MA Illustration

Online Masters Degree in Illustration*

Online Masters Degree in Illustration *

*subject to validation

Course Overview

This course celebrates the role that illustration plays within a global context providing opportunities to immerse yourself in the diversity of practice that increasingly defines the subject in the 21st century. Taught online, it allows you to connect, engage and network with your peers on a global level, offering a learning experience that reflects trends within contemporary professional practice today. It aims to develop creative practitioners who are able to explore new and innovative approaches to visual communication and reflects an increasing interest in the practice of illustration. The course recognises its position as one of the most important forms of visual communication.

Illustration at Falmouth has a long history and reputation, with many of its graduates being internationally recognised for their work. The course aims to produce a community of postgraduate alumni that are successfully embedded and connected within the wider visual communication industry. You will be encouraged to push creative boundaries and both question and influence new thinking on the subject.

Award Title
MA Illustration
Awarding Body: Falmouth University
Level: 7 
Mode of study: online, part-time
Duration: 2 years 

Summary

The course aims to develop practitioners who are able to:

  • Innovate within the field of illustration and actively contribute to the ongoing evolution of illustration practice as a form of visual communication.
  • Demonstrate an ability to visually problem solve in an effective and appropriate manner.
  • Promote an understanding of the social, cultural and environmental responsibilities that are integral to the practice of illustration.
  • Demonstrate an understanding of the practical, theoretical, historical and cultural contexts in which illustration operates.
  • Locate your creative practice in relation to local and global audiences within the present climate of accelerated technological and cultural change.
  • Communicate and collaborate confidently with other professionals on a global scale.
  • Facilitate the development of co-operation, self-reliance and critical judgment.

Career opportunities include:

  • Freelance Illustration
  • Illustration Agent
  • Publishing (adult / children)
  • Creative Advertising
  • Graphic Design
  • Animation
  • Concept Artist (film / animation)
  • Web Design / Interactive / New Media
  • Art Direction
  • Paper Engineering
  • Teaching

Who is this course for?

The aim of this course is to facilitate practitioners that are successfully embedded and connected within the wider visual communication industry, equipped with a deep knowledge and understanding of how to manage your career.

The course is designed to accommodate illustrators with well -versed practical, drawing and mark making skills. Typical applicants will have an undergraduate degree in Illustration or related discipline and may either be at an early stage of their career or more established and looking to change the direction of their practise through further study.

You may be looking to:

  • Experiment with a wide variety of media and evaluate their potential to communicate ideas.
  • Expand your understanding of your audience and their differing needs.
  • Explore techniques, strategies and systems of visual problem solving.
  • Strengthen your observational drawing skills and ability to generate ideas visually.
  • Explore the different applications and contexts within which illustration operates.
  • Develop your personal ‘visual’ language.
  • Explore the role of storytelling within visual communication.
  • Develop a coherent marketing and self-promotion strategy.
  • Enhance your level of analytical and critical thinking.
  • Develop an understanding of how the visual communication industry works.
  • Build industry networks.

Course content

MA

You will need to complete four 30-credit modules and one 60-credit project (180 credits in total). All modules on the course are compulsory and must be passed in order to complete the award.

PGDip

You will need to complete four 30-credit modules (120 credits in total). All modules on the course are compulsory and must be passed in order to complete the award. A dissertation (major project) is not required.

Core Modules Credits

Context / Ideas Generation

30

Visual Language

30

Narrative / Sequence

30

Professional Practice

30

Major Project (MA only)

60
Context / Ideas Generation (30 credits)

During this module you will critically examine the different contexts/applications of Illustration with a view to positioning your own practice and to develop your own personal pathway. You will expand your understanding of ‘audience’ and the differing needs of audiences. Examples of possible pathways include: editorial, advertising, non-fiction/information, children’s books/young audience, authorial practice. In addition you will examine different approaches to ideas generation. You will also explore techniques, strategies and systems of visual problem solving within the context of your own practice / Explore and understand research methodology / develop reflective analysis

Visual Language (30 credits)

During this module you will explore approaches to the core markÔÇÉmaking skills relevant to the practice of illustration. You will strengthen your observational drawing skills. You will be encouraged to experiment with a wide variety of media and in doing so evaluate their inherent qualities and potential to communicate ideas. You will critically explore the role that composition and colour theory plays in successful visual communication. In doing so you will initiate and consolidate the development of a personal ‘visual language’. Alongside this you will examine the relationship between visual language and ideas generation.

