Cartoon and Comic Arts

Study options

Award

BA (Hons)

Key facts

UCAS code:
W222
Location:
Stoke-on-Trent campus
Study option:
Full-time
Duration:
3 Years
Start date:
20 September 2021

100% student satisfaction

National Student Survey 2020

Industry speakers

Insights and advice from comic art professionals

Exhibition Opportunities

Exhibit your art at the degree show and get involved with Stoke Con Trent

Our Cartoon and Comic Arts degree is a unique course that will help you to develop and refine your skills in visual and narrative communication.

We will prepare you for an exciting career in a diverse range of areas such as comics, newspapers, graphic novels, editorial design and storyboarding, character design, visual storytelling or storyboarding and advertising and film.

You will have the opportunity to visit, network and sell your work at comic cons in London and Leeds, as well as travel abroad. We have developed a close link with the Cartoon Museum in London and we display work at their institute and hold joint events nationally.

The University also hosts a Staffordshire’s biggest TV, film, comic and memorabilia convention, Stoke Con Trent, which is attended by over 1500 people including industry professionals. The event is forming a link with Erlangen in Germany, which holds its own comic festival, Comic Salon.

On successful completion of study, we will issue the following award: BA (Hons) Cartoon and Comic Arts

Course content

Taking place in a lively studio space, 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 to develop a host of skills and techniques to confidently tackle industry live briefs and progress your practice.

Visiting industry practitioners will support, guide and work with you in our studio, offering advice, tips and technical knowledge drawn from their vast experience. Recent visits have included Mike Collins (Doctor Who and IDW Comics), David Lloyd (V for Vendetta and Aces Weekly), Simon Donald (Viz Comics), Jon Haward (Marvel UK and Eagle Comic), Graham Humphries (Evil Dead, Nightmare on Elm St.), Frazer Irving (Marvel, DC, 2000AD), and Kevin Gunstone (Marvel, Image, Dark Horse). Our trips have included international conventions in New York, Germany and Japan.

We place emphasis on real life experience, so you will be given opportunities to publish and sell your work in the market place. Completing this course will equip you with all of the skills necessary for the industry.

Academic year

The course operates on a modular basis that provides flexibility and choice. Typically the majority of modules are 30 academic credits with a smaller number of 15 credit modules. Each credit taken equates to a total study time of around 10 hours. Total study time includes scheduled teaching, independent study and assessment activity. Full-time students take modules worth 60 credits per semester, with part-time students taking proportionately fewer credits per semester. All students take a total of 120 credits per level and 360 credits for the degree as a whole. Your overall grade for the course and your degree classification are based on the marks obtained for modules taken at levels 5 and 6.  The full-time course has one start point in September.

Cartoon and Comic Arts promo

Cartoon and Comic Arts promo

Video

Animated promo by graduate, Conan McPhee who now works as a Freelancer.

Modules

The tables provide an indicative list of the modules that make up the course for the current academic year. Each module is worth a specified number of credits. Our teaching is informed by research, and modules change periodically to reflect developments in the discipline. We aim to ensure that all modules run as scheduled. If for any reason a module cannot be run we will advise you as soon as possible and will provide guidance on selecting an appropriate alternative module.

Year 1 compulsory modules
Year 1 compulsory modules
Comics For The 21St Century 30 credits
Drawing For Illustration 15 credits
The Fundamentals Of Cartoons And Comics 45 credits
Visual Comic Application 30 credits
Year 2 compulsory modules
Year 2 compulsory modules
Comic Narrative & Art 30 credits
Professional Practice: Cartoon And Comic Arts 15 credits
The Art Of Cartoons And Comics 45 credits
Visual Storytelling 30 credits
Year 3 compulsory modules
Year 3 compulsory modules
Negotiated Programme Of Study For Cartoon And Comic Arts (Part 1) 45 credits
Negotiated Programme Of Study For Cartoon And Comic Arts (Part 2) 60 credits
Research, Analysis And Communication Assignment 15 credits

Entry requirements

  • Typical UCAS offer: 112 points
  • A levels: BBC
  • BTEC: DMM
  • Foundation Diploma in Art and Design: Merit

 

All applicants are individually assessed via interview with portfolio.

We understand that you might have experienced a challenging run up to higher education and may have not met the entry requirements as listed. If this is the case don’t worry, contact us and our team of expert advisors can guide you through the next stages of application, or help you find the perfect course for your needs.

