Study mode:Full-time Languages: English Duration:36 months
Deadline: Jan 15, 2022
StudyQA ranking:1158

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Why study Illustration at Dundee?

Illustration is about the acts of personal interpretation and communication.

By focusing the curriculum on creativity, authorship and interpretation, delivered through a mix of live and personal projects, Illustration aims to address the on-going demand for compelling visual communicators who can engage their audiences.

We will help you to embrace traditional and contemporary production processes whilst developing a personal creative approach. Utilising our excellent digital and printmaking facilities the staff will ask you to experiment with a wide range of media ranging from book works, photography, drawing to graphic arts, moving and interactive media.

You will also have opportunities to participate in a foreign study trip and gain exposure and experience in D&AD's 'New Blood', an international showcase of the best graduates in visual communication and advertising.

Study illustration to:
  • Develop dynamic visual ideas
  • Learn to take ownership of our projects
  • Enjoy a wide range of opportunities including narrative, book arts, photography, printmaking and interactive media
At the end of the course you will be able to:
  • Subject research findings to argument and analysis
  • Structure research outcomes
  • Present an image and text based format
  • Explain the relationship between theory and practice in your own work
We can offer you:
  • Well resourced facilities
  • Local and national links with industry
  • Student focused teaching
  • Opportunity to enter competitions and win awards
Student exchange

The academic perspective is enhanced by opportunities for you to study abroad through exchange schemes that operate with centres of excellence in many European and transatlantic countries.

In addition, the department normally organises an overseas study visit for all Level 3 students.

Emma Goldstraw graduated in 2009. "The Illustration course that I studied was exceptional. The course allowed me to have more freedom and try various methods and ways of working that I had never done before. The course also allowed me to experience new technology, computer programmes and digital media.

The staff in the department are all very supportive and approachable. Most importantly they helped me build my own confidence about my own work. They let me see that I was progressing with my work and encouraged me to push my work further."

Communication Design

Illustration is one of three courses that comprise the communication design programme (animation, graphic design and illustration). While following your course in illustration, you will also gain a broad educational experience by being provided with a wide range of opportunities for you to engage with pertinent communication design issues as well as your pathway choice in illustration. The course has a track record in conceptually agile and technically skilled graduate designers who have a broad understanding of communication design coupled with deep knowledge and expertise in their chosen subject pathway.

For examples of student work, staff profiles, and news from Illustration,


The demand for illustrators has increased as related commercial fields have expanded. Our graduates have gone on to have successful careers in the following fields:

  • publishing
  • design
  • editorial
  • advertising
  • art
  • animation
  • online media
  • sequential imagery
  • film & television

Placements, live project work and participation in national and international competitions all hone the employability and aspirations of our students. Students have found employment with many major design studios and organisations such as:

  • The New York Times
  • Bank of Scotland
  • The Guardian
  • Edinburgh International Fringe Festival
  • The Scotsman
  • Orange
  • The Herald
  • Umbro
  • TimeOut London
  • National Museum of Scotland

Masters degree or PhD programmes.


Others have gone on to freelance and establishing their own successful businesses. Extra curriculum activities such as the Enterprise Gym help students cultivate entrepreneurial skills. The Greenhouse Business Pre-Incubator facility provides ambitious students with an office space to explore their business idea.

Marion Deuchars graduated in 1987. She is a freelance illustrator who has illustrated for a range of high profile clients including Harrods, Esquire Magazine, Penguin Books, The Guardian and Jamie Oliver.

Eleanor Meredith graduated in 2006. She is an animator and illustrator who also teaches. Her clients include BBC Learning, The Scottish Executive, The Skinny Magazine, Hotel Bloom and Kettles Yard.

Detailed Course Facts

Application deadline January 15 Tuition fee

The fees you pay will, in most cases, depend on your current country of residence.

The fee shown is annual, and may be subject to an increase each year.

Fee category

Fees for students starting September 2015

Scottish students

£1,820 per year of study (for Sept 2014 entry). Fees for September 2015 will be confirmed by the Scottish Government in early 2015.

Rest of UK students

£9,000 per year, for a maximum of 3 years, even if you are studying a four year degree. See our scholarships for rest of UK applicants.

EU students

£1,820 per year of study (for Sept 2014 entry). Fees for September 2015 will be confirmed by the Scottish Government in early 2015.

Overseas students (non-EU)

£12,950 per year of study. See our scholarships for international applicants.

Not specified Start date September 2015 Course starts in September Duration full-time 36 months Languages Take an IELTS test
  • English
Delivery mode On Campus Educational variant Full-time

Course Content

What you will study
Level 1

Students can enter illustration after successfully completing our Art and Design (General Foundation) course (apply for course WW12) or on successful completion of a recognised Foundation Course or equivalent (apply for course W220). This is normal for many art and design courses.

In the Art and Design (General Foundation) course you will learn the core values which will enrich and expand your personal visual language, preparing you nicely for a further 3 years in Illustration.

Level 2
  • Tutor-set Briefs
  • Introduction to Technical Processes
  • Introduction to Computer Aided Design
  • Introduction to Creating a Personal Programme of Study
  • Creative Research Methodology
  • Contextual Studies

Level 2 of the programme is structured to provide a broad foundation of knowledge and experience. You will be introduced to relevant equipment and varied media used in the production process for your choice of specialism. Projects and assignments help you develop the relevant learning, research and technical skills, exploring creativity and individual aptitude through each process.

Level 3
  • Personal Programme of Study
  • Tutor-set and Live Briefs
  • Strategic Experimentation
  • Research and Development of Ideas
  • Cultural Experience Foreign Study Trip
  • Contextual Studies
  • Elective modules such as:
    • Visual Effects
    • Comic Art & Graphic Novels
    • Printmaking

Level 3 is designed to encourage experimentation, cross course projects, exploring ideas and making use of appropriate technical methods. All students prepare and present a programme of personal project work that reflects the research and development of ideas. During this year you will undertake a series of assignments designed to develop good professional practice necessary to succeed in your chosen career.

Level 4
  • Personal Programme of Research
  • National Competitions
  • Supporting Study Elective
  • Exhibitions in Dundee and London

In the final year - Level 4 - you will organise and present a personal programme of study that will form the major part of your submission for the Honours degree examination. You will be encouraged to integrate all aspects of your research with a written thesis and the production of your final outcomes. You will produce a body of work that will demonstrate a mature visual understanding of materials, methods and processes required to transform ideas into reality.

How you will be assessed

Your progress is monitored with structured formal reviews and assessments. At Level 4 a team of internal and external examiners conduct the final degree examination.


Who should study Illustration? You are:
  • Creative
  • Imaginative
You like:
  • Working by yourself as well as in groups
  • A challenge
You want to:
  • Develop your skills to us narrative and images to represent an overall idea or theme
  • Work in groups to develop your skills
  • Work independently to nurture your own projects


See Course Homepage for Full Details

Work Experience

No work experience is required.

Related Scholarships*

  • Academic Excellence Scholarship

    "The Academic Excellence Scholarship can provide up to a 50 % reduction in tuition per semester. These scholarships will be renewed if the student maintains superior academic performance during each semester of their 3-year Bachelor programme. The scholarship will be directly applied to the student’s tuition fees."

  • Access Bursary

    Bursary for UK students all subjects where the variable tuition fee rate is payable.

  • Alumni Bursary

    Alumni Bursary for UK Undergraduate students

* The scholarships shown on this page are suggestions first and foremost. They could be offered by other organisations than University of Dundee.

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