Start date
September 2020
Full Time: 3 years
Full Time: 3 years
Tuition fees
Full Time: GBP 6900 per year
Payment by installments is possible
BA (Hons) Illustration
About the course
BA (Hons) Illustration is a diverse course that encourages students to communicate ideas and narratives through a broad range of traditional, digital and time-based media. Students are expected to work with ingenuity and professionalism on commercial briefs, whilst also developing distinctive work pursuing personal interests. As well as creating imagery for magazines, newspapers or advertising, we develop skills in narrative art forms such as animation, picture books, comics, short films and interactive digital environments. 

The course also provides a welcoming environment to students working in craft-based areas, such as printmaking, ceramics, street art and textiles. As such, BA (Hons) Illustration a varied and exciting subject area that provides a memorable student experience.

BA (Hons) Illustration programme is validated by University of Hertfordshire.

Our teaching philosophy is underpinned by our belief in drawing as an essential tool for experimentation, analysis and idea development. This is reflected in skills workshops and the requirement for students to work every day in personal sketchbooks in addition to their other projects. Students also develop a wide range of transferable skills to prepare them for employment, such as presenting to peers and clients, writing project reports and evaluations, critiquing work in groups, and organising their own exhibitions and events.

BA (Hons) Illustration graduates progress to careers in editorial, publishing, advertising, children’s books, art direction, graphic design, film and animation, fine art, digital media, teaching and web design; as well as those who move on to further study at post-graduate level.

What makes the programme unique
Our tutors
Staff who teach on this course are themselves practicing professionals at the cutting edge of their field and they bring their industry insights and experience directly into the teaching. They have graduated through Central Saint Martins College, Kent Institute of Art & Design, University of Melbourne.
Study trips
A trip to London is scheduled in the annual programme calendar. The trip includes visits to the exhibitions of students and graduates of the Royal College of Art, plus a visit to the annual D&AD New Blood Awards exhibition, as well as a number of activities in collaboration with The Association of Illustrators (The AOI), plus we visit the largest galleries and art spaces, including the Tate Modern, the Barbican and Saatchi. Second year students annually visit St. Petersburg for Boomfest comic book festival and Fumetto festival in Luzern, Switzerland.
International Diploma
BHSAD graduates will receive a University of Hertfordshire Diploma that will allow them to continue studies or work anywhere in the world.
Record of success
In recent years students and graduates have won over many awards in all of the most prestigious national and international design competitions. These include: D&AD Student Awards, YCN Student Awards, Fumetto, Boomfest competitions, Folio Society, House of Illustration, Penguin, Random House Design Awards, the Guardian one minute superhero's.
Live projects
Student projects are constantly revised, reflecting the ever-evolving nature of the industry. Our many live projects include collaborations with influential clients, including Cinzano, Benetton, ART Moscow, JBNY, Interview magazine, Look At Me media, Mayakovskiy theatre, Tapis Rouge, Bowers & Wilkins, Bulgakov museum, Art.Lebedev studio, a british musician Lee Gamble.
Printmaking experience
Printmaking introduces students to a range of traditional techniques and provides a wide exposure to contemporary practices in print media. Experimentation with technique, process and format is encouraged along with interdisciplinary exploration in other media areas.The printmaking workshops support four basic categories: screen printing, relief printing, intaglio printing and lithography.
Digital craftmanship
In our modern computer classrooms our illustration students are taught aspects of the craft such as book illustration and digital animation, plus are taught to create comics, short films and interactive digital elements. Our students also use the BHSAD photo studio for digital and analogue photo/video shoots, the photo laboratory for analogue photo processing, plus the sound studio and the services of the Roland DG printing laboratory.
Learning resources
The Learning Resources Centre at BHSAD is the perfect place to study. It offers access to a broad range of specialist books and journals, DVDs, videos, slides, and all the electronic resources hosted by the University of Hertfordshire library including image and article databases, electronic books, and more.
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Programme Structure
Year 1: Modules
In Semester A, students work alongside Graphic Design students on a range of design and illustration projects. The emphasis of this semester is on idea generation, establishing a productive design process and expanding visual skills in drawing, traditional media and digital design programs.

