BA Illustration


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

Assuming illustration as a catalyst for accessible communication and tested directly through practice, the course takes as its starting point ‘traditional’ discipline, material processes and discourse, utilising the specialist learning and facilities that the Art School is so renowned for. In this way, the Illustration course supports the development of a basis of skills and knowledge, informing experimentation, invention and the questioning of orthodoxy.

If you choose to study Illustration with us, you’ll be studying at an Art School which has a deep association with illustrative practice dating back to our origins in the 19th century, when artisans at nearby Royal Doulton came to train here, 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.

Applications to our courses are made directly to the Art School through our online application form rather than via UCAS, so you can apply for BA Illustration in addition to any choices you may have made in your UCAS application.

Regular checks by the Quality Assurance Agency have confirmed the standard of our provision. Our high standards and results, have been consistent, and have been regularly affirmed by our External Examiners.

Please note this course is subject to validation. This is the process by which we ensure the course meets the requirements to be a high-quality academic experience. During this process there may be some changes to the course content displayed on this page and further detail added. Please contact us if you have any questions about the course.

Launch Event

Interested applicants are invited to join us online for our Launch event on Tuesday 19 March at 16:00, held in conversation with Art School Principal Dr Lois Rowe, Head of Drawing Tom Merrett, and Tutor Dr Charley Peters.

This interactive session will focus on how Illustration at the Art School will connect with the traditional practices of the school, such as mark-making, lettering and books, but also embed digital practice and professional opportunities essential for a successful career as an Illustrator. A few of the Art School’s trail-blazing alumni will be featured as exemplars of how a grounding in tradition will prepare students to be future illustrators.

Register via Eventbrite


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