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Different course options

Full time | Arts University Bournemouth | 1 year | FEB-23

Study mode

Full time


1 year

Start date


Key information

Qualification type

MA - Master of Arts

Subject areas


Course type


Course Summary

The course allows you to further refine your creative identity, offering a bridge between HE and professional illustration practice. It offers a great opportunity for creative professionals to return to university in order to reflect upon their creative practice and change direction.

Course Information

MA Illustration welcomes a diverse range of design practitioners and celebrates a contemporary expansive notion of Illustration. The course offers you an active and dynamic community of practice, critical discourse and debate. Students come to us from a number of educational and professional backgrounds, including Illustration, Graphic Design, Animation, Fine Art, Model-making, Textiles and Photography, or from academic realms outside Art and Design.

This course is designed to appeal to students who are open and excited by a range of innovative possibilities from traditional methods such as drawing and printmaking, to virtual and time-based media. Experimenting with ideas that might culminate in publication, exhibition or new hybrid platforms, you are encouraged to re-imagine, navigate and resolve your practice. Through writing the Contextual Journals alongside studio outputs, you come to understand research and reflection as fundamental drivers for challenging creative thinking.

We encourage you to engage imaginatively with your own contexts and experiences, in order to extend your practice into new arenas. The strong emphasis on career planning enables you to carve your own niche within an evolving global market for illustration materials. Our graduates are supported in addressing the boundaries of the discipline itself through developing new visual perspectives on the world.

MA Illustration will appeal to you if you’re open to participating in a broad range of creative strategies, utilising traditional and digital methods.

These include drawing and printmaking, lens and time-based media, with ideas and concepts that might be realised through exhibition, publication or exciting new hybrid forms.

Students studying on the course come from a number of diverse backgrounds including Illustration, Graphic Design, Printmaking, Drawing, Photography and Painting. Others come from outside of art and design, having had experience across other subject disciplines, but demonstrating a passion for illustration.

MA Illustration 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.

Ideas are developed through specific individual approaches to research into practice and reflective enquiry. This deeper understanding and commitment to practice assists students in identifying, exploring and achieving your future career aspirations. The course encourages you to engage imaginatively with illustration, in relation to both the academic subject and practice of illustration.

MA Illustration encourages you to question the nature of your practice and its context and position relative to the creative industries. The course encourages you to engage imaginatively with your practice in relation to the evolving academic subject and practice of illustration. Your practice will be considered in a global context, with an awareness of the emergence of new and innovative approaches that interrogate, challenge and advance traditional. As a graduate from MA Illustration, you’ll be able to carve your own niche in an evolving market for visual materials.


Resolving Practice supports you in establishing orderly practice-based research methodologies. In Study Plan 2, you formalise your intentions for presenting and disseminating your final outputs. Through editing, selecting and resolving your portfolio, you gain the confidence to embrace the complex and unpredictable challenges of creative industries. In this way, you acquire the strategies needed for agile and sustainable working practice in your chosen field.

Tuition fees

UK fees
Course fees for UK students

For this course (per year)


International fees
Course fees for EU and international students

For this course (per year)


Entry requirements

You will usually have BA (Hons) Degree graded at 2.1 or above, or an equivalent UK or international qualification in your chosen subject or a related discipline.

University information

Arts University Bournemouth (AUB) was founded in 1880 and is regarded as one of the UK’s foremost specialist institutions for higher education. The university has a particular focus on the arts and creative industry and excels in combining a student’s creative talent with the drive and skills they need to succeed professionally. The university prides itself on cultivating a vibrant and welcoming community of creatives and innovative...more

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