Illustration (BA Hons)

Illustration by student Alex Small

Study mode

Full-Time or Part-Time


Francis Close Hall, Cheltenham

Draw your story. Learn from award-winning illustrators and graphic novelists. Publish, exhibit and sell your work

Illustration depicting large creature and child in the snow

Get your work published

Illustration of holidaymakers
Antique printing equipment

The Illustration course is all about drawing stories. Learn how to use visual narrative to communicate. Refine your creative and professional skills with support from our award-winning illustrators. Gain experience through events such as East London Comic & Arts Festival (ELCAF), BD Angouleme (France) and Cheltenham Illustration Awards. Undertake essential work experience and direct your own projects. Visual storytelling connects many aspects of illustration production, from the graphic novel to children’s books, storyboards and animation. You’ll focus on drawn ideas, a gateway to areas such as concept art and digital visualisation – and a key employment area in the wider creative industries.

In your first year you’ll develop skills in life and location drawing, printmaking, specialist techniques and animation. In your second and third years you’ll take your work to a professional level through modules such as Sequential Illustration which focuses on using  drawn images to create visual narratives such as comics and graphic novels.  You’ll also begin preparing for industry, developing your expertise in self-publishing and promotion. You’ll be equipped with the creative, technical and enterprise skills you need to progress into the creative industries on graduation.

You’ll have opportunities to showcase your work alongside world-famous illustrators at major events such as Cheltenham Illustration Awards, the London Book Fair, ELCAF (the UK’s leading independent comics festival) and the Bande Dessinee d'Angouleme festival in France (Europe’s most famous comic festival). You can also self-publish and sell your work under the university’s own 'imprint', Pittville Press, and in our illustration publications Unseen, Techne, and Olio. Our modern design facilities include printmaking studios, an Apple Mac suite, Risograph stencil printer, letterpress workshop and book-binding equipment.

Study style

You'll explore a range of print and production options through practical learning and creative assignments. These include publishing, exhibiting, selling products and attending book fairs.

Entry requirements

Tariff information for 2017 entry*

112 tariff points

Typical offers

BBC at A levels, DMM at BTEC or use a combination of your qualifications to achieve the required tariff total.

2017 UCAS tariff table

Mature Applicants: We welcome applications from mature students (aged 21 and over) and do not necessarily require the same academic qualifications as school leaving applicants. To find out more, please email our enquiries team.

International Students: Please see the full details of entry requirements in your country. If you do not meet the academic and English language requirements, you should consider a preparation course at INTO University of Gloucestershire, which will help to prepare you for study on this degree. INTO University of Gloucestershire is based at our Park campus and offers a range of courses including International Foundation Art, Design and Media and Integrated Programme.

Grade C in GCSE English and Mathematics (or equivalent) are normally required. If you don't meet your tariff points total we may still consider your application. Please email our admissions team for further information.

* Selection by portfolio and interview

Check your UCAS tariff points

If you are unsure whether your predicted grades will carry enough points to study the course, we can help. Whether you’re taking A levels or BTECs, Access courses or anything else the tariff calculator will let you know whether you currently have the grades and advise on what to do next.


See the further details of fees and potential extra costs when studying a course at the University of Gloucestershire.

UCAS codes

UCAS codes available for this subject
Single Honours - 3 years full-timeW220


  • Self-published illustrator
  • Animator
  • Game artist animation
  • Graphic designer
  • Advertising

Profile photo of Zanna Goldhawk and Harry Marshall

Student Focus

Zanna Goldhawk and Harry Marshall

We’ve set up our own illustration business, Papio Press. It started with a humble pocket mirror and we recently featured in Home Magazine!

Our work has come-on so much at university which gave us the confidence to start the business. We love the freedom to create and experiment. Our studios are the base for a strong illustration community for discussion and feedback. Our lecturers are great, they take the time to find out who we are. They’re practising illustrators. They know about what’s current and we have a lot of one-to-one contact time.

Industry links

You’ll gain first-hand experience through a work placement. Students have recently worked with ELCAF (East London Comic & Arts Festival), London Book Fair, BD Angouleme, Cheltenham Illustration Awards and Cheltenham Literature Festival. They’ve also worked with Cheltenham Festivals to produce illustrations for global children's book publisher Walker Books.

Profile photo of Kieren Phelps

Staff Profile

Kieren Phelps

"I’ve illustrated many editorial magazines and books since I first became an illustrator in 1982, including for the Sunday Times, Radio Times, the Listener, Car magazine, Nursing Times, Penguin, Longman, and Oxford University Press. I have explored many different media in the last 20 years, producing animated films, illustrations and a graphic novel using digital 'natural media' software. More recently I’ve made a return to traditional, black and white pen and ink."

Nautical illustrations, whaling story

Get your work published

We provide the platform for you to publish, exhibit and sell your work under the university’s imprint, Pittville Press. Students have also produced illustrations for books published by leading global independent children's books publisher Walker Books.

Exhibit your work alongside famous illustrators

You will have the opportunity to exhibit alongside world-famous illustrators at the Cheltenham Illustration Awards, an international competition that attracts over 700 submissions from more than 20 countries worldwide.

Historic street in Brussels

Become an independent producer and entrepreneur

This course will equip you to initiate and manage projects, control the quality, production and distribution of your work, and engage with new markets and audiences through publishing and promotion.

Contact us

Find out more about our courses.

+44 (0)3330 141414