What is Catalyst?


What do we do?

Catalyst is a creative arts and technology learning institute based at the extraordinary Funkhaus in Berlin. Our courses span electronic music production and performance, audio and music production, sound engineering, film production, filmmaking, visual effects and acting. They range from 4-week summer courses for beginners through to Bachelor and Master degree level courses validated by our UK university partner.


Where do we come from?

We have been providing world-class creative production training in the UK for 20 years and Berlin for more than 7 years under our old brand name of dBs Music Berlin and dBs Film Berlin. We have an established reputation for delivering exciting, hands-on, relevant and engaging education in a relaxed and adult environment.

Our Bachelor degree and Masters programmes in Berlin are delivered in partnership with Plymouth Marjon University who are our validating institution in the UK. We have consistently excellent ratings for the quality of our educational delivery in all public audits and numerous alumni working across the creative industries.

Classic building. Contemporary facility.

What powers our learning?

Our belief that 'greatness is grown not born' powers everything we do. We provide you with a learning and self-development process that allows you to build your best self and maximise your own unique greatness.

Our groundbreaking degree programmes are built on project-based learning. We use a progressive education model whilst complying with the rigorous requirements of a UK university. Progressive education focuses on building not just your specialist creative skills but also the real world, everyday skills that will continue to transform your daily life long after you have left Catalyst behind.

We believe that the best learning involves getting your hands on the gear and maximising the amount of time you spend ‘doing’. Learning through doing and collaboration with others is key to the Catalyst method.

Of course our students also learn the theory which supports and enriches their doing. But doing is paramount and we think it is part of our duty to provide them with at least some of the ten thousand hours of deliberate practice that Anders Ericsson research would suggest we all need to become a real expert.


Our tutors are all experienced professionals with a passion for passing on their experience to others. You will be guided along your journey by a team of permanent tutors and visiting industry professionals and practicing artists from around the world. Meanwhile, a core team of dedicated technicians and specialists are here to ensure you have an outstanding learning experience.

Catalyst's Berlin-based team of passionate industry professionals.

A diverse creative learning community

When we say that Catalyst is a safe space to dream big, we really mean it. Safe is an overused word these days and consequently it needs properly defining. At its most simple, this is what we mean. No matter who you are, we aim to create a space where you feel free to express yourself as a creative human being. 

For starters, between the team and the student body we house over 75 different nationalities in our school. This is a truly international community. But there’s always more work to be done. It’s a mountain with no top.

Our team will continue to climb that mountain and build an inclusive community that enriches us all and allows our students to flourish, both as creatives and as human beings.

This extends to our admissions process. There is no “right fit” for any of our courses in particular. Our film, acting and VFX community will be stronger and in a better position to tell stories that reflect the world we’re living in and the future we want to create together.

We welcome you as unique individuals and fellow creatives. Talk to us and let us know how we can make our community feel like a safe space for you too. 

Study in Berlin, learn in English

Why Berlin?

Berlin... yes, why Berlin? For anyone who knows it already, it is a question that doesn't need to be asked. For those that haven't yet experienced the extraordinary creative energy that this city exudes, it is hard to put into words. It explodes with a creative energy that is hard to match anywhere else in the world. As a city, it knows more than most what has value and what does not. It has a difficult history which has somehow transformed itself into part of the richness of what it has to offer (though those with long memories may understandably not feel so ready to consider this positively). There are 3 million Berliners and we reckon that about a million of them are artists of one sort or another. It worships at the altar of the unconventional. The nightlife is legendary. When the Catalyst founder first came to the city, it was instantly obvious that Catalyst and Berlin were a perfect match for each other. We love it.

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