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Solent Unviersity Southampton logo

BA (Hons)Illustration

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UCAS code: IL01
Institution code: S30
Campus: Southampton City CentreView on Google Maps

Why study an illustration degree at Solent University

Turn the art of your imagination into crafted illustrations and build your portfolio using dedicated multi-media facilities and art studios.

  • £0m
    invested in a dedicated art and design school
  • 0st
    out of 130 institutions for assessment and feedback (NSS 2023)
  • 0th
    in the top 20 best student cities (StudentCrowd, 2023)
  • Our academic team includes professionals with excellent links with industry, enabling you to work on projects from real clients.
  • Access specialist print room facilities, including screen-printing, letterpress and etching presses.
  • You will build a professional portfolio to evidence your experience.
  • Some of our graduates have been given the opportunity to exhibit their work, both in Southampton and London.
  • Enter industry competitions to gain exposure for your creative work.
  • A creative, multi-disciplinary environment for world-leading research in Media, Culture and the Arts – you will learn from experts in their field.
Video transcript, with a description of visuals available.

Course overview

In dedicated studio space, you’ll have the room, equipment and academic support to reach your full potential. You’ll study a variety of modules such as Orientation, Concepts and Themes, Visual Language, Critical Discourse, Editorial, The Society of Superstition and Phobias and Research and Authorship; with options to specialise in your preferred area of creativity.

You’ll also propose, plan and produce a body of work that will draw together your technical and conceptual skills and demonstrate competence in studio protocols and proficiency in applying methods, materials and technologies. This innovative degree explores the art of illustration and visual communication in children’s and adult’s narrative, together with editorial and journalistic illustration which explores new approaches to contemporary illustration.

You will be encouraged to experiment and develop your own voice in an environment where you will feel free to take risks, and be ambitious in developing your personal approach to visual art as either a practitioner or critic and theorist. To underpin creativity and encourage understanding of transferable skills and management of learning, emphasis is placed on gaining hands-on practice, from working in the print room to drawing on the streets, and working on projects and case studies to gain experience of working on live briefs.

In previous years, students have been given the opportunity to exhibit, both in Southampton and London, and to have their work seen by a collection of art directors and agencies. Past students have also been encouraged to enter industry competitions to gain exposure for their creative work and have also been able to publish and print their work through our in-house printing organisation to sell at artists’ book fairs.

Virtual tour image showing exhibits from the graphic design and illustration degree show
Graphic design and illustration 2023 degree show virtual tour

Any questions?

Contact UK admissions

Email: 023 8201 5066

Contact international admissions

Email: +44 (0)23 8201 5066

Course features

  • Foundation year available

    If you're not quite ready for a full undergraduate degree, there's alternative entry through one of our foundation years

  • Further studies

    After successfully completing your studies, there's an opportunity to continue your studies at Solent

  • Specialist facilities

    This course has access to specialist facilities

  • Top-up option

    If you have an appropriate Level 5 qualification, you can top it up to a degree in just a year

  • Study abroad

    You have the opportunity to study abroad in one of our partner universities for a semester on this course

Who is this course for?

Solent’s BA (Hons) Illustration programme is perfect for students from a creative background, who are self-motivated and active in their desire to develop their visual language and understanding of the creative process in the field of illustration and beyond.

What does this course lead to?

Upon completion of this course, you will have the opportunity to work in a variety of roles such as freelancing, working as an art worker in a publisher or design house – or even working in the film industry producing concept art for animation projects.

Graduates will have developed a professional portfolio and will be well positioned to progress into further study at postgraduate level.

Solent stories

Hear from Solent alumni about where their careers have taken them and how studying at Solent prepared them for their future.

Read more stories
One of the highlights of my career so far is seeing my illustrated book published.

Portrait image of Lucy Rose

Lucy Rose Turner

Freelance Children’s Book Illustrator

Meet the team

Students study under the guidance of a supportive academic team, which includes award-winning staff who have diverse experience, and many of whom have come from or are still practicing within industry as consultants, researchers and freelance artists or illustrators. The course team has strong links with a variety of clients, including local organisations such as Southampton City Council, and design bodies including D&AD and the Association of Illustrators.

The University cannot guarantee any particular members of staff will teach specific aspects of the course in the future, but will endeavour to ensure the teaching team maintains their balance of experience and qualifications.


You’ll make extensive use of our print room facilities, including screen printing, letterpress and etching presses. Students have free access to dedicated studio space at our Below Bar campus where they are able to experiment with a wide variety of media including intaglio and silkscreen print making, photography, digital imaging, drawing and painting to discover their own style.

The creative space also boasts an in-house publishing press, which brings together industry-standard digital with traditional printing resources for student publications. In addition, there are letterpress, print-making, drawing and bookbinding facilities, all of which are designed to aid students’ journeys from initial concepts through to producing a final product for their portfolio.

    International opportunities

    Broaden your horizons by adding an international dimension to your CV – essential to achieving success in today’s fast-changing, global environment.

    Studying, working or volunteering in another country could be the experience of a lifetime. Enhance your degree by developing important global skills such as knowledge of other countries, language skills, intercultural awareness, adaptability and confidence.

    For more information, please email

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