A selection of bright displays

BA(Hons)

Illustration

This course is open for applications.

About this course

Entry year:
2018/19
Course code:
W224
Applications:
UCAS
Level:
Undergraduate
Tariff points:
112
Department:
Art and Design
Campus:
City Campus
Duration:
Three years
Delivery:
Part-time; full-time
Study abroad:
Yes
Programme leader:
Christine Hill
Key fact:
Learn in a creative and supportive studio environment with professional-standard facilities and a focus on helping you gain real-world skills for the workplace.

Page last updated 16 October 2017

Introduction

Why study 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 UWE Bristol?

BA(Hons) Illustration encourages you to create and develop your own personal visual language. Problem-solving through drawing and making is core.

You'll be based at Bower Ashton Studios, part of the City Campus. Exceptional facilities and resources include industry standard digital media studios and production and fabrication workshops.

Explore a range of media and deepen your awareness of the traditions of illustration through theoretical studies. Build an awareness of the professional world and develop core skills through individual experimentation.

Innovation and individualism are celebrated. Investigate potential places for your work and test yourself against industry expectations through live briefs and externally judged national and international competitions.

Our City Campus is a powerhouse of inspiration and collaboration, and home to our City Creatives. It spans across Bristol and is made up of Bower Ashton and renowned contemporary arts centres Spike Island, Arnolfini and Watershed.

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.

Attend lectures and seminars at the Arnolfini and Watershed and work in our production and fabrication workshops, equipped with traditional tools and the latest technology.

Showcase your work to talent scouts and potential employers at the final year Creative Industries Degree Show and graduate with an impressive portfolio of work.

Graduate ready to make your mark as an illustrator.

Where can it take me?

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

Watch: The learning and teaching experience

Accreditations and partnerships:

Structure

Content

The optional modules listed are those that are most likely to be available, but they may be subject to change.

Year one

You will study:

  • Introduction to Illustration
  • Narrative and Sequence
  • Professional Practice and Work Experience in Illustration 1
  • Critical Perspectives
  • Visual Essay

Year two

You will study:

  • Word and Image
  • Process and Practice
  • Professional Practice and Work Experience in Illustration 2
  • Creative Analysis
  • Developing Visual Narratives.

Plus one optional module from:

  • Developing Practice in Illustration 2
  • International Exchange.

Placement year (if applicable)

If you study on the four year (sandwich) course, you'll spend a year away from the University on a work or study placement after year two.

Depending on which you choose, you'll either complete a placement learning or learning and development module.

See the Placements and Fees sections for more information.

Final year

You will study:

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

This structure is for full-time students only. Part-time students study the same modules but the delivery pattern will be different.

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 your learning will take place in environments specific to each module.

Teaching sessions include workshops, seminars, group and individual tutorials and lectures. You'll mainly learn through your tutor group, which will meet regularly to discuss student work and related issues.

Get an introduction to illustration and its applications in problem solving. Explore a wide range of traditional and digital media, painting techniques and the translation of image into printmaking.

Attend visual culture lectures and seminars with students from other courses. Develop a rigorous critical and analytical approach to your own work and the work of others. Foster an understanding of collaboration between disciplines that will be valuable when you leave university.

Attend talks from industry professionals and find out about future career options and go on work experience to locate the context of your own practice. Get advice from practicing illustrators about selecting and presenting a professional portfolio of work.

Discover the wider experience of professional illustration practice. Try sequential storytelling and the exposition of complex ideas in single images. Reflect on your personal practice and understand the sources that drive and inform it. 

Take responsibility for your own creative progress through a programme of student-led self-directed study, where individualism and innovation are encouraged.

As a graduate, you will be fully aware of the business and working processes in your chosen area of creative practice.

See our full glossary of learning and teaching terms.

Look at illustration students' work on Flickr.

Percentage of time spend in different learning activities, per year.

YearScheduled learning and teaching studyIndependent studyPlacement study% check
154%46%0%100%
245%55%0%100%
320%80%0%100%

Assessment

All modules are assessed, and marks from modules undertaken in year two and your final year can contribute to the final award.

You can expect to be assessed through projects, essays, group presentations and visual presentation.

See our full glossary of assessment terms.

Percentage of time spend in different assessment methods, per year.

YearWritten exam assessmentCoursework assessmentPractical exam assessment% check
10%100%0%100%
20%100%0%100%
30%97%3%100%

Features

Placements

Students who get work experience tend to graduate with better degrees. Experience also hones your skills, industry knowledge and professional network, making you a sought after graduate.

If you choose the four year (sandwich) course, you'll spend a year away from the University on a work or study placement after year two.

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

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

Study year abroad

You'll also have opportunities to study overseas on courses that are taught in English and are relevant to your degree. The study year abroad is not a paid placement. 

Fieldwork

Go on European and international visits and field studies throughout the course.

Study facilities

Illustration is based at the Bower Ashton Studios. It's an excellent base 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.

A mix of traditional and hands-on learning environments helps you quickly take on essential knowledge and skills, standing you in good stead for your professional career.

Learn more about UWE Bristol's facilities and resources.

Careers

Careers / Further study

Our graduates go on to work across all areas of the creative industries.

They are film directors, set designers, art/creative directors, illustration agents, visualisers, designers, model-makers, animators, storyboard artists, puppeteers, theatrical/film costume and prop designers.

Past students work as:

  • 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.

Others establish successful freelance careers as illustrators.

Our alumni also include a Batsford Prize winner and the designer of the new Elbow album cover.

Get inspired

Our award-winning careers service will develop your employment potential through career coaching and find you graduate jobs, placements and global opportunities.

We can also help find local volunteering and community opportunities, provide support for entrepreneurial activity and get you access to employer events.

Visit our employability pages to learn more about careers, employers and what our students are doing six months after graduating.

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

Fees

Full Time Course

FeesAmount (£)
Home/EU-Full Time-Annual (Per Year) Fee9250
Home/EU-Full Time-Module Fee (15 Credit)1156
International-Full Time-Annual (Per Year) Fee12500
International-Full Time-Module Fee (15 Credit)1563
Offshore-Full Time-Annual (Per Year) Fee9250
Offshore-Full Time-Module Fee (15 Credit) 1156

Part Time Course

FeesAmount (£)
Home/EU-Part Time-Module Fee (15 Credit)1156
Offshore-Part Time-Module Fee (15 Credit)1156

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

Your overall entitlement to funding is based on how long the course is that you're registered on. Standard funding is allocated based on the standard number of years that your course lasts, plus one additional year.

You'll apply for funding each year that you study and Student Finance will take into account how long the course is in each year that you apply. So if you register for the four year course and then transfer to the three year course, the number of years you can apply for funding will change. Student Finance will reassess your funding based on how many years you have been in study, not just those years for which you received student finance.

Always seek advice before taking any action that may have implications for your funding.

Learn more about funding.

Additional costs

This refers to items you could need during your studies that aren't covered by the standard tuition fee. These could be materials, textbooks, travel, clothing, software or printing.

Learn more about costs.

Entry

Typical offers

  • Tariff points: 112
  • GCSE: For all applicants, Grade C/4 or above 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

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.

Read more about entry requirements.

How to apply

Read more about undergraduate applications.

For further information

Unistats

UWE Main Campus

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