Illustration (BA Hons)


BA (Hons)

Draw Your Own Conclusion

Learn from our experts and create a portfolio that tells your story.

Read Fumio's Story

From imagination to print

Amazing experiences, unique opportunities.

Harry and Zanna Goldhawk.

Zanna Goldhawk & Harry Marshall met at university and set up their illustration business whilst studying here.

Students at the International Comics Festival in Angoulême.

We're the only UK university invited to the world famous International Comics Festival in Angoulême.

Illustration of a magpie.

Publish, exhibit and sell your work alongside famous illustrators.

Outstanding facilities

A creative space to call your own.

More info

Inspiration for success

Kieran Phelps

Kieren Phelps

Academic Subject Leader: Illustration

Kieren Phelps has been illustrating since 1982.

He has worked for the Radio Times, Country Life, Car Magazine and the Nursing Times, among many other national publications. He has also illustrated books for a number of well-known publishers, including Penguin, Longman and Oxford University Press.

His practice included digital painting and animation for a decade before returning to natural media, and he now uses a large amount of black ink on paper, drawing every day. He self-publishes books and comics, and completes weekly GIF animations based on observations of those around him.

Kieren started teaching in 1998 and has run the Illustration Department of the University of Gloucestershire since 2005.

"A course unlike any other"

Find out what our current students have to say about their course.

Course details

Examples of student work.

Course outline

We are in the UK top 20 for graduate prospects in design and crafts according to the Guardian University Guide 2020 and is rated in the top 25% in the UK for student voice in design studies (NSS 2020).

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.

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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.

Course modules

You'll study a variety of modules from 'Illustration for Children' to 'Introduction to Animation'.

Take a look at the course content for full details of all the modules you'll study on this course.

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.


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

Study mode



3 Years (Full-Time)
4 Years (Integrated Foundation Stage)


Francis Close Hall, Cheltenham

Entry requirements

Tariff information for 2020 entry

Because we want to offer this course to creative students with talent and potential (and because we know that exam grades don't always tell the whole story), we invite all applicants to interview. Your suitability for the course is assessed and we will confirm your place after we've had a chance to meet you, if we feel you are a good fit. As well as unconditional offers for the right applicants, we make conditional offers based on your achieving certain grades in your A-levels or BTEC qualifications.

Check out our Interview Guide to learn what to expect and help you prepare.

This course is available with an integrated foundation stage to help you prepare.

International Students: Please see the full details of entry requirements in your country.

Grade 4/C in GCSE English and Mathematics (or equivalent) are normally required.
Please contact our admissions team if you have a question.


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
BA (Hons) - 3 years full-timeW220
BA (Hons) - 4 years integrated foundation stageW221

School of Arts

Our School of Arts provides specialist studios with the latest industry technology so you can develop your creative talent. You will collaborate with other artists and designers and be inspired by practising professionals to refine your own authentic voice.

This course looks amazing

How can I find out more?

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Our next virtual open day is on Sunday 6 December 2020

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