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For equivalent entry requirements in your home country, please see the information on our country pages.

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Facilities

Cartoon and Comic Arts Studio

In our Cartoon studio, you’ll have your own desk and drawing board. You’ll also benefit from Wacom Cintiq tablets and industry standard software including the Adobe Creative Suite, Manga Studio and Motion Artist. Our in-house library contains classic comics and insightful textbooks.

Careers

Successful students leave our course with highly developed portfolios, exhibition experience and industry contacts.  Past graduates have become professional comic artists, selling their work in various specialist shops around the country, such as Orbital Comics, Gosh Comics, Forbidden Planet, Page 45, Dave’s Comics, and Travelling Man. Graduates also leave prepared for a broader range of illustrative work, able to sell work to publications like The Guardian, The Independent, and The Big Issue, and various online sites.

Cartoon and Comic Arts - Facilities Tour

Cartoon and Comic Arts - Facilities Tour

Video

Lecturer, Gareth Cowlin takes you on a tour of the Cartoon and Comic Arts workshops.

Teaching and assessment

Teaching

The teaching on this course is firmly rooted in studio practice. You develop your skills across a wide range of project-based activities, which take place within a studio setting appropriate to the subject. Sometimes you will work in whole groups, sometimes you will working in teams, with presentations of your work to your peer group and the academic staff. At other times during your study, you will be working on individual self-initiated projects. During projects, there will be tutorial sessions with academic staff where you explore your practice in more detail.

In addition, you take part in lecture and seminar activities which allow you to explore the contextual and professional background to the projects you are undertaking. These are led by your lecturers and also guest tutors from industry who bring their specialist insight into the sessions. You also participate in technical skills instruction sessions with Technician Instructors enabling you to enhance your making and digital skills across a wide range of techniques and approaches.

Assessment

You are assessed in this course by a range of different types of coursework and practical activities. The assessment task for each module will vary dependent upon its content but may include:

  • A portfolio of completed artwork, professionally presented in the format required by the assignment, project or brief.
  • Workbooks, sketchbooks etc., documenting the process of generating, developing and resolving thoughts/ideas, and demonstrating the influence of research on practical work.
  • Research books, folders, dossiers, etc. documenting the gathering, sorting and presentation of research material.
  • Technical Exercises demonstrating your skills and competencies using particular equipment and/or techniques
  • Written essays or reports, in which you are exploring the contextual or professional background to a specific project
  • An individual or group seminar presentation and/or the accompanying material which you have used to create the presentation.

Learning support

In addition to the excellent support you will receive from your course teaching team, our central Academic Skills team provides group and one-to-one help to support your learning in a number of areas. These include study skills (including reading, note-taking and presentation skills); written English (including punctuation and grammatical accuracy); academic writing (including how to reference); research skills; critical thinking and understanding arguments; and revision, assessment and examination skills (including time management).

Additional support

Our AccessAbility Services support students with additional needs such as sensory impairment, or learning difficulties such as dyslexia.

Feedback

Throughout the modules you take on your course you are provided with formative, developmental assessment opportunities, which are carried out in tutorial and critique situations. Feedback is usually provided to you orally, with a written record kept either by the tutor or by you. This is sometimes produced as the result of peer or self-assessment exercises.

All modules also included formal or “summative” assessment tasks and the grades from the formal assessments count towards your module mark. You will normally receive feedback on coursework assessments within 20 working days following the date of submission.

Scarlet Wright - Cartoon and Comic Arts

Scarlet Wright - Cartoon and Comic Arts

Video

Cartoon and Comic Arts graduate Scarlet Wright hopes her supernatural adventure will open doors to a career in Japan.

Your study time will consist of class contact hours, self-directed learning, assessment and placements where appropriate. Your actual contact hours will depend on the subject area, on the option modules you select and professional body requirements. A typical composition of study time for this course is:

Year 1

19% of time in lectures, seminars or similar
81% of time in independent study
0% of time in placements

Year 2

17% of time in lectures, seminars or similar
83% of time in independent study
0% of time in placements

Year 3

7% of time in lectures, seminars or similar
93% of time in independent study
0% of time in placements

Independent learning

When not attending lectures, seminars, laboratory or other timetabled sessions, you will be expected to continue learning independently through self-study. Typically, this will involve utilising a range of digital resources including our virtual learning environment; reading journals, articles and books; working on individual and group projects; undertaking research in the library; preparing coursework assignments and presentations, and preparing for examinations. Your independent learning will be supported by a range of excellent facilities. These include the library, open access computer facilities, informal learning zones, a range of laboratories and performance and studio spaces.

