For 2020–21, we have made some changes to how the teaching and assessment of this programme are delivered. Find out more
Immerse yourself in exploring professional and practical approaches to children’s book illustration.
Why study MA Children’s Literature: Children’s Book Illustration?
• Refine your practical illustration skills and ideas by working on projects that focus on materials and their combination, colour, tone, creating atmosphere, addressing the reader, and the relation of illustration to text. At the end of the programme you'll have the opportunity to exhibit your work.
• You won't only develop your practical skills. We draw on both professional and critical perspectives from art and education, cultural studies, design, and sociology to deliver a comprehensive and interdisciplinary approach to the subject of illustration. We'll expect you to interrogate the power relations that determine what is published, distributed and selected to be read by children in schools.
• You'll study a bespoke module in children’s publishing that will help you with promoting your work and establishing dialogues with designers, editors and agents. You'll also have the chance to benefit from exposure to professional networks such as the Association of Illustrators, guest lectures from established illustrators and visits to illustration studios.
• You'll be taught by leading teaching staff, including established children’s authors and illustrators.
Contact the department
If you have specific questions about the degree, contact Bruce Ingman.
What you'll study
For 2020–21, we have made some changes to how the teaching and assessment of certain programmes are delivered. To check what changes affect this programme, please visit the Programme Changes page
The compulsory modules of this degree cover both the theoretical and the practical aspects of illustrating for children’s literature, with a module dedicated to learning the skills needed to successfully navigate the world of children’s publishing as a freelance illustrator.
|Compulsory Modules||Module title||Credits|
|Children’s Literature, Culture and Diversity||30 credits|
|Children's Book Illustration Practice||30 credits|
|Children's Publishing||30 credits|
|Children's Book Illustration: Final Project||60 credits|
In addition to the compulsory modules, you will also have the opportunity to tailor your studies to your personal interests by choosing a 30 credit option module from the Department of Educational Studies, such as:
|Optional Modules||Module title||Credits|
|Children's Literature in Action||30 credits|
|Race, Culture and Education||30 credits|
|Early Childhood in a Diverse Society||30 credits|
|Revisiting Practice||30 credits|
Some of these modules are also available to be taken as part of a Continuing Professional Development (CPD) programme.
Please note that due to staff research commitments not all of these modules may be available every year.
For direct entry onto the degree, you should have or expect to achieve an undergraduate degree of at least upper second class standard in a relevant area such as graphic design, illustration or art, or have equivalent professional experience. You will also be required to provide a portfolio as part of your application.
If you do not have an existing background in illustration we may offer you a place on a pre-sessional conversion course. This will cover foundational elements of illustration, including observational and sequential drawing, introduction to materials, and the psychology of pictorial reading.
International students also have the option to study English language as part of the pre-sessional programme.
Successful completion of the programme will lead to entry onto the MA Children’s Literature: Children’s Illustration.
We accept a wide range of international qualifications. Find out more about the qualifications we accept from around the world.
If English isn’t your first language, you will need an IELTS score (or equivalent English language qualification) of 6.5 with a 6.5 in writing and no element lower than 6.0 to study this programme. If you need assistance with your English language, we offer a range of courses that can help prepare you for postgraduate-level study.
Fees, funding & scholarships
Annual tuition fees
These are the fees for students starting their programme in the 2021/2022 academic year.
- Home - full-time: £8990
- Home - part-time: £4495
- International - full-time: £19660
It’s not currently possible for international students to study part-time if you require a Tier 4 student visa, however this is currently being reviewed and will be confirmed in the new year. Please read our visa guidance in the interim for more information. If you think you might be eligible to study part-time while being on another visa type, please contact our Admissions Team for more information.
If you are looking to pay your fees please see our guide to making a payment.
In addition to your tuition fees, you'll be responsible for any additional costs associated with your course, such as buying stationery and paying for photocopying. You can find out more about what you need to budget for on our study costs page.
There may also be specific additional costs associated with your programme. This can include things like paying for field trips or specialist materials for your assignments. Please check the programme specification for more information.
Find out more about postgraduate fees and explore funding opportunities. If you're applying for funding, you may be subject to an application deadline.
How to apply
You apply directly to Goldsmiths using our online application system.
Before submitting your application you’ll need to have:
- Details of your education history, including the dates of all exams/assessments
- The email address of your referee who we can request a reference from, or alternatively an electronic copy of your academic reference
- A personal statement – this can either be uploaded as a Word Document or PDF, or completed online
- A portfolio showcasing your levels of skill and creative attributes. The portfolio should include between six to sixteen examples of previous illustrative or drawn work. The work in the portfolio should represent your visual practice, both commissioned and unpublished, and can include pieces such as finished or preparatory drawings, storyboards, character development, animated sequences. Translations for any examples provided in another language would be helpful. We prefer to see links to your portfolio, so it can be viewed online. Alternatively, media may be sent direct to the Media, Communications and Cultural Studies department, marked for the attention of the PG Co-coordinators but please note they are non-returnable.
- If available, an electronic copy of your educational transcript (this is particularly important if you have studied outside of the UK, but isn’t mandatory)
You'll be able to save your progress at any point and return to your application by logging in using your username/email and password.
When to apply
We accept applications from October for students wanting to start the following September.
We encourage you to complete your application as early as possible, even if you haven't finished your current programme of study. It's very common to be offered a place that is conditional on you achieving a particular qualification.
Late applications will only be considered if there are spaces available.
If you're applying for funding, you may be subject to an earlier application deadline.
Admission to many programmes is by interview, unless you live outside the UK. Occasionally, we'll make candidates an offer of a place on the basis of their application and qualifications alone.
Find out more about applying.
As a graduate of the MA in Children’s Literature: Children’s Illustration you will have the skills and knowledge to succeed as a freelance children’s illustrator. In addition to honing your understanding and practice of children’s illustration, this degree will provide you with the professional skills to enter the industry with confidence.
Throughout the course you will benefit from the expertise and networks of renowned practitioners. The Children’s Publishing module will develop your knowledge of the sector and your professional skills, while the degree show and visits to London book fairs to meet publishers and agents will provide you with a platform to build professional relationships in the industry. You will also benefit from Goldsmiths’ networks with other institutions such as the Association of Illustrators.
Children’s Illustration at Goldsmiths draws on the expertise of renowned children’s authors and illustrators, as well as leading academic staff within the Departments of Educational Studies and Media, Communications and Cultural Studies.
Children’s authors and illustrators who currently contribute to teaching in the departments include Colin McNaughton, Bruce Ingman, Katherine Smales, and Professor of Children’s Literature, Michael Rosen.