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Constance Warboys, BA (Hons) Illustration, UCA Farnham

Illustration BA (Hons)

Illustration BA (Hons)

Farnham

Course overview

We believe the best illustration is based on exciting, original ideas. UCA Farnham’s renowned BA (Hons) Illustration degree course will help you achieve just that - through drawing, text, sequential design, book production, moving image and more.

As well as a wealth of fundamental skills, you’ll develop a personal style and learn business and self-promotion skills to help you build a career as soon as you graduate.

You’ll be taught through studio-based projects, workshops and a lively programme of visiting speakers, skills-based workshops, pop-up exhibitions and external visits. There’s also a wealth of exceptional facilities to take advantage of, including printmaking, ceramics, digital printing, textiles and 3D printing.

The course benefits from a wide range of industry links with partners including the Association of Illustrators, Ambit Magazine and the V&A.

From 2022 entry you have the option to complete a Professional Practice Year as part of this course. This will give you the opportunity to develop your professional, academic and personal potential, equipping you to be confident and engaged in creative workplaces. Employers widely recognise these qualities, and a significant proportion of placement students are offered graduate-level jobs or go onto postgraduate study.

Check out the @ucaillustration Instagram to see some of our day-to-day activities and student work-in-progress.

Our standard three year undergraduate degree for those who meet the entry requirements for higher education.

UCAS Code for 3 year/standard: W220

A four year degree programme, including a foundation year to help develop your creativity before you embark on year one of a degree.

UCAS Code for course with Integrated Foundation Year: W22F

A four year course, specifically designed to provide international students with the English language and creative skills before they embark on year one of a degree.

UCAS Code for course with Integrated International Foundation Year: W22H

A four year programme, which sees you spend an entire year gaining valuable industry experience prior to your final year of study.

UCAS Code for course with Professional Practice: W222

A five year course, including a foundation year to help develop your creativity before you embark on year one of a degree, and a year on a professional placement gaining valuable industry experience prior to your final year of study.

UCAS Code for course with Integrated Foundation Year and Professional Practice Year: W22G

A five year course, including an international foundation year concentrating on English language and core creative skills before you embark on year one of a degree, and a year on a professional placement gaining valuable industry experience prior to your final year of study.

UCAS Code for course with International Integrated Foundation Year and Professional Practice Year: W22J

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Course details

Course Details

The content of the course may be subject to change. Curriculum content is provided as a guide.

UCA’s Integrated Foundation Year is designed to give you the skills you’ll need to start your degree in the best possible way – with confidence, solid knowledge of creative practice, study skills and more.

You’ll explore a range of creative techniques and develop your portfolio, with your chosen subject in mind. We’ll work with you throughout the year to ensure you’re on the right track and give you the tools to achieve your highest potential on your degree.

For our students coming from a non-UK educational background, UCA has launched an Integrated International Foundation Year, based at UCA Farnham to bring students from around the world to one hub of creativity.

This year of preparatory study is designed to give you the skills you’ll need to start your degree in the best possible way – with confidence, solid knowledge of creative practice, study skills and the English speaking and writing skills you’ll need to succeed.

You’ll explore a range of creative techniques and develop your portfolio, with your chosen subject in mind. We’ll work with you throughout the year to ensure you’re on the right track and give you the tools to achieve your highest potential on your degree.

Launch
You’ll be introduced to the course, the staff team, and to campus spaces and resources. A lively and varied programme of workshops, activities and exercises will bond them as a group and introduce them to the wider contexts of image-making and illustration. The focus will be on playful, high tempo activities that sow enthusiasm for the coming year.

Fundamentals 1
As you start out on your journey of exploration, you’ll be introduced to the building blocks of illustration. You’ll examine its fundamental objective - to convey information through visual imagery in order to inform, describe, express, embellish, interpret and represent ideas - and look at the broad strategic remit of the discipline: to bring image-based solutions to agreed communication agendas.

Equality, Diversity and Inclusivity 1
As visual practitioners we have a responsibility for the socio-political make-up of our lives and the lives of others, so you’ll need to think critically about how our worlds are created, and to work together within relationships, communities and collectives. You’ll begin to develop an understanding of perspectives and practices that are unfamiliar; a language to begin to articulate visual culture in relation to socio-political issues; an ability to situate your practices within a global context.

