Become a creative and innovative illustrator. With this studio-based course you'll gain the skills you need to succeed in roles across the industry. You'll explore the design principles of contemporary media, learn valuable traditional skills and gain a broad and distinctive range of visual languages working with animation, computing, photography and printmaking. See the future of image making first.
London College of Communication at Elephant and Castle
Study Level Undergraduate Study Mode Full time Course Length 3 years full time Home/EU Fee
Standard tuition fee for 2014/15: £9,000.
Standard tuition fee for 2014/15: £15,180.
Start Date September 2014 Autumn Term Dates Monday 29 September 2014 – Friday 12 December 2014 (Starting with Freshers Week) Spring Term Dates Monday 12 January 2015 – Friday 27 March 2015 Summer Term Dates Tuesday 27 April 2015 – Friday 26 June 2015 Application Route
Through UCAS. Please see the apply tab for more information.
UCAS Code WPF3 University Code U65
Content and Structure
This studio-based course aims to produce creative and innovative illustrators who are equipped to succeed in roles across the industry. You will explore the design principles of contemporary media while learning valuable traditional skills and gain a broad and distinctive range of visual languages working with animation, computing, photography and printmaking.
This new course capitalises on the heritage of graphic design education at LCC by acknowledging traditional values and specialist skills while recognising the changing and dynamic nature of design and illustration.
Students have graduated from the course to work in a diverse range of creative companies, including: Alexander McQueen, Airside, Pentagram, John Brown Publishing, etc. Graduates from this degree have also set up their own companies, operated as freelance Illustrators and become exhibiting artists and designers.
The BA (Hons) Illustration and Visual Media course at LCC seeks to challenge existing preconceptions and definitions of Illustration and encourages students to view themselves as thinkers as well as image makers. Taught by a team of practicing artists, designers, researchers and academics, all the tutors on your course are actively involved in scholarly investigation, graphic design and art related professional practice. The course fosters an understanding of contemporary creative practice, critical debate and scholarly responsibility. The course offers you the intellectual and creative space to examine existing definitions of illustration whilst exploring future directions. This enables students to work in a broad range of media, processes and techniques. Nothing is 'off limits'.
Students are supported in negotiating individual routes of study in response to a series of set, live and self-initiated briefs. Emphasis is placed on developing a range of practical, conceptual, research and decision-making skills that are transferrable from the academic environment to the world of creative practice beyond university. LCC Illustrators make intelligent, well informed, critically-engaged work that goes beyond stylistic aesthetic concerns and graduate as self-motivated individuals equipped to shape the future of art and design practice.
This course is taught within the School of Design at London College of Communication.
Learning and teaching
Courses in UAL span a broad range of art, design, communication, business, media, science and communication subjects. So the ways in which you learn and how your time is used will vary according to the specific course you are studying; this may be in studios, labs, classes, involve working alone, learning from peers in pairs or groups, or with external partners. Most importantly, no matter which course you enrol on, you will learn not only about your subject but also about how you learn and how to increase your knowledge base.
Our courses will guide you to take increasing responsibility and ownership of your work and your learning. We do this so that you will be ready and able to take full advantage of the full range of opportunities offered by the creative industries in the global economy.
Assessment always sounds austere and foreboding, but it is not. We see assessment as a very real part of learning, rather than just a means of looking back at past work and measuring achievement; we believe that assessment helps you plan future work and develop new ideas.
Your work will be assessed through projects or portfolios, with written papers or research journals, and, on some courses, examinations. You will be graded according to a set of marking criteria that relate to such things as research, subject knowledge, methodology, and your capacity to analyse and reflect on your achievements. So don’t be afraid of assessment - it is the way to progress.
- Introduction to HE
- Exploration 1
- Application 1
- Contextual and theoretical studies 1
At the beginning of your journey on year one you will be introduced to a range of mediums and media to give you a firm base of skills to help you realise your ideas for set projects. You will also take part in educational visits to museums and exhibitions to inform your project work and you will be involved in group projects and cross year projects to increase your skills in negotiation, collaboration and time management. These are vital key skills needed for pursuing a career in the creative industries.
The year will include introductory sessions to animation, computing, photography and printmaking. The Introduction to HE unit will involve a series of tutorials, seminars, and workshops to help you build on the thinking, analysis and production essential for the creative process.
