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Key details

Award title
MA Illustration (PGDip also available)
Awarding body
Falmouth University
Level
7
Duration
MA 2 years; PGDip 14 months
Mode of study
Online, part-time
Total MA course fee
£11,300
3 start dates per year
January, May and September
Next welcome week
13 September 2021
Next start date
20 September 2021
Application deadline
31 August 2021

Online Masters in Illustration

Introduction

Celebrate the role that illustration plays within a global context and immerse yourself in the diversity of practice that increasingly defines the subject in the 21st century.  

Connect, engage and network with your peers on a global level and explore innovative approaches to visual communication. Push creative boundaries and both question and influence new thinking on the subject. 

You will: 

  • Innovate within the field of illustration and actively contribute to the ongoing evolution of illustration practice as a form of visual communication 
  • Join an illustration community that has a long history and reputation at Falmouth, with many graduates being internationally recognised for their work 
  • Work towards becoming successfully embedded and connected within the wider visual communication industry.
     

MA Illustration students making their mark!

Current student Amy Haarhoff's beautiful drawings have been shortlisted for an award - read the full story here

 

Why study with us?

This MA is designed to help illustrators with well-versed practical, drawing, and mark-making skills further develop their output.

Whether you’ve recently earned an undergraduate degree in Illustration or a related discipline, or if you’re an established illustrator looking to change the direction of your practice, our course can support you in realising your creative and professional goals.

"I worried a little at first that it wouldn’t feel like a real degree, but quickly dismissed this, as you soon realise that the course is very professional, the lectures are excellent, and they are supplemented by the tutorials and webinars." - Deborah Wainwright, MA Illustration student

Read our full interview with Deborah >

As a graduate of the MA, you’ll be well-equipped to succeed as a professional illustrator. You can also utilise your skill set to find employment in similarly creative roles. Some examples include working as an animator, a concept artist, a multimedia programmer or a paper engineer. Other career options include advertising, publishing, teaching, graphic design, web design and art direction. 

"I find it works perfectly alongside my freelance work, and considering most work is commissioned via email/social media nowadays it feels similar to how you would be briefed in the industry." - Florrie Thomas, MA Illustration student

See more of what our students have to say >

Careers and employability service

In addition to the guidance offered by our tutors, you can also access our RealWORKS, our careers and employability service throughout your studies, and for up to 5 years following graduation.

Our expert team will help you identify potential opportunities in the UK or internationally, prepare for job interviews, advise you on starting up your own business, and more.

Entry requirements

You should have:

An honours degree at 2:2 level or above in Illustration or a related subject.

If your first language is not English, you'll need to take one of the following tests to verify your proficiency:

  • IELTS - minimum overall score of IELTS 6.5 with at least 6.0 in Reading, Writing, Speaking and Listening
  • TOEFL iBT (online test) - minimum of 88 overall and at least 21 in all 4 components
  • LanguageCert (online test) - a High Pass from the ESOL B2 Communicator test in reading, writing, speaking and listening (2 parts)

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 (APL) please call us on +44 (0)1223 447713 or view our handy guide: 

APL guide

Course details

What you’ll learn

Explore the different context and applications of illustration, the range of visual tools available to illustrators and the role of storytelling within illustration.

Position your illustration practice within the wider communications industry and develop a self-promotion strategy. 

Course structure

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. 

Please note the module orders are subject to change.

Module one

Process and Practice (30 credits) 

This module introduces the different contexts/applications of Illustration today, with a view to positioning your own practice and developing your personal pathway.

You will expand your understanding of ‘audience’ and the differing needs of audiences.

The module seeks to examine local and global perspectives of the subject and the emergent skills required to imagine and realise effective illustration/s for both regional and global audiences. 

Module two

Visual Language (30 credits) 

To accelerate the development of your personal ‘visual language’ this module involves an in-depth exploration of the broad range of visual tools available to the illustrator.

This includes different approaches to the core mark‐making skills, both haptic and digital, relevant to illustration practice.  

