‘I consider myself extremely lucky to be a student at HCA.  It’s a wonderful place’! – Cindy Jarvis Part Time Illustration student - October 2014


A quick summary of this course
The ability to communicate an idea visually is a difficult and employable skill. If you can affect people’s emotions and make them think by engaging them with a story or animation that entertains and thrills and you’re able to explain information accurately and with style, you could be rewarded with an exciting career that would be the envy of many.

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 course seeks to give its students experience of working in many of these specialist areas.

Animation at HCA

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.

We offer opportunities for our students to meet A-list practitioners, see their work and learn about the world they inhabit. We travel and take part in the most interesting events, screenings and exhibitions. We actively seek out partnerships with national profiles and work with them in order to gain valuable experience of problem solving and gaining confidence through success.

All this is delivered in a friendly and industrious studio and workshop environment where everyone enjoys their own workspaces. Our students form part of a larger college wide community that collectively supports and nourishes individual creative development.

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Critical Studies

These studies are entirely focused around the students’ course area, providing a solid grounding in subject history and in critical ways of thinking about creative practice. The Critical Studies programme enables students to set their own work in a wider context, and also helps them develop a better understanding of how creative work can be interpreted and assessed. Click here for more details.

Progression and Careers


Why take this course?

Graduates leave well placed to continue their studies at Postgraduate level or develop careers as freelance illustrators, animators or designers. This could include acquiring free-lance work in print media and journalism, advertising and multimedia, comic and picture  books, graphic novels, concept art and story-boarding for film & video games, reportage and fashion illustration,  as well as in more traditional low tech areas such as Book Arts and Crafts.

Enquire about this course? Click here


What you will experience

The course continues to take on collaborative projects with a range of local and national partners including:

The BBC One Show
The Hay Literary Festival
The House of Illustration
The Courtyard Theatre
Hereford Cathedral
Great Brampton House
Hereford Buttercross Market

In recent years students have visited Rome, Barcelona and  Amsterdam with other trips to Film Festivals, Book Arts Fairs and museums and exhibitions both  locally and nationally. Many of these involve meeting world famous practitioners including Mark Hearld, Osbert Parker, Nick Sharrat, Quentin Blake, Laura Carlin, Oliver Jeffers, Katherina Manolessou, and many more.
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2015 will be an exciting time as the course will be working with The Hay Festival and The House of Illustration on exhibitions, workshops and guest speakers celebrating the 175th anniversary of the first postage stamp.

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Workshops & Studios

HCA Illustration students have continual access to excellent IT facilities and support that provides industry standard software on both PC and MAC systems. This includes the complete Adobe suite of products, including Photo-shop, lllustrator and After Effects, plus  I-stop Motion and Final Cut Pro for video post-production. Students also have access to technical support in superb craft orientated workshops that include opportunities to use traditional print processes, including letter press, collagraphy, mono-printing, engraving, etching and screen-printing.


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Graduate Showcase

Click the links below for:
Graduate Showcase 2015
Graduate Showcase 2014


The creative jobs of our graduates

Our graduates have gone on to sustain successful careers as free-lance illustrators, creating work in  range of areas, including children’s picture books, editorial work for magazines including The New York Times, designing and installing murals in a variety of settings  and window displays for local retail businesses. Others go on to post-graduate study, teaching, setting up on-line shops, creating businesses or working in studio collectives.




3 years - full-time
6 years - part-time

Course Code


Institution Code


Validated By

University of Wales Trinity Saint David

Entry Requirements

  • Minimum age 18
  • Successful portfolio interview
  • 200 UCAS Tariff PointsMature Students with related experience
  • Applicants whose first language is not English - proof of IELTS overall score of 6.0 with a minimum of 5.5 in all sections (reading, writing, listening & speaking)
  • Recognition of Prior Learning Opportunities - The college welcomes applications from students with prior learning and/or previous experience.  Further details on eligibility can be found on page 15 of our Admissions Policy.  Alternatively, please contact us at registry@hca.ac.uk and we can advise you on the college’s and the University Awarding body requirements




£8,650 p.a. UK & EU (2015)


All applications to our full-time University-Level courses should be made via UCAS

How to Apply

International Funding

Fees & Funding