skip to main content

London College of Communication

an image

BA (Hons) Illustration and Visual Media

Start date
September 2018
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

The next Open Day for this course is on Saturday 17 November

Book your place

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

Latest news


A close-up of the moveable type available in the Letterpress area.

Printing and Finishing

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

A tutor in the process of producing a print.


This workshop offers a wide-range of expertise in everything from etching to lithography.

The Digital Space, London College of Communication.

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.

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.

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.

In addition, the provision of course options which depend upon the availability of specialist teaching, or on a placement at another institution, cannot be guaranteed. Please check this element of the course with the course team before making a decision to apply.

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 (Hons) Illustration and Visual Media

Mike  Nicholson

Mike Nicholson

Associate Lecturer, BA (Hons) Illustration and Visual Media

Chris  Ratcliffe

Chris Ratcliffe

Associate Lecturer, BA (Hons) Illustration and Visual Media

Juliet  Sugg

Juliet Sugg

Associate Lecturer, BA (Hons) Illustration and Visual Media

Rachel Emily Taylor

Rachel Emily Taylor

Associate Lecturer, BA (Hons) Illustration and Visual Media

How to apply

Applications for 2018/19 entry for this course are now closed. Applications for 2019/20 entry will open in Autumn 2018.

This section includes information on how to apply, course entry requirements, selection criteria, information about interviews and portfolio advice.

You must apply through Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS), where you’ll need the following information:

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

Go to 'Apply' from the UCAS home page, 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.

We have recently made changes to our application process for Home/EU applicants. To find out more, view the Undergraduate Application Process page.


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


Deferring an Offer

If you are offered a place for 2018/19 but wish to defer to 2019/20, information on how to do this and who to contact can be found in your offer letter.

International applicants will have to pay a deposit in order to defer.

In all cases, deferred places will be held for one year.

Making a Deferred Application (during 2018/19 for entry in 2019/20)

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

Applications for 2018/19 entry for this course are now closed. Applications for 2019/20 entry will open in Autumn 2018.

International applicants can apply through either of the following routes:

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.

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.


Deferring an Offer

If you are offered a place for 2018/19 but wish to defer to 2019/20, information on how to do this and who to contact can be found in your offer letter.

International applicants will have to pay a deposit in order to defer.

In all cases, deferred places will be held for one year.

Making a Deferred Application (during 2018/19 for entry in 2019/20)

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

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 minimum entry requirements for this course are:

64 UCAS tariff points gained at GCE Advanced (A) Level or equivalent. (A-level subjects studied may include: English; History; Media; Business; Art and Design, or other subjects within Social Sciences). Ideally your A-levels will be achieved at grade C or above.


One subject at A-level achieved at grade C or above PLUS Foundation Diploma in Art & Design (Level 3/4).

Alternatively, you will be considered if you have achieved a minimum of 64 UCAS tariff points from one of the following qualifications:

  • BTEC Extended Diploma.
  • UAL Extended Diploma in Art and Design.
  • Access to HE Diploma.
  • International Baccalaureate Diploma.
  • Equivalent EU or Non-EU qualifications.

Additionally, you will have achieved passes at grade C or above in at least three GCSE subjects.

If you are applying on the basis of your previous experience, you should apply as normal via UCAS. You will then be guided by the admissions team on next steps of the AP(e)L process, through either Accreditation of Experiential Learning (AEL) or Accreditation of Certificated Learning (ACL).

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.

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 (or equivalent) is required, with a minimum of 5.5 in each of the four skills.
  • You can check you have achieved the correct IELTS level on our language requirements page.

Student selection - what do we look for?

As part of your application, you will be asked to submit a full portfolio of work. We make our offers based on the strength of the whole application, and therefore don’t routinely invite applicants to interview.

The course admissions tutors will review the following key elements when making a decision on your suitability to join the course:

  • Most importantly they will review your personal statement and the quality of the uploaded portfolio.
  • They will consider your qualifications (or projected results).
  • They will review your academic or personal references.
  • International applicants may be invited to interview in person at LCC, or via Skype if overseas or unable to attend.

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.

Selection criteria

The portfolio, along with the details on your UCAS application (including the academic reference and your personal statement) will be used by the course admissions tutors to assess your suitability 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.

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.

What happens next

We invite all offer holders to come to LCC, from January onwards, 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.

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:

Order a college guide



Find us