In the Exploration unit you will be taken through all aspects of subject research, data collection, documentation, ideas generation, and material experimentation. Workshops in the Application unit will involve you in how to layout text and image and consider hierarchy of information, typographic structures and image composition. You will start to develop an understanding of narrative and sequence for a range of multimedia outputs.
- Collaborative Project
- Exploration 2
- Application 2
- Contextual and theoretical studies 2
In Year 2 students are encouraged to experiment and explore an individual and personal approach to their Illustration and design work. You will be supported in developing your own visual language and philosophy. Students are encouraged to choose from a range of live projects, take part in organized study trips and exhibit both internally and externally.
External links form a key part of this year in relation to exhibiting and responding to live commissions (these have included: Faber and Faber, John Brown Publishing, Time Out, ICA, V&A etc) publishing your work professionally taking part in cross year workshops and learning to curate, negotiate professional problems, evolve a visual language, network, self and group promote and consider your place in professional practice.
In the exploration unit you will increasingly broaden your understanding of illustration and visual communication via making workshops, text as image experimentation, sequence and narrative workshops and the Application unit will involve the examination of professional structures and opportunities outside of university.
A wide range of set projects and external projects (penguin, D&AD. YNC etc) will help you consider the role of the contemporary illustrator, professional life and its relation to your own practice. Students can apply to take an industrial placement year: DPS, out as part of their studies.
Diploma in Professional Studies
The Diploma in Professional Studies is an optional Industrial placement year between the second and fourth year of the course. The Diploma in Professional Studies is a managed year of professional experience largely undertaken in the design profession in a variety of national and international locations.Students are selected during the second year on the basis of their portfolio, studentship and a detailed year out proposal. Please see the Diploma Professional Studies Prog Spec 13.14 (PDF-64KB) for more detail.
- Contextual and theoretical studies 3 Major
- Self - Initiated Project or Major Project Studio
- Contextual and theoretical studies 3 (Minor)
- Self - Initiated Project
- Major Project Studio
Year 3 is the culmination of your studies and focuses on your individual development and the synthesis of previous teaching and learning into the production of a body of work that can be assessed academically and be taken to industry. Via workshops, tutorials, lectures and seminars students will be helped to form a plan and to position themselves professionally and apply their previous experience to a range of course set subjects you originate should you wish to.
The final year is a culmination of your journey on the course and the start of your realization as a professional practitioner and marks a beginning and not an end. You can choose to weight your final degree award towards your dissertation or your studio work. Year three is designed to help you position yourself towards a direction and career you want and enable you to build a body of work to help you achieve this aim. You will also be helped to consider further study at postgraduate level; this will include aid with references, and folio preparation.
Year 3 units
When you reach the final year it may be that you have developed an interest in your dissertation topic and want to place greater emphasis on it. Option A allows you to do this. If on the other hand you wish to place greater emphasis on studio work by doing a smaller dissertation you can do so in option B.
Taught by a team of practicing artists, designers, researchers and academics, all the tutors on your course are actively involved in scholarly investigation, graphic design and art related professional practice.
Students have graduated to work in a diverse range of creative companies, including: Alexander McQueen, Airside, Pentagram, John Brown Publishing, Vault 49 (New York), Prologue (LA). etc. Students often set up their own companies, operating as freelance Illustrators, becoming exhibiting artists and designers.
Given the breadth of the course you will not only learn new skills relating to image generation but also expand upon those that you may already possess. You will engage with a range of media from print to digital media and a variety of outputs including editorial design, sculpture and moving image. Illustrators no longer purely visualise content but provide the content, design it and market it. Therefore students on the course are introduced to aspects of design such as typography which not only allows you to add context to your illustrative work but also gives you a further range of skills relevant to progession into further study or work.
Some of our students have also gone onto have great success within industry. These include the following:
- Ben Reece: Researh studios
- Anna Francescutti: Alexander McQueen
- Jonathan Kenyon: Vault 49 NY
- Lauren Necati: Thames and Hudson
- Clare Willis: John Brown publishing
- Niall Thompson / Nils Pormann: Dandelion and Burdock
- Cecilia Carlstedt: freelance Illustrator
- Anne Harild: Illustrator / Artist
- Jacqueline Ford: Rob Ryan studios
- Abigail Aked: The Spectator
The above list of students highlights the diverse, transferable skills base and breath of expertise our graduates take with them into an increasingly diverse and interdisciplinary market.
