The Illustration programme at Swansea College of Art, UWTSD has an established record of providing vocationally-oriented, innovative and industry-focused experiences.
The programme aims to teach real world illustration skills and design sensibilities, as well as the knowledge and experience of the creative industries, to enable students to pursue successful, sustainable career paths with confidence.
The programme also looks to introduce a range of projects with an aim to focus upon social, environmental and political issues. This mission is to instil a growing responsibility towards ethical and sustainable practice within illustration, as well as a confidence and critical awareness in addressing a broad base of topics likely to be encountered professionally.
All applications to study for a full-time undergraduate degree programme are made through UCAS - Swansea College of Art UWTSD is part of University of Wales Trinity Saint David. All our course come under the institution code T80.
Applicants to part-time courses can apply through the University.
Visit the University's How to Apply section to find out more.
Annually, we collaborate with the London Exhibitions of New Designers and New Blood. This opportunity is not part of our degree requirement, but it does offer an extra incentive and bonus for selected students.
At the beginning of each module, we issue the ‘Assessment Specification’, which clearly describes in each assessment criteria what is required.
Weekly feedback sessions keep students focussed on the requirements, without hindering the freedom to work with expanding ideas.
Technical tuition is typically delivered via a demonstration lecture and then staff help each student individually as they progress though a challenge.
All modules have formative and summative feedback, both written and verbal. When the summative written feedback is released, students can book-in for ‘one to one’ tutorial to discuss their feedback further.
There are no written exams for this course.
Graduate Attributes Framework
This Framework aims to develop your professional skills and competence alongside your academic subject knowledge. You’ll study up to 40 credits per level throughout your programme from the Graduate Attributes Framework.
The Graduate Attribute modules are designed to enable you to develop, and evidence, a range of career-focused skills related to your subject area. These skills include digital competency, research and project management, as well as such personal competencies as communication, creativity, self-reflection, resilience and problem-solving.
We are interested in creative people that demonstrate a strong commitment to art and/or design and therefore we welcome applications from individuals from a wide range of backgrounds. To assess student suitability for their chosen course we arrange interviews for all applicants at which your skills, achievements and life experience will be considered as well as your portfolio of work.
Our standard offer for a degree course is 120 UCAS tariff points. We expect applicants to have a grade C or above in English Language (or Welsh) at GCSE level, together with passes in another four subjects. Plus we accept a range of Level 3 qualifications including:
Foundation Diploma in Art and Design, plus one GCE A-Level in a relevant academic subject
Three GCE A-Levels or equivalent
UAL L3 Extended Diploma in Art and Design.
UAL L3 Applied General Diploma and Extended Diploma in Art and Design.
UAL L3 Diploma and Extended Diploma in Creative Practice: Art, Design and Communication.
UAL L3 Extended Diploma in Creative Media Production and Technology.
BTEC Extended Diploma in a relevant subject
International Baccalaureate score of 32
Other relevant qualifications can be considered on an individual basis
Qualifications are important, however, our offers are not solely based on academic results. If you don’t have the required UCAS points then please contact the courses admissions tutor or email email@example.com as we can consider offers to applicants based on individual merit, exceptional work, and/or practical experience.
Many graduates forge successful freelance careers working with a range of clients internationally; some are represented by top London Illustration agencies.
Other graduates find employment with design studios, publishing houses, advertising agencies, magazines and newspapers. A selection of clients includes:
Usborne Children's Books
Allihoper Greeting Cards
Marks & Spencer
The Great British Card Company
Tigerprint, Bright Agency
Tokyo DisneySea Park
Welsh Country Magazine
The British Museum
Magic Leap Inc. Visible Art
The Print Haus
The programme also provides a good foundation for those who want to pursue a career in teaching, particularly teaching art and design in schools and, after professional experience, teaching illustration and design in further and higher education.
All additional costs detailed in this section are indicative. It is recognised, for example, that the precise costs associated with a field trip could vary from year to year.
Adobe Suite student rate: £120 a year, but currently free in cluster from UWTSD.
A3 Portfolio: £20
Collection of tools — scalpel, metal rule, plastic sleeves, hard drive, memory stick, pens, pencils, markers: £70
Aidan Biddiscombe — Illustration Graduate “Swansea is one of those places that has so many stories to tell. It’s got a crazy landscape where history, nature and fun and ambition collide leading to some extraordinary tales from the most unlikely characters. If you visit remember to explore and you'll find inspiration in a very unexpected place.”
Rebecca Cowley “Deciding to study at Swansea College of Art has been one of the best decisions I have made so far in my journey to becoming a successful illustrator. Over the past three years, the course has helped me gain valuable skills that will help me in the industry, such as professional practice, problem-solving and creative thinking. The lecturers really do go out of their way to provide students with the best learning experience, offering regular one-to-one tutorials and portfolio tips as well as providing helpful information from guest speakers and professionals already in the industry. This course is perfect for people who are ready to turn their passion for art and design into a dream career”.
Bow Bennett “Returning to education after a break I was a little apprehensive, but I didn’t need to be! The illustration course has a really friendly atmosphere, and the lecturers genuinely care about our experience. The course content is varied allows us to be creative and explore lots of different potential career paths. Coming to Swansea College of Art has really allowed me to thrive and look forward to a future career in something that I love”.
Miri Hughes “Since enrolling in the Illustration course at UWTSD, my enjoyment in drawing and creating has grown a great deal. I have learnt so many techniques and gotten to use plenty of different mediums, many of which I'd never had the opportunity to experiment with before, and the tutors are always available to help and give feedback for our work and advice concerning our projects. If I hadn't joined this course, I firmly believe that my drawing skills would be much less developed, as would my knowledge about the industry, and my confidence level in terms of forging an artistic career in the future”.
Will Collyer “My time here at university has been incredible, both for what I have learnt and for the people I have met along the way. I feel far more comfortable and ready to start a career in illustration armed with the knowledge and skills that we all developed during our three years here. I could not give enough credit to the teachers and technicians who were always around and accessible to offer help and guidance about work or Uni life in general. Without their help and creative input sourced from their own experience and careers I doubt we would have felt as comfortable and subsequently successful as we were”.
Bursary / Scholarship Information
You may be eligible for funding to help support your study. To find out about scholarships, bursaries and other funding opportunities that are available please visit our Scholarships and Bursariessection.
Study Abroad Opportunities
We have a long-standing study abroad programme and a number of reciprocal exchange programmes with partner institutions. Find out more.