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Postgraduate

MA Illustration and Visual Media

A collection of 12 pieces of student work in a grid format
2019, MA Illustration and Visual Media, UAL
College
London College of Communication
Start date
September 2021
Course length
1 year 3 months full time (45 weeks across a four-term model)

MA Illustration and Visual Media explores the creation and contextualisation of images at a time of unparalleled possibilities for engagement in visual culture.

Why choose this course at London College of Communication

  • We believe in image makers as authors: We expect you to consider the life of the image in contemporary visual culture in an expanded context and you will generate your own projects that allow you to explore and position your practice in an informed and progressive manner in order to apply your work to the professional visual world.
  • We are part of a critical community: You will work with theoretical ideas in an applied context and will synthesise critical thought through practice. Through reading groups, seminar sessions, study trips and workshops led by highly qualified and experienced artists and writers you will learn about key ideas to help you think through visual history and culture, and to locate your own practice in a contemporary critical context.
  • We build networks: You will engage with a dynamic programme of visiting experts from the creative industries, and studio visits to a range of contemporary practitioners’ workplaces. As part of the wider LCC and UAL community you will have access to postgraduate resources, events and opportunities to enhance your career potential.
  • We equip you with skills for advanced learning: The course expects you to work independently and rigorously outside of your taught studio sessions. The course introduces you to the expectations of working at postgraduate level, where you will take responsibility for managing your own development. You will exploit the potential of working at a higher academic level, which could lead to progression to PhD level study.
  • We connect resources to contexts: You will have access to world class technical facilities in visual media at LCC including 3D printing, creative coding, Virtual Reality, photography, screen printing, letterpress, print production and bookbinding as well as usage of UAL’s extensive library catalogues and collections of archival material. Led by processes of making you will use your time on the course to generate image-based work that could be situated in a range of professional contexts including publishing, galleries, screenings and gaming, and the capacity to progress to careers as an artist, illustrator, curator, writer or academic.

Open Evenings

The next online Open Evening for this course will be announced soon.

An introduction to postgraduate courses in the Interaction Design and Visual Communication programme is available online. Watch now.

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Instagram: @ma_ivm

Twitter: @ma_ivm

Student Work

Course stories

Course overview

MA Illustration and Visual Media (MAIVM) provides a critical space in which traditional definitions of this field can be challenged, deconstructed and reconfigured to provide a unique platform from which our graduates can move into professional practice as autonomous artists. MAIVM is distinctive in its emphasis on students developing their own bodies of work. We do not believe that illustration is a philosophy of practice or self-contained discipline in the contemporary visual world - moreover it is one of many contexts in which images may exist on or offline.

 

Through experimental practice-led research, you will develop an independent and critical relationship to the contemporary image, with the potential to work across a broad range of specialist visual media. You will have access to LCC's significant resources in digital and time-based media alongside printmaking, 3D and photography. This environment encourages experimental and reflective practice and the opportunity to work alongside your peers in technical workshop and studio environments.

The course begins by helping you to position yourself with a critical understanding of working as an artist-researcher at postgraduate level. Through studio and seminar sessions you will be introduced to a range of critical and theoretical ideas, and explore the ways in which artists use research, which will develop your ability to contextualise your own practice. As you progress through the course you will be supported in generating bodies of self-authored creative work that extend your personal visual language and approach to the made image. Throughout the course you will be asked to produce reflective writing that helps you to position your work in a critical context that relates to contemporary thought in visual culture, culminating in a Final Major Project and Thesis. The course supports you in progression to research at MPhil/PhD level as well as to advanced self-directed experimental practice.

Course units

In 2019 UAL declared a Climate Emergency and pledged to ‘make sustainability a required part of the student learning experience’. In response to the climate and ecological crisis the Design School set in place an ambitious Sustainability Action Plan to fully embed responsible practices within the curriculum and in everything we do. As part of this initiative we have updated our course handbooks against a set of social and environmental sustainability principles to ensure that learning outcomes reflect the urgent need to equip students with the understanding, skills and values to foster a more sustainable planet. Our aim is to change the way students think and to empower them to work towards a sustainable future.  

Unit 1.1 The Emergent Image, 40 credits

This unit aims to provide you with an introduction to working as a postgraduate image maker. You will start to develop a portfolio of experimental, challenging image-based work from a variety of material and contextual starting points and begin to identify (an) individual line(s) of enquiry within your visual practice that will be developed further in subsequent MAIVM units.

