Illustration BDes (Hons)

  • For Entry: September
  • Duration: 3 years
  • School: Art & Design

Illustration at Dundee

Illustration students embrace traditional and contemporary production processes while developing a personal creative approach.

Work by Damien Rice

Why study this course at Dundee?

Illustration addresses the on-going demand for compelling visual communicators who can engage their audiences. The curriculum focuses on creativity, authorship and interpretation. We deliver it through a mix of live and personal projects.

We will help you to embrace traditional and contemporary production processes. You will also developing a personal creative approach.  

We have excellent digital and printmaking facilities. You will use them to experiment with a wide range of media, including book works, photography, drawing, graphic arts, moving and interactive media.

You will get the chance to take part in a foreign study trip. Extra exposure comes in the form of  D&AD's 'New Blood'. This is an international showcase of the best graduates in visual communication and advertising. 

 

Did You Know?

  • Our graduates' clients have included Orange, The New York Times and Umbro

Study illustration to:

  • develop dynamic visual ideas
  • learn to take ownership of 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

You can study abroad through exchange schemes that operate in many European and transatlantic countries.

The department normally organises an overseas study visit for all Level 3 students.

Who should study this course?

You are:

  • creative
  • imaginative

 

You like:

  • working by yourself as well as in groups
  • a challenge

 

You want to:

  • develop your skills in using narrative and images to represent an overall idea or theme
  • work in groups to develop your skills
  • work independently to nurture your own projects
Still from illustration video

Illustration showreel made by DJCAD students at the University of Dundee.

Communication Design

Illustration is one of three courses that comprise the communication design programme. The full list is animation, graphic design and illustration. While following your course in illustration, you will also get a wide range of opportunities to engage with communication design issues as well as your pathway choice in illustration.

The course develops conceptually agile and technically skilled illustrators who have a broad understanding of communication design coupled with deep knowledge and expertise in their chosen subject.

 

Learn more about DJCAD

For further examples of student work, staff profiles and news visit the DJCAD website.

The programme of study initially involves projects and workshops designed to help you, through experiential learning, to understand the fundamental discipline of your chosen subject. Many different approaches to teaching and learning are used including regular seminars, practical lectures, studio demonstrations, individual tutorials and group critiques.

How you will be taught

Many different approaches to teaching and learning are used including:

  • Workshops
  • Studio demonstrations
  • Seminars
  • Practical lectures
  • Live briefs
  • Group tutorials
  • One-to-one tutorials
  • Group critiques
  • Self-assessment

Students are encouraged to develop their own directions within assignments and to engage in debate about their work.

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.

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.

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

Enterprise/Freelance

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.

Ben Bainbridge, Illustration Graduate

"Within Illustration I was able to explore different areas of the specialism I was interested in. This helped me understand my subject a lot more and really benefitted me as a young designer. With regular artist talks and workshops from professionals I was able to see how the industry worked past art school. They were not only informative, but inspiring too."

Emma Goldstraw, Illustration Graduate

"Duncan of Jordanstone has always been something of a "Mecca" for me. Any courses that were on offer, or exhibitions - I was there! The Illustration course allowed me to 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. It is an extremely proud feeling to know that I have an excellent degree from one of the top art schools in the country."

The following are the minimum, up-to-date entry requirements.

You have to obtain your qualifications at the first sitting of examination.

Courses starting 2016

Advanced Entry (to Level 2)

Qualification Grade
SQA Advanced Higher BB (Advanced Higher) + BB (Higher) in different subjects
GCE A-Level ABB
IB Diploma 34 points (including 6, 6, 5, at Higher level)
Essential Subjects Art and Design, or related subject (at SQA Advanced Higher, GCE A-Level, IB Higher Level), an appropriate literate subject (at SQA Advanced Higher, GCE A Level, IB Higher Level) and one other subject outside art & design subjects (at SQA Higher, GCE A Level, IB Higher Level).
EU & International Visit our EU and International webpages for entry requirements tailored to your home country
Other Qualifications
SQA A recognised Foundation Course or a relevant HND with BB in the Graded Units
Scottish Baccalaureate Pass with BB at Advanced Higher
SWAP Access
EDEXCEL A recognised Foundation Course or a relevant BTEC Extended Diploma with DDM
Advanced Diploma Grade B with ASL A-levels in appropriate subjects at AB
Welsh Baccalaureate Pass with A-levels in appropriate subjects at AB
European Baccalaureate 75% overall with 7.5 in an Art & Design subject and 7.5 in a literate subject

There have been many changes to the arrangements for funding students entering higher education in recent years, yet a degree from the University of Dundee, with its high rate of employment success, remains a cost-effective option.

The fees you pay will depend on your fee status. Your fee status is determined by us using the information you provide on your application. Find out more about fee status.

