2025/26 entry Applications also open for 2024/25

MA Graphic Design and Illustration | Part-time

Start date(s):
Study mode:
Course duration:
2 years

Tuition fees

Home part-time per credit
General enquiries:
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About this course

LJMU's MA in Graphic Design and Illustration advances your artistic development and helps you become a critically engaged practitioner.

  • Develop your work in state-of-the-art workspaces and facilities
  • Benefit from close links with industry and local creative agencies and professionals
  • Visit key graphic design industry events
  • Build a graphic design and illustration portfolio through collaborative projects with local festivals and creative ventures
  • The 2022 Liverpool School of Art and Design MA Online Degree Show
  • View and engage with work produced by masters students from the Liverpool School of Art & Design
  • Take advantage of the generous Michael Pugh Thomas and Julia Carter Preston Legacy £1000 scholarships offered to postgraduate applicants
  • This course invites you to benefit from the tutelage of our industry networked academic team, dedicated to creating opportunities for you and the development of your artistic crossover projects.

    The MA focuses on the cultural shifts at the centre of a rapidly moving Graphic Design and Illustration industry. It has been specially designed to place craft and production activities firmly at the heart of its research and your development experience.

    You will examine and explore the role of independent visual practice within the context of an ever-increasing interdisciplinary profession.

    You will be expected to develop personal practice that challenges traditional perspectives on both Graphic Design and Illustration disciplines while, at the same time, engaging with industry partners that have established profiles in commercial practice. A particular emphasis will be placed on challenging and exploring media as a method of developing your professional practice and realising your career ambitions.

    Programmes from the School of Art and Design are fully collaborative aiming for cross-disciplinary practice across our suite of postgraduate subject areas: Architecture, Exhibition Studies, Art and Design, Fashion Innovation and Realisation, Graphic Design and Illustration, Fine Art and Urban Design. As a student you will creatively practice and network with a wide range of fellow students and a broad set of ideas and concepts.

    Melissa Goodrich is studying MA Graphic Design and Illustration. Talking about the course, Melissa said: "The degree has helped me establish my practice and narrow down my skillset. I want to work in TV and Film as a graphic designer, as it's such a huge passion of mine. The facilities available to students have aided my practice, like being able to use the laser cutter to create my own vintage style stamps. The module 'collaborative practice' seemed to be the most daunting, sharing your ideas with someone else can be quite scary. But I found it the most rewarding experience."

Fees and funding

There are many ways to fund postgraduate study for home and international students


The fees quoted at the top of this page cover registration, tuition, supervision, assessment and examinations as well as:

  • library membership with access to printed, multimedia and digital resources
  • access to programme-appropriate software
  • library and student IT support
  • free on-campus wifi via eduroam

Additional costs

Although not all of the following are compulsory/relevant, you should keep in mind the costs of:

  • accommodation and living expenditure
  • books (should you wish to have your own copies)
  • printing, photocopying and stationery
  • PC/laptop (should you prefer to purchase your own for independent study and online learning activities)
  • mobile phone/tablet (to access online services)
  • field trips (travel and activity costs)
  • placements (travel expenses and living costs)
  • student visas (international students only)
  • study abroad opportunities (travel costs, accommodation, visas and immunisations)
  • academic conferences (travel costs)
  • professional-body membership
  • graduation (gown hire etc)


There are many ways to fund postgraduate study for home and international students. From loans to International Scholarships and subject-specific funding, you’ll find all of the information you need on our specialist postgraduate funding pages.

Please be aware that the UK’s departure from the EU may affect your tuition fees. Learn more about your fee status and which tuition fees are relevant to you.


Further your career prospects

LJMU has an excellent employability record with 96% (HESA 2018) of our postgraduates in work or further study six months after graduation. Our applied learning techniques and strong industry connections ensure our students are fully prepared for the workplace on graduation and understand how to apply their knowledge in a real world context.

This Masters is wholly geared towards facilitating a practical understanding of how you might exploit your own practice in the professional sphere. You are encouraged to engage with the networks which you are exposed to during the course to further your employment and career opportunities.

On graduation you will be able to pursue a variety of careers in the established professions of graphic design and illustration. You will be equipped for traditional roles in graphics studios and creative agencies such as Senior Designer, Art Director, Studio Manager and Production Manager.

The programme will also prepare you for self-employment and entrepreneurial ventures - ideal for those interested in pursuing an independent creative practice.

The student experience

Discover life as a postgraduate student at LJMU.

Course modules

Discover the building blocks of your programme

Your programme is made up of a number of core modules which are part of the course framework. Some programmes also have optional modules that can be selected to enhance your learning in certain areas and many feature a dissertation, extended report or research project to demonstrate your advanced learning.

Core modules

Research and Practice 1
30 credits

This module is shared by all students studying on taught postgraduate programmes at Liverpool School of Art and Design and allows you to collaborate across programmes.

  • A series of lectures, seminars, tutorials and visits will introduce you to current and emerging practice in relation to a diverse range of historical, theoretical and critical principles
  • Guest lecturers will expose you to areas of collaboration
  • Seminars and tutorials will require you to share, discuss and evaluate your ideas and practice with others

Research and Practice 2 (Graphic Design and Illustration)
30 credits

This module requires you to produce an illustrated and designed written project of 6000-8000 words (or equivalent) relating to your specific research interests and/or relevant to a specific area of design. It enables you to:

  • build on the research and critical skills acquired in other areas of the programme
  • explore various modes of articulating and presenting ideas within written and visual forms

Transdisciplinary Practice
30 credits

This module intends to promote in depth investigation into contemporary creative practices and provide, through the possibilities of transdisciplinary participation in live Institute of Art and Technology research projects, an understanding of the social, cultural and economic environment of the city.