Unit 1.2 The Critical Image, 20 credits

This unit aims to provide you with a critical understanding of working as an artist-researcher at postgraduate level. You will be introduced to a range of critical and theoretical ideas, which will develop your ability to contextualise your own practice.

Unit 2.1 Collaborative Unit, 20 credits

This unit will allow you to define who you are as a collaborator and support you to create a small-scale collaboration of your choosing. You will develop an understanding of what collaboration could be and how you can locate collaboration within your own practice. Understanding who you are as an image maker will be key to developing a productive collaboration.

Unit 2.2 The Authored Image, 40 credits

Throughout this unit you will develop your individual visual language and approach to the image, allowing you to focus on specific areas of interest and specialising in techniques particular to your practice. The unit will explore the expanded field of contemporary image making, giving you an understanding of the range of practices and approaches that this can include. You will work on one self identified project throughout the unit, examining methodologies of working for exploratory projects that add to the broader research culture of the subject.

Unit 3.1: The Contemporary Image: Final Major Project and Thesis, 60 credits

You are asked throughout this unit to engage in a major project in which the emphasis will be on defining, analysing, developing and contextualising an individual and focused approach to contemporary image making. The Final Major Project must be self-identified and lead on from the work you made in The Authored Image Unit, while also building on what you have learned in earlier studio units and the critical content of MAIVM seminars and workshops. You will also write a thesis, which will be a piece of independent critical writing that explores an area of visual practice related to the studio work you make in your Final Major Project.

 

Learning and teaching methods

• Lectures/Large Group Learning
• Workshop and Seminar Learning
• Academic Tutorials
• Individual and group critiques
• Individual project work
• Self-directed learning
• Assessed Assignments
• Technical Workshops
• Demonstrations

Assessment methods

• Practical image-based projects
• Scholarly writing
• Presentations

Staff

Charley  Peters

Charley Peters

Course Leader, MA Illustration and Visual Media

Eva  Verhoeven

Eva Verhoeven

Programme Director, Interaction Design and Visual Communication

Benjamin  Murphy

Benjamin Murphy

Associate Lecturer, MA Illustration and Visual Media

Damien  Roach

Damien Roach

Associate Lecturer, MA Illustration and Visual Media

Juliet  Sugg

Juliet Sugg

Lecturer, MA Illustration and Visual Media

James  Irwin

James Irwin

Associate Lecturer, MA Illustration and Visual Media

Laura  Davidson

Laura Davidson

Associate Lecturer, MA Illustration and Visual Media

How to apply

Opportunities for all

We are committed to making university education an achievable option for a wider range of people and to supporting all of our students in achieving their potential both during and after their courses.

We welcome applications from people with disabilities. If you have a disability (e.g. mobility difficulties, sensory impairments, medical or mental health conditions or Asperger’s syndrome) we strongly encourage you to contact us on disability@arts.ac.uk or +44 (0)20 7514 6156 so that we can plan the right support for you. All enquiries are treated confidentially. To find out more, visit our Disability & Dyslexia webpages.

Entry requirements

The course team welcomes applicants from a broad range of backgrounds, from all over the world. The course has a particular aim to appeal to image-led art & design graduates that are interested in exploring expanded and emerging areas of visual practice. 

Applicants are expected to have an honours degree in either illustration, fine art or closely related subjects, however, we do accept candidates who have graduated from other less strongly aligned disciplines. 

The course team also welcomes students with relevant experience or those who may have previously worked in industry.

Educational level may be demonstrated by:

  • Honours degree (named above);
  • Possession of equivalent qualifications;
  • Prior experiential learning, the outcome of which can be demonstrated to be equivalent to formal qualifications otherwise required;
  • Or a combination of formal qualifications and experiential learning which, taken together, can be demonstrated to be equivalent to formal qualifications otherwise required.

APEL (Accreditation of Prior Learning)

Applicants who do not meet these course entry requirements may still be considered in exceptional cases. The course team will consider each application that demonstrates additional strengths and alternative evidence. This might, for example, be demonstrated by:

  • Related academic or work experience
  • The quality of the personal statement
  • A strong academic or other professional reference
  • OR a combination of these factors

Each application will be considered on its own merit but we cannot guarantee an offer in each case.

Language requirements

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 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 (or equivalent) is required, with a minimum of 5.5 in each of the four skills.
  • If your first language is not English, 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 International Applications page.

