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BA (Hons)
Illustration

Illustrators turn ideas into images, creating a world previously unseen. You can become an illustrator and bring imagination to life with your own skills on this course, and discover your place in today’s visual industries. At Bucks, we have design facilities and printing equipment that allow you to explore both digital and traditional techniques, and to craft original, beautiful imagery fit for today’s visual world.

Qualification: BA (Hons)

UCAS code: W546

Study mode: Full-time

Location: High Wycombe Campus

Duration: Three years

Start date: September


Is this course for me?

Start your career as a professional image-maker with us. Our Illustration course has a focus on working in the creative industries as well as visualising personal themes. We’ve been teaching illustration for many years as part of our Graphic Arts course. As it’s been so popular, we’ve created this degree for individuals who want to specialise as a professional illustrator.

We start you off in the broad spectrum of Graphic Arts. In your first year, you can sample all areas of the graphic industries, using our studio as your creative space. You can also choose to change course, opting for Graphic Arts, Graphic Design or Illustration. The choice is yours.

All the skills you need for a career as an Illustrator
Our course gives you many opportunities to explore the diverse world of image-making. Whatever your chosen field within image-making, whether it be vector art, pictograms or storytelling, we give you the freedom to write your own briefs and start realising your ideas. Every week, you’ll work with a professional illustrator who will critique your work and help you improve your illustrations. Group work with others helps prepare you for working in the professional world where you will have to generate ideas and present them to clients.

As an illustrator, you’ll have the option to work freelance. We equip you with really important skills at ‘out-duction’ workshops. When you go out into the world, knowing how to manage your own projects will be crucial. We show you all about the business and how to keep your head above water in today’s complex professional world.

More to design than using computer software
Our design studio has more than enough equipment for you to get your hands on. We don’t want to restrict you to using computer software, even though we have everything from the Adobe Creative Suite programs to plotter cutters and photo studio. You can also craft beautiful design solutions using our silkscreen, letterpress, and litho equipment, as well as our laser cutting and 3D printing technology. We make sure you get as hands-on with our equipment as possible.

Our teaching team consists of seasoned professionals who all work in the creative industries in their specialist disciplines.

With London only a short train ride away, you’re never too far from inspiration. We have many visiting designers from the capital running blocks of workshop-based sessions in fields as diverse as stencil print, bookbinding, branding, ideas generation, storytelling, and ethical design.

Recent visiting professionals have included Sam Piyasena, Sara Fanelli, Simone Lia, Simon Pemberton and other graduate image-makers.

Enjoy illustrating abroad as well as on our campus.
Our second year students get the chance to study on Erasmus, a European exchange programme. You’ll have the opportunity to study design in creative institutes in countries including Belgium, Denmark, France, and Germany.

We also have a New York trip in the spring with a programme of visits to agencies, design, film and multi-media companies, and a studio visit to a European design capital such as Paris or Barcelona.

Start building your creative network on campus
On campus, you’ll work in a design studio alongside a diverse community of designers, each working on their own projects and sometimes together on live briefs. Some of our live projects have come from Faber Publishing, Mind Design, and Creative Review.

You’ll be part of a creative community. You’ll study in a close-knit group of dedicated image-makers where you know everyone. Not only will you make friends for life, you’ll also make important industry connections that will last through your career.

Year One

  • Ideas
  • Specialism
  • Skills
  • VMC Getting Connected

Year Two

  • Illustration Studies
  • Imagemaking Awards
  • Independent Project
  • VMC Making Choices

Year Three

  • Commissions
  • Personal Projects
  • VMC New Model Dissertation

What are the entry requirements?

A typical offer will include GCSE Maths and English at grade C or above and a UCAS Tariff score of 80-96. A minimum of two full A-levels (or equivalent) is required. Every application is considered on an individual basis.

If your application is successful, we'll invite you for an interview. We use interviews to get a good idea of your creative talent and your personality. We'd like to see your portfolio too.

For further details of our international English entry requirements, please visit our international pages.

This course is included in our unconditional offer policy.  

For further details of our international English entry requirements, please visit our international pages.

How much does it cost?

Fees for September 2017 to August 2018 entry

Full-time Home and EU: £9,250 per year
Full-time International: £10,500 per year

Most courses will involve some additional costs that are not covered by your fees.

You could benefit from financial support through a bursary or scholarship during your time as a student. For more details, visit our financial support, bursaries and scholarships section.

Further information
Find out more about our fees and funding.
Find out more about our fees for international students.

Questions about fees?
Contact our Student Centre on:
01494 603 020
student.centre@bucks.ac.uk

Fees quoted are for the next intake and are subject to change. Fee costs for subsequent years are subject to rise with inflation or course delivery costs.

How do I apply?

For application details please visit bucks.ac.uk/applynow.

What are my career prospects?

We have a high employment rate with 85 per cent of our graduates going into work or further education after the course. As we teach you a wide range of skills and abilities for your career, you’ll be able to specialise in a multitude of different areas. We have graduates in typography, illustration, web design, advertising, publishing - some have even started their own companies in the industry.

We’re really proud of our graduates, whose profiles tell their own story:

  • Alex Tait is a successful freelance image-maker represented by Jelly Agency
  • Elissa Gay commissions illustration at Random House Publishing.
  • Laura Carlin, who won first prize in the V&A Illustration Awards, is represented by Heart Agency, and her work is seen in the national press.

How will you help me prepare for my future career?
Throughout your time with us we’ll support you on the route to your chosen career. We’ll help you to develop crucial skills, encouraging you to become enterprising, employable and good leaders.

We encourage work placements, giving you the opportunity to develop your skills in a work background. Our modules and teaching expertise will help you become more independent as a learner and more certain of your discipline expertise.

We also help you find employment after graduation. Have a look at our Careers and Employability pages to find out more.