|Course duration||3 years / 4 years|
You’ll maximise your employability in the visual communications industry by learning about marketing, copyright, tax and more. Our academic team has experience in every aspect of the sector, creating a diverse learning environment with multiple specialisms available, preparing you for the evolving needs of the creative industries.
- Create your own online marketing campaign; building a portfolio website, setting up a professional Instagram account and creating your LinkedIn profile
- Have the opportunity to showcase your work in our professional online magazine Wunderkammer, circulated to art directors, editors and designers all over the world
- Attend guest lectures from alumni and industry leaders such as Sara Fanelli, Owen Davey and Edel Rodriguez
- Develop your professional practice with the chance to meet clients and win commissions for live briefs, and to secure work placements and internships
- Participate in our industry feedback week, where you will gain personalised feedback on your portfolio from agencies, publishers and design houses
- Have the opportunity to exhibit work in London and participate in shows such as D&AD
The Integrated Foundation Year pathway for this course is new for entry year 2022 and subject to validation.
On this Illustration degree, you'll have the opportunity to gain a BA(Hons) degree over three years or study Illustration BA(Hons) with an Integrated Foundation Year.
Through this Illustration degree, you'll cover everything from drawing and visual studies to historical and cultural studies – developing peer and self-evaluation skills for the professional world. We'll teach you core business skills in licenses, copyright and tax, and essential technical skills in Photoshop, Illustrator and Dreamweaver. You'll learn to analyse a text, come up with strong ideas, compose an image, and properly market yourself when you enter the industry.
Beginning with visual problem solving, you'll develop your conceptual skills as you explore a range of thinking strategies. You'll also take part in life drawing and other themed visual studies sessions, and learn about critical theory and illustration's historical contexts.
Travelling to London, you'll learn about illustration in the design industry from influential art directors and illustration agents, and take part in a major illustration forum.
Visual Problem Solving
This module focuses on conceptual thinking and consists of a range of projects. It will provide you with strategies for generating conceptual solutions to prescribed visual problems, including systematic and intuitive thinking.
Visual Studies 1
Forming an exploration of visual language, this module will provide you with opportunities to experiment with a wide range of media and mark making techniques and drawing styles. In this way, you'll begin to identify and strengthen your own visual language. Life drawing, printmaking and digital skills sessions will alternate with studio-based sessions that will allow you to engage in an experimental approach to media, process and mark-making.
In this module, you'll undertake text-based, thematic projects and explore in depth some of the main contexts of illustration. You'll explore how illustration is applied within the industry of visual communication, while also considering your audience. We'll also cover the major domains of illustration: editorial, advertising, narrative and information.
Visual Studies 2
This module focuses on the development of visual language, providing you with further opportunities to experiment with media and mark making techniques and drawing styles.
You'll start with a series of applied illustration projects, spanning advertising, book cover design, editorial illustration, children's book illustration and information illustration.
Putting your knowledge into practice, you'll then manage and develop your own projects, finding a unique direction and focusing on a specific area of the industry.
You'll be introduced to the main contexts of illustration through a series of projects in which you'll evaluate and put into practice the knowledge you've gained so far. Projects will relate to a key context of contemporary Illustration practice and will enable you to make decisions about the future direction of your work.
Visual Language 1
This module offers new opportunities to evaluate and evolve existing strengths and weaknesses within your visual language. Through digital workshops and seminars, you'll be provided with the tools to experiment with a variety of media and learn strategies with which to develop and refine your personal visual language. Practical work will be supported by reflective analysis of images related to your chosen themes and should demonstrate a depth of understanding, supported by annotation.
In this module, you'll begin to establish a personal direction within the field of illustration while fostering both independent and collaborative working practices. Collaboration could one of many forms, such as collectives, zines, joint exhibitions, student-led discussion forums, external community outreach projects, or external industry collaborations.
Visual Language 2
Through continued experimentation with a range of processes and techniques, you'll identify strengths and interests within the broad spectrum of Illustration. You'll develop and refine your visual skills throughout the module, and by continuing self-reflection and intellectual analysis of the work produced, ultimately develop an emerging authentic visual language.
