The course has an emphasis on innovative and imaginative ideas as well as strong drawing and painting, graphic design and digital skills. All of which are explored through narrative, cultural, social and environmental themes at each level in; workshops, staff set, live and competition project briefs to
develop your personal visual language and illustrative approach.
The course is a member of the internationally recognized body for the sector, The Association of Illustrators and Varoom and has successful freelance illustrators and industry partners working with the course.
We will support you to achieve your career and study ambitions, which is why if you complete our Employability Plus Gold programme or Changemaker Gold certificate alongside your studies and if you haven’t secured full-time employment 12 months after graduating* we will secure a three – six month paid internship for you, or support you into postgraduate study.
*with a 2:2 degree classification or higher
HP Laptop and software included with this course.
The illustration course prepares you for your career as a freelance illustrator or on to postgraduate study. Some of our students have gone on to do a Masters in art therapy, visual communication at the RCA or onto teaching. You will primarily learn through practical studio sessions that will include; workshops, lectures, tutorials, crits and seminars that equip students with idea generating methodologies, technical skills, knowledge and understanding of illustration and design. You will have access to your studio, excellent digital media, printmaking and photography facilities.
The course begins by providing you with a foundation on which to build your knowledge, understanding and design skills with an emphasis on developing your visual language and drawing in particular. Across the three years you will be given a range of staff-set, live, International and National competition briefs that allow you to experience a range of illustration challenges and as you progress through the course you will be given more and more autonomy with which to choose the brief and shape your portfolio. An important aspect for a contemporary illustrator is to continually develop their own practice and this is reflected in the course structure, students have opportunities to write their own self-directed projects and make choices within set projects. Illustration can be used to communicate about any subject so collaboration and working with other disciplines within the university is something we often do.
As well as developing your ideas, technical skills and approaches to different aspects of narrative the course offers students the opportunity to attend design and illustration conferences, get feedback on your work and portfolio from industry experts and to travel with the course on an annual cultural trip. Over the past few years we have visited; Barcelona, Paris, Amsterdam, Berlin, Rome and Madrid. We regularly host visiting speakers, industry experts and creative agencies giving you practical learning and advice from professionals.
Opportunities For You
• International and National competitions
• Public facing exhibitions and residency
• Commissions through Professional Practice
• Live work through commissions and project briefs
• Collaborate with other disciplines in the University
• Portfolio reviews with industry specialists
• In-house Risograph press
Through the Professional Practice module our students regularly secure exciting internships and commissions. Recently students have interned at The House of Illustration in London, graphic designer for an NHS department and in a local printmaking studio while commissions have ranged from window display for Gosh comics in London’s Soho and local specialist pet store, craft beer bottle labels for local brewery and mural for a local artisan coffee shop and bakery.
Students have pursued their own publishing careers by networking with comic groups, crowd funding their own comics, stories and books. Running tables at DIY Cultures, one of the largest comics fairs in London. Students have gone on to postgraduate study in art therapy and illustration with articles about their success in Creative Review and Varoom.
Each year third year students exhibit their degree show work at the summer show held at the university and then in London at the D&AD New Blood exhibition.
You can follow BA Illustration on Instagram to get an idea of the type of projects and events our students get involved in.
Changing Futures Week
Our annual Changing Futures Week is an exciting event and an excellent opportunity for our students to explore the potential of their course and understand where their university experience can lead them beyond graduation. It offers a unique chance to network with high profile industry professionals from the arts, TV, film, fashion and more.
Materials, Events and Visits
Materials for workshops and Masterclasses, entry to competitions associated with your programme of study, and those visits that are necessary for your course are all made available at no additional charge.
We recommend that you budget for printing costs (approximately £50 per year for laser and large format printing) and any specialist materials that you may require (£50 or more depending on materials).
There are optional trips, both within the UK and overseas: UK visits and Trips will cost approximately £50 per year. Overseas trips or visits will cost approximately £350 per trip.
Display and exhibition materials for end of year shows in years 2 and 3 will cost approximately £40 per year. Year 3 – Your end of year summer show additionally requires contributions (or your own fund raising activities) for a catalogue and marketing materials costing approximately £30-£50, along with a further contribution to exhibit at the D&AD New Blood Industry Graduate Showcase in London, approximately £20. If you would like off site access to the Adobe Industry Standard software packages, you can opt to pay £15 per month (student rate) for Adobe Creative Cloud and you may want to buy a laptop or desktop computer (Apple Mac is recommended, from £400 upwards). We have our own suite of MacBooks to use in the design studios and access to iMacs however, buying your own is recommended.
