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Undergraduate

BA (Hons) Illustration and Visual Media

Katerina Demetriou-Jones, 2020. London College of Communication, BA (Hons) Illustration and Visual Media, UAL.
College
London College of Communication
Start date
September 2022
Course length
3 years
UCAS code
WPF3

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.

Applications closed 2021/22

We are no longer accepting applications for 2021/22 entry to this course. We don't yet know if places will become available before the autumn term. If they do, we will reopen applications.

Open Days

The next online Open Day for this course will be on Monday 1 November at 4.30pm.

The next College Tours for this course will take place on Saturday 16 October and Saturday 27 November.

Online Open Day

(Recorded March 2021)

Student work

  • Zhengyi-Wang.jpg
    , Zhengyi Wang, , 2020. BA (Hons) Illustration and Visual Media, UAL
  • Victoria-Estee-Boissonnas.jpg
    , Victoria Estee Boissonnas, 2020. BA (Hons) Illustration and Visual Media, UAL
  • Thomas-Lunnon.jpg
    , Thomas Lunnon, , 2020. BA (Hons) Illustration and Visual Media, UAL
  • Rina-Salee.jpeg
    , Rina Salee, , 2020. BA (Hons) Illustration and Visual Media, UAL
  • Ashleigh-Hewitt.jpeg
    , Ashleigh Hewitt, 2020. BA (Hons) Illustration and Visual Media, UAL.

Student Voices: Brogan Bertie

Graduate Brogan talks about their work, a tribute to Sylvia Revera from her 1973 speech "Ya'll better quiet down".

Student Voices: Jemimah Kabuye

Jemimah talks about her work which explores her personal journey with mental health dealing with anxiety.

Student Voices: Ellie Bond

Here Ellie talks about her project, starting out in Letterpress and then creating a virtual reality project.

Course stories

Facilities

  • 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.

  • Students using the computers in the Digital Space
    Student in Creative Technology Lab, 2020. London College of Communication, UAL. Photograph: Tim Boddy
    Creative Technology Lab

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

  • Student reading a book in between two bookshelves in the Library
    Students in the Digital Space. London College of Communication, UAL. Photograph: Alys Tomlinson
    The Digital Space

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

Course overview

BA (Hons) Illustration and Visual Media provides a distinctive, creative and stimulating environment where imagination and original ideas are nurtured, developed and realised. On this course, you’ll challenge and interrogate the potential of contemporary image-making within the creative industries.

What can you expect?

  • We offer a broad and interdisciplinary approach in an era with unparalleled opportunities for skilled visual communicators. Through deep enquiry and an awareness of wider social, cultural and political contexts, you’ll consider the role of the illustrator and image-maker, and be encouraged to question, validate and redefine the discipline both responsively and inventively.
  • You’ll cultivate an understanding of contemporary creative practice, critical debate and academic responsibility through a programme of studio practice, seminars, lectures, workshops, tutorial support and peer-learning opportunities.
  • This course fuses methodologies of graphic awareness, critical illustrative practices, visual thinking, authorship and emergent technologies. You’ll be given intellectual and creative space to examine and challenge existing definitions of ‘the image’ in contemporary visual culture alongside illustration and its impact, including consumption and production.
  • You’ll be encouraged to cultivate your own independent vision, and to approach work with curiosity, intellect and practical rigour. You’ll harness traditional, digital and time-based mediums through a diverse range of studio-based projects where you'll develop your practice and confidently build transferable skills.

Our strong, vibrant and supportive studio culture emphasises experimentation, investigation, imagination and invention, and we respond to problems in new and sustainable ways. You’ll be taught by staff who are successful professionals in a range of creative fields, each with an area of specialist research and practice that feeds directly into our stimulating learning environment.

Work experience and opportunities

Our curriculum focuses on collaboration, networking and shared entrepreneurial practices while developing your creative and authentic voice. We promote participatory learning through collaboration with external partners, and encourage you to become a responsive, adaptable and resourceful practitioner who can communicate in compelling ways with diverse audiences. 

