Taught course


University of Portsmouth · School of Art, Design and Performance

Entry requirements

A minimum of a second-class honours degree, or equivalent professional experience and/or qualifications. All applicants will be invited to attend an interview or be asked to submit a online portfolio in support of their application.

English language proficiency at a minimum of IELTS band 6.5 with no component score below 6.0.

Months of entry


Course content


On this MA Illustration degree course, you'll build upon your already impressive illustration skills and develop your creative and technical abilities to postgraduate level.
Whether you’re an arts graduate or a professional returning to creative studies, you'll be able to explore, question, and develop your practice through traditional and innovative techniques.
Our academic team is made up of experienced practitioners in the field of artists' books and zines, practice-based PhDs, and printmaking. They'll provide the expertise and support you need to push your creative boundaries and find your individual artistic voice.
This practice-led Master’s in illustration will culminate in production of your own personal project, where you'll be able to define your role as a creative practitioner within a social, political, and historical context.
With opportunities to network and publicise and market your work, you'll be better prepared to take your creative career to the next level once you graduate – whether by pursuing a career as an illustrator or in related fields such as art direction, design, and publishing.

Course highlights
  • Complete a major body of work which showcases your development and skills
  • Explore themes such as narrative and sequential illustration, humour and satire, ethical and social positioning of the artist, literary sources for inspiration, limited edition publications, small presses, and artists’ books
  • Consider the question “what is illustration” and examine the social responsibility of the illustrator as a cultural producer
  • Discover your specialisms and position your individual practice within the creative industries
  • Engage with high profile visiting lecturers, freelance illustrators and other industry connections such as external speakers from Egmont Books
  • Take part in field trips – both to local galleries and London-based museums
  • Access our extensive collection of artists’ books and zines, located within the illustration studios
  • Develop your existing skills through specialist workshops such as laser cutting and 3D printing, photography, etching and letterpress, drawing and print workshops
  • Showcase your Adobe expertise to industry peers by gaining Adobe Certified Professional (ACP) qualifications

Career planning

During your course you'll have expert career support from our Careers and Employability Centre, your tutors and our Business and Law Career-Ready Programme. This support will continue for 5 years after you graduate.

Career support

You'll benefit from:

- Networking events

- Regular emails from the Career Ready Programme sharing job opportunities, application tips and events

- Applied projects with companies such as IBM, Boeing and Hampshire County Council

- Workshops to enhance your employability skills

- Recruitment events including the Student and Graduate Opportunities Fair

- 1-to-1 appointments

- CV and cover letter advice

- Interview preparation and practice

- Support starting your own business

Careers and opportunities
As a successful graduate of this course, you'll have the practical skills necessary to compete in a commercial arena, and the rhetorical skills to promote your own work. You'll be able to position yourself as a creative individual, giving you a competitive edge as an illustrator or artist.
Graduates of this course have found jobs such as:
  • Animator, storyboard artist and digital illustrator
  • Graphic/editorial designer
  • Art director
  • Toy and character designer
  • Comic book or graphic novelist
  • Printmaker and small press publisher
  • Zinester
  • Creative developer
  • Art Teacher/Lecturer
You'll also have the option of progressing to doctoral level in your specialised area of illustration. We're on hand to give you help, support and advice, whatever you decide to do next.

Qualification, course duration and attendance options

  • Masters
    full time
    12 months
    • Campus-based learningis available for this qualification
    part time
    24 months
    • Campus-based learningis available for this qualification

Course contact details

Admissions Team
023 9284 5566