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On this unique illustration course - the only one of its kind with a specific academic focus on authorial practice - you'll develop your own voice. Read more
On this unique illustration course - the only one of its kind with a specific academic focus on authorial practice - you'll develop your own voice. You'll learn to see your work as an evolving practice rather than as a response to an already defined concept or brief, as you challenge and re-evaluate your work with the help of teaching staff who are experienced practitioners.

As your authorial voice develops and you learn to identify your audience, you'll also be encouraged to take an entrepreneurial approach, thinking creatively about the outlets and options for your work. This professionalism is aided by the course's close relationship with independent publisher Atlantic Press, offering you opportunities to gain direct experience in the many aspects of producing and publishing graphic literature.

At the heart of this studio-based course is a belief that there is a need to reassert the characteristics of personal origination, ownership, storytelling and literary ideas within the medium of illustration. We'll help you gain the confidence to take ownership of your work, you'll develop new ideas and concepts driven by your desire to create a distinct, original, authorial voice.

You'll explore narrative and storytelling as defined by your developing voice, working on longer-term projects across a variety of mediums that suit your interests – including children's books, graphic novels, digital work and screen-based production. The course will also engage you with current ideas and thinking related to notions of authorship, encouraging you to draw inspiration from a diverse range of influences, providing further personal insight and direction for your practice.

Visit the website https://www.falmouth.ac.uk/illustrationma

Building professional experience

A unique feature of our MA is our relationship with Atlantic Press (http://www.atlanticpressbooks.com/). The specialist publishing house, based in Penryn, was founded 15 years ago by course leader Steve Braund. The partnership enables you to learn about the whole publishing process, from concept to realisation – as well as the practical aspects of printing, distribution and marketing. The close proximity of a publishing press also means that internships to students on the course are offered on a regular basis.

The course will give you a grounding in all aspects of professional practice related to the work of an authorial illustrator. You'll also be encouraged to consider entrepreneurial approaches to your practice. At the end of the course, you'll mount a professional presentation of work from your negotiated MA project.

How the course is taught

Teaching takes place in the form of lectures, seminars, group critiques and workshops, supported by high-profile guest speakers. The Illustration Discourses lecture series considers authorial positions, related theories and their contexts. Both lectures and seminars will help inform your negotiated practical projects, whilst recording your studio practice in a research journal will aid self-reflection.

- Typical workshops

Research Journals
Creative Writing
Screen Printing
Life Drawing
Listening to Images
Book Art
Printmaking & Collography
Etching
Composition
Professional Practice
Table Top Book Binding
Visual Thinking
InDesign I
What are Archives?
Professional Practice, Networking & Entrepreneurship
Visual Narrative
Perspective
Book Design, Layout & InDesign
Bookbinding
Graphic Design

Course outline

This is a one-year course delivered over 45 weeks and divided into three 15-week study blocks. Alternatively, you can study part-time over two years, totalling 90 weeks.

Over the course of the year you'll be required to produce a sequence of three negotiated practical projects based on personal authorial illustration work.

The lecture and seminar series Illustration Discourses supports the practical work, running concurrently with a research journal, which builds connections and the opportunity to reflect on practice. You'll be expected to demonstrate progression; indicating the research, analysis, reflection and investigation necessary for the development of a successful and distinctive authorial illustration practice.

You'll also produce two analytical essays and deliver a presentation exploring areas of personal interest within the authorial context relating to your practice. These will show a consideration of audience awareness and the processes and development of your practice. In order to develop self-reliance the course allows you a good deal of freedom to develop your projects.

Facilities

- Individual studio space
- Full IT facilities
- Print room
- Comprehensive library facilities
- Access to specialist equipment

Assessment

- Assessment takes place at the end of each module
- Combination of visual, verbal and written assignments
- Final assessment takes place in September

Careers

Potential careers include:

- Commissioned or self-published illustrator
- Art director or creative director
- Illustration residencies
- Curatorial roles
- Teaching
- Further study

Interview and selection process

When you apply to join the course, we'll ask you to send us a study proposal and either samples of work or a link to your website or blog, if you have one. At interview we'll look for authorial illustration potential or capabilities, illustration ability, graphic skills, drawing skills, creative writing/storytelling potential, ideas and concepts. We really value meeting you in person but we can hold a telephone or Skype interview if this is not possible.

Falmouth Illustration Forum

Our respected annual Falmouth Illustration Forum recently celebrated its tenth anniversary with the publication of the world's first book devoted to the subject, The Authorial Illustrator (available from atlanticpressbooks.com (http://www.atlanticpressbooks.com/)). Each annual forum explores different aspects of authorial illustration and includes internationally renowned guest speakers.