Enterprise and employability at UAL
We know what it takes to be successful in your chosen field. Your tutors are professionals in their own right and understand what you need to help you establish your career. Staff in our Centre for Student Enterprise and Employability (SEE) are dedicated to helping you build up work-relevant skills, knowledge, experience and networks throughout your time here. You will also benefit from our many relationships with industry, which give our students exclusive opportunities and access to networks and funding.
Artists and designers tell us they value UAL's informed engagement with their career and professional practice development and our ability to offer them practical advice, guidance and opportunities across the wide spectrum of possible professional pathways - as entrepreneurs and employees. Staff value the resources and skills UAL makes available to help them deliver effective professional and career development through the curriculum.
Find out more
ArtsTemps (SEE) is the UAL in-house recruitment agency placing students and graduates in paid temping roles within the University.
Creative Opportunities (SEE) is the UAL job vacancy and work placement website for students and graduates and advertises hundreds of creative job and placement opportunities each month.
Get more information and advice on employment and creative careers for all UAL students and graduates.
Recruitment and admissions
The BA Illustration and Visual Media Course team recognise applicants come from a broad spectrum of backgrounds from across the world. The course in the main attracts students who apply direct from A level or other equivalent qualifications but it also welcomes students from Foundation Diploma in Art and Design and other art courses as well as mature students who may have worked in industry.
Entry Requirements (Home/International/EU)
For admission to the BA Illustration and Visual Media course applicants normally need:
- 160 UCAS tariff points (gained at GCE Advanced level) will be considered, supported by passes in three other subjects at GCSE Grade C or above.
- Alternatively, you will be considered if you have achieved 1 subject at GCE Advanced level and Foundation Diploma in Art and Design, supported by passes in three other subjects at GCSE Grade C or above. In addition, the University of the Arts London Awarding Body Level 3 Foundation Diploma in Art and Design will be considered.
- We also accept people with the equivalent qualifications obtained through a National Diploma, Access, NVQ and a variety of other pre-University level qualifications including International and European Baccalaureate. Other qualifications, including overseas, may be considered.
- We also accept those with relevant professional and vocational qualifications.
- The subjects the Course Team will be looking for in your application are wide ranging: your A levels (or equivalents) would ideally be achieved at grade C or above.
Other entry routes
We also welcome applicants such as mature students who do not have formal qualifications but may have relevant experience. Students applying to this course will be expected to demonstrate a specific interest in this area of study and should have a commitment to engaging with Illustration and Visual Media Theory and practice. In such cases students applying on the basis of their previous experience or who wish to enter the course with through Accreditation of Experiential Learning (AEL) or Accreditation of Certificated Learning (ACL) processes should apply via UCAS and will be guided by the admissions staff on the AP(E)L processes.
Language requirements (International/EU)
International and EU students: In the case of applicants whose first language is not English, then IELTS 6.0 (or equivalent) is required.
If your first language is not English you should check you have achieved the correct IELTS level in English. Further information is available on our International Applications page.
International applicants, please visit our International Applications page for further details regarding International Admissions.
Study Abroad applicants
International undergraduate students can apply to join this BA course for a period of up to three terms as a Study Abroad student. Please visit the Study Abroad website for details on how to apply or contact the Study Abroad office:
T: +44 (0)20 7514 2249
For Home/EU applicants, the Course Leader will determine whether deferred places are available for the course. If you wish to defer your place, it is advisable to indicate this on your application form and/or discuss this with the admissions team and course leader before/after applying at the earliest opportunity. In all cases, deferred places will only be held for one year.
International applicants are normally permitted to defer entry to any programme of study for one year only, after which they will be asked to re-apply.
The selection procedures for the course adhere to the Equal Opportunities policy of the University of the Arts London.
Applications are normally made through UCAS. Applications for this course are assessed on the basis of qualifications and the personal statement.
If more information is required, a member of the course team may contact the applicant and in some cases, may request the candidate to attend an interview.
Student Selection Criteria - what do we look for?
All applications will be considered by the course team and offers will be made based upon the following selection criteria.
The team will consider three key elements when making a decision on your suitability to join the course:
- Firstly they will look at your qualifications (or projected results).
- Secondly, they will review your academic or personal reference.
- Then they will scrutinise your personal statement (maximum of 300 words required) and a portfolio.
The personal statement is a very important part of your application and should demonstrate to the team that you are interested in Illustration and Visual Media and that you have thought very carefully about why you want to study on this course.
