Hereford College of Arts

Degree level: Undergraduate
Awarded by: University of Wales Trinity Saint David (Prifysgol Cymru Y Drindod Dewi Sant)

Illustration and Animation

Make sure you check on the university, college or conservatoire website for any updates about course changes as a result of COVID-19.

Course summary

The huge growth in our consumption of media on small-screen mobile devices is changing the landscape for visual content creators. Programme makers and advertisers are hungry for imaginative, entertaining work, especially moving-image and animation. This course responds to this demand and embraces the natural link between illustration and animation. Our students engage with traditional and experimental illustration and animation processes that offer alternatives to a pervasive digital aesthetic. This includes illustration that moves, animation that isn’t led by drawing, and short, sharp, witty film-making that doesn’t require lengthy and expensive production. You will share a studio space with the specialist illustration students, and work closely as a group to discuss ideas and support each other. You will become adept in the creative cycle of research, planning, developing, shaping, making and finishing, for a wide range of outcomes. The final year allows you to experiment with more ambitious projects in either illustration, animation, or both, defining your own specialism and preparing a distinctive portfolio and showreel. Industry Links A range of expert visiting practitioners contribute significantly to the course. These have included award-winning Illustrators: Clive Hicks-Jenkins, Jonny Hannah, Alice Pattullo, Geoffrey Grandfield, Mark Hearld, Martin Ursell and Rebecca Gibbon and Animators: BAFTA winning director Jonathan Hodgson and Sandra Salter of Salty’s Animation. Our students have taken part in seminars at Hay Festival with Quentin Blake, Oliver Jeffers and teamed up with HCA honorary fellow Nick Sharrat. You will meet professional practitioners on inspiring local, national and international visits. In the past students have met Creative Director Barbara Ryan in Amsterdam, and Animation Oscar-nominated Javier Mariscal in Barcelona. After this Course You will be able to use your showreel to begin your career as a freelance illustrator-animator, or to work in-house for related media and design houses or multi-media production companies. Graduates are also equipped for a broad range of roles in the creative industries as technicians, demonstrators and teachers, or may progress to further study as part of an MA programme. Highlights 1. Boost your employability with flexible skills across illustration and animation. 2. Explore expressive, innovative, creative animation. 3. Small group teaching in a friendly studio environment with exceptional access to tutorial and technical support. 4. Inspiring invited practitioners and visits. 5. Develop your own visual language and evolve a unique style


From your first day at HCA you will work as a creative, developing your skills and your own voice through a series of projects. You will develop your creative practice, practical skills alongside your critical awareness and theoretical knowledge. You will study a range of modules that build your knowledge and confidence and total 120 credits each year.

How to apply

This course has limited vacancies, and is no longer accepting applications from some students. See the list below for where you normally live, to check if you’re eligible to apply.






Northern Ireland

Republic of Ireland

This course is not accepting applications from students requiring a Student visa. For more information, please contact the course provider.

Application codes

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Points of entry

The following entry points are available for this course:

  • Year 1
  • Year 2

Entry requirements

Qualification requirements

Mature applicants with relevant experience will be considered. Portfolio and interview also required. Applicants whose first language is not English and require a Student Visa must achieve Level B2 in an approved secure English language test prior to enrolment. For further guidance please visit the UK Visa and immigration website:

Additional entry requirements



Unistats information

Operated by the Office for Students
Student satisfaction
Employment after 15 months (Most common jobs)
Go onto work and study

The student satisfaction data is from students surveyed during the Covid-19 pandemic. The number of student respondents and response rates can be important in interpreting the data – it is important to note your experience may be different from theirs. This data will be based on the subject area rather than the specific course. Read more about this data on the Discover Uni website.

Fees and funding

Tuition fees

England £9000 Year 1
Northern Ireland £9000 Year 1
Scotland £9000 Year 1
Wales £9000 Year 1
Channel Islands £9000 Year 1
Republic of Ireland £9000 Year 1
International £12000 Year 1

Additional fee information

In addition to the degree fees, the nature of creative arts practice means you will need to allow for some additional costs, such as for materials you choose to use in the production of work and activities, and for trips to external events and exhibitions. The courses at HCA have been designed to minimise the impact of additional costs; all course leaders have an annual budget and some trips and materials will be fully funded by the college or heavily subsidised. However, typically, a student will choose to spend an additional £250 in the first year, £375 in the second year and £400 in their final year, depending on scale of work and materials chosen or other related costs. Students spend different amounts depending on the areas in which they specialise and individual choices. We appreciate that not all students will be able to invest the same money in their work, and staff assessing it will not judge work by the cost of materials or other resources. The college shop includes many specialist materials at good value prices and much digital equipment can be borrowed from the media stores at no cost to students. HCA students are offered an optional Adobe Creative Cloud subscription for use outside of college hours. In the 2021-22 academic year this cost was £16.24 per month. Please note Adobe Creative Cloud is provided free to use for any student working within the college. Students on all courses will also have the chance to take part in optional trips that require payments towards their costs. Again, non-attendance will not incur assessment penalties, though trips are designed to help students develop their practice. There is an optional annual cross-course residential trip abroad. In the 2019 -20 academic year, the planned trip was to Copenhagen and the cost to students was £385. This fee included a shared dormitory room, UK airport transfers, overseas airport transfer and insurance. Optional single rooms were available for an additional £200. Support Available From Hereford College of Arts The HCA Cash Bursary: is designed to benefit students who are starting Higher Education for the first time; are ordinarily resident in England; the student must be liable to pay the full £9,000 tuition fee for their course & be from a low income family (£25,000 a year or less). Each cash bursary is £1,000 which students receive in their first year only. Care Leaver Bursary: Care leavers will receive the Cash Bursary of £1,000 in their first year, and will receive a Care Leaver Bursary of £1,000 in both their second and third year. The same eligibility criteria will apply as for the HCA cash bursary. Evidence of being a care leaver must be in the form of an original letter showing Care Leaver Status from your local authority. Partner Colleges: A first year bursary of £500 is available to students from our progression partner colleges* who have successfully completed their Level 3 or equivalent course within the last 2 academic years and progress on to a degree programme at HCA. *Partner Colleges include: Bath College, Belfast Metropolitan College, Bourneville, South & city College, Cirencester College, City of Bristol College, Coleg y Cymoedd, Dudley College, Gloucestershire College – ALL Campuses, Gower College, Grantham College, Halesowen College, Heart of Worcestershire College, Hereford College of Arts, Herefordshire & Ludlow College (HCT) (Ludlow College), Hereford Sixth Form College, Newent Sixth Form College, NWRC Derry, NPTC group, Plumpton College, Shrewsbury College, South Gloucestershire & Stroud College, Evesham College, Malvern Hills College, Stratford Upon Avon College, Swindon College & Worcester Sixth Form College Internal Progression Bursary: All students who have studied and successfully completed a Level 3 course within the last two academic years at HCA and progress to undergraduate study at HCA will be eligible to receive a bursary of £500 in their first year.
Illustration and Animation at Hereford College of Arts - UCAS