In Semester B, students commit to specialisation in Illustration and undergo a number of projects exploring different facets of illustration practice. The main project in this semester is based around a piece of literature and consists of a variety of directed and self-directed tasks, that focus on research, idea generation, character development, storytelling, designing and producing a costume, using photo/video equipment and is concluded by a performance. This semester also includes image making workshops, live drawing sessions, lectures from industry guests and daily sketchbook practice.
Year One culminates in a study trip to London, with educational visits to degree and post-graduate exhibitions at Royal College of Art and D&AD New Blood, plus the Association of Illustrators and major museums such Tate Modern, Barbican and Saatchi Gallery. 

Core modules:

- Visual Communication L4
- C&CS Level 4 Graphic Design and Illustration L4
- Illustration Essentials Part 1 L4

Programme Specification

Year 2: Modules
Semester A begins with a study trip to St Petersburg for the Boomfest comics festival, St Petersburg Street Art Museum and Hermitage State Museum. In the studio, students focus firstly on research and reportage, and then move onto a study of visual storytelling, mainly working with animation and video. During this semester, students are encouraged to consider their own personal direction as an illustrator and identify areas and techniques in which to focus their practice. 

In Semester B, students are challenged to develop their work through an increased focus on the demands of professional illustration practice. Studio projects include international and local competitions, and students are given the opportunity to work on exciting and challenging live briefs with clients. Recent commercial partners include Mayakovskiy theatre, Bowers & Wilkins, Cinzano, Benetton, Interview magazine, Lee Gamble, Art Moscow and JBNY. Students also undergo a series of short projects aimed at developing engagement with professional practice, including organising exhibitions, working in teams, presenting their work through portfolios and CVs, visits to industry contacts and lectures on professional practice.

Core modules:

- Illustration Essentials Part 2
- Illustration Professional Development
- Illustration Commissions
- C&CS Level 5 Graphic Design and Illustration

Year 3: Modules
During Semester A, students focus on their degree essay, a piece of critical writing that addresses key issues in contemporary illustration, and supports their studio practice. Studio work continues to focus on live client briefs and international illustration competitions, plus a series of editorial workshops aimed at developing quick ideas and illustration drafts. 

The final semester of the course is focused on a Final Major Project (FMP), defined by the student, which consists of a focused, substantial project on a chosen subject. The FMP is both a statement of intent about where the student wishes to progress as an illustrator, and is also a culmination of the learning experienced on the course. This Final Major Project is presented to the public in the students’ graduation exhibition. In this final semester, students also compile and present a portfolio of their work, in readiness for life as a professional illustrator. 

Core modules:

- Illustration Advanced Practice Part 1
- Illustration Advanced Practice Part 2
- Graphic Design and Illustration L6 Degree

Student works
Kristina Zvezhinskaya
Kristina Zvezhinskaya «Long Lost»
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Anna Ilishkina
Anna Ilishkina The story of an old building
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Anastasia Danilova
Anastasia Danilova The Fool and the World
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Arina Shabanova
Arina Shabanova
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Arina Shabanova
Arina Shabanova
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Arina Shabanova
Arina Shabanova
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Alina Konovalova
Alina Konovalova 24-hour comics day
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Arina Shabanova
Arina Shabanova
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Nastya Varlamova
Nastya Varlamova
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How to apply
Entry exams
Applicants who apply for Year 1 of British higher education courses, need to sit the following:

- English exam
- Portfolio assessment
- Entry interview

During the admission exams, the admissions staff will arrange a convenient date and time for demonstration of portfolio and interview, after that, the matriculant will be allowed to pass the English test. 

English test is not required for students from English-speaking countries or if an IELTS or equivalent certificate is produced. For international students we can organise skype entry interviews. In such cases the portfolio can be sent via email.
Required level of English
IELTS band 6.0 (or equivalent certificate). Along with the IELTS results, the following certificates are also accepted:

- CAE (Certificate in Advanced English) grade C or above;
- FCE (First Certificate in English) grade A.

