Illustration BA(Hons) 2016-17This course also available for 2015-16 entry
At a glance
19 / 09 / 2016
3 years full-time
4 years inc. placement year
45 across the suite of Contemporary Art and Illustration courses (this number may be subject to change)
Full Time inc. placement year
Huddersfield, HD1 3DH
• BBB at A Level (or equivalent UCAS tariff points)
• DMM – DDM BTEC National
• Pass in Diploma Foundation Studies in Art and Design combined with A Level or BTEC National qualifications, to total an equivalent of 300 UCAS tariff points.
Strong emphasis will be placed on the quality of your portfolio and a satisfactory interview.
Other suitable experience or qualifications will be considered.
Department of Art and Design
Tel: +44 1484 471891
About the course
Contemporary illustration is a key element in the field of visual communication, and a skilled illustrator can establish a career that crosses many creative disciplines. Our approach to illustration is wide-ranging and experimental, and focuses on your individuality as a learner-practitioner. The course allows you to develop as an image-maker across a wide range of media, and to appreciate the cultural and social value of contemporary images. In the first year you’ll focus on experimentation with concepts and materials, forming a basis from which you'll go on to develop to your own individual strengths. You’ll expand upon and hone your existing skills in the second year, whilst considering the potential professional contexts for your work. You’ll also be given opportunities to work on real projects set in conjunction with our industry links, both nationally and internationally. The final year is about consolidation and the development of a professional-standard portfolio. The academic team has practical experience in the field which feeds into their teaching, as well as strong links with the industry and the Association of Illustrators. Guest speakers from a range of art and illustration backgrounds will give you additional insights. This all adds up to a lively and rewarding programme of study.
Based in our state-of-the-art facilities, this course is centred on studio practice.
Modules Year 1
+ Studio Practice 1
The module will concentrate on promoting an in-depth and disciplined approach to the breadth of contemporary practices in contemporary art and/or illustration. The focus is on exploration and experimentation, in both ideas and materials, as a broad introduction to approaches to practice. You will be encouraged to draw upon existing knowledge in order to begin to establish the frameworks within which to operate as a creative practitioner. You will be encouraged to engage in processes such as drawing, painting, printmaking, lens-based media and 3D work, and examine these processes in relation to your personal conceptual and critical development. (100% portfolio).
+ Studio Practice 2
Building on your experience during the first term, this module continues to promote research and experimentation in the production of practical work. You will be asked to draw upon knowledge and progress gained in Studio Practice 1 in order to extend the range of your visual practice. Debates and issues within contemporary practice will continue to inform your thinking and development, and you will begin to recognise a range of contexts in which you might work. You will continue to develop a structured and self-critical methodology in relation to your studio work. (100% portfolio).
+ Contemporary Practice in Context 1
This module introduces you to vital discourses and debates surrounding the influences, production and critical reception of contemporary art and/or illustration. We will explore the culture of the subject with reference to a wide range of images, artefacts, selected texts, film excerpts, reviews and exhibitions. We will help you to learn to recognise and appraise key conventions and contexts and apply that knowledge in the studio, in discussion, and in a series of written formats which recognise the breadth of creative and critical styles deployed by today’s practitioners. This will help to develop your confidence and ability to demonstrate your understanding of and engagement with contemporary art and/or illustration. (100% contextual portfolio).
+ Studio Practice 3
This module focuses on identifying a potential direction within a range of practices. Based on the experience and knowledge gained during the first year, you will now begin to negotiate the types of practice with which you wish to engage. Building upon the exposure to a variety of media, concepts and contexts from Studio Practice 1 and 2, you will increase your sense of independence in studio activity as you develop your own creative identity. You will begin to consider your work within current contexts and debates around Contemporary Art and Illustration and their inter-relationship. (100% portfolio).
+ Studio Practice 4
This module extends the level of independence developed in Studio Practice 3. It requires you to develop greater self-reliance and self-critical ability. It combines both internally set and external projects. Through negotiation, you will articulate a clearer idea of your position within creative practice, and test your practice within external contexts. You will develop independent projects and be encouraged to make links with appropriate professional bodies in order to explore the potential of your practice and gain professional experiences. This will be augmented by input from visiting specialists, live projects and optional UK-based field trips. (100% portfolio).
+ Contemporary Practice in Context 2
Building on knowledge gained in the first year, this module develops your ability to understand and engage with a range of visual, oral and written contexts informing contemporary practice. You will reflect on issues emerging in the studio and situate your own work within wider critical and cultural debates. Lectures, seminars and collaborative workshops will explore cultural theory and research methods to help equip you with the capacity to present knowledge in a number of creative and academic formats. Across the year, these outcomes will be gathered selectively into a research portfolio. (100% research portfolio).
