Illustration and Animation MA

Study level: Postgraduate
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The Illustration and Animation MA aims to expand the digital and physical knowledge of your craft, helping you find your own ‘voice’ and style.

Year of entry

Location

Coventry University (Coventry)

Study mode

Full-time
Part-time

Duration

1 year full-time
2 years part-time
16-24 months (with professional experience)

Course code

AHT037

Start date

September 2024
January 2025
May 2025


Course overview

If you are seeking to enhance your professional portfolio and understanding of emerging practice, we offer a vibrant, creative community in which to progress your personal research and practice, in order to make your own unique contribution to illustrative and animated visual communication.

You’ll also be encouraged to develop a unique visual signature and a compelling visual voice that will help you to effectively communicate with intended audiences - both are essential for success in professional practice.

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Joint Top Modern University for Career Prospects

Guardian University Guide 2021 and 2022

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5 QS Stars for Teaching and Facilities

QS Stars University Ratings

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Top 5 UK Student City in England (Coventry)

QS Best Student Cities Index 2024

Why you should you study this course

  • This course provides illustrative and animated input into many areas of professional practice including the publishing, scientific, technical, marketing, publicity and advertising, medical and cultural arenas - all of which provide opportunities to help you stay abreast of emerging trends and the challenges of contemporary professional practice2.
  • This practice-based course provides opportunities2 to develop a broad range of traditional and digital skills, including drawing, etching, screen-printing, typography, film effects, and working with sound; all using industry-standard practices and toolsets.
  • Your studies will take place in a studio environment with access to our range of specialist facilities4, including laser cutters, 3D rapid prototyping, screen printing, computer suites and clay modelling to enable you to produce original informative artefacts.
  • Internationally acclaimed for their own creative practice, some of our faculty staff have exhibited in national and international locations and venues (staff are subject to change).
  • You will have the option to apply for a ‘professional experience’ opportunity2, designed to further develop your skills and knowledge with the aim of maximising your employability prospects. See modules for more information.

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Explore the work of our talented students
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What you'll study

The course explores illustration, publishing, photography, image generation and animation. We will help you achieve a deeper understanding of your role as a visual interpreter, the importance of adapting to market needs and to a developing field.

Through practical exploration and reflection of digital and traditionally physical forms, you will develop an appropriate synergy between practice and theory, establishing your specialist signature of work. Your final project will be tailored to your own area of professional practice and your personal creative passion, culminating with an exhibition of your work in the end-of-year MA Degree Show.

Modules

  • This module explores the nature and definitions of research in art, architecture and design-based disciplines. You are introduced to interdisciplinary research methods and ethical practices from a range of perspectives.

    Compulsory

  • This module aims to engage you with the concept of time as a creative element. You will be asked to address and include temporal aspects of visual imagery within your project work. The nature of time as a viewing space throughout history, and as related to scientific and philosophical discussion, will be considered relative to creative artefacts that are filmic, literal and pictorial.

    Compulsory

  • This module asks you to consider the professional contexts of your discipline. It explores the ways in which creativity, innovation, problem-solving and entrepreneurship intersect in creative practice. It employs real-world examples to enable you to think about your professional practice, employability, portfolio development and approaches to communication.

    Compulsory

  • This module aims to engage you with the concept of space, location, process and visualisation as creative elements. You will be asked to address, include and visualise aspects of the above within your project work. Relationships across physical, conceptual, personal and virtual spaces will be explored.

    Compulsory

  • This module explores the changing world of work which Arts and Humanities students enter after study. New technology and the changing global economy mean that jobs and skills are changing and evolving quickly and will continue to do so. This is an exciting and new world, and this module is designed to empower you to realise your potential in it.

    This module provides tools for you to develop into changemakers, thrive in a changing world of work and participate in creating a better future for society. You’ll be guided through a process of reflection that explores four possible futures for the world of work and how to situate your own professional identity as the future of work changes through your careers. This module is designed in collaboration with The RSA (Royal Society of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce), and upon successful completion students will receive RSA digital badging.

