The course has a clearly defined study structure, but also provides the opportunity for both focused and eclectic exploration within the field of children’s illustration, and allows students to develop their personal philosophies on the subject with a view to developing a personal area of specialism. This strong emphasis on personal exploration provides the individual with maximum flexibility in terms of a chosen area of study, underpinned by appropriate staff support and guidance. As well as traditional picture and story books, children’s designers and illustrators are developing e-books, and other interactive products, such as CD Roms. Spin-offs of these activities include character design for toys and games design, and also animation.
Students undertake nine modules, some of which are double. The modules have been chosen and scheduled to allow the students to attain the stated aims and learning objectives set out for the course. Central to the programme is the ‘statement of intent’ drawn up during the beginning of your studies - this forms the backbone of the postgraduate activity and provides the terms of reference for assessable outcomes. The student is supported by staff input through a series of design activities during Semester 1, designed to identify an area or interest that can then be fully explored through the following two semesters. The formal presentation of this initial research activity and the conclusions drawn, form the basis of the ‘statement of intent’ document. Running parallel with, and complementary to, the design modules are two Research for Creative Design Practice modules.
These modules provide the theoretical underpinning, one being studied during Semester 1 and the other during Semester 2. Semester 2 provides the opportunity to explore issues through a dynamic research experience that, once again, is defined and structured by the individual. Either by a single placement, or through a series of placed visits, the student is able to undertake further exploration/research directly within the context of their chosen area. The final semester of studies provides the individual with the opportunity to bring together all that has been developed and researched through the preceding two semesters of study. As a summary of the original ‘statement of intent’, a final major design activity and Postgraduate Project/Dissertation are undertaken and presented at an end of year exhibition.