Please note there are no vacancies on this course for September 2014

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About this course

  • Entry year: 2014/15
  • Course code: W224
  • Applications: UCAS
  • Level: Undergraduate
  • Tariff points: 280
  • Department: Art and Design
  • Campus: Bower Ashton
  • Duration: Three years
  • Delivery: Part-time, Full-time
  • Study Abroad: Yes
  • Programme leader: Christine Hill
  • Key fact: We also offer students the opportunity to study an Animation pathway - please refer to the Structure tab for more information.


This course focuses on understanding and developing visual language and refining technique. Through experimentation, exploration and continual practice you are encouraged to develop your individual voice, methods and language as diverse as your imagination. The course embraces a very broad range of media including 2D, 3D and moving image. Drawing underpins each student"s individual practice and forms a means of communication and dialogue throughout the course.

Students are encouraged to contribute to a strong, studio-based, peer-group learning environment.

Cultural and theoretical studies broaden your awareness of the tradition of illustration and encourage analysis and critical enquiry while visits from respected practitioners aim to keep you informed about contemporary illustration practice.

The course consistently produces award-winning students. In 2012/13 students were successful at the Macmillan Children's Book Awards, D&AD New Blood, American Illustration Awards, Folio Society, Penguin Awards, Ligatura International Graphic Novel Award, Cheltenham Illustration Awards, AOI London Transport Competition and the 3x3 Illustration Awards.

See some of our Illustration students' work on Flickr.

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>> Structure

Student's view

The tutors have always given 100% of their enthusiasm and time, and have set interesting and challenging briefs to build our confidence and to help develop our personal visual language. The course has helped me to become a proper artist. Ig



Across all three years of the course, Professional Practice/Work Experience modules allow you to explore and effectively engage with industry as an emerging practitioner.

Year 1

The first year introduces you to illustration and its applications in problem solving. Major emphasis is placed on drawing draughtsmanship as basis communication foundation personal language. You are encouraged to explore a wide range of traditional and digital media and to explore painting techniques and the translation of image into printmaking.

There will be a range of visiting speakers and a Professional Practice and Work Experience module to enable you to begin to locate the context of your own practice, hear from industry professionals and find out about future career options.

You will study the following compulsory modules:

  • Introduction to Illustration
  • Narrative and Place
  • Critical Perspectives
  • Professional Practice and Work Experience in Illustration 1

Year 2

You will be introduced to the wider experience of professional illustration practice. You will experience sequential storytelling and the exposition of complex ideas in single images. You are encouraged at all times to reflect on your personal practice and to understand the sources that drive and inform it.

In the second semester, there is the opportunity to undertake an international exchange programme at one of our partner institutions in Europe or further afield.

You will study the following compulsory modules:

  • Exploring Process in Illustration
  • Critical Analysis
  • Professional Practice and Work Experience in Illustration 2

Plus one of the following:

  • Developing Practice in Illustration 2
  • International Exchange

Year 3

You will take responsibility for your own creative progress through a programme of student-led self-directed study, where individualism and innovation are encouraged. Business studies and freelance seminars led by practicing illustrators will advise you in the selection and presentation of a professional portfolio of work.

You will study the following compulsory modules:

  • Preparation for Extended Study in Illustration
  • Extended Study in Illustration
  • Independent Research Project
  • Professional Practice and Work Experience in Illustration 3

Please note this structure is for the full-time course delivery only. For part-time delivery the same modules will be studied over a longer period and the structure will differ.

Learning and teaching

Most of the learning that you do will take place in a course-specific environment aimed at project related outcomes organised into specific modules.

Teaching sessions include workshops, seminars, group and individual tutorials and lectures. The principal teaching and learning method used is the tutor group, which meets regularly to discuss student work and other course related issues.

Throughout the entire course you will attend lectures and seminars in Visual Culture with students from across the Department of Creative Industries. This core module enables you to develop a rigorous critical and analytical approach to your own work and the work of others. It also fosters a culture of collaboration between disciplines which is very valuable to you when you leave university. On completion of the course you should expect to be fully aware of the business and working processes in your chosen area of creative practice.

