Illustration BA (Hons)

The images we see and take for granted in day-to-day life from book covers to advertisements in newspapers etc are more often than not created by an illustrator. A career as an illustrator opens the door to a wide variety of careers in design, working for graphic, media and advertising agencies, as well as publishers and newspapers. If you have an enthusiasm for drawing and practical creativity of all kinds, our Illustration degree course will help you hone and develop your design skills via the communication of ideas with pictures, using the up-to-date digital and printing facilities available to you. Through our links with industry and relevant work placements, you’ll gain an in-depth understanding of the industry, so you’re well equipped to take your skills into the workplace.

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Key Information

  • Duration:

    Full-time: Three years

  • Level:


  • Delivery:

    Campus, Full-time

  • Award Type:

    BA (Hons)

  • Institution Code:

    CLANC C30

  • UCAS Code:


  • Campus:

    Preston (Campus code: U)

  • Start Date:


  • Design Studies is in the UK’s Top 10 for student satisfaction according to the National Student Survey 2020 with over 90% satisfied with their overall course.  
  • Opportunities to create images for live projects including the Macmillan Prize for Children’s Book Illustration, D&AD Student Design Awards, and the Association of Illustrators Images Award.
  • Well-known illustrators and artists that have visited, lectured and worked with our students recently include Nick Sharratt, Gemma Correll, Stuart Kolakovic and many more.

Course Overview

Year 1

  • Creative Thinking
  • Introduction to Graphic Communication
  • Communication Craft Skills
  • Design: Culture and Society 1

Year 2

  • Applied Illustration
  • Graphic Communication in Context
  • Professional Practice
  • Design: Culture and Society 2 


Year 3

  • Illustration Set Project
  • Illustration External Project
  • Illustration Self-Initiated Project
  • Design: Culture and Society 3

More information about programme specifications and module information is available in the course handbook.

Find out more about our online events Find out more about our online events

Fees 2020/21

Full-time: £9,250* per year (UK/EU)

Fees for international students

Entry Requirements

Our typical offer is 104 - 112 UCAS Points.  We operate a flexible admissions policy and treat everyone as an individual. This means that we will take into consideration your educational achievements and predicted grades (where applicable) together with your application as a whole, including work experience and personal statement. General Studies accepted

BTEC Extended Diploma: Distinction, Merit, Merit 
BTEC Diploma: Distinction*, Distinction - Distinction*, Distinction*
Pass Access Course: 106 - 112 UCAS Points  
International Baccalaureate: Pass Diploma with 104 - 112 UCAS points from Higher Level Subjects
IELTS: 6.0 with no score lower than 5.5
GCSE: 5 at grade C/4 including Maths & English or equivalent

Applicants are required to attend a Selection Day when they will be interviewed with a portfolio. You will be sent an email by our Admissions Office asking you to book onto a selection day event. Further information on our Selection Day and portfolio interviews.

International Students

View our entry requirements for your country

Scholarships and Bursaries

The University offers a range of scholarships and bursaries to support you through your studies.

Discover More

Not got the grades?

If you do not meet the formal entry requirements specified, Foundation Entry offers an alternative route to study for this degree

Foundation Entry Route

Check your points

Not sure how many points you have? Use our handy calculator and find out.

Points calculator

Further Information

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Design – Illustration, Graphic Design and Creative Advertising Virtual Degree Show

Welcome to UCLan's first Design – Illustration, Graphic Design and Creative Advertising Virtual Degree Show, where we will be showcasing the talents of our final year students’ Degree Show projects. Please join us as we celebrate the work of the Class of 2020.

Book here

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The Illustration course at UCLan is a studio-based course aimed at students with an enthusiasm for drawing and practical creativity of all kinds. Illustrators make artwork to commission for a variety of creative disciplines. We have a very broad definition of the materials and processes you can use in the pursuit of innovative and challenging illustration. You can draw, paint, collage, print and photograph, you can also animate, and use 3D materials or digital media.

Year 1 (Year 2 if you have entered via the Foundation route) will introduce you to creative thinking strategies, as well as workshop skills such as printmaking, and a variety of drawing processes.

