Illustration and Animation BA (Hons) 2021/22 entry

Clearing 2021

Clearing places available on this course

We have limited places available on this course through Clearing. Contact us now to discuss your options:
Course code:


Study options:

3 years full-time
4 years full-time with study abroad / professional placement
6 years part-time


Coventry University


September 2021



Get in touch

For questions regarding study and admissions please contact us:

+44 (0) 24 7765 2222

Course code:


Study options:

3 years full-time
4 years full-time with study abroad / professional placement
6 years part-time


Coventry University


September 2021



Get in touch

For questions regarding study and admissions please contact us:

+44 (0) 24 7765 2222


In a world dominated by visual media, there is a growing demand for artists who can imaginatively interpret the environment in which we live, producing innovative, eye-catching visual content.

We will encourage you to be imaginative, ambitious and resourceful, aiming to prepare you for the challenges of an unpredictable, demanding and globally-competitive world.

For over 150 years, our creative community has played a major role in shaping cultural, political and social lives all over the world. You will be supported by staff that are all active within the fields of Illustration, animation, design and experimental practice for clients which currently include CITV, The Guardian, The Independent, Virgin, Marmite, Ted Baker, Channel 4, Mixmag, Time Out, Radio Times, Macmillan and the BBC.

Artwork at the top of this page is by Balazs Naughton who is a 2020 BA Illustration and Animation graduate.

Why Coventry University?

An award-winning university, we are committed to providing our students with the best possible experience. We continue to invest in both our facilities and our innovative approach to education. Our students benefit from industry-relevant teaching, and resources and support designed to help them succeed. These range from our modern library and computing facilities to dedicated careers advice and our impressive Students’ Union activities.


The University may deliver certain contact hours and assessments via emerging online technologies and methods across all courses. In response to the Covid-19 pandemic, we are prepared for courses due to start in or after the 2020/2021 academic year to be delivered in a variety of forms. The form of delivery will be determined in accordance with Government and Public Health guidance. Whether on campus or online, our key priority is staff and student safety.

Due to the ongoing restrictions relating to Covid-19, some facilities (including some teaching and learning spaces) and some non-academic offerings (particularly in relation to international experiences), may vary from those advertised and may have reduced availability or restrictions on their use.

Global ready

An international outlook, with global opportunities


Career-ready graduates, with the skills to succeed

Teaching Excellence

Taught by lecturers who are experts in their field

Course essentials

A degree which offers you more, at no extra cost

Related Links

FAH Building Development

Building Redevelopment

We are currently in the process of a major redevelopment of our Faculty of Arts and Humanities buildings. The building will be open to the public as well as students, and will feature an expansive gallery space.

Creative Community Hub

Creative Community Hub

We hope that you are all staying safe in these uncertain times. Creative activities can really help fill the days, while we are spending more time at home and we have some ideas to keep you busy.

Coventry Degree show

Virtual experience

Visit our online degree show where we have brought together the work of over 500 students.

Megan Reddi

Graduate working for big brands

Megan is a freelance illustrator and has worked for big brands including Lush, where she recently worked on a project which was commissioned by creative director Suzie Hackney for their 2019 Mother's Day range.

What our students say...

The training I received from the staff on my course has not only helped me dramatically improve my craft, but also prepared me with the essential skills needed to make the transition into the professional world. To this day they are always available if I need advice or guidance.

Ben Barter, BA (Hons) Illustration and Animation, graduated in 2011, now freelance illustrator

Course information

Taught by highly acclaimed artists and practitioners whose experience ranges from publishing to animation and CGI, this studio-based course will provide an exciting mixture of approaches to animation and illustration, distinguished by an emphasis on storytelling, character creation and the development of a professional ethos.

Our emphasis on industry readiness is one of its core strengths; from the outset, we focus on your professional development to ensure that upon successful completion of the course you graduate with the know-how, skills and confidence in the world of the professional creative. Previous Graduate Alexandra Balan, for example, worked on the animated feature film, Ethel and Ernest, voiced by Jim Broadbent, Luke Treadaway and Pam Ferris.


of our students are satisfied with the quality of the course

NSS, 2016

Course specification
Download PDF



During the early stages of the course, we concentrate on developing your creative practice so that you become more self-directed in your studies, more readily able to identify and deepen personal interests and concerns.

Drawing is a key element that will underpin your studies; however, to develop your own signature style, you will explore a range of image-making techniques, both traditional and digital, including anatomical study, screen printing and CGI, building key skills in creative image communication.


