Illustration as a profession covers a vast range of predominantly freelance career paths in the creative industries. Our programme aims to develop understanding of the subject while encouraging you to develop a highly individual and increasingly professional approach to your chosen career.
Drawing is fundamental to the subject. From this foundation we aim to develop your individual approach to your chosen career path; you will experiment with a wide range of media, drawing methods, printmaking and software programmes; extend your research and critical skills, and enhance your cultural and theoretical awareness of current practice.
Our intention is to produce independent and informed visual problem solvers who are able to perform effectively in a wide range of creative industries.
Course staff are industry professionals with a range of expertise and diverse experience.
* This course has scored a 100% overall satisfaction rating in the 2016 National Student Survey.
You will investigate the scope of the subject and will be encouraged to experiment with a range of media, drawing methods, printmaking, software programmes, research and reference gathering methods.
You will explore subject specialisms in depth and you will begin to work on a range of self-authored personal illustration projects.
The final year is tailored to your individual practice, you will have the opportunity (in negotiation with the staff team) to design personal projects, enabling you to take ownership of your work, offering you greater control, focus and professional direction. Modules can be linked to give you the opportunity to produce a significant body of work.
In addition there are lectures from practicing illustrators and designers and a module designed to help you succeed in the creative industries.
An optional placement module could offer you an opportunity to gain more creative industry experience. This course can be studied as a specialist subject or as a joint honours with Graphic Communication.
We deliver a diverse and unique approach to Illustration as a profession. The staff team have broad experience of the business having many years of national and international freelance experience.
All our students are encouraged to be the best they can be. You will work with and alongside a diverse range of students – local, national and international within the School of Art & Design. This creates an interesting mix of original thinking and cultural diversity – all of which will enrich your learning experience.
Our network of graduates working in design agencies around the world demonstrates the success of our course. Why not check out a small sample here:
"Total freedom of thought and action. Experimentation without limits. A unique and diverse environment that illustration, painting and almost everything that surrounds you become.....one!"
George Maraziotis (Illustrator/Designer, Co-founder of Comix)
This course will give you the necessary skills to become a professional freelance illustrator and the opportunity to work in many specialist areas such as publishing, editorial, Children’s books, new media, animation, some have entered fields such as model- making for the UK film industry and many exhibit regularly.
A proportion of students will opt for further study either at Master’s level or will undertake a PGCE if their ambitions are in the teaching or art therapy professions.
Recent Student and graduate successes
· Students have consistently achieved success in national competitions, being regularly shortlisted for prestigious national competitions such as the Penguin Design Awards, The Orion book publishing competition and Cheltenham Illustration Awards.
· We have exhibited work at the Ikon, Public, Saatchi and the V&A galleries and independent gallery spaces.
You will have the opportunity to explore thoroughly the potential and range of illustration. You will develop a questioning and critical approach to a wide range of illustration strands/assignments and to analyse your personal responses to them, enabling you to develop your own visual personality.
You will acquire skills and professional knowledge required for you to communicate with other creative professionals such as art directors and creative commissioners.
Modules explore different aspects of Illustration in-depth and are designed to reflect real-world situations and deadlines enabling you to identify your strengths and determine the direction of your work.
We run modules that cover other practical aspects of a freelance career including invoicing, copyright and self-promotion.
We are college members of D&AD and the AOI.
Study trips and exhibition visits, both home and abroad, allow you to gain a broader cultural understanding.
You will have opportunities to produce ‘live’ work for real clients and enter industry competitions.
Successful completion of the International Foundation Year in Arts guarantees entry on to this course
Those meeting the entry requirements may be shortlisted for a Portfolio Review.
Students must have studied a minimum of two years post GCSE level. However, it is expected that some applicants will be mature students with work experience, who wish to further their career development. These applicants will be processed through standard procedures, which may involve an interview as part of the process. Please see http://wlv.ac.uk/mature for further information.
Those who do not meet the entry requirements may be offered an alternative course
2015/6 fees for this course have not yet been agreed. Please contact for further information.
The University also offers a range of Bursaries and Scholarships in addition to other financial support packages
These fees are applicable for new entrants in 2017/8. If you have any queries regarding the fees listed please contact
These fees are for the current academic year only. Any subsequent years may be subject to an annual increase, usually in line with inflation.