Impact 1
How are images delivered and who sees them? How can we create and deepen engagement using imagery and how can we measure its success? This unit asks you to consider the reach and impact of illustration in its current and speculative forms. You’ll learn about users and audiences to begin to develop an understanding of how illustration and other forms of imagery are transmitted and understood.

Opportunity
This opportunity week will recap on learning achieved in the year to date, reviewing student progress in term 1, and introduce the themes, topics and agendas for the term ahead. This will be achieved via a series of design sprints and live challenges – such as creating and publishing content for a group-curated magazine, setting up a work in progress show or curating a public event.

Fundamentals 2
This unit builds on the skills and approaches undertaken in Fundamentals 1 by exploring the full global reach of illustration, in both its current and potential future form. You’ll consolidate the practical building blocks of image-making and expand on these by looking at experimental practices, reviewing image-based practice, collaborating to produce shared large-scale image projects, and begin to attempt external-facing projects.

Real World 1
As part of preparing for practice in future, this unit introduces you to the position of illustration in contemporary media and wider creative practice. You’ll be introduced to notions of where you fit into the design world, and what external possibilities might look like.

Showtime 1
This unit asks you to consider the possibilities of external display, as they relate to your own image-making practice and ambitions. You will do this by selecting and participating fully in a series of School-wide events across the year, recording and reflecting on them regularly in a cumulative digital outcome, and final Unit Report and a publicly accessible showcase.

Launch
This week will be used to introduce you to the scope and possibility of your Year 2 experience, examining the existing and future horizons of the subject. Specialist options within chosen areas of illustration - such as narrative and storytelling, moving image, data visualisation, 3D/spatial, and reportage – will be finalised, and summer projects reprised to frame the progress of their journey across this crucial year and into your final year.

Studio 1
This module embeds and extends your core illustration studio skills, including drawing, printmaking, composition, photography, and key software, and you’ll consolidate the studio culture you’ve been introduced to. It also offers optionality by presenting a choice of specialist design briefs from a spectrum of image-making sub-disciplines.

The conscious practitioner
You’ll interrogate visual culture and communication practices beyond Eurocentric models, to challenge our assumptions and preconceptions. You’ll develop an ability to critically analyse and engage critically with perspectives and practices that are unfamiliar; to position your practice within those contexts and to use research and speculation to articulate your work in relation to socio-political issues and contexts.

Impact 2
You’ll consider new and responsive ways in which images can and might be used, both now and in future, to deepen engagement, reach users in new and interactive ways, and in so doing broaden the remit of the discipline. This unit builds on the first year Impact 1 unit and asks you to consider the reach and impact of illustration in its current and speculative forms.

Opportunity
This opportunity week will recap on learning achieved in the year to date, and introduce the themes, topics and agendas for both the remainder of the year and progression into Y3. This will be achieved via a series of live challenges and topic reviews, working with other student groups and years as appropriate

Studio 2
This unit builds on the studio skills explored in the Studio 1 unit to prepare your personal line of visual enquiry for final year study via self-written project work.

Real World 2
As part of preparing for practice in future, this unit builds on the positional stance you explored in your first year, as you began to look how illustration is situated within contemporary media and wider creative practice. You’ll be introduced to notions of where you fit into the design world, and what external possibilities might look like, as you prepare to source a work placement. You’ll build and test a portfolio / online showcase, and provide written rationales and visual mapping that explore the specialist areas pertinent to your visual interests.

Placement
You’ll consider and engage with the possibilities of external work and engagement, as they relate to your own image-making practice and ambitions and building on the Showtime unit undertaken in first year. This is all about developing your employability and enterprise skills and equips you with competencies needed for your future career within the world of illustration.

If you opt to complete a professional practice year, this will take place in year three. You will undertake a placement within the creative industries to further develop your skills and CV.

While on your Professional Practice Year, you will be required to pay a reduced tuition fee for that year. This fee will be determined using government funding regulations. Based on current regulations, we expect this to be a maximum of 20% of the tuition fee rate that you are charged for your second year of study. You will also incur additional travel and accommodation costs during this year. The University will provide you with further advice and guidance about this as you approach your Professional Practice Year.

