Two CCI students working
UCAS Code
W221
Mode of Study
Full-time
Duration
1 year Full-time
Start Date
September 2022, September 2023

Overview

Take your illustration practice to degree level and beyond on our HNC Illustration course.

Using your artistic talent, you'll become immersed in the fast-paced, exciting world of contemporary illustration. Learn illustration disciplines, practices, and theories, and enhance your drawing and making skills to create visually compelling narratives and innovative, dynamic briefs – powered by industry-standard software and equipment.

After completing this course, you can take the second year of BA (Hons) Illustration at the University of Portsmouth, or pursue a career in art, design and illustration - and the wider creative sector.

Course highlights

  • Enhance your exhibition and presentation skills
  • Discover professional practices in illustration, art and design through talks by creative professionals
  • Display a selection of your work at a final exhibition and learn how contemporary illustration is distributed
  • Be taught by teaching staff with professional experience as illustrators and digital media specialist
TEF Gold Teaching Excellence Framework

Entry requirements​

HNC Illustration requirements

Typical offers
  • UCAS points – 112-120 points to include a minimum of 2 A Levels, or equivalent (calculate your UCAS points)
  • T levels – Merit
  • BTECs (Extended Diplomas) – DMM–DDM
  • International Baccalaureate – 25

You may need to have studied specific subjects – see full entry requirements and other qualifications we accept

Selection process

All shortlisted applicants will need to attend an interview with a portfolio of work.

For more information on how to put together your portfolio, read our Illustration courses creative portfolio guide.

English language requirements
  • English language proficiency at a minimum of IELTS band 5.5 with no component score below 5.5

See alternative English language qualifications

We also accept other standard English tests and qualifications, as long as they meet the minimum requirements of your course.

If you don't meet the English language requirements yet, you can achieve the level you need by successfully completing a pre-sessional English programme before you start your course.

Typical offers
  • UCAS points – 112-120 points to include a minimum of 2 A Levels, or equivalent (calculate your UCAS points)
  • T levels – Merit
  • BTECs (Extended Diplomas) – DMM–DDM
  • International Baccalaureate – 25

You may need to have studied specific subjects – see full entry requirements and other qualifications we accept

Selection process

All shortlisted applicants will need to attend an interview with a portfolio of work.

For more information on how to put together your portfolio, read our Illustration courses creative portfolio guide.

English language requirements
  • English language proficiency at a minimum of IELTS band 5.5 with no component score below 5.5

See alternative English language qualifications

We also accept other standard English tests and qualifications, as long as they meet the minimum requirements of your course.

If you don't meet the English language requirements yet, you can achieve the level you need by successfully completing a pre-sessional English programme before you start your course.

Skills and qualities needed for this course

We're looking for students who love drawing, making, thinking and stories, and are fascinated with history and research.

To maximise your potential on this course, you should be:

  • Determined to explore ideas in depth
  • Able to see the value in experiment and play
  • Passionate about creating professional artwork that makes you stand out within the design industry
  • A team player and an independent worker
  • Keen to meet deadlines and complete set tasks in a creative, dynamic environment

Preparing for this course

To prepare for this course, we recommend reading a few key texts that give you a grounding in critical thinking and ways of seeing, including:

  • ‘Ways of Seeing’ by John Berger
  • ‘Disaster Drawn’ by Hilary Chute

We'd like you to arrive with an open mind for discovery and visual adventure.

Facilities and specialist equipment

A woman using a 3D printer

Eldon Production Centre

Our centre is ideal for modelmaking, with high-grade kit for crafting wood, metal, plastics, polyurethane, concrete and plaster works.

Explore Centre

Rows of paint tubes in different colours

Eldon Art Shop

In our non-profit art materials shop, you'll find all you need at affordable prices. Open to students, staff, alumni and University affiliates.

Explore Shop

A person using a screen coating unit

Print workshops

Use our screen printing and screen coating rooms for your graphic materials, artwork and fabric printing - with a host of traditional and digital equipment.

Explore workshops

A man photographing a woman in a studio

Photography studios

We have three studios kitted out with flash and tungsten lighting, coloured backdrops and lighting accessories. You can edit on-the-fly at Mac stations with photo editing software.

Explore studios

Two people developing film in a darkroom

Photography darkrooms

Develop your images in our digital darkrooms with calibrated display monitors, large format desktop inkjet printers, and virtual drum scanners for negative scanning.

Explore darkrooms

A room with workstations, mannequins and fashion posters on wall

Teaching and project space

Our space houses essentials for your works – including mannequins, large pattern cutting tables, a TV projector and sound system, and PCs with laser-cutting and embroidery software, such as Ethos and Modaris.

Careers and opportunities

Completing this course successfully allows you to enter university-level study of illustration and other visual design disciplines. For instance, you'll only need to complete a further 2 years of study to gain a BA (Hons) Illustration degree.

