- MA Design (Illustration)
- Bath School of Design
- Campus or location
- Locksbrook Campus
- Course length
- One year full-time.
Entry requirements for our postgraduate courses vary. We're generally looking for a good honours degree or equivalent.
Some courses also require an interview or the submission of a portfolio of work.
Please contact our admissions team for more information: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Create your signature visual language with our Master’s in Illustration.
- Develop your drawing practice through exciting professional illustration projects.
- Learn from accomplished design professionals and receive excellent academic and technical support.
- Benefit from dedicated studio spaces and excellent workshop and print facilities.
This is a practical postgraduate course in Illustration, grounded in professional development and research. You’ll produce illustration projects in a collaborative and creative environment, working with and alongside students of Visual Communication, Photography, and other Design and Fine Art specialisms.
You’ll build a strong professional context for your practice, and receive excellent academic and technical support from specialist practitioners, technical demonstrators, designers, researchers, theorists, professors and lecturers.
On successful completion of the course, your increased confidence and abilities will be clearly evident in the portfolios you’ve developed, and you'll be ready to move into industry or to continue to further study.
What you'll learn
Working alongside other postgraduate students from Textiles, Visual Communication, Graphics and Fine Art, you’ll develop your own projects while undertaking practice-led research, theory and professional practice modules.
Specialist tutors and technicians will guide your progress, supporting you to create your own approach and make your outcomes more successful.
You'll use subject-specific studios and workshops and have access to specialist software and computers. Our excellent art and design library provides access to books, ebooks, magazines and periodicals and is supported by a dedicated team.
The year-long Design Master’s culminates in a public exhibition. Our aim is for you to graduate with a broad, informed outlook, a genuine confidence in your abilities and the professional skills necessary to succeed in your chosen specialism.
This Design Master’s runs over one year and is divided into three trimesters.
We encourage playfulness and risk-taking, and ask you to respond to a range of instructions in ways that will allow you to interrogate how you work – without threatening your approach. Right from the start, you'll begin to gather primary and secondary research that will feed into your assessments. We introduce a range of key issues in design and communication practice and allow you to explore how your specialist approach relates to the wider field. You’ll also begin to develop your professional practice skills such as marketing, social media, IT, collaborative working and exhibition installation.
Maintaining an experimental approach, you'll begin to narrow your focus. Academic staff will help you evaluate your development and refine your work to support the project outcome. You’ll be encouraged to pay greater attention to the way in which your project functions and engages its audience. Technical staff will support you to bring your project to a level appropriate for the assessment submission.
A self-directed, double practice module leads to your final Degree Show. You’ll establish a line of enquiry, working to a proposal of your devising, which positions your work within your specialist discipline. You’ll work in the studio with increasing independence to produce a body of work that demonstrates your now advanced knowledge and understanding of your professional practice.
This course includes or offers the following modules. Please check the programme document for more information on which modules are core, required or optional.
- Research Methods
- Theory and Professional Context
- Practice 1 (Design)
- Research Practice
- Theory and Professional Practices
- Practice 2 (Design)
- Master's Project (Illustration)
Your progress is evaluated by formative assessment (throughout the duration of the course) and summative assessment (at the end of each trimester), through a mixture of exhibitions, verbal/visual presentations, research folders/blogs and written assignments.
You’ll learn through lectures, talks, taught sessions, individual and group tutorials, and studio critiques and seminars.
Visiting lecturers, and seminars with external professionals and internationally renowned designers and artists, will help you determine where your current practice sits within the industry.
Our collaborative structure also means that you’ll learn from each other – for instance, Illustration or Textiles students might engage in debates with Fine Art students.
Technical Demonstrators, who manage our workshop facilities, provide teaching and support across a wide range of subject specialisms. Your learning is also supported by specialist librarians.
To find out more about how we teach and how you'll learn, please read our Learning and Teaching Delivery Statement.
Online gallery of student work
Check out some of our student work from both the MA Fine Art and MA Design programmes at Bath Spa.
When permitted, Bath School of Art, Film and Media offers fieldwork opportunities throughout the academic year.
Careers opportunities encompass skills such as book illustration, graphic and digital design, research and teaching, and roles include:
- Graphic Designer
- Art Director
- Multimedia Artist
- Set and Exhibit Designer
Develop a wealth of indispensable digital skills that you can take into your future career. One of only three Adobe Creative Campuses in the UK, we provide all Bath Spa students with access to the full Adobe Creative Suite, giving you the tools to communicate creatively, whatever your course or chosen professional field.
Facilities and resources
You’ll benefit from access to comprehensive digital workshops and specialist art and design facilities, including:
- Our student service point at Locksbrook where you can purchase subsidised art and design materials, hire out equipment for free and collect Library resources
- Access to our well-stocked Library at Newton Park
- Specialist technical workshops across all of art and design
- Access to studio space where you can work on projects and refine your practice
Locksbrook Campus is a Grade II listed building designed by Nicholas Grimshaw in 1976. It has now been transformed into an innovative, open plan space, redesigned to meet 21st century environmental standards, with technical workshops surrounded by flexible studio spaces and large social areas.
Locksbrook has received both a RIBA South West Award 2021 and RIBA National Award 2021, recognising and celebrating what an amazingly inspirational space it is to come together to design, make, do, create and learn in.
Please note: Students from the EU, EEA and Switzerland are not generally eligible for the UK (Home) fee status. Please refer to the international student rate. Irish citizens and those granted Settled status under the EU Settlement Scheme are eligible for UK (Home) fee status. There are also other circumstances where this may apply: See UKCISA for more information.
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|2026/27 entry||Published Jan 2025|
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Interested in applying?
We're looking for energetic and self-motivated individuals who can work on their own but also see the value in working in collaboration with others. They should enjoy asking questions and solving creative problems.
You’ll need a good undergraduate degree in a design, visual communication or art specialism, or its equivalent in terms of learning or experience, and a good working knowledge of design, visual communication or art contexts.
Fundamentally, you’ll be selected on your ability to thrive on this course, as demonstrated by your portfolio and interview.
Ready to apply? Click the "apply now" button in the centre of this page.
Need more guidance? Head to our how to apply webpages.
Interviews can be conducted onsite or online with a digital portfolio.
Want to apply for this year?
Many of our postgraduate courses have a limited number of student spaces. To avoid the disappointment of the course being full, we recommend that you apply now.
Late applications (generally those made after 31 July) will only be considered if places remain on the course.
Need more information or still have questions? Contact us to discuss your situation.
Course Leader: Andrew Southall
Illustrated images: Luke Waller, MA Visual Communication