Illustration | Four year BA (Hons)

UCA Farnham - 2021

Length of study:

Four years (Year 0 + three-year degree) full-time

Campus:

UCA Farnham

Entry requirements:

64 UCAS tariff points

click here for full details

Course entry options:

September 2021

View term dates

UCAS institution code:

C93

UCAS code:

W221

Course overview

We believe the best illustration is based on exciting, original ideas. UCA Farnham’s renowned Illustration course will help you achieve just that, through drawing, text, sequential design, book production, moving image and more.

As well as a wealth of fundamental skills, you’ll develop a personal style and learn business and self-promotion skills to help you build a career as soon as you graduate.

This four-year course includes a preparatory year (Year 0) that provides a focused introduction to illustration and, upon successful completion, will secure you a place on the BA (Hons) Illustration degree course without further application or interview.

You’ll be taught through studio-based projects, workshops and a lively programme of visiting speakers, skills-based workshops, pop-up exhibitions and external visits. There’s also a wealth of exceptional facilities to take advantage of, including printmaking, ceramics, digital printing, textiles and 3D printing.

The course benefits from a wide range of industry links with partners including the Association of Illustrators, Ambit Magazine and the V&A.

Online Graduation Show 2020

Explore extraordinary student work now.

Next event:

We know you can’t come and visit us right now, so instead we’ve created a ‘campus to couch’ online experience just for you to browse through.

Access our Virtual Open Day

Course details

  • Year 0

    This four-year course includes a preparatory year (Year 0) that provides a focused introduction to illustration. On successful completion, it will secure you a place on the BA (Hons) Illustration degree course without further application or interview.

    Drawing and Mark Making
    You are introduced to the idea that drawing is a fundamental skill for the development of both illustration and animation and is integral to the creative process. It is the means by which you visually respond to and interpret what you see in the world around you.

    Ideas, Research and Processes 1: Generating Content
    This unit introduces you to the fundamental starting points for developing ideas for both illustration and animation, through the use of a variety of idea development strategies, active research and engagement and experimentation with practical process.

    Ideas, Research and Processes 2: Developing and Identifying Practice
    You'll continue to experiment with a combination of processes and production methods introduced to you in the previous unit, however now you will also begin to identify, select and use visual and narrative practices to develop and create the content or subject matter of your work.

    Themed Project
    Building on the ideas, experiences and research achieved this is the summation of your learning on the course so far, you'll be asked to produce a body of work in response to a given theme or brief. The work that you produce should draw upon all of the creative, technical and theoretical knowledge that you have gained.

  • Year 1

    We’ll help you to develop an open-minded, flexible approach – not only to your work but also about what illustration is and could be. This is alongside the development of essential skills in idea development, printmaking, drawing, digital software, storytelling and bookmaking.

    You’ll be able to experiment with ideas and image making, exploring your craft and learning the fundamentals of storytelling through illustration in both still and moving image and three-dimensional work.

    Professional Practice 1: Destination
    You'll learn about – and discover – the position of illustration in contemporary media practice and how it's developed from its traditional contexts. Illustration practice has, and is, continuously evolving and you'll be expected to reflect on this through research tasks and written and oral presentations.

    Drawing
    You examine the role of drawing; specifically within illustration practice, but also in broader terms as a discipline in itself.

    Narrative
    You'll explore the potential of creating your own text as the basis for an illustrated narrative. You'll also develop your understanding of storytelling and narrative structure not only through visual material but also through writing.

    Context and Theory
    Through a series of lectures, seminars and workshops, you'll be introduced to key debates and issues concerning the history, production and consumption of visual culture. This is given critical context through discussions on the social, political, economic and intellectual context.

  • Year 2

    You'll work in a more self-directed way, with the opportunity to explore new processes and skills. 

    You’ll gain experience of the professional environment through externally focused projects, as well as establishing a good working practice, which will give you the experience and underpinning knowledge to progress into your final year. 

    With additional skills workshops, the emphasis will change to give you greater freedom to develop your work more uniquely, reflecting your own interests and enthusiasms.

    We’ll also encourage you to be more proactive and entrepreneurial, culminating in a student- led external exhibition.

    Documentary
    This unit introduces you to documentary illustration which can also be referred to as 'reportage' or visual journalism. The use of the terms 'reportage' and 'journalism' do not mean that this type of illustration only appears in newspapers and magazines. In this unit, you'll take on the role of the instigator and the protagonist, and will develop your personal viewpoint.

    Professional Practice 2: Platform
    You'll explore the breadth of illustration as a subject and its positioning in a contemporary media context. You'll also began to think about your career goals and aspirations through strategies you might adopt in preparing for work or postgraduate study after graduation.

    Exhibition
    This unit culminates in a group exhibition. You'll develop skills of presentation and negotiation through the process of establishing group agreement of a theme for the exhibition.

    Critical Analysis and Research
    You'll be offered a choice of seminar programmes in conjunction with a short programme of core lectures and seminars. Workshops introduce you to the principles of research, analytical and critical methodologies. The seminar, lecture and workshop tasks are formatively assessed, and support you in working towards your summative assessment assignments.

    Study Abroad (optional)
    This optional unit is designed to broaden your educational experience and deepen your understanding of cultural diversity. It will enable you to study within a different cultural context and gain fresh perspectives.

  • Year 3

    Your focus will be on the resolution of your personal approach to content and style, developing your creative skills and production to a high standard and preparing a professional portfolio.

    You’ll also participate in external competitions and shows, produce promotional work and develop an online presence, reflecting your ambitions for professional practice.

    Major Project
    If you choose to propose one project for the 24 weeks, it's the largest project you'll study and will form the basis of your campus degree show and most probably any external shows you might participate in. You'll also be able to create smaller projects in this timeframe of 24 weeks. Whether one project, or two or three, the unit focuses on your ability to provide high quality work suitable for presentation to an external audience and possible future clients.

