BA (Hons) Illustration and Visual Media

BA (Hons) Illustration and Visual Media is not defined by a medium, material or style, but fuelled by a desire to communicate by whatever means are appropriate, be they sculptural, typographic, photographic, filmic, print-based or a combination of all of these. As the course philosophy suggests: Nothing is off limits.

We will update this webpage from time to time with new information as it becomes available. In the meantime, if you have any questions, please contact a member of the course team.

Additional costs: In addition to tuition fees you are very likely to incur additional costs such as travel expenses and the cost of materials. We strongly suggest you read the information on our Additional Costs page

Watch: LCC Degree Shows 2016 // Design School Show

Watch // 'WELL DONE' Mural by Lawrence Slater and Freddie Goodchild. Film by Billy Bolton. 

Watch // Installing the BA (Hons) Illustration and Visual Media show

Graphic work created by a range of Diploma for Professional Studies students.

Students have the opportunity to apply for our Diploma in Professional Studies year in industry.

Watch // LCC Student Voices // Jida Choura – BA (Hons) Illustration and Visual Media

Funding opportunities

Find out about the range of funding options available for undergraduate study.

Use UAL's fees and funding calculator to estimate how much your studies may cost you in your first year, and what funding may be available to you.

Facts

Course Leader

Angela Michanitzi

Course Location

London College of Communication 
Elephant and Castle
Find Us

Study LevelUndergraduate
Study ModeFull time
Course Length3 years
Home/EU Fee

£9,000 per year (2016/17 fees)

International Fee

£17,230 per year (2016/17 fees)

Start DateSeptember 2016
Autumn Term DatesMonday 26 September 2016 – Friday 9 December 2016
Spring Term DatesMonday 9 January 2017 – Friday 17 March 2017
Summer Term DatesTuesday 18 April 2017 – Friday 23 June 2017
Application Route

Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS)

Application DeadlineOpen for UK, EU and international applicants for 2016/17 entry. Applications for 2017/18 entry will open in Autumn 2016.
UCAS CodeWPF3
University CodeU65

Content and Structure

Content

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.

The 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.

BA (Hons) Illustration and Visual Media 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 the 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. 

The course is taught within the Design School.

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

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.

Structure

In common with all courses at the University of the Arts London, this course is credit rated. The course is 3 years, levels 4-6. Each year requires you to achieve 120 credit points. To be awarded the BA (Hons) Illustration and Visual Media qualification, you need to accumulate a total of 360 credits.

Year 1

Unit Summary:

  • Introduction to Illustration and Visual Media (20 credits) 
  • Exploration 1 (40 credits) 
  • Application 1 (40 credits) 
  • Contextual and Theoretical Studies 1 (20 credits)

At the beginning of 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.

Year 2

Unit Summary:

  • Collaborative Project (20 credits) 
  • Exploration 2 (40 credits) 
  • Application 2 (40 credits) 
  • Contextual and Theoretical Studies 2 (20 credits) 

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 organised study trips and exhibit both internally and externally.

External industry links form a key part of this year in relation to exhibiting and responding to live commissions, (from organisations including: Faber and Faber, John Brown Publishing, Time Out, ICA and the V&A) publishing your work professionally, taking part in cross year workshops and learning to curate, negotiating professional problems, visual languages, networking, self and group promotions and considering your place in professional practice.

In the exploration unit you will increasingly broaden your understanding of illustration and visual communication through workshops, text as image experimentation, sequence and narrative workshops and the Application 2 unit will involve the examination of professional structures and opportunities outside of university.

A wide range of set projects and external projects will help you consider the role of the contemporary illustrator, professional life and its relation to your own practice. Students can also apply to take an industry placement year out called the Diploma in Professional Studies, as part of their course.

Diploma in Professional Studies

The Diploma in Professional Studies is an optional placement year in industry between the second and third year of the course. It is a managed year of professional experience largely undertaken in the design profession in a variety of national and international locations. Successful candidates are selected on a competitive basis from academic performance and studentship, successful completion of the DPS bridging studies and by portfolio and proposal. Please view the Diploma in Professional Studies Programme Specification (PDF - 164KB) for more details.

