Illustration BA(Hons)

Falmouth Campus
3 years full-time
Direct line
01326 254350

Find your place as an original thinker within the rapidly evolving visual communications industry. You'll be continually encouraged to challenge yourself, push boundaries and realise your potential.

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. Illustration at Falmouth is renowned and respected for its emphasis on professional practice and its connection to the world of illustration. We'll teach you about core business skills such as marketing, copyright and tax, and train you in the use of key software packages such as Photoshop and Illustrator. You'll also have the opportunity to gain experience on live projects.


  • Optional study visits to London and New York
  • Core business skills such as licenses, copyright and tax
  • Expert guidance in key software such as Photoshop, Illustrator and Dreamweaver
  • Create your own portfolio website
  • Work on live briefs and meet clients


Fees, Costs and Funding

Tuition fees 2018-19

£9,250 - full-time UK/EU

£15,000 - full-time international

Typical course costs

£250-£550 - Recurring annual costs

£100 - One off costs for the course duration (compulsory trips, final portfolios or shows, etc)

£1,400 - Optional study visits and placements for the course duration

Additionally, if you need to bring equipment or materials with you, these will be outlined in your Welcome Letter

The figures above don't include accommodation and living costs


For information about funding available, please visit our undergraduate funding page

How to Apply

Apply via UCAS using University code F33, and course code W214 for your application.

For detailed information on the application process and entry requirements, use our application guidance.

Successful applicants will then be invited to attend an interview. For details on what to expect and how to prepare, read our course interview information.


All UK/EU applications must be made through UCAS by 15 January. Late applications will be considered if there are places available on the course.

International fee payers may apply after the deadline but are encouraged to apply as early as possible, to have plenty of time to make visa and travel arrangements.

Interview and Portfolio Guidance

This course requires all eligible applicants to attend an interview and show a current portfolio of work. Applicants who are based outside of the UK may request an online interview. Take a look at our portfolio advice

Once you’ve applied, we’ll email you with a personal login for the Falmouth Applicant Portal where you'll see more information about these requirements.

Entry Requirements

A typical offer is between 104 and 120 UCAS points for entry to undergraduate courses, primarily from Level 3 equivalent qualifications such as A levels, a BTEC Extended Diploma or a Foundation Diploma.

You can check how many points your qualifications are worth using the online UCAS Tariff Calculator
Due to the creative nature of our courses, you will be considered on your own individual merit and potential to succeed. We encourage you to get in touch if you are predicted points below this range, thinking about transferring from another institution, or if you have other qualifications or professional experience as we may be able to consider you. More information is available on our Apply page
English language requirements
You must have a minimum of Grade 4 (or C) or above in GCSE English Language, or equivalent, for entry to our undergraduate courses.
If English is not your first language, we accept a range of recognised language qualifications that are equivalent to the IELTS Academic minimum score of 6.0 overall, with a minimum of 5.5 in Reading, Writing, Speaking and Listening. If you require a Tier 4 student visa to study in the UK, you must take an approved Secure English Language Test (SELT) to fulfil government visa requirements. Please read more about language requirements on our Apply page
Our Applicant Services team are here to help you with advice and guidance throughout your application journey. We invite you to contact them with any questions you may have.
+44 (0)1326 213730
Online enquiry form

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.

How you'll spend your time 

YearTime spent in timetabled teaching and learning activityTime spent in guided independent studyTime spent on placements
131%69% 0% 
236%64% 0% 
318%82% 0% 

How you'll be assessed 

Year   Assessment by written exams                                                        Assessment by practical exams                           Assessment by coursework     
10%0% 100% 
20%0% 100% 
30%0% 100% 

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 one

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 systematic and intuitive thinking strategies. This is strengthened through themed visual studies sessions, which include life drawing to enhance your drawing ability.

Towards the end of the 1st year you'll 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, where you'll learn about illustration within the design industry. Part of this trip will include participating in a major illustration forum held at London College of Communication.

Visual problem solving - conceptual thinking strategies for illustrators
Historical & cultural studies essays
Applied illustration - contextualised illustration projects
Visual studies - life drawing, media experimentation, digital media

Year two

Your second year will begin with a series of projects that continue the exploration of applied illustration. These projects will encompass 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.

  • Contextual Illustration
  • Historical & cultural studies essays
  • The negotiated programme (development) - the development of studio practice
  • Dissertation research portfolio - the early development of dissertation

Year three

In your final year you'll work towards both a physical and virtual portfolio of work. You'll also write a dissertation and produce a website of your work as part of 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. The study trip enables you to get real feedback on your visual language from the best designers and art directors in the business.

  • The negotiated programme (consolidation & completion) - the continued consolidation and completion of studio practice
  • The dissertation - a major theoretical written piece of work
  • Professional practice


  • Dedicated open plan studios and seminar rooms
  • Dedicated desk space for every student
  • Printmaking workshop
  • Life drawing studio
  • Range of IT facilities with full software and printing facilities
  • Access to over 140,000 books, comprehensive electronic journal resource and DVD library featuring over 17,000 titles

Take a virtual tour of our facilities


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. They regularly use their industry contacts to connect students with the real world of work.

Illustration at Falmouth attracts visiting lecturers of real significance. Recent speakers have included 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.


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

Recent Graduates

  • Robert Newberry: Longlisted for the 2015 House of Illustration Book Illustration Awards
  • Hannah Seakins: Second runner up, Carmelite Prize for Illustration
  • Owen Davey & Rebecca Cobb: Nominated for the 2016 Kate Greenaway Gold Medal
  • Will Grill: Winner of the 2015 Kate Greenaway Gold Medal
  • Thomas Pullin: Winner of the 2015 Guardian Clearing Cover Illustration
  • Eilidh Baker: Winner of the 2015 Pushkin Press Student Illustration Award

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 mentors can be reached on the Illustration BA(Hons) Facebook group

They'll help with topics like living in Cornwall, what to expect at Falmouth, and the course itself.

Also worth a look are additional groups that offer assistance for LGBTQ studentsdisabled studentsmature studentsinternational students, and Cornish locals

You'll need to join the groups before you can post. If you don't have access to Facebook, please email your name and proposed course to