Year 1

0% practical exams
100% coursework
0% written exams

Year 2

0% practical exams
100% coursework
0% written exams

Year 3

0% practical exams
100% coursework
0% written exams

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.

Adrian Tooth

Course Director

Creating things and bringing them to life has always been a passion of Adrian's. He's been an animator and freelance illustrator/cartoonist amongst a whole range of other jobs, which include the manager of a pottery decoration department and a t…

Adrian's profile

Gareth Cowlin

Lecturer

Gareth has regularly produced illustrative work for a range of magazines and newspapers, including: Private Eye, Punch, The Sun, The Bookseller & The New Statesman.

Gareth's profile

Claire Smith

Lecturer

Claire I am a small-press comic artist and illustrator. I create and self-publish all of my own comics and sell them at conventions around the country. I also work as a 2D background artist for various different game projects.

Claire's profile

Fees

For the course starting on 20 September 2021 the tuition fees are:

Tuition fees for BA (Hons)-Full-time
Study option UK / Channel Islands International
Full-time £9,250 per year of study £14,000 per year of study

UK and Channel Island students: This tuition fee is agreed subject to UK government policy and parliamentary regulation. If the UK government passes appropriate legislation, the fee for subsequent years of study may increase in each academic year. But this increase will not exceed the rate of inflation as measured by RPIX**. Any change in fees will apply to both new and continuing students. The University will notify students of any change as early as possible. Further information about fee changes would be posted on the University’s website once this becomes available.

**RPIX is a measure of inflation equivalent to all the items in the Retail Price Index (RPI) excluding mortgage interest payments.

International students: Tuition fees will remain the same for each year of your course, as long as you complete it in the normal time-frame (i.e. no repeat years or breaks in study).

Jack Baker - Cartoon and Comic Arts

Jack Baker - Cartoon and Comic Arts

Video

Jack Baker explains the skills he’s gained as an independent comic artist and how there's more to the industry than Marvel and DC.

Included in tuition fees
Included in the fees:

Travel, and accommodation costs incurred by compulsory trips and visits away from the University that are directly linked to the learning requirements of a specific module.

The use of all workshops, studios and specialist technical facilities and hire of equipment relating to the course of study.

Not included in tuition fees
Not included in the fees:

The estimated cost of text books over the duration of the course. All essential text books are available from the library, but some students chose to purchase their own copies.

Travel, subsistence, entrance fees etc. incurred by optional trips and visits away from the University related to the course.

The cost of materials for the development of a student’s individual practice and work. Additional costs vary dependent upon student’s own choice of materials and approach to their practice.

Optional personal insurance when borrowing equipment such as cameras, lighting equipment etc. for extended period of use off campus [Approx £50-£100]. It may be possible to add some items to home contents insurance.

Accommodation and living costs
Accommodation and living costs

Accommodation and living costs are not included in our fees. 

For more information on accommodation and living costs, please see: Accommodation

Sources of financial support

If you receive funding from Student Finance you may be eligible to apply for additional benefits. Details can be obtained by visiting: www.gov.uk

Scholarships and additional funding

As an undergraduate student at Staffordshire, you may be eligible for additional financial support through one of our scholarships and bursaries. You can visit our funding page to find out more and check your eligibility.

Our students

My favourite part of my course has been working with my course mates on group projects. I'm proud of the fact that I'm one of only thirty seven Cartoon & Comic Arts students IN THE WORLD!

Maxie Oliver

Cartoon & Comic Arts Student

Apply

Location Award Study option Start date Apply Link
Stoke-on-Trent campus BA (Hons) Full-time 20 September 2021 Apply now

Information from discover uni

Rules and regulations

If you are offered a place at Staffordshire University, your offer will be subject to our rules, regulations and enrolment conditions, which may vary from time to time.

Students of Staffordshire University enter into a contract with us and are bound by these rules and regulations, which are subject to change. For more information, please see: University Policies and Regulations.

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