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Coventry University

Illustration and Graphics

UCAS Code: W291

Bachelor of Arts (with Honours) - BA (Hons)

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About this course

This course has alternative study modes. Contact the university to find out how the information below might vary.

Course option


Full-time | 2021

Other options

4.0 years | Sandwich | 2021



Graphic design

Taught by artists and current practitioners whose experience ranges from illustration, design, print, animation, fine art, music, performance, moving image and CGI, this studio-based course focuses on image and object making. It includes drawing, printmaking, animation, photography and digital – encouraging you to push boundaries to create new and exciting forms of visual communication combining a mixture of approaches.

Experimentation is a key focus of the course and you will experiment across print, 3D and moving image formats. You’ll have access to a wide range of technologies, studios and workshop facilities, including Adobe Creative Suite software, 3D software, screen printing facilities, 3D clay modelling, laser cutting, stop motion animation studio, photography and video resources and digital print bureau.

Our emphasis on industry readiness is one of the course’s core strengths; from the outset, we aim to focus on your own professional development so that you can graduate with the know-how, skills and confidence to find your place in the creative world. There will be opportunities to gain practical experience through a mix of in-house assignments, self-initiated tasks, national and international competition opportunities, project briefs and concept visualisation briefs.

We have strong links with many regional arts organisations, for example, the Mead Gallery at the Warwick Arts Centre, New Art West Midlands, Coventry Art space, the Herbert Art Gallery and Museum, Birmingham Open Media, Flatpack Festival and Eye Candy Festival. These industry relationships provide opportunities to collaborate on a wide range of professional creative briefs, set by practitioners in the field. Past projects have included: student commissions for Coventry City Council’s Swanswell Health Centre; editorial illustrations for the Camping and Caravaning club magazine; video animations for the ‘Specials’; illustrated hoardings for the University’s Engineering and Computing building; and creative briefs set by B-Hive and Glenn Howells Architects.

You have the option of spending a sandwich year studying abroad or on professional placement. In the past, students have worked at the following places: Venice Printmaking Studio, Silverback Studios; Nucleo Design Studios-Italy, Ash Gaming, Rawww Design Agency, Christian Aid and have undertaken Erasmus study placements at Accademia di Belle Arti Bologna and Universidad Europea de Madrid. Additionally, our FACETS talks provide an opportunity to hear direct from some of the most innovative contemporary artists and creative practitioners from the UK and beyond – recent topics have explored current changes in cultural opportunities across Eastern and Western Europe, post-object art practices in the context of digital media and the impact that artists can have on their environments.

**Key Course Benefits:**
- Optional study trips at home and abroad, in the past to China, Barcelona, Amsterdam, Berlin, Prague and New York.

- Technical workshops and demonstrations in specialist software such as The Adobe Creative Suite, Maya, Rhino 3D and MuseWork alongside our staff who continue to work as professional artists, designers, illustrators and animators on external research projects.

- Access to specialist photographic and media resources, including digital audio recorders and manual/digital still/video cameras via our dedicated Media Loan Shop.

- Impressive guest lecture programme, which in the past has featured talks from: Paul Davis, Gemma Correll, Ian Francis, Bob and Roberta Smith, Fig Talor and John Stezaker.

- Opportunities to show your work – past students have exhibited nationally and internationally at D&AD New Blood, Free Range and New Designers exhibitions in London, as well as the Hangzhou Animation Festival, China.


Your main study themes are:

**Illustration and Graphics** We will introduce you to the key concepts across both illustration and graphics, exploring the breadth of design and visual communication as a subject and in reference to contemporary and historical practice. Our focus is to enable you to identify and develop your personal design process – enhancing your research skills and conceptual thinking strategies, as well as experimenting with digital and traditional approaches to creating visual language. You should create new and exciting visual languages and artefacts that are relevant to the cutting edge of contemporary practice. Central themes explore include how meaning is transmitted to audiences through the creation and combination of visual material, ideas and texts and how different media, technologies and delivery methods are central to this communication. We will cover idea generation, strategic problem solving and the translation of ideas through visualisation and making skills, with the chance to take workshops in digital and moving-image software and 3D modelling.

