions team will be able to support you with the necessary documentation to apply, please contact them for support in the process.

The following organisations can provide financial support for BA or MA study at Catalyst: CSN in Sweden, Lín in Iceland, and Lånekassen in Norway.

For M.A. funding, can check this article containing web links to scholarships worldwide.

Admissions

Ask admissions

Our 'Ask Admissions' sessions aim to provide answers and support for any doubts you may have regarding the application process, work example submissions or simply planning your relocation to Berlin. We're here to help!

RSVP for Ask Admissions
COVID-19 - Special Refund Policy

If you make an enrolment payment (and a single tuition fee payment) to guarantee your place on any of our courses and you are unable to attend the course for any reason directly related to the Coronavirus outbreak, we will offer a full refund of your monies, as per the following situations:

  1. If our course delivery is onsite in Berlin and you are either not able to travel due to provable travel restrictions in your own country (or country of residence) or because you are denied entry to Germany by the German authorities.
  2. If you become ill with COVID-19 before the start of the year and have to take an extended period of time in recuperation such that you are unable to study or unable to catch up with missed work as proven by a doctor’s note
  3. Should you become ill during your studies with us you are already covered by point 9.2 of our Terms and Conditions.

Alternatively, you may also choose to defer your place for one year. If you have paid your enrolment fee and defer your place for one year, the course cost will be fixed at the 2021 prices.

Learn more
Application deadlines
Priority applications deadline - 30th April

Our priority applications deadline for our 2021 courses is the 30th of April. If you have completed the application procedure by then and meet all of our Entry Requirements, we can basically guarantee you a spot on the course of your choice. Once we receive your application, it can take between 2-3 weeks for your application to be processed. However, Masters applications will take longer. If you fulfil all our Entry Requirements, you will receive an Offer Letter from us which you should pay within 14 days. All the information about the required materials and the application procedure is available on the first page of the application form. You can also find a detailed Admissions Map for each course under the Application Process tab below. Don't wait to create!

Standard application deadline: 30th June

If you meet our entry requirements, we will do our best to offer you a place on the course of your choice. If there are no places available we will either offer you a place on an alternative course or place you on the waiting list.

Late applications

After 30th June all applications are placed on a waiting list. If there are remaining places on specific courses and your application is successful, you will receive an offer for one of these places. Otherwise you will remain on the waiting list until September. Typically each year, a small number of students who have already enrolled are unable to attend for various reasons. We then offer their spaces to applicants on the waiting list. This may mean that you miss the first week or two of the course start but you will receive support to catch up on any work you have missed.

Short course application

Short courses are also subject tot the Priority application deadline. But if spaces are still available, the last date we will accept applications for all short courses is 14 days before course start.

The Application Process

You can apply for one of our courses through our online application form. On the first page of every application form you will be provided with a list of supporting materials required for your application. Each course has slightly different requirements but as a minimum, we will always need your personal details and contact information. Most of our courses will require submitting some original work from you and involve an interview with the programme lead.

To start the application process simply select your course on the application page and follow the instructions. If anything about the process is unclear for you, please don't hesitate to send a message or give us a ring. We like to chat.

Our Admissions Team also made you these lovely maps to guide you on your journey:
Electronic Music Production & Performance
Creative Audio Production & Sound Engineering
Film Production
Visual Effects
Screen Acting
Creative Production (Music)
Creative Production (Film)

Apply now
Course dates
1-YR HE, 3-YR BA, 1 or 2-YR MA course dates

Start: September 13, 2021

Ignition Short Courses (Electronic Music Production, Studio Recording, Filmmaking, Screen Acting Crash course)

Term: 21.06.2021 - 17.07.2021

Momentum Short Courses (Advanced Sound Design, Mixing and Mastering, Documentary Filmmaking, Journalism, Documentary & Non-Fiction Performance)

Term: 19.07.2021 - 14.08.2021

Privacy policy

We take a very strict approach to privacy and the storage of private details.

Policy details
Course fees

There is a non-refundable deposit (enrolment fee) for all courses of €750. Course price varies by programme type and subject. We offer you two simple ways to pay the course fee.

Single payment

Make a single payment before the start of your course. This is the lowest cost option.

Instalment payment

Make 10 instalment payments throughout the year. This helps spread the cost of the course.

All details including when fees become due are available on the course fees page.

