The huge growth in our consumption of media on small-screen mobile devices is changing the landscape for visual content creators. Programme makers and advertisers are hungry for imaginative, entertaining work, especially moving-image and animation. This course responds to this demand and embraces the natural link between illustration and animation.
Hear from current students Naomi Ramsay and graduate Amy Phipps
Our students engage with traditional and experimental illustration and animation processes that offer alternatives to a pervasive digital aesthetic. This includes illustration that moves, animation that isn’t led by drawing and short, sharp, witty film-making that doesn’t require lengthy and expensive production.
You will share a studio space with the specialist illustration students, and work closely as a group to discuss ideas and support each other. You will become adept in the creative cycle of research, planning, developing, shaping, making and finishing, for a wide range of outcomes.
The final year allows you to experiment with more ambitious projects in either illustration, animation, or both, defining your own specialism and preparing a distinctive portfolio and showreel.
Explore student work
Your Creative Career
After this course you could become an
- Concept Artist
- Storyboard Artist
- Graphic Designer
- Cartoon Artist/Caricaturist
- Fashion Illustration
- Print Maker/Print Technician
- Art Director
- Fine Artist
- Technical Demonstrator
- Script Writer/Author
More about the course
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?
- Boost your employability with flexible skills across illustration and animation.
- Explore expressive, innovative, creative animation.
- Small group teaching in a friendly studio environment with exceptional access to tutorial and technical support.
- A programme of visiting lecturers from around the world bringing cutting edge practice to HCA students.
- Develop your own visual language and evolve a unique style.
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 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.
- Successful completion of a UK based level 5 qualification such as a Foundation Degree (FdA) or HND in a related subject (evidence of prior learning will need to be provided).
- Portfolio submission or audition (as applicable) and successful interview.
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.
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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 study processes and techniques in the production of moving and static imagery, relating to original and adapted narratives.
The second year continues to develop 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.