Wolverhampton School of Art

BA (Hons) Illustration

BA (Hons) Full-time 3 years, Part-time 6 years

On our Illustration course, students and staff have a unique bond. Working together, we provide a creative and fulfilling platform, an environment built around play, learning and personal development.

On our Illustration course, students and staff have a unique bond. Working together, we provide a creative and fulfilling platform, an environment built around play, learning and personal development.

BA (Hons)
Start date(s)
16 September 2024
Course specifications
Course length
Full-time (3 years),Part-time (6 years)
Campus location
University: City Campus
UCAS points calculator

Why choose this course?

95% of students were pleased with the teaching on their course

NSS, 2023

On our Illustration course, students and staff have a unique bond. Working together, we provide a creative and fulfilling platform, an environment built around play, learning and personal development. Our projects are future facing to give voice and context to the challenges facing the planet and society. We believe in diversity and equality of opportunity, so addressing your beliefs is of real importance.

Engaging with set and live briefs, plus national competitions our students achieve individual ambitions and produce outstanding visual communication that gives them a professional head start into the creative industries. 

Our studios and technical workshops are equipped for students to learn digital and analogue processes including, drawing, painting, printmaking, through to surface design, material play, lens-based media, 3D Spatial works and moving image.

You will gain experience in print production and layout design and innovative 3D printing technology.

Our students develop the relevant knowledge to become highly skilled illustrators, and art practitioners, passionate about their subject and aware of their creative impact in world

Our Graduates forge exciting careers in Publishing through Storytelling, Character Design, Site specific Mural Design, Graphic Design, Animation, Model Making for Film and Television, Game Design, Set Design, Editorial Illustration, Illustration for Advertising, Commissioned work, and Gallery exhibitions.

We pride ourselves on our studio culture and providing studio space for every student.

Our new, larger, and improved studios are located around impressive University Image Making facilities (Print Making, Glass, Ceramics and Photography etc), and include digital resources and areas that create an environment to socialise, experiment, create and express yourselves.   

Want to know more? Contact Amy Dewhirst

What's unique about this course?

  • Our modules are assessed on 100% course work. 

  • The National Student Survey 2022 and our students have awarded our BA (Hons) course with 100%

  • We have a strong focus on live projects and employability with regular live projects set within industry

What happens on the course?


Our modules are assessed on 100% course work. You will have the opportunity to win awards, learn heaps of new skills, be industry facing, work across visual disciplines in an exciting studio environment. You will experience new creative challenges, make friends and work alongside industry professionals; helping you achieve your career goals and deliver the type of diverse work that underpins the philosophy of our course – high standards, creativity and pride. Most importantly... helping you to inspire others as an agent of change!

The curriculum is delivered through a series of projects, which will help you develop making and designing skills, conceptual ideas and contextual knowledge. Together with an understanding and experience of live industry briefs, competitions and exhibiting your work in the public domain.

The National Student Survey 2022 and our students have awarded our BA (Hons) course with 100% 

  • 100% of our students, being satisfied with the course  
  • 100% of our students being positive, regarding receiving helpful comments about work 
  • 100% of our students being positive, regarding being able to contact staff when needed 
  • 100% of our students being positive, regarding staff valuing students views and opinions about the course 
  • 100% of our students being positive, regarding feeling part of a community of learners 

 The 100% list goes on and on, and so will we, to push standards. 

For the full NSS 2020 results go to OfS website:

Live Commission 2020:  

Our Year 2 students were commissioned by the Mander Centre to design a retro video arcade. Including three massive digital art works.  

Whilst under lockdown, students continued to collaborate online and produced the finished artwork, working with DIS Graphics. 

What our current students say

"The course has been mind popping. Illustration is at its heart but the course crosses both traditional Illustrative practice and cutting edge creative art/design practice, I am proud to be a forever learner at Wolves Uni and be doing what I love."
Dan Turner

"The person I sit next to in the studio, works in completely the opposite way to me, the person next to them the same again and so on. I was not aware of diverse practice before joining the course, but from where we started and where we are at, we are now all true believers."
Georgia Adamson

We do Trips / Study Trips Nationally and Abroad

Our trips are really relaxed, social and fun events with a purpose. You will experience great things, go to great places and broaden your cultural horizons across Europe and beyond. During these trips we get to see superb Art/Design/Illustration works in the flesh, break our patterns and routines, recharge our batteries and get the energies and creative juices flowing. 

We do Live Briefs in 2022

Artwork by University of Wolverhampton Illustration degree students has bagged pride of place at the Mander Shopping Centre in Wolverhampton city centre. 

Four Illustration students in their final year of the course, were selected to design massive digital artworks for two full retail shop windows and two interior wall space murals at the shopping centre - a scale that equals the length of four double-deck buses. 

Read More

Juxtapose 2024

Illustration students have been taking part in projects designed to stretch their creative limbs and reinvigorate their practice post-assessment. Level 4 and 5 Illustration students have collaborated and  undertaken a 48 hour project designed to inject playfulness and curiosity into their process. A short sharp project had them producing masks as a starting point in response to an album title.

