How to apply

Whether you're interested in one of our four-week summer courses or are ready to pursue a degree programme, find out how to apply here.

Application deadlines

Our application deadlines are as follows:

  • Deadline for applicants requiring student visa: Friday 29 March 2024
  • Priority deadline: Friday 5 April 2024
  • Summer Short Course deadline: Friday 17 May 2024
  • Final deadline: Friday 31 May 2024
  • Late applications: From June 2024 onwards

Applicants requiring a student visa: You may require a student visa to live in Germany, depending on which country you’re from. The application process for visas takes several months and you can only begin this process after you are enrolled on the course. Apply for the course by 29 March 2024 to allow plenty of time for this process.

Other applicants (citizens of the EU, Australia, Canada, Israel, Japan, New Zealand, South Korea, United Kingdom or United States): If you do not need a student visa, we strongly recommend that you apply by our priority deadline (5 April 2024) for your best chances of securing a spot on your chosen course. You have up until our final deadline (31 May 2024) to apply, although we cannot guarantee there will still be places available. If the course is full, you will be added to a waiting list.

Late applications: We only accept late applications from those who do not need a student visa (see list of citizenship countries above). If we still have places left on your chosen course, we can accept late applications from June 2024 onwards. If the course is full, you will be added to a waiting list. 

How to apply

Applications for entry to our courses in 2024 are now open. All applications must be submitted digitally through our online application portal. Before you click the link though, read on for important information about entry requirements, the admissions process and what you'll need to include in your application.

Application form

The Summer Short Course application form is just one page. You must submit your personal and contact details, as well as a short statement of motivation (250-300 words). If you're applying for one of our intermediate or advanced level summer courses, be sure to tell us about your previous experience with the subject and related software, if relevant.

Our undergraduate (HE Certificate and BA degree) application form has 7 sections:
1. Course Level Selection
2. Course Choice
3. Personal Details
4. Previous Education
5. Portfolio
6. Personal Introduction
7. Terms & Conditions* 

Our postgraduate (MA) application form has 7 sections:
1. Course Level Selection
2. Course Choice
3. Personal Details
4. Previous Education
5. MA Project Proposal
6. Portfolio 
7. Terms & Conditions*

*By clicking “submit” at the end of the application form, you agree to our Terms & Conditions

Students outside on the Spree riverside during summer school short courses at Catalyst in Funkhaus.

Entry requirements: Age

We don't have an upper age limit, but we do have a minimum age: 18. To join us in 2024, your date of birth must be before 31 December 2006. If you will still be 17 at the start of your course, we'll need a consent form from either a parent or legal guardian, which we'll request after we offer you a place.

Entry requirements: Language

All our courses are taught in English and applicants must demonstrate a level equal to IELTS 6. We do not ask for official exam results, but we will assess the standard of English in your application and support materials. We do not require German language skills.

Entry requirements: Education

Summer Short Course: no education requirement

BA (Hons) Degree / HE Certificate: graduation from high school at a level which would normally permit entry to university in the country where it was gained. This would be A-Levels in the UK and the Abitur in Germany, for example. We do not require specific subjects or academic streams.

MA: Bachelor degree in a relevant discipline, with an Honours grade (e.g. 2:1 in the UK university system).

If you're in your final year of studies, whether that's in high school or a third level course, you can still apply. Instead of your final diploma, please send us a transcript of either your most recent or predicted grades. If the original language of this is not English or German, please also include a translation to English.

Undergraduate: Portfolio

Upload your work to an online platform (such as Vimeo, Youtube, Tumblr, Soundcloud) so that we can review it online. We do not accept file download links. For each work, you’ll also need to add a short description in the application form (telling us the inspiration behind it and how you made it).

Share two pieces of original work that you have created using a DAW program. These tracks can be composed from new recordings, samples, or a combination of both, and should demonstrate that you can perform basic DAW operations (such as applying plug-in effects). We welcome music in any genre, sound art or other audio production, but we do not accept DJ mixes. 

Share a film that you have created. This could be something completed already or you can create a totally new project in response to one of the following prompts from our Film Production tutors:

  • Show abuse of power on the smallest possible scale
  • Use sound instead of visuals to depict a massive disaster
  • Make us fall in love with a terrible person

We welcome work in any genre and are more interested in your ideas and general approach than in a highly polished end result.

The film should be 3 minutes or less. If the running time is longer or you would like to share more than one project, please make a selection of which part(s) you want us to view or edit them into a showreel clip. For projects created collaboratively, be sure to specify your role in the production.

You can submit either writing or film work.

Film work:
Share one film that you have created. We welcome work in any genre and are more interested in your ideas and general approach than in a highly polished end result. The film should be 3 minutes or less. If the running time is longer or you would like to share more than one project, please make a selection of which part(s) you want us to view or edit them into a showreel clip. For projects created collaboratively, be sure to specify your role in the production.

Writing work:
Share a sample of your writing with us. We’d be happy to see film treatments, scripts, plays or other forms of creative writing. Make a selection and save it into a PDF file with up to 5 projects maximum, spread over 10 pages maximum. All text should be in the English language.

We want to see you performing on screen. Pick one monologue from our 2023 audition selection*. Rehearse it and when you’re ready, record it. We’re interested in your potential as an actor, which means we’re not focusing on the production values. In other words, don’t worry too much about the background or camera quality.

We review every tape submitted to us and after we have reviewed yours, we will contact you by email about the second round of the audition process. If you make it to this round, you will be asked to submit another audition tape (and sometimes a third) in response to feedback from our Acting department.

