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MA Illustration Welcome Guide - Overview
Your Welcome Guide

We're delighted to have you join us at Arts University Bournemouth, and hope that your time here will be rewarding, challenging, creative and enjoyable.

Welcome to the MA Illustration course

This welcome pack is designed to give you an idea of what to expect during the first weeks of your course. Please take the time to read it carefully and take particular note of the pre-course preparation. We hope that you'll enjoy a happy and productive time with us, and we look forward to meeting you.

A message from your Award Leader


I would like to welcome you to Arts University Bournemouth as a postgraduate student for this academic year. The nature of the course offers significant opportunities for you to think beyond your chosen discipline of Illustration to draw out connections with other areas of art and design, as well as wider discourses and debates. The cultural and social diversity of our student cohorts within the Graduate School, enriches the sharing of ideas and experience.

I hope that you are excited by the prospect of the challenges and rewards such a period of advanced study will bring. There is no specific pre-course project set but I would encourage all new students to be drawing, taking photographs and producing imagery on a daily basis over the vacation. We value creative risk-taking, open-mindedness and curiosity. Come ready to immerse yourself from the outset by engaging in the full breadth of learning activities and embracing the rich community of practice our course supports.

- Lisa Richardson, Award Leader

Before you join us

There is no specific Pre-course Project set but I would encourage all new students to be drawing, taking photographs and producing imagery on a daily basis over the vacation.

In preparation for your period in Postgraduate Study and as a means to introducing you to the approaches for research at this level, we suggest that you read the following:

  • Brazell, D., & Davies, J. (2013). Understanding Illustration. London: A. & C. Black.
  • Kress, G. (2010). Multimodality: A Social Semiotic Approach to Contemporary Communication. London: Routledge.
  • Rees, D. (2014). How to be an Illustrator. 2nd ed. London: Laurence King.
  • Zeegen, L. (2011). The Fundamentals of Illustration. 2nd ed. Lausanne: AVA Academia.

  • Varoom Magazine

If you read one thing before you arrive, we recommend...

Becoming a Successful Illustrator

Brazell, D., & Davies, J.(2017)

What to bring on your first day

Notepad, pens and any enrolment requirements.

You may wish to equip yourself with the following prior to arrival:

  • Hard drive
  • Smart phone
  • Digital Camera
  • Drawing paper – A3 or bigger (above 120gsm) (Seawhite, Daler Rowney)
  • Sketchbooks ranging from A6 to A3. Aim for paper over 100gsm. (Seawhite, Fabriano, Daler Rowney, Moleskine).
  • Drawing pencils ranging from B to 9B (Derwent Graphic)
  • Charcoal sticks - mixed box of thicknesses (not compressed)
  • Paintbrushes in different thicknesses (Winsor & Newton, System 3)
  • Selection of paints eg. Gouache, watercolour, acrylic (System 3, Daler Rowney, Winsor & Newton)
  • A range of markers of different thicknesses and colours (eg. Posca pens)
  • Drawing inks
  • Tracing paper – A3

Throughout the pandemic, access to the MA Illustration studio has been directed by government advice, ensuring that students can use it safely whenever possible. However, most learning materials and delivery can now be accessed online.

The Studio is equipped with a range of basic materials and equipment including paper, paints, inks, pencils, brushes, cutting mats, guillotine, scanners, printer and Apple Macs.

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We're delighted to have you join us at Arts University Bournemouth
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Next Steps

Find out the useful dates and contact before you start here
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We are looking forward to welcoming you to MA Illustration this year in just a few weeks!