Year 3

Units Summary: 

Route A

  • Contextual and Theoretical Studies 3 (40 credits) 
  • Self-initiated Project (20 credits) 
  • Major Project Studio (60 credits)

Route B

  • Contextual and Theoretical Studies 3 (20 credits) 
  • Self-initiated Project (40 credits)
  • Major Project Studio (60 credits)

Year 3 is the culmination of your studies and focuses on your individual development and combination of previous teaching and learning into the production of a body of work that can be assessed academically and be presented within 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.

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 - Route 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 Route B.

Course Structure

The information outlined is an indicative structure of the course. Whilst we will aim to deliver the course as described on this page, there may be situations where it is desirable or necessary for the University to make changes in course provision, for example because of regulatory requirements or operational efficiencies, before or after enrolment. If this occurs, we will communicate all major changes to all applicants and students who have either applied or enrolled on the course.

Please note that due to staff research agreements or availability, not all of the optional modules listed may be available every year.

Staff

Course Leader: Angela Michanitzi

Lead Tutor: Dr. Charley Peters

Senior Lecturer: Leigh Clarke

Senior Lecturer: Stuart Varley

Associate Lecturer: Rachel Emily Taylor

Associate Lecturer: Juliet Sugg

Associate Lecturer: Zak Peric

Contextual and Theoretical Studies Coordinators: Dr. Mark Ingham and Dr. Ian Horton

Careers

On graduation students from the course enter a wide and varied range of professional practices working in art, illustration and graphic design, for international and UK based companies including: Alexander McQueen, Airside, Pentagram, John Brown Publishing, Vault 49 (New York) and Prologue (LA). Students also set up their own companies, operating as freelance illustrators or exhibiting artists and designers, or go on to further study at MA level.

Emphasis is placed on developing a range of practical, conceptual, research and decision-making skills that are transferable from the academic environment to the world of creative practice beyond university. 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 and a variety of outputs including editorial design, sculpture and moving image.

Our graduates have gone onto great success within industry, highlighting the diverse, transferable skills and breath of expertise they take with them into an increasingly diverse and interdisciplinary market.

Alumni

Student Jobs and Careers 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. 

Careers and Employability is dedicated to helping students build up work-relevant skills, knowledge, experience and networks throughout your time here. 

Creative Opportunities is the UAL job and work placement website for students and graduates, advertising hundreds of creative opportunities each month. This includes ArtsTemps in-house recruitment agency, placing students and graduates in paid temping roles within the University.

UAL houses a number of organisations which promote aspects of career development in the arts and media, and which hold regular workshops and careers fairs. These include:

  • Own-It (intellectual property issues)
  • ArtQuest (career development resource for artists and designers)

Entry Requirements

Recruitment and Admissions

The course team welcomes applicants from a broad range of backgrounds from all over the world. The course attracts students who apply direct from A Level (or equivalent) or from Foundation Diploma in Art and Design, or other art courses, as well as mature students who may have previously worked in industry. 

Entry Requirements (Home/International/EU)

For admission to BA (Hons) Illustration and Visual Media, applicants need:

160 UCAS tariff points gained at GCE Advanced (A) Level (or equivalent) plus passes in three subjects at GCSE (or equivalent) Grade C or above.

A typical applicant might have:

  • GCE A Levels (or equivalent) ideally achieved at grade C or above, plus passes in three subjects at GCSE Grade C or above.
    OR
  • One subject at GCE A Level, plus a Foundation Diploma in Art and Design, plus passes in three subjects at GCSE Grade C or above. 

Applicants might also have overseas qualifications, or others:

  • International Baccalaureate or European Baccalaureate.
  • UAL Awarding Body Level 3 Foundation Diploma in Art and Design.
  • National Diploma, Access, or NVQ.

Alternative Entry Routes

We also welcome applicants with relevant professional and vocational qualifications, or mature students who do not have formal qualifications but may have relevant experience in industry.

