Postgraduate study in illustration reflects the diversity of the subject and the opportunities that exist in areas such as publishing, advertising, graphic and web design, theatre, television, art galleries and museums. We welcome applicants with a variety of approaches to Illustration, from both academic and professional perspectives.
You will be encouraged to explore a range of methods with support from highly accomplished and respected staff, all of whom have understanding and expertise in the art of illustration.
Facilities include excellent individual working spaces with access to a drawing studio and extensive printmaking resources. There are life drawing classes, workshops and field trips. You will also have the chance to study bookbinding, book arts, digital technologies and web publishing.
The programme also includes working with writers, designers and publishers in collaboration and in live briefs. Many of our postgraduates have seen their work published and there are a small number of set projects, which evolve from year to year to reflect contemporary developments in Illustration. For example, students have made work for the Royal Botanical Gardens, Edinburgh Filmhouse and the ECA Bookmarks symposium.
You will be encouraged to take part in national and international competitions, with the aim of joining the ranks of those who have exhibited and won prizes in prestigious events, such as the V&A Student Illustration Awards, Folio Society, Penguin Book Awards, 3x3 and Image Nation.
This programme offers an excellent opportunity for independent, focused study. MA students produce a body of practical and written work on an agreed topic. MFA students produce an extended range of work, appropriate to the length of the course. Self-directed projects are connected to a number of set projects, workshops and collaborations throughout the academic year.
Your studies will combine practical studio work with theoretical and written studies, including professional practice elements in preparation for employment in the industry. There is a lecture/seminar series that will examine the wider context of your studies, presented by contemporary illustrators, designers and artists.
Graduates explore an exciting and diverse range of careers, including working as picture book illustrators, designers, freelance illustrators, artists and craftsmen, or in leading agencies.
In the MA/MFA Photography, you will be encouraged to test and push the boundaries of the photographic medium. You will explore approaches to visual narrative, including the photographic and cinematic, and evaluate the relationship between photography and texts/sound/space.
You will primarily use digital and analogue photographic technologies, but may also develop your practical skills through media such as moving image and bookbinding. Particular themes will explore photography in relation to context: portfolio, book art, gallery, screen and installed space. You will develop your own philosophy to photography and are expected to consider and evaluate your work in relation to the current photographic discourse on the shifting genres and boundaries caused by advancing technologies.
Photography is part of the Department of Media at Manchester School of Art which has an established community of interdisciplinary staff, and research students with expertise in fields that include Animation, Filmmaking, Photography, Media Theory and Multimedia Digital practices.
The Department promotes a blending of arts practices responsive to current cultural and digital industries demands; inspiring students to engage with real world scenarios through creative and imaginative responses.
It has developed a framework that fosters interesting and diverse approaches to engage with external partners within the city, the region, nationally and internationally. Recent partners include HOME, BBC (Media City), CITV, Manchester City and Regional Art Galleries, Open Eye Photography Gallery, Red Eye Photography Network, International Anthony Burgess Foundation and international partnerships in China, India, Brazil, Russia and Europe.
Core to all of the teaching and research in the Media department is the continuing exploration of new modes of expression through digital technologies and support students in developing a robust and individual creative practice that has relevance to a diverse range of cultural industries.
The MA Photography is made up of four units totally 180 credits.
You will develop the outline and first framework for a future large-scale project by investigating a range of practical research methods and experimenting with the innovative application of related media and theory content through visual and theoretical outputs, and display forms.
You will also explore the pre-production and prototyping phase of the specialist creative process and project development.
You will also be encouraged and supported to extend your experience in the professional sphere either through a practical project, research context, exchange, work experience, or other negotiated professional set of interactions with an external partner, groups of students and creative industry
Towards the end of the programme you will undertake a major project to consolidate your past research and practice into fully realised collections, pieces, proposals, business plans, or exhibitions – what ever means is appropriate to the work. You will also have developed a strategy for the continuation of your practice located and contextualised to the profession or discipline.
If you choose to progress to MFA Photography award you will study a further two units of 60 credits each.
This award is focussed on the continuation of your practice aligned to the research and selection of appropriate public or professional venues and platforms to disseminate a significant body of work. You will be required to produce work for a public audience in the most relevant and appropriate form along with any implicit publicity and dissemination material.
This course is for materially engaged makers who are looking to explore craft practices across a range of materials and object types. The programme encourages the development of craft across specialist and multi-material making, as you investigate and explore definitions of craft practice.
Your work may already encompass making in a specific area such as glass, ceramics or jewellery, which you are wanting to develop or expand. This course will encourage you to progress and challenge your practice, to explore genre-breaking approaches to material and process making.
Using the wide range of hand, machine and digital technologies at Manchester School of Art, you will work within, across and between definitions of craft, to evolve and progress a unique and personal making practice within contemporary craft.
The programme is supported by a comprehensive range of workshops for hand, machine and digital making. In addition to traditional material making workshops in ceramics, glass, metal, wood, textiles and bookbinding, there are digital making facilities for CNC routing, rapid prototyping, plasma & laser cutting, and digital print for textiles & ceramics. Students have access to a wide range of specialist academic and technical expertise from across the School of Art, to support the development of a wide range of craft making practices.
Based in the heart of the School of Art, MA/MFA Design: Craft is part of an innovative design network — a community of staff and students exploring design ideas in a discursive, cross-disciplinary studio environment. Critically informed practical designers, the group works experimentally, inspired by new insights and possibilities.
While studying towards a particular qualification at MA/MFA level, students experience their subject in the broader context of contemporary design practice.
Dedicated spaces for the postgraduate community have been developed to enable the postgraduate community to flourish. These spaces, for thinking and practice, are located centrally within the School of Art, allowing easy access to an extensive range of workshops where the combination of traditional and state of the art equipment opens up a world of exciting possibilities.