Research ( full-time, part-time)
January 2018, April 2017, September 2017
MPhil: 1-3 years (full-time), 2-4 years (part-time).
PhD via progression from MPhil, including that period: 2-5 years (full-time), 3-6 years (part-time).
PhD: 2-5 years (full-time), 3-6 years (part-time).
Distance-learning supervision available on this course.
This course is located in the Cambridge School of Art. Find out more about our research.
Academic interest in children’s book illustration is growing. Examine this field of illustration through a combination of practical work and theoretical enquiry.
Our PhD programme encourages individual, practice led research projects that explore aspects of the art of children’s book illustration from the perspective of high-level practice. We look for research proposals that are informed by personal practice and demonstrate an ambition to examine an area or aspect of children’s book illustration through a combination of creative and theoretical enquiry. Using your personal creative practice as a research tool, you’ll produce distinctive contributions to the growing knowledge pool in this area.
All your subject-specific studies will be enhanced and supported by our University-wide training sessions, where you’ll gain important research expertise in areas like ethics, presentations, intellectual property and digital scholarship. You’ll also have access to many exhibition and conference opportunities.
At Cambridge School of Art, you’ll be part of a vibrant and growing community of researchers at PhD level. We provide various research forums that accentuate the discursive and interdisciplinary nature of research, including research clusters that hold regular seminars and informal presentations for postgraduate and research students, as well the Centre for Children's Book Studies.
You’ll benefit from our strong industry links with many children’s book publishers, as well as Bologna Children’s Book Fair, Kettle’s Yard, and the University of Cambridge's Centre for Research into Arts, Social Sciences, and Humanities (CRASSH) and the Centre for Children’s Literature at the Faculty of Education, University of Cambridge.
You’ll be supervised and supported by staff who have published and exhibited nationally and internationally. Our expertise includes:
Professor Martin Salisbury: practice and theory of children's book illustration. Co-author of Children's Picturebooks: The Art of Visual Storytelling (Laurence King, 2010), winner of the UKLA Academic Book Award 2013; author of Play Pen: New Children's Book Illustration (Laurence King, 2007) and Illustrating Children's Books (A&C Black, 2004).
Pam Smy: narrative drawing, history and contemporary use of black and white artwork, the lyrical and natural. Illustrator of The Ransom of Dond by Siobhan Dowd (David Fickling, 2013), Lob by Linda Newberry (David Fickling, 2010) and Follow the Swallow by Julia Donaldson (Egmont, 2007).
Mick Gowar: contextual studies, creative writing and images, folklore and fairytales, storytelling, and the history and practice of creative writing. Principal investigator of the World Wide Story Web project, developing resources to encourage children to tell stories using digital means.
Cambridge School of Art has been inspiring creativity since 1858 when it was opened by John Ruskin.
Engaging with current debates surrounding contemporary practice and with the state-of-the-art facilities, Cambridge School of Art houses light, bright studios, industry-standard film and photographic facilities, and 150-year-old printing presses alongside dedicated Apple Mac suites. Our digital art gallery, the Ruskin Gallery, exhibits both traditional shows and multimedia presentations, from national and international touring exhibitions and our own students.
We are the only university in Cambridge offering art and design courses at higher education level. A tight-knit community of artists, academics and over 900 students, we collaborate across our University, the creative industries, and other sectors. Cambridge is a centre for employment in the creative industries and there are rich opportunities for collaboration with the city’s entertainment, technological, scientific, arts and heritage industries.
Our graduates have a history of winning national and international awards and an excellent employment record. They include Pink Floyd's Syd Barrett and Dave Gilmour, Spitting Image creators Peter Fluck and Roger Law, and illustrator Ronald Searle, the creator of St Trinian's.
We’re part of the Faculty of Arts, Law and Social Sciences, a hub of creative and cultural innovation whose groundbreaking research has real social impact.
You’ll work within our dedicated illustration studios that surround Ruskin Gallery, a unique space that shows a range of work including student shows and touring exhibitions of international standing. You can also make use of our other facilities, including printmaking and sculpture workshops, photography dark rooms, life drawing studio, and computer suites for video production and digital imaging, as well as four Mac suites with Adobe Creative Suite software and high-quality 27-inch monitors.
You’ll have access to our Faculty’s PhD room, where all our doctoral students can meet up to work and take an active part in our postgraduate student community.
Anglia Ruskin's academic excellence was recognised in 2014, as part of the Research Excellence Framework (REF), an exercise which assesses the quality of academic research. Twelve areas of our work were classed as generating world-leading research. The results showed that we're making a significant impact on economies, societies, the environment and culture in all corners of the globe.
We’ll provide you with many opportunities for career development and training, and encourage you to get involved with external activities like exhibiting, curating, conference organisation and presenting papers. There may be opportunities to take part in collaborative projects with our Faculty of Education at the University of Cambridge, and our annual trips to the Bologna Children's Book Fair.
Many research students in this discipline are seeking to combine high-level professional creative practice with academic careers. You can also request specific support for writing-up, conference papers, general research methods and other research skills if you need it.
MPhil: You’ll need a Bachelor degree or equivalent with first or upper second class honours, in a related subject area.
PhD: You’ll need a Master degree or equivalent in a related subject area.
Please note we consider most candidates for PhD with progression from MPhil. If you want to apply for direct entry to the PhD route, you’ll also need to provide academic justification for this with your application.
If English is not your first language, you'll require a minimum IELTS score of 6.5, with a minimum of 5.5 in each component (or equivalent test). If you don't meet our English language requirements, we offer a range of courses which could help you achieve the level required for entry.
We’ll ask you to present a portfolio of work that demonstrates a high level of personal creative practice in illustration.
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