Our fluid definition of illustration means that you can uniquely define the subject while challenging existing preconceptions and definitions of image-making. Through routine commercial and personal projects, you’ll develop a professional practice which will broaden your scope for future employment.

You’ll graduate with a rigorous, forward-facing portfolio that showcases work across sculpture, painting, installation, drawing, typography, photography, film, digital or print-based media, or a combination of these practices, with a high level of critical engagement with wider contexts.

Course Structure

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

The 1st block is of 15 weeks’ duration from late September 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.

Mode of Study

BA (Hons) Illustration and Visual Media runs for 93 weeks in full time mode. It is divided into 3 stages over 3 academic years. Each stage lasts 31 weeks.

Contact us

For queries relating to the Coronavirus outbreak, read our Coronavirus guidance for prospective students.

To register your interest and receive information and updates about studying at UAL, please complete this form.

If you can’t find the information you’re looking for or to ask a question, please contact us.

Course units

In 2019 UAL declared a Climate Emergency and pledged to ‘make sustainability a required part of the student learning experience’. In response to the climate and ecological crisis the Design School set in place an ambitious Sustainability Action Plan to fully embed responsible practices within the curriculum and in everything we do.

As part of this initiative we have updated our course handbooks against a set of social and environmental sustainability principles to ensure that learning outcomes reflect the urgent need to equip students with the understanding, skills and values to foster a more sustainable planet. Our aim is to change the way students think and to empower them to work towards a sustainable future. 

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

Introduction to Illustration and Visual Media (20 credits)
Visual Practices: Exploration and Play (40 credits)
Illustration Practices: Methods and Processes (40 credits)
Contextual and Theoretical Studies 1 (20 credits)

At the beginning of Year 1, 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’ll 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.

Year 1 will include introductory sessions to drawing, animation, computing and printmaking, which will involve a series of tutorials, seminars and workshops to help you build on the thinking, analysis and production essential for the creative process.

The Visual Practices: Exploration and Play unit will introduce you to research as practice through playful exploration. You will be encouraged to consider the possibilities of using image generation as a method to investigate a range of different subjects.

The Illustration Practices: Methods and Processes unit will show you how process led activities enhance and activate ideas generation through investigation and experimentation. You will also investigate the possibilities of generating impactful works that communicate to a wider audience.

Year 2

Professional Practices (20 credits)
Exploring Studio Practices (40 credits)
Situated Studio Practices (40 credits)
Contextual and Theoretical Studies 2 (20 credits)

In Year 2 you are encouraged to experiment and explore an individual and personal approach to your 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, 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 Exploring Studio Practices unit, you will increasingly broaden your understanding of illustration and visual communication through workshops that will enhance existing skills and develop new ones including drawing, combining text and image, developing narrative, sculptural and spatial practices, curation of visual content, and prototyping, interactive and experiential image works.

The Situated Studio Practices unit will involve the examination of professional structures and opportunities with external partners. You will be encouraged to develop diverse processes and outcomes based on a reflective and critical understanding of image making.

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.

Year 3

Route A

Contextual and Theoretical Studies 3 (40 credits)
Minor Studio Project (20 credits)
Major Project Studio (60 credits)

Route B

Contextual and Theoretical Studies 3 (20 credits)
Minor Studio Project (20 credits)
Integrated Practice (20 credits)
Major Project Studio (60 credits)

Year 3 is the culmination of your studies, focusing 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.

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. 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.

Assessment methods

  • Notebooks
  • Sketchbooks
  • Blogs
  • Evaluative reports
  • Essays

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 disability@arts.ac.uk 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

Home/EU/International

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:

80 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, Merit, Pass at BTEC Extended Diploma (preferred subjects: Art and Design, IT & Computing).
  • Merit 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 at 24 points minimum

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.

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.

Making your application

Apply for this course through the 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 26 January 2022 for equal consideration. However this course will consider applications after that date, subject to places being available.

