Cartoon And Comic Arts BA (Hons)

Cartoon and Comic Art students at Stoke Con Trent 2016
UCAS code W222
Location Stoke-on-Trent Campus
Duration 3 Years

2017/18 New Entrants, Full Time

  • Home and EU students: £9,250 per year of study
  • International students: £10,900 per year of study
Course start September
LocationModeStart dateApply
Stoke-on-Trent CampusFull-time2017/18 Academic YearApply via UCAS

Course outline

Our Cartoon and Comic Arts degree is a unique course that will let you develop and define your skills in visual and narrative communication. It's ideal if you're interested in a career in cartoon and comic art.

You'll adopt an individual and experimental approach to learning that will enable you to nurture your skills and image-making techniques. You'll do this through specialist platforms including: print-making, digital imaging, animation, life-drawing and 3D craft (wood, metal, plastic, ceramics and textiles).

The course will prepare you for an exciting career in a diverse range of areas, from comics, newspapers, graphic novels, editorial design (digital and print), through to character design, concept art and games, animation, advertising and film.

You'll follow an industry-focused programme of creative visual thinking and a diverse approach to working across a variety of platforms. This will help you develop a host of skills and techniques to confidently tackle industry and competition briefs and progress your practice.

Visiting industry practitioners, support, guide and work with you in our studio, offering advice, tips and technical knowledge - drawn from vast experience in a variety of platforms.

Recent visits have included Graham Humphries (Evil Dead, Nightmare on Elm St.), Frazer Urving (Marvel, DC, 2000AD, X-Men), Kevin Gunstone (Marvel, Image, Dark Horse), John Charles (Marvel UK, 2000AD, Titan Comics, Panini UK, Antarctic Press) and Fig Taylor (Portfolio Consultant-The Association of Illustrators).

You will also have the opportunity, and be encouraged to visit, network and sell your work in New York and London (ComicCon), Leeds Thought Bubble and London Super Comic Con. Recent published work has appeared in The Guardian, Independent, Big Issue and successfully showcased through various online, web publications.


Course Fees and Finance

The expected study pattern on this programme enables you to complete modules totalling 120 credits in your first year of study and the other 240 credits, split equally over your second and third years of study. If you follow this pattern of study you will pay a fee of £9,250 for your first year in 2017/18. The fee for your second and third year of study will be broadly the same, except that an inflationary uplift may apply each year.*

If you would like to know more about the fees listed and what this means to you then please get in touch with our Enquiries Team.


Undergraduate Loans:

UK and EU students who are studying for their first undergraduate degree may not have to pay these fees up front. For eligible students a loan is available from the Student Loans Company to cover the cost of tuition so you don't have to find the money to pay your tuition costs before or while you are studying. You won't have to start repaying the loan until you are earning more than (currently) £21,000 a year.

A loan is also available for part-time students studying at least 25% (30 credits) per year.

However, if you already hold a degree, or another qualification at the same level, you may not qualify for this loan.

For further information on eligibility and how to apply visit apply-for-student-finance.


Repayment (current arrangements):

9% of income over £21,000 per year.

Interest on the loan is charged at up to Retail Price Index** (RPI) +3% = 4.6% as of 2016/17.

If you are living in the UK: Your employer will deduct repayments when your salary reaches the threshold (currently £21,000 per year). Different arrangements are made to collect repayments from those living outside the UK.

For further information on repayment visit student loan repayment.


*The fees listed are for the 2017/18 academic year only. Any subsequent years may be subject to an inflationary uplift.

**RPI – the Retail Price Index is a measure of UK inflation. The UK Government uses the rate of RPI to set the interest rate charged on student loans.

Social media links

Industry links

Entry requirements

  • Typical UCAS Offer: 112 points
  • A levels: BBC
  • Foundation Diploma Art and Design pass with Merit if taken.
  • All applicants are individually assessed via interview with portfolio.


We are seeking accreditation with organisations such as The Professional Cartoonist Organisation and also the Association of Illustration.

The course aims at developing links with likewise institutions who seek to push the knowledge and development of the art and reach to a wider more mainstream audience.


Teaching and learning

The learning and teaching strategies used on the BA(Hons) Cartoon and Comic Arts are intended to focus upon students achieving the necessary learning outcomes and being able to critically reflect upon their learning.

Specifically, the learning and teaching strategies are designed to:
fulfil the aims and outcomes of the course
develop a range of subject related skills
develop transferable skills
promote the ability to be an independent learner.

Teaching Methods
Much of the work produced on this award will be project-based. This approach reflects industry practice and provides an important focus for discussion and debate.
A range of different work methods are used to help students to engage with different aspects of learning. The most effective methods are used for different modules to aid and promote learning.

Tutorials; Personal tutorials
Personal Tutors are allocated to students at the start of their award and their role is to help students in there studies, to access the appropriate University services and be a first point of contact for other staff.
Academic Tutorials
An academic tutor will; offer guidance, support and written feedback throughout a module. A student can expect to receive at least one individual tutorial normally at the end of each module.
Group tutorials
Group tutorials bring together small groups of students to discuss and monitor current work, share and discuss common interests, and provide means for giving feedback.

Group project work
Group project work introduces the skills associated with negotiation and organisation that bring together the individual to produce a collaborative final piece of work.