Fee categoryFees for students starting 2016
Scottish and EU students £1,820 per year of study (for Sept 2015 entry). Fees for September 2016 will be confirmed by the Scottish Government in early 2016.
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.
Overseas students (non-EU) £12,950 per year of study. See our scholarships for international applicants.

Scottish and EU students can apply to the Students Award Agency for Scotland (SAAS) to have tuition fees paid by the Scottish Government.

Rest of the UK students can apply for financial assistance, including a loan to cover the full cost of the tuition fees, from the Student Loans Company.

Tuition fees for Overseas (non-EU) students are guaranteed for the length of your course. This means that the tuition fee you pay in your first year (shown above) is the same fee you will pay for each year of your course. We guarantee that this will not increase while you are studying with us. The only exceptions to this are our MBChB Medicine, BSc Medical Sciences and BDS Dentistry degrees which charge a different tuition for the clinical years.

Students applying for Illustration must successfully complete our 1 year Art and Design (General Foundation) course. In this instance you should apply using the UCAS code WW12.

Alternatively, if you have already completed a recognised foundation course or equivalent elsewhere then apply directly to Illustration.

There is a two stage consideration process for entry to the Illustration course:

Stage One - Digital Portfolio Submission

All applicants will be invited to submit a digital folio in the first instance comprising a maximum of 15 images (jpeg or pdf format) which show a range of project work and a text file listing the images, giving a brief explanation of the project and/or the aim of the art work.  Sketchbook pages can be included in the 15 images.  Your folio should preferably be submitted as one file and not a list of multiples.

Full details of the digital portfolio submission process will be provided when we send the formal request to submit.

Stage Two – Interview in person or via Skype

Based on the portfolio submission, selected candidates will be invited to attend interview in person to present a comprehensive portfolio or if this is not suitable due to distance/cost, we can arrange an interview via Skype at a mutually suitable time.  However where possible we would encourage you to attend interview in person to give you the opportunity to view departmental facilities, meet staff/students and of course experience life on campus.

The interview and portfolio presentation is intended as a means for the academic staff team to assess whether you are likely to benefit from/contribute to the course.

Portfolio Guidelines (for submission at interview)

Ideally your portfolio should give evidence of:

  • good basic drawing ability
  • visual expression: liveliness and/or sensitivity
  • the understanding/appreciation of colour as perceived and a capacity to handle coloured media
  • commitment in your work
  • sketchbooks
  • early school work that has been superseded by later, more mature work need not be submitted; there is no virtue in quantity alone

Applicants are advised to seek the help of their Art & Design Teacher/Tutor in the presentation of an admissions portfolio.

Digital Portfolio Guidelines

Please submit 15 images (and/or movies) that best describe your work. Your selection should provide us with a range of creative problems that demonstrate the way you think in response to design and or animation challenges.

Context and Research

We are interested in seeing a sample of your contextual and background research.

This is often found in your sketchbook work or development sheets. Please scan and layout examples of your research process alongside its associated resolved work.

Creative Process

We would like you to demonstrate your creativity within your portfolio. We are looking to see how you as an individual interpret a brief and produce creative ideas.

Project work could include poster design, editorial layout, packaging, direct mail, promotional and marketing concepts, graphics/time-based outputs and contemporary media e.g. web/apps design. Responses to D&AD, YCN or other student competitions and self-motivated work are all relevant for inclusion.

Note: Please provide a short summary of each brief and a description of your response alongside the visual work.

 Media Skills

At this stage in your education we are looking for a broad range of media handling skills e.g. drawing, digital processes (Photoshop, vector graphics, Flash, 3D CGI etc.) digital or traditional collage, digital painting, photography, interactive media, experiments with typography, printmaking, paint, inks, pastels etc.

This would normally be covered by your selected projects or your development work; you can also include more expressive media-centric projects however. For Animation, research into the human body is of particular interest to us – so please be sure to include examples of drawing from life (e.g. life drawing) and or anatomical studies.  On location drawings of humans and or animals in motion is also desirable.

Digital Folio Submission Format

jpg, jpeg, gif, tiff, tif, doc, docx, ppt, pptx, pdf, png and bmp file types are allowed and each file size limit of 5Mb.

Movie files can be submitted providing links to YouTube/Vimeo or QuickTime movies.

Tip

Early schoolwork that has been superseded by later, more mature work need not be submitted – please select the most up-to date and best quality examples that best represent you. 

Digital Portfolio Guidelines

You will be prompted by our Admissions Team to submit your digital portfolio (and answer a few questions in respect of your interest in studying art & design at Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art & Design), via the University of Dundee Applicant Portal, thereafter, if required, we may contact you to arrange an interview in person or via Skype.

If you require further information on any aspect of the application consideration process or the undergraduate programme in general, please do not hesitate to contact us.

djcadundergraduate@dundee.ac.uk



  Degree UCAS Code KIS Data
Apply NowIllustration BDes (Hons)W220