Masters | Postgraduate Course - Illustration and Visual Media MA Course Details within University of the Arts London

Course Fees
Home/EU Fee: £8,000 (Full Time). £1,000 discount available to Home/EU students successfully awarded a UAL BA, FdA, PgCert or PgDip. International Fee: £15,950 (Full Time)
Contact Name
London College of Communication
+44 (0)20 7514 6599
Illustration and Visual Media MA

Study Details

London College of Communication - MA 1 year 3 months full time (45 weeks across a four-term model)

MA Illustration and Visual Media explores the creation and production of images at a time of unparalleled possibilities for skilled visual communicators. Specifically investigating the opportunities for image-makers to work with time-based, sequential, interactive and narrative forms, students on the course will develop an experimental illustration practice that reflects the integrated nature of the design, communication and media industries.

Please note

MA Illustration and Visual Media is being redeveloped as a four-term model from September 2015 entry.

Module details

 This is a practice-led course that explores both the theory and practice of illustration across a broad range of visual media. MA Illustration and Visual Media aims to develop your visual voice with an emphasis on critical engagement with both the discipline and the world at large. This may take the form of investigating abstract concepts from domains such as science, technology and philosophy by developing bespoke visual languages to translate these ideas to diverse audiences. Other approaches may also include using critical ideas to produce self-directed visual authorship. Practical projects and technical workshops are run in tandem with theoretical and critical seminars in order to support the relationship between critical and practice based learning.

This approach provides you with a unique platform from which to produce relevant and engaging work within the discipline of illustration that has resonance and value to the world at large. Through the development of a portfolio of work the course places graduates in a position to work across sectors as diverse as visual communication, art direction, information communication, branding, news, current affairs, entertainment, art and design as well as encouraging visual authorship.

The course supports progression to research at MPhil/PhD level as well as to advanced self-directed experimental practice.

Building on LCC's resources, in digital, time-based and interactive media alongside printmaking, graphic design and visual communication, the course encourages experimental and reflective practice that echoes the cross media nature of the design, communication and media industries.

This course is taught within the School of Design. 


The course is delivered across three 15 week phases. You will respond to briefs that are set to test the learning in the units described below.

Phase 1

  • Units 1.1 Illustrative Practice and Visual Media (40 Credits)
  • Unit 1.2 Critical Practice and Research Methods (20 Credits)

Phase 1 of the course examines your visual practice and introduces critical theories and research methods to provide a framework for MA study in this discipline. You will produce work that interrogates key critical ideas and be set briefs that require you to extend your practice across time-based, sequential, interactive and narrative situations. You will be introduced to key thinking and making skills in this phase that will be essential for your practice throughout the rest of the course.

Phase 2

  • Unit 2.1 Expanded Practice and Personal Voice (60 Credits)
    (Exceptional Postgraduate Diploma exit point after 120 credits)

Phase 2 offers you the opportunity to use both the critical and technical skills gained in phase 1 to produce self-directed projects alongside set briefs that encourage you to develop your visual voice across different mediums. During this phase you will also develop a project proposal for your final major project and thesis in phase 3.

Phase 3

  • Unit 3.1 Final Major Research Project (60 Credits)
    (Weighted 50% written component and 50% practical component)

Within phase 3 you will undertake a final major research project which relates to the expanded field of illustration and visual media. This will involve a self-directed major practical project and the completion of a related thesis, which demonstrates your critical reflection, analysis and original research. With your access to broad theoretical models spanning the discipline you will apply these models to your own specialist area of interest to produce a critically aware major project that after assessment will usually be presented at your postgraduate show.

Entry Requirements

Applicants are expected to have an honours degree in either illustration, visual communication or graphic design or closely related subject, however, we do accept candidates who have graduated from other less strongly aligned disciplines. 

The course has a particular aim to appeal to image-led Art & Design graduates that are interested in exploring these new and emerging areas of illustration practice.

If you do not have the required qualifications, but do have professional experience, you may be eligible to gain credit for previous learning and experience through the Accreditation of Prior and Experiential Learning (APEL) i.e. professional experience or a combination of courses and work experience.

Language requirements (International/EU)

All classes are conducted in English. If English is not your first language you will be asked to provide evidence of your English language ability when you enrol.

  • IELTS 6.5 (or equivalent) is required for this course.
  • You can check you have achieved the correct IELTS level in English on the Language Requirements page.

For further details regarding international admissions and advice please visit the Study at UAL International pages.

Programme Funding

Home / EU and International students

Funding opportunities available for this course:
- £1000 fee discount for UAL alumni

Student Destinations

Graduates of the course will be equipped to work in an increasingly technologically informed and interdisciplinary design world with indepth skills in the following areas: visual communication, animation, narrative and sequential image making, typography, illustration and time-based design, authorial practice and publishing.

One of your key attributes will be an ability to translate narrative images across media. You will have the facility to deploy narrative illustrative content in books, online, animation and interactive and environmental settings. This will be coupled with an agile critical perspective ensuring you have the creative drive to sustain a career in the creative industries over the long term.

A significant proportion of graduates from this course will want to practice as commercial illustrators.