You should take great care when writing your personal statement to ensure that it is well written, clear and free of any spelling mistakes. It is your biggest chance to impress the team by demonstrating your appreciation of what the course can offer you and how you feel it might help you in the future. It is also an opportunity for you to state what you feel you would bring to the course. Through their personal statement, applicants should show a strong interest in Illustration and Visual Media. This can be demonstrated through work experience, studying and personal experience and their ambitions for personal development as a student at the LCC.
Apart from the academic qualifications all students are required to present a portfolio of work which must evidence the following:
- Visual vocabulary. Quality of compositional skills and use of line, shape, form, scale, space, light, colour, texture and time.
- Ideas generation. Quality of ideas and expression of conceptual thinking.
- Research and its application (including sketchbooks)
- Systematic identification and investigation of appropriate resources.
- Materials and media exploration and experimentation. Experimentation and testing of materials in realisation of concepts.
- Contextual awareness and its influence on the portfolio. Understanding and application subject knowledge and context.
Submissions on CD / DVD or in the form of an A4 printed publication: please include your name, email, home address and current course and institution, and ensure this information is clearly displayed.
If digital, ensure your portfolio submission can be viewed on an Apple Macintosh computer. The examiners will not have access to any other computer.
You have reviewed and checked that your submission works when viewed on a different computer to the one that it was generated on (i.e. check that your files view properly on a computer other than your own).
The examiners will look at your work for a maximum of 15 minutes. Make sure that you pace your work so they will be able to judge your submission in the way that you wish to present yourself.
You are asked to provide a personal statement of a maximum of 300 words.
You may show 25 – 40 slides / images in your portfolio. You must have a project divider between each project with the projects title and a brief description of the project. A maximum of 50 words description for each project.
You can include:
- Links to websites, such as your personal work site.
- Photographic evidence of sketchbooks, research and analysis work.
- Evidence of final pieces.
- Personal work / one day projects please put in a separate section.
You must send your work or deliver it on a CD as a PDF / PowerPoint (none bigger than 7 megabytes), Moving image format or a Printed A4 publication to:
BA (Hons) Illustration and visual Media
Faculty of Design
London College of Communication
Elephant and Castle
Unfortunately we are unable to return submissions.
We are particularly interested in seeing your roughs, ideas and visual analysis. The ideas and experimentations that lead up to your final designs. We are not purely focused on finished pieces and styles so please do add a visual thoughts, research and analysis and evidence of your interests.
All applicants are invited to submit a portfolio of work and 300 words Personal Statement which is assessed by members of the course team.
Normally, students are not interviewed as part of the application process.
Students are admitted to the course having fulfilled the necessary entry requirements and on the basis of their potential to benefit from the programme.
Minimum UAL entry requirements
Find out more about the University's Regulations on Admissions.
How to Apply
You will need to apply through the UCAS online application system.
Go to ‘Apply’ from the UCAS homepage, where you will be able to register and create a password that gives you unique access as you complete your application form.
You can find London College of Communication (LCC) courses listed under University of the Arts London.
The University code is U65. The UCAS course code is WPF3. There is no 'campus code' for LCC.
If you have an admissions enquiry please contact us:
T: +44(0)20 7514 6599
Or you can use the UAL Course Enquiry Form and select LCC along with your question.
There are three ways international students can apply to an undergraduate course at LCC:
The LCC International Admissions Team look after all non-EU international applicants who want to study a full-time course at LCC. They can provide admissions advice, help with processing applications and enrol international students once they arrive at the University.
If you have any questions please contact the LCC International Admissions Team:
T: +44 (0)20 7514 8138
Or you can use the UAL Course Enquiry Form
Study Abroad Applicants
International undergraduate students can apply to join this BA course for a period of up to three terms as a Study Abroad student. Please visit the Study Abroad page for details of how to apply.
Deferred entry is normally only allowed in exceptional circumstances. Please contact us before you submit your application if you are considering applying for deferred entry.
What happens next?
All application forms, personal statements and references are read and considered by the course team against the selection criteria listed under "What we look for".
Depending on the quality of your application, you may then be invited to the next stage of selection.
Please note that if you are unable to attend the College may not be able to re-schedule.
If you applied through UCAS the result of your application will be communicated to you via UCAS through ucastrack. You will only receive further communication directly from the College if your application has been successful. This will be in the form of a full offer pack including details of accommodation, fees, and other important information