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What makes Illustration at Worcester special?

Illustration is a visual language, and has a relationship with the text it addresses - each half of the partnership has different moves, but they have to work together.

At Worcester, you can be part of the global picture. With our emphasis on international collaboration and real-world experience, you will have the opportunity to develop your ideas and your portfolio, and will also have every chance to show them off in public exhibitions. Industry links with major illustrators and publishers from around the world, such as Axel Scheffler, means you can be a part of the international illustration community from day one.

Read the Worcester Illustration Course Blog.

Key features

  • 100% overall student satisfaction for Illustration (NSS 2017)
  • Work to real-world briefs provided for you by professional publishers
  • Home of the International Centre for the Picture Book in Society
  • Award-winning lecture staff have extensive experience as professional illustrators
  • Opportunities to exhibit your work nationally and internationally, as well as field trips within the UK and overseas
  • Celebrate your achievements and showcase your talent with our final year Degree Show, housed within the Georgian splendour of the Charles Hastings Building. Your chance to share your work with top industry professionals
100% satisfaction

This course received 100% overall student satisfaction (NSS 2017)

Find out more

Entry requirements

What qualifications will you need?


UCAS tariff points

Entry requirements

104 UCAS tariff points

Shortlisted applicants may be invited to attend an interview and to provide a portfolio for consideration


Other information

If you have any questions about entry requirements, please contact the Admissions Office on 01905 855111 or email for advice.

Further information about the UCAS Tariff can be obtained from   

Some recent student work

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Course content

What will you study?

Here is an overview of current modules available on this course. Regular updates may mean that exact module titles may differ.

Year 1


  • Drawing for Illustrators
  • Illustration and Printmaking
  • Illustration: Digital Processes
  • Illustration: Origins and Function
  • Image and text


  • Origins and Function
  • Character and Characterisation  
  • Design: Skills & Theory
  • Creative Digital Imaging
  • Creative Typography
  • Life Writing
  • Optional modules offered by the Language Centre

Year 2

  • Visual Statement
  • Illustration Forms and Genres
  • Entrepreneurial Practices
  • Location drawing and Reportage


  • 2-D Animation
  • Stop Motion 
  • Digital Photography
  • Graphic Design: Publication
  • Children’s book design
  • Sequential Illustration
  • Environmental Writing
  • Optional modules offered by the Language Centre 

Year 3


  • Final Research Project
  • Professional Practice
  • Contemporary Practice           
  • Authorial Practice



  • Negotiated Project

Accommodation: Your home from home

Find out more

With over 1,000 single-occupancy rooms across our campuses, we offer contemporary accommodation to suit a variety of budgets and needs.

The International Centre for the Picture Book in Society

The International Centre for the Picture Book in Society is a new centre being developed by the University of Worcester. Its aims are:

  • To provide an international focus in the UK for the making and study of the picture book, defined in their broadest sense (children's books, comics, hand-made books, 'zines, educational books, e-books and graphic novels)
  •  To promote a multi-cultural approach to engaging 'society' in its broadest terms with picture books, embracing minorities and socially disenfranchised people

To nurture new UK awareness of non-Anglophone picture book making, establishing a platform for showcasing picture books published across the globe.

Visit the Centre's website to find out more

  • Case study

    Cheryl Howard

    Cheryl Howard is the 2013/14 winner of the Worcestershire County Council Illustration scholarship. Her work was exhibited in the New Art West Midlands exhibitions (Birmingham Art Museum and the Barber Art Institute) as well as in the Creative Quarterly in New York. Cheryl says of her experience on the course:

    “The support and advice on the Illustration course at Worcester have enabled me to discover strengths in my own visual language. Through embracing the modules to try different media, including print making and collage, it challenged me to understand different briefs and what would enable a strong visual concept.”

  • Case study

    Kathryn Martin

    Since graduating from the University of Worcester, Kathryn Martin has been studying for an MA in Visual Communication at the Royal College of Art in London. During her first year at RCA, she has participated in two pop up exhibitions at the university, and will have work published in the first issue of a new graphic newspaper, Modern Times. Kathryn says about her years in Worcester:

    "Without Worcester Illustration, I would not be at the Royal College of Art. During the three years of my BA, I was introduced to many different ways of thinking and working by excellent tutors who not only supported me, but gave me the freedom to play with my own ideas and research to reach something new. This level of freedom, especially during my third year, not only helped me get the most out of the direction I wished my work to go in, but prepared me for the self-directed nature of the MA course I am on now."

Teaching and Assessment

How will you be taught?

