Formerly City College Brighton and Hove and Northbrook College

Illustration - BA (Hons) Degree

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Course Type: Degree and university-level Campus: West Durrington Campus Start Date: September 2020 Duration: 3 Years

This course provides an intensively creative experience that develops students’ individual styles through a wide range of workshops, seminars and illustration briefs. Students are encouraged to work in traditional, digital and innovative forms and techniques, preparing them for careers in the contemporary world of illustration.

Key features

  • Students are taught by award winning professional illustrators
  • Illustration is an art career with a lucrative and commercial market
  • Students win illustration prizes from global book publishers and agencies such as Macmillan and Plum Pudding
  • Alumni include Jamie Hewlett, creator of the virtual band Gorillaz

See list of all our creative arts degrees >


Validated by University of Brighton until the end of 2019-20. Validation by University of the Arts London (UAL) from September 2020: Please note that BA (Hons) Illustration is ‘subject to validation’. ‘Validation’ is the process by which UAL and the College develops courses. It is developmental in nature and makes sure students get a high quality academic experience. During validation there may be some changes to the course content displayed on this page. Please contact us if you have any questions about this course.

Course requirements

Portfolio and interview.

Individual offer conditions will vary. Normally a relevant A Level or Level 3 Extended Diploma.

Industry experience may be taken into account.

Please bring a portfolio of your work to interview, which should include samples of work in a wide range of media plus sketchbooks.

Cross-college entry guide

(including English requirements for international students) -

Click here to see the cross-college entry guide


A range of briefs provide students with the context to develop their work to professional standards. These cover areas such as children’s books, editorial, advertising, packaging and posters and make up the central content of your portfolio which, alongside various workshops and a web presence, will enable students to build a significant professional platform.

Year 1 - The first year engages students with gaining skills in a range of techniques alongside generating concepts, ideas and understanding the creative process through a number of projects.

Year 2 - The focus of the second year moves, through the application of skills, to developing market awareness and preparing for freelance workplace.

Year 3 - The third year is designed to develop creative thinking and encourage experimental, collaborative and conceptual work. The focus will be on the development of the student as an individual, capable of working both independently and collaboratively. Students will work on competition briefs set by industry and work will be sent for judging. 

The course also incluces a programme of visiting speakers.

Students will exhibit their work at the end of the course.


Year 1 and 2 modules:
Materials and Methods; Cultural, and Supporting Studies (CASS); Creative and Design Processes; Digital Design; Design Studies; Professional Studies; Minor Project; CASS – Critical Study; Professional and Business Practice; Professional Practice Briefs; Final Major Project

Year 3 modules:
Portfolio Studies; Final Major Project; Professional Practice; Creative Research Project

Course aims:

  • Develop and apply a detailed knowledge and critical understanding of illustrators’ working practices in publishing, advertising, editorial and design industries
  • Demonstrate an understanding of relevant principles and concepts and make connections, which inform their own practice and style
  • Develop new skills and competencies relevant to the professional working environment or further study
  • Demonstrate awareness, creativity and innovation in a professional context
  • Work in collaborative and interdisciplinary work related to environment in line with the industry led demands and trends
  • Conceive ideas for assignments to develop into final pieces ready for production
  • Apply knowledge of how to develop an idea or brief into a body of appropriate creative and innovative illustration work

Video tour of our campus

See students from different courses using the facilities at our creative arts specialist campus
(5-minute video)

Potential careers

  • Freelance illustrator
  • Animator
  • Children’s book illustrator
  • Editorial illustrator
  • Advertising and packaging designer
  • Visualizer
  • Graphic novel artist
  • Tattooist

Fees, student loans and bursaries

Additional costs for this course

Some materials are supplied but students are also expected to provide some of their own. This may total approximately £50 per year. 

  • alumni Views Myron Peteuil Illustration

    “Studying at the MET allowed me to fulfil my dream of becoming an illustrator. I have made lifelong friends who are amazing artists. My tutor, Alan Baker, is an amazing illustrator - such an inspiration, we were very lucky to have him share his knowledge and experiences with us.”

  • Illustration student work
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