This practice and research-based programme will enable you to explore and develop your interest and skill in all forms of narrative and sequential illustration. The programme provides a lively and creative atmosphere in which you may produce your own children's book, graphic novel or illustrated text using our extensive facilities, supported by a variety of highly experienced staff and professionals including publishers, editors and successful practitioners in the field.
This is a highly practical course that aims to give students the very best opportunity to publish in these fields. The course is staffed by practising illustrators with rich and varied experience in these fields and invaluable insight into all aspects of publishing. The course will draw on the advice and expertise of visiting publishers, writers, editors, designers and art directors offering the best possible opportunity into the seemingly impenetrable world of publishing, narratives and children's books.
Middlesex University offers superb facilities, including our exceptional printmaking rooms offering silk screen, litho, mono print, wood and lino cutting, etching and dry point options. Students will have access to our state-of-the-art reprographic department, where dummy books and sample illustrations may be printed to the highest professional quality. In addition, we offer practical bookbinding expertise and instruction, enabling students to produce illustrated material to the highest presentation standard.
Taught by practitioners with extensive experience in children’s books, graphic novels and illustrated stories and utilising an impressive list of specialists from all areas of publishing, the course is divided into three terms (if studied full time).
Each module is designed to be flexible, allowing you to bring your own specific interests to the course work while developing and expanding your visual language and understanding of the requirements and demands of successfully seeing through the activity of writing, illustrating and preparing a text for publication. Additional time will be spent looking at the available avenues and opportunities for publishing, including co-editions, book fairs (a dominant and crucial factor in successful publishing), self-publishing and the international publishing market.
Your skills, knowledge and understanding will be entirely assessed by coursework including practical projects, oral presentations and supporting written work. There are no exams.
Martin Ursell has illustrated many picture books for children, including the award-winning Song of Pentecost by W.J.Corbett. He has illustrated stories by Roald Dahl, Marina Warner, Ted Hughes, Pippa Goodhart and Dick King Smith and is the illustrator of the bestselling Gruesome series. Martin was a regular illustrator for the children’s TV programme Jackanory and his own story Hairy Hairy was televised by the BBC.
Martin is a Senior Lecturer in Illustration at Middlesex University. He has taught at many of the UK’s top design schools, notably Chelsea College of Art and Design, The University for the Creative Arts and Kingston University, where he was a regular visiting lecturer on the Illustration and Animation BA degree course. Martin was a frequent visiting illustrator for The National Federation of Children’s Books, South East Arts and Kent Young Peoples Services.
Martin’s many picture books include Fred’s Garden by Linda Jennings and a book with bestselling author and children’s laureate Julia Donaldson called Follow the Swallow. He was the author and illustrator of the popular Draw books published by b.small and he is currently working on an epic, three-part graphic retelling of the Reynard the Fox stories that date back a millennium.
Martin wrote Illustrating Children’s Books for the Crowood Press in 2013, currently in its third edition, and a companion text Keeping Sketchbooks published in 2016. Most of his books have sold internationally.
UK/EU and international students are eligible to apply for this course.
If you have relevant qualifications or work experience, academic credit may be awarded towards your Middlesex University programme of study. For further information please visit our Accreditation of Prior Learning page.
We accept the equivalent of the above qualifications from a recognised overseas qualification. To find out more about the qualifications we accept from your country please visit the relevant Support in your country page.
If you are unsure about the suitability of your qualifications or would like help with your application, please contact your nearest Regional office for support.
You will not need a visa to study in the UK if you are a citizen of the European Union, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway or Switzerland. If you are a national of any other country you may need a visa to study in the UK. Please see our Visas and immigration page for further information.
You must have competence in English language to study with us. The most commonly accepted evidence of English language ability is IELTS 6.5 (with minimum 6.0 in all components). We also normally require Grade C GCSE or an equivalent qualification. Visit our English language requirements page for a full list of accepted tests and qualifications.
If you don't meet our minimum English language requirements, we offer an intensive Pre-sessional English course.
The application is just the first step in our selection process; we also invite you to an interview and review your portfolio of art and design work. We've put together some simple notes to help you prepare:
Sketchbooks are extremely important. They should be a 'diary' of your thinking and include observational and speculative drawings/sketches communicating a visual sensitivity. We also look for evidence of how you develop and work through your ideas. Include photographs and collected images and importantly your reaction to them, but avoid letting your sketchbooks being merely scrapbooks.
The interview itself usually lasts about 15 minutes, but please allow an hour as this usually includes a tour of our facilities. We use the interview to allow us to find out more about you, to better understand your aspirations and interests and for you to learn more about us. The interview will explore why you want to study the subject with us, there will be no trick questions, so don't be too nervous.
Applications for postgraduate study should be made directly to the university. Please visit our Postgraduate application page for further information and to apply.
The course will prepare you for a career in children’s books, illustrating stories and graphic novels. There will be chances to meet with agents, publishers, writers and practicing illustrators. Almost all illustrators working in children’s books and graphic novels work in a freelance capacity and advice will be given on how to establish yourself, based on first hand experience, in this field.
Advice is given on how to approach publishing houses, including presenting your book at the world’s biggest children’s book fair at Bologna, Italy and at the Frankfurt book fair in Germany.
Possible alternative careers include teaching and studio-based work.
With strong links to art and design employers in the UK and abroad, we support the individual ambitions of every one of our students while they are studying with us and after graduation.
The facilities, studios and workshops at our £80 million purpose-built School of Art and Design on campus in North London are recognised as among the best in the country. With a wide range of digital media, equipment, software, print-making and library facilities on-site you’ll benefit from unique levels of access to both the latest forms of technology and traditional tools, with expert support to develop your work.
These facilities include:
Find out about our wide range of postgraduate scholarships worth up to 50% of the tuition fee.
The fees below refer to the 2017/18 academic year unless otherwise stated.
Full-time students: £7,500
Part-time per taught credit: £50
Part-time per dissertation credit: £25
You would not usually pay more to study part-time than the full-time fee rate. Find out more about how to calculate your part-time course fee.
Find out about our flexible payment plans for UK/EU students, and how they can help you spread the cost of your course.
Full-time students: £12,500
Part-time per taught credit: £84
Part-time per dissertation credit: £42
AHRC Masters studentships
The Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) offers funding for some subjects. Find out more.