MA Illustration and Visual Media

MA Illustration and Visual Media explores the creation and production of images at a time of unparalleled possibilities for skilled visual communicators. Specifically investigating the opportunities for image-makers to work with time-based, sequential, interactive and narrative forms, students on the course will develop an experimental illustration practice that reflects the integrated nature of the design, communication and media industries.

Watch // Student Work: Yuan Wang, 'Wind is a good thing'

Watch // Student Work: Sara Ortolani, 'Stardust memories'

Watch // Student Work: Duan Tianju, 'Running pixels'

Watch // Student Work: Jelena Ristic, 'Body, Space & Scale'

Watch // Student Work: Sara Ortolani & Lorenzo Davitti, 'Ladybird'

Watch // Student Work: Sara Ortolani, 'Faces'

Funding opportunities

Find out about the range of funding options available for postgraduate study.

Use UAL's fees and funding calculator to estimate how much your studies may cost you in your first year, and what funding may be available to you.

Facts

Course Leader

Lizzie Finn

Course Location

London College of Communication 
Elephant and Castle 
Find us

Study LevelPostgraduate
Study ModeFull time
Course Length1 year 3 months full time (45 weeks across a four-term model)
Home/EU Fee

£8,250 (2016/17 fees)

UAL alumni receive a £1,000 discount
Course fees may be paid in instalments.
A range of scholarships, bursaries and awards are available to postgraduate students at UAL. 

International Fee

£17,230 (Full Time – 2016/17 fees).

UAL alumni receive a £1,000 discount
Course fees may be paid in instalment.
A range of scholarships, bursaries and awards are available to postgraduate students at UAL.

Start DateSeptember 2016
Term DatesSeptember 2016 - December 2017
Application Route

Direct to College - See the How to Apply tab for details.

Application DeadlineApplications are accepted, and offers made, throughout the year. Early application is advised.

Content and Structure

Content

This is a practice-led course that explores both the theory and practice of illustration across a broad range of visual media. MA Illustration and Visual Media aims to develop your visual voice with an emphasis on critical engagement with both the discipline and the world at large. This may take the form of investigating abstract concepts from disciplines such as science, technology and philosophy by developing bespoke visual languages to translate these ideas to diverse audiences. Other approaches may also include using critical ideas to produce self-directed visual authorship. Practical projects and technical workshops are run in tandem with theoretical and critical seminars in order to support the relationship between critical and practice based learning.

This approach provides you with a unique platform from which to produce relevant and engaging work within the discipline of illustration that has resonance and value to the world at large. Through the development of a portfolio of work the course places graduates in a position to work across sectors as diverse as visual communication, art direction, information communication, branding, news, current affairs, entertainment, art and design as well as encouraging visual authorship.

The course supports progression to research at MPhil/PhD level as well as to advanced self-directed experimental practice.

Building on LCC's resources, in digital, time-based and interactive media alongside printmaking, graphic design and visual communication, the course encourages experimental and reflective practice that echoes the cross media nature of the design, communication and media industries.

This course is taught within the School of Design

Structure

Each course is divided into units, which are credit-rated. The minimum unit size is 20 credits. The MA course structure involves six units, totalling 180 credits.

Autumn, Term One

Unit summary:

  • Units 1.1 Illustrative Practice and Visual Media (40 credits)
  • Unit 1.2 Critical Practice and Research Methods (20 credits)

Term One of the course examines your visual practice and introduces critical theories and research methods to provide a framework for MA study in this discipline. You will produce work that interrogates key critical ideas and be set briefs that require you to extend your practice across time-based, sequential, interactive and narrative situations. You will be introduced to key thinking and making skills in this phase that will be essential for your practice throughout the rest of the course.

Spring, Term Two

Unit summary:

  • Unit 2.1 Expanded Practice and Personal Voice (40 credits)
  • Unit 2.2 Collaborative Unit (20 credits)

Term Two offers you the opportunity to use both the critical and technical skills gained in Term One to produce self-directed projects alongside set briefs that encourage you to develop your visual voice across different mediums. During this phase you will also develop a project proposal for your final major project and thesis in Term Three.

Summer, Term Three

Unit summary:

  • Unit 2.1 Expanded Practice and Personal Voice (continued)
  • Unit 3.1 Final Major Research Project and Thesis (60 credits)

Autumn, Term Four

Unit summary:

  • Unit 3.1 Final Major Research Project  (continued)
    (Weighted 50% written component and 50% practical component)

In Term Three and Four you will undertake a final major research project that relates to the expanded field of illustration and visual media. This will involve a self-directed major practical project and the completion of a related thesis, which demonstrates your critical reflection, analysis and original research. With your access to broad theoretical models spanning the discipline, you will apply these models to your own specialist area of interest to produce a critically aware major project that will usually be presented at your postgraduate show after assessment.

If you are unable to continue or decide to exit the course, there are two possible exit awards. A Postgraduate Certificate will be awarded on successful completion of the first 60 credits and a Postgraduate Diploma will be awarded on successful completion of the first 120 credits.

Staff

Course Leader: Lizzie Finn

Tutors: Charley Peters & Will Edmonds

You will work with highly qualified and experienced educators and practitioners in design who deliver the course and who retain close involvement with the industry, continuing their professional practice and, engaging in scholarly research at an international level. In addition, there will be visiting experts from industry practitioners.

Careers

Graduates of the course will be equipped to work in an increasingly technologically informed and interdisciplinary design world with indepth skills in the following areas: visual communication, animation, narrative and sequential image making, typography, illustration and time-based design, authorial practice and publishing. A significant proportion of graduates from this course practice as commercial illustrators.

One of your key attributes will be an ability to translate narrative images across media. You will have the facility to deploy narrative illustrative content in books, online, animation and interactive and environmental settings. This will be coupled with an agile critical perspective ensuring you have the creative drive to sustain a career in the creative industries.

Student Jobs and Careers at UAL

We know what it takes to be successful in your chosen field. Your tutors are professionals in their own right and understand what you need to help you establish your career. 

Careers and Employability is dedicated to helping students build up work-relevant skills, knowledge, experience and networks throughout your time here. 

Creative Opportunities is the UAL job and work placement website for students and graduates, advertising hundreds of creative opportunities each month. This includes ArtsTemps in-house recruitment agency, placing students and graduates in paid temping roles within the University.

UAL houses a number of organisations which promote aspects of career development in the arts and media, and which hold regular workshops and careers fairs. These include:

  • Own-It (intellectual property issues)
  • ArtQuest (career development resource for artists and designers)

Entry Requirements

Recruitment and admissions

Applicants are expected to have an honours degree in either illustration, visual communication or graphic design or closely related subject, however, we do accept candidates who have graduated from other less strongly aligned disciplines.

The course has a particular aim to appeal to image-led Art & Design graduates that are interested in exploring these new and emerging areas of illustration practice.

If you do not have the required qualifications, but do have professional experience, you may be eligible to gain credit for previous learning and experience through the Accreditation of Prior and Experiential Learning (APEL) i.e. professional experience or a combination of courses and work experience.

Language requirements (International/EU)

All classes are conducted in English. If English is not your first language you will be asked to provide evidence of your English language ability when you enrol.

  • IELTS 6.5 (or equivalent) is required for this course.
  • You can check you have achieved the correct IELTS level in English on the Language Requirements page.

For further details regarding international admissions and advice please visit the Study at UAL International pages.

Portfolio advice

All applicants must submit an online portfolio of work with their application form whether they are in the UK or resident overseas. Applications will be shortlisted and those candidates will be invited for interview (telephone interviews can also be arranged if you live outside the UK).

The online portfolio should contain the following:

  • Examples of image-led and visual work from either education or professional practice.
  • A minimum of 5 projects and self-initiated projects are also encouraged.

Project proposal (400 - 800 words)

All candidates will also be expected to outline an idea for their major project in the application.

This should describe the area of interest, field of study and the particular focus of their intended project. This includes an overview of how you intend to go about producing the project and the methodology.

It is important to recognise that these ideas will inevitably develop and change across the year of study on the course and only serve to inform your application at this stage.

Funding

Home / EU and International students

Funding opportunities available for this course:

Any questions? Please email funding@arts.ac.uk or visit Postgraduate Funding page.

How to apply

You can apply for this course using our online application form – the link to this is below. Before you apply, we recommend you take some time to read the following details about the application process, including guidance on the extra information we will ask you to provide.

Required information for all postgraduate course applications

You will need to enter the following information in the online application form:

  • Personal details (including full name; date of birth; nationality; permanent address and English language level)
  • Current and/or previous education and qualification details
  • Employment history
  • Referee details (this course requires two references).

Before you can submit the form, you’ll also need to agree to the terms and conditions for how we process your data – these are explained in the form.

Please note, if you’re an international applicant we will need to contact you separately to ask for copies of certain documents (for example, English language qualification/certificate and copies of any previous UK study visas).

Extra information required for applications to this course

Once you have submitted the form, you will receive a confirmation email that includes links to where you should submit the extra information we require for the selection process:

Personal statement

Please say why you are applying for this course.

Project proposal

All candidates will also be expected to submit an outline an idea for their major project. This should be between 400 and 800 words.

The proposal should describe the area of interest, field of study and the particular focus of their intended project. This includes an overview of how you intend to go about producing the project and the methodology. 

It is important to recognise that these ideas will inevitably develop and change across the year of study on the course and only serve to inform your application at this stage.

Portfolio

All applicants must submit a digital portfolio whether they are in the UK or resident overseas.

Please note, you can submit text and as many website links as you need to, but the portfolio form does not allow you to upload files.

The portfolio should contain the following:

  • Examples of image-led and visual work from either education or professional practice
  • A minimum of five projects and self-initiated projects are also encouraged.

Start your application now

Applications are accepted, and offers made, throughout the year. Early application is advised.

Apply now

The application form can be saved as you fill it out, so you don’t need to complete it all at once. You will also have the chance to review all the information and make any necessary amendments before you submit the application form.

We will send you emails as you progress through the application process, so do check your inbox (and junk folder, just in case). These emails will contain important information about your application, and links to the online forms you should use to submit the extra information required.

Enquire about this course

If you haven’t found the information you’re looking for or want to ask us a question about this course, please fill out our enquiry form.

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