If you are applying for this course from outside the UK/EU, click apply now.
Course starts: 14 September 2020Apply now
If you are applying for this course from within the UK/EU, click apply now.
Course starts: 14 September 2020Apply now
If you are passionate about drawing and are full of creative ideas then this course will cultivate your talent. At Sunderland we encourage students to push the boundaries of illustration. The course blends traditional techniques with computer technology, such as virtual reality and 3D design.
Your first year combines an exploration of design principles, printmaking and drawing. You will then pursue a specialist study of illustration during your second and third years.
Perfect your craft alongside experienced academics, all are practicing professionals at the cutting edge of their field; they bring their industry insights and experience directly into their teaching.
Offering a year-round programme of exhibitions, events and performances, Sunderland Culture brings big-name artists from the worlds of contemporary visual arts, glass, ceramics and performance to the city, alongside showcasing the best and most exciting local talent. There is a huge range of opportunities for students to visit the venues, take part in events and get involved in the programme. Learn more about Sunderland Culture.
Teaching sessions are made up of a combination of personal one to one meetings with design tutors and group critiques designed to encourage team working and to create a community vibe among the year groups. This is supported by lectures, seminars, workshops and independent learning. You will have access to studio spaces outside of teaching time, which facilitates reflection on work and peer evaluation.
Feedback is given regularly during teaching sessions and at the end of the semester in order for you to develop your work to the highest standard and also to reflect on how you might have approached the project differently.
Your first year of study introduces you to a range of different media and focuses on the fundamental skills of illustration including observational drawing, printmaking, animation and digital drawing and painting. You will then progress onto stages 2 and 3 where you will narrow your focus and develop your own personal style of illustration through open briefs based on real-world commercial projects.
You will have the opportunity to exhibit your work at the end of year degree show. The show is open to the public and invited guests in order for you to showcase your portfolio and meet potential employers from the design sector.
Students can study part-time and must pass 80 credits per year to progress to the next stage. 360 credits must be gained over the whole three years to graduate (the same number as full-time students).
View our student galleries.
Some modules have prerequisites. Read more about what this means in our Help and Advice article.
Our typical offer is
If your qualification is not listed above, please contact the Student Administration team at firstname.lastname@example.org for further advice.
We also require three passes at GCSE grade C or above, which must include Mathematics and English Language, or an equivalent qualification, for example; a minimum of Level 2 Key Skills in Communication and Application of Number. If you have studied for a new GCSE for which you will be awarded a numerical grade then you will need to achieve a grade 4 or above.
If English is not your first language we will require an International English Language Testing System (IELTS) with an overall score of 6.0 and at least 5.5 or higher in each component: reading, writing, listening and speaking. An alternative approved Secure English Language Test (SELT) can also be considered if the applicant's element scores are equivalent to those required for IELTS.
If the above criteria is met you will be asked to attend an interview. For this interview please prepare a portfolio of work, which should be simply mounted and accompanied by preparatory work. Sketchbooks are an important feature of your preparatory work and should be included. Where possible, 3D and large 2D work should be photographed. Digital and screen-based work should be saved on a CD or memory stick.
If you are an international applicant, please supply your portfolio on a CD.
Suitable items for a portfolio include:
Drawing: examples of observed drawing and exploratory drawing
Projects: evidence of project work together with your sketchbooks and development work
Self-initiated work: that you have done out of personal interest
Research: examples of various forms of investigation undertaken for projects
Writing: examples of reports, essays or journals
The annual, full-time fee for this course is:
The part-time fee for this course is £6,935 per 120 credits.
If you are not sure whether you qualify as a UK, EU or international student, find out more in our Help and Advice article.
Take a look at the Your Finances section to find out about the scholarships and bursaries that may be available to you.
This information was correct at the time of publication.
Throughout the course you will build a creative and industry ready portfolio that will help you launch a career as an illustrator or graphic designer, or take up any other roles where creative skills are important. You'll exhibit your work at our final year Degree Show, visited by industry professionals and creative employers and may have the opportunity to take your work to London.
Our graduates have gone on to work in a variety of illustration and design roles, such as freelance illustrators for Oxford University Press, The Guardian newspaper, Hallmark cards, design studios at the Open University and Virgin's design department. Other students have gone on to be employed in design companies throughout the UK and many choose to progress onto our MA Design course.
Our graduates go on to have diverse careers. One of our graduates works for a publishing house in Japan, dealing with the design and illustration of children's wildlife books. Another was offered a three-book contract at a New Designers Graduate Show and has subsequently won further contracts for illustrations.
Many graduates also operate as freelancers as part of a 'portfolio career' alongside other creative work. They create illustrations for advertising, packaging and editorial purposes. Whatever route you choose, your course will put you on a fast track to getting work published and recognised.
You will have opportunities to apply for internships and other live projects where you can work alongside professional illustrators and designers.
In addition, our academic team organises visits to arts and design venues and companies in London and across the UK. This is to provide you with the opportunity to travel around London and visit illustration agencies, design studios and experience private viewings of famous artwork at the British Museum.
We hold specific 'employability days' to help give you that essential cutting edge. We invite former graduates and employers to come into the University to look at student portfolios and give advice.
Through our connection with the Association of Illustrators and strong links with professional illustrators, we are able to attract a range of top names to give guest lectures. The input of these internationally-known speakers helps broaden your learning and provide fresh perspectives.
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