Selection criteria

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 a specialist subject area to be able to successfully complete the programme of study and have an academic or professional background in a relevant subject
  • Also to show a willingness to work as a team player, good language skills in reading, writing and speaking, the ability to work independently and be self-motivated
  • Critical knowledge of and enthusiasm for the subject area and capacity for research-led design, intellectual inquiry and reflective thought through: contextual awareness (professional, cultural, social, historical); evidence of research, analysis, development and evaluation (from previous academic study and employment) and a grounded understanding of the world of sonic, visual and networked culture and the ability to engage in and contribute to 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
  • Portfolio should be conceptual and research-based, you must show your thinking and making process and a curious nature to explore, test and experiment

Making your application

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:

  • First, they will look at your qualifications and transcript (or projected results)
  • Secondly, they will review your personal statement and portfolio
  • There is no requirement for an academic or professional reference.

Deferring your place

This course allows offer holders to defer. If you have an offer of a place, but you would like to defer starting for a year, please contact our Admissions Service as soon as possible via your UAL Portal. Make sure you check our Admissions Policy before requesting a deferral.

If you are an EU offer holder, it is important to consider that, from 2021-22, you may be charged International fees, which are higher. Read our Coronavirus guidance for prospective students for details.

Required information for all postgraduate course applications

Before you apply, please take time to read the guidance below. You will be asked to provide the following items and upload documents when completing 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
  • CV
  • Personal statement

Extra information required for applications to this course

  • Portfolio
  • Study proposal/project proposal

Start your application now

The online application 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 press submit.

Apply now

Application deadline

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

External Student Transfer Policy

If you are currently studying at another institution and have successfully completed 60 credits in the equivalent units/modules on your current PG course and wish to continue your studies at London College of Communication, you can apply to transfer.

The Admissions Tutor will consider applications on a case by case basis, subject to places being available. You must apply directly to the course via the course webpage as early as possible.

Further information about the external student transfer policy can be found on the Office for Students Information page.

CV

Please provide a CV detailing your education, 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.

Personal statement advice (approximately 200 words)

You will be asked to complete a personal statement describing why you want to study on MA Illustration & Visual Media. Candidates will be expected to demonstrate critical knowledge of and enthusiasm for the subject, and a well-articulated rationale for joining the course.

The personal statement is a very important part of your application and should demonstrate to the course team that you are interested in the subject and that you have thought very carefully about why you wish to study on the course.

Ensure that your personal statement it is well written, clear and free of any spelling mistakes. It is your chance to impress the course team by showing a strong interest in the subject, demonstrating what you feel you would bring to the course, your appreciation of what the course can offer you and how you feel it might help you in the future.

This can be demonstrated through work experience, previous studies and your personal experience.

Study proposal / project proposal advice

Applicants should outline in the project proposal a description of the area of interest, field of study and the particular focus of the intended project. This should include an overview of how you intend to go about producing the project and the methodology.

Application deadline

15 March 2021

We recommend you apply as soon as possible before this date, for equal consideration. We may still be able to accept applications after this date, depending on availability.

When you’ll hear from us

Once you’ve sent in your application, our course teams will review it closely. We’ll be in touch shortly after you apply with information about next steps. Find out more about what happens after you apply.

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:

  • First, they will look at your qualifications and transcript (or projected results)
  • Secondly, they will review your personal statement and portfolio
  • There is no requirement for an academic or professional reference.

Deferring your place

This course allows offer holders to defer. If you have an offer of a place, but you would like to defer starting for a year, please contact our Admissions Service as soon as possible via your UAL Portal. Make sure you check our Admissions Policy before requesting a deferral.

Required information for all postgraduate course applications

Before you apply, please take time to read the guidance below. You will be asked to provide the following items and upload documents when completing 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
  • CV
  • Personal statement

Please note: we will ask you for copies of certain documents (for example, English language qualification/certificate and copies of any previous UK study visas).

For further advice on how to apply please visit the UAL International Application page. International applicants can alternatively apply through one of our official representatives in your country.

Extra information required for applications to this course

  • Portfolio
  • Study proposal/project proposal

Start your application now

There are two ways international students can apply:

The application form can be saved as you fill it out, so you do not 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.

Application deadline

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

External Student Transfer Policy

If you are currently studying at another institution and have successfully completed 60 credits in the equivalent units/modules on your current PG course and wish to continue your studies at London College of Communication, you can apply to transfer.