Please note: If you are an international applicant, you will need to enrol onto the course ‘with Professional Practice Year’. It will not be possible to transfer onto the Professional Practice Year after enrolment

Launch
This week will be used to introduce students to the scope and possibility of their final year experience, as they refine your own visual voice and build a professional profile as an effective and committed image-maker.

Visual Voice
The final year is a key time to build your own design voice, so that by the end, you can present a coherent body of design work of professional standard that engages and communicates effectively with a given audience. You’ll do a written design project, a collaborative brief, and a competition brief from a recognised national or international competition or awards scheme, such as the RSA, Penguin Design Awards, Folio Society, Macmillan Prize.

Critical Practice
You’ll interrogate a particular theme or topic, research it, gather material and analyse how it informs your ideas and practice.

Opportunity
You’ll recap on learning achieved in the year to date, and introduce the themes, topics and agendas for both the remainder of the year and progression into the workplace.

Final Project
This final provides the opportunity to examine a subject or theme in depth through a self-determined and challenging project, which will demonstrate the maturity of your visual communication skills. Work created in this unit will be exhibited in the end-of-year Degree Show and typically goes on to form a major component of student portfolios upon graduation.

This course offers the opportunity to study abroad for part of your course. To find out more about studying abroad please see the Study Abroad section:

Tuition fees
2022 course fees for Year 1 entry and Integrated Foundation Year:

  • UK students - £9,250 
  • EU students - £9,250 (see fee discount information)
  • International students - £16,950

If you opt to study the Professional Practice Year, for 2022 you will be required to pay a reduced tuition fee of £1,850 (UK students) and £3,390 (International students). You will also incur additional travel and accommodation costs during your Professional Practice year. The University will provide you with further advice and guidance about this.

Additional course costs
In addition to the tuition fees there may be other costs for your course. The things that you are likely to need to budget for to get the most out of a creative arts education will include books, printing costs, occasional or optional study trips and/or project materials. These costs will vary according to the nature of your project work and the individual choices that you make. Please see the Additional Course Costs section of your Course Information for details of the costs you may incur.

Further information
For more detailed information about our course fees and any financial support you may be entitled to please see our fees and finance pages.

The fees listed here 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.

Industry placement
offer

Preparing graduates for successful careers underpins everything we do, and all students on this course will be offered an industry placement anywhere between two weeks and a year in length, depending on their individual needs. We’ll draw on our wide range of contacts within the creative industries to ensure you’re offered opportunities that align with your interests and future career aspirations.

Course specifications

Please note, syllabus content indicated is provided as a guide. The content of the course may be subject to change in line with our Student Terms and Conditions for example, as required by external professional bodies or to improve the quality of the course.

Facilities

This course has dedicated illustration studios with natural lighting for workshops, independent and group working. On campus, there are digital media suites programmed with design software for high-quality print production; printmaking studio with relief and block printing, plate or stone lithography, intaglio, letterpress, photopolymer plate printing and screen-printing; and a modern library with a wealth of books, journals, special collections and online resources.

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Illustration studios, UCA Farnham

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Digital Media suite, UCA Farnham

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Print studios, UCA Farnham

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Library, UCA Farnham

Course connections

Course connections

You’ll benefit from our well established industry links, including:

  • Design and Art Directors Association
  • Far Far Away Books
  • Association of Illustrators
  • Nobrow Books
  • GAS Art Agency / Gina Cross, artists’ and illustrators’ agent
  • Ambit Magazine
  • Penguin Books
  • The Folio Society
  • The V&A
  • Comica
  • Loop Magazine
  • Ditto Press
  • Nobrow Books
  • The AOI
  • Four Corners Books.

The course attracts a variety of guest speakers, such as Rosy Nicolas, Tim Ellis, Tom Dowse, Graham Rawle, Gina Cross, The Association of Illustrators, Stephen Appleby, Olivier Kugler, Matilda Tristram and David Lemm.

The degree is a member of the Association of Illustrators, which gives you access to notable industry practitioners, workshops, lectures and seminars by some of the top illustrators in the UK and Europe.

The diverse and versatile skill set you’ll develop on this course will open up a multitude of career paths.

Our recent graduates are currently working in:

  • Freelance illustration
  • In-house illustration/design
  • Education
  • Animation
  • Printmaking
  • Project management
  • Digital imaging
  • Multi-media production
  • Set design.