In the 2nd half of the 48 hour project, these were applied those to become new album covers. Level 4 illustration students have also recently undertaken a project called 'juxtapose' where they are to problem solve in order to find a narrative link between a given noun, picture and sentence. They then communicate this narrative using photomontage. The catch: Paper is banned, and their canvas is a shirt. The works from these projects were exhibited March 2024 in the Bessant Gallery in an exhibition.


Friends of the Course 

Our Course has its own set of diverse industry practitioners we call “friends of the Course”, they offer great knowledge, experience, unique opportunities in how projects can be informed through outside and inside participation. Our Friends include:  

  • Illustrators: Blair Frame / Matthew Richardson / Rachel Emily Taylor  
  • Documentary Illustrators: Olivier Kugler / Lyndon Hayes  
  • Children's Book Illustrator: Sarah Jennings 
  • Illustration Collective: Le gun 
  • Comic Book Artist: Sarah Graley  
  • Illustration Agent Lisa Hassle - Inkygoodness 
  • Author, Designer, Curator: Tristan Manco 
  • Graphic Designer: Michelle Turton 
  • Motion Designer: Zac Peric  
  • Advertising Print: Dave Purcell DIS Graphics 
  • Book Publishing: Matt Jones (Freelance Designer Penguin Books) / Lenka Hrehova (Usborne Books) Emma Dai’an (The Emma Press) 
  • Musician: James Neuenhaus – Rum Bongo 

Permanent Course Tutors

  • Ben Kelly: Artist / Illustrator / Educator 
  • Howard Read: Illustrator / Researcher / Educator 
  • Amy Dewhirst: Illustrator / Educator 
  • Stuart Varley: Illustrator / Designer / Educator 
  • Louise Fenton: Researcher / Educator 

All our Permanent tutors are highly qualified and have research and practice backgrounds.

Additional Information

BA (Hons) Illustration

  • The course contact for this course is Amy Dewhirst.
  • For more information about our facilities.
  • For more information about Illustration at Wolverhampton, please follow us on Instagram.

Wolverhampton School of Art

  • For more information about the Wolverhampton School of Art: visit our home page.
  • Discover more about our outstanding facilities – visit our facilities pages.
  • Learn about the creative industries and everything we do to make your creative career a reality on our Creative Futures page
  • Check out the work of our 2023 graduating students on our Degree Show and MA Show pages.
  • Find out what our students say – view testimonies from successful graduates on our Case Studies page.
  • Research – learn about the Centre for Art and Design Research and Experimentation (CADRE) and FEINART, our ambitious and innovative pan European training network.
  • Wolverhampton School of Art hosted the prestigious British Art Show 9 in 2022. 
  • Artsfest – our established programme of arts and cultural events continues to bring you the very best this region has to offer!

Course Modules

Potential Career Paths

Generally a flexible career often with a focus on Image and text. It can include working for a client, personal self-authored works and exhibiting (both privately and publicly) which therefore allows you to steer your future. As an Illustrator you can locate yourself wherever you want but the work that you produce can be Local, National and Global as can your clients.


A concept artist gives a view of the future through visuals so others can experience the vision. From comic works to the design of new cars it is works that are often realist but showcasing imagination.

This is a long-term job aspiration for most as an Art Director is often the person in charge of other creative talents and large visual projects, so it takes time in the Industry first to get to the point where you take the lead, the decisions and Art Direct others towards your creative vision.

Whether freelance or in a team, design is about problem solving, with multimedia disciplines involved inclusive of; Image, Type, Sound, AR and Moving Image being areas to explore. Design crosses both clear communication regarding information and emotive works.

Whether Hand Skills or Digital, this career although can be commission based is often about personal direction. This means the work can involve a more rigorous self-reflective practice and often has it’s target in displaying in shows, exhibitions, for communities and in the environment.

An Image Maker is simply someone obsessed with the making of Images and whose work can push the boundaries of visual processing often through the making of unique Images. This discipline allows for work in personal & commissioned work alongside exhibiting. The work can be seen both as playful and experimental and something that pushes visual and technical boundaries.


A very broad area which can be best summed up as visual work that moves. It can involve hand drawing and old technologies in making things move such as stop frame as well as embracing high technology and new digital solutions. This area also is inclusive of making or using sound and type.

Crossing creative disciplines is becoming the norm, however a diverse practitioner is someone who really can wear different hats throughout their career and finds the challenge of diverse thinking and doing and the openness to diverse possibilities the grab.

Additional Information

Everything you need to know about this course!

The School of Art houses a range of purpose built studio spaces and workshops with an extensive range of professional equipment not available in schools and colleges. Students at the School of Art are taught by practicing artists and designers working in academic and technical roles. These specialist practitioners teach both fundamental skills, support experimental and speculative practice and ensure practice is underpinned by knowledge and awareness of contemporary contexts.

