Illustration BA(Hons)

Falmouth Campus
3 years full-time
Direct line
01326 213730

Illustration focuses on producing original thinkers that understand the needs of a rapidly evolving visual communication industry. Our students are continually encouraged to challenge themselves, push boundaries and realise their potential as visual communicators.

The course is widely respected for its emphasis on professional practice and its connection with the real world of illustration. Our core teaching team are practising illustrators, working nationally and internationally with a strong connection to the commercial world of illustration.


  • Self-funded study visits to London and New York
  • Core business skills such as licences, copyright and tax
  • Expert guidance in key software packages such as Photoshop, Illustrator and Dreamweaver
  • Creating your own website
  • Working on real briefs and meeting clients

To find out more about our course and see more of our work please visit our websites:

How the course is taught

A full-time, hands-on course striking a balance between creative freedom and professional practice, BA(Hons) Illustration covers all aspects of the discipline, including drawing, visual studies, and historical and cultural studies. Project work is supported by lectures, seminars, study trips, professional experience and tutorials. You'll be asked to develop peer and self-evaluation skills, which will be used in critical, conceptual, productive and professional capacities.

Course outline

On this course you'll learn how to analyse a text, generate strong conceptual solutions, compose an image and use colour effectively. You'll also strengthen your drawing ability and ultimately develop a unique and compelling visual language.

We'll help you to network and market yourself. We'll also teach you about core business skills such as licences, copyright and tax, and key software packages such as Photoshop, Illustrator and Dreamweaver.

What you'll do

Year 1

Your first year will begin by focusing on visual problem solving. This will develop your approach to conceptual thinking by encouraging you to explore a wide range of both systematic and intuitive thinking strategies. This is strengthened through a wide range of themed visual studies sessions, which include life drawing to develop your drawing ability.

Towards the end of the first year you will begin to explore the different applied areas of illustration. Sessions on critical theory and the historical contexts that underpin illustration will run throughout the year. You'll also travel to London to visit some of the capital's influential art directors and illustration agents, and learn about illustration within the design industry. Part of this trip will include the participation in a major illustration forum event held at the London College of Communication.

Year 2

Your second year will begin with a series of projects that continue the exploration of applied illustration. These projects will cover advertising, book cover design, editorial illustration, children's book illustration and information illustration.

In the second half of the year you'll develop and negotiate your own projects. This will allow you to put into practice what you've learnt, and develop your own direction in terms of your visual language and the area of the industry that you're interested in. You'll also have the opportunity to travel to Barcelona (or a similar destination) to strengthen your observational drawing and reportage skills.

Year 3

In your final year you'll work towards both a physical and virtual portfolio of work. You'll also write your dissertation and produce a website of your work as part of your professional practice studies. In addition, you'll get the opportunity to develop interactive screen-based illustration through a series of dedicated 'app' development workshops.

Finally you'll travel to New York (or a similar destination) in order to show your portfolio of work. The intention of this study trip is for you to get real feedback on your visual language from the best designers and art directors in the business.


Our dedicated, large open-plan studios with wireless networking are ready for you. Facilities include:

  • A broad range of IT facilities with all the necessary software and printing options
  • A life studio
  • Access to the comprehensive Woodlane Printroom
  • Dedicated seminar rooms
  • Access to over 140,000 books
  • A comprehensive electronic journal resource base
  • An extensive DVD and video library featuring over 17,000 titles


The core members of the teaching team are practising illustrators with significant experience in both the UK and US markets.

Our staff have worked for clients including the Wall Street Journal, the Lancet Medical Journal and United Airlines, and written for journals such as Varoom and Computer Arts. They regularly use their industrial contacts to connect students with the real world of work.

Illustration at Falmouth attracts visiting lecturers of real significance, including Dave McKean, Noma Bar, Laura Carlin, McFaul, Nobrow, Sue Coe, Paul Slater, Sara Fanelli, Russell Cobb, Graham Rawle, Matthew Richardson, Posy Simmonds, Jason Ford, Kai & Sunny, Owen Davey and John Vernon Lord.


Feedback and evaluation will be provided throughout the year. You'll be assessed through visual, verbal and written assignments, including the creation of your portfolio, as well as a dissertation or final year project. Assessment will take place at the end of each semester.


  • Career as a freelance illustrator
  • Work in advertising, marketing, publishing, animation, , graphic design, concept artist or television
  • Fine Art practice
  • Work as part of a design group practice
  • Illustration agency (repping)
  • Career in studio management
  • Career in art direction
  • Postgraduate study

Student Mentor Scheme

Falmouth's Student Mentor Scheme matches new starters with a second year student, to help you settle in and find your feet. Our student mentors are now on Facebook. To chat to a mentor about the course, living in Cornwall or what to expect at Falmouth, check out the Illustration group. You'll need to join the group before you can post.

If you don't have access to Facebook please email your name and proposed course to:

For more information about the application process, portfolios, interviews and selection days, please contact our admissions team using our enquiry form