You may also like to consider further study at postgraduate level.

Beth Peters
Beth Peters

"The course has opened up new ways of thinking and taught me to apply this to my practical work. We have been encouraged to experiment and we've had the resources to try new things. We have also been lucky to meet people working in the industry."

Entry requirements

Entry requirements

BA (Hons) course
BA (Hons) course with Professional Practice Year

The standard entry requirements* for these courses are one of the following:

  • 112 new UCAS tariff points, see accepted qualifications
  • Pass at Foundation Diploma in Art & Design (Level 3 or 4)
  • Distinction, Merit, Merit at BTEC Extended Diploma / BTEC National Extended Diploma
  • Merit at UAL Extended Diploma
  • 112 new UCAS tariff points from an accredited Access to Higher Education Diploma in appropriate subject
  • 27-30 total points in the International Baccalaureate Diploma with at least 15 IB points at Higher level, see more information about IB entry requirements.

And four GCSE passes at grade A*-C and/or grade 4-9 including English (or Functional Skills English/Key Skills Communication Level 2).

Other relevant and equivalent Level 3 UK and international qualifications are considered on an individual basis, and we encourage students from diverse educational backgrounds to apply.  

 


 

BA (Hons) course with Integrated Foundation Year
BA (Hons) course with Integrated Foundation Year and Professional Practice Year

The standard entry requirements for these courses are one of the following:

  • 64 new UCAS tariff points, see accepted qualifications
  • Pass at Foundation Diploma in Art & Design (Level 3 or 4)
  • Merit, Pass, Pass at BTEC Extended Diploma / BTEC National Extended Diploma
  • Pass at UAL Extended Diploma
  • 64 new UCAS tariff points from an accredited Access to Higher Education Diploma in appropriate subject
  • 24 points from the International Baccalaureate, see more information about IB entry requirements.

And four GCSE passes at grade A*-C and/or grade 4-9 including English (or Functional Skills English/Key Skills Communication Level 2).

Other relevant and equivalent Level 3 UK and international qualifications are considered on an individual basis, and we encourage students from diverse educational backgrounds to apply. 

 


 

BA (Hons) course with Integrated International Foundation Year
BA (Hons) course with Integrated International Foundation Year and Professional Practice Year

For these courses you need to have completed 12 years* of schooling (with good grades) and show strong evidence of your ability to successfully complete the programme and progress onto your chosen degree.

 


 

*We occasionally make offers which are lower than the standard entry criteria, to students who have faced difficulties that have affected their performance and who were expected to achieve higher results. We consider the strength of our applicants’ portfolios, as well as their grades -  in these cases, a strong portfolio is especially important.

Don't meet the international entry requirements or English language requirements?

You may be able to enter the course through the following entry pathways:

Pre-sessional English courses

UCA International Foundation courses

The UCA International College

BA (Hons) course
BA (Hons) course with Professional Practice Year

For these courses, we’ll need to see your portfolio for review. We’ll invite you to attend an Applicant Day so you can have your portfolio review in person, meet the course team and learn more about your course. If you would prefer to upload a portfolio digitally, there is also the option to submit it online via your UCA Applicant Portal. Further information will be provided once you have applied.

 


 

 

BA (Hons) course with Integrated Foundation Year
BA (Hons) course with Integrated Foundation Year and Professional Practice Year

These courses don't require a portfolio. If you receive an offer, you’ll be invited to attend an Applicant Day where you can meet the course team and learn more about the course.

 


 

 

BA (Hons) course with Integrated International Foundation Year
BA (Hons) course with Integrated International Foundation Year and Professional Practice Year

These courses don't require a portfolio. If you receive an offer, you’ll be invited to attend an Applicant Day where you can meet the course team and learn more about the course.

 


 

 

More portfolio advice

Apply Now

Please use the following fields to help select the right application link for you:
  • UCAS Institution

    C93

  • UCAS Code for 3 year/standard

    W220

  • UCAS Code for course with Professional Practice

    W222

  • UCAS Code for course with Integrated Foundation Year

    W22F

  • UCAS Code for course with Integrated International Foundation Year

    W22H

  • UCAS Code for course with Integrated Foundation Year and Professional Practice Year

    W22G

  • UCAS Code for course with Integrated International Foundation Year and Professional Practice Year

    W22J

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