Wolverhampton School of Art


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

  • Institute Code W75
  • UCAS Code W220
  • Entry Requirements View
  • Fees View
  • Course Specifications View
  • Start Date(s) 19 September 2022
  • Award BA (Hons)
  • Study Mode Full-time, Part-time
  • Course Length Full-time (3 years), Part-time (6 years)
  • Campus Location Wolverhampton City Campus
  • School Wolverhampton School of Art
  • UCAS Points Calculator Click here

Why choose this course?

Our illustration course will develop your potential and enhance your creative responses through a broad range of communication skills and innovative challenges – a place for practitioners wanting to make positive change. 

"On our Illustration course, students and staff have a unique bond. Working together, we provide a creative and supportive platform, an environment built around play, learning and personal focus through diverse practice – ensuring our students fully equipped for a career in the creative industries. Engaging with live briefs and competitions, students achieve individual ambitions and produce the outstanding work that hold us up against all others. In short - We are Illustration".

Ben Kelly (Course Leader)

We are proud of our work 

BA Illustration, gallery of recent student work


You will learn through continued making, reflection and critical thinking to develop your own visual language, ready for a career in the creative industries.

With a multi-disciplinary approach to Illustration/Image Making with:

  • All key staff being highly skilled and qualified
  • Numerous visiting practitioners
  • A studio culture and a studio space for every student
  • With World class facilities

We turn creative ideas into handmade, analogue and digital solutions across the platforms of print, screen and 3D works. Through Drawing, Painting, Sculpture, Collage, Textiles, Print Making, Photography, Typography and innovative processes such as 3D Printing, our students develop the skills to become diverse and highly skilled practitioners.

We house a strong community of visual doers and thinkers championing fresh approaches to learning, Our students embrace flexibility, collaboration and new skills both traditional and future facing.

Follow our Instagram 

Play can also be serious

A one week experimental narrative project for 2nd years, students emptied their pockets, using found objects to create work responding to the theme of protest. Dan’s work centred around Greta Thunberg's speech at an Extinction Rebellion protest in London 2019. He used two starburst fruit wrappers to create the artwork.

What happens on the course?


You are supported through 100% course work. You will have the oportunity to win awards, learn heaps of new skills, be industry facing, work across visual disciplines in an exciting studio environment. You will eperience 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.

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. 

Our overseas trips include: 

  • 2021: New York (We cross our fingers)
  • 2020: Berlin 
  • 2019: Paris

We Are 2020 - NSS 100 Percenters and Super Proud 

The National Student Survey 2020 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 valueing 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:

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, studying at the University of Wolverhampton School of Art, 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

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 Evans: Illustrator / Educator 
  • Stuart Varley: Illustrator / Designer / Educator 
  • Jane Webb: Researcher / Educator 
  • Louise Fenton: Researcher / Educator 

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

Course overview

Year 1 

You will explore the fundamental aspects of image making through traditional techniques and with digital technologies. You will be encouraged to think of these processes as contextualised within a social and philosophical context, exploring the reasons for different styles and material manipulation in image making. The second module allows you to put illustration practice into context and to work briefly within a set of professional parameters in order to understand and experience, from the inside, how certain industry practices work. This will be supplemented through presentations and lectures from staff and other practitioners working professionally in illustration and related subjects. At the end of Level 4 you will have the opportunity to talk about and show your work.

Year 2

Is designed to help you consider more closely the direction in which you would like your illustrative practice to develop. The two modules you will undertake ask you to question in more depth the component aspects of illustrative narrative practice and the areas in which you see your illustrative practice working best. Narrative Illustration breaks down in depth the component parts of illustrative practice in the development of narrative through a range of different illustration genres. This work may lead to animation, as well as more traditional narrative practice. Developing Specialist Practice offers opportunities for competitions and briefs that centre on the areas of illustration that you are beginning to specialise in. At the end of Level 5 you will have a clear sense of direction with which to launch into your final year. Throughout Level 5 there will be opportunities to show work and publish and also to work collaboratively with other students across the School of Art.

Year 3

Sees the consolidation of your practice whilst giving you opportunity and time to continue your experimentation and development of your own visual language. Alongside this practice-based investigation, you will develop an extended research project that will lead to a dissertation or alternative assignment. This will galvanise research in theory and practice and provide a foundation for your final major project, which will be shown at the degree show and other venues.

Wolverhampton School of Art Graduate Showcase 2021

We are delighted to announce our end of year graduate showcase highlighting the work of our final year students in Art, Design and Screen based subjects.

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British Art Show 9

We are delighted to announce that the Wolverhampton School of Art has been selected as one of the venues for the prestigious British Art Show 9! In what is a major boost and sign of recognition for arts and culture in Wolverhampton, we are proud to be hosting this prestigious touring exhibition in January 2022 along with Wolverhampton Art Gallery.

Read More

Additional Information

BA (Hons) Illustration

  • The member of academic staff who leads this course is Ben Kelly.
  • For more information about our facilities click here.
  • 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 help our students to achieve the career of their dreams on our Creative Enterprise page.
  • Our Creative Futures talks, led by professionals working in the creative industries, provide encouragement and insight to make your creative career a reality.
  • Check out the work of our 2021 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.
  • Browse through our Undergraduate Courses and Postgraduate Courses.
  • 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 has been selected as one of the venues for the prestigious British Art Show 9!
  • Artsfest – our established programme of arts and cultural events continues to bring you the very best this region has to offer!
  • Learn about all the exciting things that are happening at the Wolverhampton School of Art in our News and Events pages.

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 muliti media 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/EU Full-time £9250 per year 2020-21
Home/EU Part-time £3050 per year# 2020-21
Home Full-time £9250 per year 2021-22
Home Full-time £9250 per year 2022-23
Home Part-time £3100 per year# 2021-22
Home Part-time £3120 per year# 2022-23
International Full-time £12250 per year 2020-21
International Full-time £12950 per year 2021-22
International Full-time £13450 per year 2022-23
International Part-time £6125 per year# 2020-21
International Part-time £6475 per year# 2021-22
International Part-time £6725 per year# 2022-23

Additional Course Costs

Additional materials: £50 to 200 per semester - Prices vary according your subject of practice.

Additional Field Trips: £50 to 400 - Prices will vary according to location.

Additional Events: £300 - 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

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

  • 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: 45 L3 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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