Illustration and Animation (Top Up) at Hereford College of Arts - UCAS

Hereford College of Arts

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

Illustration and Animation (Top Up)

Course summary

There are opportunities for illustrators and animators to contribute visuals in film & television, theatre, publishing, advertising, information graphics, print, and with interactive new media platforms and this one-year top up degree course seeks to give its students experience of working in many of these specialist areas. The course has been developed in consultation with a wide range of practicing artists, animators, designers, writers, publishers and teachers. Their accumulated knowledge has been combined to create a course that delivers skills and knowledge, challenges and stimulates and most importantly, is fun to take part in. Projects are designed to reflect real world situations and issues. We want our students to begin showing, selling and sharing their work with communities at local, national and global level whilst still on the course, not just after they leave. At HCA, you will have access to cutting edge animation equipment and software, including a stop-frame rig and Cintiq drawing tablets. Offering a sturdy footing in traditional processes alongside these modern techniques, this course presents an alternative to a pervasive computer-generated aesthetic. This includes drawing that moves, animation that isn’t lead by drawing at all, short witty films that require no explanation and ‘ambient’ animation. A place at HCA also provides trips to cultural epicentres as well as opportunities to take part in live briefs with external clients, offering real-world, professional experiences before you even graduate. What we provide

  • Boost your employability with flexible skills across illustration and animation.
  • Explore expressive, innovative, creative animation.
  • Small group teaching in a friendly studio environment with exceptional access to tutorial and technical support.
  • A programme of visiting lecturers from around the world bringing cutting edge practice to HCA students.
  • Develop your own visual language and evolve a unique style.
Who we work with A range of expert visiting practitioners contribute to the course. These have included award winning illustrators: A range of expert visiting practitioners contribute to the course. These have included award winning illustrators: Clive Hicks-Jenkins, Jonny Hannah, Rebecca Gibbon, Matthew Richardson, Alice Pattulo, Mark Hearld, Geoff Grandfield, Martin Ursell, Rebecca Gibbon and animators: BAFTA winning director Jonathan Hodgson and Sarah Salter of Salty’s Animation. Our students have taken part in Seminars with Quentin Blake atHay Festival, 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. Entry Requirements
  • Successful completion of a UK based level 5 qualification such as a Foundation Degree (FdA) or HND in a related subject (evidence of prior learning will need to be provided).
  • Portfolio submission or audition (as applicable) and successful interview.


Year 1 (level 6) - Practice in Context 3 (20 Credits), Practice 5 (30), Practice 6 (60), Professional Practice 2 (10)

How to apply

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Points of entry

The following entry points are available for this course:

  • Year 1

International applicants

We are unable to offer this course to international applicants (including EU/EEA) who have overseas qualifications.

Entry requirements

Qualification requirements

Successful completion of a Foundation Degree (FdA) or HND in a related subject. Applicants whose first language is not English – proof of an overall IELTS score of 5.5 with a minimum of 5.5 in all sections (reading, writing, listening & speaking).

Additional entry requirements



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

Tuition fee status depends on a number of criteria and varies according to where in the UK you will study. For further guidance on the criteria for home or overseas tuition fees, please refer to the UKCISA website .

Additional fee information

In addition to the degree fees, the nature of creative arts practice means you'll need to allow for additional costs, such as the materials you choose to use in your work and for trips to external events & exhibitions. The courses at HCA have been designed to minimise the impact of additional costs; all course leaders have an annual budget with some trips & materials fully funded by the College or heavily subsidised. Typically, a student will choose to spend an additional £400 in their top-up year, depending on the nature of their work and the materials chosen. We appreciate that not all students can invest the same money in their work, and staff assessing it will not judge work by the cost of resources. The college shop includes many specialist materials at good value and digital equipment can be borrowed from the media stores at no cost to students. Students are offered an optional Adobe Creative Cloud subscription for use outside of college. In the 2023-24 academic year this cost £16.24 per month. NB: Adobe Creative Cloud is provided free to use for any student working within the college. Students on all courses may 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 2023-24 academic year, the trip was a four-day visit to Paris at a cost to students of £425. This fee included a shared dorm room and all travel costs from Hereford to Paris including Eurostar tickets. *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 and be from a low-income family (£25,000 a year or less). The student must also be in receipt of the full Higher Education Maintenance Loan. Each cash bursary is £1,000 which students receive in their first year only. *Care Leaver Bursary* Care leavers will be offered free accommodation with City Heart at Station Approach accommodation for their first year only. Care leaver students will be able to stay there until the end of their first year (not over the Summer) and will also receive the Cash Bursary of £1,000. Care leaver students will also receive a Care Leaver Bursary of £1,000 in both their second and third year. 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 Progression Bursary* Top-up Students from progression colleges will receive £250 for full-time study or £125 for part-time study in year one only. *Partner Colleges: Bath College, Belfast Met, Bourneville, South & City College, Cirencester College, City of Bristol College, Coleg y Cymoedd, Dudley College, Evesham College, Gloucestershire College – ALL Campuses, Gower College, Grantham College, Halesowen College, Heart of Worcestershire College, Hereford College of Arts, Herefordshire & Ludlow College, Hereford Sixth Form, Malvern Hills College, Newent Sixth Form, NWRC Derry, NPTC group, Plumpton College, Shrewsbury College, South Gloucestershire & Stroud College, Stratford Upon Avon College, Swindon College & Worcester Sixth Form. Please note, we are currently unable to offer top-up courses to international students.
Illustration and Animation (Top Up) at Hereford College of Arts - UCAS