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.
UCAS CODE: W546
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.
Teaching and Learning
Your course consists of a combination of structured learning and teaching activities and independent learning.
Structured learning activities include lectures, seminars, tutorials and other time-tabled sessions. The amount of time set aside for each activity (‘contact hours’) is set out in individual module descriptors and so will vary depending on the modules you take. When you are not attending structured learning and teaching activities you will be expected to continue learning independently through self-study. Typically this will involve reading journal articles and books, working on individual and group projects, using the library, preparing for seminars, and completing coursework assignments.
The programme specification will provide more information on the specific learning and teaching activities on this course.
Your overall workload will include your learning and teaching activities and independent learning with total study time of around 10 hours being worth 1 credit. While your actual contact hours will depend on any option modules you choose.
Year 1: 49 percent of your time is spent in timetabled teaching and learning activity
|Teaching, learning and assessment:||586 hours|
|Independent learning:||614 hours|
Year 2: 38 percent of your time is spent in timetabled teaching and learning activity
|Teaching, learning and assessment:||454 hours|
|Independent learning:||746 hours|
Year 3: 31 percent of your time is spent in timetabled teaching and learning activity
|Teaching, learning and assessment:||371 hours|
|Independent learning:||829 hours|
You will be given opportunities to test your understanding of the subject informally before you complete the formal assessments that count towards your final mark. This may take the form of practice or ‘formative’ assessments for which you will receive feedback from your tutor. Formative assessments are developmental and any marks you receive do not count towards your overall module mark. There is at least one formal or ‘summative’ assessment towards the end of each module. The marks from summative assessments do count towards your overall module mark.
Assessment methods vary, but your programme specification will provide more information on the specific methods used on this course. You can find out more about the assessment methods used across the University in the assessment guide on the Academic Advice pages.
Balance of assessment
The balance of assessment will vary depending on any option modules you choose.
|95 percent coursework||0 percent written exams||5 percent practical|
|90 percent coursework||0 percent written exams||10 percent practical|
|100 percent coursework||0 percent written exams||0 percent practical|
You will receive feedback on all assessed coursework and practical assignments and we aim to provide this within three weeks. Feedback on examinations is also available on request.
Assessment feedback is intended to help you learn and you are encouraged to discuss it with your module leader.
What are the course 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.
This module map provides a list of the modules that make up your course.
Each module is worth a specified number of credits (typically either 15 or 30 credits for undergraduate courses). Compulsory (or ‘core’) modules cover key subject knowledge, while ‘option’ modules enable you to develop your own interests. For a full-time course you must take modules worth a total of 120 credits at each level of the course. The number of option modules you can take depends on the number of compulsory modules at each level. You can find more information about how your course is structured via the Academic Advice pages.
Our teaching is informed by research and employer requirements, and modules change periodically to reflect developments in the subject area. In addition, where we have insufficient numbers of students interested in an option module, this may not be offered. If an option module does not run, we will advise you as soon as possible and help you choose an alternative module.
The modules available on this course are as follows:
Year 1 Modules
- Getting Connected
Year 2 Modules
- Making Choices
- Illustration Studies
- Imagemaking Awards
- Independent Project
Year 3 Modules
- New Model Dissertation
- Personal Projects
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.
Fees quoted are for the next intake and are subject to change. Fee costs for subsequent years may rise in line with inflation, course delivery costs or subject to government regulations.
For information on financial assistance to support your learning, visit our Undergraduate Fees and Funding section.
How do I apply?
For application details please visit bucks.ac.uk/applynow
Our students are our best ambassadors and their voices here will provide you with a clear sense of their Bucks experience.
I came from a Graphic Design and Art background. It was natural choice to pick a course which offered diversity and breadth of the creative field. The first two years of learning and experiencing a variety of graphic areas led me to focus on my development as an Illustrator in my final year. My experience at Bucks helped shaped my future and understanding of what kind of illustrator I wanted to be.
Since graduating in 2015, I have been an Art Editor for Springer Nature, a company under the umbrella of Macmillan Publishing in London. I knew when I left university I wanted to work in publishing, after an Internship during the summer at Quarto publishing, I decided to pursue my interest in this field. In my free time I work on various illustrations, learning new techniques, finessing my illustrative style, making contacts and working on large projects.
My time at Bucks helped me realise and hone my passion for Illustration and Design. The enthusiasm of the tutors and classmates alike made for a brilliant environment to experiment and have fun.
The outside visits from industry creatives was insightful and eye opening, helping you greater understand and prepare for what the creative arts had in store.
Bucks helped me find focus and enthusiasm whilst guiding me in the right direction, but gave me enough room to refine and discover my own style.
I now work at my studio in Berkhamsted (just outside of London) and my clients include Netflix, The Telegraph, Carling, easyJet and Oreo. My work has been featured on the likes of It's Nice That and I have also spoken at Glug events.