View information about our forums here - https://www.falmouth.ac.uk/content/ma-illustration-open-forum-2014-witness-reportage-documentary

Find out how to apply here - https://www.falmouth.ac.uk/apply

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This exciting new MA in Illustration offers you the opportunity to question, develop and reflect upon you own practice by exploring both traditional and innovative techniques. Read more

Why take this course?

This exciting new MA in Illustration offers you the opportunity to question, develop and reflect upon you own practice by exploring both traditional and innovative techniques. Through a negotiated project you will be encouraged to define your role as a creative practitioner in a broad social, political and historical context. This MA would suit graduates from arts based courses but also professionals returning to education to complete ‘unfinished creative business’.

The staff team has a wealth of experience with internationally renowned practitioners in the field of artist’s books and zines, practice-based PhDs and printmaking. The course benefits from an extensive dedicated collection of artists’ books and zines located within the illustration studios. You will consider the question “what is illustration?” and seek to redefine and cross boundaries. A strong social awareness ethos underpins the course enabling you to develop a unique voice within the creative industries.

What will I experience?

On this course you can:

Reflect on and challenge your illustration practice through a mix of lectures, seminars, group critiques, themed events, short projects, workshops and individual tutorials.
Engage with high profile visiting lecturers alongside the University’s dedicated careers department to build your Professional Practice skills.
Develop your existing skills through specialist workshops which could include print workshops, Adobe workshops that could lead to Adobe Certified Associate status, laser cutting and 3D printing, photography, collage and drawing.
Explore themes such as, narrative and sequential illustration, humour and satire, ethical and social positioning of the artist, and exploring literary sources for inspiration, limited edition publications, small presses and artists’ books.
Discuss the social responsibility of the illustrator as a cultural producer.

What opportunities might it lead to?

The course will provide you with the practical skills necessary to compete in a commercial arena and rhetorical skills to enable you to promote your work.

Our graduates could pursue careers such as:

Art director
Animator, storyboard artist and digital illustrator
Graphic/editorial designer
Toy and character designer
Comic book or graphic novelist
Printmaker and small press publisher
Zinester

Module Details

This course will help you learn independently through practice-based study, culminating in a self-defined project, with a reflective report. You will also position your work in relation to what is happening at the forefront of the subject area, with particular focus on social, political and social issues.

Here are the units you will study:

Proposal: This unit is about designing an independent practice-based project that will form the basis of your body of work. You will research a theme related to your practice and develop an independent programme of study outlining research and development.

Illustration Major Project: You will produce a resolved body of work responding to and reflecting on your initial MA proposal. This will consist of critical diary/blog, media experiments, sketchbooks and final artwork(s). It could take a variety of forms, e.g. artists book, print sequences, children’s books, comics and zines, animation etc.

A Question of Research: This unit provides an introduction to debates and research methods relevant for creative practitioners and your application to a pertinent research question. It also encourages self reflection on the research process.

Contextual Research in Illustration – You will use a variety of forms/techniques to communicate your research into your practice and the reverse. It will consist of three elements that build upon each other: a verbal presentation - sharing research and development; Illustration major project reflective document - evidencing methodology through to resolution; and a final project statement with accompanying digital portfolio of images.

Programme Assessment

You will receive guidance and supervision throughout the programme that encourages independent learning. There will be regular contact teaching time including group tutorials, 1-1 tutorials and workshops but we also aim for you to engage in the wider studio culture that develops within the subject area along side the undergraduate students in illustration.

During the final stage of the course in the summer term the learning becomes more independent and self-managed, making your timetable more flexible.

You will be assessed after the submission of your work for each unit. We also present structured feedback to ensure your project development on the right track.

Student Destinations

We anticipate that once you have completed this degree the scope of your opportunities within the creative industries will have widened giving you the rhetorical skills to enable you to effectively promote your work. You will have consolidated or repositioned your practice as a creative individual giving you a competitive edge in the commercial arena as an illustrator/artist. Alternatively, for those who wish to continue studying, there is always the option of progressing to doctoral level in your specialised area of illustration.

Our graduates could pursue careers such as:

Children’s book author/illustrator
Animator, storyboard artist and digital illustrator
Graphic/editorial designer
Comic book or graphic novelist
Educational, heritage or medical illustratort
Printmaker and small press publisher
Zinester

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The MA Children’s Book Illustration course is aimed at both professional practitioners wishing to pursue a sustained period of time developing new ideas or recent graduates wishing to focus their studies and refine ideas at an advanced level. Read more
The MA Children’s Book Illustration course is aimed at both professional practitioners wishing to pursue a sustained period of time developing new ideas or recent graduates wishing to focus their studies and refine ideas at an advanced level. The course will also consider students from non-traditional illustration backgrounds, such as fine artists, graphic and Internet designers and animators, providing they can offer clearly articulated and informed reasons for wishing to study Children's Book Illustration at an advanced level.

