About this course
LJMU's MA in Graphic Design and Illustration advances your artistic development and helps you become a critically engaged practitioner.
- Develop your work in state-of-the-art workspaces and facilities
- Benefit from close links with industry and local creative agencies and professionals
- Visit key graphic design industry events
- Build a graphic design and illustration portfolio through collaborative projects with local festivals and creative ventures
- Apply for the prestigious Susan Cotton Travel Awards, the Michael Pugh Thomas and Julia Carter Preston Legacy study awards
This course invites you to benefit from the tutelage of our industry networked academic team, dedicated to creating opportunities for you and the development of your artistic crossover projects.
The MA focuses on the cultural shifts at the centre of a rapidly moving Graphic Design and Illustration industry. It has been specially designed to place craft and production activities firmly at the heart of its research and your development experience.
You will examine and explore the role of independent visual practice within the context of an ever-increasing interdisciplinary profession.
You will be expected to develop personal practice that challenges traditional perspectives on both Graphic Design and Illustration disciplines while, at the same time, engaging with industry partners that have established profiles in commercial practice. A particular emphasis will be placed on challenging and exploring media as a method of developing your professional practice and realising your career ambitions.
Programmes from the School of Art and Design are fully collaborative aiming for cross-disciplinary practice across our suite of postgraduate subject areas: Architecture, Exhibition Studies, Art and Design, Fashion Innovation and Realisation, Graphic Design and Illustration, Fine Art and Urban Design. As a student you will creatively practice and network with a wide range of fellow students and a broad set of ideas and concepts.
Fees and funding
There are many ways to fund postgraduate study for home and international students
The fees quoted at the top of this page cover registration, tuition, supervision, assessment and examinations as well as:
- Library membership with access to printed, multimedia and digital resources
- Access to programme-appropriate software
- Library and student IT support
- Free on-campus wifi via eduroam
Although not all of the following are compulsory/relevant, you should keep in mind the costs of:
- accommodation and living expenditure
- books (should you wish to have your own copies)
- printing, photocopying and stationery
- PC/laptop (should you prefer to use your own)
- mobile phone/tablet (to access online services)
- field trips (travel and activity costs)
- placements (travel expenses and living costs)
- student visas (international students only)
- study abroad opportunities (travel costs, accommodation, visas and immunisations)
- academic conferences (travel costs)
- professional-body membership
- graduation (gown hire etc)
There are many ways to fund postgraduate study for home and international students. From loans to International Scholarships and subject-specific funding, you’ll find all of the information you need on our specialist postgraduate funding pages.
Bursaries and study awards
The Liverpool School of Art and Design offers students across all taught postgraduate programmes opportunities to apply for scholarships aimed at broadening student knowledge and experience.
The Michael Pugh Thomas and Julia Carter Preston Legacy scholarships consist of a number of £1,000 awards and are open to full-time and part-time home and international students who wish to study for a postgraduate qualification in art and design with LJMU. Part-time applicants can only apply once over the two years of their course.
To be considered for the scholarship, you must submit a 500 word letter to firstname.lastname@example.org after being formally offered a place on a Masters programme in the School of Art and Design. The deadline for application for 2019 entry is Friday 14 June 2019.
Please ensure you include your name, contact details, the full title of the course you have applied to study on and 500 words stating why you should be awarded the scholarship, the benefits it will bring to your studies and any exceptional circumstances you face in studying for a postgraduate qualification. Further information for international students about finance, fees and scholarships can be found here.
The School's main travel bursary for existing students, The Susan Cotton Travel Awards, consists of three European Awards of £1,600 and two International Awards of £2,300. The awards are intended to help you undertake significant domestic or international travel in support of your work and personal development. The awards aren't necessarily about academic study, instead they focus on the spirit of travel and adventure. Previous winners of the bursary have travelled to a tropical island to experience life at its most basic, cycled the length of the Danube, spent a month in Morocco and inter-railed through Europe. Deadline for entry to the travel awards are Monday 14 January 2019.
Further your career prospects
LJMU has an excellent employability record with 96% (HESA 2017) of our postgraduates in work or further study six months after graduation. Our applied learning techniques and strong industry connections ensure our students are fully prepared for the workplace on graduation and understand how to apply their knowledge in a real world context.
This Masters is wholly geared towards facilitating a practical understanding of how you might exploit your own practice in the professional sphere. You are encouraged to engage with the networks which you are exposed to during the course to further your employment and career opportunities.
On graduation you will be able to pursue a variety of careers in the established professions of graphic design and illustration. You will be equipped for traditional roles in graphics studios and creative agencies such as Senior Designer, Art Director, Studio Manager and Production Manager.
The programme will also prepare you for self-employment and entrepreneurial ventures - ideal for those interested in pursuing an independent creative practice.
Discover the building blocks of your programme
Your programme is made up of a number of core modules which are part of the course framework. Some programmes also have optional modules that can be selected to enhance your learning in certain areas and many feature a dissertation, extended report or research project to demonstrate your advanced learning.
Research and Practice 1
This module is shared by all students studying on taught postgraduate programmes at Liverpool School of Art and Design and allows you to collaborate across programmes.