You'll develop a physical and digital portfolio of work, write a research project and produce a professional practice dossier. Connecting with industry, you'll have the chance to show your portfolio to the best art directors, editors and designers, either in the UK or aboard, receiving valuable feedback.
During this final year of your illustration course, there'll also be an opportunity to take part in a placement or internship to gain industry experience.
Negotiation 2 (Consolidation)
Through continued negotiated projects, you'll identify strengths and interests within the broad spectrum of illustration. You'll experiment visually and intellectually, and refine your skills and self-reflection in order to develop an emerging signature visual language. The projects that you design via negotiation will help you to push and challenge yourself in your chosen areas and enable you to develop fundamental skills accordingly, such as research, visual problem solving and technical visual skills. Work undertaken at this level will provide a platform for you to demonstrate knowledge and critical awareness of insights, much of which is at, or informed by, the forefront of the discipline.
Negotiation 3 (Completion)
Continuing to work on negotiated projects, you'll build a body of work based on your strengths and interests, demonstrating your intellectual, technical and self-reflective skills, in order to consolidate an emerging authentic visual language. Professional practice forms a key part of this module, and you'll prepare for a career within the creative industries through a programme of lectures.
Why study an Integrated Foundation Year route?
If you’re taking on a new subject that you haven’t studied in depth before, have been out of education for a while or have a non-standard educational background then an Integrated Foundation Year degree may be the right choice for you. It is a four-year degree with an Integrated Foundation Year to start, which allows you to explore the primary elements of your subject before progressing on to the remaining three years of the BA(Hons) degree.
What you'll study in your Foundation year
If you choose this pathway, you'll study five core modules in your Foundation year. These are all designed to help you explore the foundational elements of your subject. You'll gain relevant technical skills, learn to experiment and take risks, develop an understanding of professional practice, have opportunities to work across disciplines and collaborate with other students on live project briefs.
You'll begin your foundation year by working collaboratively with others to explore themes of the future. You'll take risks, experiment through play and be supported to break through barriers.
You'll take subject-specific workshops and develop essential technical and practical skills in your area of study. You'll also enhance your analytical and organisational abilities.
You'll work with your peer group to think beyond discipline by addressing a societal or global issue. You'll then showcase your work to your peers and deliver and accompanying evaluation of your process.
You'll enhance your creative and practical skills in your subject specialism by responding to typical industry briefs, underpinned by focused research and experiments. You'll also gain industry insights through guest lectures and workshops.
You'll develop your unique identity in your specialism through the production of a self-initiated body of work. Your final project will be the bridge to your next year, fully supported by evaluative reviews and critical analysis of the work you have created.
After the Foundation year, you progress into Year One of the full three-year degree, equipped with a deeper knowledge of your subject, a clear understanding of your strengths, and develop a practical and technical skillset and the confidence to excel in your chosen subject.
The Integrated Foundation Year pathway for this course is new for entry year 2022 and subject to validation.
The modules above are those being studied by our students, or proposed new ones. Programme structures and modules can change as part of our curriculum enhancement and review processes. If a certain module is important to you, please discuss it with the Course Leader.
From module information to course aims and assessment criteria, discover the full course details
We are making changes to our curriculum framework for courses starting in 2022. Modest amendments to our course module structure will provide you with new opportunities to collaborate and co-create with students from across disciplines during your studies.
This course page will be updated when these changes have been finalised and applicants will be notified.
How you'll learn
Balancing creativity with professional practice, you'll gain hands-on knowledge and experience through project work, live briefs and client meetings. Supporting this will be lectures, seminars, group crits, workshops, one-to-one tutorials and optional placements or industry visits.
Our visiting speaker series has seen our students learn from 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.
At Falmouth, we use a 'digitally enhanced learning & teaching' approach. Your experience will always be predominantly in-person, including seminars, tutorials and studio teaching, with some, more targeted elements, being online either live (synchronous) or pre-recorded (asynchronous). You can read more here.
How you'll spend your time
Timetabled teaching and
How you'll be assessed
The above percentages relate to 2019/2020 data.
Assessment will take place at the end of each semester, and you'll get feedback and evaluation throughout the year. You'll be assessed through visual, verbal and written assignments, including your portfolio, as well as a research proposal.