Within the module, you will facilitate an engagement with cultural and regulatory institutions and organisations to enrich your experience of the professional environment of contemporary urban art and design.

Through key Institute of Art and Technology projects and partnerships, a range of transdisciplinary projects which challenge the notion of the interdisciplinary practice within the context of contemporary art & design, and which enable you to propose, plan, organise, publish and promote your work and research within the context of The Institute of Art and Design.

Studio Practice (Graphic Design and Illustration)
30 credits

Studio Practice encompasses a broad range of approaches to producing graphic design and illustration. It aims to:

  • help you develop and challenge your practice and locate it within contemporary graphic design and Illustration practice
  • enable you to undertake self-initiated or set projects that demonstrate a high level of engagement with technical processes and production methods
  • provide the opportunity to present work which demonstrates and enhances your practice

Major Project (Graphic Design and Illustration)
60 credits

This module helps students develop a self-directed and comprehensive body of work, enhancing project planning and organization to deliver a final published project. It emphasizes critical engagement, creativity, technical skills, and presentation abilities, preparing students for professional practice.


An insight into teaching on your course

Study hours

The majority of your taught contact time will take place on a Tuesday and Friday, with an intensive period of teaching at the beginning of semester one as you commence the Collaborative Practice module. This unique module brings together students from across each of the School's postgraduate degrees.

Teaching methods

Teaching is individually tailored to each student. Your week will be divided between lectures, seminars, tutorials, workshops and independent study.

Applied learning

You will engage with industry partners that have established profiles in commercial practice.


How learning is monitored on your programme

To cater for the wide-ranging content of our courses and the varied learning preferences of our students, we offer a range of assessment methods on each programme.

Assessed work has been designed to ensure you fulfil your potential at this important stage of your development. There is a 75:25 split between practical and written work.

Assessments methods include: presentations, proposals, practical projects, essays, artefacts, supporting documents and the dissertation. Research and textual material is assessed via blogs, written proposals and the dissertation.

Course tutors

Our staff are committed to the highest standards of teaching and learning

Visit Instagram for work in progress and other bits and pieces.

School facilities

What you can expect from your School

The programme is based in the Liverpool School of Art and Designs John Lennon Art and Design Building, a purpose-built facility based in the Mount Pleasant Campus, which brings together each of the varied disciplines studied at the School.

Entry requirements

You will need:

Qualification requirements

Undergraduate degree

  • a 2:1 degree in Graphic Design or Illustration
  • In exceptional circumstances applications by mature graphic designers, illustrators and artists without sufficient qualifications will be considered.

Additional requirements

  • Interview required

    • to attend an interview

International requirements


    • IELTS English language requirement: 6.5 (minimum 5.5 in each component)

Further information

  • Extra Requirements
    • a reference
    • applicants are required to submit a sample PDF portfolio (A) or website link (B) at the point of application - see guidance below

    A) Digital Portfolio

    The work need to be presented in the same way a physical portfolio would be; ordered and considered including the following;

    + undergraduate projects

    + evidence of problem solving skills

    + visual literacy (this may be shown in the final outcome and resolve of a project)

    + a variety of projects (crossing disciplines, art / sculpture, illustration, digital design, book design etc)

    + research work 

    + sketchbooks (showing development of you projects and your thinking)

    Format: A single PDF file.


    B) Website Portfolio

    If you are presenting your work as a website, then please make sure you have considered the following.

    You will need to include samples of the following:

    + undergraduate projects

    + evidence of problem solving skills

    + visual literacy (this may be shown in the final outcome and resolve of a project)

    + a variety of projects (crossing disciplines, art / sculpture, illustration, digital design, book design etc)

    + research work 

    Please make sure you include captions to give a brief description of your project

    (no more than 40 words)


    Please make sure that the link to your site is not your admin login. We need the link to your published site, otherwise we won't have access rights.

    Please do not send sites that require Flash to upload the page. Suitable sites builders are: Cargo Collective, Muse, Wix, Wordpress, Squarespace.

  • RPL

    • RPL is accepted on this programme

Application and selection

Securing your place at LJMU

To apply for this programme, you are required to complete an LJMU online application form. You will need to provide details of previous qualifications and a personal statement outlining why you wish to study this programme.

The content of your application should demonstrate that you have a sufficient level of knowledge to embark upon the programme (including the required linguistic competence) and complete it within the time limits.
You will need to provide evidence of your learning capability at interview stage. You will also need to demonstrate your commitment to a postgraduate programme of study.

The University reserves the right to withdraw or make alterations to a course and facilities if necessary; this may be because such changes are deemed to be beneficial to students, are minor in nature and unlikely to impact negatively upon students or become necessary due to circumstances beyond the control of the University. Where this does happen, the University operates a policy of consultation, advice and support to all enrolled students affected by the proposed change to their course or module.

Further information on the terms and conditions of any offer made, our admissions policy and the complaints and appeals process.