The emphasis of the course is on the practice of illustration for children’s picture books and story books. At postgraduate level you will be encouraged to pursue a unique and personal line of enquiry within their chosen area of children’s book illustration and design.

LEARNING ENVIRONMENT AND ASSESSMENT

Through the collective community, students have access to a wide range of staff expertise and extensive workshops and studio resources.

The course is supported by extensive computer, studio and workshop facilities located within the department and the University as a whole. There is also a programme of guest lecturers, company and consultancy visits as well as exhibitions and extra workshops.

Both the practical and theoretical elements will be assessed both during and at the end of each module. The final form of the assessment strategy and criteria is the result of collaboration between student and staff.

FURTHER INFORMATION

The MA in Children’s Book Illustration is aimed at practicing professional illustrators, artists and designers wishing to develop new ideas and techniques aimed at the children’s market, and at recent graduates who wish to focus and refine their ideas at a more advanced level

Understandably, Children’s Book Illustration is primarily a visual course; however authorial control over content is also hugely important in the children’s book field so the ability to write creatively and to fuse written and visual content is an important component in the practice of children’s book illustration. You will have the opportunity to collaborate with postgraduate students on the MA Writing for Children course.

At the end of the course you will have a body of work produced to a professional and publishable standard. This will culminate in a final project and public exhibition, and hopefully, although not exclusively, in professional publication.

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Contemporary illustration practice has grown to encompass a broad range of ambitions and opportunities for image makers and storytellers. Read more
Contemporary illustration practice has grown to encompass a broad range of ambitions and opportunities for image makers and storytellers. The growth of online digital cultures - and the impact of digital image creation on traditional image making - requires flexible and adaptable practitioners, and it provides unique opportunities for the entrepreneurial illustrator.

Our course offers you the chance to challenge the boundaries of illustration, both in its practice and its context, and is primarily concerned with the illustrated narrative. It offers you a creative and intellectual environment in which you can rigorously pursue a project of self-directed study, and produce a body of work on a topic of your interest within the field of illustration.

Our course enjoys a long tradition of original narrative and storytelling through images, reflecting staff expertise and practice in these areas. As a student here you'll get to explore narrative storytelling, authorship, self-publishing, book production and visual narratives through the development of a personal project.

This MA course supports you to develop your own independent voice and to identify an audience. You're encouraged to take a self-directed entrepreneurial approach, developing and exploring creative opportunities and options for your work. This entrepreneurial emphasis will be supported by access to specialist facilities such as digital media suites, photography, printmaking and bookmaking.

Our course also provides you with the opportunity for extended critical debate, a high degree of critical reflection and integration of theoretical and practical concerns as part of the realisation of an ambitious body of work. It will also promote in-depth, rigorously conducted research, to ensure you're able to contextualise your own work in relation to the leading edge practice in illustration.

Visiting lecturers and practitioners inform and cultivate professional development, encouraging you to question and debate. Recent visiting lecturers have included Graham Rawle, Olivier Kugler, Nick White, Luke Best, Mathew Richardson and Posy Simmonds.

Industry Partners

Illustration at UCA has a long tradition of original narrative and storytelling through images, reflecting staff expertise and practice in these areas.

Students on MA Illustration also benefit from well-established industry connections.

Careers

Graduates from our MA Illustration course go on to establish careers in a diverse range of exciting areas, such as:
-Freelance illustration
-Self-publishing
-Artist practice
-Printmaking
-Curation
-Editing
-Animation
-Project management
-Education
-Design
-Digital imaging
-Web authoring
-Multi-media production

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-On the MA Illustration degree you will develop your professional skills as an Illustrator. -You will work with design professionals of international standing. Read more
-On the MA Illustration degree you will develop your professional skills as an Illustrator
-You will work with design professionals of international standing
-This masters degree gives you the opportunity to work in professional and industrial contexts
-There is the opportunity to spend a semester in Germany at the prestigious Hochschule Mannheim as part of your course

Why choose this course?

MA Illustration is a Masters award within the MA Art and Design programme at the School of Creative Arts. Within the programme there is strong emphasis on professional practice and the real-world applications of art and design. You will develop key research skills and gain a good understanding of the work of other practitioners in your field.

The aim of the postgraduate programme is to equip you with the skills, knowledge and understanding required to practice at an advanced level, to foster your creativity and enhance your employment opportunities. You will work alongside artists and designers who are involved with a wide variety of media and forms. Induction, seminars and social events for students and staff mean that you will be part of a friendly and supportive postgraduate community, which also includes film makers, musicians and professionals working in new media. Senior research staff and internationally renowned artists work with postgraduate students, helping you to develop original and challenging work.

