Illustration and Animation with Foundation Entry BA (Hons)

This course is validated by: Lancaster University

Course Information


Our Illustration and Animation with Foundation Entry degree course is designed for students who want to study Animation and Illustration, but don’t have the necessary formal qualifications or art portfolio to start the Honours degree programme just yet.

If you want a career as a professional Illustrator, Animator or a combination of both, then this creative and practical degree is right for you. The course is professionally focussed with great links to industry. Teaching staff include professional animators and experienced freelance Illustrators. You will use a wide range of techniques and media, ranging from traditional illustration and drawn animation to digital 3D character animation and motion graphics. You will learn about the history and context of animation and illustration to help make your work richer and better informed. We will work closely with you to develop your portfolio, online presence and employer contacts so that you will have the best possible chance of getting a job or becoming a freelancer when you graduate.

The Honours degree aims to equip you for a career in Illustration and Animation. We will help you find your unique talents and develop your skills in a friendly and supportive environment. As well as being supported to develop your own style and technique, you will also be introduced to a wide range of new concepts, skills and experiences that will broaden your horizons and make you a better artist and a more employable person.

The Beehive Student Design Company has been set up to provide our students with paid industry work experience. Working for the Beehive, you can produce real commercial Illustration and Animation projects whilst meeting employers and clients. The work you produce can be credited against your degree course modules - so you can be rewarded for learning. You will study a range of exciting modules that are designed to give you the knowledge and skills you need for a great career in Illustration or Animation.

What will I study?

In the first year of this programme you will study 3 modules in total. The two practical modules introduce you to a range of creative arts disciplines, approaches and techniques.

These modules have been designed to help you develop the skills you’ll need for higher level study of an arts subject. You will also develop an understanding of the requirements of degree level study and it will give you an opportunity to practise studying and taking part in University level assessments. In short, you will firm grounding for the subject you want study at degree level before starting your Honours degree.

The course is professionally focused with great links to industry. As well as your core modules, you will also attend guest lectures from a wide range of speakers in industry, go on studio and gallery visits, and have the opportunity to go on trips, including overseas travel. There are many opportunities for work-based learning through our student design company The Beehive, as well as placements in studios and creative agencies. In the second year of the course, you will be introduced to a range of approaches through carefully structured technical workshops, lectures and creative assignments with a focus on experimentation.

As you progress through years three and four, you develop your own personal practice with the emphasis placed increasingly on professionalism and commercial awareness. The course has a strong tradition of competition success and all students in the final year negotiate their assignments from a host of live opportunities and competition briefs. The course has formal agreements with several local studios. This means that you will have lessons in professional design studios, have lots of opportunities to work on real industry projects and get prestigious work placements.

The Motion Graphics module you will undertake in the later stages of the course is accredited by Apple.

Modules include:

In the first year you will study:

  • Preparing for Higher Education
  • Studio Practice 1 (Multidisciplinary)
  • Studio Practice 2 (Personal Project)

You will then move on to study the following modules in the 2nd, 3rd and final years of your course.

  • Contextual Studies
  • Design Process I
  • Illustration
  • Digital Illustration
  • Lens & Time-Based Media
  • Character Design
  • Narrative and Story
  • 2D Animation
  • 3D Animation
  • Critical Studies
  • Design Process II
  • Specialist Project
  • Design Business & Promotion
  • Book & Editorial Illustration
  • Narrative and Story
  • Animation & Character Design
  • Motion Graphics
  • Academic Dissertation
  • Professional Practice
  • Industry Context Projects
  • Final Major Project

Download the Programme Specification for BA (Hons) Illustration & Animation. The Programme Specification will give you further information about the course structure, learning outcomes and detailed information about the assessment you can expect during the course.

Entry Requirements

Applicants to the foundation year with A-level (or other level 3 qualifications) gained within 5 years of entry will required to have either a minimum 80 UCAS points from subjects related to their intended target award or a minimum of 120 UCAS points overall.

We welcome applications from mature students without formal qualifications for these courses or from mature students whose Level 3 qualifications were gained more than 5 years ago. If this applies to you will be interviewed before your course and offered a place on the basis of your previously gained skills and experience.

Overseas applicants will be admitted according to the above criteria using the UK equivalences of their formal qualification as specified by NARIC. Overseas students will be required to have certified English Language proficiency at IELTS level 5.5, Cambridge English: Advanced, or TOEFL 500. Alternatively, an overall pass in the UETESOL (University Entrance Test in English for Speakers of Other Languages) examination would be accepted.

All applicants for this programme will be required to have GCSE English Language grade C or higher, or a directly equivalent qualification, or be able to demonstrate equivalent knowledge.

Please note: For 2017 entry the UCAS Tariff is changing and the UCAS points required to enter this programme will be different from 2016. For those joining this programme in September 2017, you will need to have 32 UCAS Tariff points. All other entry criteria (as specified above) remain in place.

If you require more information on the UCAS tariff for 2017 entry please visit:

If you are an International Student from outside of the EU it is a requirement for you to have a Tier 4 Visa in order to study with us. In order for you to undertake this particular programme of study, you will also need to demonstrate that you have a good level of written and spoken English and will require a UK VI Academic IELTS score of 6. Please note: the fees for International Students from outside of the EU, for this particular programme are £9,250 per year. Fees are subject to change in subsequent years.

How will I be assessed?

In the first year your assessment is designed to give you a flavour of how you will be assessed in the later stages of the course. Assessment takes the form of group projects, essays, assignments/briefs, presentations including group presentations, portfolio building, peer assessment, a dissertation and a studio and exhibition assessment at the end of your final year.

Formative and summative assessments enable lecturers or tutors to monitor the learning that has/is taking place. Summative assessment is not always noticeable by the student as it is a continuous process; lecturers or assessors may observe participation and responses to class discussions and group work, a student’s response to question and answer sessions, participation in workshop practical and engagement with demonstrations. Each module is formally assessed through, for example, examination, open-book test, individual and group presentation, essay, observation of practice, assessment of course work e.g. art portfolio, written report, reflective practice and portfolios of evidence.

Students receive both formal and informal feedback. Formal feedback is through assessments, is usually in writing and given within 3 weeks following the submission date. However, some lecturers will provide group feedback, for example, following an examination they may choose to work through the exam paper in a tutorial. It should be noted that feedback is part of the ongoing learning cycle which is not limited to written feedback. Other forms of feedback include one-to-one meetings with a personal tutor, dissertation and project supervision meetings, a lecturer responding to learner questions or responses during topic or situation discussions.

Teaching and Learning

The learning environment and facilities include lecture theatres, classrooms, technology suites, laboratories and workshops, library and skills labs, art and photography studios, small group and quiet zones. Learning methods will vary according to the programme of study but will include lectures and group tutorials. In addition, seminars, field trips, work placements, role play or scenario activities, laboratory and workshop practical, demonstrations, guest lectures, discussions and debates all contribute to the learning experience to support the acquisition of subject specific skills and knowledge and the development of transferable and employment related skills.

What can I do next?

The majority of our graduates go on to relevant employment upon completion of their studies. We work closely with local employers and have a good track record of getting our students into their chosen career.

Some of the careers that graduates of this programme have moved into include: a University Lecturer in Animation, Media Officer (working with young people), Freelance Illustrator, Freelance Animator, Children’s Book Animator, Visual Effects Artist and a Videographer amongst others.

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"It was great to see the whole-hearted student engagement with the Summer Show. In previous years students have not fully appreciated the importance of participation in the event, but this has now been overcome and it was obvious that engagement was much improved on previous years, so well done to the staff team for this." 


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