Illustration (BA Hons)
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This degree course, which takes place at Swindon College, is aimed at students who wish to enter the marketplace as illustrators.
This unique illustration course aims to support and nurture the development of independent practice, versatility and individual creative vision within the field of illustration. The course actively encourages innovation within the application of drawing and image-making techniques; celebrating individual expression, conceptual thinking and diversity within all aspects of visual storytelling. This includes the comic or cartoon strip; the graphic novel; film/TV/theatre/animation storyboarding; instructional diagrams; children's storybooks; computer games characterisation and web illustration.
In year one you will learn how visual language and graphic communication work within illustration through practical investigation with a range of materials and processes including drawing, pictorial storytelling and various digital applications. You will also explore the history of illustration and its position in the wider context of the creative arts and culture.
In year two you will develop an experimental approach to drawing, examine a variety of formats, conventions and styles of storytelling, and work on industry-standard illustration briefs and national competitions. You will learn how to develop your unique ‘personality’ as an illustrator and extend your critical understanding of illustration and its place in the creative industries.
In year three you will develop and manage two major illustration projects, undertake an in-depth investigation into an area of visual culture of your choice and extend your knowledge of employment opportunities in the creative industries.
Learning and teaching
You will be taught a very broad approach to illustrative practice which combines traditional hand skills with more contemporary digital practice. This will provide you with the opportunity to learn a wide range of illustration approaches such as printmaking, animation, sequential illustration and digital applications. You will learn in a studio culture and will predominantly work within the HE ‘Creative Hub’ at New College Swindon, where you will be part of a wider community of creative practitioners. You will have access to a variety of specialist equipment and materials to develop and present your illustration projects.
You will be taught the theoretical elements of the course, principally the core modules in Historical and Contextual Studies and Business Studies, using a mix of formal lectures, seminars and tutorials. Your studio-based practical modules will be taught using a mix of lectures, discussion, seminars, workshops and tutorials.
You will be assessed on your practical and written coursework. For each practical module, you will present your final work in the form of a portfolio of illustrations or a presentation. For each theory module, you will be assessed on written coursework, through essays, reports or verbal presentation. In year three you will also submit an extended essay as a final dissertation alongside a major public exhibition of your Illustration projects.
You will receive regular verbal feedback on your learning through individual and small group tutorials, and written feedback once you have submitted practical or written work for assessment. Our feedback will support you to develop your work further and will help you to identify and promote your strengths.
Please note, tuition fees for Home students may increase in subsequent years both for new and continuing students in line with an inflationary amount determined by government. Oxford Brookes University intends to maintain its fees for new and returning Home students at the maximum permitted level.
Tuition fees for International students may increase in subsequent years both for new and continuing students.
The following factors will be taken into account by the University when it is setting the annual fees: inflationary measures such as the retail price indices, projected increases in University costs, changes in the level of funding received from Government sources, admissions statistics and access considerations including the availability of student support.
How and when to pay
Tuition fee instalments for the semester are due by the Monday of week 1 of each semester. Students are not liable for full fees for that semester if they leave before week 4. If the leaving date is after week 4, full fees for the semester are payable.
Financial support and scholarships
How to apply
You will develop the knowledge and practical skills to enter the creative industries as an illustrator with a particular emphasis on narrative and sequential work. This includes:
- the comic or cartoon strip
- the graphic novel
- film/TV/theatre/animation storyboarding
- instructional diagrams
- children’s storybook
- computer games characterisation
- web illustration.
You will develop the business acumen, critical sensibilities and entrepreneurial skills to practice in a competitive marketplace. You will be able to embark on a career not only familiar with the latest technology and processes, but also with the ability to create innovative illustrations that will help in moving the industry forward.
You can expect a career as a Narrative or Children’s Book Illustrator, a Graphic or Storyboard Artist, a Cartoonist, a Web Designer, or a Computer Games Designer or you could continue your study to Masters level.