    Compulsory

  • This module requires you to detail the rationale, research, planning and production of your Illustration and Animation Final Project. The outcome will be a report that includes a description of your final project production with references to your research, creative practice, discourse and analysis.

    Compulsory

  • Within this module, you encounter the opportunity to employ all previously acquired techniques and methodologies in the creation of a final project production that allows for personal and professional decision-making, critical reflection and direction.

    Compulsory

With professional experience option

The professional experience opportunity2 enables you to apply for an optional professional experience in semester 1, which, upon successfully securing an opportunity, will extend the duration of your master’s to either 16, 20 or 24 months. The professional experience provides an opportunity for you to develop expertise and experience in your chosen field with the aim of enhancing your employability.

Please note that the optional professional experience modules incur an additional tuition fee3, which for 1 semester of professional experience is £1,333.33, for 2 semesters of professional experience is £2,666.67, and for 3 semesters of professional experience is £4,000.

Professional experience may also be subject to additional costs, visa requirements being met, subject to availability and/or competitive application. Professional experience opportunities are not guaranteed but you will benefit from the support of our Talent Team in trying to find and secure an opportunity. Find out more about the professional experience option.

We regularly review our course content, to make it relevant and current for the benefit of our students. For these reasons, course modules may be updated.


How you'll learn

Teaching methods include:

  • Lectures
  • Seminars
  • Tutorials
  • Presentations
  • Group projects
  • Workshops

This course can be offered on a part-time basis. While we would like to give you all the information about our part-time offering here, it is tailored for each course each year depending on the number of part-time applicants. Therefore, the part-time teaching arrangements vary. Request further information about part-time study.


Teaching contact hours

The number of full-time contact hours may vary from semester to semester, however, on average, it is likely to be around eight contact hours per week in the first year. The contact hours may be made up of a combination of face-to-face teaching, individual and group tutorials, and online classes and tutorials.

Additionally, you will be expected to undertake significant self-directed study of approximately 24 hours each week, depending on the demands of individual modules. In these hours you will be applying that knowledge to your ongoing assignments. Every student is different and manage workloads differently so this can vary across students and times of year.

Part of university life is undertaking self-directed learning (SDL). Across the course of the week you will have non ‘taught’ time that allows you to work independently to apply the skills you have learnt in taught or facilitated sessions to your projects or assignment briefs. This is particularly important in the school of art and design as it allows you to put into practice making in workshop and studio spaces.

This self-directed learning allows you to monitor and self-evaluate your development and how best to manage this time to best impact your creative work. SDL is key to designing and making as it is a process that takes discipline and repetition. This mode of learning under pins our community of practice approach.

The contact hours may be made up of a combination of face-to-face teaching, individual and group tutorials, and online classes and tutorials.

As an innovative and enterprising institution, the university may seek to utilise emerging technologies within the student experience. For all courses (whether on-campus, blended, or distance learning), the university may deliver certain contact hours and assessments via online technologies and methods.

Since COVID-19, we have delivered our courses in a variety of forms, in line with public authority guidance, decisions, or orders and we will continue to adapt our delivery as appropriate. Whether on campus or online, our key priority is staff and student safety.


Assessment

This course will be assessed using a variety of methods which will vary depending upon the module.

Assessment methods include:

  • Group work
  • Presentations
  • Portfolio
  • Projects
  • Coursework
  • Individual assignments

The Coventry University Group assessment strategy ensures that our courses are fairly assessed and allows us to monitor student progression towards achieving the intended learning outcomes.


Entry requirements

Typical offer for 2024/25 entry.

Applicants should ideally hold an honours degree 2:2 or above (or its international equivalent) in a Graphics/Design discipline.

We recognise a breadth of qualifications; speak to one of our advisers today to find out how we can help you.

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Portfolio

No portfolio will be required if the academic qualifications in the subject area as defined above are met.

If a portfolio is required it should feature a maximum of approximately 10-15 examples of work or three to four projects undertaken within the past two years. These should be substantial, in-depth projects which demonstrate the ability to conceptualise solutions to creative problems and to assimilate and combine written language or content with the visual. This will clearly demonstrate the level of creative, craft and production skills achieved, either in a previous course of study or in a professional design studio, as a freelance designer or during an internship.

