Illustration always has a purpose, making sense of complex ideas. As illustrators, you will work to enable understanding of every day; enriching literature and poetry and responding to social issues from science, medicine, politics and economics.
You will be asked to explore and experiment with materials, technical skills and challenging subject matter, developing visual languages, which communicate in a visceral way. You will define your purpose from your interests and strengths, and by being exposed to ideas and subject matters you are not ordinarily drawn to.
You will test how images ‘work’, in a variety of environments and scenarios – alongside and integrated with animation, film, printed and digital media. Illustration is constantly extending its reach, and whether it’s working with clients and collaborators or authoring and directing your own projects, you will graduate with a multitude of transferable skills.
In an industry that’s constantly growing, you will be asked to consider the power of images in a visually saturated world and to shape your own practice enabling your work to speak to audiences in a way that’s helpful, humble and inclusive.
Learning & Teaching
From the outset, you will gain hands-on experience in practical studio sessions and workshops – developing your core material skills. Lectures, lead by members of the academic staff, will broaden your theoretical understanding of your field, whilst smaller, targeted seminars are designed to provide guidance for meeting more individual intellectual and practical demands.
During their first year of study, each student can expect to receive between 14 and 22 hours of contact time per week via lectures, seminars, tutorials and practical workshops.
Employability & Careers
The course is designed to develop you into a rounded and capable illustrator and intellectual. This is built upon a curriculum that has your potential in mind. As such, the emphasis that will have been placed upon your work ethic, both creatively and academically, is matched with a significant focus on real-world experience. This will include building contacts and undertaking placements as well as live briefs. You will be offered support in forming your own business should you choose to do so.
You can elect to take a route through your second and final years of studies where you can engage with businesses or prepare to launch your own business upon graduating. In your final year, rather than submit a dissertation, you have the option of devising a detailed business plan.
Graduates from the programme are well placed to join design companies, work as illustrators and designers in large organisations, or set up their own businesses. Some take further training, for example, a PGCE. Some elect to take their studies further by studying at CSAD for a Masters level qualification and there are opportunities to take this further still, through a Professional Doctorate in Design.
Entry Requirements & How to Apply
Applicants should have a strong art and/or design portfolio and demonstrate a commitment to art and/or design, and preferably five GCSEs to include English Language (or Welsh First Language), Mathematics* and Science at grade C or above / grade 4 or above (for applicants holding newly reformed GCSEs in England)
Following an interview and assessment of portfolio, our typical offers can range between:
96 - 120 points from a successfully completed Art & Design Foundation Diploma or/and
96 - 120 points from at least 2 A Levels; Welsh Baccalaureate – Advanced Skills Challenge Certificate will be considered as a third subject
RQF BTEC National Extended Diploma / Cambridge Technical Extended Diploma: MMM / DDM
96 - 120 points from a combination of Scottish Highers and Scottish Advanced Highers
96 - 120 points from the Irish Leaving Certificate at Highers to include 2 x H2 grades from any subject (minimum grade H4 considered)
96 - 120 points from the Access to HE Diploma within a relevant subject
*For Welsh applicants sitting the reformed Mathematics GCSE, we will accept either GCSEMathematics or Mathematics – Numeracy.