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BA (Hons) Illustration and Visual Media

Start date
September 2019
Course length
3 years
UCAS code

Course summary

BA (Hons) Illustration and Visual Media is a studio-based course that aims to produce creative and innovative illustrators who are prepared to take risks with their work.

About this course

The course is led by a team of practising artists, designers, researchers and academics who will support you in becoming well informed and critically engaged.

The course offers you the intellectual and creative space to examine existing definitions of illustration, whilst exploring future directions. You will develop a range of visual languages including animation, computing, photography and printmaking.

Open Days

Book your place for the next Open Day
Friday 21 June

Student work

VAROOM Preview, Sid Seokhan Jung

Sid Seokhan Jung, BA (Hons) Illustration and Visual Media

WELL DONE Mural, Lawrence Slater and Freddie Goodchild

WELL DONE Mural for the Graphic Design Illustration BA Hons Degree Show at LCC. Painted by Lawrence Slater and Freddie Goodchild.

Duke - The Bank Job Advert, Joe Leach
Student Voices: Jida Choura

BA (Hons) Illustration and Visual Media student Jida Choura talks us through her work in the London College of Communication Summer Shows 2015.

Student Voices: Alex Turp

BA (Hons) Illustration and Visual Media student Alex talks us through their work in London College of Communication's Degree Shows 2017.

Student Voices: Joe Leach

BA (Hons) Illustration and Visual Media student Joe talks us through his work in the London College of Communication Degree Shows 2016.

Industry projects

Course stories


A close-up of the moveable type available in the Letterpress area.
Image © Lewis Bush

Printing and Finishing

Discover our printing techniques, from Lithographic Printing to Print Finishing and Bookbinding.

empty workshop space with chairs, tables, tv screen's vr booths and coding area

Creative Technology Lab

A multi-purpose space that supports students with: Creative Coding, Physical Computing, Projection Mapping, Games, and Virtual Reality.

The Digital Space, London College of Communication.
Image © Ana Escobar

The Digital Space

The Digital Space is an open-plan, creative hub with computers set up with specialist software.

Course details

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.

Course structure

The academic year for this course is divided into 2 blocks.

The 1st block is of 15 weeks’ duration from early October to mid-February. In accordance with the University timetable, there will be a four week holiday in December.

The 2nd block is also of 15 weeks’ duration from mid-February to the end of June with a four week holiday for Easter.

Showcasing your work

All students are advised to set up a profile on, UAL’s portfolio platform, which can be done at any point during your time at LCC and will last for up to 12 months after graduation.

This platform is often used to source student work for promotional use on the website, social media and for print and can be a great way of getting your work seen.

Course units

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 one

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'll be introduced to a range of mediums and media in order to give you a firm base of skills which will help you realise your ideas for set projects. You will also take part in educational visits to museums and exhibitions, which will inform your project work and you'll 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 process of creating layout text and image and will teach you to consider a 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 two

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. The Application 2 unit will involve the examination of professional structures and opportunities outside of the university.

A wide range of set projects and external projects will help you to consider the role of the contemporary illustrator; of 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 (DPS) is an optional year-long learning opportunity, allowing you to undertake a variety of internships and professional experiences for a whole academic year in Year 3, as part of a four-year degree. 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 three

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 the combination of your previous teaching and learning into the production of a body of work that can be assessed academically and be presented within an industry scenario.

Via workshops, tutorial, lectures and seminars, you will form a plan that will help you to position yourself professionally. You'll apply your previous experience to a range of both course set subjects or those that you come up with yourself.

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.

Learning and teaching methods

  • Studio workshops.
  • Lectures.
  • Seminars.
  • Critiques.
  • Visits.

Assessment methods

  • Notebooks.
  • Sketchbooks.
  • Blogs.
  • Evaluative reports.
  • Essays.

Changes to courses

Information provided by the University is accurate at the time of first publication. Courses, however, remain subject to change. Changes may be necessary to improve the quality of educational services, in order to meet the latest requirements of a commissioning or accrediting body, in order to bring course content in line with best practice activities across the Higher Education sector, in response to student feedback, and/or due to a lack of student demand for certain units or options.

Events may arise outside of the reasonable control of the University which lead to changes to courses. Such events may include industrial action, civil disorder, severe weather, and changes in applicable laws and/or safety requirements.

