UCAS code: W220
Duration: 4 years
School: Edinburgh College of Art
College: Arts, Humanities & Social Sciences
"To make clear, to explain or elucidate by means of pictures, to cast light upon..."
These words seek to define illustration, which is an element within the architecture of the page. Illustration encompasses form, colour, line, composition and pictorial space. The idea of the page embraces a variety of actual and virtual formats, and it reflects the evolving nature of the contemporary art, design and publishing industries.
Illustrations are seen in many settings, illuminating a range of printed material, advertising, graphic and web design, packaging, periodicals, books and more. Contemporary practice includes theatre, music, television, museum-related work and exhibitions. We teach drawing and image-making from a broad methodology including observation, perception and literary interpretation.
You will be guided through a range of themes and briefs, to visualise your ideas and texts towards individual ways of seeing. An Illustration philosophy includes intellectual and aesthetic sensibilities, allied to practical methods within evolving disciplines of the graphic arts. As such, this builds upon the energy and application of those who study, teach, and those who instruct students in reaching their full potential.
As a part of this process, we collaborate with publishers, designers and writers. There are both academic and live briefs. Illustration provides an education as well as a preparation for professional life. Our studio environment is vital and creative as a space in which to explore perception, imagination, and the visual interpretation of texts.
Due to ongoing curriculum development, we are making changes to our Illustration programme. We are yet to confirm these changes, however we expect this programme will follow a similar structure to our other Design programmes.
We will update information as soon as detail is available.
You will be introduced to the theoretical and practical concepts of design, initially through a series of shared projects, leading to more focused, subject-specific outcomes.
Basic principles, theories, working practices and technical instruction will be covered in set projects and practical excercises.
A range of themes will be covered in varying scales, formats and complexities. This work demands imaginative solutions, research skills and technical facility. You will begin to assemble a portfolio of work made for set briefs and self-initiated work in various media.
As part of the School of Design, you will also participate in interdisciplinary collaborations and classes to give a wider perspective of your work and ambitions.
An externally facing professional practice year where there are various opportunities for internship, exchange, competitions and live projects.
Projects will encapsulate pictorial narrative, documentary work, observational drawing, web design and artist's books. A creative approach is strongly supported by emphasis of the importance of drawing as a method of expression, analysis and explanation. You will have opportunities to work on commercially focused projects, produce print work and take part in industry visits.
Option courses are available from within the wider University.
This gives opportunity for self-initiated projects as well as set briefs. You will feel confident about your ability to express ideas, opinions and concerns in your work.
Projects allow for greater exploration and you will identify direction and stylistic approaches towards a completed body of final-year work. Competitions and live projects will enhance your awareness of professional practice as well as the illustrator’s role in the field of contemporary art & design.
Find out more about the compulsory and optional courses in this degree programme.
To give you an idea of what you will study on this programme, we publish the latest available information. However, please note this may not be for your year of entry, but for a different academic year.
Design students benefit from studio-based learning at our Lauriston Place campus, along with the exhibitions and events associated with a vibrant art college. Option courses are usually taught outside the School across the wider university campus. You will also have access to the University's extensive libraries and computer facilities.
The University is investing in the ECA estate and facilities to further develop our flexible, stimulating, supportive and sustainable learning and research environment for students and staff.
Further information is available on the ECA website.
There will be opportunities for credited work-based learning during Year 3 although students from each year group often explore internships during their holiday period.
Study abroad is optional in Year 3.
The majority of design teaching and learning is through involvement in a range of experiential projects situated in a studio environment. Conceptual, material and technical issues are explored through seminars, workshops, lectures, tutorials and critiques.
Research, critical thinking and study of the visual, intellectual, social and professional contexts that shape creative design practice are regarded as essential to your development. This often involves participation in exhibitions, competitions, collaborations and live industry projects.
Formative assessment is continuous throughout the year, aiming to give you meaningful feedback and to encourage experimentation in the studio and beyond. Formative assessment for compulsory courses is through a mix of verbal and written modes such as portfolio, presentations and essays.
There is a mid-session review, usually at the mid-point of any given course you study. Summative assessment at the end of all the courses you take is informed by your academic and creative progress and performance throughout.
Find out more about this programme's aims, what you will learn, how you will be assessed and what skills and knowledge you will develop.
To give you an idea of what to expect from this programme, we publish the latest available information. However, please note this may not be for your year of entry, but for a different academic year.
Our programmes have strong industrial pathways to ensure the most successful and meaningful careers for graduates. You are encouraged to participate in national and international showcase events appropriate to your programme.
The typical offer is likely to be:
Applicants will be asked to submit a digital mini-portfolio to provide evidence of artistic aptitude and potential, this will form an important part of the selection process. Information on mini-portfolio submission will be available here by early August. (Revised 16/05/2017 to provide more accurate information.)
Applicants studying Pearson BTEC Level 3 Nationals in Art and Design will be considered for entry with the following:
Applicants studying the University of the Arts London Level 3 Extended Diploma in Art and Design will be considered with Merit. (Revised 16/08/2017 to provide more accurate information.)
We welcome applications from students studying a wide range of international qualifications.
If you are an international student and your school qualifications are not accepted for direct entry to the University you may be eligible for admission to this degree programme through our International Foundation Programme.
Entry to the second year is available. Successful completion of a Foundation Diploma (at Merit Grade), a relevant HND or equivalent is required. Applicants will normally be expected to have undertaken these qualifications in addition to having met the minimum entry requirements (Highers, A Levels, IB etc). In some of our less competitive programmes it may be possible to consider applicants presenting ABC (or equivalent) or above at A-level. These grades must have been achieved in a single first sitting.
You must provide evidence that your written and spoken English is at a level that will enable you to succeed in your studies.
If English is not your first language, you must have one of the following qualifications as evidence of your spoken and written English:
For SQA and GCSE students, unless a higher level is specified in the stated entry requirements, a pass is required in English at the following grades or higher:
Key Information Sets (KIS) are part of a government initiative to enhance the information that higher education institutions provide about their degree programmes.
KIS are available for most undergraduate programmes and are intended to make it easier for you to find information about the programmes you are interested in studying. It is one of many sources of information available that will enable you to make an informed decision on what and where to study.
You can also use this website to find more information on our programmes and the learning environment you will experience at the University of Edinburgh.
Please note that some programmes do not have data available and will not display a KIS.
There are likely to be additional costs for materials.
In addition, some programmes offer study trips and individual field-based projects. You will usually be required to cover accommodation, subsistence and travel costs.
Your actual contribution will depend on the programme and courses you select and on the nature of each trip.
For more information on how much it will cost to study with us and the financial support available see our fees and funding information.