Taught course

Illustration and Book Arts

Anglia Ruskin University · Faculty of Arts, Law and Social Sciences

Entry requirements

Main •A good honours degree, (or equivalent), normally in a related subject. Applicants with professional experience are also encouraged to apply. •Applicants to this course will be required to attend interview and display a portfolio of work for assessment. Applicants resident outside of mainland UK only may submit a portfolio electronically Portfolio requirements Your portfolio should: •show examples of your recent visual practice including, where possible, work that gives an idea of the themes and areas you’d like to develop on the course •include preparatory work like sketchbooks or contact sheets to show how you develop and resolve visual ideas •include projects where the experimental approaches and developmental work is evident, regardless of how successful the final outcomes are. These can be more valuable points of insight than a series of highly finished pieces. If you’re an international applicant, please host your portfolio online if possible and let us know the URL, or email it to us as a PDF. We’ll also accept CDs or hardcopy sent by post to our International Admissions Office, but please note that these will not be returned to you.

Months of entry

January, September

Course content

Design and carry out your own visual projects, exploring the relationships between word and image, as you prepare for a career as a visual artist in a growing creative industry.

Whatever your artistic background, our Master's course will develop your visual practice in areas that are important for illustration and book art, such as visual sequencing and visual text. It will challenge you to cross the divide between fine art and applied art found on many undergraduate and postgraduate degrees, making it a unique course for the UK.

Studying in our purpose-built studios at Cambridge School of Art, much of your work will be practice-based. You’ll propose and undertake self-directed projects, attending group critiques and tutorials that will help you develop your visual practice.

We also offer a series of integrated lectures and seminars. These serve two purposes. You’ll explore aspects of illustration and book art, such as the relationships between word and image, narratology and visual language. And you'll receive guidance on research methods and critical writing - which you'll put to immediate use on the course, as well as in your future career.

Throughout the course, you’ll collaborate and discuss your work with staff, visiting professionals and fellow students, giving you an invaluable opportunity to see how others respond to it. All of our teaching team are practising artists, so you’ll hear about the latest news and issues in the industry, and have access to sound careers advice.

Our course will prepare you for a career as a freelance illustrator or freelance book artist. In recent years these roles have been increasingly in demand thanks to the growth of interest in artists' books, graphic novels, self-publishing, e-books and an awareness of small, batch publishing. You’ll also gain skills that will be useful in many other fields, such as bookbinding or teaching.

Or you might decide to move on to a research degree, like our PhD Fine Art.

Information for international students

•If English is not your first language you will be expected to demonstrate a certificated level of proficiency of at least IELTS 6.5 ( Academic level) or equivalent English Language qualification, as recognised by Anglia Ruskin University

Qualification and course duration


part time
24 months
full time
12 months

Course contact details

ALSS marketing team
0845 271 3333; international: +44 1245 493131