MA

Illustration

Challenge and refine your own illustration practice

Star Course Overview

Why take this course?

This exciting new MA in Illustration offers you the opportunity to question, develop and reflect upon you own practice by exploring both traditional and innovative techniques. Through a negotiated project you will be encouraged to define your role as a creative practitioner in a broad social, political and historical context. This MA would suit graduates from arts based courses but also professionals returning to education to complete ‘unfinished creative business’.

The staff team has a wealth of experience with internationally renowned practitioners in the field of artist’s books and zines, practice-based PhDs and printmaking. The course benefits from an extensive dedicated collection of artists’ books and zines located within the illustration studios. You will consider the question “what is illustration?” and seek to redefine and cross boundaries. A strong social awareness ethos underpins the course enabling you to develop a unique voice within the creative industries.

What will I experience?

On this course you can:

  • Reflect on and challenge your illustration practice through a mix of lectures, seminars, group critiques, themed events, short projects, workshops and individual tutorials.
  • Engage with high profile visiting lecturers alongside the University’s dedicated careers department to build your Professional Practice skills.
  • Develop your existing skills through specialist workshops which could include print workshops, Adobe workshops that could lead to Adobe Certified Associate status, laser cutting and 3D printing, photography, collage and drawing. 
  • Explore themes such as, narrative and sequential illustration, humour and satire, ethical and social positioning of the artist, and exploring literary sources for inspiration, limited edition publications, small presses and artists’ books.
  • Discuss the social responsibility of the illustrator as a cultural producer.
  • Visit our course website to find out more and view our first online catalogue of student work

What opportunities might it lead to?

The course will provide you with the practical skills necessary to compete in a commercial arena and rhetorical skills to enable you to promote your work.

Our graduates could pursue careers such as:

  • Art director
  • Animator, storyboard artist and digital illustrator
  • Graphic/editorial designer
  • Toy and character designer
  • Comic book or graphic novelist
  • Printmaker and small press publisher
  • Zinester

Key Facts

Duration
1 year full time, 2 years part time
2017 entry requirements
A minimum of a second-class honours degree in a related subject, or equivalent professional experience and/or qualifications. An online portfolio submission may be required as part of the selection process. English language proficiency at a minimum of IELTS band 6.5 with no component score below 6.0.
Fees

UK/EU/Channel Islands and Isle of Man students
2017/18 entry: full time: £5,200, part time: £1,730 in year 1 and £3,470* in year 2.

Full-time course is eligible for Government Postgraduate Loan
Part-time course is eligible for Government Postgraduate Loan

International students
2017/18entry: full time: £12,600, part time: £4,200 in year 1 and £8,400* in year 2.

* Fees are subject to annual increase.

 

View tuition fee terms and conditions
View additional course costs

Contact
admissions@port.ac.uk
+44 (0)23 9284 5566
Department
School of Art and Design
Programme specification

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Light bulb Structure & Teaching

This course will help you learn independently through practice-based study, culminating in a self-defined project, with a reflective report. You will also position your work in relation to what is happening at the forefront of the subject area, with particular focus on social, political and social issues.

Here are the units you will study:

  • Proposal: This unit is about designing an independent practice-based project that will form the basis of your body of work. You will research a theme related to your practice and develop an independent programme of study outlining research and development.
  • Illustration Major Project:  You will produce a resolved body of work responding to and reflecting on your initial MA proposal. This will consist of critical diary/blog, media experiments, sketchbooks and final artwork(s).  It could take a variety of forms, e.g. artists book, print sequences, children’s books, comics and zines, animation etc.
  • A Question of Research: This unit provides an introduction to debates and research methods relevant for creative practitioners and your application to a pertinent research question. It also encourages self reflection on the research process.
  • Contextual Research in Illustration – You will use a variety of forms/techniques to communicate your research into your practice and the reverse. It will consist of three elements that build upon each other: a verbal presentation - sharing research and development; Illustration major project reflective document - evidencing methodology through to resolution; and a final project statement with accompanying digital portfolio of images. 

Teaching and Assessment

You will receive guidance and supervision throughout the programme that encourages independent learning. There will be regular contact teaching time including group tutorials, 1-1 tutorials and workshops but we also aim for you to engage in the wider studio culture that develops within the subject area along side the undergraduate students in illustration.

During the final stage of the course in the summer term the learning becomes more independent and self-managed, making your timetable more flexible.

 

 

How are you assessed?

You will be assessed after the submission of your work for each unit. We also present structured feedback to ensure your project development on the right track.

Dr Jackie Batey

Tutor's view

Dr Jackie Batey
Illustration

We will support you to extend your illustration practice and find your own personal voice. You'll research and reflect on how your artwork fits into the world we all share. We'd love to work with visually creative people with something to say.

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Monitor Facilities & Features


Illustration Studios

We offer a dynamic and creative studio space with access to the Eldon campus facilities. It's a friendly and welcoming environment where you can interact with both tutors and your peers. Equipment includes: dedicated computers, small press, bookbinding press and materials, and two extensive archive collections of artists’ books (The Ministry of Books) and zines (Zineopolis). 