The MA Illustration degree is designed to develop your imaginative, creative and technical potential as an illustrator. It provides an opportunity for you to examine a range of media in the fields of illustration, including the role of image-making in new and traditional media, and illustration's relationships with fine art and digital media.

This masters degree gives you an opportunity to develop advanced knowledge and skills in the use of narrative storytelling and its relationship to illustration, as well as illustrative conventions in children's and adult literature, comics and other media. We encourage you to develop the entrepreneurial and commercial skills necessary to help develop your work to its full potential and to equip you with the practical and intellectual skills to thrive as a practicing artist. Through working alongside artists and designers on other postgraduate courses you will explore the possibilities for the illustrator today, questioning conventions and refining the direction of your practice.

Our staff are experienced in research and professional practice, and you will also benefit from contributions from visiting designers and professionals, as well as from involvement with our international exhibitions programme. The course also has close links with a wide range of industry partners.

Careers

Particular emphasis is given to providing you with the skills necessary to further your career an illustrator. The course is designed to help you understand and work within the contemporary industrial environment and particular attention is given to helping you acquire entrepreneurial skills.

Teaching methods

This course is designed to help you develop your practice and give you the skills recovery to further your career in industry both in the UK and abroad. The course includes practice based modules where you will explore and develop your work as an illustrator. It also contains course or research skills, entrepreneurialism and professional practice. The final part of the course enables you to complete a major project.

Structure

Core Modules
-Creative Enterprise and Context
-Discourse / Reflection: Art and Design
-Major Study: Illustration
-Practice 1: Art and Design
-Practice 2: Art and Design
-Research and Enquiry

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About the course. -On the MA Illustration degree will develop your professional skills as an illustrator. -You will work with design professionals of international standing. Read more
About the course
-On the MA Illustration degree will develop your professional skills as an illustrator
-You will work with design professionals of international standing
-This Master's degree gives you the opportunity to work in professional and industrial contexts
-Opportunity to spend a semester in Germany at the prestigious Hochschule Mannheim as part of your course

Why choose this course?

MA Illustration is a Master's award within the MA Art and Design programme at the School of Creative Arts. Within the programme there is strong emphasis on professional practice and the real-world applications of art and design. You will develop key research skills and gain a good understanding of the work of other practitioners in your field.

The aim of the postgraduate programme is to equip you with the skills, knowledge and understanding required to practice at an advanced level, to foster your creativity and enhance your employment opportunities. Senior research staff and internationally renowned practitioners work with postgraduate students, helping you to develop original and challenging work.

The MA Illustration degree is designed to develop your imaginative, creative and technical potential as an illustrator. It provides an opportunity for you to examine a range of media in the fields of illustration, including the role of image-making in new and traditional media, and illustration's relationships with fine art and digital media.

This masters degree gives you an opportunity to develop advanced knowledge and skills in the use of narrative storytelling and its relationship to illustration, as well as illustrative conventions in children's and adult literature, comics and other media. We encourage you to develop the entrepreneurial and commercial skills necessary to help develop your work to its full potential and to equip you with the practical and intellectual skills to thrive as a practicing artist. Through working alongside artists and designers on other postgraduate courses you will explore the possibilities for the illustrator today, questioning conventions and refining the direction of your practice.

Our staff are experienced in research and professional practice, and you will also benefit from contributions from visiting designers and professionals, as well as from involvement with our international exhibitions programme.

By studying the MA Illustration (online) or Graphic Design (online), you can fit studies around work and life commitments.

Careers

Particular emphasis is given to providing you with the skills necessary to further your career an illustrator. The course is designed to help you understand and work within the contemporary industrial environment and particular attention is given to helping you acquire entrepreneurial skills.

Teaching methods

This course is designed to help you develop your practice and give you the skills recovery to further your career in industry both in the UK and abroad. The course includes practice based modules where you will explore and develop your work as an illustrator. It also contains course or research skills, entrepreneurialism and professional practice. The final part of the course enables you to complete a major project.

Content is delivered entirely online, through video lectures, online presentations, text and image resources, Skype tutorials and email. Students have one-to-one support from the course leader and from a specialist tutor. Students share their work with their peers in online galleries, where they can receive critique from staff and students. There is no requirement to attend lectures on campus, and coursework is submitted electronically via our Virtual Learning Environment, Studynet.

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This Masters degree seeks to challenge established aesthetic structures, advance your artistic development and help you become a commercially aware practitioner in the graphic design and illustration industry. Read more
This Masters degree seeks to challenge established aesthetic structures, advance your artistic development and help you become a commercially aware practitioner in the graphic design and illustration industry.

