Illustration and Animation (Top-Up) - BA (Hons)

Add to my prospectus Why study this course? More about this course Entry requirements Modular structure What our students say After the course How to apply Meet the team Visit us

Why study this course?

This is a top-up version of our Illustration and Animation BA (Hons) degree. A top-up degree is the final year (Level 6) of an undergraduate degree course and is for those who have a foundation degree, Higher National Diploma or equivalent qualification, or those wishing to study the final year of their degree in London.

On this degree, you'll learn image-making and visual storytelling skills, specifically looking at children’s books, graphic novels and app design.

This course is industry-focused. It will help you develop your creativity and hone the skills you'll need to be a professional illustrator and animator.

You'll study digital platforms as well as more traditional forms of illustration. The course embraces ongoing developments in illustration and animation. We'll explore how modern illustration is practiced and how techniques are no longer confined to the page but inhabit a dynamic, three-dimensional digital world.

More about this course

You’ll study in The Cass’s unique studio system in East London and make use of an unrivalled range of creative facilities to make your work — including photographic studios, printmaking, ceramics and woodworking studios, and technology including 3D printing, risograph printing and laser-cutting.

Whether you're creating a zine, a narrative for a start-up or a short film for digital publishing, this course is for you if you want to tell stories and connect with a variety of audiences.

A defining feature of the course is its focus on cross-disciplinary projects, allowing you to use a huge range of different mediums.

Assessment

You'll be assessed through project work, essays, individual practice and a final portfolio project including a dissertation. There are no examinations.

Fees and key information

Course type
Undergraduate
UCAS code W222
Entry requirements View
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Entry requirements

In addition to the University's standard entry requirements, you should have one of the following:

  • 240 credits from a Higher National Diploma (HND), Foundation Degree (FdA/ FdSc) or equivalent international qualification in a relevant subject
  • 240 credits from years 1 and 2 of an undergraduate degree (BA/BSc) in a relevant subject at a different institution
  • a portfolio interview

Suitable applicants living in the UK will be invited to a portfolio interview or asked to submit an e-portfolio. Applicants living outside the UK will be required to submit a portfolio of work via email.

To study a degree at London Met, you must be able to demonstrate proficiency in the English language. If you require a Tier 4 student visa you may need to provide the results of a Secure English Language Test (SELT) such as Academic IELTS. For more information about English qualifications please see our English language requirements.

If you need (or wish) to improve your English before starting your degree, the University offers a Pre-sessional Academic English course to help you build your confidence and reach the level of English you require.

Portfolios and interviews

Your portfolio should be selective, but have enough work to show a range of your interests and talents. We are interested in seeing how you develop a project from beginning to end, not only finished work.

If you cannot bring certain pieces of your work to your portfolio interview, please take photographs and include them.

Physical portfolio

If you are coming in person to your interview we strongly suggest bringing a physical portfolio of work.

Things to bring:

  • Sketchbooks – we love to see your sketchbooks with ideas and notes, even if they are messy.
  • Examples of the development of a project from start to finish and the final outcome.
  • Some work that you are really proud of and want to talk about.
  • Some work that shows you experimenting with different processes.

Illustration and Animation (Top-up) BA (Hons) applicants are particularly encouraged to show sketchbooks that have drawing and image making in them.

Digital Portfolio

If you are submitting an online application, please follow these guidelines.

Things to include:

  • Scans or photographs demonstrating items from the list above.
  • Storyboarding for motion-based work.
  • Also include scans of sketchbook pages showing development.
  • Be sure to check the resolution and overall quality of your image to ensure submissions are not pixelated.

Modular structure

The modules listed below are for the academic year 2019/20 and represent the course modules at this time. Modules and module details (including, but not limited to, location and time) are subject to change over time.

Year 3 modules include:

  • This module currently runs:
    • all year (September start) - Wednesday afternoon
    • all year (September start) - Wednesday morning

    Critical and Contextual Studies (CCS) Level 6 results in an independent dissertation. It builds on two years of undergraduate study that critically engages students in the history and theory of their discipline, its extent and conventions, and its broader social and material context in culture and contemporary practice.

