Postgraduate course

Illustration MA

Develop as a unique visual storyteller through a combination of studio practice and academic study.

student illustration

Our Illustration MA invites you to expand your illustration practice and expertise through research and an exploration of your individual creative processes. The course will cover a range of contemporary illustration practices. You will examine and develop your visual interests and approach to image making to become a confident visual artist.

  • Location – York campus
  • Duration – 1 year full-time | 2 years part-time
  • Start date – September 2019, September 2020
  • School – Art, Design & Computer Science

Tuition Fees

    UK and EU 2019-20 £6,500

    International 2019-20 £12,750

Course overview

This Illustration MA course encourages sustained engagement with illustration practice within a supportive and dynamic creative community. You can develop your personal interests and explore specialisms including book illustration, comics, community art practice, and narrative drawing. You will be supported to professionalise your artistic practice and develop critical thinking skills.

The course offers opportunities to develop live projects alongside your regular studio practice. A diverse range of academic staff with a range of specialisms will work with visiting professionals to enrich your experience of the course. The structure of this degree involves studio practice interwoven with critical academic studies. You will develop into a versatile and thoughtful, professional illustrator.

Your illustration practice is supported through critical and contextual studies which are integrated into the degree. This will provide a valuable philosophical framework that address concepts and histories of image making and narrative work. This academic understanding will enable you to underpin your individual approach as an illustrator.

Course structure

 Modules include:

  • Material intelligence (30 credits)
  • Specialist Expansive Studio Practice (30 credits)
  • Navigating and Locating Practice (30 credits)
  • Specialist Professional Practice (30 credits)
  • Masters Project (60 credits)

Teaching and assessment

Teaching is informed by our academics' in-depth knowledge of the subject and the application of best practice.

You will develop both studio-based and experience-based learning, aimed at challenging the boundaries of your practice. You will have access to industry standard facilities, teaching spaces, technologies and we encourage inter-disciplinary exchanges between analogue and digital cultures. 

A range of teaching and learning strategies are used across the modules including:

  • workshop
  • studio sessions
  • seminar discussions
  • supervised projects
  • critical review
  • professional experiences
  • project work

Through an ongoing process of action, reflection and evaluation, and a collaborative approach to problem-solving you will develop your creative insight and confidence.

Formative assessment will be employed across the course through a range of tasks, projects and presentations. Summative assessment will take a variety of forms including presentations, portfolios, exhibitions and written work.

Entry Requirements

For entry onto this course we usually ask that applicants have a minimum of a 2:2 undergraduate honours degree. We also ask for a portfolio of visual work to be submitted in support of the application. This can be done digitally.

Interview: Applicants are also invited for interview.

If you are an international student you will need to demonstrate experience, or qualifications equivalent to those above.

If your first language is not English, you must show evidence of English Language competence at IELTS level 6.0 or equivalent (with no skill below 5.5)

Applicants who do not have traditional qualifications may be eligible for entry on the basis of Accredited Prior (Experiential) Learning (APL/APEL). We also consider applications for entry with advanced standing. Please contact our Admissions Team for more details.

Fees and funding

To study for a Postgraduate degree with us, you will need to pay tuition fees for your course. How much you pay will depend on whether you're a UK & EU student or an international (non-EU) student. Tuition fees are charged for each year of your course.

Tuition fees

UK & EU 2019 - 20

The tuition fee for 2019 entry to this Postgraduate course is £6,500 for full-time UK/EU, Jersey, Guernsey and Isle of Man students.

Postgraduate Loan: A Postgraduate Loan is available to help you pay for your Master’s course. Find out more on the Government website.

A 10% discount is applicable to all YSJ Alumni (subject to a minimum of 120 credits and achievement of a recognised award) undertaking PG level study (excludes PGCE). 

International (non-EU) 2019 - 20

The tuition fee for 2019 entry to this postgraduate course is £12,750 for international students.

Due to immigration laws, International students on a Tier 4 visa must be studying full-time. 

Funding your course

Apply for this course

You can apply directly to the course via our Apply Now links. Please select the variant of the course that you intend to undertake (e.g. full-time or part-time) as the link will take you to a customised form for the specific course. You will need to create a login and password and complete the online form. Please contact two referees in advance of submitting your application as an automated request will go out as soon as you submit, and your application will not be reviewed until both references are in place.

Apply now: Full-time

Apply now: Part-time

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