Built on a foundation of narrative, drawing and image-making, the fundamental skills of illustration and animation are taught through a variety of mediums. You’ll benefit from studio-based learning, industry partnerships and be encouraged to publish your work throughout your studies.
You’ll study in The Cass’s unique studio system in East London and make use of an unrivalled range of creative facilities to make your work — including photographic studios, printmaking, ceramics and woodworking studios, and technology including 3-D printing, Risograph printing and laser-cutting.
Whether you’re creating a zine, a narrative for a start-up or a short film for digital publishing, this course is about telling stories and connecting with a variety of audiences.
A defining feature of the course is its focus on cross-disciplinary projects, allowing you to use a huge range of different mediums.
You’ll typically work on several client-led briefs throughout your studies. You’ll be encouraged to move between conventional illustration, animation and modern graphic technologies, with an emphasis on communicative and expressive drawing, screen-printing, printmaking, bookbinding, letterpress, drawn and stop motion animation, projection mapping, as well as digital and 3D illustration, using the latest industry-standard software.
The course prides itself on producing versatile makers in both artistic and commercial work. A typical destination for graduates may be in the field of illustration, animation, advertising, film & television, publishing, immersive theatre, visual effects, and art installation.
You’ll learn through our dedicated studios, curated by leading practitioners such as Nous Vous, Rachel Gannon, Emily Evans, Studio Cecilie and Gilles. We can provide excellent links to the industry and anticipate new developments in the field while also maintaining a respect for tradition. A high-profile lecture series – the Hothouse Talks – offers you the chance to engage with visionaries in the field of illustration and visual communication.
You’ll be assessed through project work, essays, individual practice and a final portfolio project including a dissertation. There are no examinations.
Portfolios and interviews
Your portfolio should be selective, but have enough work to show a range of your interests and talents. We are interested in seeing how you develop a project from beginning to end, not only finished work.
If you cannot bring certain pieces of your work to your portfolio interview, please take photographs and include them.
If you are coming in person to your interview we strongly suggest bringing a physical portfolio of work.
Things to bring:
- Sketchbooks– we love to see your sketchbooks with ideas and notes, even if they are messy.
- Examples of the development of a project from start to finish and the final outcome.
- Some work that you are really proud of and want to talk about.
- Some work that shows you experimenting with different processes.
- Illustration and Animation BA applicants are particularly encouraged to show sketchbooks that have drawing and image making in them.
If you are submitting an online application, please follow these guidelines.
Things to include:
- Scans or photographs demonstrating items from the list above.
- Storyboarding for motion-based work.
- Also include scans of sketchbook pages showing development.
Be sure to check the resolution and overall quality of your image to ensure submissions are not pixelated.
What our students say
„Intellectually stimulating. I have learned new techniques and my understanding of the subject has broadened. I have made some really good connections.”
„Tutors are the highlight of the University. You can see the passion they have for art and design, as well having the passion to teach us.”
„My dissertation tutor put me at ease and helped me a lot with writing.”
„The new studio idea is really successful and my studio leader is absolutely amazing.”
„An incredibly diverse cross section of students. A real incentive to want to work hard and produce a stunning range of work through dialogue with tutors… The opportunity to find myself, and despite having different career motives now, be fully supported by all staff in and around the subject area. A vast library spanning three different buildings. A university-wide ethos that stands for true social equality.”
„Excellent tutors and lecturers. A good range of facilities were available, all of which are well supervised by helpful technicians and tutors.”
„I have definitely learnt a lot over my three years, gained confidence in my work and met some brilliant people.”
National Student Survey
After the course
Upon successful completion of the degree, you’ll be equipped with the skills and attributes required to succeed in the complex and diverse world of illustration in the design and visual communication industries. Possible career destinations include publishing, editorial, graphic design, advertising, web-design, authorship and self-publication, concept design, film and theatre and freelance/commission-based illustration.