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BA (Hons) Illustration

Due to the ongoing Coronavirus pandemic, examinations may be replaced by an alternative form of assessment during the academic year 2020/2021. Please refer to the Programme Specification on these pages for further details.

Your teachers are internationally recognised illustrators
Your teachers are internationally recognised illustrators
Be inspired by guest speakers and drawing day trips
Be inspired by guest speakers and drawing day trips
Students achieve success in prestigious illustration award schemes
Students achieve success in prestigious illustration award schemes

This course includes the sandwich year options of:

Work Placement*

Study abroad*

*No fees are charged for this year

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.

What's the course about?

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?

What will I study?

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.

Student Blogs

Neofytos - My week at a glance

My week at a glance.

My week starts by attending to my studio space, which it is a corner made up of 3 big white boards, a locker to secure my belongings and a table to work on. I personally love that space! It always makes me feel good! Having this area to work and do research for projects that I have been given, make me feel focused and productive.

On Tuesdays I have a lecture which it is about two or two and half hours, depending on how much we need to cover.  In our lecture, we talk about theories that could be beneficial to our artistic perspective, but we also use this time to talk about anything that involves group assignments and projects.

Wednesdays for me only consist of a hour of optional art talks. During these talks, we have the chance to attend a seminar where artists are presenting their work to us! That's an amazing way to be provided with an insight of how the industry works and be prepared for our working lives after graduation.

Lastly, we have our optional life drawing sessions which runs every Thursday's afternoon is a great chance to have a little break from spending most of your time in your studio space working on your projects. Going to the life drawing session I have the great chance to observe the human figure, as well as being given the great opportunity to draw models.

As for the Friday I have nothing booked on, so I can spend most of my time in my studio space working on my projects without get distracted!

I love my routine at the university, it gives me both the time to work on my projects thus attend and organise sessions and group works.

Student Blogs

Neofytos - Why I love my Course

What I love most about my course.

For years I have been drawing, painting and sculpting - prompting me to study BA Hons Fine Art. And as a result, I have expanded my knowledge and learned more about fine art in greater depth about what I love.

The facilities at the Art and Design building are just amazing! That is what I love the most about my course. As a Fine Art student at this university I have the great chance to participate and work in different workshops such as printmaking, ceramics, textile, welding, life drawing and so many more. For me that is the most beneficial factor, because in this way the University allows me to explore and learn more about my artistic direction by trying different mediums and methods. Therefore, by having the freedom to attend to different workshops, I have the great chance to meet people from different courses, make new friends with similar interests and even more have the chance to collaborate with some of them!

As I said I love my course, because it allows me and supporting me to try expanding horizons and find my artistic voice in a very healthy way.

Student Blogs

Neofytos - Why choose Herts?

Why I chose Herts.

I am an international student and by studying at the University of Hertfordshire, it has been a blessing!

I chose Herts, because the University itself is such a great place to study! The facilities and the two beautifully designed campuses that the University has, made my studies here amazing! For instance, there are two big libraries at the University where really helps the students with their coursework, one at the one campus and the second one to the other one. Moreover, all the buildings where we have classes at are very new and that proves that the university cares about university's appearance and invest a lot of money for the students to have a great environment to study within.

However, except of the excellent facilities that the university has, the University has a great spot for socialising. Cafes, restaurants, common rooms, gyms and a big University club are factors that make Herts a great place to be. All of them are located very near to each other which is very convenient for us as students to socialise easily.

Speaking of location, the University is located not very far from London which is an amazing thing since London is such a beautiful and diverse city!

All these were the factors that made me to choose Herts and I have never regretted my choice!