Keystone logo
© Catalyst - Institute for Creative Arts and Technology
Catalyst - Institute for Creative Arts and Technology GmbH

Catalyst - Institute for Creative Arts and Technology GmbH

Catalyst - Institute for Creative Arts and Technology GmbH



What Do We Do?

Catalyst – Institute for Creative Arts and Technology is an international creative learning community, based at the iconic Funkhaus in the creative media metropolis of Berlin.

Our undergraduate, postgraduate, and summer short courses span electronic music production and performance, audio production, sound engineering, sound for visual media, filmmaking, screenwriting, visual effects, and acting.

Our students learn in English as part of a community of over 75 nationalities. Through project-based learning and collaboration, and guided by expert tutors, they are empowered to discover their unique creative identity.


Where Do We Come From?

We have been providing world-class creative production training in the UK for 20 years and in Berlin for more than 7 years under our old brand names 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's degree and master's programs in Berlin are delivered in partnership with Plymouth Marjon University which is 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.


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 maximize your own unique greatness.

Our groundbreaking degree programs 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 maximizing 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's research would suggest we all need to become a real expert.

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 defined. At its most simple, this is what we mean. No matter where you come from (creed, culture, gender, skin color), we aim to create a space where you feel free to express yourself as a creative human being.

For starters, 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 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 individuals of all ages, ethnicities, gender identities, physical abilities, religions, educational backgrounds, geographical locations, and life statuses. Join us and let us know how we can make our community feel like a challenging but safe space for you too.

Campus Features

In the creative media metropolis of Berlin, eight minutes on a tram from Ostkreuz past an industrial landscape of concrete factories and power stations, the iconic and historic Funkhaus complex looms into view.

Our riverside campus at Funkhaus is part of the historic building that was once home to the GDR’s broadcasting station and was one of the world’s largest multi-studio complexes during the Soviet era.

Our industry-standard facilities are built with one thing in mind: maximizing ‘hands-on’ access to doing what you love. Think of it as your very own technological playground.

You'll find it all in detail further down the page but if you're strapped for time, here is a quick overview of everything.

  • 31 recording and production studios for music/film
  • 110 fully loaded digital audio Mac workstations
  • 9 high-powered VFX PC workstations
  • 1 large film studio with a green screen
  • 2900 bookable items inc synths, drum machines, microphones, mixing consoles, preamps, FX, field recorders, MIDI controllers, decks, CDJs, guitars, amplifiers, pedals, wireless systems, cameras, lights, fog machines, filter kits, lenses, turntables,
  • Friendly kitchen with free coffee and tea
  • Multiple beautiful atmospheric locations
  • Riverside location with deckchairs and free sunshine


    Application Deadlines

    • 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

    Other Applicants (including EU/EFTA citizens): 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. 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:

    • Course Level Selection
    • Course Choice
    • Personal Details
    • Previous Education
    • Portfolio
    • Personal Introduction
    • Terms & Conditions*

    Our postgraduate (MA) application form has 7 sections:

    • Course Level Selection
    • Course Choice
    • Personal Details
    • Previous Education
    • MA Project Proposal
    • Portfolio
    • Terms & Conditions*

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

    Entry Requirements


    We don't have an upper age limit, but we do have a minimum age: of 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.


    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.


    Summer Short Course: no education requirement

    BA (Hons) Degree / HE Certificate: graduation from high school at a level that 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's 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.


    • Berlin

      Funkhaus Berlin Nalepastraße 18, 12459, Berlin