Art & Design Degree Courses
Where art and imagination come to life

BA (Hons) Illustration Degree

hand drawing an illutrationBoost your creative career with Northbrook College's BA (Hons) Illustration degree. Learn from industry experts and master traditional and digital techniques. This course is an intensely creative experience that develops your artistic style through various workshops, seminars and illustration briefs.


Course Overview

  • Location: Northbrook College, Worthing, West Sussex, England
  • UCAS code: W221
  • Duration: 3 years full-time
  • Application deadline: 15 July 2024
  • Start date: September 2024
  • Fees: £16,500

Entry requirements

2 A-Levels and 3 GCSEs in other subjects grade 9-4 or A-C (or equivalent)
1 A-Level, a Foundation course and 3 GCSEs in other subjects grade 9-4 or A-C (or equivalent)

A portfolio of work or audition is also needed to demonstrate ability in the specialist area.

Contact us to get an assessment of your qualifications for equivalency in the UK education system.

English language requirements

IELTS certificate or equivalent with an overall score of 6.0, 6.0 in the writing element and 5.5 in all other sub-elements.

The assessment of your application will include a review of your grades, interview, portfolio/audition and any experience.

Course Information

The course equips you with the skills and knowledge to be a professional visual storyteller, encouraging you to work in traditional, digital and innovative forms and techniques to prepare you for a career in the contemporary world of illustration.

BA Illustration

Course Content

Course Content

You will be encouraged to work in traditional, digital and innovative forms and techniques, preparing you for a career in the contemporary world of illustration.

After completing the course, you will be able to use a variety of tools, techniques, and processes for Illustration. You will be able to create a unique visual language, generate ideas, and solve problems for industry-standard briefs. You will learn to present your work professionally and apply your skills to initiate, plan and develop creative visual solutions.

Teaching Method

Teaching Method

We use a variety of teaching methods, including: 

  • practical and creative studio-based workshops
  • discussions
  • lectures/seminars
  • tutorials
  • small group study
  • self-directed study
  • study trips

Key Features

Key Features

  • Study across various media, processes and disciplines, including graphic design, illustration and animation.
  • Work across various briefs, covering children’s books, editorials, advertising, packaging, and posters to build your professional portfolio.
  • Taught by practising tutors, including an award-winning children’s illustrator.
  • Collaborative learning opportunities with other students in the creative arts

Course Structure

Year One

Year One

During the first year, you will engage with a range of software and drawing techniques including life drawing, to develop a firm foundation to build your practice. In addition, you will be encouraged to develop your skills using 2D to 3D modelling and to use a range of digital technology and software applications.
You will be encouraged to apply your skills, knowledge and experience through the production of several independent projects, during the first year, and informed by the development of their research skills and ability to contextualise your ideas and practice.

  • Unit 1: The Creative Process
  • Unit 2: Cultural and Contextual Studies
  • Unit 3: Materials and Methods
  • Unit 4: Digital Design
  • Unit 5: Applied Illustration
  • Unit 6: Minor Project

Year Two

Year Two

The second year focuses on the development of professional skills through working on industry-led client briefs and the support and encouragement of an individual style and direction. Creative abilities are combined with the experience of working with clients to ensure you are prepared for working in the design industry, with the opportunity to create an independent project response for your end-of-year project.

  • Unit 7: Professional Practice 1
  • Unit 8: Advanced Cultural & Contextual Studies
  • Unit 9: Professional Practice 2
  • Unit 10: Business Practice
  • Unit 11: Independent Project

Year Three

Year Three

In your third year, the program empowers you to specialize in illustration areas that ignite your passion. You'll develop a unique blend of intellectual, innovative, and practical skills specifically tailored to your chosen path. The journey doesn't stop at theory - you'll gain invaluable real-world experience by tackling "live" projects. This experience will not only strengthen your skills but also help you hone your entrepreneurial spirit as you build your independent practice. The year culminates in the creation of a major piece – a professional-standard artwork that becomes the launchpad for your captivating portfolio, ready to propel you into your illustration career.

  • Unit 12: Portfolio Studies
  • Unit 13: Creative and Critical Research Project (Dissertation)
  • Unit 14: Final Major Project



Northbrook is in the seaside town of Worthing, just a short train ride from the City of Brighton.
Northbrook College, in Worthing, is home to our creative arts degree programmes.
Need advice on visas, healthcare or anything else? See our student information section for answers to your questions.

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