Illustration BA (Hons)

Overview

As an illustrator, your creative ability can shape culture. Fuse your talent with professional skills on a degree course that’ll set you up for a career doing what you love.

On this BA (Hons) Illustration degree course, you’ll examine your own work and reflect on the work of other designers, filmmakers, painters, sculptors and writers. You’ll develop your own practical skills in illustration across the board and build the skills you’ll need for a successful, creative career.

What you'll experience

On this degree course you’ll:

  • Explore traditional and contemporary illustration, while experimenting with a media such as print, animation, textiles and model making
  • Unleash your creativity by re-defining illustration, challenging convention and exploring illustration's social, political and historical context
  • Get your hands on the latest image-making technology and get professional experience that will help you compete in the commercial arena after the course
  • Interact with our visiting speakers – past guests include Sara Fanelli (children’s book author/illustrator), Darren Garrett (Creative Director of Littleloud Animation Studios) and Chris Riddell (UK Children’s Laureate 2015–2017)
  • Access our digital studios with Macs and PCs running professional-standard software including the Adobe Creative Suite
  • Get the chance to achieve Adobe Certified Associate (ACA) certification
  • Engage with live projects such as the Anglepoise Sketchbook Competition
  • Develop a professional portfolio and website to showcase your skills
  • Have the opportunity to exhibit your work at graduate showcases and exhibitions

Work experience and career planning

To give you the best chance of securing a great job when you graduate, our Careers and Employability service can help you find relevant work experience during your course.

We can help you identify placements, internships, voluntary roles and freelancing opportunities that will complement your studies and build your portfolio.

What you'll study

Each module on this course is worth a certain number of credits.

In each year, you need to study modules worth a total of 120 credits. For example, 4 modules worth 20 credits and 1 module worth 40 credits.

Year 1

Core modules in this year include:

  • Illustration Level 4 Event
  • Introduction to Professional Practice
  • Introduction to Visual Culture 
  • Line, Colour And Development
  • Research and Narrative

There are no optional modules in this year.

Year 2

Core modules in this year include:

  • Bookworks
  • Illustration Level 5 Event
  • Print Menagerie
  • Social Sequences: Application
  • Social Sequences: Introduction

Options to choose from in this year currently include:

  • Engaged Citizenship Through Interdisciplinary Practice
  • Professional Experience
  • Professional Skills Development
  • Student Enterprise
  • Visual Culture: Cult, Taste and Collecting
  • Visual Culture: Performing Identity
  • Visual Culture: Technology and The Image
  • Visual Culture: Visions of The Body

Placement year (optional)

On this course, you can do an optional work placement year between your 2nd and 3rd years to get valuable experience working in industry.

We’ll help you secure a work placement that fits your situation and ambitions. You’ll get mentoring and support throughout the year.

Year 3

Core modules in this year include:

  • Applied Illustration Practice
  • Illustration: Level 6 Event
  • Illustration: Professional Practice
  • Illustration: Project Review
  • Illustration: Self-Directed Project

Options to choose from in this year currently include:

  • Visual Culture: Dissertation
  • Visual Culture: Practice Research

Teaching

Teaching methods on this course include:

  • workshops
  • lectures
  • projects
  • seminars
  • one-to-one tutorials

There's an emphasis on hands-on practical sessions, with a strong studio culture.

How you're assessed

You’ll be assessed through:

  • written coursework
  • creative design group projects
  • self-led projects from initial concept to finished product
  • project presentations
  • sketchbooks and portfolio

You’ll be able to test your skills and knowledge informally before you do assessments that count towards your final mark.

You can get feedback on all practice and formal assessments so you can improve in the future.

The way you’re assessed may depend on the modules you select. As a guide, students on this course last year were typically assessed as follows:

  • Year 1 students:100% by coursework
  • Year 2 students:100% by coursework
  • Year 3 students:100% by coursework

Careers and opportunities

The creative and technical abilities in sequential storytelling, character animation and visual storytelling you develop on this course could lead to a variety of creative roles in design and media.

What can you do with an Illustration degree?

Areas previous graduates have gone on to include:

  • artist book making
  • children’s book illustration
  • narrative illustration
  • print making
  • art direction
  • teaching

You could also continue your studies at postgraduate level, set up successful businesses with help and support from the University or start a career as a freelancer.

After you leave the University, you can get help, advice and support for up to 5 years from our Careers and Employability service as you advance in your career.

BA (Hons), BA (Hons) Award
September Start
Full-time, Sandwich Study Mode
3 years Duration

Entry Requirements For This Course

104-112 points to include a minimum of 2 A levels, or equivalent. Applicants will be required to attend an interview. Applicants without art and design qualifications or experience may be asked to submit a digital portfolio in advance of an invitation to interview.

English language proficiency at a minimum of IELTS band 6.0 with no component score below 5.5.

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