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MA Illustration

Transform your art into a catalyst for change

Course details


Two years


Online and part-time

Start dates

January, May and September

Next welcome week

16 September 2024

Next course start date

23 September 2024

Application deadline

6 September 2024

Total course fee


Course overview

Despite the challenges they face, the creative industries are thriving more than ever, and the contemporary illustration scene is especially dynamic. We’ve designed this online MA Illustration course to cultivate the next generation of innovative, versatile illustrators. 

Our course is especially relevant in today’s world as it is underpinned by a commitment to the UN’s sustainable development goals. With this common thread running through every aspect of your studies, you’ll be empowered to transform your art into a catalyst for positive environmental change.  

Through rigorous self-reflection, academic enquiry, and thorough research, you'll break down and rethink your practice. You’ll dissect and cross-examine both historical and contemporary illustration works, using them as reference points to chart your position as a practitioner in today’s industry. 

We’ve worked carefully to combine academic excellence with knowledge grounded in the realities of the industry. Through hands-on experience, support with portfolio creation and public-facing projects, we’ll help you market yourself as a graduate. 

Informed by a profound understanding of theoretical knowledge, current challenges and research methodology, you’ll stand out more than ever as a creative professional. You’ll also gain global insights from both your tutors and your cohort – an international network of like-minded creatives. These connections could lead to future job opportunities, creative collaborations, joint exhibitions, and much more. 

Join us to elevate your knowledge of this rich practice and immerse yourself in the vibrant creative online community that sets AUB apart. The next step in your career starts here. 

Watch the course overview video

Watch our online MA Illustration course overview video with course leader, Mark Pavey who discusses topics such as, 'What makes this course stand out?' and 'What skills will students gain from this course?'.

Course units

The units on this course cover a wide range of themes, with a special emphasis on research, reflection and the constant evolution of illustration as a discipline. Through historical and contemporary art, we’ll challenge you to deconstruct and re-contextualise your own practice as an illustrator.

Online MA Illustration Course Overview

Watch the video to gain an insight into the Online MA Illustration at AUB. Topics covered include:

Who is this course for?
What makes this MA stand out?
What skills will students gain from this course?

Read the video transcript.

Mark Pavey_94

Your Course Leader

Mark Pavey is a process-obsessed visual communicator; a maker of images, prints and digital tools, who loves to tinker and explore new ways of communicating. Since 2007 he has worked as a freelance creative, creating illustrations, books and websites for organisations of all sizes.

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"This online MA prepares graduates for life as a working professional, where you are immersed in your practice and no two days are the same."

Mark Pavey | Course Leader, MA Illustration

Entry requirements

We encourage applications from students with a broad range of qualifications and we welcome students from all educational backgrounds. We’ll take into account the knowledge and skills that you have developed outside the classroom, as well as your previous qualifications.

There are two different routes to entry: the standard  and non-standard  routes. Admissions staff will assess entries to determine which route is appropriate for you when you apply.

Students accepted on the standard route are given offers based on qualifications and supporting documentation alone. If you do not have a qualification at the designated level or in a subject not directly related to the course to which you are applying, you’ll be contacted to request a portfolio, and/or given an interview date.

Fees and funding

The fees that you pay AUB help provide the necessary services and training for you to complete your course. There are a number of different ways that you can pay for your tuition.

How to apply

Head to our online application form to apply directly to us. We encourage applications from students with a broad range of qualifications – we'll take into account the knowledge and skills that you've developed outside the classroom as well.

Careers in Illustration

As a graduate of AUB online’s MA Illustration, you’ll unlock a wide range of rewarding, creative career paths. Companies worldwide are seeking innovative minds who can help them achieve their sustainability goals. With our course’s unique emphasis on eco-consciousness, we’ll make sure you’re ready to meet this demand and drive positive environmental change. 

Equipped with a comprehensive skillset that covers both traditional and digital illustration, you’ll be capable of communicating your creative vision clearly and articulately. With the guidance our experts will give you, you’ll already have the vital tools in place: a creative CV, industry-ready portfolios, and an established online presence. 

Combining versatile entrepreneurial and marketing skills with a profound understanding of current industry challenges, you’ll have the confidence to establish yourself as a freelance independent illustrator. 

But of course, that’s just the first of many doors that you’ll open on completion of your studies. 

Here are just a few of the options you could pursue as an MA Illustration graduate: 

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Childrens' Book Illustrator
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Concept Artist
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Graphic Novelist
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Storyboard Artist
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Character Designer

You could also pursue opportunities in art direction and editorial illustration.

Video transcripts

Start your creative journey here.

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