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.

Students applying on the basis of their previous experience should apply as normal via UCAS and will then be guided by the admissions team on next steps, through either of the Accreditation of Experiential Learning (AEL) or the Accreditation of Certificated Learning (ACL) processes.

Language Requirements (International/EU)

All classes are conducted in English. If English is not your first language you will be asked to provide evidence of your English language ability when you enrol.

  • IELTS 6.0 with a minimum of 5.5 in each of the four skills.
  • You can check you have achieved the correct IELTS level in English on the Language Requirements page.

Admission Procedures

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 and are assessed on the basis of qualifications, their personal statement, and portfolio of work. 

All applicants will be contacted by the admissions team and asked to submit a mini portfolio of work via PebblePad within two weeks. Depending on the quality of mini portfolio and application, applicants may then be invited to full portfolio review and interview at the College. 

In exceptional cases, those living outside London and unable to attend LCC can be interviewed by phone or via Skype, and should also prepare a digital version of their full portfolio. 

Applicants are not guaranteed a full portfolio review or interview, and may be offered a place, or informed of an unsuccessful outcome, after the mini portfolio stage.

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 the following key elements when making a decision on your suitability to join the course:

  • Most importantly they will review your personal statement and your portfolio.
  • They will consider your qualifications (or projected results).
  • They will also review your academic or personal references.

Personal Statement

This is an 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 carefully about why you want to study on this course. 

You can demonstrate this through your previous work experience or study, personal experience and your ambitions for personal development as a student at LCC.

You should ensure it is written clearly, and free of any spelling mistakes. It is your chance to impress the team by demonstrating your appreciation of what the course can offer you and how you feel it will help you in the future.

State what you personally would bring to the course, and that you are motivated and have a willingness to learn, explore and experiment.

Portfolio Advice

Your portfolio is the most important part of your application.

You must clearly evidence the following, through development work, as well as completed projects:

  • 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 application, subject, knowledge and context.

Mini Portfolio

All applicants will be contacted by the admissions team and asked to submit a mini portfolio via PebblePad.

The mini portfolio should consist of no more than twenty images from two or three of your projects.

After submitting the mini portfolio, applicants could either be made an offer for the course, referred to other courses across UAL for consideration, or invited to attend a full portfolio review and short group interview at LCC.

Full Portfolio

Applicants successful at the mini portfolio stage may be invited to attend a full portfolio review and interview at LCC.

For the full portfolio review at the College, you should prepare additional examples of your work, including your development and sketchbook work, as well as finished projects.

In exceptional cases, those living outside London can be interviewed by phone or via Skype, and will need to prepare a digital version of their full portfolio.

Interview advice

Interviews will be held with two members of the course team, and will be relatively informal.

You can prepare yourself in advance by thinking of questions to ask the course team and re-familiarising yourself with your UCAS personal statement, from which the course team’s questions to you will probably arise. 

Students are admitted to the course having fulfilled the necessary entry requirements and on the basis of their potential to benefit from the programme and their potential to succeed on the course.

Next steps

You can normally expect to hear from the admissions team within two weeks after your interview. Successful applicants will be guided through the rest of our admissions stages and towards enrolment on the course.

How to Apply

UK/EU Applicants

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. London College of Communication (LCC) courses are listed under University of the Arts London.

  • University code: U65
  • Course code: WPF3
  • There is no 'campus code' for LCC.

International Applicants

There are three ways international students can apply to an undergraduate course at LCC:

Follow the steps on the UAL International Application page for advice of how to apply.

Study Abroad Applicants

International undergraduate students can apply to join BA (Hons) Illustration and Visual Media for a period of up to three terms as a Study Abroad student.

Visit the Study Abroad page for details of how to apply.

Deferred Entry

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.

