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MA Graphic Novels and Children’s Book Illustration University of Cumbria




Course info


Course overview

If you have a passion for drawing and telling stories, then this masters’ programme is for you. The course brings together two distinct visual fields, the comic-strip novel and the illustrated picture book, to explore a range of practical and theoretical approaches to visual expression and sequential storytelling.

The programme has been designed in consultation with external partners, the Lakes International Comic Art Festival (LICAF). As a student on the course, you will gain insight into the contemporary publishing landscape, be inspired by leading practitioners and academic staff who are published in the field. You will learn what it takes to create meaningful visual stories which resonate with audiences and readers.

Throughout the programme you will foster and refine your practical ideas and skills, working either individually or collaboratively on short or extended project briefs, towards a sustained portfolio of professional practice. This degree invites you to consider critical issues pertaining to storytelling and readership, including the dynamic between text and image, negotiating spatial relationships, the mediating hand of the artist, ideological concerns and the wider cultural context in which graphic novels and children’s books are produced, disseminated and interpreted.

This taught MA is tailored towards students progressing from undergraduate arts studies and mid-career professionals wishing to advance or diversify their studio practice. The programme is available in both full and part-time modes of study and follows a trimester structure over a full calendar year, culminating in a public exhibition of MA project work in late August. The part-time route will follow the full-time programme but over two calendar years allowing students to engage with the full-time cohort but only undertake a proportion of the taught sessions and project briefs.

Course summary

Our working environment works to cultivate practical and theoretical expertise to help your versatility in creative media. We encourage innovative, conceptual approaches to visual storytelling though a structured timetable of theoretical lectures, practical workshops, student led seminars, visiting speakers, action based and experiential research, self-directed and tutorial-based learning.

Cultural and visual discourse is taught at all levels, displaying the important synthesis between theory and studio practice. You'll fully engage in these processes to develop self-awareness and embed skills to advance your professional progression and life-long learning.

Course options

Here are the different ways in which you can study MA Graphic Novels and Children’s Book Illustration.

Full Time (1 year)

Tuition fees

£12,800.00 (13,19,927) per year

£1,422 per 20 credit module.

*Price shown is for indicative purpose, please check with institution




Carlisle - Brampton Road

Brampton Road,



CA3 9AY, England

Entry requirement for international students

Students need to have 1st or 2nd class honours degree. Students with other qualifications may be admitted to the course, please contact the Enquiry Centre for further details. Accreditation of Prior Learning (APL) may be considered for relevant prior learning at the same academic level. A good first degree (2.1 or above) in Art, Design, Media and performance related subject; for overseas applicants appropriate equivalence will apply. Applicants may be asked to attend an interview in person or via Skype. IELTS 6.5 (with at least 5.5 in each component).

* Please check with your chosen school for the exact entry requirements for your programme.

Contact University of Cumbria

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