Illustration Courses

Open courses in illustration provide a practical and contextual introduction to illustration. As you progress through the courses you will be able to work confidently from a brief and develop your own voice.

Level 1 (HE4)

Level 2 (HE5)

Level 3 (HE6)


Our illustration Open courses span two higher education levels. In the level one illustration Open course you will develop an understanding of the basic visual language of illustration, exploring mark-making and drawing, composition, framing and colour theory. You will explore character design, creative problem solving, and the interpretive function of illustration. You will develop an appreciation of the historical and contemporary contexts of illustration by looking at other illustrators’ work. Sketchbooks are an important tool for developing your creative thinking, visual research and ideas development.

At level two you will further develop your practical skills, extending your critical and contextual understanding of illustration with client-led projects, exploring reportage illustration, sequential illustration, and begin to define your own voice and visual language. You’ll explore storyboarding, comics, simple animations, and perhaps even graphic novels. You will be able to specialise in illustration in your final year of study (at level three) once your voice is well developed and you have a preferred style and approach to illustration practice.

You can study these Open courses with the aim of gaining a BA (Hons) Illustration degree, a BA (Hons) Visual Communications degree, or you can study them just for your own personal development.