Your taught study will be a combination of lectures, seminars, workshops and technical demonstrations, usually for 15 hours per week, depending on your level of study. In addition, we recommend that you spend around 15 hours per week in self-directed study time. You will have access to technical facilities and studios outside of taught time.
You will be assessed through a range of illustration assignments, including portfolio presentations, self-assessment, essays and in your third year, a dissertation.
We’re committed to offering the opportunity to study in the UK to the best and brightest students from around the world.
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Standard entry requirements apply. A typical offer would be BCC at A-Level or DMM at BTEC. In addition, you are expected to have studied Art, Design or a related subject in an A-Level or BTEC level 3 Diploma, or equivalent qualification. A Foundation Diploma in Art and Design will also be accepted.
Applicants are interviewed and are requested to provide a portfolio of their own work in Art and Design. International students may submit their portfolio electronically.
Students with a relevant HND or Foundation Degree with a suitable profile of achievement may be admitted onto year two or three.
For more more information on how to make an application, please visit our How to Apply page.
If you are an International student and would like information on making an application, please see our How to Apply page.
Foundation Study Framework Entry Requirements
Admission to this foundation programme is normally DEE at A-Level or MPP at BTEC. However, we would also like to hear from you if you have professional or industry experience instead, a range of other qualifications or self-developed subject knowledge that relates to the programme you wish to study.
English Language Requirements
All International and EU students applying for a course with us must meet the following minimum English language requirements:
For information regarding English language requirements at the University, please see our IELTS page.
|Number of Staff||1,611|
|Number of Students||11,984|
|Number of International Students||1000|
|Graduation Employment Rate||95%|
|Student Satisfaction Rate||89%|
|Academic Programs Offered||Undergraduate and Postgraduate|
|Mode of Programs Offered||Full time, Part time and Distance|
|Medium of Instruction||English|
|Average Tuition Fee for International Fee||GBP 12,000 - GBP 15,000|
|Proficiency Test for English Language||IELTS, TOEFL iBT or Pearson PTE|
|Financial Aid||Scholarships, Funds and Loans|
For all the prospective candidates for the institute, an estimated cost of living in the UK is as cpmipield below.
The tuition fee varies from one course to another. Following are some of the popular courses along with the tuition cost:
University of Northampton Undergraduate Courses
|BA and BSc Degrees||GBP 12,900|
|BSc Podiatry / BSc Occupational Therapy||GBP 13,900|
|BSc Nursing||GBP 15,750|
|Sandwich / placement Year||GBP 1,000|
University of Northampton Graduate Courses
|MA or MSc Degrees||GBP 13,750|
Basic list of expenses apart from tuition fee are as follows:
|Type of Expenditure||Cost (in GBP, per week)|
|Accommodation (includes basic facilities)||130 to 300|
|Food||36 to 52|
|Mobile phone||4 to 14|
|Books and supplies||Around 11|
|Clothing and personal care||16 to 26|
Basic Admission Requirements
The outcomes of the English proficiency tests taken by all of the international applicants. IELTS, TOEFL iBT, and Pearson PTE are acceptable tests. The minimal IELTS scores needed to get admitted are as follows:
|Academic Programs||Minimum Score|
|Undergraduate||6.0 overall and not less than 5.5 in each section|
|Postgraduate||6.5 overall and not less than 5.5 in each section|
|Research||7.0 overall and not less than 6.5 in each section|
|Tuition Fees in UK (1st Year Average)||MS: £17276 | MBA: £17276 | BE/Btech: £16632 | BBA: £15130 | BSc: £16632 | MFin: £19000 | MA: £15560 | MIM: £18241 | MEM: £16950 | MArch: £14271 | BHM: £12662 | MIS: £15344 | MEng: £12876 | MBBS: £28865| MPharm: £15452|
|Average Accomodation & Food Costs in UK||£850 to £1,050 a month|
|Entrance Exams in UK||TOEFL: 88 | IELTS: 6.5 | PTE: 59 | GMAT: 590|
|Work and Study in UK||Permitted for 20 hours/week with a valid study permit.|
|Post Study Work Permit in UK||2 Year after graduation depending on the course.|
|Cost of Student Visa in UK||£348|
|Student Visa in UK||Your nationality, duration of your stay and purpose of your stay are the three essential factors for UK visa. For Non-EU students UK visa is mandatory.|
|Intakes in UK||There are mainly two intakes in UK: January/February & September/October.|
|Top Job Sectors in UK||IT Engineering, Product Design, Mobile Development, Designers, Logistics, etc.|
|Economy in UK||Growth Rate: 1.3% (2018) 1.4% (2019) 1.4% (2020e), 6th Largest Economy in the World by Nominal|
Tuition & fees :