About the course

This multi-award-winning course will give you a thorough grounding and understanding of the commercial applications of illustration. Our aim is to develop creative thinkers and visual communicators who aren’t confined by the conventional boundaries of the industry. We encourage you to think imaginatively to develop engaging and purposeful ideas, and to execute them beautifully. The First Year is about core skills and finding the right pathway. Teaching guides you to be creative, generate ideas and solve problems, with workshops in software, typography and printmaking. Later, we focus on professional projects, emphasising commercial constraints and expectations. We also explore areas like digital design, interaction and motion graphics. In the Final Year you’ll produce a high-quality portfolio. For more information about the Graphic Design pathway click here

If you've already completed an Undergraduate degree, why not take a look at our Postgraduate degrees and specialise in MA Illustration or MA Graphic Design?

Fact sheets 2019 Course fact sheet 1 BA (Hons) Illustration 2020 Course fact sheet 1 BA (Hons) Illustration
Programme specifications 2019 Programme specification 1 BA (Hons) Illustration 2020 Programme specification 1 BA (Hons) Illustration

Illustration Gallery



Why choose this course?

We have an enviable record of success. In recent years our students have won over many awards in all of the most prestigious national and international design and illustration competitions. These include: the overall winner of the Carmelite Prize, coveted D&AD pencils; various awards at New Designers; countless YCN awards; and many short listings and nominations in competitions such as the Penguin Random House Design awards, Folio Society, the London Transport and Lloyds TSB Illustration awards.

Clever, original ideas and excellent craftsmanship are vital for a successful career working at the top end of the profession and our course is committed to teaching students how to achieve these skills. We foster a fun yet demanding atmosphere that encourages our students to think independently, question the world around them and be opinionated.

Our proximity to London (20 minutes on the train) is a core part of our success. It allows us to easily bring in high-quality visiting tutors, guest speakers and live-projects. It means we have great industry connections and study trips to museums and companies are a regular part of the curriculum.

Key staff

Adam Graff
Senior Lecturer in Illustration
Find out more about Adam Graff

Cathie Felstead
Senior Lecturer in Illustration

Dr Thomas Cuschieri
Lecturer in Illustration
Find out more about Dr Thomas Cuschieri

Nick Lovegrove
Programme Leader for Graphic Design & Illustration
Find out more about Nick Lovegrove

Professional Accreditations

Ranked 10th in the country in the design and crafts section of the Guardian's 2017 University League Tables.

Course details

Careers

Recent Illustration graduates are working in all areas of the creative industries in the UK and abroad. Encouragement is given to the development of versatility, leading to a wide range of career opportunities in design and illustration in the fields of publishing, marketing and publicity, and advertising as well as freelance illustration.

What job can I get?

Our Illustration graduates’ work is regularly seen online, in books, newspapers and advertising campaigns. Many graduates work as freelance illustrators, while others work in publishing, marketing, publicity and advertising.

Teaching methods

Teaching consists largely of project based work supported by appropriate 'skills' based workshops. Students tackle a huge variety of briefs ranging in complexity and time scales. Some projects will take many weeks to complete whilst others will be solved within a matter of hours. There's also a huge variety to the pattern of learning experiences with some projects being team based and others are worked on individually. We encourage a competitive, demanding yet light-hearted atmosphere.

We pride ourselves on providing a lot of direct contact between staff and students. Tutorials and seminars include one-on-one, small group, medium sized groups for workshops and large groups for lectures. Active participation is expected at our lively and fun end of project crits.

Our aim is to nurture well-prepared, ideas-driven people able to work in a wide variety of creative industries. The emphasis is giving our students the skills to develop industry-focused portfolios with a wide range of transferrable expertise.

The first year of Illustration is about core skills and finding the right pathway. The first semester will allow you to explore both Graphic Design and Illustration, before choosing one to specialise in for the rest of the course. Teaching encourages creative thinking, the generation of ideas and problem solving, with hands-on workshops in drawing, printmaking and software.

