Illustration

Study options

Award

BA (Hons)

Key facts

UCAS code:
W220
Location:
Stoke-on-Trent campus
Location:
Stoke-on-Trent campus
Study option:
Full-time
Study option:
Part-time
Duration:
3 Years
Duration:
6 Years
Start date:
20 September 2021

Flexible studio space

The design of our spaces encourages collaboration and experimentation

Top 10

Guardian University League Tables 2019 (#7)

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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.

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

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.

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.

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.

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.

Annie Lind - Illustration

Annie Lind - Illustration

Video

Illustration student Annie talks about the ways her degree has given her confidence in areas she did not expect and the varied ways illustrators can express themselves.

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
Drawing For Illustration 15 credits
Introduction To Animation 15 credits
Visual Application 45 credits
Visual Communication 45 credits
Year 2 compulsory modules
Year 2 compulsory modules
Illustration And Application 45 credits
Illustration And Communication 30 credits
Professional Practice 15 credits
Visual Storytelling 30 credits
Year 3 compulsory modules
Year 3 compulsory modules
Creative Practice In Context 30 credits
Negotiated Programme 1 30 credits
Negotiated Programme 2 45 credits
Research, Analysis And Communication Assignment 15 credits

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
Drawing For Illustration 15 credits
Introduction To Animation 15 credits
Visual Application 45 credits
Visual Communication 45 credits
Year 2 compulsory modules
Year 2 compulsory modules
Drawing For Illustration 15 credits
Introduction To Animation 15 credits
Visual Application 45 credits
Visual Communication 45 credits
Year 3 compulsory modules
Year 3 compulsory modules
Illustration And Application 45 credits
Illustration And Communication 30 credits
Professional Practice 15 credits
Visual Storytelling 30 credits
Year 4 compulsory modules
Year 4 compulsory modules
Illustration And Application 45 credits
Illustration And Communication 30 credits
Professional Practice 15 credits
Visual Storytelling 30 credits
Year 5 compulsory modules
Year 5 compulsory modules
Creative Practice In Context 30 credits
Negotiated Programme 1 30 credits
Negotiated Programme 2 45 credits
Research, Analysis And Communication Assignment 15 credits
Year 6 compulsory modules
Year 6 compulsory modules
Creative Practice In Context 30 credits
Negotiated Programme 1 30 credits
Negotiated Programme 2 45 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.

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.

Chloe Hayward - Yo Go Girl project

Chloe Hayward - Yo Go Girl project

Video

Illustrator, Chloe Hayward talks about her colourful Yo Go Girl project and the physical and mental health benefits of yoga.

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

Choose your country

Check our entry and English language requirements for your country.

GO

Facilities

Graphics and Illustration Workspace

You'll spend much of your time in our spacious and open plan design studios. An exciting creative hub, equipped with iMacs and industry-standard software, creative learning zones and state-of-the-art digital printing.

Industry Design Software

From letterpress to Flash, our excellent workshops are equipped with the tools of the trade.

Workshops

You'll also be able to use our craft workshops that are brimming with top-notch equipment, including laser cutting facilities, screen-printing, letterpress and experimental print, photography and digital processing.

Careers

Our Illustration degree will prepare you for a career in a variety of fields, including: book arts and publishing, editorial, animation and printmaking. It will also act as a firm foundation for postgraduate study. Many of our graduates successfully run their own freelance businesses. They work on commissions for children’s books and publications for companies such as Digital Arts magazine, AOL, New Scientist, Ammo magazine, Ikea, Anorak Press and Kooga.

Art and Design Show 2019

Art and Design Show 2019

Video

Art and Design Show 2019 report from Nat and Nom.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Illustration - Art and Design Show 2018

Illustration - Art and Design Show 2018

Video

Behind the scenes with Molly Turton winner of the international D&AD competition.

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:

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

13% of time in lectures, seminars or similar
87% of time in independent study
0% of time in placements

Year 2

12% of time in lectures, seminars or similar
88% of time in independent study
0% of time in placements

Year 3

12% of time in lectures, seminars or similar
88% 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.

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

6% practical exams
94% 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.

Sarah Rushton

Senior Lecturer

Sarah's experience spans 22 years across both the education sector and in the production of creative work in both graphic design and illustration. Her research interests include embedding socially responsible design into the design curriculum, l…

Sarah's profile

Matt Buckingham

Lecturer

Matt Buckingham is an internationally published author, illustrator, educator and designer with specialisms in children’s publications and picture books.

Matt'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

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

Tuition fees for BA (Hons) Part-time
Study option UK / Channel Islands
Part-time £4,620 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).

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.

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.

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.

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

I’ve always enjoyed Illustration as I knew I wanted to have a career in this field in the future - but wasn’t sure if it would be possible. The lecturers here at Staffs really supported me with my projects and all the facilities are easily accessible. After winning the Briefcases Competition this year, it’s made me realise that I really can turn my once hobby into a real job.

Mai Duay

Student

My time on the Illustration course has been exciting and full of opportunity. The opportunity to enter competitions really pushes you to create work to an industry standard and gives the whole course confidence and pride when someone wins an award.

Molly Turton

Illustration graduate and D&AD New Blood Winner

The school has excellent facilities and there is constant encouragement to experiment with imaginative methods of image-making. Beyond graduation, there is also academic support and an active alumni community.

Katie Forrester

Completing a PHD in Printmaking at Edinburgh University

I have been designing and illustrating children's books, which is my passion and am looking forward to the books I have worked on getting published soon.I wouldn't be where I am now if it wasn't for Staffordshire University and all of the great lecturers that helped me to achieve my dream job!

Jenny Addison

Now working at Usborne Publishing

Apply

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

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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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