Design courses

University of Northampton

Illustration BA (hons) in University of Northampton

  • Duration : 3 Years
  • Intake : Sep
  • Level : Undergraduate
  • Tuition & fees : £ 13,000 Per Year
  • IELTS : 6.0
  • TOEFL : 0
  • PTE : 0
  • University Course Details URL : Visit Website

About Illustration BA (hons) in University of Northampton

The course has an emphasis on innovative and imaginative ideas as well as strong drawing and painting, graphic design and digital skills. All of which are explored through narrative, cultural, social and environmental themes at each level in; workshops, staff set, live and competition project briefs to
develop your personal visual language and illustrative approach.

The course is a member of the internationally recognized body for the sector, The Association of Illustrators and Varoom and has successful freelance illustrators and industry partners working with the course.

We will support you to achieve your career and study ambitions, which is why if you complete our Employability Plus Gold programme or Changemaker Gold certificate alongside your studies and if you haven’t secured full-time employment 12 months after graduating* we will secure a three – six month paid internship for you, or support you into postgraduate study.

*with a 2:2 degree classification or higher

Course Highlights

  • Lots of opportunities to work with ‘live’ projects, competition briefs and collaboration with other subjects.
  • Access to specialist resources with technical instruction and support.
  • Opportunities to exhibit your work.
  • Mac computer design suite.
  • Guaranteed paid internship with the Northampton Employment Promise.

HP Laptop and software included with this course.

Course Details

The illustration course prepares you for your career as a freelance illustrator or on to postgraduate study. Some of our students have gone on to do a Masters in art therapy, visual communication at the RCA or onto teaching. You will primarily learn through practical studio sessions that will include; workshops, lectures, tutorials, crits and seminars that equip students with idea generating methodologies, technical skills, knowledge and understanding of illustration and design. You will have access to your studio, excellent digital media, printmaking and photography facilities.

The course begins by providing you with a foundation on which to build your knowledge, understanding and design skills with an emphasis on developing your visual language and drawing in particular. Across the three years you will be given a range of staff-set, live, International and National competition briefs that allow you to experience a range of illustration challenges and as you progress through the course you will be given more and more autonomy with which to choose the brief and shape your portfolio. An important aspect for a contemporary illustrator is to continually develop their own practice and this is reflected in the course structure, students have opportunities to write their own self-directed projects and make choices within set projects. Illustration can be used to communicate about any subject so collaboration and working with other disciplines within the university is something we often do.

As well as developing your ideas, technical skills and approaches to different aspects of narrative the course offers students the opportunity to attend design and illustration conferences, get feedback on your work and portfolio from industry experts and to travel with the course on an annual cultural trip. Over the past few years we have visited; Barcelona, Paris, Amsterdam, Berlin, Rome and Madrid. We regularly host visiting speakers, industry experts and creative agencies giving you practical learning and advice from professionals.

Opportunities For You

• International and National competitions
• Public facing exhibitions and residency
• Commissions through Professional Practice
• Live work through commissions and project briefs
• Collaborate with other disciplines in the University
• Portfolio reviews with industry specialists
• In-house Risograph press

Student Successes

Through the Professional Practice module our students regularly secure exciting internships and commissions. Recently students have interned at The House of Illustration in London, graphic designer for an NHS department and in a local printmaking studio while commissions have ranged from window display for Gosh comics in London’s Soho and local specialist pet store, craft beer bottle labels for local brewery and mural for a local artisan coffee shop and bakery.

Students have pursued their own publishing careers by networking with comic groups, crowd funding their own comics, stories and books. Running tables at DIY Cultures, one of the largest comics fairs in London. Students have gone on to postgraduate study in art therapy and illustration with articles about their success in Creative Review and Varoom.

Each year third year students exhibit their degree show work at the summer show held at the university and then in London at the D&AD New Blood exhibition.

You can follow BA Illustration on Instagram to get an idea of the type of projects and events our students get involved in.

Changing Futures Week

Our annual Changing Futures Week is an exciting event and an excellent opportunity for our students to explore the potential of their course and understand where their university experience can lead them beyond graduation. It offers a unique chance to network with high profile industry professionals from the arts, TV, film, fashion and more.

Materials, Events and Visits

Materials for workshops and Masterclasses, entry to competitions associated with your programme of study, and those visits that are necessary for your course are all made available at no additional charge.

We recommend that you budget for printing costs (approximately £50 per year for laser and large format printing) and any specialist materials that you may require (£50 or more depending on materials).
There are optional trips, both within the UK and overseas: UK visits and Trips will cost approximately £50 per year. Overseas trips or visits will cost approximately £350 per trip.

Display and exhibition materials for end of year shows in years 2 and 3 will cost approximately £40 per year. Year 3 – Your end of year summer show additionally requires contributions (or your own fund raising activities) for a catalogue and marketing materials costing approximately £30-£50, along with a further contribution to exhibit at the D&AD New Blood Industry Graduate Showcase in London, approximately £20. If you would like off site access to the Adobe Industry Standard software packages, you can opt to pay £15 per month (student rate) for Adobe Creative Cloud and you may want to buy a laptop or desktop computer (Apple Mac is recommended, from £400 upwards). We have our own suite of MacBooks to use in the design studios and access to iMacs however, buying your own is recommended.


Your taught study will be a combination of lectures, seminars, workshops and technical demonstrations, usually for 15 hours per week, depending on your level of study. In addition, we recommend that you spend around 15 hours per week in self-directed study time. You will have access to technical facilities and studios outside of taught time.


You will be assessed through a range of illustration assignments, including portfolio presentations, self-assessment, essays and in your third year, a dissertation.


EU and International Scholarships

We’re committed to offering the opportunity to study in the UK to the best and brightest students from around the world.