  • Introduction to Illustration and Animation

  • Studio Practice 1

  • Professional Development 1

  • Professional Practice 1

  • Add+Vantage


The focus on preparing students for successful futures sets Coventry apart as a university.

The Add+vantage modules teach a range of work experience and extra-curricular activities that are taken each year, and broaden students knowledge and skills within a work focused environment. There is a very wide range of Add+vantage free-choice subject areas, and they are arranged in themes.


Our focus is helping you to find your unique creative voice, so that you develop a body of work which demonstrates your subject matter and individual identity to greatest effect. We place an emphasis on ideas generation; you will have the opportunity to propose and create multiple pieces of work that are either located in or straddle various media, including print, photography, animation, drawing or painting.

More importantly, however, we also provide support in what to do with that work which could help to facilitate a successful creative career. You will be introduced to the wealth of professional possibilities, contexts and contemporary markets for your work across the contemporary creative sector both in the UK and internationally, including publishers, agencies and TV (subject to availability). In fulfilling projects, you may also find yourself involved in design and publicity, creation of exhibition/sales space, installation and presentation of work, a catalogue or other publicity or sales-based materials.


  • Illustration and Animation Exploration

  • Studio Practice 2

  • Professional Development 2

  • Professional Practice 2

  • Add+Vantage


The focus on preparing students for successful futures sets Coventry apart as a university.

The Add+vantage modules teach a range of work experience and extra-curricular activities that are taken each year, and broaden students knowledge and skills within a work focused environment. There is a very wide range of Add+vantage free-choice subject areas, and they are arranged in themes.


After the second year, the course offers an optional Professional Placement Year or Study Abroad Year.*

Students successfully completing the first two years of the course (i.e. having accumulated 240 credits) can take a Professional or International Enhancement module which runs for a full academic year between levels 5 and 6. They might do one of:

  • an Erasmus study placement at an EU university;
  • a study placement at a university outside the EU;
  • an Erasmus professional work placement:
  • an approved professional work placement separately and independently organised that is outside the EU;
  • an approved professional work placement separately and independently organised within the UK;

Students opting for either 1 or 2, above will be registered on specific modules. These modules are worth 0 credits. Students will thus graduate with 360 credits in total, assuming successful completion of their final year.

In the past, students have worked at home and abroad, for example at Ash Gaming, Rawww Design Agency and Christian Aid.

*Please note that study abroad and professional placement opportunities are subject to competitive application, availability, meeting visa requirements and additional costs may apply.


  • Professional Placement Year

  • Study Abroad Year


By the third year, you should be working independently, exploring individual or collaborative interests to produce self-initiated artistic projects. You will focus on creating a professional body of work, aimed towards your chosen career path, by working with subject specialists to create bespoke projects best suited to your needs. Projects may include animation, books, costume design, concept art and production design.


  • External Practice

  • Major Project

  • Dissertation

  • Add+Vantage


The focus on preparing students for successful futures sets Coventry apart as a university.

The Add+vantage modules teach a range of work experience and extra-curricular activities that are taken each year, and broaden students knowledge and skills within a work focused environment. There is a very wide range of Add+vantage free-choice subject areas, and they are arranged in themes.

We regularly review our course content, to make it relevant and current for the benefit of our students. For these reasons, course modules may be updated.


Our Film Production and Photography is ranked 4th in the United Kingdom Guardian University Guide 2020

In more detail...

  • Research expertise in moving image, performance, and contemporary illustration practice.
  • Induction and refresher sessions and technical demonstrations in appropriate specialist software.
  • Access to specialist photographic and media resources, including digital audio recorders and manual/digital still/video cameras via our dedicated Media Loan Shop.
  • Optional study trips at home and abroad, in the past to London, Liverpool, Birmingham, New York, Berlin, Madrid and the Venice Biennale (subject to competitive application, availability, meeting visa requirements and additional costs may apply).
  • Strong track record of student success in a range of competitions previously including the D&AD Awards, the Macmillan Prize for Children’s Picture Book Illustration, Creative Conscience and YCN
  • A thriving studio culture with dedicated workspaces for all students in purpose-built studios with permanent exhibition displays, supported by wide-ranging technical facilities in both traditional and new technologies.
  • Opportunities to show your work regularly – past students have exhibited nationally and internationally at for example New Blood, Free Range and New Designers exhibitions in London, as well as the Hangzhou Animation Festival, China.
  • Impressive guest lecture programme (subject to availability), which in the past has featured talks from: Chris McGill, Peter Bernard, Lee Torrance and Fig Taylor.