Module Handbook: contains all the information a student needs to engage with any module, and will typically include:

o A cover sheet, code, title, managers contact details
o A timetable for the module, days, times and room numbers
o An outline of the module content
o A list of work to be submitted for assessment

o Assessment criteria
o The module descriptor, including the learning outcomes
o Reading list

These are the means by which problems are delivered to the student.
The student receives an introduction to the brief, and through discussions and critiques, ideas and solutions can be addressed individually or in groups.

Self initiated projects
This type of project needs to be discussed and agreed with the tutors. These usually allow a student to identify and develop particular subject interests. You would need to define the project intention and outcomes the aims and objectives; identify the skills needed to achieve the goal.

Independent study
This activity involves study time devoted to personal research and independent development of work.

Seminar activities are frequent and bring together small groups of students to debate and discuss a project or a contextual issue and share their views and experiences.

Bring together students for the purpose of teaching the whole group at the same time. This delivery is usually introduced verbally by the tutors and will often be illustrated using projection. Handouts support many of the lectures but students are encouraged to take notes and record their own observations.

University Virtual Learning Environment (VLE). This online resource contains all the information for each of the modules a students is enrolled upon, including module packs, timetables, staff contact details and announcements of items of interest.

Where appropriate, practical demonstrations known as: `modulettes' may be given on technical skills that can enable an understanding materials, methods and processes.

Educational, Cultural Study visits
Students may undertake study visits to locations relevant to the topic or subject area. Examples include visits to museums, exhibitions and locations relevant to a project, topic or general subject interest.


Assessment records the progress of a student's learning through individual modules and across the whole award, based exclusively on the submission of coursework. This is the best way to assess the integrated approach to theory and practice that our students engage in. Coursework, carried out in response to assignments, project briefs or self-initiated proposals and presented in forms appropriate to professional practice, allows students to demonstrate the acquisition of interrelated learning outcomes through a variety of different kinds of practice, which may include, or take the form of an essay, but which can sometimes be wholly practical.

The University has designated 8 generic Learning Outcomes for all undergraduate awards and allowed for up to two further to be specified for each award. For the Cartoon and Comic Arts award, as with other awards from the field of Art and Design two award specific outcomes are included: Visual Analysis and Working with Others. The award team see this as a significant additional marker of vital transferable skills that employers inside and outside the Illustration/Publication Design industry and other Creative Industries look for when recruiting graduates

Formative assessment
This form of assessment provides ongoing feedback and advice, to help students plan a course of action to improve design work and understanding of the principles introduced. Formative assessment is an ongoing feature of the courses, occurring through tutorial discussions, peer assessment, formal and informal critique and self-assessment.

Summative assessment
This type of assessment takes place on completion of a module and is provided in the form of a grade point (on a scale of 0 ' 15), this is accompanied by written feedback from the module tutor to each individual student, relating his/her achievement to the learning outcomes of the module.

The grade point scheme is linked, within the Undergraduate Modular Framework Regulations, to a set of general assessment criteria which distinguish attainment at particular levels.

Self assessment
Self assessment is an effective way of monitoring student progress. Students reflect upon the grades they have been given and then look at the feedback which describes their achievement, this should help them understand the criteria tutors use to measure progress. If students aspire to higher grades they can read the statements to understand what they need to be doing in order to improve.

Assessment Feedback
Assessment feedback is provided to students in two main ways: orally, in tutorial and critique situations and in writing, using a fast feedback form that indicates performance against the learning outcomes of the module. Most modules carry single assessment tasks/activities, based on the submission of coursework, the nature of which is determined by the project/s or assignment/s set within the module, but which may consist of any one or a combination of the following components:
Design development books and sketchbooks, documenting the process of generating, developing and resolving thoughts and ideas and demonstrating through visuals and experimentation the influence of research on practical work
Studio concept development boards and portfolios
Research files, documenting the gathering, sorting and presentation of research material
Creative output professionally presented in the format required by the assignment, project or brief.
An essay or report, written according to given guidelines as to word count and illustrated as required by the assignment.
The script for a seminar presentation, and the presentation itself.

Employment opportunities

The Cartoon and Comic Arts Award is in its first year, but already students on the award are already being employed in a wide range of fields that use the cartoon & comic Arts skills. 
These jobs include 
- Concept designer for a potential Graphic Novel. 
- They have been asked Story board for a BBC3 television series. 
- Produced work that has appeared in the Guardian Newspaper
- Designed artwork for local companies
- Worked with the NHS Design group in producing children's literature 
- Concept Designer to work alongside games companies
The areas into which students on the award can attain employment are wide and varied and the course aims to fulfil the universities unique 3 E's (Enterprise, Employability and Entrepreneurship.) Students are encouraged to produce work, have it printed and also discover market places in which their work can be sold. This gives the applicant a better idea of where future employment might be sought after graduation. The award encourages students to seek out and engage with the industry and market place both nationally and internationally where the comic market is more buoyant.

Successful completion of this course will enable future employment as freelance cartoonists, illustrators for magazines or newspapers, storyboard artists within film, games design, animation or the advertising industry.

Graduate destinations

Graduates from our Cartoon and Comic Arts degree can work with comics, newspapers, graphic novels, book and web publishing. You could specialise in areas such as character design, storyboarding, narrative or animation.

Programme specification

Have you also considered?


Enquiries Team
Cadman Information Point
College Road
United Kingdom
t: +44(0)1782 294400
Enquire about this course