If you have accepted a place on a course, we shall notify you of any changes as soon as reasonably practicable.

Webpage updates

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 complete this register your interest form.


Angela  Michanitzi

Angela Michanitzi

Course Leader, BA (Hons) Illustration and Visual Media

Tony  Braithwaite

Tony Braithwaite

Specialist Tutor in screen printing and surface design on the BA (Hons) Illustration and Visual Media

Leigh  Clarke

Leigh Clarke

Senior Lecturer, BA (Hons) Illustration and Visual Media

Ellen  Hanceri

Ellen Hanceri

Senior Lecturer, BA (Hons) Illustration and Visual Media

Charley  Peters

Charley Peters

Course Leader, MA Illustration and Visual Media

Mike  Nicholson

Mike Nicholson

Associate Lecturer, BA (Hons) Illustration and Visual Media

Chris  Ratcliffe

Chris Ratcliffe

Associate Lecturer, Illustration and Visual Media

Juliet  Sugg

Juliet Sugg

Lecturer, BA (Hons) Illustration and Visual Media

Rachel Emily Taylor

Rachel Emily Taylor

Associate Lecturer, BA (Hons) Illustration and Visual Media

Eva  Verhoeven

Eva Verhoeven

Programme Director, Interaction Design and Visual Communication

How to apply

Opportunities for all

We are committed to making university education an achievable option for a wider range of people and to supporting all of our students in achieving their potential both during and after their courses.

We welcome applications from people with disabilities. If you have a disability (e.g. mobility difficulties, sensory impairments, medical or mental health conditions or Asperger’s syndrome) we strongly encourage you to contact us on or +44 (0)20 7514 6156 so that we can plan the right support for you. All enquiries are treated confidentially. To find out more, visit our Disability & Dyslexia webpages.

Entry requirements


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 or design courses, as well as mature students who may have previously worked in industry.

The standard entry requirements for this course are as follows:

64 UCAS tariff points which can be made up of one or a combination of the following accepted full level 3 qualifications:

  • A Levels at grade C or above (preferred subjects include: English; History; Media; Business; Art and Design, or other subjects within Social Sciences).
  • Pass at Foundation Diploma in Art & Design (Level 3 or 4).
  • Merit, Pass, Pass at BTEC Extended Diploma (preferred subjects: Art and Design, IT & Computing).
  • Pass at UAL Extended Diploma.
  • Access to Higher Education Diploma (preferred subject: Digital and Creative Media, Film and Production, Computing).
  • OR equivalent EU/International qualifications, such as International Baccalaureate Diploma.

And 3 GCSE passes at grade 4 or above (grade A*-C).

APEL - Accreditation of Prior (Experiential) Learning

Applicants who do not meet these course entry requirements may still be considered in exceptional cases. The course team will consider each application that demonstrates additional strengths and alternative evidence. This might, for example, be demonstrated by:

  • Related academic or work experience
  • The quality of the personal statement
  • A strong academic or other professional reference
  • A combination of these factors.

Each application will be considered on its own merit but we cannot guarantee an offer in each case.

English Language requirements (International/EU)

IELTS level 6.0 or above, with at least 5.5 in reading, writing, listening and speaking. Please check our main English language requirements page.

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.

Selection criteria

The portfolio, along with the details on your UCAS application (including the academic reference and your personal statement) will be assessed against the following criteria:

  • Visual language: quality of structure, use of line, shape - 2D or 3D, form, scale, space, light, colour, texture and time.
  • Ideas generation: quality of ideas and thought process, expression of design thinking.
  • Research and its application (including images from sketch books): evidence of investigation and use of appropriate resources.
  • Materials, media exploration and experimentation; experimentation and testing of materials to achieve outcomes.
  • Contextual awareness and its influence on the portfolio; understanding and application of subject knowledge and context.

How we assess your application

Your application form is reviewed when you apply to the University. If you have achieved or expect to achieve the standard entry requirements we will invite you to submit a full portfolio.

We make our offers based on the strength of the whole application, and therefore don’t routinely invite applicants to interview. To find out more, view our Undergraduate Application Process page.

Personal statement advice

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 explain what motivates you to learn, explore and experiment.