Deferring your place

This course accepts requests from offer holders to defer their place for one academic year. Deferral requests are granted on a first-come, first-served basis until all deferral places are filled, or a deadline has been reached, whichever is sooner. Read our Admissions Policy for details, including how to request a deferral and by when.

Transfers

If you are currently studying somewhere else on a course in an equivalent subject area and would like to transfer to this course, you can transfer to:

  • Year 2, if you’ve completed 120 credits in Year 1
  • Year 3, if you’ve completely 240 credits in Years 1 and 2

Apply via UCAS and choose Year 2 or 3 for your POE (Point of Entry)

Please check our Student Transfer Policy for more important information and be ready to provide us with your current course handbook and Year 1/Year 2 unit transcripts.

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.

Erasmus

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

There are 2 ways international students can apply to an undergraduate course:

You must apply through UCAS, where you will need the following information:

  • University code – U65
  • UCAS 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, and for further advice for international applicants, please visit the UAL International Application page.

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.

Application deadline

We recommend you apply by 29 January 2021 for equal consideration. However this course will consider applications after that date, subject to places being available.

Deferring your place

This course accepts requests from offer holders to defer their place for one academic year. Deferral requests are granted on a first-come, first-served basis until all deferral places are filled, or a deadline has been reached, whichever is sooner. Read our Admissions Policy for details, including how to request a deferral and by when.

Transfers

If you are currently studying somewhere else on a course in an equivalent subject area and would like to transfer to this course, you can transfer to:

  • Year 2, if you’ve completed 120 credits in Year 1
  • Year 3, if you’ve completely 240 credits in Years 1 and 2

Apply via UCAS and choose Year 2 or 3 for your POE (Point of Entry)

Please check our Student Transfer Policy for more important information and be ready to provide us with your current course handbook and Year 1/Year 2 unit transcripts.

If you are an International applicant and studying outside the UK, please complete your Direct application and then contact us via your UAL Portal to ask to be considered for Year 2/Year 3.

Please be ready to provide an official document (translated into English) from your current university, explaining the learning outcomes of the units you have completed.

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.

If you have achieved or expect to achieve the standard entry requirements we will consider you for a place on the course.

We make our offers based on the strength of the whole application, and therefore don’t routinely invite applicants to interview.

International applicants may be invited to an online interview. Interview details will be sent via the UAL Portal.

Please add @arts.ac.uk to your contacts to ensure that you do not miss any important updates re: your application to UAL.

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.

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 attend one of our online Offer Holder events. This is your opportunity to meet the academic team and fellow offer holders, find out more about the course, and get a taste of what it will be like to study here.

Requesting feedback

This course receives a high number of applications, and we can’t provide feedback to everyone who is unsuccessful. We can only provide feedback after you’ve had an interview.

If you would like to request feedback – please email lcc.ukeu@arts.ac.uk if you are a Home or EU applicant, or lcc.international@arts.ac.uk if International. We are only able to provide feedback to you directly, or to someone you have told us in writing can receive it on your behalf

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

Fees and funding

Home fee

£9,250 per year

This fee is correct for 2021/22 entry and is subject to change for 2022/23 entry. Tuition fees may increase in future years for new and continuing students.

Home fees are currently charged to UK resident nationals. However, the rules are complex. Find out more about our tuition fees.

From 2021/22 entry, most EU students will be charged the International tuition fee rate, depending on your individual circumstances. If you started your course in October 2020 or earlier, you’ll continue to pay Home (UK) fees for the duration of your course. Read more advice for EU students.

International fee

£22,920 per year

This fee is correct for 2021/22 entry and is subject to change for 2022/23 entry. Tuition fees for international students may increase by up to 5% in each future year of your course.

Students from countries outside of the UK are currently charged international fees. The rules are complex so read more about our tuition fees.

From 2021/22 entry, most EU students will be charged the International tuition fee rate, depending on your individual circumstances. If you started your course in October 2020 or earlier, you’ll continue to pay Home (UK) fees for the duration of your course. Read more advice for EU students.

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: