• CollegeLCC
  • Start dateSeptember 2017
  • Course length1 year 3 months full time (45 weeks across a four-term model)

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.

About this course

This is a practice-led course that explores both the theory and practice of illustration across a broad range of visual media: time-based, sequential, interactive and narrative forms.

Develop an experimental illustration practice that reflects the integrated nature of the design, communication and media industries.

Student films and profiles

Watch // Student Voices: Bel Garcia – MA Illustration and Visual Media

Watch // Student Voices: Ximena Martinez – MA Illustration and Visual Media

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 // Postgraduate Shows 2016: Design School

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

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

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 and 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 an experimental and reflective practice that echoes the cross media nature of the design, communication and media industries.

This course is taught within the Design School.

Course units

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

Lecturers

Dr.Charley Peters, Will Edmonds

How to apply

You can begin your application 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 course Entry Requirements section to learn about the application process, including detailed guidance on the extra information we will ask you to provide later in the process.

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

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 online application form, we will send you a confirmation email.

From January 2017 you will be emailed a link to our online application tool, where you should submit the extra information we require for the selection process:

  • Personal statement(200 words)
  • CV
  • Project proposal(300 - 500 words)
  • Portfolio

The course leader will then review your work, may invite you to interview, and will then make a decision on your application, from January 2017.

The admissions team will be in touch after that to let you know the outcome and to guide you through the next steps.

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.

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, we strongly recommend you let us know your English language test score in your application. If you have booked a test or are awaiting your results, please clearly indicate this in your application. When asked to upload a CV as part of your application, please include any information about your English test score.

  • IELTS 6.5 with a minimum of 5.5 in any one paper, or equivalent
  • 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.

Selection criteria

All applications will be considered by the course team who will consider key elements when making a decision on your suitability to join the course:

  1. Firstly they will look at your qualifications and transcript (or projected results)
  2. Then they will scrutinise your personal statement, portfolio, project proposal and any previous work experience

Academic or professional reference are not required for this course.

Offers will be made based on the following selection criteria, which applicants are expected to demonstrate:

  • Sufficient prior knowledge and experience of and/or potential in illustration practice to be able to successfully complete the programme of study and have an academic or professional background in a relevant subject
  • Knowledge of the world of visual culture and be able to engage in critical discussion
  • In the project proposal a description of the area of interest, field of study and the particular focus of their intended project. This should include an overview of how you intend to go about producing the project and the methodology

Personal statement (200 words)

Please say why you are applying for this course, outlining relevant prior experience and your current knowledge of contemporary illustration practice and discussion.

CV

Please provide a CV detailing your education and qualifications and any relevant work or voluntary experience. If English is not your first language it is important that you also include in your CV details of your most recent English language test score.

Portfolio

  • All applicants will be asked to upload an electronic portfolio as part of their application. If you have links to web projects or media assets, please note these in your CV.
  • The portfolio should contain a minimum of 5 projects comprising examples of image-led work. This work can be from academic, self-initiated or professional practice.
  • For each project please include a short written reflection and edited visual documentation of your working process.

Project proposal (300-500 words)

Candidates must provide a statement outlining an idea for their major project. 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. This idea will inevitably develop and change across the year of study on the course and only serve to inform your application at this stage.

Interview advice

Applicants are usually interviewed by the course team before a place can be offered. Interviews will take place at LCC, or via Skype/telephone.

Fees and funding

Home / EU fee

£8,500 (2017/18).

UAL alumni receive a £1,000 discount

Course fees may be paid in instalments

International fee

£17,920 (2017/18).

UAL alumni receive a £1,000 discount

Course fees may be paid in instalments

Additional costs

In addition to tuition fees you are very likely to incur additional costs such as travel expenses and the cost of materials. We strongly suggest you read the information on our Additional Costs page.

Accommodation

Find out about the accommodation options available and how much they will cost.

Scholarships and awards

A range of scholarships, bursaries and awards are available to postgraduate students at UAL. 

Postgraduate loans of up to £10,000 are now available for eligible UK and EU students. A full list of eligibility criteria and information on applying can be found on the postgraduate loans webpage.

Home / EU and International students

Funding opportunities available for this course:

Scholarships search

Career paths

Graduates of the course will be equipped to work in an increasingly technologically informed and interdisciplinary design world with in-depth 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.

UAL Jobs and Careers

UAL has a number of services and networks that hold regular workshops and careers fairs developed to help you establish and promote your career in the arts, design, or media. These include:

Careers and Employability are the University's dedicated careers and professional practice service. We help UAL students and graduates embark on their professional futures in the creative industries, find jobs, set up a business, and sell their work. We run events throughout the year on all aspects of the career journey.

Creative Opportunities jobs board helps graduates and students find job and internship opportunities and connect with organisations and companies in the creative sector. We post jobs and paid internships, part-time work, freelance contracts and full-time opportunities.