    Students undertake an enquiry into a topic of their own choice and, based on this enquiry, develop a sustained critical study in support of their practice, building on techniques and knowledge developed in previous years. This study demonstrates the student’s ability to thoroughly research a topic, use appropriate methods of investigation, and work in a methodical and organised way to develop a coherent argument. It affords a sophisticated instrument for interrogating, testing and presenting ideas, and encourages the student to deploy and develop a variety of skills to show how well they can conduct and present a critical investigation.

    The module rewards criticality and innovation, and provides a platform for ambitious independent work. To this end, it offers individual supervision designed to support the student’s learning. The subject matter of the dissertation can be theoretical, technical, or historical. In terms of format, the dissertation may be envisaged in different ways and can include visual, technical or other non-written material which may form the subject of the enquiry and comprise an integral part of the whole.

    The dissertation may be practice-based and include field work and primary research in its methodology; or it might be academic and theoretical in its outlook and draw predominantly on secondary sources. Its form and approach can reflect a broad range of discipline-specific approaches based on discussion and agreement with the supervisor and/or course leader.

    Read full details
  • This module currently runs:
    • all year (September start) - Friday afternoon
    • all year (September start) - Tuesday morning
    • all year (September start) - Tuesday afternoon
    • all year (September start) - Friday morning

    This final project module enables illustration and animation students to prepare for independent practice in the workplace or to progress onto higher studies. In this module, students will utilise skills and ideas conceived and developed in the parallel 'Project Design and Development' module, fully realising a self-directed final project brief in appropriate form by the end of the module.

    Students will exercise and display their abilities in selecting, analysing and applying knowledge, skills and understanding to a negotiated and fully researched project in order to properly understand their strengths, interests and position in their field, and the potential for their future professional development.

    Students will show that they understand the complex and changing nature of problems in the professional disciplines of illustration and animation and can devise and apply realistic strategies for constructing, applying and managing a process designed to offer solutions.

    A professional standard of realisation, contextualisation and presentation will be expected, providing the elements for a portfolio of practice with which students may enter the field of employment, self-employment or further studies.

    This module seeks to enable students to:

    • devise a fully holistic process to realise the outcomes of a design research and development project;

    • achieve outcomes of a professional standard of realisation and presentation;

    • contextualise and present your outcomes to a professional standard, showing that you have understood and managed complex and ambitious tasks;

    • Develop the capacity to learn from experimentation;

    • work independently, self-reflectively and with concern for the ethical issues and principles attached to your project showing your understanding of your particular strengths, interests and position in your field, and your potential for further development.

    Read full details
  • This module currently runs:
    • all year (September start) - Friday afternoon
    • all year (September start) - Tuesday morning
    • all year (September start) - Tuesday afternoon
    • all year (September start) - Friday morning

    Together with their final project realisation module, this module is intended to prepare graphic design, publishing and illustration and animation students for independent practice, entry into the professional workplace, or for higher studies.

    Through independent and studio-based knowledge of visual communication fundamentals, skills, elements, processes and principles, students will facilitate, design and develop a series of self-directed studio projects. This will naturally require in-depth research, a well-constructed visual communication process, and the exercise of practical and thinking skills, resulting in a significant body of creative work for public and work related exhibition.

    A negotiated and approved proposal will confirm the individual project. Using course and studio narratives, creative exploration and experimentation, students will develop research, concept development, material investigation, digital and analogue proposals, modelling or prototyping and visualisation. The final outcome will be produced in final project realisation.

    The module will ensure that students critique and reflect upon their own work and position in the creative sector. The module emphasises self-direction and personal focus whilst acknowledging external and professional trends, expectations and constraints.

    This module seeks to enable students to;

    select or devise and conduct a comprehensive visual communication project resulting in a significant body of work displaying the synthesis of conceptual and technical skills within the final presentation;

    demonstrate ability to determine the relevant and required research and construct a research and development process suitable for successful completion of the project;

    affirm their creative identity as they enter the professional field and indicate a sense of future direction and position including in the context of principles and ethics;

    evidence self-management of the project in respect of planning, monitoring, recording and evaluation.

