Postgraduate: Falmouth hope to illustrate student success; OU launches new MAs; City celebrates

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The Independent Online

Falmouth College of Arts hopes that a book illustrated by one of its graduates could prove a rival to the Harry Potter series. Christopher Crump, who finished his MA in illustration last year, was commissioned by the author Charmian Hussey to provide the cover illustration and 80 pen-and- ink drawings for The Valley of Secrets. The book was launched by a small publisher last autumn, but has now been picked up by Hodder. "It is due for major exposure later this year," says Stephen Braund, who runs the Falmouth course, whose full title is "Illustration: Authorial Practice". It is about far more than drawing, says Braund. " 'Authorial illustration' means that the personal 'voice' of the illustrator plays a major role in the production of work."

Falmouth College of Arts hopes that a book illustrated by one of its graduates could prove a rival to the Harry Potter series. Christopher Crump, who finished his MA in illustration last year, was commissioned by the author Charmian Hussey to provide the cover illustration and 80 pen-and- ink drawings for The Valley of Secrets. The book was launched by a small publisher last autumn, but has now been picked up by Hodder. "It is due for major exposure later this year," says Stephen Braund, who runs the Falmouth course, whose full title is "Illustration: Authorial Practice". It is about far more than drawing, says Braund. " 'Authorial illustration' means that the personal 'voice' of the illustrator plays a major role in the production of work."

The Valley of Secrets is an adventure about an orphaned boy who inherits a stately home in Cornwall. "The illustrations provoke, but do not limit, the imagination. The adventure combines the glories of the Cornish countryside with the lost tribes of the Amazonian rain forest, and considers the destiny of our planet," says Braund.

Falmouth is hot on developing students' entrepreneurial skills. It runs a scheme called Creative Enterprises for Cornwall - part-funded by the European Social Fund - which involves work placements for students and visits from practising professionals. Crump credits the initiative for his big break.

A recent forum at the college allowed students to talk to illustrators and artists about self-publishing and working with small, independent publishers. Other recent success stories from the course include Barnaby Richards, whose first book, The Funeral, was recently published with the help of Falmouth's business relations unit. The work of this year's graduating students will be shown at Falmouth College of Arts' MA show from 18 to 21 September, and then at Waterstone's bookshop on Piccadilly, London, throughout October. For further information about the MA Illustration: Authorial Practice, see www.falmouth.ac.uk, e-mail admissions@falmouth.ac.uk or call 01326 211077.

The Open University's business school - already the largest in Europe - is gearing up to launch five new masters programmes. Three are in relatively broad disciplines - public administration, international finance and management and human resource management. The others are more specialised. There is the MBA in life sciences, for people who want to work - or are already working - as strategic decision-makers in the field. And then there is the MSc in management and business research methods, aimed at potential PhDs and those whose work involves a significant amount of business research. The courses will be available from November. For more details, go to www.oubs.open.ac.uk

City University is celebrating the success of its Inns of Court School of Law's Legal Practice Course (LPC). The Law Society has rated the course excellent (the top ranking), making it the only LPC in London with this distinction.

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