We have plenty of gallery and exhibition spaces and regularly host the work of our students, alumni and visiting local artists.  

Guest Speakers

We invite a lively and diverse line-up of visiting speakers, including artists, curators and arts administrators to lecture on their work.

Guest speakers are a great way to bring you into contact with professional life, while encouraging a vibrant culture of debate and interaction.

Specialist Workshops

Take advantage of our many workshops with facilities for screen printing, letterpress, relief, laser cutting, dye sublimation printing, 3D printing and digital fabric printing.

We also have a variety of digital studios with Macs and PCs running industry-standard software with a range of digital printing facilities including large format, photographic and sheet fed printers. 

University Library

Modern, comfortable and a great learning environment, our library offers a wealth of information including 400,000 books, DVDs, maps and thousands of online ejournals and newspapers.

Many electronic resources are available anywhere, 24/7 and our friendly staff are always on hand to help.

Joy Moore, MA Fine Art student 2012

The tutor and technician support at the University is fantastic and there was always someone available to assist me.

Joy Moore, student 2012

Budgeting for your studies

There may be extra costs arising from your studies which you will need to consider when planning your expenditure.

Some are common costs to all courses of study. These may include the cost of study texts, reference books, photocopying and computer supplies. Others relate to specific courses and may include field trips, materials and specialist equipment.

Other costs to consider

2017/18

There are costs relating to the purchase of materials and / or reprographic requirements for work. This may be in the region of £100 - £1000. These costs will depend on the nature of the work and the media used.

For optional study trips, you will be expected to pay full costs. Optional study trips will cost in the region of £200 - £800. UK trips, where offered, will be in the region of £50 - £150.

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Mortarboard Careers & Opportunities

Career prospects

We anticipate that once you have completed this degree the scope of your opportunities within the creative industries will have widened giving you the rhetorical skills to enable you to effectively promote your work. You will have consolidated or repositioned your practice as a creative individual giving you a competitive edge in the commercial arena as an illustrator/artist. Alternatively, for those who wish to continue studying, there is always the option of progressing to doctoral level in your specialised area of illustration.

Our graduates could pursue careers such as:

  • Children’s book author/illustrator
  • Animator, storyboard artist and digital illustrator
  • Graphic/editorial designer
  • Comic book or graphic novelist
  • Educational, heritage or medical illustrator
  • Printmaker and small press publisher
  • Zinester

 

Career planning

One of the benefits of studying at Portsmouth is the support that we provide to our Master's and Research Degree students in career planning. Our careers and recruitment service can assist you in career research and finding employment opportunities. Help is also available if you wish to find a part-time job while studying your degree.

We offer our postgraduate students and alumni one-to-one appointments with a careers adviser, or an online service for those not able to travel back to the University. Our alumni can call on our career services for five years after graduation.

In addition, regular employability events offer you the chance to meet employers, find out about different career sectors and improve your applications or CV. The Graduate Summer Programme provides a range of guidance and employability seminars and workshops.

Benefits of Postgraduate Study

Regardless of whether you are seeking to build on your studies, further your career or pursue a career change, a postgraduate qualification adds to your achievement record.

  • Postgraduate study may greatly improve your chances of getting that first break.
  • Many graduate employers prefer the higher intellectual rigour displayed in postgraduate students.
  • Recruiters for roles requiring specialist knowledge or research particularly target those with higher level qualifications.
  • Postgraduate study shows you can take the challenge of in-depth study; acquiring transferable skills in team working and problem solving techniques.
  • If you have a passion for a particular subject, postgraduate study can also be something undertaken as part of your own development at an appropriate time in your life.

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Apply now

Online application form

Apply direct using our online form

Your application will be received by the University Admissions Centre for consideration.

Postgraduate Information Days

Our Postgraduate Information Days for 2017 entry have now finished. If you would like to meet or speak with a member of staff about any courses you are interested in, please email postgraduate@port.ac.uk and we will arrange this for you.

We will confirm the dates of events related to 2018 entry soon. Visit the link below to get a reminder when booking opens.

Get a reminder

Other opportunities to visit

Download our free walking tour PDF for a self-guided tour of the University. You can visit Monday to Friday between 8.30am and 4pm.

We have an open-door policy so you will be able to take a look in our buildings, speak to some of our support services and get a feel for the campus.

Find out more about our self-guided walking tours

If you are unable to visit us, contact the admissions team – see the 'Key Facts' section above for contact details.

Further information

If you have any further enquiries about postgraduate study at Portsmouth, including advice on the Postgraduate Loan entry, plus scholarships and bursaries available, visit our postgraduate pages.

International Students

Staff from our international Office regularly attend overseas exhibitions. To find out more about these and our visits to your region see our International Office exhibitions page.

Fees and Funding

Find out more about fees and funding available to you at Portsmouth.

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