    Read full details
  • This module currently runs:
    • all year (September start) - Thursday afternoon

    Graphic design, illustration, publishing and animation are complex fields, encompassing a range of ways of working and patterns of professional engagement. Succeeding within these professional practices requires specific skills in pitching, presentation methods, management, innovation and communication. This module helps you to develop your experience of the professional workplace and the legal and ethical frameworks surrounding them through participation in live competition or exhibition and/ or work placement.

    The module looks at formal models for concept innovation, creative thinking and entrepreneurial skills, alongside developing individual responsibility as a practitioner and critical self-reflection. Through professional submission, pitching and presentation to potential employers, participation in real-world competition briefs or exhibition opportunities, students will develop and test their design approaches and professional strategies for differentiation and self-promotion within a highly competitive field.

    The module sets out to prepare students for entry to the workplace or higher study through experience of professional portfolio development and related group and self-promotional activities. It helps students to assess not only their position within the design industry but also to define their individual creative strengths, presenting their work to a high professional standard. Through practice, students will establish a sound process for research, design development and production. A series of lectures, workshops, seminars and assignments, will prompt the investigation, analysis and practice of the forms, properties and qualities of a wide range of professional practice fundamentals, for example, digital portfolios, branding, event design and management, costing, copyright laws and offline and online content creation.

    Within the module, students will experience work-related learning through live exhibition, competition and/or simulated consultancy and/ or work placement. They will refine a range of transferable skills in communication, management, research and analysis and will be encouraged to reflect and report on the work-relevant skills developed throughout. These skills are desirable and advantageous for all graduates and include (for example): action planning, contribution to professional meetings, entrepreneurship, acting as a consultant, goal setting, negotiating, networking, project management, self-appraisal, team working. Activities undertaken within this module will help to prepare for the launch of an individual design practice during the final degree show and subsequent career.

    The module seeks to enable students to:

    • research, analyse, and adapt their practice for sector-specific professional conventions in relation to real-world employment, exhibition or competitive situations;

    • develop professional entrepreneurial processes for the generation, development, testing and pitching of concepts in response to specified clients and audiences;

    • plan and manage self-promotion activities and exhibition, client or employer project pitching from inception to delivery, within commercial timeframes and develop strategies to maximise chances of success;

    • employ professional standards in the manipulation of appropriate media for the communication and presentation of your design identity and specific concepts;

    • review competitor practices in relation to employment preparation or freelance self-promotion and build enterprise strategies for consultancy practice.

    Read full details

What our students say

"Intellectually stimulating. I have learned new techniques and my understanding of the subject has broadened. I have made some really good connections."

National Student Survey

"The tutors are the highlight of the University. You can see the passion they have for art and design, as well having the passion to teach us."

National Student Survey

"Excellent tutors and lecturers. A good range of facilities were available, all of which are well supervised by helpful technicians and tutors."

National Student Survey

After the course

This degree will equip you with the skills you need to succeed as an illustrator in the design and visual communication industries. 

After graduating, you can seek illustration and animation roles in publishing, graphic design, advertising, web-design, concept design and film and theatre. Many graduates also go on to self publish books and into freelance illustration.

Additional costs

Please note, in addition to the tuition fee there may be additional costs for things like equipment, materials, printing, textbooks, trips or professional body fees.

Additionally, there may be other activities that are not formally part of your course and not required to complete your course, but which you may find helpful (for example, optional field trips). The costs of these are additional to your tuition fee and the fees set out above and will be notified when the activity is being arranged.

Discover Uni – key statistics about this course

Discover Uni is an official source of information about university and college courses across the UK. The widget below draws data from the corresponding course on the Discover Uni website, which is compiled from national surveys and data collected from universities and colleges. If a course is taught both full-time and part-time, information for each mode of study will be displayed here.

How to apply

If you're a UK/EU applicant applying for full-time study you must apply via UCAS unless otherwise specified.

Non-EU applicants looking to study part-time should apply direct to the University. If you require a Tier 4 (General) student visa, please be aware that you will not be able to study as a part-time student at undergraduate level.

When to apply

The University and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS) accepts applications for full-time courses starting in September from one year before the start of the course. Our UCAS institution code is L68.

If you will be applying direct to the University you are advised to apply as early as possible as we will only be able to consider your application if there are places available on the course.

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