The second year focuses on professional projects, emphasising commercial constraints and expectations. It includes high-profile live projects which allow you to develop a real understand of what employers expect. We also explore areas like animation, interactive illustration and new technologies such as VR.

Final year Illustration students, focus on building a professional portfolio with the opportunity to enter the best student competitions, as well as developing your own interests. All projects in third year, reflect the standards of professional illustrative practice, developing individuality and confidence as an image maker. It is intended to provide an experience from which you can emerge as a work-ready creative. The staff team are nationally and internationally recognised designers and illustrators who bring their research and professional interests directly into the student environment.

Work Placement

Work placements are actively encouraged and we have a unique 'professional practice' module that prepares students to effectively apply for placements as well as full-time employment. Course tutors have numerous high-profile links with industry and we often place students within these prominent businesses, as well as drawing on others within London and our local region.

Study Abroad

This course offers you the opportunity to study abroad through the University's study abroad programme.
Study abroad opportunities are available worldwide and in Europe under the Erasmus+ Programme.
Find out more about Study abroad opportunities

Structure

  • Level 4
    Module Credits Compulsory/optional
    C&CS L4 Graphic Design and Illustration 30 Credits Compulsory
    Visual Communication 45 Credits Compulsory
    Illustration Essentials Pt 1 45 Credits Compulsory
  • Level 5
    Module Credits Compulsory/optional
    C&CS L5 Graphic Design and Illustration 30 Credits Compulsory
    Illustration Essentials Pt 2 45 Credits Compulsory
    Illustration Professional Development 15 Credits Compulsory
    Commissions 30 Credits Compulsory
    Professional Work Experience 15: Design 15 Credits Optional
  • Level 6
    Module Credits Compulsory/optional
    Year Abroad 0 Credits Compulsory
    Illustration Advanced Practice Pt 1 30 Credits Compulsory
    Illustration Advanced Practice Pt 2 60 Credits Compulsory
    Graphic Design and Illustration L6 Degree Essay 30 Credits Compulsory
    Sandwich Year (Creative Arts) 0 Credits Optional
  • Fees & funding

    Fees 2019

    UK/EU Students

    Full time
    • £9250 for the 2019/2020 academic year

    International Students

    Full time
    • £12350 for the 2019/2020 academic year

    Fees 2020

    UK/EU Students

    Full time
    • £9250 for the 2020/2021 academic year

    International Students

    Full time
    • £13000 for the 2020/2021 academic year

    Discounts are available for International students if payment is made in full at registration

    *Tuition fees are charged annually. The fees quoted above are for the specified year(s) only. Fees may be higher in future years, for both new and continuing students. Please see the University’s Fees and Finance Policy (and in particular the section headed “When tuition fees change”), for further information about when and by how much the University may increase its fees for future years.

    View detailed information about tuition fees

    Read more about additional fees in the course fact sheet

    Other financial support

    Find out more about other financial support available to UK and EU students

    Living costs / accommodation

    The University of Hertfordshire offers a great choice of student accommodation, on campus or nearby in the local area, to suit every student budget.

    View detailed information about our accommodation

    Entry requirements

    UCAS points A Level BTEC
    96 CCC MMM

    How to apply

    Course length
    • Full Time, 3 Years
    • Sandwich, 4 Years
    Locations
    • University of Hertfordshire, Hatfield

    2020

    Start DateEnd DateLink
    26/09/202026/05/2021Apply online (Full Time)
    29/09/202022/05/2021Apply online (Full Time/Sandwich)
    28/09/202020/05/2021Apply online (Full Time/Sandwich)

    2021

    Start DateEnd DateLink
    26/09/202126/05/2022Apply online (Full Time)
    29/09/202122/05/2022Apply online (Full Time/Sandwich)
    28/09/202120/05/2022Apply online (Full Time/Sandwich)
    Optional Sandwich Placement or Study Abroad year
    We welcome applications from international and EU students