Projects should ideally be accompanied by a brief summary of the work or projects, notes on the software used, and dated.

Select your region to find detailed information about entry requirements:

You can view our full list of country specific entry requirements on our Entry requirements page.

Alternatively, visit our International hub for further advice and guidance on finding in-country agents and representatives, joining our in-country events and how to apply.

Typical entry requirements

Applicants should ideally hold an honours degree 2:2 or above (or its international equivalent) in a Graphics/Design discipline.

Portfolio

No portfolio will be required if the academic qualifications in the subject area as defined above are met.

If a portfolio is required it should feature a maximum of approximately 10-15 examples of work or three to four projects undertaken within the past two years. These should be substantial, in-depth projects which demonstrate the ability to conceptualise solutions to creative problems and to assimilate and combine written language or content with the visual. This will clearly demonstrate the level of creative, craft and production skills achieved, either in a previous course of study or in a professional design studio, as a freelance designer or during an internship.

Projects should ideally accompanied by a brief summary of the work or projects, notes on the software used, and dated.

English language requirements

  • IELTS: 6.5 overall (with at least 5.5 in each component area)

If you don't meet the English language requirements, you can achieve the level you need by successfully completing a pre-sessional English programme before you start your course.

For more information on our approved English language tests visit our English language requirements page.

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Fees and funding

2024/25 tuition fees.

Student Full-time Part-time
UK, Ireland*, Channel Islands or Isle of Man £11,200 | £15,200 (with prof. experience)   Request fee information
EU £11,200 | £15,200 (with prof. experience) per year with EU support bursary**
£18,600 | £22,600 (with prof. experience) per year without EU support bursary**
Not available
International £18,600 | £22,600 (with prof. experience)   Not available

For advice and guidance on tuition fees3 and student loans visit our Postgraduate Finance page.

We offer a range of international scholarships to students all over the world. For more information, visit our International Scholarships page.

Tuition fees3 cover the cost of your teaching, assessments, facilities and support services. There may be additional costs not covered by this fee such as accommodation and living costs, recommended reading books, stationery, printing and re-assessments should you need them.

The following are additional costs not included in the tuition fees:

  • Any optional overseas field trips or visits: £400+ per trip.
  • Any costs associated with securing, attending or completing a placement (whether in the UK or abroad).

*Irish student fees

The rights of Irish residents to study in the UK are preserved under the Common Travel Area arrangement. If you are an Irish student and meet the residency criteria, you can study in England, pay the same level of tuition fees as English students and utilise the Tuition Fee Loan.

**EU support bursary

Following the UK's exit from the European Union, we are offering financial support to all eligible EU students who wish to study an undergraduate or a postgraduate degree with us full-time. This bursary will be used to offset the cost of your tuition fees to bring them in line with that of UK students. Students studying a degree with a foundation year with us are not eligible for the bursary.

  • We carry out an initial fee status assessment based on the information you provide in your application. Your fee status determines your tuition fees, and what financial support and scholarships may be available to you. The rules about who pays UK (home) or international (overseas) fees for higher education courses in England are set by the government's Department for Education. The regulations identify all the different categories of student who can insist on paying the home rate. The regulations can be difficult to understand, so the UK Council for International Student Affairs (UKCISA) has provided fee status guidance to help you identify whether you are eligible to pay the home or overseas rate.

    If you meet all the criteria required by any one category, including any residence requirements, your institution must charge you the home rate. You only need to find one category that you fit into.


Facilities

Our aim is to offer you sector-leading facilities in a dedicated environment4.

BAME male student working on multiple computer monitors

Games Technology lab

Our gaming lab is a technological paradise, equipped with high-end gaming PCs that have all of the industry-standard software necessary for your course4. It also houses virtual reality game development and motion capture technology.

A student working in a printing studio

Printing Studio

We have print pressers dating back to when we first started as Coventry School of Art and Design back in 1843. This studio consists of two studio spaces for all printing needs from screen printing to etching4.

