Postgraduate ( full-time, part-time)
Intermediate awards: PG Cert, PG Dip
18 months or 3 semesters (full-time); 30 months or 5 semesters (part-time)
As we have limited places, we encourage applicants to apply by Monday 20 April. We will need to receive your application by this deadline and interviews will be held on 2-3 March, 5-6 May and 8-9 June. Please note that Bologna Children's Book Fair has now been cancelled, so we will no longer be able to conduct interviews there.
Full-time: Either Monday and Thursday or Tuesday and Friday, 9am to 3pm, plus additional events on Wednesdays, such as printmaking inductions, course lecture programme and social activities. You will be expected to treat the course as a full time job and complete your coursework independently for the rest of the week.
Part-time: Wednesdays, 9am to 3pm, plus occasional additional events after Wednesday teaching as above. You will be expected to set aside an additional 1-2 days per week to complete coursework independently.
Apply directly to ARU
Follow in the footsteps of acclaimed children’s artists by studying your Children’s Book Illustration MA degree at ARU. Work with a dedicated support team of internationally-recognised illustrators to develop your own personal visual vocabulary. Make connections in the children’s publishing industry.
Our Children's Book Illustration taught studio course, the first of its kind in the UK, was developed by our distinguished Professor Martin Salisbury, who still contributes to teaching on the course. It will give you the dedicated support and knowledge you need to develop your practice in the art of children’s book illustration.
Within the broad guidelines of each Children's Book Illustration module, you’ll propose and develop a project, with guidance from internationally recognised illustrators, writers and publishers of children's books. You’ll share and discuss your work with other students in group critiques, and attend lectures and seminars that will inform your studio practice.
Illustration at Anglia Ruskin is built on a tradition that goes back to the founding of the Cambridge School of Art in 1858. Our MA degree students work in dedicated illustration studios right next door to the Ruskin Gallery, with access to a fully equipped printmaking studio.
By studying your Children's Book Illustration degree at ARU, you’ll follow in the footsteps of alumni such as designer and war artist Edward Bawden, acclaimed graphic satirist Ronald Searle, and Roger Law and Peter Fluck, founders of the TV phenomenon Spitting Image.
Every Monday and Thursday or Tuesday and Friday, as well as Wednesday afternoons
Semester 1: Wednesday 9am-5pm
Semester 2: Wednesday 9am-5pm
Course Leader: Shelley Ann Jackson.
You might also be interested in our Children's Book Illustration Summer School as a taster for this Masters course.
Many of our past students now enjoy careers as freelance authors and illustrators for children. Among our published graduates are Paula Metcalf, Marta Altés, Nadia Shireen, Birgitta Sif, Rebecca Patterson and Jo Empson.
You may decide to take your work to a deeper level with a research degree, like our PhD Children’s Book Illustration.
You can show your work to leading publishing companies and literary agencies at our annual graduation exhibition, held at a venue in London before returning to our own Ruskin Gallery in Cambridge. You can also choose to take part in our student booth at the annual Bologna Children's Book Fair, where you can set appointments with publishers to show them your portfolio and dummy books, as well as attending lectures, workshops and parties.
Modules are subject to change and availability.
Throughout the course, you will be asked to create various projects, to reflect on the work you have created, and to research and apply that research to your own craft.
The Observation and Experiment module will be assessed 100% on portfolio and your own reference of your portfolio work. In the Sequential Image module, your portfolio will be worth 80% of your grade, and an essay makes up the other 20%. The Diploma Project module grade is based 90% on portfolio and 10% on a research proposal. Your Diploma Review thesis will be assessed 100% on your 6,000 word essay, while the Master's Stage Project will be assessed 90% on your project work and 10% on your written report.
As you advance through the course, you’ll learn to work progressively more independently, preparing you for life beyond graduation.
At Cambridge School of Art, we combine the traditions of our past with the possibilities afforded by the latest technologies.
Using our expertise and connections in Cambridge and beyond, we nurture creativity through experimentation and risk-taking to empower the makers and creators of the future.
Our academics excel at both practice and theory, making a real impact in their chosen fields, whether they are curating exhibitions, designing book covers or photographing communities in Africa. They are also regularly published in catalogues, books, journals and conference papers, their research classed as being of ‘international standing’, with some elements ‘world-leading’, in the most recent Research Excellence Framework.
You will work in dedicated illustration studios right next door to Ruskin Gallery.
As a Cambridge School of Art student, you can also receive access to, and full training in, all of our other industry-standard facilities. These include traditional letterpress and printmaking workshops as well as digital facilities such as animation and graphic design studios.
If you're a UK or EU student, you won't need to pay fees until you've accepted an offer to study with us – though you must pay your fees upfront, in full or in instalments.How to pay your fees directly
You can pay your fees upfront, in full or in two instalments. We will also ask you for a deposit of £4,000 or a sponsorship letter. Details will be in your offer letter.Paying your fees
It’s important to decide how to fund your course before applying. Use our finance guide for postgraduate students to learn more about postgraduate loans and other funding options.
We offer a fantastic range of ARU scholarships, which provide extra financial support while you're at university. Find out more about eligibility and how to apply.
You will be required to attend an interview of around 20 minutes, during which you will evidence your discussion with a portfolio or, if you are resident outside of the UK, an e-portfolio.
For more information on how to prepare and submit your portfolio please visit our portfolios and interviews page, or go straight to the detailed guidance for MA Children's Book Illustration portfolios.
Whether you're studying entirely online or through a blend of face-to-face and online learning in September 2020, you'll need a computer and reliable internet access to successfully engage with your course. Before starting the course, we recommend that you check our technical requirements for online learning.
We welcome applications from international and EU students, and accept a range of international qualifications.
If you don't meet our English language requirements, we offer a range of courses which could help you achieve the level required for entry.
If English is not your first language, you'll need to make sure you meet our English language requirements for postgraduate courses.
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