In the first year, you'll be introduced to the University and the technical workshops and facilities available to you.
On the course you’ll learn the technical and conceptual skills that will give you a solid foundation from which to explore your areas of specialist activity.
We'll give you a strong introduction into the two practices that shape this course.
Introduction to Illustration and Animation
This unit introduces you to different ways of approaching, questioning and solving creative problems. You'll investigate, analyse and document a range of subjects in response to projects set by your tutors. Through these projects, you'll be taught skills related to the collection of information and visual analysis.
Illustration Fundamentals: Image, Type, Print
You'll continue to develop your research and idea generation skills – and also your image-making skills – through practical workshops, tutorials and seminars. These include practices such as observational drawing, printmaking, photography, collage, 3D and type.
Animation Fundamentals: Motion, Narrative, Screen
You'll be introduced to the basics of storytelling, narrative and sequence for a range of media outputs. You'll learn how to build visual stories, develop pictorial and typographic elements from research, establish themes, characterisations, environments and use of metaphor. You'll also experiment with composition and layout for communication.
Message, Medium, Meaning
You'll examine a range of topics through the exploration of examples from historical and contemporary practice and analysis of your studio work. These will include basic concepts in semiotics, the relationship between word and image, the construction of narrative, photographic language, function and expression, culture connotation and myth, subversion and propaganda.
The second year focus is on finding your own specialist way of working and you’ll be encouraged and supported to start working more independently.
Underpinned by contextual and cultural studies, you’ll develop your skills further, looking to find your own style and voice.
During this year you may also have the opportunity to complete an industry work placement or even study abroad.
Social and Cultural Contexts
This unit encourages you to examine and explore your personal ethics, values and motivation through the production of work for others.
Developing your Practice
This project that runs throughout Year 2 acts as a stepping-stone to the personal, self-negotiated work you will be undertaking in Year 3. You will be able to concentrate on a specialist interest that you hold within the field of illustration and/or animation. This interest can arise out of a focus upon a particular medium or process; or it can develop from a design problematic that you are attracted to. Equally a visual language that you enjoy (e.g. drawing, photography etc.) could become the centre of this unit.
This unit consolidates and develops further the narrative development and making skills from Year 1, and further develops your critical perspective through a written task or similar outcome.
This unit allows the opportunity to combine the design of spaces and their surfaces. You will learn how to manipulate spaces to create identities, multi-sensory experiences, and innovative events/exhibitions in a sustainable and environmentally conscious context.
Study Abroad (optional)
This optional unit is designed to broaden your educational experience and deepen your understanding of cultural diversity. It will enable you to study within a different cultural context and gain fresh perspectives.
You’ll undertake a substantial body of work through your dissertation and final major project, demonstrating your skills in the subject and creative imagination, which you’ll be able to exhibit in the graduation show.
Critical Research and Practice
This unit involves the research, development, and construction of a self-directed research and design project. This will take into account your knowledge, understanding, skills, experience and interests that you have gained over the duration of the course. Here, the theoretical and practical are entirely intertwined, and you will be encouraged to develop an experimental approach. You'll employ research to inform practice, and practice to inform your research, so that you develop an original and innovative approach to both.
This unit provides you with a framework within which to research, develop and realise a set or self-initiated project. You will be given a choice of set projects, competitions, live briefs or a self-initiated project where you will originate, develop and produce a body of work based on your interests and aspirations and skill.
This course offers the opportunity to study abroad for part of your second year. To find out more about studying abroad as part of your course please see the Study Abroad section:
The course fees per year for 2019 entry are:
- UK and EU students - £9,250
- International students - £15,500 (standard fee)
- International students - £14,800 (full early payment fee)
The fees for 2020 entry have not been confirmed but will be listed here as soon as possible.
Find out more about our course fees and any financial support you may be entitled to:
These fees are correct for the stated academic year only. Costs may increase each year during a student’s period of continued registration on course in line with inflation (subject to any maximum regulated tuition fee limit). Any adjustment for continuing students will be at or below the RPI-X forecast rate.
Our Illustration & Animation course benefits from a shared programme of speakers with Graphic Design, reflective of current crossovers in disciplines, including:
- Jonathan Barnbrook
- Hans Reichardt, editor of Baseline Magazine
- Why Not Associates
- Matthew Richardson
- Mireille Fauchon
- Cognitive Media.
The support received from such leading industry professionals will help to maximise your employment opportunities. You'll also be encouraged to undertake a period of work placement in a top design studio or publishing company.