    Professional Practice 3: Launch
    This is about acquiring key practical skills required for the launch of your professional career. These skills, and the measures you need to take, are very much geared to you building a sustainable career which may also include postgraduate study.

    Responding to external briefs
    This unit is concerned with further developing your understanding of the complex relationship between illustrator, commissioning designer/art director and audience and you'll complete at least one competition brief from a recognised national or international competition or awards scheme, such as the Penguin Design Awards or Folio Society.

    Illustration Dissertation
    This is a substantial period of sustained, individually negotiated research on a subject, likely to be related to the contextual and/or theoretical concerns of your discipline or chosen area of practice, towards the provision of structured written argument.

  • Study abroad

    This course offers the opportunity to study abroad for part of your Year 2. To find out more about studying abroad as part of your course please see the Study Abroad section:

  • Fees and additional course costs

    Tuition fees
    The course fees per year for 2021 entry are:

    • UK students - £9,250 
    • International and EU students - £16,950 (standard fee)
    • International and EU students - £16,270 (full early payment fee)

    Additional course costs
    In addition to the tuition fees please see the additional course costs for 2021 entry.

    Further information
    Find out more about our course fees and any financial support you may be entitled to:

    These fees are correct for the stated academic year only. Costs may increase each year during a student’s period of continued registration on course in line with inflation (subject to any maximum regulated tuition fee limit). Any adjustment for continuing students will be at or below the RPI-X forecast rate.

Facilities

This course has a dedicated study space for group working, tutorials. The campus is well-equipped for digital work and research with digital media suites for design and image editing and a modern library with a wealth of books, journals, special collections and online resources.

Programme Director

What our students say

Course connections

On this course, you'll be exposed to a world of opportunities

  • Industry links

    You’ll benefit from our well established industry links, including:

    • Design and Art Directors Association
    • Far Far Away Books
    • Association of Illustrators
    • Nobrow Books
    • GAS Art Agency / Gina Cross, artists’ and illustrators’ agent
    • Ambit Magazine
    • Penguin Books
    • The Folio Society
    • The V&A
    • Comica
    • Loop Magazine
    • Ditto Press
    • Nobrow Books
    • The AOI
    • Four Corners Books.

    The course attracts a variety of guest speakers, such as Rosy Nicolas, Tim Ellis, Tom Dowse, Graham Rawle, Gina Cross, The Association of Illustrators, Stephen Appleby, Olivier Kugler, Matilda Tristram and David Lemm.

    The degree is a member of the Association of Illustrators, which gives you access to notable industry practitioners, workshops, lectures and seminars by some of the top illustrators in the UK and Europe.

  • Careers

    The diverse and versatile skill set you’ll develop on this course will open up a multitude of career paths.

    Our recent graduates are currently working in:

    • Freelance illustration
    • In-house illustration/design
    • Education
    • Animation
    • Printmaking
    • Project management
    • Digital imaging
    • Multi-media production
    • Set design.
  • Further study

    You may also like to consider further study at postgraduate level.

     

Apply now

UK applications

Apply for full-time study - starting September 2020:

Apply for part-time study - starting September 2020:

Apply for full-time study - starting February 2021:

Apply for full-time study - starting September 2021:

Apply for part-time study - starting September 2021:

International & EU applications

If you are applying for more than one course in the UK please apply via UCAS, to apply direct to UCA please use the links below:

Apply for full-time study - Year 1 - starting September 2021:

Apply for full-time study - Year 2 - starting September 2021:

Apply for full-time study - starting September 2020:

Apply for full-time study - starting February 2021:

Apply for full-time study - starting September 2021:

Apply for full-time study - starting January 2020:

Apply for this course and other courses in the UK - full-time study - starting September 2021:

Due to visa requirements, this course is not available to students that require a Tier 4 (General) visa

If you have another category of visa please contact us: internationaladmissions@uca.ac.uk to find out if you are eligible to study.

If you're interested in joining Year 3 of this course, please contact our Admissions Team on +44 (0) 1252 892 960 or admissions@uca.ac.uk

When to apply:

The UCAS application deadline is 15 January. If you are applying directly to us, you can apply throughout the year but we recommend you apply as early as possible so you have time to arrange accommodation and visas.

For more information visit our how to apply pages

Entry requirements

UK entry requirements

The standard entry requirements* for this course are:

One of the following:

  • 64 new UCAS tariff points, see accepted qualifications
  • Pass at Foundation Diploma in Art & Design (Level 3 or 4)
  • Merit, Pass, Pass at BTEC Extended Diploma
  • Pass at UAL Extended Diploma
  • 64 new UCAS tariff points from an accredited Access to Higher Education Diploma in appropriate subject
  • 24 points from the International Baccalaureate, see more information about IB entry requirements.

And four GCSE passes at grade A*-C and/or grade 4-9 including English (or Functional Skills English/Key Skills Communication Level 2).

Other relevant and equivalent Level 3 UK and international qualifications are considered on an individual basis, and we encourage students from diverse educational backgrounds to apply.

*We occasionally make offers which are lower than the standard entry criteria, to students who have faced difficulties that have affected their performance and who were expected to achieve higher results.

International entry requirements

To view the equivalent entry requirements for your country please select it in the list below.

Pick Your Country

Non-UK equivalent qualifications

English language requirements

Don't meet the international entry requirements or English language requirements?

You may be able to enter the course through the following entry courses:

Pre-sessional English courses in the UK or China

UCA International Foundation courses

The UCA International College

Your portfolio

This course doesn’t require a portfolio. If you receive an offer, you’ll be invited to attend an Offer Holder Webinar where you can meet the course team and learn more about the course.

Get in touch