Illustration and Animation with Foundation Entry BA (Hons)

Location: University Centre at Blackburn College
UCAS Code: FW26
Code: IA3070B16Z
Fees: View fees and financial information
Study Mode: Full Time
Duration: Full time: 4 academic years
Part time: N academic years
Start Dates: september 2021
Term Dates: View term dates

Our BA (Hons) Illustration and Animation with Foundation Entry degree is designed for students who want to study Illustration and Animation, 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 three-year BA (Hons) Illustration and Animation 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.

This is a three year Honours degree which 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.

Visit the Illustration and Animation BA (Hons) website for more information on this course.

What will I study?

At Level 3 study 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.

The course is professionally focussed 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.

At Level 4 study 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 Level 5 and Level 6, you will 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.

All students take a total of 120 credits per level.

Level 3 Modules (all modules are mandatory) include:

  • Preparing for Higher Education
  • Studio Practice I (Multidisciplinary)
  • Studio Practice II (Personal Project)

Level 4 Modules (all modules are mandatory) include:

  • Contextual Studies
  • Design Process I
  • Illustration
  • Digital Illustration
  • Lens & Time-Based Media
  • Character Design, Narrative and Story
  • 2D Animation
  • 3D Animation

Level 5 Modules (there are 7 mandatory modules and 1 optional modules from a choice of 2 as indicated by *) include:

  • Critical Studies
  • Design Process II
  • Specialist Project
  • Design Business & Promotion
  • Motion Graphics
  • Narrative and Story
  • Character Concept Design & Animation
  • Gaming Concepts*
  • Book & Editorial Illustration*

Level 6 Modules (all modules are mandatory) include:

  • Academic Dissertation
  • Professional Practice
  • Industry Context Projects
  • Final Major Project

Optional Modules

If we have insufficient numbers of students interested in an optional module, this may not be offered.  If an optional module will not be run, we will advise you as soon as possible and help you choose an alternative module.


Entry Requirements

You’ll need 32 UCAS points to join this programme (formerly 80 UCAS points) or 48 UCAS tariff points (formerly 120 UCAS points) from non art and design related subjects.

All applicants must show that they have a good level of spoken or written English, and if English is not your first language you’ll need to demonstrate the ability to study in English.

Applicants who do not meet the standard entry criteria but have relevant work / life experience will be considered on an individual basis and may be invited to interview. All applicants must attend a successful interview during which you should present portfolio of work indicating an awareness of what constitutes art and design theory and practice, competence in basic skills such as drawing or computing, and display an enthusiasm for the subject.  If requested in advance the Interview could be undertaken as an online interview eg skype.  Once we have received your application the Admissions team will be in contact with how to request the online interview.

How will I be assessed?

Throughout the course a full range of assessment techniques will be used. You could be assessed by examinations, including open-book examinations, practical assessments, assignments, briefs, essays, presentations (including group presentations), reports and portfolio building. 

Each module is formally assessed through, for example, open book examinations, group projects, essays, assignments or briefs, presentations, group presentations, portfolio building, self-assessments, peer assessments, studio/exhibition assessments and a dissertation.  This formal assessment will count towards your module mark and feedback is usually given within 3 weeks following the submission of your formal submission of work.

Additionally, some lecturers will provide informal 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. 

Feedback is intended to help you learn and you are encouraged to discuss it with your module tutor.

Teaching and Learning

The learning environment and facilities could 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.

You should typically expect to have around 15 contact hours per week if you are studying full time.

In addition, you will have timetabled meetings with your personal tutor.  

You will be taught by an experienced teaching team whose expertise and knowledge are closely matched to the content of the modules on the course.  The team could include senior academics, professional practitioners with industry experience, demonstrators and technical officers.  You can learn more about our staff by visiting our staff profiles.


On this course, students generally spend up to 3 days a week in College, if you choose to study the course full-time. As all course timetables are subject to change you should not make definite plans based on this information; this information is intended as a guide only. Please remember that you will be expected to carry out work in your own time in addition to the time you spend in College.

Overall Workload

You overall workload consists of class contact hours, around 15 hours of independent learning and assessment activity and any field trips which may take place.

Academic Support

We have a dedicated Student Engagement Team who will be able to provide support in the following areas;

  • Study Skills (including reading, note-taking and presentation skills)
  • Written English
  • Academic Writing (including referencing)
  • Research Skills

Additional costs

  • Year 1 Studio fees 2019/2020 £45 per year
  • Year 2 Exhibition fees 2019/2020 £60 per year
  • Year 3 Exhibition fees 2019/2020 £100 per year
  • Material and processes may incur an extra cost
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. Examples include former students who are now professional illustrators working in local and national design agencies, freelance illustrators, animators and many other graduates who go on to set up their own successful businesses. Recent graduates include:

  • Ryan Hammond - Animator on BBC Mashup
  • Michael Douglas - Animator for The Illuminated Film Company and DreamWorks
  • Neil Floyd - Managing Director of My Colourful Memories
  • Jo Fox - Children's author
Supplementary Information

Download the Programme Specification for BA (Hons) Illustration & Animation with Foundation Entry. 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.

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