Illustration (MA)



Complete Your Picture of You

Refine your talents, find your creative voice and grow confident in becoming the illustrator you want to be.

Read Katie's story


Unique opportunities to showcase your work.

Cheltenham Illustration Awards programme covers.

Enter the Cheltenham Illustration Awards and showcase your work alongside the best illustrators from 25 countries.

Angoulême comic festival.

We're the only UK university invited to the most important comics festival in the world at Angoulême.

Student painting a cotswold hare statue.

Discover diverse uses for your art - Carly's work is appearing as part of the Cotswold Hare Trail.


A creative space to call your own.

More info...

World-class knowledge to draw from

Fumio Obata

Fumio Obata

Comic book author, visual artist and course lecturer

"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."

Meet the Art Directors

Join Emily as she showcases her portfolio at the London Book Fair.

Course details

Examples of student illustration work.

Course outline

A central element of the course is the application and testing of communicative drawing, as well as drawing with identified purpose and intent. An intense and productive process of enquiry and investigation, focusing on the acquisition of fluency, clarity and coherence in expressing visual narrative, will form your core practice.

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 will actively explore printmaking, digital painting, creative software and all forms of natural media.

Drawing will also form a methodology for research and investigation, supported by lectures and workshops, and delivered by illustration staff who have a wide range of industry and publishing experience. You will be guided in intellectual and critical enquiry through practice, lectures and reflective study.

The programme encourages enterprise and promotion alongside personal development. You will 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. A series of intensive tutorials will direct you towards a creative portfolio strategy relevant to your personal aims.


  • Narrative Drawing
  • Research and Context
  • Professional Development
  • Mechanisms and Methodology
  • Major Project (Illustration)

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Study style

Studio practice, lectures, workshops and reflective study. Assessment is 100% by coursework.

Course modules

Take a look at the course content for full details of all the modules you'll study on this course.


  • Freelance illustrator
  • Author/illustrator/graphic novelist
  • Roles in games art, character design, concept art, animation, storyboarding and visualization for production design
  • Education - teaching in FE and HE
  • Artist
  • Printmaker

Study mode

Full-Time or Part-Time


Francis Close Hall, Cheltenham

Meet the Lecturer

Discover more about your course by visiting the university to speak with one of our lecturers. Learn about the modules, teaching style and the modes of assessment by speaking to our experts, and get a feel for the facilities you'll be using. Visit our Meet the Lecturer page to find out more and book your place.

Entry requirements

  • At least a 2.2 honours degree or equivalent in a relevant subject
  • You may be required to attended an interview
  • A portfolio of work is essential
  • EU and international students need IELTS 6.0 overall (no less than 5.5 in any band) or equivalent.


Fees - 2020/21 Academic Year
Home and EU Students
Full-Time Fees
Masters £6700
International Students
Full-Time Fees
Masters £14700

The fee displayed is the total course fee for full-time or part-time study; see also the details of potential extra costs. Please refer to the Tuition Fee and Bursary Policy for payment methods and timescales.

School of Arts

Our School of Arts provides specialist studios with the latest industry technology so you can develop your creative talent. You will collaborate with other artists and designers and be inspired by practising professionals to refine your own authentic voice.

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