BA (Hons) Illustration

Our BA Visual Communication Illustration programme will equip you with the creative skills to communicate a range of narratives and messages. This includes the generation of strong ideas, but also your own unique approach to the use of visual language. The course is hands-on covering a wide range of processes and materials including etching, relief and screen-printing, 3D, book arts, mixed media, digital technology as well as the core activity of drawing.

The programme embraces illustration within the context of commercial illustration industry including live briefs and work experience but you will also learn to create one-off artefacts and multiples. The course will teach you about how you can apply your work in a commercial setting and the skills that you need to do this successfully.

Your newly acquired skills and knowledge will give you the edge in this diverse industry enabling you to do the work you love. For example you could illustrate books, take on editorial assignments or self-publish. You will also learn a range of transferable skills that will equip you for related careers in education, community arts, arts administration.

Our tutors will draw on their years of industry experience to help you learn from real life examples but will also provide real value and quality through their experience as teachers.


Hastings (Station Plaza)


Level 6

Course Type

HE (Degree Level)


Higher Education (HE)

4.7 out of 5 student feedback rating


Options Course Code Starts Ends Days From To Annual Fee Overseas Fee
enquire apply 16643y1 23/09/24 18/06/27 Mon,Tue,Wed,Thu,Fri 10:00 16:00 £7995 £9000

What will I study?

  • We will help you develop your own illustrative style through a range of practical illustration workshops, and lectures from visiting industry experts.
  • Our thought-provoking lectures will help you gain independence and encourage you to use your initiative to generate and evaluate ideas and methods of enquiry.
  • You will be able to set your creative talents free in your own dedicated work space in our new University Centre.
  • Develop your digital skills including Adobe Creative Suite.
  • You’ll be taught by successful practising illustrators who have wide experience in all aspects of the industry.
  • Guest lectures include Peter Quinnell, who has specialised in collage and illustration for almost 30 years. Formerly one half of legendary collage duo Archer/Quinnell, Peter has lectured with us for a number of years, sharing his experiences of illustrating for huge brands such as Coley Porter Bell, GQ, Penguin, Harvey Nichols, Toni & Guy, Toyota, Financial Times, Red Bull, Sunday Times, Sainsbury’s, The Observer, Tesco, Guardian, Channel 4, and HMV.
  • You will have the advantage of being part of smaller class sizes giving you increased contact time with your tutors, providing you with real value for money.
  • We believe that our degree will give you an abundance of transferable skills, reinforcing the vocational aspects of the course, to provide you with intellectual flexibility and sustainability in your future career.
  • You will be able to raise your profile as an illustrator during a number of activities throughout the year including a work experience module, entering into local and national competitions, and exhibiting your work at our end of year degree show.
  • Live projects and industry placements, both locally and nationally, will also provide you with opportunities to gain valuable knowledge and experience.
  • You can become a part of the thriving creative community of Hastings with its many public and private galleries and cultural events.
  • Part-time study is available to study alongside full-time group to get a fully enriching experience.

What previous qualifications or experience do I need?

Minimum of 64 UCAS points (160 old system) from a BTEC Level 3 Diploma or Extended Diploma / A Levels / Foundation Diploma / Access Diploma in a related subject; if English is not your first language, an IELTS score of 6.5 with a 6 in writing; proof of qualifications; a satisfactory reference.

What can I do after completing this course?

Once you have graduated, you will have a diverse range of transferable skills that will enable you to start your career in this exciting and growing industry. You will be fully equipped to seek out roles and apply your knowledge as a freelance illustrator, or perhaps in an agency. Other options could include further study onto MA Illustration programmes.