Course fees
Taster Workshops

As an extension to our Virtual Open Day, our Music, Film and Acting schools will be hosting special taster workshops as a friendly preview of each of our programmes. From January to May 2021, our Catalyst tutors will host short online sessions demonstrating some of the basics techniques, skills and approaches covered in our summer short courses and our 1-3 year programmes.

What to expect:

  • Live matte painting and substance texturing in our Live VFX demos
  • Beat-chopping, loop shifting, arpeggiators and more techniques in our Electronic Music Production sessions.
  • Narrative building and working to a brief in our Filmmaking taster workshops
  • Script analysis and audition techniques in our Screen Acting workshops
  • Studio skills and basic audio engineering workflows in our mastering studio for Creative Audio Production
  • M.A project proposal support sessions and skill-focussed workshops
Learn more

Visas & Residence Permits

General

Our Bachelor degrees and our Masters degrees are officially recognised by the German authorities and qualify for the German Study Visa.

Non-EU students studying on these courses can [extend their residence permit for up to 18 months to find work relating to their studies after graduating]

BA & MA degree courses

Citizens of any EU country, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway, Switzerland and the UK

  1. You DO NOT require a visa to enter Germany.
  2. You DO NOT require a residence permit to study in Germany
  3. You MUST register your address within two weeks of moving into an apartment with a district office

Citizens of Australia, Andorra, Brazil, Canada, El Salvador, Honduras, Israel, Japan, Monaco, New Zealand, San Marino, Switzerland, United States, South Korea

  1. You DO NOT require a visa to enter Germany.
  2. You MUST apply for a residence permit (for study purposes) within 3 months of entering Germany.
  3. You MUST register your address within two weeks of moving into an apartment with a district office.

Citizens all other countries

  1. You MUST hold a valid student visa before entering Germany.
  2. You MUST apply for a residence permit (for study purposes) within 3 months of entering Germany.
  3. You MUST register your address within two weeks of moving into an apartment with a district office.

HE certificates

Citizens of any EU country, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway, Switzerland or UK

  1. You DO NOT require a visa to enter Germany.
  2. You DO NOT require a residence permit to study in Germany
  3. You MUST register your address within two weeks of moving into an apartment with a district office

Citizens of Australia, New Zealand, Japan, the Republic of Korea, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Israel, Chile, Brazil

  1. If you are aged between 18 - 30 you may apply for the Work and Travel Visa/Working holiday program. More details from the [German Federal Foreign Office here]
  2. This type of visa is also your residence permit.
  3. You MUST register your address within two weeks of moving into an apartment with a district office

Students from all other countries WILL NOT be able to get a visa to study on this course

Short courses

Citizens of any EU country, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway, Switzerland or UK

  1. You DO NOT require a visa to enter Germany
  2. You DO NOT require a residence permit to study in Germany

Citizens of any country marked 'No' [on this list]

  1. You DO NOT require a visa to enter Germany
  2. You DO NOT require a residence permit to study in Germany
  3. You MAY NOT stay more than 90 days in Germany during a 6 month period

Citizens of all other countries

  1. You MUST apply for a tourist/ Schengen visa in order to enter Germany.

Entry requirements

Short course
Accessing our courses

We are committed to making our courses as accessible as possible though we would not provide anyone with a place on a course that we didn't think they were capable of. Our short courses are the easiest to access.

Short courses

You should usually be aged 18 or over

These courses are designed to be accessible for anyone. No proof of academic qualification is required

If you're coming from outside the EU a holiday/travel visa will usually suffice.

If taking an intermediate or advanced course, relevant prior knowledge is recommended to maximise your learning experience.

HE Certificate or BA Hons Degree
Accessing our courses

We are committed to making our courses as accessible as possible though we would not provide anyone with a place on a course that we didn't think they were capable of. Our short courses are the easiest to access but our HE Certificate and BA Hons Degree courses also have routes to accessing them even for those students without the usual qualification levels required for entry.

When you submit your application form our admissions team will send you a survey which will help you understand which of the following categories describe your situation, as well as the types of documentation you need to provide.

Standard

You should usually be aged 18 or over when you start your course AND have completed your formal schooling. If you're still in school you can apply with your current transcript and send us your certificate when you receive it.

Suitable certificates include:- A Level, Baccalaureate, International Baccalaureate, Abitur, BTEC National Diploma, GED (high school diploma), Scottish Highers, Diploma di Maturità, di Esame di Stato, Título de Bachillerato or other equivalents.