Sir Thomas White Scholarship

The Sir Thomas White scholarship will support and acknowledge an academically gifted student, with the proviso that the selection panel is confident that there is…

TD Lewis Scholarship

The T D Lewis Scholarship provides both undergraduate and postgraduate students with financial awards of up to £1,000.  This scholarship is awarded on educational excellence…

The Chancellor's Fund

The Chancellor’s Fund is a bi-annual fund providing students with awards of between £100 and £1,000. You must be a current student to apply.  The…

Wilson Endowment Scholarship

The Wilson Endowment Scholarship provides a £1,500 scholarship to undergraduate students from the Northamptonshire area. The endowed scholarship was donated in memory of Mr Lynn Wilson,…


Entry Requirements

Standard entry requirements apply. A typical offer would be BCC at A-Level or DMM at BTEC. In addition, you are expected to have studied Art, Design or a related subject in an A-Level or BTEC level 3 Diploma, or equivalent qualification. A Foundation Diploma in Art and Design will also be accepted.

Applicants are interviewed and are requested to provide a portfolio of their own work in Art and Design. International students may submit their portfolio electronically.

Students with a relevant HND or Foundation Degree with a suitable profile of achievement may be admitted onto year two or three.

For more more information on how to make an application, please visit our How to Apply page.

If you are an International student and would like information on making an application, please see our How to Apply page.

Foundation Study Framework Entry Requirements

Admission to this foundation programme is normally DEE at A-Level or MPP at BTEC. However, we would also like to hear from you if you have professional or industry experience instead, a range of other qualifications or self-developed subject knowledge that relates to the programme you wish to study.

English Language Requirements

All International and EU students applying for a course with us must meet the following minimum English language requirements:

  • IELTS 6.0 (or equivalent) with a minimum of 5.5 in all bands
    for study at undergraduate level.

For information regarding English language requirements at the University, please see our IELTS page.

University of Northampton Highlights

Institute Type Public
Campus Setting Urban
Number of Staff 1,611
Number of Students 11,984
Number of International Students 1000
Graduation Employment Rate 95%
Student Satisfaction Rate 89%
Academic Programs Offered Undergraduate and Postgraduate
Mode of Programs Offered Full time, Part time and Distance
Medium of Instruction English
Average Tuition Fee for International Fee GBP 12,000 - GBP 15,000
Proficiency Test for English Language IELTS, TOEFL iBT or Pearson PTE
Financial Aid Scholarships, Funds and Loans

University of Northampton Average Tuition Fees And Other Expenses

For all the prospective candidates for the institute, an estimated cost of living in the UK is as cpmipield below.

University of Northampton Tuition Fee

The tuition fee varies from one course to another. Following are some of the popular courses along with the tuition cost:

University of Northampton Undergraduate Courses 

Course Fee
BA and BSc Degrees GBP 12,900
BSc Podiatry / BSc Occupational Therapy GBP 13,900
BSc Nursing GBP 15,750
Sandwich / placement Year GBP 1,000

University of Northampton Graduate Courses 

Course Fee
MA or MSc Degrees GBP 13,750
MBA GBP 14,750

University of Northampton Cost of Attendance

Basic list of expenses apart from tuition fee are as follows:

Type of Expenditure Cost (in GBP, per week)
Accommodation (includes basic facilities) 130 to 300
Food 36 to 52
Mobile phone 4 to 14
Travel Around 17
Books and supplies Around 11
Clothing and personal care 16 to 26
Entertainment Around 29

University of Northampton Application Process

Basic Admission Requirements

  1. Certified transcripts of high school/college/university
  2. One reference required
  3. Statement of Purpose depicting the interest of the applicant in the chosen course
  4. MBA applicants must also have a proof of work experience
  5. Arts and design applicant must also submit their portfolio 

The outcomes of the English proficiency tests taken by all of the international applicants. IELTS, TOEFL iBT, and Pearson PTE are acceptable tests. The minimal IELTS scores needed to get admitted are as follows:

Academic Programs Minimum Score
Undergraduate 6.0 overall and not less than 5.5 in each section
Postgraduate 6.5 overall and not less than 5.5 in each section
Research 7.0 overall and not less than 6.5 in each section

Additional Requirements

  1. An overseas student who has been accepted must pay the GBP 5,000 deposit fee before the university would issue them a CAS (Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies).
  2. Other documents for the visa application process are:
  • Passport
  • UK visa history form
  • Proof of financial support

Know more about Studying in UK

Tuition Fees in UK (1st Year Average) MS: £17276 | MBA: £17276 | BE/Btech: £16632 | BBA: £15130 | BSc: £16632 | MFin: £19000 | MA: £15560 | MIM: £18241 | MEM: £16950 | MArch: £14271 | BHM: £12662 | MIS: £15344 | MEng: £12876 | MBBS: £28865| MPharm: £15452
Average Accomodation & Food Costs in UK £850 to £1,050 a month
Entrance Exams in UK TOEFL: 88 | IELTS: 6.5 | PTE: 59 | GMAT: 590
Work and Study in UK Permitted for 20 hours/week with a valid study permit.
Post Study Work Permit in UK 2 Year after graduation depending on the course.
Cost of Student Visa in UK £348
Student Visa in UK Your nationality, duration of your stay and purpose of your stay are the three essential factors for UK visa. For Non-EU students UK visa is mandatory.
Intakes in UK There are mainly two intakes in UK: January/February & September/October.
Top Job Sectors in UK IT Engineering, Product Design, Mobile Development, Designers, Logistics, etc.
Economy in UK Growth Rate: 1.3% (2018) 1.4% (2019) 1.4% (2020e), 6th Largest Economy in the World by Nominal
Fees components - (1st year Fees and expense)

Tuition & fees :

£ 13,000


£ 13,000