Illustration and Design
Push the boundaries of illustration. Develop your own style and release your personal creativity. Enter the inspiring world of professional illustration.
If you are passionate about drawing and are full of creative ideas then this course will cultivate your talent. At Sunderland we encourage students to push the boundaries of illustration. The course blends traditional techniques with computer technology, such as virtual reality and 3D design.
Your first year combines an exploration of design principles, printmaking and drawing. You will then pursue a specialist study of illustration during your second and third years.
Perfect your craft alongside experienced academics, all are practicing professionals at the cutting edge of their field; they bring their industry insights and experience directly into their teaching.
CBSE, ICSE, State Boards - 65% in Class 12
10+II (Senior School Certificate) - 60% or above
3 Year Diploma - 60% or above
English Language Requirements
We accept a wide range of English language qualifications. The standard of English language required varies between courses so please check each course page carefully.
If English is not your first language you should have at least one of the following qualifications (or equivalent) as a minimum.
International English Language Testing System (IELTS)
You need an overall score of 6.0, with at least 5.5 or higher in each component: reading, writing, listening and speaking. An alternative approved Secure English Language Test (SELT) will also be accepted if the applicant’s element scores are equivalent to those required for IELTS.
For more information about admission requirements, please visit the university website.
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Design Theories, Practitioners and Context
Develop a knowledge and understanding of the important theoretical and historical contexts which have shaped modern design, opening up creative possibilities in your work. Gain a broad view of design disciplines, through lectures and seminars intended to provoke wider debate. Develop analytical and research skills by exploring subjects in design theory and history through assignments. Finish the module with an understanding of various historical and theoretical ideas, intended to encourage you to challenge conventional thinking.
Illustration - Exploring Media and Techniques
Develop your visual experience and knowledge through the practice of traditional media, printmaking, digital practice and life drawing. Work with a wide range of different media and materials through various set projects, culminating in a body of work that reflects your emerging skills as an illustrator. Support your creative practice through visual research by exploring the subject of Art and Design. Build a strong foundation for further development, by producing images from concept to final illustration and creatively explore various methods both in taught sessions and independently.
Key Principles of Drawing for Still and Moving Image
Learn to ‘see’ through concentrated and rigorous practice of the traditional principles of drawing and acquire a strong understanding of and foundation in drawing. Develop the fundamental skills and tools required to broaden and explore the imagination and conceptual thinking necessary for an illustrator from a position of knowledge, understanding and ability. Work with a range of drawing materials in order to explore in-depth observational and life drawing i.e. anatomy, object, architecture, nature, scale, perspective, proportion, composition, chiaroscuro (light and dark), line, space and tone. Develop a core understanding of the principles of colour as well as a practical knowledge of the principles of animation using both classic and modern techniques.
Digital Illustration – Contemporary Practice and Innovation
Continue your development of digital skills with a series of lectures and seminars dedicated to all aspects of digital illustration. These include bitmap (Photoshop or similar), and vector (Illustrator) as well as techniques including composite images and 3D. Augment your traditional skillset with a fusion of analogue media (paint, pencils, pastels, etc.) with digital media. Create artwork using your favourite traditional methods and bring them in to your chosen package to create work that has a traditional feel but with an enhanced appearance using blending modes and digital adjustments. Add to your growing portfolio with a set of digital illustrations based on creative briefs.
Advanced Illustration Practice and Desktop Publishing
Gain an introduction to the broad subject of contemporary illustration practice and its application in print and digital media. Experience aspects of working in the industry through assignments that reflect the real world. Explore and expand the boundaries of illustration by developing problem-solving and self-critical evaluation skills and exploiting a wide range of influences to help your visual development. Develop desktop publishing skills that enable you to create effective, appealing layouts in order to display your work in the most effective way possible.
Advanced Printmaking for Illustration
Explore the varied processes and techniques of the print room and through a range of image making skills that offer the potential to extend your visual vocabulary. Learn how to turn your illustrations into beautiful screen-printed and transfer printed artworks. Immerse yourself in the technical possibilities of this versatile medium and develop valuable new additions for your illustrative portfolio.
Global Challenges and the Ethical Designer
Develop a critical understanding of important issues linked to design such as the environment, globalisation, gender representation, equality and diversity. Be encouraged to consider your ethical role as a developing designer. Be introduced to ways of considering a major piece of written work (the dissertation in Stage 3), based on a subject relevant to your own practice. Finish the module with a developing design philosophy that potentially impacts on your ways of working and thinking in terms of studio practice.
Experiencing the Creative Industries
Experience a short work placement with an employer. Alternatively, gain other experience of working in the creative industries. Examples include: live jobs; competition briefs; a creative placement; and a collaboration with fellow students from relevant subject areas.
Work placement (optional)
Illustrator as Professional Creative
Develop and consolidate a personal aesthetic and way of working through practical projects. Take a more individual approach to your work through a choice of projects tailored to your own goals and aspirations. Connect with industry by entering illustration competitions in which the work will be judged alongside the work of students from other UK institutions, and develop a strategy for professional engagement. Work in a self- motivated way around a given subject, developing your own in-depth inquiring look.
Develop an in-depth investigation into a particular issue or topic that is relevant to you as a developing designer, or an issue inspired by wider society. Utilise and build on your knowledge of various design and theoretical disciplines and techniques. Gain research and organisational skills through an introductory lecture, tutorials and discussion. Complete the module with a dissertation (3,500 to 4,500 words), supported by a clear central question and hypothesis relevant to the chosen topic. Research conducted in this module can be used as the foundations for your major final project, although this is not compulsory.
Design - Final Major Project
Apply your research and analysis skills to develop ideas, concepts and plans for the proposal of a substantial final major project (or series of projects) within strict time limits. Develop a critical understanding of the various theoretical, historical, cultural and contextual dimensions impacting on design practice, to critically position and present yourself and your practice. Demonstrate your ability to select and employ appropriate strategies, media, skills, tools and methods to develop professional standards of creative, technical and conceptual practice, through a body of creative work and effectively communicate your ideas.
Scholarships & funding
Several scholarship options are available, Please visit university website for more information.
The full-time annual fee for this course is:
- £9,250 if you are from theUK/Europe*
- £12,500 if you are an international student
Throughout the course you will build a creative and industry ready portfolio that will help you launch a career as an illustrator or graphic designer, or take up any other roles where creative skills are important. You'll exhibit your work at our final year Degree Show, visited by industry professionals and creative employers and may have the opportunity to take your work to London.
About this institute
University of Sunderland
We’re known as the friendly University – we welcome students from all corners of the globe and have a number of events and activities to help you make new friends and settle in. Our Students’ Union offers a buddies scheme and...
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