Opportunity to compete for nationally acclaimed awards. Previous successes include the Macmillan Prize for Children’s Book Illustration, the DAD Yellow Pencil, Creative Conscience and YCN.

  • Illustration and animation: We will introduce you to key concepts and practical skills across both illustration and animation, considering these both separately and in combination, utilising varied media in a historical and contemporary context. Through a series of practical workshops, you will explore traditional and experimental observational drawing, creative thinking, printmaking, photography and essential computer software. You will learn to recognise how and where illustration, animation and related disciplines can be applied, their significance in society and what the future holds with continued technological advances, such as rapid prototyping, and virtual reality. As the course progresses, you will be encouraged to adopt a broader approach to a brief, exploring and implementing new-media toolsets, such as Autodesk and Maya and applying your ideas in a screen-based environment. You will be introduced to 2D and 3D digital illustration and animation theory and practice, applying time-based illustration, animatic and motion graphics through project assignments.
  • Studio Practice: You will be taught to relate your developing skills to a range of historical, cultural and practice-based themes as relevant to the illustration discipline in its broadest sense. Working on project briefs, live, competition, self-initiated or concept visualisation briefs, you will be expected to maintain an exploratory and experimental approach in an increasingly self-directed environment that addresses scientific, technical, narrative and cultural themes. Emphasis will be on ideas generation, encouraging you to formulate solutions, professionally, articulately and within strict deadlines. We will address specific core skills, such as measured perspective drawing and the image-to-text relationship. You will be expected to develop appropriate levels of negotiation, reflection, technical and visual research and ideas development together with growing awareness of professional practice. The projects provide a professional experience of issues including scheduling, turnaround times, verbal and visual presentation, budgeting and meeting the expectations of clients and contractors.
  • Professional development: We will consider the professional worlds of Illustration, graphics, animation, fine art and other areas of professional creative practice. To improve your understanding of current areas of creative practice and emerging creative trends, such as street art and cos-play, we ask you to collect, organise and analyse the work of creative professionals within the broad and expansive field or creative practice, comparing and contrasting these with your own developing practice. You will be expected to focus on self-presentation, identify and explore your community of practice and consider your skills and knowledge in relation to possible opportunities. You will be shown practical methods to prepare for external opportunities, through pitch simulation and market analysis and explore ideas around employability, enterprise, social enterprise, volunteering, placements, funding for overseas opportunities, freelancing and live projects.

The course can be studied full-time over three years and part-time over six years, starting in September. You have the option of extending your studies by a year and undertaking study abroad or a professional placement*.

Essentially studio-based, with access to our extensive specialist digital and media resources, the course draws on a range of creative sources to help you to formulate ideas, discuss and revise your work effectively and quickly.

During tutorials and studio critiques, you will be asked to discuss ideas, strategies and methodologies with staff and fellow students which provides you with the opportunity to adapt and develop your approaches in the light of this dialogue, and at the same time the chance to enhance your interpersonal skills, work ethic and methods of self-evaluation and critical reflection. Through a menu of technical workshops, you will be given the opportunity to acquire introductory skills in printmaking, sculptural processes and digital imaging, as well as being inducted into safe working practices within the studio and various workstations.

Throughout the course, you will produce a number of artefacts and installations, which will result in a body of realised creative outcomes which make reference to contemporary fine art practice, whilst embodying a personal and authored vision. Within supporting log books, sketchbooks and through discussion, you will evaluate, analyse and contextualise your work. In the past, project themes have ranged from disabilities awareness and anti-war to children's education and advances in technology.

As part of our commitment to your professional development, you will have opportunities to undertake professional practice by participating in external briefs involving contemporary illustration, graphics and animation. Typically related to the professional contexts you aspire to, these projects give you the opportunity to complete creative work that relates to your future goals, as well as the chance to gain hands-on experience of establishing clients, contacts, project and time management, working for clients, developing your own creative output in relation to market place opportunities, presentation and portfolio review and development.

