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Postgraduate taught

Illustration MA

University of Gloucestershire

What is Illustration MA?

Creatively develop your illustration practise, and discover your mature, insightful authorial voice.

A central element of this course is the application and testing of communicative drawing, as well as drawing with identified purpose and intent. It’s an intense and productive process of enquiry and investigation, focusing on the acquisition of fluency, clarity and coherence in expressing visual narrative.

The techniques and technologies which form the practice-based mechanisms of illustration are also key, with the aim of achieving a dynamic, sophisticated and confident application of process. You may choose to actively explore your printmaking, digital painting, or use of creative software and other forms of traditional media with our technicians and academics supporting you to meet your individual creative and career aspirations.

Drawing also forms a methodology for research and investigation, supported by lectures and workshops delivered by illustration staff who have a wide range of industry and publishing experience.

We are home to the Cheltenham Illustration Awards (CIA), an international illustration competition that leads to a touring exhibition of highly commended entries, one of the many opportunities to exhibit your work internationally.

Study style

You’ll learn through lectures, seminars, studio practice, lectures, workshops and reflective study. Assessment is 100% by coursework.

You’ll participate in intellectual and critical enquiry through your practice, lectures, individual research and reflective study. This course encourages enterprise and promotion alongside your own personal development. You’ll have opportunities to print, publish and disseminate your work in collaborative and personal publications for our imprint, ‘The Pittville Press,’ which is actively promoted at book fairs and publishing events. Tutorials will support you in developing a creative portfolio strategy relevant to your personal aims.

As part of a creative community, you will have the chance to take part in exhibitions and events such as the Cheltenham Literature Festival, London Book Fair and comic fairs. Digital methods of creating images are supported alongside traditional printmaking processes, enabling a range of skills to be acquired and interrogated. The course will challenge you to apply your ideas to a variety of contexts and support you to forge a career in diverse areas such as publishing, animation and concept art for games design. To do this, technicians and the academic course team will guide you to implement strategies to meet your creative aspirations and develop collaborations to progress your career aspirations. 

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Entry requirements

    • You should hold at least a  2.2 Bachelors degree with honours.

    • You will be required to attend an interview. Please refer to our interview guide for further information.

    • A portfolio of work is essential

    • EU and international students need IELTS 6.5 overall (with a minimum of 6.0 in writing and 5.5 in any other component) or equivalent.

Course modules

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Fees and costs

See the further details of fees and potential extra costs when studying a course at the University of Gloucestershire.

Students usually support themselves through a postgraduate loan, private savings, family support or sponsorship from an employer. For advice and guidance on your funding options, contact the Money Advice team at moneyadvice@glos.ac.uk or call 01242 714535.

UoG graduates receive 15% off postgraduate tuition fees. Terms apply.

Start date Location Course code Fee (UK)
Total fee
Fee (international)
Total fee
Sep 2024 Francis Close Hall, Cheltenham £8,075 £17,100
Sep 2025 Francis Close Hall, Cheltenham TBC TBC

Ready to apply?

UoG Career promise

At UoG we create a climate for bravery and growth. We instil confidence in all our students, so you can graduate career-ready and meet your ambitions.

96% of our graduates are in work or further study*, but if you’re not in a job 6 months after graduating we’ll guarantee you 6 months of free support, followed by the offer of a paid internship to kickstart your career – plus we’ll commit to lifetime career coaching. Eligibility conditions apply**

Discover our promises

Make the most of personal Support

The development of each student’s creative practice in intensively supervised by professional artists.

Print and publish your work

You’ll have opportunities to print, publish and disseminate your work in collaborative and personal publications for our imprint, ‘The Pittville Press,’ which is actively promoted at book fairs and publishing events in the UK and internationally. You can also publish work through our Cheltenham Illustration Awards.

Push your possible with a master’s degree

Increase your pay potential, specialise in a subject you love, or pursue your passion and switch careers.

UoG alumni can benefit from a postgraduate scholarship discount of 15% off tuition fees.

Discover the benefits of studying a master’s degree.

"I liked the atmosphere, the campus and the tutors so much that I decided to stay for my MA."

“This course really helps you find your voice when it comes to illustration. I currently work freelance for the Bright Children’s Illustration Agency and I have a book coming out later this year called ‘The Lost Diary of Sami Star’. The course has been key in helping me to develop my portfolio and secure clients.”

Katie Kear, Illustration MA student

"I was born in Tokyo and grew up with the Manga and Anime cultures of the 1970s and 80s. I moved to the UK in 1991."

After working as an animator with the likes of Duran Duran and Channel 4, I joined Redkite Animations and worked on a number of projects with DC Thompson.

In 2008, I undertook a residency at La Cité Internationale de la Bande Dessinée et de l’image in Angoulême, France. Since then I have chosen graphic novels and comic books as my main creative outlets and my current project is reflection on natural disasters in Japan, including the aftermath of 2011’s tsunami.

Teaching is a great passion of mine, especially supporting young talents to develop their own, unique artistic voices in various contexts, such as animation, graphic novels and children’s books.”

Fumio Obata, Comic Book Author, Visual Artist, and Course Lecturer of Illustration

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