For more details see our full glossary of learning and teaching terms.


All modules are assessed, and marks from modules undertaken in Year 2 and Year 3 can contribute to the final award.

A variety of assessment methods are used including projects, essays, group presentations and visual presentation.

For more details see our full glossary of assessment terms.

>> Features

Special Features


Students can also participate in exchanges with European institutions. There are also opportunities to participate in exchanges with European institutions and go on a field trip.

Study facilities

All Illustration students have access to the 3D Centre, EPI Centre, Media Centre, Print Centre and library at Bower Ashton.

Find out more about the facilities and resources UWE has to offer.

>> Careers

Careers/further study

Recent graduates are successfully pursuing careers as freelance editorial, publishing, design and advertising image-makers. Others are working in film/animation as pre-production designers, stylists and model makers or in education. Graduates have also taken up positions in a number of prestigious animation studios in Bristol and throughout the UK.

Graduate destinations

Find out what our graduates are doing six months after graduating- includes examples of careers, employers and further study. Download a PDF from graduate destinations.

Creating employable students

UWE places strong emphasis on employability and skill development at every level. Through work placements, volunteering, study abroad and UWE initiatives, including the highly successful Undergraduate Internship Scheme, we nurture talent and encourage innovation. Through these opportunities students gain valuable real world experience and graduate with diverse career prospects and a competitive place in the job market.

See great graduate prospects for further information.

Be inspired

Read how Lisa honed her skills to become a freelance illustrator.

See some of our students' work on flickr.

Hear about some of the work opportunities generated by the Enterprise office.

Useful links

Prospects - careers in the creative arts sector

The UWE careers service provides guidance and support throughout your studies and after you graduate in addition to useful resources, CV checks, career coaching and details of current job vacancies. They also source opportunities for students to gain work based experience. This support can be accessed face to face, over the telephone or online.

>> Fees


Full time course

FeeAmount (£)
Home/EU-Full Time-Annual (Per Year) Fee9000
Home/EU-Full Time-15 Credit Module Fee1125
Offshore-Full Time-Annual (Per Year) Fee9000
Offshore-Full Time 15 Credit Module Fee1125

Part time course

FeeAmount (£)
Home/EU-Part Time-15 Credit Moldule Fee1125

Supplementary fee information

For information about fees and funding for courses please see our fees and funding pages.

>> Entry


Typical offers

  • Tariff points: 280
  • GCSE: Grade C or above in English Language
  • A-level subjects: No specific subjects required. Points from A-Level General Studies and AS-Level subjects (not taken onto full A-Level) can be included towards overall tariff. You must have a minimum of two A-Levels.
  • EDEXCEL (BTEC) Diploma: A minimum of DMM from the BTEC Diploma
  • Access: Achievement of the HE Diploma; to include 15 L3 credits at merit; achievement of Level 2 credits giving GCSE equivalency (where appropriate) in English Language. Applicants completing Level 3 credits in Art and Design are guaranteed an interview.
  • Baccalaureate IB: 25 points

Entry requirements

Successful applicants are generally those with the strongest portfolios. Students of all ages and from all social backgrounds are recruited with a variety of qualifications including Foundation Studies Diploma, BTEC National Diploma, A levels or equivalent qualification in Art and Design.

Applicants will be invited to submit a digital portfolio for review. Following this, shortlisted applicants will be invited to an individual interview where they will be required to present a collection of their creative work, demonstrating a good practical ability in and understanding of their chosen field.

As a guide, staff are looking for applicants to demonstrate one or more of the following;

  • An innovative approach to image making
  • A good level of drawing skills eg life drawing/observational drawing
  • Evidence of visual thinking and engagement with concepts
  • Experimentation with digital and analogue (hand made) processes
  • An individualistic and curious approach to image making

How to apply

Please see the general information about applications.

For further information

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