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MA Illustration & Visual Media

College
LCC
Start date
September 2020
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.

This course is subject to revalidation, which is a process that makes sure students get a high quality academic experience. During revalidation there may be some changes to course content. Please contact us if you have any questions about this course.

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 Open Evening for this course will be on:

Thursday 5 December

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Course overview

The course explores both the theory and practice of contemporary image making. A self-authored, practice-led investigation will drive your programme of study over the four terms of the course.

What can you expect?

  • The development of your independent, self-authored approach to image making. We encourage you to engage with the world beyond the institution. You are expected to be a creative entrepreneur, responsible for directing your own developing relationship with the visual world. You will not work on commercial briefs but will focus on developing a unique authorial voice through a body of self-written work.
  • You will meet a range of practitioners who are engaged in the creation and dissemination of contemporary images through a programme of specialist speakers, artists in dialogue events and external visits to creative workplaces. Through these experiences you will gain an understanding of the diverse ways in which today’s image makers research, collaborate, and extend their professional profiles.
  • You will be supported in undertaking intensive and 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 visual media such as drawing, painting, creative coding, VR, 3D, print, performance, photography and animation in LCC’s world class facilities.
  • You will be taught by internationally-active practitioners and thinkers in art, design and image making. MA Illustration and Visual Media runs alongside a suite of postgraduate courses at LCC that reflects the rich and diverse spectrum of current and emergent practices in post analogue visual culture.
  • You will be part of LCC’s expansive Postgraduate Community, and beyond that have opportunities to be part of UAL’s cross university programme of events and activities. The programme supports you in progression to research at MPhil/PhD level.

Work experience and opportunities

You will have the opportunity to work in collaboration with a national cultural institution, and have the capacity to engage with projects with external partners while developing your own unique practice and portfolio of work.

Mode of study

PG – Full Time MA Illustration and Visual Media is in Full Time mode which runs for 45 weeks over 15 months. You will be expected to commit 40 hours per week to study.

Course units

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

Autumn, term one

Unit summary:

  • Illustrative Practice and Visual Media (40 credits)
  • Critical Practice and Research Methods  (20 credits)

Term One of the course introduces you to MA-level study across both the practical and the theoretical concerns of the discipline. You will produce work that responds to a national cultural institution, archive or location while starting to develop your own position as a contemporary image maker.

You will be introduced to LCC’s extensive workshop areas in this term, which will be essential for your practice throughout the rest of the course.

Spring, term two

Unit summary:

  • Expanded Practice and Individual Voice (40 credits)
  • 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-written projects that encourage you to develop your practice. You will be asked to define your relationship with collaborative practices and entrepreneurial approaches.

Summer, term three

Unit summary:

  • Expanded Practice and Individual Voice (continued)
  • Final Major Project and Thesis (60 credits)

Autumn, term four

Unit summary:

  • Final Major Project and Thesis (continued)

In Term Three and Four you will undertake a Final Major Project and Thesis that relates to the expanded field of contemporary image making.

This will involve a self-directed major practical project and the completion of a related thesis of 5000 words, which demonstrates your critical reflection, analysis and original research.

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.

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

  • Research
  • Practical illustration projects
  • Writing;
  • Presentations
  • Blogs and wikis to enhance learning

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

Chris  Ratcliffe

Chris Ratcliffe

Associate Lecturer, 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 these new and emerging areas of illustration practice.

Applicants are expected to have an honours degree in either illustration, visual communication or graphic design 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

Applications for 2020/21 entry will open in Autumn 2019.

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.

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

Transfers

If you have successfully completed 60 credits in the equivalent units/modules on your current postgraduate course at another institution 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. Find out about our UAL External Student Transfer Policy which includes what you need to include in 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.

Deferrals

Deferring an offer

If you are offered a place for 2020/21 but wish to defer to 2021/22, information on how to do this and who to contact can be found in your offer letter. Additionally, International applicants should pay the pre-payment in order to defer. In all cases, deferred places will be held for one year.

Making a deferred application (during 2019/20 for entry in 2021/22)

Home/EU applicants are permitted to make a deferred application.

Application deadline

We recommend you apply by 28 February 2020 for equal consideration. However this course will consider applications after that date, subject to places being available.

Applications for 2020/21 entry will open in Autumn 2019.

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.

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.

Extra information required for applications to this course

  • Portfolio
  • Study proposal/project proposal

Transfers

If you have successfully completed 60 credits in the equivalent units/modules on your current postgraduate course at another institution 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. Find out about our UAL External Student Transfer Policy which includes what you need to include in your application.

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.

Deferrals

Deferring an offer

If you are offered a place for 2020/21 but wish to defer to 2021/22, information on how to do this and who to contact can be found in your offer letter. Additionally, International applicants should pay the pre-payment in order to defer. In all cases, deferred places will be held for one year.

Making a deferred application (during 2019/20 for entry in 2021/22)

International applicants are not permitted to make a deferred application.

Application deadline

We recommend you apply by 28 February 2020 for equal consideration. However this course will consider applications after that date, subject to places being available.


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 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 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 take place at LCC, or via Skype/telephone.

How we notify you of the outcome of your application

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

Fees & Funding

Home / EU Fee

£11,220 (2020/21).

UAL alumni receive a £1,000 discount

Course fees may be paid in instalments

International fee

£22,920 (2020/21).

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:

Scholarship search

Careers and alumni

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.

Alumni

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