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 MA Illustration 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.
Illustration at UCA Farnham 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.
Graduates from our MA Illustration course go on to establish careers in a diverse range of exciting areas, such as:
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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.
Students are 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 for Masters students. Students 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, Masters students have made work for the Royal Botanical Gardens, Edinburgh Film House and the ECA Bookmarks symposium.
Students are encouraged to take part in national and international competitions, with an aim to join 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 additional 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.
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.