Year 2 (Year 3 if you have entered via the Foundation route) allows you to explore your own working practice in greater depth and investigates how to apply your skills to a range of industry standard briefs. These include editorial, design, advertising and publishing projects.

In your final year you will aim to develop an individually directed portfolio of illustration, and create images for live projects such as the Macmillan Prize for Children’s Book Illustration, D&AD Student Design Awards, and the Association of Illustrators Images Award. You will also exhibit your final year work in public at the University and at external events such as the D&AD New Blood Exhibition in London.

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The course is designed to help students create a portfolio of work so that they can work as independent illustrators or artists. Graduates find employment within a range of related creative industries, including animation, graphic design, fine art and arts education.

You will have the opportunity to spend a year or a semester studying overseas. In recent years students have chosen to study part of their course in Sydney, Australia. There are also opportunities to study in a range of European countries through the ERASMUS programme. International students from USA and Europe regularly study alongside our students via a module or year exchange programme.

Art and Design Saturday Club

After a successful and creative start to UCLan’s Art and Design Saturday Club (part of the National Saturday Club), we are now taking a break before we start again in September. Register your interest if you wish to take part in the next academic year.

Register your interest

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UCLan achieves triple success at the Oscars of the University world
The University of Central Lancashire (UCLan) has won a record three categories at the 2018 Times Higher Education (THE) Awards, more than any other university on the night.

BBC team delivers workshop sessions in UCLan’s seventh Conference Week
Design students from the University of Central Lancashire (UCLan) have been learning the tricks of the trade from a panel of experts at an annual conference week.

Learning Environment and Assessment

A 3 year degree qualification typically comprises 360 credits and each 20 credit (a standard module) equates to 200 hours of study, which comprises of a mixture of lectures, seminars, tutorials, practical sessions and independent study. Independent study is an important aspect of your degree course. The exact combination of study time will be detailed within your module descriptors, and will depend on your option choices.

You will have access to workshop facilities including digital facilities within the studios, and within the Victoria Building facility; as well as traditional and digital printmaking, and 3D workshops. In addition, students will have lectures, group critiques and one-to-one tutorials.

This is a practice-based course where you will be given the opportunity to work in a studio environment where practical exploration and creative playfulness is encouraged. You will be taught contemporary image making by experienced practitioners via project briefs.

Assessment includes portfolio and project presentations, verbal presentation and written work.

Digital Print Studio

Our Illustration Links

As an Illustration student at UCLan you will have an opportunity to create live project work either set by industry connections, or via professional organisations like D&AD. Placements have been arranged within greetings cards studios, in galleries and within design agencies. Our students are frequently visited by industry professionals, practicing illustrators, publishing and design commissioners and agents.

You will be able to interact with creative industry practitioners and we invite a wide range of visiting speakers and industry professionals to the course every year. Well-known illustrators and artists that have visited, lectured and worked with our students recently include: Tom Gauld, Lizzy Stewart, Gemma Correll, Katherina Manolessou, Stuart Kolakovic, Jill Calder, David Hughes, Nick Sharratt, Steven Appleby, and many others. The course is a member of both the Association of Illustrators and Design and Art Direction.

Course Enquiries

Telephone us: +44(0)1772 892400
Email us or Book a visit

Important Information

This course is based in the School of Art, Design and Fashion

Course Handbook

For detailed information about studying this course at UCLan, please see the course handbook for your year of entry: 2019 Entry | 2020 Entry
For information on possible changes to course information, see our Essential and Important Course Information.

Tuition Fees & Finance

*Tuition Fees are per year unless otherwise stated.
For 2019/20 fees please refer to our fees page.

Further Information for students

You can find regulations and policies relating to student life at The University of Central Lancashire on our Student Contract page.

Entry Requirements

For changes to 2017 UCAS tariff entry requirements please see our Essential and Important Course Information. UCLan requires all undergraduate applicants to have a minimum attainment of five GCSEs at grade C and above, or equivalent, (including Maths and English). In 2017 and beyond we will view the new Grade 4 as being equivalent to a C grade and will therefore require students to achieve GCSE Grade 4 or above. However, if the subject is relevant to our degree programme and requires a higher GCSE grade (e.g. GCSE B grade), and/or includes a Professional body that governs the entry requirements, Grade 5 or above may be required.