School of Art and Media

BA (Hons) Illustration

The most engaging and memorable illustrations come from people with a bold, clear approach. Study illustration with us and you’ll learn how to create images that are different to everyone else’s. We don’t have a ‘house style’ – we’ll actively encourage you to discover and develop your own illustrative voice. This voice will help you attract the attention of commissioning agents and publishers, and find work doing what you love. Are you ready to meet a different kind of you?

UCAS tariff
280
UCAS course code
W222
Institution code
P60
Duration
3 years
Course type
Full-time
Location
Plymouth

Key features

  • Be inspired by a varied studio-based culture and practise in our easy-access workshop facilities. Take part in everything from life and location drawing to printmaking and media exploration.
  • Develop your Photoshop, Premiere, InDesign and Flash skills in digital workshops, and explore typography basics, bookbinding, creative writing and more.
  • Gain invaluable knowledge, confidence and professional awareness by seizing work experience opportunities in years 2 and 3. This can range from simple studio visits to longer-term placements and collaboration, such as graduate Kate Mowbray’s placement as a Publishing Assistant with BBC History Magazine.
  • Develop your personal visual ‘voice' and start getting noticed in the professional world by taking part in external commissions and competitions. Get an insight into the world of our award-winning students with freelance illustrator, Jack Teagle
  • Define your illustrative direction within specific routes such as comic/graphic novels, children’s markets, printmaking, and design for animation/screen – or continue to explore within a broad range of practice. 
  • Raise your profile and make new contacts by exhibiting your work at both our Degree Show and London graduate shows.
  • Set your work in a global context through inspiring overseas study trips to places such as London, New York and Barcelona.
  • Choose to take part in an International Exchange programme in your second year, broadening your cultural references and forging new contacts in the international illustration scene. Find out about recent student Alexander Lee’s experiences living and learning in Japan.
  • Benefit from a varied visiting speaker programme of illustrators, commissioning editors, publishers and ex-graduates ready to share advice and insight to help shape your future career.
  • Build up your analogue and digital portfolios and develop your professional profile and confidence, ensuring you’re ready for whatever future direction you wish to pursue, whether freelance, studio-based or within further education such as MA or PGCE courses.

Course details

  • Year 1
  • The first year will introduce you to the basics of illustration practice. You’ll develop your knowledge of image-making through character design, life drawing, printmaking, bookbinding, sequential and conceptual approaches, digital workshops and media exploration. We’ll also introduce you to the techniques and essential processes of illustration practice within historical and contemporary frameworks, preparing you for year 2.
    Core modules
    • CART400PP Conscience (Communicating an Ethical Message)

    • ILLUS420 Meaning/Ideas

    • ILLUS410 Narrative Sequence

    • ILLUS400 Play

  • Year 2
  • In your second year, you can keep your focus broad or pursue a more specific area of personal interest at a deeper level. You’ll make contact with experts in the industry and analyse why the creative world is how it is. Critical and contextual modules with a varied visiting speaker programme will help you begin to position yourself as a professional. You’ll also have the opportunity to take part in placements, live briefs and competitions, to study abroad or collaborate with other disciplines.
    Optional modules
    • ILLUS510 Interpreting Information

    • ILLUS520 Japanese Exchange and Report

    • ILLUS530 Socrates Exchange and Report

    • ILLUS501 Technique and Approach 1

    • ILLUS511 Technique and Approach 2

    • ILLUS500 Thematic: Finding Your Context

  • Final year
  • There is increased emphasis on developing and consolidating your personal visual ‘voice' in your final year, while visiting lecturers will offer a variety of viewpoints. You’ll undertake a dissertation related to your personal interests and have the chance to exhibit your work at both our Degree Show and in London. Modules focus your attention on building up your analogue and digital portfolios, and raising your professional profile and confidence ready for your first job in your chosen field.
    Core modules
    • ILLUS600 Consolidating Your Approach

    • ILLUS610 Negotiated Project 1

    Optional modules
    • ILLUS631 Dissertation (presentation)

    • ILLUS630 Dissertation (written)

    • ILLUS633 Dissertation Extended

    • ILLUS620 Negotiated Project 2A

    • ILLUS621 Negotiated Project 2B

    • ILLUS632 Practice, Research and Analysis

    • ILLUS640 Professional Practice

The modules shown for this course are those currently being studied by our students, or are proposed new modules. Please note that programme structures and individual modules are subject to amendment from time to time as part of the University’s curriculum enrichment programme and in line with changes in the University’s policies and requirements.

Entry requirements

UCAS tariff
280 points from a minimum of two A levels.

International Baccalaureate
24 points.

18 Unit BTEC National Diploma/QCF Extended Diploma
DDM.

All access courses
Pass a named Access to Higher Education Diploma (preferably art and design or combined), with at least 33 credits at merit and/or distinction.

GCSE
Mathematics and English Language grade C.


English language requirements.

Equivalent qualifications may be considered, please contact admissions@plymouth.ac.uk.


An interview and portfolio presentation are requirements for entry onto this course.

Find further information on our interview and portfolio guidance page.

Fees & funding

For all information about tuition fees, please visit our fees and funding pages.
For more information about our fees and funding visit www.plymouth.ac.uk/money.

How to apply

All applications for undergraduate courses are made through UCAS (Universities and Colleges Admissions Service). 

UCAS will ask for the information contained in the box at the top of this course page including the UCAS course code and the institution code. 

To apply for this course and for more information about submitting an application including application deadline dates, please visit the UCAS website.



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Information required by UCAS

Institution code
P60
UCAS code
W222
Campus code
There is no campus code
Application deadline
See UCAS website for deadline dates
Apply now
http://www.ucas.com/apply

Open days

A number of open day events are held each year, welcoming you to the campus to find out more about the University, accommodation, facilities and study opportunities.

Find out more from our open days section or register to come and see us using a short open day registration form.

BA (Hons) Illustration - Now look here

These days, illustration can be found pretty much everywhere. We’ll encourage you to explore a range of techniques and media – so you’ll be just as likely to see your work on the side of a building or within an iPad game as in the pages of a book.

Award-winning, committed tutors – who work at the forefront of illustration and are passionate about image-making – will support you on your journey.

Let’s explore the course

Student illustration displayed on an iPad

BA (Hons) Illustration - student voice, Joe Lyward

The course gives you three years of intensive practising and developing. Surrounded by likeminded individuals, it creates an environment that’s encouraging, educational and fun.

Joe said he felt the course also prepared him for the business-end of illustration.

Not the same - take a look at the range of our students' work

  • BA (Hons) Illustration

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    BA (Hons) Illustration
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    BA (Hons) Illustration
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    BA (Hons) Illustration
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    BA (Hons) Illustration
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    BA (Hons) Illustration
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    BA (Hons) Illustration
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    BA (Hons) Illustration
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    BA (Hons) Illustration
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    BA (Hons) Illustration
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    BA (Hons) Illustration
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    BA (Hons) Illustration
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    BA (Hons) Illustration
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    BA (Hons) Illustration

Big show off

Our students win national and international competitions and work on many live and external briefs.

Graduate Steve Panton recently won a Penguin Design Award for his book cover for The Big Sleep.

Find out more about our prize-winning students

Applicant buddies

Are you an applicant or thinking of applying to university? Do you want to speak to a current student about their experiences? We know that thinking about coming to university can seem a bit daunting, so we have a scheme to help - applicant buddies.

Dr Steve Butts, Associate Dean: Teaching and Learning

Chat to our applicant buddies