If a prospective student does not have an IELTS certificate of the required level but successfully passed BHSAD English test as part of BHSAD entrance exams, he/she needs to obtain an IELTS certificate before the start of the first semester on Year 1.
Required portfolio
The range of work in your portfolio should cover a broad spectrum of media, materials and approaches. Projects may be submitted in different disciplines including but not limited to graphics, drawing, painting, textile, photography, decorative art, design, web-design, animation. First of all, the admission committee would like to see how you can generate and develop your ideas; that is why, besides finished projects, the portfolio should also include notebooks with sketches, sketchbooks, written works (articles, essays, if any). Please try to present examples of the best and most recent projects which reflect your creative abilities. Your portfolio needs to be printed (А3 format or larger). Animation and CG works should be presented on CDs or memory sticks. It advisable to show photographs of large works which otherwise would be difficult to transport.
Interview procedure
Prospective students will be asked questions regarding their education and professional background in order to make a final decision about admission on to the course. Please be ready to tell the interview panel about yourself, your design experience and projects in your portfolio. 

You may be asked about the history of creation of a particular work and the context of its creation. The panel may ask you about well-known designers to learn about the influence of creative activities of other designers and artists on you, the reason why you follow them and the main incentive for your development in terms of your occupation.
Admission requirements
Exam schedule will be announced in spring 2020.
How to enrol
To enrol on the course, applicants have to present a portfolio of their work and evidence of their English language competence. A grade 6.0 or higher on the IELTS scale is acceptable and the CAE and FCE qualifications are considered. If the applicant cannot produce a certificate, their English is tested together with prospective students who are applying for the Foundation Art & Design Course. However, the applicant must provide the IELTS certificate later on, by particular deadline. 

Enrollment is based on the results of a portfolio assessment and an interview with one of the tutors. The applicant's knowledge and skills reflected in their work should be comparable to the knowledge and skills students acquire at Foundation level. Interviews and portfolio assessments are usually scheduled in the 3 days followed by the language test.

Transfer to Year 2 will be possible only if a student attended a higher education institution which uses a credit-based system. For these purposes, the number of previously received credits is compared with the number of credits which is necessary for transfer to the relevant stage of a British undergraduate course.
Required documents
- Online application form
- Copy of previous education certificates and academic qualifications. The following documents can be submitted: high school diploma, college degree diploma, higher education or BA diploma
- 2 photos 3х4 cm
- Copy of your passport
- Personal statement
Tuition fees
Full-time: GBP 6,650 / year*

Students as a rule pay their tuition fees once a semester, that is, twice a year, but at their request can choose to pay on a monthly basis.

You will be expected to meet additional costs which may arise as a result of materials, art supplies and consumables you may need for your projects, as well as printing and copying services and other types of services and consumables. Their list and the amount of costs depends upon the requirements of your course and the nature of your projects. Additionally during your time at BHSAD you may be recommended to visit museums, art galleries and other venues as part of your learning and there may be a cost for such visits which you should also budget for. 

Below is the list of materials and supplies which BHSAD students use most frequently and which are likely to be among those you may need: 

A3 or A4 hardback sketchbook, A2 or A3 portfolio case with ringbound plastic sleeves, HB pencils and rubber, UHU glue, Pritt stick, PVA glue, small lined notepads, spray mount, masking tape, sellotape, double sided tape, invisible scotch tape, scalpel with replaceable blades, basic set of acrylic paints, coloured pencils, basic set of drawing pencils, highlighter, assorted brushes, writing pen, fine line drawing pens, small plastic ruler etc.

Please note that this list is indicative and given for your reference only. Full list will depend upon your project and the range of materials and techniques which you may wish to adopt.

* This proposal does not constitute an offer, the prices are subject to change. Cost of services and conditions of their provision will be specified in the contract.

How can I apply?
Applicants need to provide the following documents:

- online application form
- copy or the original of previous education certificates and academic qualifications.
- 2 photos 3×4
- copy of your passport

After the necessary documents are provided you need to sign the contracts. For applicants under 18 presence of one of the parents is required. More details about the application process can be found in the “How to apply” section of the website.
What is the language of delivery?
The education at BHSAD is provided by an international team of lecturers but the working language is always English for our British programmes.

BA (Hons) Illustration

Start date: september 2020
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Entrance exams schedule will be announced in Spring. Please fill out the form and we will send you a notification.
Level of English language competence
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British Higher School of Design adheres to the principles of personal data processing rules of the Federal Law N152- FL "On personal data". The information provided in this application form as strictly confidential and will use it solely for the purpose related to admission and studying at BHSAD.
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