During your course of study, where possible you will be invited to take part in regular study trips* to galleries, exhibitions and events, previous trips have included Tate Britain, Tate Modern, White Cube, Saatchi Gallery, Victoria and Albert Museum, Birmingham Ikon Gallery, Digbeth First Friday, The Custard Factory, Liverpool Biennial and British Art Show and many others (*subject to availability and additional costs may apply). These trips are not only designed to cover elements of traditional and contemporary arts practice, but excursions such as the Warner Bros Studio Tour* allow you the opportunity to see many of the skills you have the chance to learn applied across a range of production processes, from concept art right through to model building and set design.

You will also have access to a regular series of professional artist presentations though FACETS (the Fine Art at Coventry Talk Series) (subject to availability).

This course is predominantly assessed by coursework.

The Coventry University Group assessment strategy ensures that our courses are fairly assessed and allows us to monitor student progression towards the achieving the intended learning outcomes. Assessments may include exams, individual assignments or group work elements.

On successful completion, you will be able to:

  • Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of: illustration and animation and their connection to other creative endeavour; the factors that prompt a body of work to coalesce; the significance of contextual study and theoretical discourse; research strategies and methods that bolster their practice and its relevance; requisite awareness of entrepreneurial and career opportunities.
  • Demonstrate productive and critical reflection.
  • Generate individual and innovative responses to briefs and constraints.
  • Demonstrate harmonious conceptual, technical and material development into a personal style.
  • Clarify and explain complex and ambiguous issues for specific audiences/purposes, observing academic protocols where necessary.
  • Process complex and possibly contradictory information and/or ideas.
  • Use a range of specialist media productively.
  • Manage digital files competently.
  • Produce a coherent and representative body of work.
  • Present and/or exhibit their work expertly and professionally.
  • Apply workshop and health and safety instruction intelligently.

In a typical teaching week, you will have approxuately 16 ‘contact’ hours of teaching. This generally breaks down as:

  • Personal tutorial/small group teaching: 1 hour of small group or individually guided work and 12 allocated hours of studio time.
  • Medium group teaching: 1 hour of seminars each week.
  • Large group teaching: 14 hours of studio practice each week.

The contact hours may be made up of a combination of face-to-face teaching, individual and group tutorials, and online classes and tutorials.


In addition, you will be expected to undertake a further 20 hours per week of self-directed studying, including your coursework assignments in your own time.

Our teaching is underpinned by a worldview of contemporary art; this is reflected strongly in the course curriculum which expects you to develop an outward facing approach to your work, examining markets, the possibilities for international dissemination of your work and the opportunity for international study or employment.

You will study alongside students and staff from many different countries, which will enhance your global perspective and intercultural competence. We undertake research at an international level, disseminating our research at such events which has previously included the Society for Animation Studies, the Avanca International Cinema Conference and the Athens Institute for Education and Research. Each year we also offer study trips abroad, previously to New York, Barcelona, Prague and Berlin (subject to competitive application, availability, meeting visa requirements and additional costs).

You will be given opportunities to engage with international students throughout the world, working on Collaborative Online International Learning (COIL) projects.

Global ready

Did you know we help more students travel internationally than any other UK university according to data from the experts in higher education data and analysis, HESA?

In 2018/19, we provided a total of 5,469 experiences abroad that lasted at least five days.

Explore our international experiences

1st for

international experiences

Sending more students overseas than any other UK uni 2016/17


Student experiences

The number of student trips abroad for at least 5 days in 2018/19


and counting

The number of students we’ve helped travel internationally since 2016


global programmes

As well as trips, we offer other opportunities like language courses

Clearing places available on this course

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Tuition Fees

We pride ourselves on offering competitive tuition fees which we review on an annual basis and offer a wide range of scholarships to support students with their studies. Course fees are calculated on the basis of what it costs to teach each course and we aim for total financial transparency.

For more information, please visit our Finance pages.



September 2021

£9,250 (per year)

Scholarships and bursaries

We offer a variety of scholarships and bursaries to students at Coventry University to help fund the cost of your study. Eligibility may depend on your circumstances and academic achievement.



September 2021

£17,700 (per year)

Scholarships and bursaries

There are a number of scholarships available to international students at Coventry University. EU students may be eligible for a transition bursary.

Course essentials at no extra cost

We're committed to communicating study costs clearly to make sure you're not faced with having to make any unexpected payments.

This is why our ‘Flying Start’ package provides you with a few course essentials. Your full-time fee for an undergraduate degree will cover the following:

UK field trips

Any mandatory site visits and trips within the United Kingdom.

Key material

This can include core textbooks, software and equipment.

Laser prints

1,000 A4 sides of black and white laser printing credits per year.

