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MA Illustration Welcome Guide

Preparing for your course

We're delighted that you've chosen to join our creative community at Arts University Bournemouth. We can't wait to see what you'll create.

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 Course 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, Course Leader

Before you join us

There's no specific Pre-course Project set, but we'd 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. (2017). Becoming a Successful Illustrator. London: Bloomsbury.
  • 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

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
  • Smartphone
  • Digital Camera
  • Drawing paper – A3 or bigger (above 120 gsm) (Seawhite, Daler Rowney)
  • Sketchbooks ranging from A6 to A3. Aim for paper over 100 gsm. (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 e.g. Gouache, watercolour, acrylic (System 3, Daler Rowney, Winsor and Newton)
  • A range of markers of different thicknesses and colours (e.g. Posca pens)
  • Drawing inks
  • Tracing paper – A3

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 for you to join us at AUB – we can’t wait to see what you’ll create.

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Next Steps

Find out the useful dates and contact before you start here

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