Birmingham City University - ILLUSTRATION - BA (HONS)

Birmingham City University


Our BA (Hons) Illustration degree course aims to give those with a passion for image making and illustration the skills they need to capture and communicate ideas through pictures. We celebrate the challenge of finding your individual visual voice through experimenting, risk taking and critical reflection. You will also explore how your work can be applied across a wide range of contexts, from commercial work to personally-driven projects.

This course provides an opportunity to development a wide range of transferable skills and design process knowledge that is highly desirable to employers.


Our challenging and exciting Illustration course will help you develop new skills and different ways of thinking, enabling you to find your own individual, visual language and prepare you for the ever-changing creative industry.

The course celebrates the synthesis between illustration and all the other visual communication subject disciplines, leading to the development of strong student collaborations that again aims to reflect industry practice.

We support a lively creative community, encouraging the value of peer learning. This learning is supplemented by an integrated workshop programme that provides the opportunity to work alongside, and be informed by, industry experts from a wide range of disciplines.

Entry Requirements

Essential Requirements: 

  • 112 UCAS tariff points from A/AS Level with a minimum of 2 A Levels.


  • 6.0 overall with no less than 5.5 in each band.

Career Prospects

This course aims to develop a portfolio of practice that suits the individual's motivations and aspirations, equipping them with transferable skills for various professional contexts. The degree focuses on enhancing skills and aptitude in the field of illustration, allowing graduates to generate potential ideas and visual solutions. They will produce creative work that demonstrates sound judgments in accordance with the theories and concepts of illustration and visual communication subjects, responding to industry demands.
Students will gain an in-depth understanding of the relationship between theory and practice through research, allowing them to create meaningful, well-informed work. They will also develop a range of working strategies, methods, and materials, learning how to apply them to production. They will also discover and respond to the influence of audiences, clients, markets, and other participants in relation to visual communication practice.
As an Illustration student, students are encouraged to develop professional networks, incorporating industry connections into their work. This includes work placements and paid jobs, as well as attending trips and visits to gain insight into industry working practices. The school also has multiple working-relationships with organizations, allowing students to take on professional roles and gain experience.

Course Details

The School offers a comprehensive course that focuses on developing a deep understanding of illustration practice and other design-related areas. During the first year, students receive guidance on selecting their chosen area of practice and career progression. The course covers production processes, entrepreneurial and collaborative skills, and connections across four subject disciplines, preparing them for the life of an illustrator.
In the second year, students will focus on developing their practice, producing successful commercial outputs through various projects and contexts. They will contextualize their chosen discipline within contemporary practice and participate in workshops and masterclasses. The second year will also involve focusing on a specific area of illustration, working with a tutor and small groups to identify and research it.
The final year of the course focuses on developing sustained and original work, culminating in a Major Project, where students refine their specialist knowledge of a particular area of practice. The final year will focus on preparing for their professional future, ensuring their project provides the research, skills, and portfolio necessary for their future.
To complete the course, students must successfully complete all CORE modules (120 credits) and demonstrate their skills in showcasing their final year project at the graduate degree show and New Designers in London.

First Year

CORE Modules:
Introduction to Visual Communication 20 credits
Principles & Practice of Illustration 40 credits
Enterprise of Illustration 20 credits
Discourse 20 credits
Narrative (Space and Place) 20 credits
Narrative (Time and Sequence) 20 credits
Narrative (Sound and Movement) 20 credits
Narrative (Text and Image) 20 credits
Narrative (People and Identity) 20 credits

Second Year

CORE Modules
Context of Illustration 40 credits
Identifying Direction 40 credits
Live Project 20 credits
Work Placement 20 credits
Collaborative Practice 20 credits

Final Year

CORE Modules (totalling 120 credits):
Critical Practice 60 credits
Major Project 60 credits

*The information’s are correct at the time of publishing, however it may change if university makes any changes after we have published the information. While we try our best to provide correct information, It is advisable to call us or visit university website for up to date information.

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