Study MA Illustration and discover how illustration can change the world for the better. Develop crucial skills such as observation and creative thinking, and learn to apply them to the issues that society faces today.
Illustration is a broad visual narrative practice that has many applications in publishing and the wider creative industry. On our MA Illustration degree you will focus on illustration for social change, an innovative and growing area that addresses the complex social and environmental problems faced by society today.
Illustration skills such as visual storytelling, visual mediation, observation, creative thinking and of course image making are much sought-after, and more and more illustrators take part in change-making processes in organisations, institutes, and government.
Our Masters in Illustration is unique in its focus on building your illustration practice and exploring and developing your role in addressing issues including integration and diversity, behavioural change, community cohesion, and environmental challenges.
Whatever your background, you will develop your visual practice in important areas for illustrators, such as image creation; visual sequencing; concept development; and textuality. You’ll also extend your knowledge of the complexities of socio-environmental problems; institutional and government structures; creative project development and management; design methods; and collaboration processes.
As a graduate, you will have the confidence to start out in a career as an illustrator and play an active creative role in social and environmental change-making processes.
As a postgraduate student at ARU, you will have access to a dedicated base studio, as well as specialist facilities such as animation suites, film and photography studios, and the print studio, which will provide you with a wide range of printing methods.
You will receive training in creative software such as Adobe Cloud, – and you can also get training in all our other art and creative industries facilities, too.
Studying in our dedicated studios at Cambridge School of Art and project locations, much of your work will be practice-based. You’ll take part in live projects, working with an external partner and students from related Masters degrees, as well as proposing and undertaking your own self-directed projects.
At the end of the course, you will use all the skills you have developed to research and complete a final visual project relating to your own specialisms.
Throughout your studies, you will collaborate and discuss your work with staff, external partners, visiting professionals and fellow students, giving you an invaluable opportunity to see how others respond to it. All our teaching team are practising designers, design researchers and artists, so you will hear about the latest news and issues in the industry and have access to sound careers advice.
Course Leader: Dr Nanette Hoogslag
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As well as our dedicated illustration studio, where you’ll have your own desk, you’ll have use of the following facilities:
All our Illustration students have access to facilities including:
Our team of technical officers will be on hand to offer training and support.
Our Creative Showcase shines a spotlight on what makes ARU creative and cultural – our spaces, places and people. Find out more about our community, the difference we make, the stories we tell, and the things that inspire us.
Meanwhile, Present is an exhibition that you curate for yourself. Explore the work of our graduating students in this eye-catching virtual degree show.
Alternatively, take a guided tour and meet our students.
Our MA Illustration course will prepare you for a career as a freelance illustrator and creative consultant.
In recent years, roles in illustration - either on a freelance basis or as creative team members - have been increasing. This is due to the understanding of the important role of visual storytelling and the need for distinct visual identity and connection.
Depending on your own interests, your career might take you into self-publishing and artistic production; book and magazine illustration; in-house media and creative teams in publishing, advertising, games and animation and communication agencies; as well as freelance or in-house creative consultancy and institutional and organisational change-making teams.
As an MA Illustration student you’ll also gain skills that will be useful in many other fields, such as teaching and creative management. You might even find a way to combine it with your current career, as did ARU graduate Dr Katy Shorttle, whose artwork on health issues was featured in The Guardian.
Or you might decide to move on to a research degree, like our PhD Art and Design, PhD Graphic Design and Typography, or PhD Fine Art. Take advantage of our Alumni Scholarship and save £400 on your fees, and take a look at some of our current PhD project opportunities.
"My kids and I began talking about what life would be like at the North Pole and how Santa would respond to COVID-19. There is so much uncertainty and anxiety right now, so I thought it would be helpful to talk about COVID-19 in a way that’s both engaging and reassuring for children."Kelley Donner
MA Illustration student and author of A Very Corona ChristmasRead more
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