Ilustration is a broadbased and highly practical programme. At its core is drawing, reportage, visual description and visual notetaking. All three are needed to communicate your ideas and develop your individual creative voice, which will help you survive in a competitive job market. You will have the opportunity to develop your personal interests in processes like animation, graphic novels, character design, digital applications, children’s picture books, branding, technical illustration, printmaking and much more. The practical elements of the course are complemented by contextual background in the history and theory of illustration and the broader visual realm, both Western and global, through focused theory seminars and integrated studio teaching.
You can study French, German, Italian, Mandarin Chinese and Spanish as part of, or alongside, your course.
Professional practice skills are embedded throughout the programme, and with a dedicated careerfocused module in the final year of study. This allows you to develop entrepreneurial, presentation and IT skills and to document your technical skills, with the aim of preparing you for professional life after the degree.
Year 1 is an intense series of modules designed to break down and rebuild ideas about visual representation, communications design, and ideas generation. Concentrating more on ideas than product, we will introduce you to the fast pace you must set and the variety of contexts in which to work: from freelancing, team and group work to competitive bidding and the challenge of maintaining creative energy in a stressful situation.
The focus of Year 1 is to develop your imagegeneration and development techniques and ability to respond to briefs in a range of contexts and deveolop working habits that mirror industry conditions. It also develops your knowledge of the history, theory and context of Illustration.
Year 2 allows you to expand on specialist areas you have identified and to gain experience and knowledge of the associated markets. You will keep up a strong focus on skills in analogue and digital technology and techniques, and in research. To develop your experience as a professional practitioner you also will be given the opportunity to undertake and reflect upon a vocational industry placement or commission. Year 2 enables you to develop and explore specialist areas of interest, engage with a live professional context and define the focus of your theoretical studies for the Dissertation in Year 3.
Year 3 provides practical research outcomes, a professional portfolio and a skillset appropriate to your interests as a practising Illustrator or as a researcher at a postgraduate level. By this time you should be independent, proactive and ready to go out and find work, and this year is aimed at equipping you for that. The year includes a Dissertation that contextualizes your individual interests and culiminates in Year 3 extends the focus developed in year 2 in a culminating exhibition or ‘live’ project. The dissertation, is used to focus, define and contextualize the your individual interest. By this time you should be independent, proactive and ready to go out and find work, and this year is aimed at equipping you for that.
You can study French, German, Italian, Mandarin Chinese or Spanish as part of, or alongside, your course. You alsom have the opportunity for additional language and cultural training and the possibility of a year studying abroad at one of our international partner universities. There is abundant evidence that such international experience helps to improve academic performance, enhances employability and improves the pace of career progression (Universities UK International (2017).