•Course available to study full time (1 year) and part time (2 years)
•Develop your work in state-of-the-art workspaces and facilities within the modern, purpose-built and RIBA award-winning John Lennon Art and Design Building in the heart of Liverpool’s creative quarter
•Close links with industry and local creative agencies and professionals
•Prestigious Susan Cotton Travel Awards, the Michael Pugh Thomas and Julia Carter Preston Legacy study awards available
•The chance to visit key graphic design industry events, and serious opportunities to build a graphic design and illustration portfolio through collaborative projects with local festivals and creative ventures

This MA programme focuses on the cultural shifts at the centre of a rapidly moving Graphic Design and Illustration industry. The course has been specially designed to place craft and production activities firmly at the heart of its research and your development experience.

You will examine and explore the role of independent visual practice within the context of an ever-increasing interdisciplinary profession.

You will be expected to develop personal practice that challenges traditional perspectives on both Graphic Design and Illustration disciplines while, at the same time, engaging with industry partners that have established profiles in commercial practice. A particular emphasis will be placed on expanded forms of publishing as a method of developing your professional practice and realising your career ambitions.

The programme is based in the Liverpool School of Art and Design’s John Lennon Art and Design Building, a purpose-built facility in Liverpool City Centre, which brings together each of the varied disciplines studied at the School. The nature of the building and the interdisciplinary ethos of the School facilitate collaborative project opportunities and enable you to share ideas and expertise. You can read more about the work of the graphic design students and staff by visiting our blog.

What you will study on this degree

Please see guidance below on core and option modules for further information on what you will study.

Research and Practice

Discover a diverse range of historical, theoretical and critical principles that underpin and inform current and emerging graphic design and illustration practice

Studio Practice

Define your existing practice and extend its scope and ambition through a combination of self-initiated and/or set projects designed to challenge their preconceived notions of graphic design and illustration practice

Collaboration and Publication

Work closely with external partners in the UK and abroad in the proposal and planning of collaborative creative projects and initiatives. Outcomes may be a hypothetical proposals or applied projects

Major Project

Bring together all of the skills that you have acquired during the course of the programme

Further guidance on modules

The information listed in the section entitled ‘What you will study’ is an overview of the academic content of the programme that will take the form of either core or option modules. Modules are designated as core or option in accordance with professional body requirements and internal Academic Framework review, so may be subject to change. Students will be required to undertake modules that the University designates as core and will have a choice of designated option modules. Additionally, option modules may be offered subject to meeting minimum student numbers.

Academic Framework reviews are conducted by LJMU from time to time to ensure that academic standards continue to be maintained.

Please email if you require further guidance or clarification.

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The MA Illustration course encourages practitioners to question the nature of their practice and its context and position relative to the creative industries. Read more
The MA Illustration course encourages practitioners to question the nature of their practice and its context and position relative to the creative industries.

It recognises an expansive understanding of illustration through the exploration of relationships between illustrator as author, their audience and presentation, and sites and contexts for the work. Ideas are developed through specific individual approaches to research into practice and reflective enquiry. You may come to the course from a number of diverse backgrounds including illustration, graphic design, printmaking, drawing, photography and painting, or from outside art and design practice, having experience across other subject disciplines but demonstrating an abiding interest and evidence of a passion for illustration in all or any of its forms, good ideas and a willingness to take risks with your work.

This Master’s course is designed to appeal to students who are open to engagement with a diverse range of creative approaches and possibilities from traditional methods including drawing and printmaking, to lens and time based media, with ideas that might be realised through exhibition, publication or exciting new hybrid forms. As a particular characteristic of the discipline, the integration within practice of a mix of different media is recognised in the inter-disciplinary nature of the MA course. It is a methodology that can lead smoothly to the realisation of meaningful collaborative outcomes as well as distinct and individual approaches. The course is structured and supportive and will encourage you to further your own ideas and to realise your aspirations for future employment and freelance practice.

The MA Illustration course encourages students to engage imaginatively with their practice in relation to the evolving academic subject and practice of illustration. Your work will be considered in a global context and the emergence of approaches that challenge the orthodox practices and work within and beyond the traditional subject area. Graduates from the MA programme will be able to carve their own niche in an evolving market for visual material.

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Immerse yourself in exploring professional and practical approaches to children’s illustration and gain an in-depth understanding of the relationships between image, text, readers and context in the world of children’s literature. Read more
Immerse yourself in exploring professional and practical approaches to children’s illustration and gain an in-depth understanding of the relationships between image, text, readers and context in the world of children’s literature.

Developed and taught by leading teaching staff including children’s authors, this degree draws on both professional and critical perspectives from art and education, cultural studies, design and sociology to deliver a comprehensive and interdisciplinary approach to the subject.