Delia Derbyshire building

Delia Derbyshire Building

The Delia Derbyshire complex includes a hyper studio designed for cross-disciplinary projects and immersive studios with cutting-edge virtual reality and mixed-reality technologies for students across all disciplines to collaborate on projects together, a gallery space and an events atrium.


Careers and opportunities

Upon successful completion, you will be able to:

  • demonstrate through practice, an advanced understanding of the creative production of animation and illustration genres
  • analyse problems of a creative nature and provide appropriate solutions
  • describe, interpret and evaluate artefacts, artworks, designs and events from a range of critical perspectives, taking account of the context of their production, consumption and critical positioning
  • research and synthesise information to make presentations
  • prepare a working brief in keeping with the creative business practices associated with the field
  • apply with a high degree of confidence and mastery the conceptual and practical elements of hybrid techniques as appropriate
  • participate in, and engage with practice surrounding new and traditional media
  • engage creatively when applying differing and various media and techniques in the pursuit of a successful answer to client/brief requirements
  • engage with the needs of a client which aids both client and practitioner to create a successful brief.

National and international graduate career prospects are many and varied and include education, curation, film and television, games disciplines, print and publishing, animation, film, scientific and technical illustration, storyboarding and character generation in 2D and 3D for traditional and emergent media.

We help you develop a wide range of transferrable skills associated with the use of information gathering, communication technology, professional practice, time management, project management and self-promotion. This could open up career opportunities that include education, television production and web-based media. You may also wish to continue your studies at PhD level or establish a freelance business.

Where our graduates work

Some of our recent graduates have gone on to work in games-based, scientific, televisual and educational areas.


How to apply

  • Coventry University together with Coventry University London, Coventry University Wrocław, CU Coventry, CU London, CU Scarborough, and Coventry University Online come together to form part of the Coventry University Group (the University) with all degrees awarded by Coventry University.

    1Accreditations

    The majority of our courses have been formally recognised by professional bodies, which means the courses have been reviewed and tested to ensure they reach a set standard. In some instances, studying on an accredited course can give you additional benefits such as exemptions from professional exams (subject to availability, fees may apply). Accreditations, partnerships, exemptions and memberships shall be renewed in accordance with the relevant bodies’ standard review process and subject to the university maintaining the same high standards of course delivery.

    2UK and international opportunities

    Please note that we are unable to guarantee any UK or international opportunities (whether required or optional) such as internships, work experience, field trips, conferences, placements or study abroad opportunities and that all such opportunities may be unpaid and/or subject to additional costs (which could include, but is not limited to, equipment, materials, bench fees, studio or facilities hire, travel, accommodation and visas), competitive application, availability and/or meeting any applicable travel, public authority guidance, decisions or orders and visa requirements. To ensure that you fully understand any visa requirements, please contact the International Office.

    3Tuition fees

    The University will charge the tuition fees that are stated in the above table for the first Academic Year of study. The University will review tuition fees each year. For UK (home) students, if Parliament permit an increase in tuition fees, the University may increase fees for each subsequent year of study in line with any such changes. Note that any increase is expected to be in line with inflation.

    For international students, we may increase fees each year, but such increases will be no more than 5% above inflation. If you defer your course start date or have to extend your studies beyond the normal duration of the course (e.g. to repeat a year or resit examinations) the University reserves the right to charge you fees at a higher rate and/or in accordance with any legislative changes during the additional period of study.

    4Facilities

    Facilities are subject to availability. Access to some facilities (including some teaching and learning spaces) may vary from those advertised and/or may have reduced availability or restrictions where the university is following public authority guidance, decisions or orders.

    Student Contract

    By accepting your offer of a place and enrolling with us, a Student Contract will be formed between you and the university. A copy of the current 2023/2024 contract is available on the website for information purposes however the 2024/25 Contract is currently being updated so please revisit this page before submitting your application. The Contract details your rights and the obligations you will be bound by during your time as a student and contains the obligations that the university will owe to you. You should read the Contract before you accept an offer of a place and before you enrol at the university.

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