**Studio Practice** You should learn to relate your developing skills to a range of historical, cultural and practice-based themes as relevant to the illustration discipline in its broadest sense. Working on project briefs, live, competition, self-initiated or concept visualisation briefs, you will be expected to maintain an exploratory and experimental approach in an increasingly self-directed environment that addresses scientific, technical, narrative and cultural themes. Emphasis will be on ideas generation, encouraging you to formulate solutions, professionally, articulately and within strict deadlines. We will address specific core skills, such as measured perspective drawing and the image-to-text relationship. You will be expected to develop appropriate levels of negotiation, reflection, technical and visual research and ideas development together with growing awareness of professional practice. The projects will provide a professional experience of issues including scheduling, turnaround times, verbal and visual presentation, budgeting and meeting the expectations of clients and contractors.

**Professional Development** We will consider the professional worlds of illustration, graphics, animation, fine art and other areas of professional creative practice. To improve your understanding of current areas of creative practice and emerging genres, we ask you to collect, organise and analyse the work of creative professionals within the broad and expansive field or creative practice, comparing and contrasting these with your own developing practice. You will be expected to focus on self-presentation, identify and explore your community of practice and consider your skills and knowledge in relation to possible opportunities. You will be shown practical methods to prepare for external opportunities, such as getting an illustrator agent, promoting and organising your freelance career, getting work in a design or animation studio, and explore ideas around employability, enterprise, social enterprise, volunteering, placements, funding for overseas opportunities, freelancing and live projects.

For more information about what you will study, please visit our website.

The Uni

Course location:

Coventry University


School of Art and Design

TEF rating:
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What students say

We've crunched the numbers to see if overall student satisfaction here is high, medium or low compared to students studying this subject(s) at other universities.

Graphic design

How do students rate their degree experience?

The stats below relate to the general subject area/s at this university, not this specific course. We show this where there isn’t enough data about the course, or where this is the most detailed info available to us.

Design studies

Teaching and learning

Staff make the subject interesting
Staff are good at explaining things
Ideas and concepts are explored in-depth
Opportunities to apply what I've learned

Assessment and feedback

Feedback on work has been timely
Feedback on work has been helpful
Staff are contactable when needed
Good advice available when making study choices

Resources and organisation

Library resources
IT resources
Course specific equipment and facilities
Course is well organised and has run smoothly

Student voice

Staff value students' opinions
Feel part of a community on my course

Who studies this subject and how do they get on?

UK students
International students
Male students
Female students
2:1 or above
Drop out rate

Most popular A-Levels studied (and grade achieved)


After graduation

The stats in this section relate to the general subject area/s at this university – not this specific course. We show this where there isn't enough data about the course, or where this is the most detailed info available to us.

Design studies

What are graduates doing after six months?

This is what graduates told us they were doing (and earning), shortly after completing their course. We've crunched the numbers to show you if these immediate prospects are high, medium or low, compared to those studying this subject/s at other universities.

Average annual salary
Employed or in further education
Employed in a role where degree was essential or beneficial

Top job areas of graduates

Design occupations
Sales assistants and retail cashiers
Sales, marketing and related associate professionals

What about your long term prospects?

Looking further ahead, below is a rough guide for what graduates went on to earn.

Creative arts and design

The graph shows median earnings of graduates who achieved a degree in this subject area one, three and five years after graduating from here.







Note: this data only looks at employees (and not those who are self-employed or also studying) and covers a broad sample of graduates and the various paths they've taken, which might not always be a direct result of their degree.

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Post-six month graduation stats:

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The Longitudinal Educational Outcomes dataset combines HRMC earnings data with student records from the Higher Education Statistics Agency.

While there are lots of factors at play when it comes to your future earnings, use this as a rough timeline of what graduates in this subject area were earning on average one, three and five years later. Can you see a steady increase in salary, or did grads need some experience under their belt before seeing a nice bump up in their pay packet?

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