The skills and knowledge you develop could also allow you to advance your existing career or secure your first role in the industry. Areas you could work in include:

  • Traditional print-based media
  • Digital publishing
  • Graphic design companies and agencies
  • Animation/model-making industries

Industry work also delivers a range of flexibility not seen in more traditional sectors and the knowledge and skill that you obtain from this course will be applicable to work in small start ups businesses, global multi-national companies, as well as in a freelance capacity.

​What you'll study

You'll study modules worth 120 credits.

Modules currently being studied

HNC Illustration modules

The core modules you'll take on this course are:

  • Introduction to Illustration
  • Cultural Studies and Critical Theory
  • Line, Colour, Form and Development
  • Narrative and Storytelling

There are no optional modules on this course.

Changes to course content

We use the best and most current research and professional practice alongside feedback from our students to make sure course content is relevant to your future career or further studies.

Therefore, some course content may change over time to reflect changes in the discipline or industry and some optional modules may not run every year. If a module doesn’t run, we’ll let you know as soon as possible and help you choose an alternative module.

How you'll spend your time

We recommend you spend at least 40 hours a week studying for your Illustration HNC. In your first year, you’ll be in timetabled teaching activities such as lectures and workshops for about 16 hours a week. The rest of the time you’ll do independent study such as research, reading, coursework and project work, alone or in a group with others from your course.

Most timetabled teaching takes place during the day, Wednesday to Friday. You may occasionally need to go to University and course events in the evenings and at weekends.

Teaching​

Teaching on this course includes:

  • lectures
  • seminars
  • workshops
  • tutorials
  • group critiques

This course has a practical focus, covering the traditional and digital technologies used by professionals.

You can access all teaching resources on Moodle, our virtual learning environment, from anywhere with a Web connection.

For more about the teaching activities for specific modules, see the module list above.

How you're assessed​

You'll be assessed entirely through coursework on this course.

Term times

The academic year runs from October to May with breaks at Christmas and Easter.

  • October to January – teaching block 1
  • February to May – teaching block 2

Supporting your learning

Even though you'll study your course at one of our partner colleges, you'll still be a student of the University of Portsmouth.

You'll have access to support via video, phone and face-to-face from University teaching and support staff to enhance your learning experience and help you succeed. You can build your personalised network of support from the following University services:

Types of support

As well as support from faculty staff, you can use the University's Academic Skills Unit (ASK).

ASK provides one-to-one support in areas such as:

  • Academic writing
  • Note taking
  • Time management
  • Critical thinking
  • Presentation skills
  • Referencing
  • Working in groups
  • Revision, memory and exam techniques

If you have a disability or need extra support, the Additional Support and Disability Centre (ASDAC) will give you help, support and advice.


Our online Learning Well mini-course will help you plan for managing the challenges of learning and student life, so you can fulfil your potential and have a great student experience.

You can get personal, emotional and mental health support from our Student Wellbeing Service, in person and online. This includes 1-2-1 support as well as courses and workshops that help you better manage stress, anxiety or depression.

If you require extra support because of a disability or additional learning need our specialist team can help you.

They'll help you to:

  • discuss and agree on reasonable adjustments
  • liaise with other University services and facilities, such as the library
  • access specialist study skills and strategies tutors, and assistive technology tutors, on a 1-to-1 basis or in groups
  • liaise with external services

Library staff are available in person or by email, phone or online chat to help you make the most of the University’s library resources. You can also request one-to-one appointments and get support from a librarian who specialises in your subject area.

The library is open 24 hours a day, every day, in term time.

​Course costs and funding

Tuition fees

September 2022 start

  • UK, Channel Islands and Isle of Man students – £6,165 per year (may be subject to annual increase)
  • EU residents – £6,165 (including Transition Scholarship – may be subject to annual increase)
  • International students – £15,500 per year (subject to annual increase)

Funding your studies

Find out how to fund your studies, including the scholarships and bursaries you could get. You can also find more about tuition fees and living costs, including what your tuition fees cover.

Applying from outside the UK? Find out about funding options for international students.

Additional course costs

These course-related costs aren’t included in the tuition fees. So you’ll need to budget for them when you plan your spending.

Apply

How to apply

Applying through UCAS

To apply through UCAS, you'll need:

  • the UCAS code – W221
  • our institution code – P80
  • the campus name – Eastleigh College
  • the campus code – E

Applying directly

If you'd prefer to apply directly, use our online application form.

Applying through UCAS

To apply through UCAS, you'll need:

  • the UCAS code – W221
  • our institution code – P80
  • the campus name – Eastleigh College
  • the campus code – E

Applying directly

If you'd prefer to apply directly, use our online application form.

Admissions terms and conditions

When you accept an offer to study at the University of Portsmouth, you also agree to abide by our Student Contract (which includes the University's relevant policies, rules and regulations). You should read and consider these before you apply.