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Course summary

MA Illustration encourages practitioners to question the nature of their own practice, its context and place within the creative industries and beyond The course offers an expansive notion of illustration exploring the relationships between illustrator as author, audience/artifice, and site or context, and the contemporary blurring of boundaries across disciplines. Ideas are researched and developed through specific individual approaches to practical research and reflective enquiry and applied using appropriate media and techniques. The course is suitable for students who are open to engagement with a diverse range of creative ideas and possibilities, from traditional illustration techniques including drawing and printmaking, to digital lens-based and time-based media, exhibition and performance. The MA Illustration course encourages you to question the nature of your practice and its context and position relative to the creative industries. The MA Illustration course encourages you to engage imaginatively with your practice in relation to the evolving academic subject and practice of illustration. What you will learn The course is structured and delivered in order to encourage and support you in developing your own distinct visual language, recognising an expansive understanding of contemporary illustration through the exploration of relationships between illustrator as author, audience and context. This Illustration Master’s course is designed to appeal to students who are open to engagement with a diverse range of creative approaches and possibilities from traditional methods including drawing and printmaking, to lens and time based media, with ideas that might be realised through exhibition, publication or exciting new hybrid forms. As a particular characteristic of the discipline of illustration, the integration of different media is recognised and encouraged with in the inter-disciplinary nature of this MA course. It is a methodology that can lead smoothly to the realisation of meaningful collaborative outcomes as well as distinct and individual approaches. The course is structured and supportive and will encourage you to further your own ideas and to realise your aspirations for future employment and freelance practice. The MA Illustration course encourages you to engage imaginatively with your practice in relation to the evolving academic subject and practice of illustration. Your work will be considered in a global context, and critically examine the emergence of approaches that challenge orthodox practices. As a graduate from the MA programme, you will be able to carve your own niche in an evolving market for visual materials. By the end of the course you will be able to...

  • Encourage intellectual progression by providing a stimulating forum for critical debate and inter-disciplinary approaches to practice.
  • Support you in developing the research methods and skills required in the gathering, sampling and analysing of data, in order to find and solve complex problems.
  • Encourage you to reflect critically on your achievements and to evaluate them within a challenging environment that will enable you to meaningfully extend your practice professionally and/or toward PhD study.
  • Enable you to develop professional maturity and to understand and discuss your work in the context of your discipline as well as the social, political and cultural spheres in which your work will be situated.
  • Develop a rich cultural community that actively engages creative practice in issues of ethics, sustainability and the political.


Modules: deconstructing practice; professional development portfolio; research methodologies and design processes; strategies for practice; master’s project.

Assessment method

Your performance in terms of production and presentation will be judged in the context of the criteria of the Learning Outcomes for each Unit. The course uses a range of different assessment methods, the forms of which include written submissions, verbal presentations, practice based work and critical analysis and evaluation.

Qualified teacher status (QTS)

To work as a teacher at a state school in England or Wales, you will need to achieve qualified teacher status (QTS). This is offered on this course for the following level:

  • Course does not award QTS

Entry requirements

BA (Hons) degree with minimum 2:1 (second-class, upper division) classification in relevant creative subject or equivalent undergraduate level; applicants with other than the required academic qualifications may be considered for entry if there is sufficient evidence to indicate that they have the potential to fulfil the objectives of the course of study and to achieve the standard of the final award. Applicants whose first language is not English will be required to obtain IELTS 6.5 overall with a minimum of 5.5 in every component (reading, writing, speaking and listening), or an equivalent English language qualification. For more information on AUB’s entry requirements please refer to the website.

English language requirements

TestGradeAdditional details
IELTS (Academic)6.56.5 overall with a minimum of 5.5 in each component (reading, writing, speaking and listening)
Cambridge English AdvancedCOverall score of 180
Cambridge English ProficiencyCOverall score of 200
PTE Academic54Minimum score of 51 in each component (reading, writing, speaking and listening)

IELTS, Pearson and TOEFL scores must be less than two years old at the time the course commences to be valid.

English language requirements

Fees and funding

Tuition fees

England £8000 Year 1
Northern Ireland £8000 Year 1
Scotland £8000 Year 1
Wales £8000 Year 1
Republic of Ireland £8000 Year 1
EU £18500 Year 1
International £18500 Year 1
Channel Islands £18500 Year 1

Additional fee information

Please see our website for more information

Provider information

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Our COVID-19 information

Arts University Bournemouth
BH12 5HH

Clearing contact details

Clearing Line

01202 363228

Course Clearing information

Additional information

Admissions staff available Monday - Friday 08:30 - 17:00

Course contact details

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Illustration at Arts University Bournemouth - UCAS