If you choose the Integrated Foundation Year pathway for this course, all assessments within your foundation year will be 100% coursework based.
Our teachers are practising illustrators with experience working for the Wall Street Journal, the Lancet Medical Journal, United Airlines, and Varoom. They’re often key in helping our students find work connections and opportunities.
Some members of staff only teach on specific modules, and your course might not feature every member shown here.
- 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.
What our graduates do
Our graduates have worked as:
- Freelance illustrators across a broad range of national and international clients, including the BBC, Google, The Guardian, Penguin, The New Yorker, Vodafone, Walker Books and The Wall Street Journal
- Designers, art directors and animators in companies such as the British Museum, Dorling Kindersley Publishing, Goodgame Studios, Nickelodeon, The Telegraph and Vault49 Design
How to apply
Apply via UCAS
Ready to join us? You can apply for September 2022 through UCAS Apply and Track. You'll need to reference the course and University code (F33).
Applying as an international student?
International students can apply for a course through UCAS, via an agent or directly with the university. For more information about how to apply as an international student, visit our International applications page.
|Course route||UCAS code|
|Illustration BA(Hons) three year degree||W221|
|Illustration BA(Hons) with Integrated Foundation Year||FY12|
Application advice & interview informationGo to Toolkit
We consider all applications on their own individual merit and potential. We invite all applicants to an interview day or audition to give them the opportunity to demonstrate this along with what inspires and motivates them in their field. Applicants will also be able to show their portfolio or give a performance depending on the course. We welcome applications from all subject backgrounds, whether you’ve specialised in STEM, the arts or humanities.
|Course route||Entry requirements|
|BA(Hons) three year degree||104 – 120 UCAS Tariff points|
|BA(Hons) four year degree with Integrated Foundation Year||80 – 120 UCAS Tariff points|
UCAS Tariff points will primarily be from Level 3 qualifications such as but not limited to A-levels, T Levels, a BTEC/UAL Extended Diploma or a Foundation Diploma.
For applicants whose first language is English we require you to have or be working towards GCSE English Language Grade 4 (C), or equivalent.
If English is not your first language you will need to meet the same standard which is equivalent to the IELTS Academic 6.0 overall score, with at least 5.5 in Reading, Writing, Speaking and Listening. We accept a range of in country equivalencies and approved tests.
If you need a student visa to study in the UK, you'll need to take a recognised language test that is approved and vouched for by the University. You can read our English Language Requirements for more information.
UK applications: 26 January 2022 (for equal consideration)
Applications after the 26 January will be considered on a first-come, first-served as long as there are places available. Apply for this course now.
International fee payers can apply throughout the year. But we recommend applying as early as possible, to make time for visa and travel arrangements.
What we're looking for
We want someone who:
- Has visual problem-solving skills, with a specific focus on generating ideas.
- Shows development of visual language in drawing, life drawing, media, mark-making experimentation, reflective analysis and finished pieces.
- Has a good contextual understanding of what illustration is.
- Is confident in their abilities and prepared for the challenges of higher education.
- Can communicate effectively.
- Has a theoretical understanding of visual arts issues.
Fees, costs & funding
|Annual tuition fee||Student|
|£9,250 per year||Full-time UK|
|£17,460 per year||Full-time EU/international|
Tuition fees are set annually and are subject to review each year. The University may therefore raise tuition fees in the second or subsequent years of a course, in line with inflation and/or the maximum permitted by law or Government policy. Students will be notified of any changes as soon as possible.
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
If you need to bring equipment or materials with you, these will be outlined in your Welcome Letter.
Additional typical course costs for Integrated Foundation Year pathway
- £250 for materials
- A laptop/desktop computer
- Adobe Creative Suite
In order to participate in our digitally enhanced learning approach, you'll need to have a personal laptop/desktop computer. Depending on your specialism, you may need a specific type of computer. You can find out more about the type of machine you'll need on your course specialism page. If you're unsure about what you might need, please contact our course advisors.
The figures above don't include accommodation and living costs
For information about funding available, please visit our undergraduate funding page
Ask a student
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