Guidance from tutors and a choice of modules and assignments will enable you to develop personal projects, culminating in a practice-based dissertation. At the end of the programme you will have the opportunity to exhibit your work.

Illustration skills

Throughout the programme you will develop and refine your practical illustration skills and ideas, working within short and longer project formats. These projects focus on materials and their combination, colour, tone, creating atmosphere, addressing the reader and the relation of illustration to text. You will have the opportunity to work in collaboration with students on the MA in Children’s Literature. This is an opportunity to develop and refine your work and ideas within the project format.

The sociopolitical context of children’s illustration

This degree not only develops your practical skills, but also challenges you to question the context in which children’s books are produced and interpreted, and how they can challenge or reinforce dominant ideologies. You will interrogate the power relations that determine what is published, distributed and selected to be read by children in schools.

Understanding the publishing landscape

You will gain knowledge and insight into the professional world of children’s publishing through exposure to professional networks such as the Association of Illustrators, guest lectures from established illustrators, studio visits, and a bespoke module in Children’s Publishing. This module develops an in-depth understanding of the children’s publishing landscape and your skills in self-publishing and establishing dialogue with designers, editors and agents.

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Immerse yourself in exploring professional and practical approaches to children’s illustration and gain an in-depth understanding of the relationships between image, text, readers and context in the world of children’s literature. Read more
Immerse yourself in exploring professional and practical approaches to children’s illustration and gain an in-depth understanding of the relationships between image, text, readers and context in the world of children’s literature.

Developed and taught by leading teaching staff including children’s authors, this degree draws on both professional and critical perspectives from art and education, cultural studies, design and sociology to deliver a comprehensive and interdisciplinary approach to the subject.

Guidance from tutors and a choice of modules and assignments will enable you to develop personal projects, culminating in a practice-based dissertation. At the end of the programme you will have the opportunity to exhibit your work.

Illustration skills

Throughout the programme you will develop and refine your practical illustration skills and ideas, working within short and longer project formats. These projects focus on materials and their combination, colour, tone, creating atmosphere, addressing the reader and the relation of illustration to text. You will have the opportunity to work in collaboration with students on the MA in Children’s Literature. This is an opportunity to develop and refine your work and ideas within the project format.

The sociopolitical context of children’s illustration

This degree not only develops your practical skills, but also challenges you to question the context in which children’s books are produced and interpreted, and how they can challenge or reinforce dominant ideologies. You will interrogate the power relations that determine what is published, distributed and selected to be read by children in schools.

Understanding the publishing landscape

You will gain knowledge and insight into the professional world of children’s publishing through exposure to professional networks such as the Association of Illustrators, guest lectures from established illustrators, studio visits, and a bespoke module in Children’s Publishing. This module develops an in-depth understanding of the children’s publishing landscape and your skills in self-publishing and establishing dialogue with designers, editors and agents.

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MA Illustration and Visual Media explores the creation and production of images at a time of unparalleled possibilities for skilled visual communicators. Read more

Introduction

MA Illustration and Visual Media explores the creation and production of images at a time of unparalleled possibilities for skilled visual communicators. Specifically investigating the opportunities for image-makers to work with time-based, sequential, interactive and narrative forms, students on the course will develop an experimental illustration practice that reflects the integrated nature of the design, communication and media industries.

Content

This is a practice-led course that explores both the theory and practice of illustration across a broad range of visual media. MA Illustration and Visual Media aims to develop your visual voice with an emphasis on critical engagement with both the discipline and the world at large. This may take the form of investigating abstract concepts from domains such as science, technology and philosophy by developing bespoke visual languages to translate these ideas to diverse audiences. Other approaches may also include using critical ideas to produce self-directed visual authorship. Practical projects and technical workshops are run in tandem with theoretical and critical seminars in order to support the relationship between critical and practice based learning.

This approach provides you with a unique platform from which to produce relevant and engaging work within the discipline of illustration that has resonance and value to the world at large. Through the development of a portfolio of work the course places graduates in a position to work across sectors as diverse as visual communication, art direction, information communication, branding, news, current affairs, entertainment, art and design as well as encouraging visual authorship.

The course supports progression to research at MPhil/PhD level as well as to advanced self-directed experimental practice.
Building on LCC's resources, in digital, time-based and interactive media alongside printmaking, graphic design and visual communication, the course encourages experimental and reflective practice that echoes the cross media nature of the design, communication and media industries.

