Key facts


Stoke-on-Trent Campus

Mode of attendance: Full-time
Duration: 3 years full-time
UCAS code: W220
Academic year: 17 September 2018 – 14 June 2019


Our Illustration degree is ideal if you're interested in image-making, visual communications, printmaking, visual storytelling or animation.

You’ll become a versatile illustrator and will establish a personal voice and vision within an engaging portfolio of work.

With an emphasis on creative visual thinking and craft, this course reflects the rich and diverse nature of contemporary image-making, inviting you to challenge its boundaries through both digital and craft-based media.

Our flexible studio space fosters an integrated approach to learning and we encourage you to collaborate, experiment and engage in a wide range of related visual practices. These include: image making techniques, drawing for illustration, illustration for information and promotion, photography and art direction, visual storytelling, editorial/book illustration, and crafts and animation.

On successful completion of study, we will issue the following award: BA (Hons) Illustration

Course content

Experimentation is key to developing your practice. You’ll do this alongside creative thinking to form meaning and content. Working alongside Graphic Design students, you’ll absorb a broad knowledge of the design and image-making process, problem solving and visual language via a programme of set projects, lectures, seminars, workshops, critiques and studio practice.

You’ll have access to tutorial and group designated zones and digital facilities including the latest Mac computers. Our workshop facilities include a dedicated life drawing studio, textiles, screen printing, letterpress and experimental print, photography, animation, digital suites/labs, laser cutting and 3D crafts.

Our team of specialist and practising lecturers has strong links with industry. As we'll encourage you to engage with students from other disciplines, you’ll work in teams as well as independently.

As the course progresses, you’ll define your personal strengths, competition entry and professional practice. During your final year, you’ll focus on your professional portfolio of work with the chance to enter competitions, exhibit and work on live briefs.


This module map provides an indicative list of the modules that make up your course. Each module is worth a specified number of credits: you take a combination of compulsory and optional modules, enabling you to cover key subject knowledge while developing your own interest. You must take modules worth a total of 120 credits at each level of the course. The number of optional modules you can take depends on the number of compulsory modules at a given level, you may have more choice in later parts of the course. 

Our teaching is informed by research, and modules change periodically to reflect developments in the discipline. You can always find the most up-to-date information about your modules and who is teaching them in our module catalogue. We aim to ensure that all optional modules run as scheduled. If for any reason an optional module cannot be run we will advise you as soon as possible and help you choose an alternative module.

Before you can register on some optional modules, you may be required to have undertaken prerequisite modules. Some module combinations may not be allowed.

Year 1

Semester 1
Module title
Visual Communication Compulsory
Drawing for Illustration Compulsory
Semester 2
Module title
Visual Application Compulsory
Introduction to Animation Compulsory

Year 2

Semester 1
Module title
Illustration and Communication Compulsory
Visual Storytelling Compulsory
Semester 2
Module title
Illustration and Application Compulsory
Professional Practice Compulsory

Year 3

Semester 1
Module title
Negotiated Programme I Compulsory
Research, Analysis and Communication Assignment Compulsory
Creative Practice in Context Compulsory
Semester 2
Module title
Negotiated Programme II Compulsory
Creative Practice in Context Compulsory

Teaching staff

You will be taught by an expert teaching team whose expertise and knowledge are closely matched to the content of the modules on the course. The team includes senior academics and professional practitioners with industry experience. Postgraduate research students who have undertaken teaching training may also contribute to the teaching of seminars under the supervision of the module leader. Our teaching is research-informed and 72% of our full-time staff are Fellows of the Higher Education Academy.