Narrative / Sequence (30 credits)

In this module you will explore the role of ‘storytelling’ and sequence within visual communication across a variety of contexts of illustration practice. Different systems for the delivery of narrative will be examined and tested within the context of your own developing practice. This will include amongst others; linear, multiple and parallel narratives, plot types, counterpoint, formats for narrative storytelling (children’s picture books, graphic novels, comics, online, gaming, apps), creative writing, characterisation, world building.

Professional Practice (30 credits)

This module will focus on developing professional skills. You will consider your own ‘brand values’ and how best to disseminate them to the right people in industry. It will require you build a network of industry connections. Alongside this you will develop a coherent and co-ordinated marketing and self-promotion strategy. This will include developing an advanced understanding of social media strategy. Other themes that will be covered during this module include: illustration agencies, illustration studios, illustration collectives, building a client database, tax & book keeping principles, copyright/licences/contracts, portfolio building, exhibition curation

Major Project (60 credits)

During this module you will develop a body of work that reflects your chosen pathway and is in response to a project proposal that you will develop during the first three weeks of the module. The module will culminate in the launch of course specific website that will serve as an online exhibition of the students work. Each cohort’s online exhibition will be archived and made accessible to industry via a course ‘portal site’

Assessment

You will be assessed through written coursework and practical activities, such as

  • Practical assignments, for example portfolios and online presentations
  • Written assignments, for example writing a research journal
  • Work-based assignments that are grounded in your existing practise where you will apply tools such as storytelling or market research

How you study

You may choose to:

  1. Study entirely online.
  2. Study online and attend optional face to face events

You will be given the opportunity to attend up to two events per academic year and dates and location of the events will vary. Events usually incorporate a weekend to accommodate busy schedules. More information is available on the face to face events page.

 

Taught by industry experts

Designed with employer-focused learning at the core, our courses work with global organisations, staff and alumni to provide you with the breadth of experience and networks needed to accelerate your career.

Learn more about our MA Illustration tutors.

Learning activities

Each module will utilise a variety of learning approaches, for example:

  • Guided online activities/discussions for peer and tutor feedback
  • Online seminars and forums
  • Online Audio-Visual (Guest) Lectures and Seminars
  • Group Working
  • Online Practice Based Workshops
  • Online Practice Critiques
  • Individual and Group Tutorials
  • Independent Study
  • Self-Evaluation and Peer Feedback

Support

As a Falmouth student, you enjoy an equal status to students studying on campus:

  • Your own student ID card
  • Access to online software tutorials at lynda.com
  • 24/7 online access to library resources
  • Students’ Union community
  • Access to our Student Support Services offering academic and personal support

Entry Requirements

  • An honours degree at 2:2 level or above in Illustration or a related subject
  • Proof of proficiency in English (minimum overall score of IELTS 6.5 with at least 6.0 in Reading, Writing, Speaking and Listening)

We also accept a range of equivalent recognised English language qualifications. Candidates without a degree or formal qualification are still encouraged to apply. For more information regarding equivalent international qualifications and Accreditation of Prior Learning please call us on +44 (0)1223 447713.

Financing your studies

You can take advantage of:

  • Early bird discounts
  • Falmouth Flexible Bursaries
  • Alumni discount (15% to Falmouth alumni)
  • Refer a friend rewards

For more information about bursaries and other opportunities for financial assistance, please click here or call us on +44 (0)1223 447713.

Terms and conditions apply

How to apply

  • Submit an online application form for the MA or PGDip
  • Submit a copy of your first degree certificate or Level 6 equivalent qualification and your IELTS certificate if English is not your first language
  • Submit a digital portfolio of your illustration practice. This may include published work, personal projects, or your current work in progress and can take the form of a link to your blog or website.

Start dates and application deadlines

There are three start dates per year.

2018/19 Academic Year
Intake Application deadline Welcome week Course start date
September 16 September 2018 17 September 2018 24 September 2018
January 20 January 2019 21 January 2019 28 January 2019
May TBC TBC TBC

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