Structure

Phase 1

Units 1.1 Illustrative Practice and Visual Media (40 Credits)
Unit 1.2 Critical Practice and Research Methods (20 Credits)

Phase 2

Unit 2.1 Expanded Practice and Personal Voice (60 Credits)
(Exceptional Postgraduate Diploma exit point after 120 credits)

Phase 3

Unit 3.1 Final Major Research Project (60 Credits)
(Weighted 50% written component and 50% practical component)

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Follow in the footsteps of acclaimed children’s artists. Show your work to publishers at book fairs and exhibitions and get dedicated support from a team of internationally-recognised artists, who’ll help you to develop your own personal visual vocabulary and make connections with the children’s publishing industry. Read more
Follow in the footsteps of acclaimed children’s artists. Show your work to publishers at book fairs and exhibitions and get dedicated support from a team of internationally-recognised artists, who’ll help you to develop your own personal visual vocabulary and make connections with the children’s publishing industry.

Overview

This taught studio course, the first of its kind in the UK, will give you the dedicated support and knowledge you need to develop your practice in the art of children’s book illustration.

Within the broad guidelines of each module, you’ll propose and develop a project, with guidance from internationally recognised illustrators, writers and publishers of children's books. You’ll share and discuss your work with other students in group critiques, and attend lectures and seminars that will inform your studio practice.

Illustration at Anglia Ruskin is built on a tradition that goes back to the founding of the Cambridge School of Art in 1858. Our MA students work in dedicated illustration studios right next door to the Ruskin Gallery, with access to a fully equipped printmaking studio.

By studying with us, you’ll follow in the footsteps of alumni such as designer and war artist Edward Bawden, acclaimed graphic satirist Ronald Searle, and Roger Law and Peter Fluck, founders of the TV phenomenon Spitting Image.

Teaching times: currently either Mondays and Thursdays (9am-3pm) or Tuesdays and Fridays (9am-3pm). There are also lectures and presentations on Wednesdays from 3-5pm (full-time); Wednesdays 9am-5pm in semesters 1 and 2 (part-time)

Careers

Our partnership with Walker Books and its American counterpart Candlewick Press will give you the chance to go on a work experience visit to their London offices. They also sponsor our annual Sebastian Walker Award for Most Promising Student.

Many of our past students now enjoy careers as freelance authors and illustrators for children. Among our published graduates are Paula Metcalf, Marta Altés, Nadia Shireen, Birgitta Sif, Rebecca Patterson and Jo Empson.

You may decide to take your work to a deeper level with a research degree, like our PhD Children’s Book Illustration.

Modules

Core modules:
Observation and Experiment
The Sequential Image
The Diploma Project
The Diploma Review
Master's Project: Art and Design

Assessment

In your first three studio modules, you’ll show your progress through project work, worth 80% of your module grade, and an essay relating to the contextual study lectures, which is worth 20%.

Your Diploma Review thesis will be assessed 100% on your 6,000-8,000 word essay, while the Master’s Stage Project will be assessed 90% on your project work and 10% on your written report.

What you'll study

Cambridge School of Art has been inspiring creativity since 1858 when it was opened by John Ruskin.

Engaging with current debates surrounding contemporary practice and with the state-of-the-art facilities, Cambridge School of Art houses light, bright studios, industry-standard film and photographic facilities, and 150-year-old printing presses alongside dedicated Apple Mac suites. Our digital art gallery, the Ruskin Gallery, exhibits both traditional shows and multimedia presentations, from national and international touring exhibitions and our own students.

We are the only university in Cambridge offering art and design courses at higher education level. A tight-knit community of artists, academics and over 900 students, we collaborate across our University, the creative industries, and other sectors. Cambridge is a centre for employment in the creative industries and there are rich opportunities for collaboration with the city’s entertainment, technological, scientific, arts and heritage industries.

Our graduates have a history of winning national and international awards and an excellent employment record. They include Pink Floyd's Syd Barrett and Dave Gilmour, Spitting Image creators Peter Fluck and Roger Law, and illustrator Ronald Searle, the creator of St Trinian's.

We’re part of the Faculty of Arts, Law and Social Sciences, a hub of creative and cultural innovation whose groundbreaking research has real social impact.

Field trips

At our annual London graduation exhibition you’ll show your work to leading publishing companies and literary agencies. We also organise a stand at Bologna Children's Book Fair each year, where you’ll have more opportunities to secure a publishing deal with industry reps. As a direct result, our past students have signed contracts with publishers including Macmillan, Random House, Nosy Crow, Sarbacane (Fr), Donizelli (It), Child's Play, Walker Books, HarperCollins (NY), Doubleday (NY), Penguin (NY), Faber & Faber and Hodder. Advances against royalties have ranged from €2,000 with an independent publisher, to $50,000 for a three-book deal.

Work experience

Our partnership with Walker Books and its American counterpart Candlewick Press will give you the chance to go on a work experience visit to their London offices. They also sponsor our annual Sebastian Walker Award for Most Promising Student.