Mature

For this category you must be at least 21 years old.

You have no qualifications in the traditional sense (so standard doesn’t fit you) but you are able to send a detailed CV of what you’ve been doing in the fields of the course subject you have applied for.

Non Standard

If you have no qualifications AND no experience, but have reason to believe that you would be capable of taking these courses then you probably fit into this category.

Please complete the survey in the application form in order for us to verify your situation.

In most cases we would ask you to sign up for one of our 4-week summer courses. These will equip you with the skills and training required to enter a longer course in September.

Practical and language requirements

We want you to demonstrate your passion for the subject. For direct entry onto these courses (Standard or Mature) you will need to provide us with practical evidence, meaning a submission of some original work from you. The application form will provide some examples. Your level of English speaking will also be evaluated during the application process. You must be equivalent to IELTS level 6 - but we don't require a certificate of language ability.

MA Masters degree

By September you will be at least 18 years old AND have earned at least a 2.1 on your Bachelor Degree. Your BA does not need to be in the same field as your chosen topic of MA study.

Education

What is a Higher Education Certificate?

Our HE Certificates aim to engage students with limited experience in their fields who would like to put their foot in the water without committing to a full degree. This is not an introductory course! The courses will deliver a broad depth of information and aim to get students working independently on major projects. Successful completion of a Higher Education Certificate course earns you 60 ECTS: equivalent to 1 year of a BA degree level course. Should you then decide you would like to pursue a degree programme with us you would enter onto the second year of the programme.

What is a Bachelor Degree or a BA Hons degree?

Our bachelor BA Hons degrees are internationally recognised undergraduate bachelor of arts programmes, validated and administered through the University of St Mark & St John in the UK. They are suitable for students that have some initial experience in their chosen or a related field and aim to push students both creatively and technically. They provide the skills required to enter employment, further study or to independent artistic work. This is a full British Bachelor of Arts (HONS) Degree equivalent to 180 ECTS. See FAQ above for entry requirements onto our BA Hons bachelor degrees.

How does progression work between your courses?

Our seamless progression model allows you to decide how much of the journey you wish to take. Our unique 4 week summer course provides those who need it with the skills necessary to progress onto an HE Certificate. Successful completion of the HE Certificate provides access to our BA Hons degree. Successful completion of the BA Hons degree provides access to the MA programme.

Who accredits your qualifications?

Catalyst courses are accredited by the University of St Mark & St John (MARJON), a small, specialised university based in Plymouth in the South West of England, with around 3500 students. In 2012 they achieved 87% in their student satisfaction survey and 79.9% for teaching excellence in the Sunday Times university guide. We work closely with this university to deliver our music degrees in both the UK and Berlin and have had a very successful relationship with them for a number of years.

With over 175 Years of heritage, tradition and experience, MARJON has travelled a long road in becoming first a university college and now a full university. The university’s degree courses comply fully with the European Diploma Supplement Transcript and have equivalent ECTS values for all modules in keeping with the Bologna Declaration at the Convention for the Recognition of Qualifications Concerning Higher Education in the European Region.

MARJONs is listed as an accredited degree awarding university on the following UK Government websites:

Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education (QAA) UK Government recognised bodies

University website: http://www.marjon.ac.uk

Do I gain ECTS credits from studying your courses?

Yes, you do!
Our qualifications are awarded:

  • HE Certificate or 1st year of the Bachelor = 60 ECTS Credits
  • 2 years of the Bachelor = 120 ECTS Credits
  • Bachelor Degree = 180 ECTS Credits
  • Masters Degree = 90 ECTS Credits
What are the teaching days and hours?

For the longer courses which start in September, lessons take place: Monday to Friday between 9:00 & 20:00, with taught study hours usually taking place over 2 or 3 days every week. There is an estimated 36 hour a week commitment, broken down into 12 hours of weekly lessons, supported time on campus, bookable time in our facilities and independent study time. If a class needs to be rescheduled it will be moved to a Saturday. Your particular weekly arrangement depends on which group you are placed into for your course.

For the short courses, lessons take place Monday to Friday between 9:00 & 20:00, with taught study hours usually taking place over 4 or 5 days every week. There is an estimated 16 hours of weekly lessons alongside supported time on campus, bookable time in our facilities and independent study time. If a class needs to be rescheduled it will be moved to a Saturday. Your particular weekly arrangement depends on which group you are placed into for your course.