Module three

Narrative and Storytelling (30 Credits) 

In this module you will explore the fundamental role of ‘storytelling’ within illustration practice and the wider visual communication industries.

You will analyse its theoretical, cultural contexts and critically evaluate storytelling strategies as appropriate for differing local and global audiences.   

Module four

Professional Practice (30 Credits) 

This module focuses on the professional practice of Illustration, its applications, procedures and networks within a contemporary global context, building your entrepreneurial skills to inform your career or business future. 

You will consider your own ‘brand values’ and develop an appropriate strategy for disseminating them to the right people in the industry.

You will be required to identify a network of industry connections and prepare a coherent and coordinated marketing and self-promotion strategy. This will include acquiring an advanced understanding of social media strategy.  

Final major project (MA only)

Final Major Project (MA only) (60 credits)  

During this module you will develop a comprehensive body of work that reflects your chosen pathway and expresses an original personal and professional identity. 

It builds on learning from previous modules and allows you to position yourself and your work for next steps following the course.  

Process and Practice (30 credits) 

This module introduces the different contexts/applications of Illustration today, with a view to positioning your own practice and developing your personal pathway.

You will expand your understanding of ‘audience’ and the differing needs of audiences.

The module seeks to examine local and global perspectives of the subject and the emergent skills required to imagine and realise effective illustration/s for both regional and global audiences. 

Visual Language (30 credits) 

To accelerate the development of your personal ‘visual language’ this module involves an in-depth exploration of the broad range of visual tools available to the illustrator.

This includes different approaches to the core mark‐making skills, both haptic and digital, relevant to illustration practice.  

Narrative and Storytelling (30 Credits) 

In this module you will explore the fundamental role of ‘storytelling’ within illustration practice and the wider visual communication industries.

You will analyse its theoretical, cultural contexts and critically evaluate storytelling strategies as appropriate for differing local and global audiences.   

Professional Practice (30 Credits) 

This module focuses on the professional practice of Illustration, its applications, procedures and networks within a contemporary global context, building your entrepreneurial skills to inform your career or business future. 

You will consider your own ‘brand values’ and develop an appropriate strategy for disseminating them to the right people in the industry.

You will be required to identify a network of industry connections and prepare a coherent and coordinated marketing and self-promotion strategy. This will include acquiring an advanced understanding of social media strategy.  

Final Major Project (MA only) (60 credits)  

During this module you will develop a comprehensive body of work that reflects your chosen pathway and expresses an original personal and professional identity. 

It builds on learning from previous modules and allows you to position yourself and your work for next steps following the course.  

How you'll learn

With Falmouth Flexible, you access your course content, interactions with other students and tutors, and learning resources, through Canvas, an easy-to-use online platform.  

You can access the course wherever you are in the world, and you can stop, pause and rewind lectures whenever you want.  

 

Learning activities

Engaging learning activities will help you apply theory to practice. They could include: 

  • Concise online presentations to introduce key concepts 
  • Small group and class discussions and crits to facilitate interaction and dialogue 
  • Online critiques to test assumptions, ideas and to receive feedback from peers and tutors 
  • Group tutorials throughout the course 
  • Independent study 
  • Self-evaluation and peer feedback.

 

Assessments

Assessment methods for the masters degree in Illustration can typically include: 

  • 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.

 

Student support

Throughout your studies, you’ll be supported by a student advisor. Their job is to answer any non-academic queries you may have, and they can be contacted via email, phone, text or WhatsApp.  

They can show you around the online learning platform, guide you through enrolment, and give advice on managing your work/life balance.  

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.

“The face-to-face events are extremely well-planned with a mix of practical and inspirational learning. I particularly liked meeting other professional illustrators working in the field, hearing their stories, and knowing their journey makes your own feel real. 

Deborah Wainwright, MA Illustration

Video intro to the course

Meet the course team and find out more about the MA Illustration course:

Watch our MA Illustration videos

 

STEPHANIE-GILLESPIE

Face-to-face events

Illustration workshopUp to twice a year, you’ll have the optional opportunity to meet your classmates and tutors in person. Dates and location of the events will vary. Events usually incorporate a weekend to accommodate busy schedules.  

