Comics Studies is a rapidly expanding field that benefits from an interdisciplinary approach. Drawing on a range of critical, literary, historical, and creative methods, this course will provide you with an understanding of the comics medium and industry, and their relation to different genres, cultures, and media.
You will learn about the history of the comics medium and its international significance as an art form, a means of communication, and a mode of popular entertainment. You will study genres as diverse as autobiography and documentary, superheroes, science fiction, horror, humour, and public information comics, and will consider the relationship between comics, literature, and film.
Our blend of academic analysis and creative practice allows for a distinctive approach to learning. It brings together students who are interested in comics scholarship with those who are developing professional skills as comics creators as part of our MDes in Comics and Graphic Novels course.
Dundee is an international leader in the field of Comic Studies. The city is home to DC Thomson & Co Ltd, producers of iconic titles such as The Beano, The Dandy, and Commando. We also have contacts at other major publishers, ensuring that you are able to network with professionals and learn from people who do comics for a living.
Resources include dedicated teaching space, and Dundee Comics Creative Space, which incorporates workshops, Ink Pot comics studio, and our own publishing imprint, UniVerse, which publishes a range of comics based on research and work by students.
Previous visiting industry guest speakers have included:
Dave Gibbons (Watchmen)
Grant Morrison (The Invisibles, X-Men, Superman)
Frank Quitely (Superman, Batman)
Cam Kennedy (Star Wars)
Ian Kennedy (Dan Dare)
“This course allowed me a deeper insight into the world of comics. After I graduated I gained employment at Titan Comics as an Assistant Editor. Following this I was offered a job at DC Thomson in Dundee as a Comics Commissioning Editor. My CV now boasts an impressive list of skills.”
Kirsten Murray, MLitt Comics and Graphic Novels graduate
You'll normally be expected to have a 2:1 honours degree in Humanities, Art & Design or a related discipline. If your academic background does not meet our requirements but you have extensive experience or work in this area then the Course Director would be interested to consider your application; please ensure that your Personal Statement clarifies.
English language requirements
IELTS (overall): 6.5
Teaching & Assessment
A variety of teaching methods are used, including:
small group teaching
invited speakers and discussion groups
Our staff are involved in researching and making comics and organise major comics conferences. The peer-reviewed journal Studies in Comics is also edited here.
The assessment methods used in this course include :
creative work (optional)
Creative work may be submitted for some assessments, but the course does not assume or require any creative skills.
Dissertations and projects are supervised on a one-to-one basis giving you the opportunity to work on an area of comics study or creation of your own choosing (subject to approval by the tutor).
Now more than ever, comics are being used to address social and political issues, such as identity and social justice, and a variety of global challenges. Understanding how comics work opens a door to a much wider set of issues and urgent questions.
This course offers excellent employment and networking opportunities for anyone interested in working in the field of comics, either critically or creatively.
You may choose to pursue an academic career, work in the media, or in the creative industries or publishing.
Our graduates have gone on to enjoy huge success in the industry, both as comics creators and as editors. Some have worked for US and Canadian publishers such as:
Dark Horse Comics
Judge Dredd Magazine
We host guest speakers, giving you networking opportunities, and you will meet industry professionals and comics scholars. There are sometimes opportunities to be involved in the organising of events, and there is the possibility of arranging internships.