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BA (Hons)Illustration

Birmingham City University
United Kingdom, Birmingham
Tuition fee To be confirmed
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Celebrate the synthesis between illustration and other visual communication fields by developing interdisciplinary collaborations as a reflection of industry practice. Explore new ideas and unfamiliar technologies to develop the technical knowledge and skills desirable to employers and illustration commissioners.

From commercial to personally driven solutions, you will be encouraged to develop an individual visual language in an environment that rewards experimentation, imaginative risk taking and critical reflection. Experience live briefs, teaching from national and international practitioners, workshops, plus opportunities to study across Europe and Thailand in our exchange programme. Study trips include London, Venice, Berlin, Paris and New York.

Learn from a team of tutors and support staff internationally recognised for teaching and research in visual communications. Creative Skillset has identified our programme as a centre of excellence, equipping you with the skills demanded by employers. You’l have the freedom of our outstanding traditional and digital facilities, including print rooms, photographic studios, workshops and 3D printers. Practical activities are supported by professional and career services to help achieve your career goals.

We maintain exceptional industry engagement with companies such as Hallmark, NoBrow, Windsor and Newton, Playground Games, Saatchi and Masius, Association of Illustrators and BMAG. Influential practitioners including Sara Fanelli, Chris Brown, Paul Slater, Graham Elliot, Peter Quinell, Graham Rawle, Sarah Maycock, Sarah J Coleman and Isabel Greenberg are embedded throughout our programme. Graduates of this course have found roles across the creative industries as Freelance Illustrators, Art Directors, Children’s Book Illustrators, Concept Artists, Entrepreneurs, Lecturers and Teachers.

Programme structure

During this course you will gain hands-on experience and produce relevant, innovative work. We encourage you to challenge yourself and produce work that sees you step outside your comfort zone. You’ll also experience high-level industry engagement through creative, practice-based learning.

You will undertake an Introduction to Visual Communication alongside students from the other Visual Communication degree paths. You will begin to formulate knowledge and understanding of the subject’s key visual and intellectual principles.

With the support from staff within the School you will start to develop a real depth of knowledge of illustration practice, as well as other design related areas. Towards the end of your first year, and into the second, you will receive guidance helping you to select your chosen area of practice within illustration and possible career progression.

Your modules will cover the processes of production within the field of illustration. You will develop entrepreneurial and collaborative skills through the Introduction to Visual Communication module, as well as developing connections across the four different subject disciplines, preparing you for the life of an illustrator.

In your second year of study you will develop your practice, producing successful commercial outputs through a wide range of different projects and context. Your studies will focus on contextualising your chosen discipline within specific aspects of contemporary practice.

Live projects, industry links and competitions form a key part of the curriculum from this stage of the course onwards. We will encourage you to reflect upon your strengths and weaknesses and advise you to build upon achievements in order to improve your performance. Active participation through various workshops and masterclasses are a key part of the second year.

During your second year you will begin to focus on a specific area of illustration, preparing you for your final year of study. Working alongside a specially assigned tutor, as well as small groups you will identify and research a specific area of illustration practice. This will be supported by seminars and lecturers from industry experts.

You will develop sustained and original work which will demand a lot of independent study. This will culminate in a dissertation, where you will develop and refine your specialist knowledge of a particular area of practice.

Your final year focuses on your professional future, ensuring your project work provides you with the research and skills you need to prepare yourself for after graduation.

You will have the opportunity to showcase your final year project at our Visual Communications graduate show, as well as having the chance to be nominated for a Visual Communication Graduate Award. In the past we have had award sponsors such as illustrator Dave McKean, photographer Brian Griffin and Trevor Beattie.

Career opportunities

Illustration embeds transferable skills, developing trans-specialists and portfolio practitioners, with graduates working in many fields within the creative industry and beyond.

Apply now! Fall semester 2021/22
This intake is not applicable

We are currently NOT ACCEPTING applications from NON-EU countries, except Georgia and Serbia.

Application deadlines apply to citizens of: United States

Apply now! Fall semester 2021/22
This intake is not applicable

We are currently NOT ACCEPTING applications from NON-EU countries, except Georgia and Serbia.

Application deadlines apply to citizens of: United States