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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 inter-relationship between theory, scholarship and the creative process is key to the Goldsmiths MPhil in Creative Writing- http://www.gold.ac.uk/pg/mphil-phd-creative-writing/. Read more
The inter-relationship between theory, scholarship and the creative process is key to the Goldsmiths MPhil in Creative Writing- http://www.gold.ac.uk/pg/mphil-phd-creative-writing/

You'll be expected to combine your own creative writing – whether poetry, fiction or life writing – with research into the genre or area of literature in which you are working, to gain insight into its history and development, and to engage with relevant contemporary debates.

This might be genre in the more traditional sense, for example satire, fictional autobiography, verse drama, or particular traditions to which you feel your work relates, for example projective verse, postmodernist fiction, or Caribbean poetics.

This element – the critical commentary – will constitute around 30 per cent of the final work; the major part – 70 per cent – will be a creative work of publishable standard: a novel, memoir, book of poems or collection of stories, for example.

The MPhil programme offers the opportunity for the student to continue their research to a PhD.

Assessment is by thesis and viva voce.

Former students include Bernardine Evaristo, whose Jerwood Fiction Uncovered-winning book Mr Loverman was written, in part, at Goldsmiths.

North American applicants especially should note that the British system does not include preparatory taught classes or examinations as part of the MPhil programme, except for an initial course in research methods.

Contact the department

If you have specific questions about the degree, contact Maria Macdonald.

Department

English at Goldsmiths is ranked:
18th in the UK for the quality of our research**
In the world’s top 150 universities for English language and literature***

**Research Excellence Framework 2014, Times Higher Education research intensity subject rankings
***QS World University Rankings by subject 2015

Cervantes. Bukowski. Dostoevsky. Self. From classical literature and linguistics, to creative writing and contemporary fiction, we take a critical and creative approach to the discipline.

As a department we’re interested in a field of enquiry that extends from Old English to 21st-century literatures in English, French, Spanish and Italian. So you can study texts and films across a variety of periods and genres.

We’re engaged

We have a dedicated Writers’ Centre that encourages new writing and stimulates debate about all forms of literature. And we award the annual Goldsmiths Prize (for “fiction at its most novel”), which brings critically acclaimed writers like Ali Smith and Eimear McBride to campus.

We’re nurturing

We may be one of the largest departments at Goldsmiths but that doesn’t mean you won’t get personal support. Learn from our approachable team of academic staff and become part of the student-run English Society.

We’re vibrant

As one of the first departments in the UK to offer creative writing, you’ll be part of a hub of literary excellence – our graduates have gone on to win prestigious awards from the Orange Prize for Fiction to the Sunday Times Young Writer of the Year.

Skills

You'll develop transferable skills, including:

enhanced communication and discussion skills in written and oral contexts
the ability to analyse and evaluate different textual materials
the ability to organise information
the ability to assimilate and evaluate competing arguments

Careers

Publishing
Journalism
Public relations
Teaching
Advertising
The civil service
Business
Media

Research training programme

Training in research methods and skills is provided both by the department and Goldsmiths' Graduate School. This begins with an intensive week-long induction in the first week of enrolment and continues later in the first term with a series of seminars focussing on the specific challenges of literary and linguistic research projects. The department will also inform you about any research training seminars or study-days offered elsewhere in the University of London (for exmaple, by the Institute of English Studies or the Institute of Modern Languages Research, School of Advanced Study) or beyond, such as at the British Library. The specific training requirements of your project will be assessed, and guidance provided on specialist seminars and conferences to attend, which can be supported where possible by assistance from departmental funds.

How to apply

Before you apply for a research programme, we advise you to get in touch with the programme contact, listed above. It may also be possible to arrange an advisory meeting.

Before you start at Goldsmiths, the actual topic of your research has to be agreed with your proposed supervisor, who will be a member of staff active in your general field of research. The choice of topic may be influenced by the current research in the department or the requirements of an external funding body.

If you wish to study on a part-time basis, you should also indicate how many hours a week you intend to devote to research, whether this will be at evenings or weekends, and for how many hours each day.

Research proposals

Along with your application and academic reference, you should also upload a research proposal at the point of application.

This should be in the form of a statement of the proposed area of research and should include:

delineation of the research topic
why it has been chosen
an initial hypothesis (if applicable)
a brief list of major secondary sources

How detailed a research proposal are we looking for?

Obviously what you put on the form and exactly what you end up researching may be rather different, but in order to judge whether or not to offer you a place, the Department needs to know whether you have the broad outlines of a viable project. This means:

a project that is both worthwhile and interesting, but not over-ambitious
a project that can realistically be achieved within the confines on a full-time (4 years typically) or part-time (6 years maximum) basis
we need to be sure that you have thought about it carefully and are fully committed to the research
your research proposal should give us enough information to be able to interview you (if you are in the UK) or reach a decision as to whether to admit you if you are not based in the UK

Funding

Please visit http://www.gold.ac.uk/pg/fees-funding/ for details.

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