Plymouth College of Art: Illustration (MA)

InstitutionPlymouth College of Art View institution profile
Department The Graduate School
Study type Taught


Our MA Illustration programme encourages the development of an individual and distinctive illustrative practice through engagement with contemporary approaches, contexts, audiences and debates.

Contemporary illustration continues to flourish, becoming far more fluid, outward-looking and interdisciplinary in nature, meaning that the role of the illustrator can encompass many new possibilities. Our programme explores this rapidly changing landscape alongside wider cultural contexts of image, text and narrative.
The MA Illustration will allow you to develop a distinctive position for yourself as an illustrator, whether through traditional collaborations with the design community, creative directors and publishers, or through contemporary self-directed alliances – such as the formation of collectives and independent publishing and gallery-based ventures.

Rigorous investigation and debate about illustrative practice will enrich your understanding of both the potential and relevance of the discipline as a whole, as well as your own social responsibilities as an imagemaker. We offer a dynamic studio environment in which to study illustration as an image-making practice, with access to workshop areas across the college.
Taught delivery within the programme provides a mix of discipline-specific methods and cross-disciplinary approaches that can be applied across creative and commercial sectors.
Our shared module structure allows you to develop a dialogue with creative practitioners across the Graduate School.

**Supported practices**
This programme supports authorial illustration practices, and practitioners who want to investigate new approaches to illustration made possible by contemporary critical debates.

2 course options

Qualification MA
Level RQF Level 7
Entry requirements

BA 2.1; equivalent professional experience or portfolio; exceptional project proposal.


The final module of each programme may be submitted as a dissertation or as practice, depending on which pathway best suits your concerns as a creative practitioner.


Through three sequential phases or modules, we support our students in investigating, testing and developing their ideas in depth.
The core tuition includes advanced training in specialist disciplines, research methods, critical thinking, research ethics, project design, professional codes and conceptual frameworks, and an opportunity for negotiated study under specialist supervision. All of our programmes have access to our outstanding workshop facilities.
By combining our generic modules with specialist assignments and personal project proposals, we provide depth and specialisation within each subject area, while also equipping you with robust approaches, methodologies and techniques that can be applied across the commercial, social and public sectors.
All students are asked to submit an initial research proposal on application to the course. This proposal should explain the kind of work that you want to create in the course of the MA or MFA programme, and identify your key professional aims. Of course, we understand the creative practice is all about change and development, so you won’t be stuck with these initial ideas. Instead, they will form the starting point for a dialogue with your tutors about your work.
The first module on the MA examines the role of research methods in creative disciplines. The focus will be upon refining your research proposal through a process of making to ensure that it can act as a robust framework for your study. The second module supports you to identify the kinds of collaborations and public-facing opportunities that will strengthen your identity as a creative practitioner. The final module of each programme may be submitted as a dissertation or as practice, depending on which pathway best suits your concerns as a creative practitioner.

Location Main Site
Tavistock Place


England 6000 GBP for Year 1
Northern Ireland 6000 GBP for Year 1
Scotland 6000 GBP for Year 1
Wales 6000 GBP for Year 1

Contact details




Telephone 01752 203434

Plymouth College of Art

Plymouth College of Art is a specialist, independent art college – run by artists, for artists. Founded in 1856, we offer a range of Undergraduate, Postgraduate and Pre-Degree study across Art, Design and Digital Media, combining over a century’s worth of history with contemporary thinking and cutting-edge facilities.

Our city centre campus is a close-knit and collaborative community of artists, designers and makers, also home to our ‘fabrication laboratory’, the FabLab Plymouth, and to our public-facing Gallery which exhibits national and international artists and shows.

The Graduate School
Our Masters degree programmes are purposefully informed by ...

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