The Foundation Year will allow you to develop your academic study skills and build confidence in your abilities, identifying your own strengths and development needs for progression onto the undergraduate degree in Illustration. The Design and Visual Communications module starts you off, and introduces you to a broad spectrum of basic graphic design and illustration skills relevant and necessary for successful further study.
On our BA (Hons) Illustration Course we start you off in the broad spectrum of visual communication in your first year, sampling all areas of graphic and illustration practice, using your own studio space as your creative base.
You may also be interested in our three year BA (Hons) Illustration.
All the skills you need for a career as an Illustrator
This course gives you many opportunities to explore the diverse world of illustration. Whatever your chosen field within image-making, whether it be vector art, pictograms or storytelling. You’ll work on a diverse range of creative projects written by the course team, as well as external competition and/or industry briefs. We give you the freedom to write your own briefs and start realising your ideas. You’ll also work with professional illustrators who will critique your work and help you improve your illustrations. Group work with others helps prepare you for working in the professional world where you will have to generate ideas and present them to clients.
As an illustrator, you’ll probably work freelance. We’ll help equip you with really important skills in preparing you for a successful career through lectures, seminars workshops as part of our Professional Studies and Professional Practice modules. When you go out into the world, knowing how to manage your own projects will be crucial. We show you all about the business and how to keep your head above water in today’s complex professional world.
More to design than using computer software
Our design studio and workshops have a stunning range of equipment for you to realise your ideas. We don’t restrict you to using computer software, even though we have everything from the Adobe Creative Suite programs to plotter cutters and photo studios. You can craft beautiful design solutions using our silkscreen, letterpress, and litho equipment, as well as our laser cutting and 3D printing technology. We help sure you get as hands-on with our equipment as possible. And our experienced staff are around to assist you getting set up.
More placements, more choices
Bucks is a Placements Plus university. So, whatever degree you do, you can be sure there’ll be plenty of industry-relevant opportunities on offer, to help you get into your chosen field.
We’ll also prepare you for work beforehand, with special skills for work training, further boosting your CV, and building skills employers will value. In recognition of the value we place on these skills we have incorporated this experience into your study time.
Placements Plus is all about helping you get some valuable experience under your belt while you’re a student. To increase your choices later, and help you get the graduate-level job you want.
Our teaching team consists of seasoned professionals who have worked, or are working, in the creative industries in their specialist disciplines.
With London only a short train ride away, you’re never too far from inspiration. We have many visiting designers from the capital running workshop-based sessions in fields as diverse as stencil print, bookbinding, branding, ideas generation, storytelling, and ethical design.
Recent visiting professionals have included Rob Flowers, Neil Coxhill, Sam Piyasena, and other graduate image-makers.
Enjoy illustrating abroad as well as on our campus
Our second-year students get the chance to study on Erasmus, a European exchange programme. You’ll have the opportunity to study design in creative institutes in countries including Belgium, France, Greece and Germany.
As well as running educational trips to London, we also have a first-year trip to a European destination such as Amsterdam, Paris or Barcelona, plus a second-year visit to New York in the spring, with visits to agencies, design, film and multi-media companies.
Start building your creative network on campus
On campus, you’ll work in a design studio alongside a diverse community of designers, each working on their own projects and sometimes together on live briefs. Some of our live projects have come from companies and design studios, such as Laithwaites Wine, Faber Publishing, Mind Design, and Creative Review.
You’ll be part of a creative community. You’ll study in a close-knit group of dedicated image-makers where you know everyone. Not only will you make friends for life, you’ll also make important industry connections that will last through your career.
What are my career prospects
We have a good employment rate with many of our graduates going into work or further education after the course. As you develop a wide range of skills and abilities ready for your career, you’ll be able to specialise in a multitude of different areas. We have graduates in typography, illustration, web design, advertising, publishing and some have started their own companies in the industry.
We’re really proud of our graduates, whose profiles tell their own story:
- Rob Flowers successful freelance illustrator represented by Blink Art
- Alex Tait is a successful freelance image-maker represented by Jelly Agency
- Elissa Gay commissions illustration at Random House Publishing
- Laura Carlin, who won first prize in the V&A Illustration Awards, is represented by Heart Agency, and her work is seen in the national press.
How will you help me prepare for my future career?
Throughout your time with us we’ll support you on the route to your chosen career. We’ll help you to develop crucial skills, encouraging you to become enterprising, employable and good leaders.
We encourage work placements, giving you the opportunity to develop your skills in a work background. Our modules and teaching expertise will help you become more independent as a learner and more certain of your discipline expertise.
We also help you find employment after graduation. Have a look at our Careers and Employability pages to find out more.
The Big Deal
At Bucks, we believe in putting our students first. That’s why our Students’ Union have developed our exclusive ‘Big Deal’ package. We’re the only university in the UK to offer free access to such a diverse and exciting range of activities – all to enrich the university experience.
We offer FREE events and entertainment, additional skills workshops, sports, recreational activities, societies and paid student rep schemes. All at one of the top 10 Students’ Unions in the UK. It’s a big deal!