The Admissions Tutor will consider applications on a case by case basis, subject to places being available. You must apply directly to the course via the course webpage as early as possible.

Further information about the external student transfer policy can be found on the Office for Students Information page.

Immigration history check

Whether you are applying through a UAL representative or direct application you will need to complete an Immigration History check. If you do not complete the Immigration History Check we will not be able to proceed with your application.

CV

Please provide a CV detailing your education, 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.

Personal statement advice (approximately 200 words)

You will be asked to complete a personal statement describing why you want to study on MA Illustration & Visual Media. Candidates will be expected to demonstrate critical knowledge of and enthusiasm for the subject, and a well-articulated rationale for joining the course.

The personal statement is a very important part of your application and should demonstrate to the course team that you are interested in the subject and that you have thought very carefully about why you wish to study on the course.

Ensure that your personal statement it is well written, clear and free of any spelling mistakes. It is your chance to impress the course team by showing a strong interest in the subject, demonstrating what you feel you would bring to the course, your appreciation of what the course can offer you and how you feel it might help you in the future.

This can be demonstrated through work experience, previous studies and your personal experience.

Study proposal / project proposal advice

Applicants should outline in the project proposal a description of the area of interest, field of study and the particular focus of the intended project. This should include an overview of how you intend to go about producing the project and the methodology.

Application deadline

15 March 2021

We recommend you apply as soon as possible before this date, for equal consideration. We may still be able to accept applications after this date, depending on availability.

When you’ll hear from us

Once you’ve sent in your application, our course teams will review it closely. We’ll be in touch shortly after you apply with information about next steps. Find out more about what happens after you apply.


After you apply

Communicating with you

After you have successfully submitted your application online, you will receive an email confirming your application and providing your login details for the UAL Applicant Portal. Please add @arts.ac.uk to your contacts to ensure that you do not miss any important updates re: your application to UAL.

Please log into the portal, as this is where we will send you important updates and requests, and you can contact us with any questions you may have about your application.

What happens next

Portfolio and interview information

All applicants will be expected to submit an electronic portfolio as part of their application. You can upload images or provide web links to any online work or websites. Note, web links should be noted in your CV.

The portfolio should contain a minimum of 5 projects (maximum 20 images) 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.

The portfolio should be conceptual and research-based, you must show your thinking and making process and a curious nature to explore, test and experiment.

If you have links to web projects or other media, please note these in your CV.

Applicants are usually interviewed by the course team before a place can be offered. Interviews will be held online, and details will be sent via the UAL Portal.

How we notify you of the outcome of your application

You will receive the outcome of your application through the UAL Applicant Portal.

Requesting feedback

This course receives a high number of applications, and we can’t provide feedback to everyone who is unsuccessful. We can only provide feedback after you’ve had an interview.

If you would like to request feedback – please email lcc.ukeu@arts.ac.uk if you are a Home or EU applicant, or lcc.international@arts.ac.uk if International. We are only able to provide feedback to you directly, or to someone you have told us in writing can receive it on your behalf.

Fees and funding

Home fee

£11,220 per year

This fee is correct for 2021/22 entry and is subject to change for 2022/23 entry. Tuition fees may increase in future years for new and continuing students on courses lasting more than one year. For this course, you can pay tuition fees in instalments.

Home fees are currently charged to UK resident nationals. However, the rules are complex and you can find out more on our tuition fees pages.

From 2021/22 entry, most EU students will be charged the International tuition fee rate, although this may depend on your individual circumstances. If you started your course in October 2020  or earlier, you’ll continue to pay Home (UK) fees for the duration of your course. Read more advice for EU students on our Brexit information webpage

International fee

£22,920 per year

This fee is correct for 2021/22 entry and is subject to change for 2022/23 entry. Tuition fees for international students may increase by up to 5% in each future year of your course.  For this course, you can pay tuition fees in instalments.

International fees are currently charged to students from countries outside of the UK. However, the rules are complex and more information can be found on our tuition fees pages.

From 2021/22 entry, most EU students will be charged the International tuition fee rate, although this may depend on your individual circumstances. If you started your course in October 2020 or earlier, you’ll continue to pay Home (UK) fees for the duration of your course. Read more advice for EU students on our Brexit information webpage

Scholarship search

Careers and alumni

Graduates from this course have gone on to work in a range of professions in the creative world including practising artists, freelance image makers, art writers, curators and commercial galleries, as well as progressing to further study at PhD level.

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.