BA (Hons) Illustration (with Foundation Year)

Course details

  • Year of entry 2022
  • Duration 4 YRS (FT)
  • UCAS Tariff 48-72
  • Institution Code G53
  • Location Wrexham
*Subject to re-validation
An illustration student works in his sketchbook

Course Highlights

8th in the UK

for teaching quality (Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide 2022)*

2nd in Wales

for career prospects (The Guardian University Guide 2022)*

Live briefs

available, working with real clients

Why choose this course?

This degree in Illustration will help you develop both your illustrative style and flair for creative image-making. The course covers the practical, professional and artistic sides of working as an Illustrator with an individual artistic voice, equipping you for a successful career in the creative industries.

You will:

  • Learn how to create compelling images, work to professional standards and understand how your work fits into the industry.
  • Be introduced to a broad range of creative skills, from the generation of ideas to their technical production through printmaking, bookbinding, 3D materials, life drawing, traditional and digital media, with an emphasis on drawing and the development of a unique personal style.
  • Be introduced to professional creative processes and be encouraged to expand your abilities through workshops and practical projects.
  • Learn how to interpret a brief, identify and solve problems, develop creative individuality and produce a professional portfolio.
  • Gain personal, professional and entrepreneurial skills including working as a freelance artist: from marketing and self-promotion to contracts, invoices and working with clients.
  • Be encouraged to work on live briefs and competitions.
  • *Study a course that is part of a subject area rated 1st in the UK for satisfaction with assessment, 2nd in Wales for career prospects and 3rd in Wales for satisfaction with teaching and satisfaction with the course in the Design and Crafts subject league tables, The Guardian University Guide 2022.
  • *Study a course that is part of a subject area rated 8th in the UK for teaching quality and 3rd in Wales for student experience in the Art and Design subject league tables, Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide 2022.

Art and Designat WGU

Key course features

  • Includes a foundation year to prepare you for further study.
  • You will be part of a vibrant and creative community of commercial artists including children’s book artists, illustrators, animators, game artists and designers.
  • You will be taught by a teaching team with a broad range of experience working professionally in the illustration and creative industries.
  • We encourage our students to self-publish and learn how to produce high-quality production prototypes to pitch to the publishing industry through the use of our in-house Bindery.
  • Our students have won illustration prizes and awards such as the Oxford University Press Illustration competition, the Macmillan Children’s Book Competition, the Caldecott Society and D&AD awards and been nominated for prestigious Eisner and Silver Reuben Awards.
  • *This course is part of a subject area rated 1st in the UK for satisfaction with assessment, 2nd in Wales for career prospects and 3rd in Wales for satisfaction with teaching and satisfaction with the course in the Design and Crafts subject league tables, The Guardian University Guide 2022.
  • *This course is part of a subject area rated 8th in the UK for teaching quality and 3rd in Wales for student experience in the Art and Design subject league tables, Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide 2022.

What you will study


The foundation year will introduce you to the key elements of art and design, including graphic design, animation, illustration, photography, and film, applied and fine art.  You will explore the creative thought process relating to various art and design disciplines, developing your ability to put ideas down on paper quickly.  There will be a range of practice assignments that will increase your recognition of strong ideas and original concepts.


  • Visual Investigation
  • Materials and Methods
  • Creative Processes
  • Progression Project
  • The Skills You Need
  • Contextual Studies


Level 4 introduces students to the fundamental principles of illustration that will help you develop your illustrative style. This includes developing an understanding of the tools and creative techniques you will be using, the historical contexts and theories of illustration, print, production, bookbinding techniques and an understanding of the illustration industry.


  • Visual Communication
  • Media & Techniques
  • Contextual Studies 1
  • Ideas & Concepts
  • Print & Production
  • Creative Futures 1 


Level 5 enables students to develop their individual approach to character design, the role of illustration in society, the conceptual aspects of illustration, the practicalities of preparing work for production as well as exploring the fundamentals of running a business as a freelancer.


  • Characters in Context
  • Illustration in Action
  • Contextual Studies 2
  • Conceptual Illustration
  • Print & Publishing
  • Creative Futures 2


Level 6 is negotiated. You will work with staff to pitch the projects that demonstrate your illustrative style, your skills and abilities, your ambition and your understanding of the illustration industry.


  • Negotiated Practice
  • Contextual Studies 3
  • Creative Futures 3
  • Illustration Degree Project

The information listed in this section is an overview of the academic content of the programme that will take the form of either core or option modules. Modules are designated as core or option in accordance with professional body requirements and internal academic framework review, so may be subject to change.

Entry requirements & applying

Our general requirement for the foundation year is 48-72 UCAS tariff points but all applications are considered individually and we consider work experience, vocational training/qualifications, as well as motivation and potential to succeed.

Where possible, we like to interview all of our applicants in person. If this is problematic, we can arrange a digital portfolio review or an online interview.

In your portfolio we love to see you demonstrate your drawing ability. You can show this by showing life drawing, sketchbook work as well as your final pieces. We would normally expect students hoping to specialise in graphic novels or children’s publishing to show examples of comics or children’s book illustration work they have produced.

Teaching & Assessment

The majority of the active teaching and learning is studio/workshop based and practical in nature supported with lectures, demonstrations, tutorials, seminars and critiques and talks by specialist guest speakers.

Illustration students are assessed in a variety of ways over the course of their degree, from individual tutorials, group critique, peer assessment and presentation of final artwork. Feedback is tailored individually to help you develop your artwork to a professional standard.

Wrexham Glyndŵr University is committed to supporting our students to maximise their academic potential.

We offer workshops and support sessions in areas such as academic writing, effective note-making and preparing for assignments. Students can book appointments with academic skills tutors dedicated to helping deal with the practicalities of university work. Our student support section has more information on the help available.

In terms of particular needs, the University’s Inclusion Services can provide appropriate guidance and support should any students require reasonable adjustments to be made because of a recognised prevailing disability, medical condition, or specific learning difference.

Career prospects

Our Careers & Employability service is there to help you make decisions and plan the next steps towards a bright future. From finding work or further study to working out your interests, skills and aspirations, they can provide you with the expert information, advice and guidance you need.

Students studying Illustration at the School of Creative Arts have gone on to working in a variety of jobs and industries. Many go on to work as freelance illustrators, book designers, comic artists, storyboard artists, character designers and roles in the animation and games industry.


Fees & funding

You do not have to pay your tuition fees upfront.

Wrexham Glyndŵr University’s tuition fees for 2022/23 for a full-time undergraduate degree course are £9000 per year.

The fees you pay and the support available will depend on a number of different factors. Full information can be found on our fees & finance pages. You will also find information about what your fees include in the FAQs.


If you’re looking for a place to stay while you study then take a look at our accommodation pages to get more information on your options, including our on-campus halls of residence Wrexham Village.

Subject to re-validation

As part of its continuous quality assurance and enhancement, the University reviews its courses on a regular basis to ensure that they reflect the needs of students and employers. Periodic review of the existing programmes is required every five years and major changes may be made to the programmes during the re-validation process. As soon as the programmes are re-validated the details of the course will be confirmed. The majority of courses that are still ‘subject to re-validation’ are approved by the validation process; however, this is not guaranteed and should the course not go ahead as planned, or be significantly amended, you will be informed by the university and assistance will be provided to those who have been offered a place to find a suitable alternative course either at Wrexham Glyndwr University or at another provider.


If you are applying as an European / International Student, and live outside of the UK, you should make your application through our online application system, Centurus.

For information about the university’s entry requirements for EU/international students, please visit our international section