Art School launches new BA (Hons) Illustration

City & Guilds of London Art School is delighted to be launching a new undergraduate course in Illustration.

The Art School has a deep association with illustrative practice dating back to its origins in the 19th century. Artisans at nearby Royal Doulton came to train at the Art School, including two of Doulton’s celebrated designers Hannah and Florence Barlow, whose work can be seen in the V&A Museum. Arthur Rackham, one of the leading figures of the ‘Golden Age of Illustration’, siblings Clemence and Laurence Housman, founders of the Atelier that produced much of the campaigning artwork of the Suffrage Movement, and much-loved children’s author and illustrator Lauren Child, number amongst the prominent illustrators who have passed through the Art School.

About the course

This BA (Hons) Illustration course will challenge students to develop their own visual language in a collaborative and dynamic Art School that is renowned for mark-making practice. Using traditional drawing skills and historic lettering as a foundation for contemporary practice, students will learn to approach illustration as a diverse tool of communication and build their skills by experimenting with new technologies. Throughout the development of practical work, our learners will benefit first hand from the Art School’s clients, designers and curators across the sector and be supported in their professional and contextual understanding of illustration as it relates to industry.

Understanding illustration as a catalyst for accessible communication is a fundamental part of the course ethos and will be tested directly through practice. Taking ‘traditional’ discipline as its starting point, material processes and live projects will be utilised to develop new approaches to illustrative literacy, drawing on the specialist learning and facilities that the Art School is well renowned for. In this way, the course will support the development of a basis of skills and knowledge, informing experimentation, invention and the questioning of orthodoxy.

Over the duration of the course, students will experience a unique creative learning environment and will be supported by their tutors in becoming a pro-active participant in their own learning in preparation for the challenges of further study and/or a range of professional futures. Some elements of the course have a specific focus based on choice of illustration, while group tutorials, workshop time, live projects and other sessions, such as professional practice, are shared more widely across the Art School.

Our focus on material creation is informed by in-depth engagement with the critical contexts of art, design and illustration. Due to our central location, the students will have London’s rich cultural heritage at their feet to educate and inspire them.

Find out more

See full information about our BA (Hons) Illustration on the course page of our website.

If you have any questions, please contact our Admissions Team.


Credit: Artwork in header by MA Fine Art alumna Annie Farrer


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