Falmouth University Illustration

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Falmouth University Illustration

Find your place as an original thinker within the rapidly evolving visual communications industry. You’ll be continually encouraged to challenge yourself, push boundaries and realise your potential.

You’ll learn how to analyse a text, generate strong conceptual solutions, compose an image and use colour effectively. You’ll also strengthen your drawing ability and ultimately develop a unique and compelling visual language. Illustration at Falmouth is renowned and respected for its emphasis on professional practice and its connection to the world of illustration. We’ll teach you about core business skills and you’ll have the opportunity to gain experience on live projects.


  • Optional study visits to London and New York
  • Core business skills such as licenses, copyright and tax
  • Expert guidance in key software such as Photoshop, Illustrator and Dreamweaver
  • Create your own portfolio website
  • Work on live briefs and meet clients

How the course is taught

A full-time, hands-on course striking a balance between creative freedom and professional practice, BA(Hons) Illustration covers all aspects of the discipline, including drawing, visual studies, and historical and cultural studies. Project work is supported by lectures, seminars, study trips, professional experience and tutorials. You’ll be asked to develop peer and self-evaluation skills, which will be used in critical, conceptual, productive and professional capacities.

Course outline

On this course you’ll learn how to analyse a text, generate strong conceptual solutions, compose an image and use colour effectively. You’ll also strengthen your drawing ability and ultimately develop a unique and compelling visual language.

We’ll help you to network and market yourself. We’ll also teach you about core business skills such as licences, copyright and tax, and key software packages such as Photoshop, Illustrator and Dreamweaver.

What you’ll do

Year one

Your first year will begin by focusing on visual problem solving. This will develop your approach to conceptual thinking by encouraging you to explore a wide range of systematic and intuitive thinking strategies. This is strengthened through themed visual studies sessions, which include life drawing to enhance your drawing ability.

Towards the end of the 1st year you’ll begin to explore the different applied areas of illustration. Sessions on critical theory and the historical contexts that underpin illustration will run throughout the year. You’ll also travel to London to visit some of the capital’s influential art directors and illustration agents, where you’ll learn about illustration within the design industry. Part of this trip will include participating in a major illustration forum held at London College of Communication.

Visual Problem Solving – Conceptual thinking strategies for illustrators
Historial & Cultural Studies Essays
Applied Illustration – Contextualised illustration projects
Visual Studies – Life drawing, media experimentation, digital media

Year two

Your second year will begin with a series of projects that continue the exploration of applied illustration. These projects will encompass advertising, book cover design, editorial illustration, children’s book illustration and information illustration.

In the second half of the year you’ll develop and negotiate your own projects. This will allow you to put into practice what you’ve learnt, and develop your own direction in terms of your visual language and the area of the industry that you’re interested in.

  • Contextual Illustration
  • Historical & Cultural Studies Essays
  • The Negotiated Programme (Development) – The development of studio practice
  • Dissertation research portfolio – The early development of dissertation

Year three

In your final year you’ll work towards both a physical and virtual portfolio of work. You’ll also write a dissertation and produce a website of your work as part of professional practice studies. In addition, you’ll get the opportunity to develop interactive screen-based illustration through a series of dedicated app development workshops.

Finally you’ll travel to New York, or a similar destination, in order to show your portfolio. The study trip enables you to get real feedback on your visual language from the best designers and art directors in the business.

  • The Negotiated Programme (Consolidation & Completion) – The continued consolidation and completion of studio practice
  • The dissertation – a major theoretical written piece of work
  • Professional Practice