BA (Hons) Illustration — Overview
It takes an illustrator with a bold, clear vision to create striking and memorable images.
Our BA (Hons) Illustration programme will encourage you to develop your own personal style, reflecting the unique way you see the world. You’ll explore different contexts of image-making, from traditional publishing and commercial applications through to independent books, zines and illustrative products.
Throughout the programme, you will extend your drawing skills to develop your personal visual language and identity. We value your imagination and energy, alongside your conceptual thinking and ideas development, and we will support you in honing your creative skills and knowledge of professional practice.
You will be encouraged to get involved with national and international competitions, opportunities for securing work placements, live industry briefs and commissions. You will work within a supportive and challenging studio environment, to explore your subject both as an individual and collaboratively.
As well as introducing you to commercial practice, we also encourage you to explore your own ideas through self-directed and authorial approaches which will extend the boundaries of your visual language. We’ll challenge you to develop a culturally curious attitude, stay aware of contemporary trends, and actively engage in creative communities – finding that spark of originality that will set you apart from the crowd.
What will I achieve?
You’ll learn to work independently, critically and creatively in different contexts, as we support your drive to design, manufacture, market and distribute your own work. Illustration is a competitive discipline which requires high levels of commitment – we will support you in developing professional skills through each assignment, including creative problem-solving, project management, working to brief and completing to deadline.
You’ll have opportunities to build a professional network, as well as the chance to show off your skills by exhibiting, publishing and promoting your work outside the college. Through self-reflection, you’ll develop and identify personal strengths, helping you to recognise transferable skills and how they will be useful for employment once you graduate.
As you develop your interests you can choose to tailor your study to a range of creative specialisms, including editorial illustration, children’s books, independent publishing, printmaking, graphic design and art direction.
From designing for Lego to writing and illustrating children’s books and exploring the world of indie publishing, our graduates secure fantastic diverse careers in the booming field of illustration.
Thinking & making
Study with us and you’ll expand your critical approach alongside developing skills in research and analysis. Our academically robust and intellectually stimulating degree programmes are delivered by our team of academics, technical demonstrators and invited experts who together deliver excellence in learning, teaching and assessment. Our programmes encourage diversity in thinking and making - from practical applications through to reflective, analytical writing.
We provide a dynamic, stimulating learning environment from which to test new models of practice, while investing in the rich relationship between practice and theory - based on the potential in material and visual exploration, collaborative working, cross-fertilisation of ideas, and the exploration of histories and contemporary contexts.
Opportunities for studying abroad are available at our partner institutions, click here for more.
BA (Hons) Illustration — Highlights:
- Explore image-making in different contexts, including editorial, publishing (children’s books, book design and illustration, comics and graphic novels), surface pattern and print, moving image, graphic design and design-to-sell products (zines, toys, limited edition prints, etc).
- Gain both traditional and digital skills, as you define your visual identity and prepare to enter the creative industries.
- Benefit from high contact time with our dedicated Illustration team, who offer a range of creative specialisms including independent publishing, editorial, children’s books, printmaking, graphic design and art direction.
- Think beyond traditional collaborations with designers, creative directors and publishers. We encourage you to build illustration communities, from forming collectives to starting popup shops or gallery-based ventures.
- Develop your talents for enterprise and entrepreneurship through programme initiatives such as independent publishing with Pylon Press, and opportunities to promote and sell your work in the Illustration Shed – our very own pop-up shop.
BA (Hons) Illustration is validated by The Open University.