Year 3 - optional placement year
+ School of Art and Design Placement
You will normally spend a total of 48 weeks between the end of year two and the beginning of your final year in a managed work experience. You will be encouraged to obtain a placement activity relevant to your area of specialism, however a wide range of placements will be regarded as suitable. The placement will be monitored and you will be assessed on completion. (100%).
+ Research and Development
This module will establish and inform your major project. Within it you will identify a theme/subject/issue relevant to your practice. The module will re-emphasise the importance of in-depth research, within which you will demonstrate originality, pro-activity and innovation. The context and parameters of this module will be defined by you, through negotiation and ongoing dialogue with your tutors. (100% research portfolio).
+ Major Project - Contemporary Art and/or Illustration
You will build upon and test research developed in THD1379 Research and Development. You will be encouraged to channel your creative and intellectual skills, either as an individual, or as part of a collaboration or interdisciplinary team, to create innovative, original or highly professional propositions(s) appropriate to your discipline through, for example; sketchbooks, worksheets and creative outputs. You will be asked to select the most appropriate form for your major project based on your intentions and create a coherent group of statement pieces. (100% creative project)
This module is specifically designed to unfold throughout the final year, reflecting theoretical, technical and professional issues appropriate to your practice. The module is intended to be a critical and diagnostic tool with which to examine your work. It can be made up of a series of outputs, and will help you to determine and contextualise the direction of your practice-based modules. The process of reflection, research and critical analysis is vital to the module. It will help you to identify connections between concept, method, realisation and mediation of your major project. It will allow you to demonstrate the depth of your knowledge and insight into your specialism, enabling you to make informed decisions/judgements related to your practical outputs.(20% verbal presentation/80% final assessment).
We will always try to deliver your course as described on this web page. However, sometimes we may have to make changes as set out below.
We review all optional modules each year and change them to reflect the expertise of our staff, current trends in research and as a result of student feedback. We will always ensure that you have a range of options to choose from and we will let students know in good time the options available for them to choose for the following year.
We will only change core modules for a course if it is necessary for us to do so, for example to maintain course accreditation. We will let you know about any such changes as soon as possible, usually before you begin the relevant academic year.
Sometimes we have to make changes to other aspects of a course or how it is delivered. We only make these changes if they are for reasons outside of our control, or where they are for our students’ benefit. Again, we will let you know about any such changes as soon as possible, usually before the relevant academic year. Our regulations set out our procedure which we will follow when we need to make any such changes.
The Higher Education Funding Council for England is the principal regulator for the University.
The course offers an optional one-year work placement after the second year, in the UK or abroad. This will give you the opportunity to gain valuable hands-on experience, insight into your chosen career and open up your graduate employment prospects. Our Placement Unit and academic staff have excellent industry links and can support you in applying for and finding your placement(s), as well as during your placement year.
Students within the area of Illustration have recently taken up placement opportunities with companies including: Debenhams – London; Miss Selfridge – London; and Crafty Praxis – Huddersfield.
Alternatively you could consider starting your own small business by applying for the Enterprise Placement Year in conjunction with the University’s Enterprise Team. You’ll benefit from business advice, mentoring and networking sessions. You can find out more information on the Enterprise Placement Year here.
Graduates of the course have gone on to work in the areas of freelance design, editorials, publishing and giftware.
Professional links and accreditations
During this course you can benefit from the opportunity to gain the Adobe Certified Associate (ACA) qualification in addition to your degree, at no extra cost. This is a globally recognised qualification awarded by the leading software package provider to the creative industries, which most of our students will use in their professional careers. This extra qualification is in demand from employers and gives you a competitive edge in the job market.
Teaching and assessment
You’ll work on studio-based design projects and practical sessions, and learn through workshop demonstrations, lectures and seminars. Your progress will be continually monitored through all aspects of your studies, and you’ll be assessed on written assignments, verbal and illustrative presentations, exam, plus self-assessment and evaluation.
How much will it cost me?
Please contact the Student Finance Office for more information about 2016/17 fees and finance.
If you're an international student (including EU) you can check if you meet our entry requirements (both academic and English language) by visiting our country pages.
If you do not meet the entry requirements you can consider completing a degree preparation programme (if you are from a country outside of the EU) at the University’s International Study Centre (ISC). You can call the ISC on +44 (0) 1273 339333 to discuss your options. You can also complete the online application form or to ask a question please fill in the enquiry form and talk to one of our multi-lingual Student Enrolment Advisers.
If your English language is not at the required level (IELTS 6.0 overall), we have a range of Pre-Sessional English programmes that you can enrol on before starting your degree course. You will not need to take an IELTS test after completing one of our Pre-Sessional English programmes.
How to apply
We hope you are interested in what you have seen and want to apply to join us.
Research plays an important role in informing all our teaching and learning activities. Through research our staff remain up-to-date with the latest developments in their field, which means you develop knowledge and skills that are current and highly relevant to industry. For more information, see the Research section of our website.