*monologue scripts are available on the application form or can be requested as a PDF from admissions@catalyst-berlin.com

Show us your creative work. We welcome work in diverse media and are happy to view it in various formats. Here are some suggested guidelines:

  • 2D images (e.g. photography, illustration, graphics, CGI, painting): 5-12 images
  • Time-based work (e.g. video, animation, music): 3 minutes maximum. For longer or multiple works, create a showreel or let us know which sections you would like us to review.
  • Online portfolio (e.g. if you already have a website): link to site
  • 3D work (e.g. sculptures, installations): photo documentation of the work, 5-12 images

The above should not be viewed as a checklist. We don’t expect applicants to have experience in every medium. The format of your portfolio doesn't have to be hi-tech. Former students have shared portfolios with us via Instagram or blogging platforms (such as Wordpress or Tumblr).

Undergraduate: Personal introduction

All Courses (except Film Production and Acting)
Please introduce yourself to us either by uploading a written statement of motivation or by sharing a link where you can speak to us by video or audio.

Tell us why you’d like to join our community at Catalyst. Why did you choose this course and what do you hope to achieve during your studies? What are your ambitions for your creative career? What has influenced your creative path so far? What obstacles have you faced on this journey and how can we help you face any challenges in school?

Submit either a Written Statement (450-500 word PDF) or Video/Audio Introduction (2-3 minutes, uploaded to an online streaming platform where we can view it directly, such as Vimeo or Soundcloud)

Film Production
Record a short video and tell us:

  • What film ideas do you have?
  • In what contexts do you place your filmmaking or creative work (i.e. artistic, social, historical)?
  • What inspires you?
  • How do you hope to benefit from the Film Production programme at Catalyst?
  • How do you see your contribution to the Catalyst community?
  • What does teamwork mean to you?

It’s fine to record this on your smartphone camera. The most important thing is that you answer all the questions and we get a sense of who you are. If you are a bit camera shy, you can submit your introduction as an audio clip. Upload your film to an online streaming platform (such as Youtube or Vimeo) where we can view it directly.

Undergraduate: Checklist

Are you ready to make an application?

✔ Name and address of the education institution you studied at the highest level
✔ Name of the study programme and/or qualification you worked towards there
✔ Date when the qualification was or will be completed
✔ List of any other courses, internships or training programmes which you would like to share
✔ PDF file: education qualification/transcripts and CV (for applicants over 21 who did not complete high school and would like to be assessed on life experience)
✔ Portfolio: links to view work online + short text description
✔ Personal introduction: link to view/listen online (2-3 minutes) or PDF file for written statement (500 words)

Ready to apply to start your Undergrad journey?

*Reminder: progress in the application portal won't be saved, so be sure you have everything you need ready

Film Production class in Fabrik classrooms at Catalyst in Funkhaus.

Postgraduate (MA): Portfolio

  • 1 sample of Research Experience / Academic Writing (PDF)
  • Artistic Portfolio (2 links to view work online + text descriptions of both works)

Postgraduate (MA): Project Proposal

How would you spend one year full-time or two years part-time dedicated to an artistic research topic of your choice? Your project proposal is an important line in the sand. While the trajectory and shape of the project will naturally evolve over the course of your research, it’s important to make a clear statement of intention at the outset and present a well-thought out plan to guide your endeavours.

Your initial proposal will not only define the starting point of your Master’s research but also sets the stage for ongoing discussions between you and your supervisor. Your idea should be something you are genuinely excited about, relevant to your personal creative practice as well as of interest to the wider artistic and academic community.

In the application form, you will be asked to elaborate your proposal across the following 5 headings:

Project Title
For example, a question or hypothesis which clearly indicates your area of interest

Aims, Objectives and Outline
What is your area of proposed research? What are the most important questions driving your enquiry? What do you hope to have achieved by the end?

Context
Tell us, for example, the most relevant ideas, literature and music to your proposed topic, or other work in a similar area that inspires you

Research Methodology
What will you be doing? Discuss how you will go about this research. What do you imagine your primary research activities and practical methods or techniques will be for this project?

Inspiration
Why have you chosen your particular field? And why is your question interesting to others?

Postgraduate (MA): Checklist

Are you ready to make an application?

✔ Name and address of the education institution you studied at the highest level
✔ Name of the study programme and/or qualification you worked towards there
✔ Date when the qualification was or will be completed
✔ List of any other courses, internships or training programmes which you would like to share
✔ PDF file: education qualification/transcripts and/or CV + two professional references (this is required for applicants who do not hold an undergraduate degree or are not in their final year of study for one, who wish to be assessed on the basis of equivalent professional experience)
✔ Portfolio: links to view work online + short text description
✔ Project Proposal: text ready to be copy & pasted into the application form

Ready to apply for your MA?

*Reminder: progress in the application portal won't be saved, so be sure you have everything you need ready

Achtung! Attention!

Some things to keep in mind:

  • We will communicate updates about your application to you by email, using the same address you provide in your application form.
  • Make sure that the total file size for any attachments does not exceed 25MB or our system will not let you submit your application.

Admissions timeline

Summer Short Course applications are normally processed within 2 weeks.

Most undergraduate applications are assessed on a rolling basis and decisions will normally be communicated by email within 3 weeks of receiving a complete application.

Postgraduate (MA) applications for courses in the Music & Sound school are assessed on a monthly basis and if you make it to the second round, you will be invited for an online interview. You'll normally find out if you've made it to the second round within 4-6 weeks and will receive a final decision on your application within 6-8 weeks maximum.

Masters applications for courses in the Film & Visual Media school also involve a second round with interviews. If you apply by 29 March 2024, you will be informed of our decisions by mid-May. If you apply by 31 May 2024, we will let you know before the end of June.

Thanks for reading

Now you've got the low-down on how to apply, the one thing left to do is send the application through our application portal.

Of course, if there are any outstanding questions, you are welcome to get in touch with the Admissions team by email or by calling during our opening hours.

Tutor stands in front of a full hall of students