Visual Communication: Illustration – MA

Take the next step towards your career in visual communication with this illustration-focused MA. With an emphasis on research, experimentation and creative risk-taking, our Visual Communication: Illustration MA course will empower you to enter your field with a clear vision and sense of your role as a designer in today’s world. Whilst building strong industry connections through your tutors and placements, you’ll also become more flexible and independent in your learning.

More About This Course

Our Visual Communication: Illustration MA course will enable you to pursue your ambitions to work as a visual communicator with specific expertise in illustration.

Thanks to an interconnected approach to research and design, you’ll utilise both theory and practice to develop a portfolio of professional-level work that demonstrates your complex problem-solving capabilities, creativity and critical thinking. You’ll engage and develop your skills through collaborative, multi-disciplinary practices.

Your core modules will promote critical thinking through design practices, enabling you to work both speculatively and on fully-realised outcomes. Through design research methods and design project development you will form and refine a project proposal, which you’ll go on to complete as your final major project.

Throughout this course you’ll notice an emphasis on recurrent central elements such as socially-engaged design. You’ll be encouraged to explore the social, cultural, ethical and economic impacts of visual communication practice.

The course is full of opportunities for growth:

  • professional industry practice – work on live project briefs with industry partners (such as the public realm improvements scheme with the London Borough of Tower Hamlets and The City of London Corporation) 
  • situating your practice – how to formulate a clear direction for your practice
  • improving complex problem solving and critical thinking
  • collaborative and multi-disciplinary working
  • building knowledge through research and development
  • the challenge of expertly communicating and presenting your thinking and outcomes
  • opportunities for exhibition
Alternative Core Module Information

The School maintains a portfolio of alternative core MA (level 7) 20 credit modules, two of which will be core to this course in any particular year. Prior to the start of the course each September, the course team will decide which of the alternative core modules should be the core 20 credit modules for the following academic cycle. This decision is based on the project opportunities arising and the balance of students across the portfolio of MA design courses. Please note, students themselves do not choose which of the alternative core modules to take themselves. See the modular structure section below for more details.

Accreditation Of Prior Learning

Any university-level qualifications or relevant experience you gain prior to starting university could count towards your course.

Modular Structure

The modules listed below are for the academic year 2022/23 and represent the course modules at this time. Modules and module details (including, but not limited to, location and time) are subject to change over time.

Year 1 Modules Include:

Design Project Development (core, 40 credits)

Design Research for Practice (core, 40 credits)

Project as Professional Practice: Illustration (core, 60 credits)

Democratising Luxury (alternative core, 20 credits)

Design for Change (alternative core, 20 credits)

Experience and Environment (alternative core, 20 credits)

World Building (alternative core, 20 credits)

Where This Course Can Take You

Following completion of our Visual Communication: Illustration MA course, you will find yourself equipped to pursue a variety of career routes. Opportunities for professional employment may include:

  • freelance illustrator
  • in-house illustrator
  • book cover designer
  • art director
  • storyboard artist
  • creative director
  • print designer
  • image researcher
  • project manager
  • strategist
  • studio manager

Graduates from the School of Art, Architecture and Design visual communication cluster have continued on to successful careers in a range of design roles. Whilst some are now working for well-known and highly regarded companies including Territory StudioManchester United Football ClubIwoca and Blow Up Media, many graduates have taken the plunge and set up their own independent studios and freelance practices, such as Studio Theolin and Karl Fitzgerald.

Get Excited to study

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We will help you from start to finish

-We will help you get your dream education

-With our support, you will choose the field of study, the university and we will prepare the necessary paperwork. We will then apply for studies and for funding

-Studies can take place fully remotely and they are flexible

-If you prefer to spend less time in class - no problem, courses only take place twice a week


Tell us exactly what you need

We want to understand your goals and plans. Describe your situation and we will find the way how to study efficiently, and how to manage your time.

We know that finding the right direction for your future can be a very daunting task. That is why we are here to help you every step of the way, so that we can help create a bright future for you.


We'll plan the perfect Future course

If you choose to do a university course, we’ll help you plan the perfect future. Select your academic structure and we will choose the best university based on your needs.


Enjoy your new you!

Once you get your degree, you won’t be stuck in the same place anymore. Go where you want and do what makes you happy.