Portfolio advice

Your portfolio of work is the most important part of your application, and you must clearly evidence development work as well as work from completed projects.

You are required to present a portfolio with a maximum of 20 images that you consider would help support your application.

Making your application

Apply for this course though Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS):

  • University code: U65
  • Course code: WPF3

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

Application deadline

We recommend you apply by 15th January for equal consideration.  However this course will consider applications after that date, subject to places being available.

Making a Deferred Application (for entry in 2020/21)

Home/EU applicants are permitted to make a deferred application. International applicants are not permitted to make a deferred application.

Entry to Year 2 or Year 3

If you have successfully completed year 1 of a degree course at another institution and wish to continue your studies at LCC, you can identify the point of entry as year 2 on your application, and consideration will be given by the course admissions tutor.

LCC will consider applications for entry at Year 3 in exceptional cases only.

Referral to alternative UAL courses

The University operates a cross-referral system, where applicants can be considered for and offered a place on an alternative course, if the admissions tutor feels they are more suited to that course. If you wish to opt out of the cross-referral process you can do so at the application form stage.


For further information on Erasmus and UAL exchange schemes, please visit the Erasmus and Non-Erasmus Exchanges section on the UAL website.

International applicants can apply through either of the following routes:

If you are applying through UCAS you will need the following information:

  • University code: U65
  • Course code: WPF3

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

Further information on applying via UCAS is provided on the University Applying through UCAS page.

For full details on the application process, visit the Undergraduate application page.

Making a deferred application (for entry in 2020/21)

International applicants are not permitted to make a deferred application.

Entry to Year 2 or Year 3

If you have successfully completed year 1 of a degree course at another institution and wish to continue your studies at LCC, you can identify the point of entry as year 2 on your application, and consideration will be given by the course admissions tutor.

LCC will consider applications for entry at Year 3 in exceptional cases only.

Referral to alternative UAL courses

The University operates a cross-referral system, where applicants can be considered for and offered a place on an alternative course, if the admissions tutor feels they are more suited to that course. If you wish to opt out of the cross-referral process you can do so at the application form stage.

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.

After you apply

Communicating with you

After you have successfully submitted your application, you will receive an email confirming we have successfully received your application and providing you with your login details for the UAL Portal.  We will request any additional information from you, including inviting you to upload documents through the portal. You should check your UAL Portal regularly for any important updates and requests.

International applicants may be invited to interview in person at LCC, or via Skype if overseas or unable to attend. Details of this interview will be sent via the UAL Portal.

Immigration history check

International applicants, whether applying online via UCAS or through a UAL representative or by direct application, you will need to complete an immigration history check to establish whether you are eligible to study at UAL. If you do not complete the check, we will not be able to proceed with your application.

What happens next?

We will advise you of your application outcome through UCAS Track. If you are an International applicant and have applied directly or through an agent, we will notify you through the UAL Portal.

We invite all offer holders to come to London College of Communication to attend one of our Offer Holder events. Offer holders will have the chance to meet the team, find out more about the course, and see our diverse and vibrant student community in action.

Successful applicants will be guided through the rest of our admissions stages and towards enrolment on the course.

Deferring your place

If you are offered a place for 2019/20 but wish to defer to 2020/21, information on how to do this and who to contact can be found in your offer letter.

International applicants will have to pay a pre-payment in order to defer. In all cases, deferred places will be held for one year.

Fees & Funding

Home / EU Fee

£9,250 (2019/20).

Tuition fees for undergraduate degree courses have been set at £9,250 per year for full-time study. This applies from the 2019/20 academic year, subject to changes in the law. Tuition fees may increase in future years for new and continuing students, in line with an inflationary amount determined by government. Please visit our Undergraduate tuition fees page for more information.

International Fee

£19,930 (2019/20).

Additional costs

In addition to tuition fees you are very likely to incur additional costs such as travel expenses and the cost of materials. Please read the information on our additional costs page.


Find out about the accommodation options available and how much they will cost.

Scholarships and Awards

There are a number of scholarships and awards available to students on this course. Use our search tool to find out more information.

Scholarship search

Careers and alumni

After graduation, our students enter into a wide and varied range of professional practices working in art, illustration or 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 study at MA level.

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

Alumni include:


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