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Please note the tariff points stated for this course are indicative. The tariff points for 2018 will be published by August 2017.

About this course

Entry year:
Course code:
Tariff points:
Art and Design
City Campus
Three years
Part-time, Full-time
Study abroad:
Programme leader:
Christine Hill
Key fact:
You will learn in a creative and supportive studio environment with professional-standard facilities and a real-world dynamic.

Page last updated 7 April 2017


Why BA(Hons) Illustration?

Our BA(Hons) Illustration consistently produces award-winning students who enter high-profile careers across the creative industries. You will work across a range of media, including 2D, 3D and moving image. Self-directed projects could range from editorial to narrative, 3D model-making to film, animation to artists' books, providing excellent preparation for the commercial world.

Why study this course?

Illustration is based at Bower Ashton Campus, part of the City Campus. Exceptional facilities and resources include state-of-the-art digital media studios and production and fabrication workshops offer a combination of traditional tools and the latest technology.

The course encourages you to create and develop your own personal visual language. Problem-solving through drawing and making is core. You will explore a range of traditional and digital media and deepen your awareness of the traditions of illustration through theoretical studies. Individual experimentation is underpinned throughout by an awareness of the professional world and the development of core skills.

You will have the opportunity of studying and accessing facilities at other sites within City Campus. This may include attending lectures, including guest lectures, and seminars at the City Campus at Arnolfini and City Campus at Watershed in Bristol city centre.

Real-world experience

Our strong industry links with the thriving city of Bristol ensure input from illustrators and creatives. Visits from respected practitioners will keep you up to date with contemporary illustration practice.

Innovation and individualism are celebrated. You will be encouraged to investigate potential places for your work and will regularly test yourself against industry expectations through live briefs and externally judged national and international competitions.

Where it can take you

Alongside established freelance illustration career paths, our graduates work across the creative industries in roles such as film directors, set designers, art/creative directors, illustration agents, visualisers, designers, model-makers, animators, storyboard artists, puppeteers, theatrical/film costume and prop designers.

Look at UWE Bristol students' work on Flickr.

Watch: The learning and teaching experience

Accreditations and partnerships:



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
  • Creative Analysis
  • Professional Practice and Work Experience in Illustration 2

Plus one of the following optional modules:

  • 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 also note this structure is for the full-time course delivery only. For part-time delivery, the same modules will be studied. However, the structure will differ.

The University continually enhances our offer by responding to feedback from our students and other stakeholders, ensuring the curriculum is kept up to date and our graduates are equipped with the knowledge and skills they need for the real world. This may result in changes to the course. If changes to your course are approved, we will inform you.

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. 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.



We have links with the creative industries throughout the region and you will work to live briefs set and assessed by professionals in the field.

Students can participate in study exchanges with European institutions through the EU-funded Socrates programme and can find European work placements through the Leonardo programme.


European and international visits and field studies are offered through the course.

Study facilities

Illustration is based at the Bower Ashton Campus. Studying at Bower Ashton offers an excellent base for you within the exciting City Campus, connecting teaching and learning with some of the best creative and cultural organisations in Bristol. Bower Ashton houses the main library supporting the creative and cultural industries as well as student support services.

Find out more about UWE Bristol's facilities and resources.


Careers / Further study

Our graduates go on to work across all areas of the creative industries: for example, as film directors, set designers, art/creative directors, illustration agents, visualisers, designers, model-makers, animators, storyboard artists, puppeteers, theatrical/film costume and prop designers. Others establish successful freelance careers as illustrators.

Examples of recent destinations are:

  • Animator/filmmaker at Arthur Cox
  • Model/puppet-maker at Aardman Animation
  • Prop-maker for Harry Potter Film Franchise
  • Creative Director at Landor Associates
  • Art Editor at NoBrow
  • Artist at Damien Hirst Studios
  • Art Editor at MacMillan Publishers
Award-winning careers service

Our award-winning careers service helps you develop your employment potential through career coaching, a vacancy service for internships, placements, jobs, global opportunities, volunteering and community activity plus support for entrepreneurial activity, and access to employer events.

Creating employable students

UWE Bristol places strong emphasis on employability and skills development at every level. Through work placements, volunteering, study abroad and initiatives nurturing talent and innovation, you will have opportunities to gain valuable real world experience, allowing you to graduate with diverse career opportunities and a competitive place in the job market.

Visit our Employability pages to find out about careers, employers, real world experience and what our students are doing six months after graduating.

Be inspired

Read Emma's success story about her journey from UWE Bristol graduate to children's author.


Full Time Course

FeesAmount (£)
International-Full Time-Annual (Per Year) Fee12500
International-Full Time-Module Fee (15 Credit)1563

Indicative Additional Costs

FeesAmount (£)
Additional Course Costs - Full Time - Home/EU - Indicative Maximum Cost Per year400
Optional Field Trip - (Maximum Cost)500

Supplementary fee information

The additional costs listed are those that students could reasonably expect to incur during their studies and are for items not covered by the standard tuition fee. These could be materials, text books, travel, clothing, software or printing.

For information about funding for undergraduate courses see our funding pages.


Typical offers

  • Tariff points: 112
  • GCSE: For all applicants, Grade C or above, or Grade 4 under newly reformed GCSE grading, in English Language, or equivalent. Please note the University does not accept Level 2 Key Skills, Functional Skills or Certificates in Adult Numeracy and Literacy as suitable alternatives to GCSEs.
  • 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: No specific subjects required.
  • Access: Achievement of the Access to HE Diploma; to include 15 level 3 credits at merit.
  • Baccalaureate IB: No specific subjects required.

Entry requirements

Please read the general information about entry requirements.

Due to the creative nature of the course, you will be considered on your own individual merit and potential to succeed. We may make different offers where appropriate to candidates who have a strong portfolio, or substantial relevant work/other experience and whose motivation and skills would enable them to succeed on the course. In your application, please give full details of any relevant work experience and qualifications (including modules and units).

Portfolio and interview

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

If you don't meet the entry requirements of this course, you may be eligible for Foundation Year entry into this or other related degree courses.

How to apply

Please see the general information about applications.

For further information


UWE Main Campus

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