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The University of Edinburgh: Illustration

Institution The University of Edinburgh View institution profile
Department Edinburgh College of Art
Study type Taught


Postgraduate study in illustration reflects the diversity of the subject and the opportunities that exist in areas such as:

  • publishing

  • advertising

  • graphic and web design

  • theatre

  • television

  • art galleries

  • museums

Who is this for?

We welcome applicants with a variety of approaches to Illustration, from both academic and professional backgrounds.

You will be encouraged to explore various forms of practice, with support from accomplished and respected staff.

All staff have understanding, professional experience and skills in this field of art & design.


You will have access to:

  • excellent individual working spaces

  • a drawing studio

  • extensive printmaking resources

  • other workshops on the ECA campus and wider University

  • life drawing classes

  • book-arts workshops

  • field trips


The programme also includes working with writers, designers and publishers in collaboration and on live briefs.

Many of our postgraduates have their work published and our set projects evolve from year to year. These reflect contemporary developments in illustration and the graphic arts. For example, students have made work for:

  • the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh

  • Edinburgh Filmhouse

  • the ECA Bookmarks symposium

In the studios, your work will be concerned with:

  • storytelling

  • documenting current events

  • fiction and non-fiction

  • visual complements to literature

  • authorial illustration

You will be encouraged to take part in national and international competitions, to join the ranks of those who have exhibited and won prizes in events such as:

  • the V&A Student Illustration Awards

  • AOI

  • Image Nation

  • Folio Society

  • Penguin Book Awards

  • 3x3

  • Batsford

  • D&AD briefs


University of Edinburgh 


Be open to possibilities. Be open to the extraordinary.
The University of Edinburgh is one of the world's top universities, consistently ranked in the world top 50, and placed 15th in the 2023 QS World University Rankings Our entrepreneurial and cross-disciplinary culture attracts students and staff from across the globe, creating a unique Edinburgh experience. Whatever excites you, whatever your ambition, whatever makes you ‘you’, we know one thing; nothing ordinary comes from this extraordinary place.

Our students have been making an impact on the world for more than 400 years. Each year is different – every …

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