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Illustration BA (Hons)

Key Facts

  • UCAS Code:

    W220

  • Level:

    Undergraduate

  • Duration:

    3 years full time
    4 years full time (with foundation)
    4 years part time

  • Starting:

    September

  • Fees UK/EU:

    Full Time: £9,250 Part Time: £1,450 per 20 credit module Integrated Foundation Year: £6,750

  • Fees International:

    Full Time:£12,900 Integrated Foundation Year: £12,900

  • Location:

    Waterside

Get in touch


For questions regarding study and admissions please contact us:

UK/EU Students enquiries

study@northampton.ac.uk
0300 303 2772

International Students enquiries

international@northampton.ac.uk
+44 (0)1604 892134

TEF Gold. Teaching Excellence Framework.

Overview


The BA Illustration at the University of Northampton puts the power of storytelling and visual communication at the heart of what we do.

The course emphasises the importance of supporting students to develop their own visual language through a range of media and approaches from page to screen, 3D, installation and interaction. Through this holistic programme you can experiment and innovate using idea generation and real-world application to create work with meaning and purpose.

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

Updated 15/10/2020

Highlights


  • Strong links with industry plus lots of opportunities to work with ‘live’ projects, competition briefs and collaboration with other subjects.
  • Access to specialist resources with technical instruction and support such as; printmaking, photography, sculpture, 3D printing, lasercutting, VR and digital media.
  • Opportunities to exhibit your work publicly.
  • Mac computer design and reprographics suite.
  • HP Laptop and software included with this course. Terms and Conditions apply.
  • Guaranteed paid internship with the Northampton Employment Promise.

Course Content


  • We prepare students to be confident and competent professional practitioners not only post-graduation but whilst still studying on the course.  As part of the professional practice modules, students will have a variety of leading people from the industry give talks and portfolio reviews as well as the opportunity to visit agencies, publishers and art directors responsible for commissioning illustration.

    The course is a member of the internationally recognised body for the sector, The Association of Illustrators and Varoom and has successful freelance illustrators and industry partners working with the course.

    Follow Illustration BA (Hons) on Instagram and Twitter to get an idea of the type of projects and events our students get involved in.
    Illustration BA (Hons) prepares you primarily for a career as a freelance illustrator or on to postgraduate study. For example, some of our students have gone on to Masters programmes in art therapy, visual communication at the RCA or onto teaching. Other students have gone on to be successful author/illustrators, concept artists, marketing and design roles.

    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 visual communication 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.

    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 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
    • Live work through commissions and project briefs
    • Collaborate with other disciplines in the University
    • Portfolio reviews with industry specialists
    • In-house Risograph press

    Student Successes

    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. 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.

    MODULES

    Information about the modules for this course can be found on the award map:

    View modules

  • How will I be taught on Illustration BA (Hons)?

    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.

    How will I be assessed?

    You will be assessed through a range of illustration assignments, including portfolio presentations, self-assessment, essays and in your third year, a dissertation.

    What specialist facilities will I have access to?

    • Extensive use of exceptionally well equipped printmaking, photography and 3D facilities
    • Dedicated studio space
    • Creative industry guest speakers
    • Mac-based computer aided design suites
    • Subsidised digital printing from A4 to A0 banner
    • Printmaking facilities in one of the largest print studios in the country
    • Professional photography studios with day and controlled lighting studios
    • Video editing suites
  • 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.

    Integrated Foundation Year 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:

    • IELTS 6.0 (or equivalent) with a minimum of 5.5 in all bands
      for study at undergraduate level.

    For information regarding English language requirements at the University, please see our IELTS page.

  • The Integrated Foundation Year (IFY) offers a new and exciting route into studying for a degree, attracting ambitious and driven students who are willing to learn and advance.

    If you have non-standard qualifications or do not quite meet the admissions requirements we can offer you a fantastic opportunity to study a four year programme which includes an Integrated Foundation Year. The Integrated Foundation Year will help you develop the theoretical/practical and academic skills you need, in order to successfully progress to the full award.

    Featuring a reduced tuition fee in the first year, our four-year courses will enable you to successfully follow the degree pathway of your choice while gaining essential study skills. The foundation year of your chosen degree will be studied on a full-time basis and is aimed at supporting the transition to higher education. Years two, three and four are then studied as a standard degree programme.

  • UK & EU

    2020/21 Tuition Fees

    Fees quoted relate to study in the Academic Year 20/21 only and may be subject to inflationary increases in future years.

    Full Time: £9,250
    Part Time: £1,450 per 20 credit module

    Additional Costs

    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. 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.

    2019/20 Tuition Fees

    Fees quoted relate to study in the Academic Year 19/20 only and may be subject to inflationary increases in future years.

    Full Time: £9,250
    Part Time: £1,400 per 20 credit module

    International

    2020/21 Tuition Fees

    Fees quoted relate to study in the Academic Year 20/21 only and may be subject to inflationary increases in future years.

    International: £12,900

    For information on the scholarships available to you as an international student, please see our International scholarships page.

    Additional Costs

    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. 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.

    2019/20 Tuition Fees

    Fees quoted relate to study in the Academic Year 19/20 only and may be subject to inflationary increases in future years.

    International: £12,500

  • Our postgraduate courses are a great way to enhance the skills you have already learnt. Benefit from our 20% alumni discount on postgraduate fees to give yourself a CV that will catch the eye of employers.

    Fine Art MA

Upcoming Opendays

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Careers and Employability


Throughout your time on the course there will be opportunities to exhibit publicly and promote your work through exhibitions, pop-up shops and events, ensuring you graduate with a professional portfolio of work.

Graduates could go on to work in a broad range of careers including: Freelance illustrator, Self-publisher/author, Animator, Editor, Book designer, Film maker, Printmaker, Model/scenery/puppet maker, Art Therapy, Designer storyboard artist, Curator, Editorial publisher, Director, Illustration agent, and Artist in residence.