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)
Every Monday and Thursday or Tuesday and Friday, as well as Wednesday afternoons
Semester 1: Wednesday 9am-5pm
Semester 2: Wednesday 9am-5pm
Follow in the footsteps of acclaimed children’s artists. 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.
This taught studio course, 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 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 students work in dedicated illustration studios right next door to the Ruskin Gallery, with access to a fully equipped printmaking studio.
By studying with us, 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.
Course Leader: Shelley Ann Jackson.
You might also be interested in our Children's Book Illustration Summer School as a taster for this Master's 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.
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, with access to all of Cambridge School of Art's other facilities and full training provided. These include traditional letterpress and printmaking workshops as well as digital facilities such as animation and graphic design studios.
You won't need to pay fees until you've accepted an offer to attend, but you must pay your fees up-front, in full or in instalments.How to pay your fees directly
You must pay your fees up-front, in full or in instalments. You will also be asked for a deposit or sponsorship letter/financial guarantee. 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.
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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