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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.


Hear from current students Naomi Ramsay and graduate Amy Phipps

More about the course

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.  The theory you master in Critical Studies will help you answer the question: where do I want to take my practice?

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-JenkinsJonny HannahRebecca GibbonMatthew RichardsonAlice 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 atHay 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.

  • 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.

Find out more about our new, purpose-built student accommodation in the heart of the City. The accommodation is located next to Hereford Railway Station and is mid-way between the two teaching campuses (College Road & Folly Lane)

HCA is an independent arts school surrounded by people who are passionate about the arts, media and performance. Find out more about why you should choose HCA.

Your Creative Career

After this course you could become an

  • Animator
  • Concept Artist
  • Storyboard Artist
  • Graphic Designer
  • Illustrator
  • Cartoon Artist/Caricaturist
  • Fashion Illustration
  • Print Maker/Print Technician
  • Art Director
  • Fine Artist
  • Technical Demonstrator
  • Publishing
  • Script Writer/Author
Christy Johnson

I loved being in this varied artistic community, and the fact it was a small college meant I knew I would get a much more personal experience in terms of engaging with tutors and other students.

Christy Johnson

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What you will study

Investigative, experimental and analytical

In the first year, you will explore the role of drawing as a key, core skill to both illustration and animation. You will studyprocesses and techniques in the production of moving and static imagery, relating to original and adapted narratives.

Developing Practice

The second year continues todevelop your  key specialist skills relating to processes and techniques. Modules will be heavily based on workshops and technical development and exploration, beginning with traditional processes but offering opportunities to fuse and combine elements in new and expressive combinations.

There will be opportunities to work with Graphics students in a digital environment, exploring non-figurative (typographic and information) applications as well as developing  specialist approaches to pre-production.

Confirmation of Practice

Your final year is where you will hone your specialist area of interest within illustration & animation. You will have the opportunity to develop your research and practice during your personal project and your dissertation (or dissertation alternative). We support you to do this through negotiation and discussion of these bodies of work.

You will create a portfolio which showcases your individual, specialist illustration practice. You will also make introductory media and visual assets, such as innovative business cards and a striking web presence, to achieve your early career goals on graduation.

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