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Illustration BA (Hons)

This course has an emphasis on innovative and imaginative ideas, as well as strong drawing and painting, graphic design and digital skills. All of which are explored through narrative, cultural, social and environmental themes at each level within workshops, staff set, live and competition project briefs in order to develop your personal visual language and illustrative approach.

The course is a member of the internationally recognised body for the sector, The Association of Illustrators and Varoom and has successful freelance illustrators and industry partners working with the course.

You will be prepared for your career as a freelance illustrator or to progress to postgraduate study. Some of our students have gone on to do a Master's in art therapy, visual communication at the RCA or teaching. You will primarily learn through practical studio sessions that will include workshops, lectures, tutorials, crits and seminars that will equip you with idea-generating methodologies, technical skills, knowledge and understanding of illustration and design. You will have access to our studio, as well as excellent digital media, printmaking and photography facilities.

The course begins by providing you with a foundation on which to build your knowledge, understanding and design skills with an emphasis on developing your visual language and drawing in particular. Across the three years you will be given a range of staff-set, live, international and national competition briefs that allow you to experience a range of illustration challenges and as you progress through the course, you will be given more and more autonomy with which to choose the brief and shape your portfolio. An important aspect for a contemporary illustrator is to continually develop their own practice and this is reflected in the course structure, as you will have opportunities to write your own self-directed projects and make choices within set projects. Illustration can be used to communicate about any subject so collaboration and working with other disciplines within the University is something we often do.

As well as developing your ideas, technical skills and approaches to different aspects of narrative, the course offers you the opportunity to attend design and illustration conferences, get feedback on your work and portfolio from industry experts and to travel on an annual cultural trip. Over the past few years we have visited Barcelona, Paris, Amsterdam, Berlin, Rome and Madrid. We regularly host visiting speakers, industry experts and creative agencies - giving you practical learning and valuable advice from professionals.

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W220 (W221 with Foundation Framework)
Waterside Campus
Three years full-time; four years full-time with Foundation Framework or with optional work placement year. Also available as part-time.

Standard entry requirements apply to this course. A typical offer is around 112 UCAS points, grades BCC at A Level, or DMM at BTEC. In addition, you are expected to have studied Art, Design or a related subject in an A-Level or BTEC level 3 Diploma, or equivalent qualification. A Foundation Diploma in Art and Design will also be accepted.

Applicants are interviewed and are requested to provide a portfolio of their own work in Art and Design. International students may submit their portfolio electronically.

Students with a relevant HND or Foundation Degree with a suitable profile of achievement may be admitted onto year two or three.

Foundation Study Framework entry requirements: Admission to the foundation course is normally DEE at A Level or MPP at BTEC. However, we would also like to hear from you if you have professional or industry experience instead, a range of other qualifications, or self-developed subject knowledge that relates to the course you wish to study.

English Language requirements: All international and EU students applying for a course with us must meet the following minimum English language requirements: IELTS 6.0 (or equivalent) with a minimum of 5.5 in all bands for study at undergraduate level. For information regarding English language requirements at the University, please see our IELTS page.

For more information on how to make an application, please visit our How to Apply page.

If you are an international student and would like information on making an application, please see our How to Apply - international students page.