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b3 yrs full-time, 6 yrs part-time
££9,000 p.a.
Fees per anum UK & EU
DUniversity of Wales Trinity Saint David
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Rapid advances in technology, and near universal access to mobile devices, has transformed the landscape of visual content creation. The way audiences consume media has fundamentally changed. Programme makers and advertisers are therefore hungry for imaginative entertaining work – especially in moving image and animation.

BA (hons) Illustration & Animation at HCA capitalises on the natural link between illustration and animation, arming you with the knowledge, inspiration and support you need to make your mark on this thriving industry.

As on our sister Illustration course, you will  build on your ability to tell a story, convey an emotion or explain an issue through images. However, your creative path will diverge from the pure illustration students as you develop specialist skills in animation techniques.

As an HCA Illustration & Animation student, you will be encouraged to explore the creative and often unexpected potential of illustrated and animated images.

This Key Information document gives you a summary of the core characteristics of the BA (Hons) Illustration & Animation degree at HCA.

On Illustration & Animation at Hereford, we support your chosen specialism. When you join our broad-based course, we will help you to to develop a distinctive approach based on your interests and experience.

You will have the opportunity to take part in many small group workshops and drawing classes throughout your time studying on the course. You will also benefit from talks by our experienced course tutors, workshop technicians and visiting practitioners. When it’s time to get to work on your projects, you can do so in your individual, personalised workspace.

We encourage group discussions and hold regular group feedback sessions, including both illustration and specialist illustration & animation students, so that students can encourage support one another. One-on-one tutor time means you get the individual help you need with a variety of projects, where you could be making anything from a gif for an online newspaper to a projection for a live music event.

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.

Illustration & Animation at Hereford keeps its eye on the horizon of contemporary practice through its association with many high-profile professionals and internationally renowned events. Option modules offer the chance to customise your program of study and collaborate across courses and years. All students take Critical Studies, where you can gain fascinating insights into the subject you love. You will explore your specialism and the work of those you admire. We will help you to see your own practice in context of your peers and predecessors.  You will gain understanding the rich and varied practice of illustration and animation, and insights into who you are as an illustrator-animator. The theory you master in Critical Studies will help you answer the question: where do I want to take my practice?

  • Boost your employability with flexible skills across illustration and animation.
  • Cutting-edge animation facilities as well as traditional illustration workshops.
  • Explore expressive, creative and innovative animation.
  • Small group teaching in a friendly studio environment.
  • Individual workspaces that you can make your own.
  • Exceptional access to tutorial support and technical advice.
  • Inspiring, high profile visiting practitioners.
  • Live project briefs.
  • Develop your own visual language and evolve a unique style.

HCA offers used of state of the art drawing tablets: Cintiqs, excellent Stop Motion facilities including a dedicated space with lighting rig, along with an impressive range of industry standard software including Dragonframe.

Students benefit from 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 Photoshop, lllustrator and After Effects, plus I-stop Motion and Final Cut Pro for video post-production.

HCA Illustration & Animation students also have access to technical support in superb craft-orientated workshops that use traditional print processes, including letter press, collagraphy, mono-printing, engraving, etching and screen-printing.

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 at Hay 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.

You will be able to use you showreel to begin your career as a freelance illustrator-animator, or to work in-house for related media and design houses or multi-media production companies. Graduates are also equipped for a broad range of roles in the creative industries as technicians, demonstrators or teachers. You will also be able to go on to study the subject further, at MA level.

  • Minimum age 18.
  • Successful portfolio interview.
  • Academic achievement – we would normally expect applicants to have achieved 80 UCAS Tariff Points at entry but, whilst qualifications are important, our offers are not solely based on academic results. We may make offers based on other evidence of talent and suitability for the course.
  • 80 UCAS Points on the New UCAS Tariff system for 2017 equates to 200 UCAS points on the previous points system – for more details please see tariff explanation and advice on the UCAS website.
  • 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) is required.
  • Applications from mature students with relevant experience will also be considered.
  • 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 and we can offer further advice on HCA and the UWTSD awarding body requirements.

NB for Top-Up students different entry requirements apply – please see our Top-Ups application page for more information.

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“Being at HCA has been one of the best decisions I have made. It’s brilliant and the facilities are amazing. I am sad to finish the course, but full thanks for how brilliant being here has been.” Claire, BA (Hons) Illustration and Animation Graduate

What you will study