The Illustration course in particular is distinctive in its approach because of:

  • The breadth of opportunities offered within the creative industries coupled with the wide reach of our course.
  • The focus on the fundamentals of image-making at the heart of our course.
  • The opportunities for individual, peer and cross-disciplinary collaboration.
  • The fluid relationship between theory and practice that will enable you to become a more reflective and analytical individual, with learning activities enhancing this transition.
  • You will receive continuous feedback on your work throughout your time with us.
  • All learning activities are delivered in specialist areas (mac lab, print, drawing studios and lecture theatre).
  • A series of visiting practitioners will complement your understanding of the subject
  • You will have the opportunity to engage with ‘live’ commissions and competition work.
  • Study trips, both national and international are offered and will enrich your cultural and contextual awareness.
  • An excellent library resource for Illustration
  • Membership of the Association of Illustrators
  • For more information about our facilities click here.
  • The member of academic staff who leads this course is Ben Kelly

BA (Illustration) offers an industry focus at all levels from introducing our students the different types of illustration employment at Level 4, to offering live brief and competition opportunities at Levels 5 and 6. Our students will also have experience of exhibiting and presenting work to a wide audience from Level 4 onwards, learning important transferable skills that can be applied to a number of other employment contexts. These broader skills will be consolidated by opportunities for students to work in a cross-disciplinary environment in the School of Art community as a whole. Here you will have the opportunity to establish a professional network of fellow artists, designers and makers before you leave to begin your working life.

All courses in the School of Art are now available with a professional placement option (Sandwich Year). A professional placement provides an opportunity for professional development in the work place and as such, greatly enhances the student's prospects of finding rewarding and relevant employment at the end of their studies. The school assists students in securing work placements, undertaking live briefs, engaging directly with employers and developing key employability skills. The school is committed to raising student awareness of the opportunities that exist post-graduation.


Location Mode Fee Year
Home Full-time £9250 per year 2022-23
Home Full-time £9250 per year 2023-24
Home Full-time £9250 per year 2023-24
Home Full-time £9250 per year 2024-25
Home Part-time £3120 per year# 2022-23
Home Part-time £4625 per year# 2023-24
Home Part-time £4625 per year# 2023-24
Home Part-time £4625 per year# 2024-25
International Full-time £13450 per year 2022-23
International Full-time £14450 per year 2023-24
International Full-time £14450 per year 2023-24
International Full-time £14950 per year 2024-25

Additional Course Costs

Additional Materials: £50 to 250 per semester - Prices vary according your subject of practice.

Additional Field Trips: £50 to 500 - Prices will vary according to location.

Additional Events: £350 - Degree Show/New Designers. Costs will vary according to the medium and mode of your practice but considerations will be around materials, installation and presentation.

Further information on these additional costs will be provided prior to the start of your studies.

Further information on these additional costs will be provided prior to the start of your studies

The University is committed to a transparent fee structure, with no hidden costs, to help you make an informed decision. This includes information on what is included in the fee and how fees are calculated and reviewed

Typical entry requirement: 96 UCAS points including a level 3 qualification in Art and Design.

  • A Levels - grades CCC / BCD
  • BTEC L3 Extended Diploma or OCR Cambridge L3 Technical Extended Diploma - grades MMM
  • BTEC L3 Diploma - grades DD
  • Access to HE Diploma (60 credits) of which a minimum of 45 must be at Level 3 (96 UCAS point equivalence, minimum 45 credits at merit)
  • UAL L3 Extended Diploma in Art and Design or Creative Media Production & Technology - grade M

Use the UCAS Tariff calculator to check your qualifications and points

Other Requirements

Those meeting the entry requirements may be shortlisted for a Portfolio Review. Further details can be found at https://www.wlv.ac.uk/apply/how-to-apply/4---after-youve-applied/subject-specific-applications/. Applicants will also be required to provide satisfactory reference.

Students must have studied a minimum of two years post GCSE level. However, it is expected that some applicants will be mature students with work experience, who wish to further their career development. These applicants will be processed through standard procedures, which may involve an interview as part of the process. Please see http://wlv.ac.uk/mature for further information.

Tuition Fees Loan (Home Fee Status):

Most students will be able to apply for a loans to pay for these subject to eligibility. To find out more information please refer to the government Student Finance website.

Changes for EU students:

The UK government has confirmed that EU students starting courses from 1 August 2021 will normally be classified as having Overseas Fee status. More information about the change is available at UKCISA:

EU citizens living in the UK with 'settled' status, and Irish nationals living in the UK or Ireland, will still be classified as Home students, providing they meet the usual residency requirements, for more information about EU Settlement Scheme (EUSS) click here.


If you don’t want to take out a loan to pay your fees or if you aren’t eligible to receive a loan, you might want to take advantage of the University’s scheme to pay by instalments: See How to pay.

For more information please contact the Gateway.

Your employer, embassy or organisation can pay for your Tuition fees:

If your employer, embassy or organisation agrees to pay all or part of your tuition fees; the University will refer to them as your sponsor and will invoice them for the appropriate amount.

We must receive notification of sponsorship in writing as soon as possible, and before enrolment, confirming that the sponsor will pay your tuition fees.

Financial Hardship:

Students can apply to the Dennis Turner Opportunity Fund.

for help with course related costs however this cannot be used for fees or to cover general living costs.

Bursaries and Scholarships:

In addition the University also offers a range of Bursaries and Scholarships packages

You can find more information on the University’s Funding, cost, fee and support pages.


01902 32 22 22




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