Foundation Degree in Illustration (SHU) Year 1 - Full Time

Course Overview

Illustration means ‘to illuminate’; to make clearer. This course is ideal if you love drawing and creating, whether that be using pencil, plasticine or plywood. There are no boundaries to how you make ‘work’ in illustration (other than the limits of your own imagination) and ‘anything goes’, so long as the medium fits the message. Ideas matter. You should love reading, thinking, questioning and having informed opinions. You should be open-minded, willing to challenge and question. We work with individuals to bring out what is ‘innate’. Combining personal expression with an understanding of the industry we help you to find your personal visual language. We aim to foster a warm and friendly studio environment, where like-minded creative people can work together.

Course Requirements

All applications will be considered individually however offers will usually be based on:

64 UCAS points (those with 48 UCAS points will be considered for an interview)
BTEC Level 3 qualification (2 years) in relevant subject
Other related Level 3 qualifications
Normally 4 GCSEs at grade C or above (or numeric score of 4/5 under newly reformed GCSE grading), including maths or English
An Access to Higher Education Diploma in relevant area

Related work experience will be considered in place of formal qualifications

Course Assessment

We use a wide range of assessment methods throughout the course. You will be encouraged to assess yourself and others as part of your studies. The course values self-evaluation and the ability to reflect on learning. You will receive regular verbal and written feedback throughout the year and there are key assessment points when summative feedback is provided.

Course Finance

Please contact the College for further information.An external hard drive
Optional – residential trip to Europe in November

Course Includes

Course Composition:
Level 4 modules titles are as follows:
Research Through Drawing (20 credits)
Issues in Society (20 credits)
Audience, Purpose, Place (60 credits)
Context 1 (20 credits)

Level 5 Module titles are as follows:
Digital Platforms (20 credits)
Future Self (20 credits)
Illustrator / Authorstrator (60 credits) Context 2 (20 credits)


Foundation Degree (FdA) Illustration

Course Potential Careers

Students will be industry ready by the end of Level 5 and have a portfolio of work ready to take into industry.
To this end, students of the programme may seek employment as a free-lance illustrator, seeking clients for publishing, children’s books, editorial work and also using entrepreneurial opportunities to create their own content for various commercial applications. They can also graduate to become involved in graphic design, art direction (in graphics or advertising), animation, web design, surface design, or arts-based projects within the community.
They will have the option also to go on to do the articulated Level 6 Top-Up at a Sheffield Hallam University or another university, this could lead to further study on an M.A. programme or other post-graduate study, including teaching in primary, secondary or post compulsory education.

Course Dates

September 2019 - June 2021

Course Times

10:00 - 16:00

Email Contact

Examining Body

Validated By: Sheffield Hallam University

Hours Per Week

12.5 hours per week

Phone Contact

0300 300 0090

Programme Structure

This programme aims to provide education and training for a range of careers in art, craft and design and is particularly orientated towards those wishing to pursue a career in ‘illustration’. The Modules explore the subject in its’ broadest sense. From ‘making’, working with media and materials,to drawing, printing and digital technology - how you make pictures is open for you to determine. We help guide and hone your working method to be able to solve a range of problems.

The course provides opportunities for you to develop knowledge, skills and understanding of being a both a commercial and authorial illustrator. You will work on a range of industry-based briefs such as, editorial, book covers, posters, packaging and children’s books.

As well as the practical knowledge of solving these client briefs, you will develop industry insight, with talks from practitioners, live briefs and understand how to working with clients and gain a solid understanding of the professional attributes and skills needed to succeed in this industry.

Professional Development (PDP) is embedded into Level 4 & 5 key Modules, where industry led projects are briefed. Personal ambition is also identified to help tailor portfolios’ to desired goals.

Supporting your studies are ‘context’ sessions, which provide cultural and critical underpinnings of your developing practice and also investigates societal and historical themes. You will learn in a highly supported environment with experienced staff to guide your learning. By the end of the year, you will have a gained a greater level of independence and confidence in the communication and presentation of your work to take it to the next level.


30-34 weeks