Birmingham City University

Illustration with Foundation Year Birmingham City University Degree level: Undergraduate

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Course summary

TEF Silver

Birmingham City University has opted into the TEF and received a Silver award.

Find out more about the TEF.

Our Foundation course will focus on your personal and creative development based around a broad exploration of visual disciplines, leading directly to a BA course in the School of Art or the School of Visual Communication within the Art, Design and Media Faculty at BCU.

Working in a lively and energetic environment you will be given the freedom to expand your knowledge in conceptual development, practical skills and creative exploration underpinned by broad critical understanding and emerging theoretical principles.

You will work individually and collaboratively to develop a stimulating visual portfolio of work that evidences your enthusiasm for further study within a specific subject area.

BA teaching staff from across both schools will work with you throughout the course and you will have full access to all the University facilities.

Our BA (Hons) Illustration course aims to give those with a passion for image making and illustration the skills they need to capture and communicate ideas through pictures. We celebrate the challenge of finding your individual visual voice through experimenting, risk taking and critical reflection. You will also explore how your work can be applied across a wide range of contexts, from commercial work to personally-driven projects.

This course provides an opportunity to development a wide range of transferable skills and design process knowledge that is highly desirable to employers.

What's covered in the course?

Our challenging and exciting Illustration course, recognised by Creative Skillset, will help you develop new skills and different ways of thinking, enabling you to find your own individual, visual voice and prepare you for the ever-changing creative industry. You will examine the new ideas, technologies and issues that affect today’s developing illustrators, as well as exploring more unfamiliar territories.

The course celebrates the synthesis between illustration and all the other visual communication subject disciplines, leading to the development of strong student collaborations that again aims to reflect industry practice.

We support a lively creative community, encouraging the value of peer learning. This learning is supplemented by an integrated workshop programme that provides the opportunity to work alongside, and be informed by, industry experts from a wide range of disciplines.

Why Choose Us?

We have the only in-house active agency in the region which allows you to gain first-hand experience of real-life briefs set by clients, and your portfolio will be showcased to a number of potential employers through our home-grown and independent talent pool, We Grow Cherries, as well as during your graduate show.

There will be opportunities to exhibit at high-profile London graduate shows, including New Designers. You will receive industry insight from significant practitioners, with professional practice and core business skills workshops being delivered by outside agencies.

How to apply

You can no longer submit a new application for courses starting in 2019.

If you already have a 2019 application and are in Clearing, you can add this course as a Clearing choice in Track – contact the university or college first to check they have places.

Application deadlines

If your application is completed by the following date, it’s guaranteed to be considered:

15 January

*If you apply after this deadline, universities or colleges don’t have to consider your application if they’ve filled their spaces, so the sooner you apply, the better!

Application codes

You will need these codes when you add a choice to your application.

Course code W22F
Institution code B25
Campus name Parkside Building Campus
Campus code C

Points of entry

The following entry points are available for this course:

  • Foundation

Entry requirements

Qualification requirements

Qualification Offer Further information
UCAS Tariff 80 points
A level CDD Must be offered along with either one A-level or one BTEC Subsidiary Diploma/ OCR Cambridge Technical Introductory Diploma qualification.
Pearson BTEC Level 3 National Extended Diploma (first teaching from September 2016) MMP
Access to HE Diploma 60 credits overall - 15 credits at level 2 and 45 credits at level 3
Arts, Media and Publishing subjects preferred but other subjects also considered.
Scottish Higher Achieve a minimum of 80 tariff points achieved from either five Highers or a combination of two Highers offered with two Advanced Highers.Where only Highers have been taken a minimum of (CDDDD) are required. Where a combination of Highers and Advanced Highers have been taken you must achieve (grades of DD in two Advanced Highers plus grades of DD in two Highers).
AS 80 tariff points
Must include A Levels, BTEC QCF and/or OCR Cambridge Technical, to total 80 points minimum.
Extended Project Must be in a topic related to the degree subject being applied for.
Points achieved may be considered if applicant is falling short on A-Level points. Cannot be offered as a standalone qualification.
GCSE/National 4/National 5 Not accepted
International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme Obtain a minimum of 24 points overall. Students who do not complete the IB Diploma and who achieve the minimum of 11 points from two Higher Level subjects, will be considered on the basis of their IB Certificates.
Leaving Certificate - Higher Level (Ireland) (first awarded in 2017) Pass the Irish Leaving Certificate with a minimum of 80 tariff points, achieved in four Higher level subjects.
Leaving Certificate - Ordinary Level (Ireland) (first awarded in 2017) Not accepted
OCR Cambridge Technical Certificate Must be offered along with either two A-levels or two BTEC Level 3 Subsidiary Diplomas of 80 tariff points. Cannot be offered as a standalone qualification.
OCR Cambridge Technical Diploma DM Can be offered along with either one A-level or one BTEC Subsidiary Diploma Diploma qualification to achieve a minimum of 80 tariff points.
OCR Cambridge Technical Extended Diploma MMP
OCR Cambridge Technical Introductory Diploma Must be offered along with either two A-levels or two BTEC Level 3 Subsidiary Diplomas of 80 tariff points. Cannot be offered as a standalone qualification.
OCR Cambridge Technical Subsidiary Diploma D*D* Can be offered along with either one A-level or one BTEC Subsidiary Diploma Diploma qualification to achieve a minimum of 80 tariff points.
Pearson BTEC Level 3 National Diploma (first teaching from September 2016) MM Can be offered along with either one A-level or one BTEC Subsidiary Diploma/ OCR Cambridge Technical Introductory Diploma qualification to achieve a minimum of 80 tariff points.
Pearson BTEC Level 3 National Extended Certificate (first teaching from September 2016) Must be offered along with either two A-levels or two BTEC Subsidiary Diploma/ OCR Cambridge Technical Introductory Diploma qualification to achieve a minimum of 80 tariff points. Cannot be offered as a standalone qualification.
Pearson BTEC Level 3 National Foundation Diploma (first teaching from September 2016) Must be offered along with either two A-levels or two BTEC Subsidiary Diploma/ OCR Cambridge Technical Introductory Diploma qualification to achieve a minimum of 80 tariff points. Cannot be offered as a standalone qualification.
Scottish Advanced Higher Achieve a minimum of 80 tariff points achieved in either three Advanced Highers or from a combination of two Advanced Highers plus two Highers. Where three Advanced Highers have been taken achieve minimum of grades DDD.  Where a combination of Highers and Advanced Highers have been taken you must achieve (grades of DD in two Advanced Highers plus grades of DD in two Highers).
Scottish HND Not accepted

In addition to qualifications, applicants will also need a good physical or digital portfolio.


English language requirements

Test Grade Additional details
IELTS (Academic) 6.0 with 6.0 in writing and no less than 5.5 in the remaining three skills.

Fees and funding

Tuition fees

EU £9,250 Year 1
England £9,250 Year 1
Northern Ireland £9,250 Year 1
Scotland £9,250 Year 1
Wales £9,250 Year 1

Additional fee information

No additional fees or cost information has been supplied for this course, please contact the provider directly.

Provider information

Visit our website

Birmingham City University
University House
15 Bartholomew Row
Birmingham
B5 5JU


Clearing contact details

Clearing Hotline

Course contact details

Visit our course page
Course Enquiries Team