Optional year

Pay no tuition fees for optional work placements or study abroad trips.

As well as covering UK field trips, key materials and laser print, the fees for this course also include:

  • Some essential art materials provided through workshops

The following are additional costs not included in the fees:

  • Any optional overseas field trips or visits: £400+ per trip
  • Any additional art materials: £250+ per year

EU student fees

EU nationals starting in the 2020/21 academic year remain eligible for the same fees as home students and the same financial support. Financial support comes from Student Finance England, and covers undergraduate and postgraduate study for the duration of their course, providing they meet the residency requirement.

For tuition fee loans

EU nationals starting in the 2020/21 academic year must have resided in the European Economic Area (EEA) or Switzerland for the three years prior to the start of their course. The purpose of that three year residency should not have been mainly for the purpose of receiving full time education.

For maintenance loans

EU nationals starting in the 2020/21 academic year must have resided in the UK and Islands for the five years prior to the start of their course. The purpose of that five year residency should not have been mainly for the purpose of receiving full time education.

Reduced course fees for EU students

The UK Government has confirmed that EU students who are starting their course in September 2021 and onwards will be classified as an international student. To support our EU community who are affected by this change, Coventry University are providing an EU Member State Transition Bursary.

Students ordinarily domiciled in an EU Member State who prior to the 2021/22 academic intake qualified for UK fees (home fee status), are eligible for the EU Member State Transition Bursary. This will bring fee levels for those students across the Group into line with those of UK students for courses starting in the 2021/22 academic year.

Review more details on our EU Member State Transition Award/Bursary page.

Career prospects

Graduate Immigration Route visa

Based on current information from the UK Government, international students whose study extends beyond summer 2021 may be eligible for a visa under the UK Government’s Graduate Immigration Route, which will enable students to stay and work, or look for work, in the UK at any skill level for up to two (2) years. Check the most up to date guidance available to check your eligibility and any updates from the UK Government before making an application or enrolment decision.

This course models itself on the professional expectations of industry, with a strong emphasis on time management, good communication and self-sufficiency.

Professional practice is embedded into the learning experience; we will help you prepare for the rigours of the professional world by simulating the challenges that you could face as a practitioner, giving you the opportunity upon successful completion to develop independent thought, innovation, imagination, critical reflection and confidence in your practice, as well as the chance to gain transferrable skills suitable for employment across the full breadth of the creative industries. 

Our Talent team is on hand to offer tailored career and enterprise support if you wish to gain employment upon graduating or take advantage of professional practice opportunities within course specific industries. It provides a programme of workshops, embedded learning, lectures, professional experience and one-to-one guidance to help you upon successful completion develop the transferable skills and enterprising habits required for a successful career. Our dedicated enterprise officers also offer valuable assistance on how to begin as a freelancer/entrepreneur. 

We are committed to preparing you for your future career and giving you a competitive edge in the graduate job market. The university's Talent Team  provide a wide range of support services to help you plan and prepare for your career.

Where our graduates work

Graduates of this course can expect to find employment as a character designer, animator, environment designer or concept artist. Notable alumni who are already successful in the gaming industry include Alex Underhill, senior VFX Artist at Rocksteady Studios, and James Biddulph, design lead at Applio.

Some of our students choose to enter the teaching profession after PGCE study and others go into further study, into our own postgraduate programmes or elsewhere within the UK or internationally (additional fees apply).


By accepting your offer of a place and enrolling with us, a Student Contract will be formed between you and the university. A copy of the 2021/22 Contract can be found here. The Contract details your rights and the obligations you will be bound by during your time as a student and contains the obligations that the university will owe to you. You should read the Contract before you accept an offer of a place and before you enrol at the university.

The tuition fee for the course that is stated on the course webpage and in the prospectus for the first year of study will apply. We will review our tuition fees each year. For UK and EU students, if Parliament permit an increase in tuition fees, we may increase fees for each subsequent year of study in line with any such changes. Note that any increase is expected to be in line with inflation. Following the UK’s exit from the European Union, EU students should be aware that there may be a change to UK laws following the UK’s exit, this may change their student status, their eligibility to study part time, and/or their eligibility for student finance. We will act in accordance with the UK’s laws in force in relation to student tuition fees and finance from time to time.

For International students the tuition fee that is stated on the course webpage and in the prospectus for the first year of study will apply. We will review our tuition fees each year. For international students, we may increase fees for each subsequent year of study but such increases will be no more than 5% above inflation.