MA Illustration (Online)

Why choose Herts?

  • Teaching Excellence: You will be taught by highly experienced academics all of whom are practicing illustrators.
  • Employment Prospects: Graduates work for publishing, design, and creative agencies as well as international organisations.
  • Industry-Related Learning: Previous students have gained experience following briefs from organisations.

About the course

Foster your creativity and enhance your employment opportunities by joining MA Illustration. The aim of this postgraduate programme is to equip you with the skills, knowledge and understanding required to practice at an advanced level. There is a strong emphasis on professional practice and the real-world applications of art and design. You'll develop key research skills and gain a good understanding of the work of other practitioners in your field. 

Senior research staff and internationally renowned practitioners work with postgraduate students, helping you to develop original and challenging work. Our staff are experienced in research and professional practice, and you'll also benefit from contributions from visiting designers and professionals, as well as from involvement with our international exhibitions programme. 

Every step of the way, you'll develop your imaginative, creative and technical potential as an illustrator. We'll invite you to examine a range of media in the field of illustration. For example, the role of image-making in new and traditional media, and illustration's relationships with fine art and digital media.

We'll give you an opportunity to develop advanced knowledge and skills in the use of narrative storytelling. You'll discover its relationship to illustration, as well as illustrative conventions in children's and adult literature, comics and other media. We'll encourage you to develop the entrepreneurial and commercial skills you'll need to develop your work to its full potential. You'll gain the practical and intellectual skills to thrive as a practicing artist. By working alongside artists and designers on other postgraduate courses you'll explore the possibilities for the illustrator today, questioning conventions and refining the direction of your practice.

By studying the MA Illustration (online) or Graphic Design (online), you can fit studies around work and life commitments. Find out more about online distance learning. 

Why choose this course?

  • You want to develop your professional skills as an illustrator
  • You're excited to work with design professionals of international standing
  • You're looking forward to working in professional and industrial contexts
  • You want to gain research skills that are vital for industry success
  • You want to study entirely via distance learning.

What will I study?

This course is designed to help you develop your practice and give you the skills recovery to further your career in industry both in the UK and abroad. The course includes practice based modules where you will explore and develop your work as an illustrator. It also contains course or research skills, entrepreneurialism and professional practice. The final part of the course enables you to complete a major project.

Content is delivered entirely online, through video lectures, online presentations, text and image resources, Skype tutorials and email. Students have one-to-one support from the course leader and from a specialist tutor. Students share their work with their peers in online galleries, where they can receive critique from staff and students. There is no requirement to attend lectures on campus, and coursework is submitted electronically via our Virtual Learning Environment, Studynet.

Course length

  • Part-time, 2 years
  • Level 7
    Module Credits Compulsory/optional
    Research and Enquiry (Online) 15 Credits Compulsory
    Creative Economies (Online) 15 Credits Compulsory
    Discourse and Reflection (Online) 30 Credits Compulsory
    Practice 1: Art and Design (Online) 30 Credits Compulsory
    Practice 2: Art and Design (Online) 30 Credits Compulsory
    Major Study: Illustration (Online) 60 Credits Compulsory
  • Further course information

    Course fact sheets
    MA Illustration (Online) Download
    Programme specifications
    MA Art and Design (Illustration) - Online Download
    Additional information

    Sandwich placement or study abroad year


    Applications open to international and EU students


    Student experience

    At the University of Hertfordshire, we want to make sure your time studying with us is as stress-free and rewarding as possible. We offer a range of support services including; student wellbeing, academic support, accommodation and childcare to ensure that you make the most of your time at Herts and can focus on studying and having fun.

    Find out about how we support our students

    You can also read our student blogs to find out about life at Herts.