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Illustration BA (Hons)

Falmouth University
3 years
Full time
Bachelor's degree
Scholarships available
On campus
Contact the school for details
Falmouth University

Program description

Illustration BA (Hons)

You’ll maximise your employability in the visual communications industry by learning about marketing, copyright, tax and more. Our academic team has experience in every aspect of the sector, creating a diverse learning environment with multiple specialisms available, preparing you for the constantly evolving needs of the creative industries.

You will:

  • Create your own online marketing campaign; building a portfolio website, setting up a professional Instagram account and creating your LinkedIn profile.
  • Have the opportunity in your final year to showcase your work in our professional online magazine, Wunderkammer, circulated to art directors, editors and designers all over the world.
  • Have the opportunity to meet clients and win commissions for live briefs.
  • Have the chance to develop your professional practice with work placements and internships.
  • Have the opportunity to go on study trips to places like Bristol, London, Bologna and New York, gain industry portfolio feedback, attend conferences, visit agencies, publishers and design companies. In the third year, you can exhibit your own work in London.
  • Attend guest lectures from alumni and industry leaders such as Sara Fanelli, Owen Davey and Edel Rodriguez.

The Integrated Foundation Year pathway for this course is new for entry year 2022 and subject to validation.

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Admission requirements

Entry requirements

We consider all applications on their own individual merit and potential. We invite all applicants to an interview day or audition to give them the opportunity to demonstrate this along with what inspires and motivates them in their field. Applicants will also be able to show their portfolio or give a performance depending on the course. We welcome applications from all subject backgrounds, whether you’ve specialised in STEM, the arts or humanities.

As a guide our typical offer at undergraduate level is 104 – 120 UCAS Tariff points, primarily from Level 3 qualifications such as but not limited to A-levels, a BTEC Extended Diploma or a Foundation Diploma.

Language requirements

For applicants whose first language is English we require you to have or be working towards GCSE English Language Grade 4 (C), or equivalent.

If English is not your first language you will need to meet the same standard which is equivalent to the IELTS Academic 6.0 overall score, with at least 5.5 in Reading, Writing, Speaking and Listening. We accept a range of in country equivalencies and approved tests.

For more information about admission requirements, please visit the university website.

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Program content

Year one

Beginning with visual problem solving, you'll develop your conceptual skills as you explore a range of thinking strategies. You'll also take part in life drawing and other themed visual studies sessions, and learn about critical theory and illustration's historical contexts.

Travelling to London, you'll learn about illustration in the design industry from influential art directors and illustration agents, and take part in a major illustration forum.


Visual Problem Solving

This module focuses on conceptual thinking and consists of a range of projects. It will provide you with strategies for generating conceptual solutions to prescribed visual problems, including systematic and intuitive thinking.

Visual Studies 1

Forming an exploration of visual language, this module will provide you with opportunities to experiment with a wide range of media and mark making techniques and drawing styles. In this way, you'll begin to identify and strengthen your own visual language. Life drawing, printmaking and digital skills sessions will alternate with studio-based sessions that will allow you to engage in an experimental approach to media, process and mark-making.

Applied Illustration

In this module, you'll undertake text-based, thematic projects and explore in depth some of the main contexts of illustration. You'll explore how illustration is applied within the industry of visual communication, while also considering your audience. We'll also cover the major domains of illustration: editorial, advertising, narrative and information.

Visual Studies 2

This module focuses on the development of visual language, providing you with further opportunities to experiment with media and mark making techniques and drawing styles.

Year two

You'll start with a series of applied illustration projects, spanning advertising, book cover design, editorial illustration, children's book illustration and information illustration.

Putting your knowledge into practice, you'll then manage and develop your own projects, finding a unique direction and focusing on a specific area of the industry.



You'll be introduced to the main contexts of illustration through a series of projects in which you'll evaluate and put into practice the knowledge you've gained so far. Projects will relate to a key context of contemporary Illustration practice and will enable you to make decisions about the future direction of your work.

Visual Language 1

This module offers new opportunities to evaluate and evolve existing strengths and weaknesses within your visual language. Through digital workshops and seminars, you'll be provided with the tools to experiment with a variety of media and learn strategies with which to develop and refine your personal visual language. Practical work will be supported by reflective analysis of images related to your chosen themes and should demonstrate a depth of understanding, supported by annotation.

Negotiation 1

In this module, you'll begin to establish a personal direction within the field of illustration while fostering both independent and collaborative working practices. Collaboration could one of many forms, such as collectives, zines, joint exhibitions, student-led discussion forums, external community outreach projects, or external industry collaborations.

Visual Language 2

Through continued experimentation with a range of processes and techniques, you'll identify strengths and interests within the broad spectrum of Illustration. You'll develop and refine your visual skills throughout the module, and by continuing self-reflection and intellectual analysis of the work produced, ultimately develop an emerging authentic visual language.

Year three

You'll develop a physical and digital portfolio of work, write a research project and produce a professional practice dossier. Connecting with industry, you'll have the chance to show your portfolio to the best art directors, editors and designers, either in the UK or aboard, receiving valuable feedback.

During this final year of your illustration course, there'll also be an opportunity to take part in a placement or internship to gain industry experience.


Negotiation 2 (Consolidation)

Through continued negotiated projects, you'll identify strengths and interests within the broad spectrum of illustration. You'll experiment visually and intellectually, and refine your skills and self-reflection in order to develop an emerging signature visual language. The projects that you design via negotiation will help you to push and challenge yourself in your chosen areas and enable you to develop fundamental skills accordingly, such as research, visual problem solving and technical visual skills. Work undertaken at this level will provide a platform for you to demonstrate knowledge and critical awareness of insights, much of which is at, or informed by, the forefront of the discipline.


Negotiation 3 (Completion)

Continuing to work on negotiated projects, you'll build a body of work based on your strengths and interests, demonstrating your intellectual, technical and self-reflective skills, in order to consolidate an emerging authentic visual language. Professional practice forms a key part of this module, and you'll prepare for a career within the creative industries through a programme of lectures.

Scholarships & funding

Scholarships and funding are available. Please visit the university website for more information.

Tuition fees

Tuition fees 2021-22

  • Full-time UK - £9,250 per year
  • Full-time EU - £16,950
  • Full-time international - £16,950

Tuition fees 2022-23

  • Full-time UK - £9,250 per year
  • Full-time EU - £17,460 per year
  • Full-time international - £17,460 per year


What you’ll learn

Through this Illustration degree, you'll cover everything from drawing and visual studies to historical and cultural studies – developing peer and self-evaluation skills for the professional world. We'll teach you core business skills in licenses, copyright and tax, and essential technical skills in Photoshop, Illustrator and Dreamweaver. You'll learn to analyse a text, come up with strong ideas, compose an image, and properly market yourself when you enter the industry.

Continuing studies

Further study:

  • Post Graduate Study (related subjects)
  • Teaching Equalisations (PGCE / PGCHE)

Career opportunities

What our graduates do

Our graduates have won awards like the Kate Greenaway Gold Medal, the Guardian Clearing Cover Illustration, and the Pushkin Press Student Illustration Award. They’ve also gone on to work in areas like graphic design, branding and packaging, tactile imagery, and book design.

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Find out what it's like to study BA(Hons) Illustration at Falmouth.

About this institute

Falmouth University

For more than 100 years, Falmouth University has been a hub of creative thinking and design innovation. Today, our portfolio of undergraduate and postgraduate courses represents the breadth of the Creative Industries, from art, design and fashion, to gaming, music...

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Contact info

Falmouth University

Treliever Road
TR10 9FE Penryn Cornwall

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