- A series of lectures, seminars, tutorials and visits will introduce you to current and emerging practice in relation to a diverse range of historical, theoretical and critical principles
- Guest lecturers will expose you to areas of collaboration
- Seminars and tutorials will require you to share, discuss and evaluate your ideas and practice with others
Research and Practice 2 (Graphic Design and Illustration)
This module requires you to produce an illustrated and designed written project of 6000-8000 words (or equivalent) relating to your specific research interests and/or relevant to a specific area of design. It enables you to:
- build on the research and critical skills acquired in other areas of the programme
- explore various modes of articulating and presenting ideas within written and visual forms
Studio Practice (Graphic Design and Illustration)
Studio Practice encompasses a broad range of approaches to producing graphic design and illustration. It aims to:
- help you develop and challenge your practice and locate it within contemporary graphic design and Illustration practice
- enable you to undertake self-initiated or set projects that demonstrate a high level of engagement with technical processes and production methods
- provide the opportunity to present work which demonstrates and enhances your practice
You will have the opportunity to work closely with internal partners within the School of Art and Design, the wider LJMU academic community or external partners in the UK and internationally. Through key partnerships you will engage with a range of collaborative projects which challenge the notion of the interdisciplinary practice within the context of contemporary art and design and which enable you to propose, plan, organise, publish and promote your work within the context of an external body.
- Guest lecturers will expose you to areas of collaboration
- This module is shared by all students studying on taught postgraduate programmes at Liverpool School of Art and Design and allows you to collaborate across programmes
Major Project (Graphic Design and Illustration)
This is the module where you bring together all the skills you have acquired on the programme. It aims to:
- support the development of a self-directed and in-depth body of work appropriate to your concerns
- help you plan, organise and deliver a final published project or equivalent, through effective time and resource management, demonstrating a high level of critical engagement, creative achievement and appropriate technical ability
- develop your ability to present your work and enhance your capacity to engage in professional practice
An insight into teaching on your course
The majority of your taught contact time will take place on a Tuesday and Friday, with an intensive period of teaching at the beginning of semester one as you commence the Collaborative Practice module. This unique module brings together students from across each of the School's postgraduate degrees.
Teaching is individually tailored to each student. Your week will be divided between lectures, seminars, tutorials, workshops and independent study.
You will engage with industry partners that have established profiles in commercial practice.
How learning is monitored on your programme
To cater for the wide-ranging content of our courses and the varied learning preferences of our students, we offer a range of assessment methods on each programme. Assessment techniques vary from module to module to reflect relevant assessment approaches and the key learning points of each topic.
Assessed work has been designed to ensure you fulfil your potential at this important stage of your development. There is a 75:25 split between practical and written work.
Assessments methods include: presentations, proposals, practical projects, essays, artefacts, supporting documents and the dissertation. Research and textual material is assessed via blogs, written proposals and the dissertation.
Our staff are committed to the highest standards of teaching and learning
Programme Leader Graphic Design and Illustration
Since becoming a lecturer in 1998, Ian has exhibited and published works both nationally and internationally. Most notably Chinese Whispers – a unique experiment to create a family of fonts designed collaboratively by international participants through the generative online process of Chinese whispers. The project featured on Creative Review's first DVD Rom ‘Creative Review DVD01’ in 2001, and subsequently in numerous design and typography books and journals. His films and typographic animations have been screened in New York, Seattle, San Francisco and Berlin. Elements of this research have been applied within a professional context in collaboration with a number of North West design agencies developing typefaces for communication campaigns such as Tate Liverpool’s Picasso Peace + Freedom exhibition.
I particularly enjoy seeing graduates go on to have successful careers within the creative industries. I also love being able to bring some of the world’s most respected and well known designers, illustrators and graphic artists to the university to lecture and teach our students.
What you can expect from your School
You will need:
- a 2:1 degree in a visual arts related subject
- a reference
- applicants are required to submit a sample digital portfolio at the point of application
- to attend an interview
- a portfolio of work to be presented at interview
- IELTS English language requirement: 6.5 (minimum 5.5 in each component)
- Pearson requirements: 58-64 (minimum 51 in each component for UKVI Purposes)
- RPL is accepted on this programme
If you have any specific queries, please contact email@example.com
Application and selection
Securing your place at LJMU
You will apply for the majority of postgraduate courses using our online application form. You should complete the form thoroughly and provide a detailed personal statement which reflects your suitability and aptitude for the programme.
The content of your application should demonstrate that you have a sufficient level of knowledge to embark upon the programme (including the required linguistic competence) and complete it within the time limits.
In exceptional circumstances applications by mature graphic designers, illustrators and artists without sufficient qualifications will be considered.
You will need to provide evidence of your learning capability at interview stage. You will also need to demonstrate your commitment to a postgraduate programme of study.
Interview Dates 2018/19:
We generally hold interviews on the last Wednesday of each month. This is subject to change but proposed dates for 2018/19 cycle interview days are currently: 25 July, 29 August
Interview days usually commence at 10am and finish by 1pm at the latest so please prepare to be here until this time. You will have the opportunity to discuss the programme in detail with the staff and have the opportunity to be shown around the building and facilities.
It is our aim to ensure you leave us with sufficient knowledge to make an informed decision. Tutors will evaluate your suitability for the course through the work presented and by discussing your interests, the influences on your work, and your ambitions for postgraduate study.
The University reserves the right to withdraw or make alterations to a course and facilities if necessary; this may be because such changes are deemed to be beneficial to students, are minor in nature and unlikely to impact negatively upon students or become necessary due to circumstances beyond the control of the University. Where this does happen, the University operates a policy of consultation, advice and support to all enrolled students affected by the proposed change to their course or module.
Further information on the terms and conditions of any offer made, our admissions policy and the complaints and appeals process.