Specialist facilities

You’ll work in dedicated illustration studios right next door to our Ruskin Gallery, with access to a fully-equipped printmaking studio.

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The word illustration means ‘to illuminate’ or to shed light onto a subject. Read more
The word illustration means ‘to illuminate’ or to shed light onto a subject. Illustrators work within many disciplines, are able to visualise, elucidate and extend the meaning of a given field of knowledge or information, and communicate ideas and narratives to specific audiences.The contemporary practice of illustration is multi-disciplinary, incorporating drawing, printmaking, traditional and digital media, model making, performance and collaborative, interactive practices. The course is studio practice driven and relies on experimentation and critical reflection supported by individualised mentoring, lectures, seminars and group critiques. Authorial practice is encouraged alongside pragmatic, commercial professionalism.

Course Content

The MA Design: Illustration is made up of four units totalling 180 credits.

The programme is designed to help you acclimatise to the challenges of MA level research and practice, enabling you to identify and describe a clear direction for your postgraduate design study.

You will be encouraged to develop design propositions that encompass key design issues and have complexity and ambition, taking full consideration of the relative contextual drivers.

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 – whatever 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 Design: Illustration award you will study a further two units of 60 credits each.

This route is focused 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.

Special Features

State-of-the-art facilities in print and digital media workshops including risograph, bookbinding and letterpress facilities.

Seminars are structured to investigate a broad range of themes relevant to the practicing illustrator and provide a rich diet of inspiration.

The Special Collections are a museum standard resource of historical printed material incorporating children’s books, artists books, book design and several artists’ archives- ideal inspiration for the student interested in the cultural and historical significance of illustration.

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The Illustration MA offers you a unique opportunity to develop a creative illustration practice and a mature, insightful authorial voice. Read more
The Illustration MA offers you a unique opportunity to develop a creative illustration practice and a mature, insightful authorial voice. A central element of the course and fundamental to the development of your specialism is the application and testing of communicative drawing; and drawing with identified purpose and intent.

The techniques and technologies which form the practice-based mechanisms of illustration are also key, with the aim of achieving a
dynamic, sophisticated and confident application of process. You will actively explore printmaking, digital painting, creative software and all forms of natural media.

The techniques and technologies which form the practice-based mechanisms of illustration are also key, with the aim of achieving a
dynamic, sophisticated and confident application of process. You will actively explore printmaking, digital painting, creative software and all forms of natural media.

See our illustration blog: https://pittvillepressnews.wordpress.com

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This course encourages the exploration and understanding of the methods and processes at work in contemporary visual communication. Read more
This course encourages the exploration and understanding of the methods and processes at work in contemporary visual communication. It will further develop your personal practice and approach to the making of images. The course also provides a focus on individual research and inquiry and helps you to understand the significance of the wider cultural role of the visual designer and illustrator. In addition, it will introduce disciplinary and interdisciplinary models of thinking that will underpin your own focused study on the course.

Key features
-The emphasis on problem finding, research methods and critical thinking is intended to enhance your long-term employment possibilities through an understanding of the changing global, technological and social context of illustration and design.
-The course is taught by academics who are also practising illustrators, designers and researchers in design. This is supported by studio visits and visiting tutors from industry, live projects, competitions, lectures and workshops.
-Core modules are studied with students from across the Design School's postgraduate community.

What will you study?

Project work will challenge you to develop and enhance your existing ways of working. You will explore the importance of research in underpinning your practice and will be encouraged to build your own visual language and ‘tools' in response to set briefs within each module. In the final stage of the course, you will propose and develop your independent major project. You will be taught by experienced academics and specialist tutors from industry who encourage you to develop your understanding of the relationship between words, pictures and their means of communication and transmission.

Assessment

Project work: visual research, written project report/summary, exhibition, and final major project.

Course structure

This specialist pathway of the Communication Design MA course is part of the School of Design's postgraduate programme. The structure – shared with students from Product & Furniture Design MA, Sustainable Design MA and Fashion MA – enables you to explore your individual specialist interests in illustration within an integrative learning environment that provides a comprehensive understanding of the value and role of interdisciplinary methods and ways of working. The influences and impact of thinking from other related design subjects on your own specialist study is an important aspect of the identity and the community of interdisciplinary practice at masters level in the School of Design.

This structure is designed to help progress and develop your independent learning, encouraging you to construct and explore projects concerned with areas of particular personal interests. The overarching course philosophy, based upon an emphasis on research, methodology and design thinking, allows individual and personal concerns to be explored through focused study in illustration and the creation of images.

The two shared modules of the School of Design's Postgraduate Framework both commence with a symposium, in which high-profile external speakers present their work and contribute to a debate on a topic of relevance to all courses in the Framework.

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