Previous events have included:

  • A series of virtual workshops to introduce students to Riso printing, a process where you build a print layer by layer, along with talks by academics on topics including pitching projects and finding your voice as an artist. Read more about the event here.
  • A visit to The House of Illustration in London, the UK's only public gallery dedicated solely to illustration and graphic art. Students viewed exhibitions and participated in a practical workshop. Read more about the event here.

Find out more about face-to-face events on our student support page.

How to apply

 

Before you apply 

Before you submit your application, please contact one of our course advisors so they can guide you through the process and ensure you submit the best application possible for entry into the course. 

Call us on +44 (0)1223 447713.

 

Application steps 

  • Submit an online application form
  • 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.  

 

Late applications may be considered if places are available. 

For free advice, please contact our friendly and knowledgeable course advisors on +44 (0)1223 447713.

Fees, costs & funding

Fees

Total course fee for September 2021

£11,300 (including £250 acceptance fee)

Payment options  

  • One-off payment 
  • Six equal instalments spread over a two-year period. 

 

Payment methods  

Payments can be made online or by phone, using a credit or debit card, or by bank transfer. 

 

 

Please visit our fees and funding page for more information or call us on +44 (0)1223 447713 to speak to a course advisor.

 

Typical course costs

As work during the course can be created in any medium at the choice of the individual, the exact equipment requirements will differ according to your practice and preferred ways of working.

You will need word processing software and Adobe Creative Cloud and have a laptop/desktop capable of running these applications.

For more information, please call us on +44 (0)1223 447713 to speak to a course advisor.

 

Funding options

Application offers

We offer a range of bursaries, early application offers, and alumni discounts.

Loans

You may be eligible for funding from the UK Government.

 

Please visit our fees and funding page for more information or call us on +44 (0)1223 447713 to speak to a course advisor.

 

Total course fee for September 2021

£11,300 (including £250 acceptance fee)

Payment options  

  • One-off payment 
  • Six equal instalments spread over a two-year period. 

 

Payment methods  

Payments can be made online or by phone, using a credit or debit card, or by bank transfer. 

 

 

Please visit our fees and funding page for more information or call us on +44 (0)1223 447713 to speak to a course advisor.

 

As work during the course can be created in any medium at the choice of the individual, the exact equipment requirements will differ according to your practice and preferred ways of working.

You will need word processing software and Adobe Creative Cloud and have a laptop/desktop capable of running these applications.

For more information, please call us on +44 (0)1223 447713 to speak to a course advisor.

 

Application offers

We offer a range of bursaries, early application offers, and alumni discounts.

Loans

You may be eligible for funding from the UK Government.

 

Please visit our fees and funding page for more information or call us on +44 (0)1223 447713 to speak to a course advisor.

 

Association of Illustrators membership

We’re proud partners with the Association of Illustrators (AOI), the professional body for illustration in the UK. The AOI works to provide illustrators with the educational, promotional, and campaigning tools needed at every stage of their career.

Through our partnership, graduates of the MA Illustration gain a year-long AOI membership and all its benefits, including:

  • Unlimited access to the AOI’s Members Helpline via phone or email (Monday-Friday, 10am-4pm), for advice on commissions and contracts.
  • Access to extensive information on professional practice, licensing, copyright, finance and more.
  • Access to the AOI’s pricing calculator, to assist you with quotes.
  • Promotion of your news, events, and projects through the AOI’s social media channels.
  • Exclusive discounts to support your illustration career, including 20% off Squarespace websites and 10% off Bikini List directories.
  • Connect with a community of illustrators, through events, local meet ups and skill share programmes. 

For more information on membership, feel free to get in touch with one of our course advisors.

AOI_Full_Logo_72dpi_1000pxRGB

Falmouth sign
Contact us

If you have any questions about the programme, our experienced course advisors are here to help.

You can call our friendly and knowledgeable team on +44 (0)1223 447713. 

Get In Touch

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