You will learn how to:

  • Make the most of opportunities to acquire specialist image making skills and techniques and knowledge of software, and to apply these in relevant contexts.
  • Prepare yourself for the workplace through portfolio design, career mapping, group activities that develop your capacity for productive working relationships, live briefs and public exhibitions.
  • Develop your understanding of the historical and cultural contexts for the practice and development of illustration
  • Develop your critical and analytical skills (by analysing work and your own experiences and by formulating independent judgement) and learn to derive and apply principles and concepts from practical experience of working with digital media and related visual arts media and processes.
  • Gain a distinctive identity as a practitioner through exploration and experimentation.

Teaching approach

  • A comprehensive programme of workshops including life drawing, location drawing, printmaking and experimental image- and book-making.
  • Sessions are a mix of tutor- and student-led and independent learning through ‘making’.
  • Integrated contributions from guest speakers and visits to exhibitions and projects.
  • Group work to promote interacting effectively with others through collaboration and collective endeavour, for example via community or charity projects or group presentations.
  • Opportunities to prepare submissions for national and international competitions.
  • An empathetic and democratic learning environment rooted in studio culture.


There are a variety of assessment methods employed on this course including: reflective reports, practical work, tutor-, self & peer-assessment.

Arts facilities

Meet the team

Here are a few of the current members of the department who you may meet when you study this course. Visit the Humanities & Creative Arts 'Meet our Experts' page for the full list of department staff.

  • tobias-hickey-humanities-university-worcester

    Tobias Hickey

    Tobias Hickey lectures in illustration, drawing and printmaking. Graduating with a degree in Graphic Design from Liverpool Polytechnic in 1992 and subsequently gaining his MA Illustration from Central St Martin's College of Arts and Design in 1995.

    Tobias initially took on commissions to illustrate children's books. His freelance practice then broadened into design and advertising and he became an established editorial illustrator, with regular commissions for The Guardian, The Times The Observer and The Independent newspapers. Other clients include You magazine, The Evening Standard, GQ Magazine, The Lawyer, The Daily Telegraph, TES, Sky Broadcasting, British Airways, Vodafone, Reader's Digest, Harper Collins and Conran Design. His illustrations have been published throughout Europe and in Australia.

  • Andy Davies Senior Lecturer in Illustration

    Andy Davies

    Andy graduated with a first class degree in Illustration from Loughborough University in 2004, and then completed a MA Art and Design in 2008 at the same institution.

    Andy has a successful freelance practice, and works for clients around the world. His work has has been used in an editorial context by the Independent on Sunday and Guardian newspapers, in viral marketing campaigns for Vodafone, and for several successful book titles. Andy's work is regularly included in peer reviewed publications and he has exhibited in Britain and Italy.


Final Year Art Shows

Visit the website

The Worcester Degree Shows are the culmination of work from students on the University of Worcester's arts courses.


Where could it take you?

Illustrators are in increasing demand as the media industries expand. Options for the professional illustrator include newspapers and magazines, books, advertising, exhibiting independent work, television and the internet. All these fields are potential showcases for graduates’ work.

Our interdisciplinary approach gives flexibility and a wider view of the world that is attractive to employers. Graduates will find career opportunities not only in illustration but also graphic design, teaching, story writing, studio management, concept illustration for animation and games and advertising.

The course also provides an ideal basis for postgraduate study.


Request or download a prospectus

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How much will it cost?

Full-time tuition fees

UK and EU students

The standard tuition fee for full-time UK and EU students registering in 2017 will be £9,250.

For more details, please visit our course fees page.

International students

The standard tuition fee for full-time international (non-EU) students registering in 2017 will be £11,700 per year.

For more details, please visit our course fees page.

Part-time tuition fees

UK and EU students

The standard tuition fees for part-time UK and EU students registering on this course in 2017 will be £1,156 per 15-credit module, £1,542 per 20 credit module and £2,313 per 30-credit module.

For more details, please visit our course fees page.

Additional costs

Every course has day-to-day costs for basic books, stationery, printing and photocopying.  The amounts vary between courses.


Finding the right accommodation is paramount to your university experience, and our welcoming student communities are great places to live and study.

We have over 1,000 rooms across our halls of residence. With rooms to suit every budget and need, from our 'Traditional Hall' at £94 per week to 'En-suite Extra' at £153 per week.

For full details visit our accommodation page.


How do you apply?

Applying through UCAS

Single Honours:
Illustration BA - W220


Joint Honours:
Animation and Illustration BA - WW6F
Creative & Professional Writing and Illustration BA - WW82
Fine Art and Illustration BA - WW1F
Graphic Design & Multimedia and Illustration BA - W292


UCAS is the central organisation through which applications are processed for entry onto full-time undergraduate courses in Higher Education in the UK.


Read our How to apply pages for more information on applying and to find out what happens to your application.



Apply now via UCAS

Get in touch

If you have any questions, please get in touch. We're here to help you every step of the way.

Admissions office

01905 855111

Joint course leaders

Piet Grobler

Tobias Hickey