Testimonials

Chrissie Abbott
Illustrator, Art Director and Graphic Designer
“The illustration course at LCC was brilliant because I felt like I really learnt how to utilise graphic design as well as illustration. Looking back now it’s easy to see how the projects that were set were so applicable to the design and illustration industry and therefore an invaluable learning experience – because it is all-round training to apply yourself in the ‘real world’. Also learning to communicate and break down ideas at that stage was great training to deal with the clients I have now.”
chrissieabbott.com

Ben Reese
Senior Art Director, Apple San Francisco and Programming Co-Chair on the Board of Directors for AIGA San Francisco
“I was interested in the definition of illustration as image-making and that illustration should include: photography, typography, information design and have a strong conceptual basis. This holistic approach corresponded with my feelings abou the intersection between design and art. I was also really impressed with the output of the collegeand inspired by the balance of intellectual and artistic practice in the college. LCC was a limitless playground for ideas and artistic expression."
Ben Reece Alumni Profile

Henry Hobson
Live Action Director and Graphic Designer
“The Illustration Pathway was an obvious choice, as despite the title it seemed the most open, not solely fixed on typography, or motion, but allowing me to answer a brief in whatever way I wanted. To make an image, to solve a problem but not limited by the medium or format. I remember being instructed to make 100 images in a week, then to throw them out of the window from the 11th floor of the tower block. That thought still allows me to not feel precious about a frame or an image.”
henryhobson.co.uk

Jonathan Kenyon
Creative Director Vault49, New York
“Vault49’s studio foundation is in craft, tactile design, and applied illustration, and it was at LCC that I first learned my craft. LCC’s focus on craft and application helped me understand the importance of the artist in the design process – the importance of the human touch to help distinguish our work in what is an increasingly digital environment. LCC instilled in me the importance of journey and exploration, not just the finished design. 

I’ve visited colleges all around the US and given lectures around the world and I’ve rarely come across a creative environment either in business or education that compares with the culture at LCC. Whenever I’m asked about my education, I’m always proud to say I studied Illustration at LCC.”

I learned not to be precious with my work, to take risks, to understand my strengths and weaknesses and to embrace collaboration where it could enhance my own work. That same spirit of collaboration led to a chance meeting in the print rooms of LCC where the Vault49 studio was conceived with another student at the time, and we’re still going strong.
vault49.com/studio

Josefine Engström
Founder and Director NU Agency, Illustration agent, Sweden
“I think that the course was excellent for me, as it made us think about illustration as visual communication. And the responsibilities and possibilities that come with the visual communicator’s role as a public voice in the public sphere. The course takes the illustrator seriously and views illustration as so much more than just style or the hand that draws on command. Here the illustrator is a social actor that takes part in affecting and changing society. The strong focus on research and sketchbooks makes the work process driven and experimental. Critical discussions and tutoring brings out the best in dedicated students. I use the course as a role model and inspiration in my own teaching.”
nuagency.se

Charlie Hocking
Graphic Designer, ODD
“The illustration course at LCC was incredibly diverse and allowed me the opportunity to explore not only drawing, but graphic design, video, sculpture and photography. I learnt an incredible amount throughout my four years on the course – entering with crude skills in illustration and leaving with a portfolio full of graphic design, art direction and branding. I still draw on these skills in my professional life today and look back on my time at LCC with very fond memories.”
charliehocking.co.uk

Corinna Drossel
Design Director, Winkreative
“The course gave me great confidence to continue studying and working in the field of design, I like the discipline and endurance that you taught us. I enjoyed the flexibility within the course, not just illustration as a solution, but rather an expression of ones’ favourite medium and interests.”

Markus Aitken
Mixed Media Artist
marcusaitken.com

Rachel Emily Taylor
Artist, PhD Researcher at Sheffield Hallam University and Associate Lecturer at UAL
rachelemilytaylor.co.uk

Claire Scully
Illustrator
thequietrevolution.co.uk

Lakwena Macive
Artist
lakwena.com

Anne Haldrid
Artist
anneharild.com

Alex Hunting
Independent Designer and Art Director
alexhunting.co.uk

Andrew Khosravani
Freelance Illustrator and Animator
andrewkhosravani.com

Emily Evans
Freelance Illustrator
emilye.co.uk

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