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Illustration HND

(SCQF level 8)

Design Crafts & Graphic Arts, Creative Industries

Applications closed

Mode of Study


Start Date

31st Aug 2020, 2 years


City Campus

Applications from International Students Welcome


This course will develop your creative and technical skills to become an illustrator. You'll build projects from initial ideas and sketchbook drawings, through to finished illustration artwork. On completion of the course, you'll have produced a broad and exciting portfolio of illustrations and other relevant art and design work.   
In addition to giving you the skills to work as an illustrator, we will provide you with the knowledge and skills to move onto University and or Art School. This will include an understanding of the role that process plays in art and design and is reflective of your own creative practice. We continually underpin the importance of developing individual ideas rather than copying existing styles.

The course prides itself on providing relevant industrial experience and you would be expected to complete a range of live and client-led projects.

This course is placed on the Scottish Credit Qualifications Framework at Level 8. For more information on the framework visit:

Entry requirements

Minimum entry requirements

Year one
  • Higher Art and Design at Grade C or above AND National 5 English at Grade C or above; OR
  • National Certificate in Art and Design or related subject; OR
  • Other equivalent qualifications or experience.
Year two
  • HNC Illustration OR
  • First year of HND Illustration.

Additional selection requirements

  • You'll be invited for a group and/or individual interview, where you'll get the opportunity to find out more about the course and tell us why you're interested in this subject area.
  • You'll be asked to provide examples of your art and design work.

ESOL entry requirements

Applicants whose first language is not English should have minimum ESOL Intermediate level 2 or equivalent for NC/NQ courses and ESOL Higher for HNC/D courses.

What you study

Year one

You'll study:

  • Introduction to Visual Communication.
  • Observational Drawing.
  • Creative Process.
  • Mixed Media.
  • Art and Design Project.
  • Creative Industries.
  • Digital Imaging.
  • Illustration.
  • Printmaking and Producing Print.
  • Experimental Illustration.
  • Life drawing from the Nude Model.
Year two

You'll study:

  • Design Production.
  • Creative Project.
  • Illustration Project.
  • Digital and Bitmap Imaging.
  • Developmental Drawing Portfolio.
  • Observational Drawing Portfolio.
  • Working in the Creative Industries.
  • Client-Initiated Design Project.
  • Advanced Illustration.

After the course


The HNC/D course can lead to self-employment as a freelance Illustrator working with advertising agencies, design consultants, and book, magazine and newspaper publishers, or in your own private practice.

Continuing Study

  • Year two of BA (Hons) Communication Design at Glasgow School of Art.
  • Year two or three of BA (Hons) Visual Communication at Dundee University.
  • Year three of BA (Hons) Contemporary Art Practice at City of Glasgow College.
  • Year three of BA (Hons) Digital Art at the University of the West of Scotland.


How the course is taught

The course is taught through a series of practical studio-based projects, theoretical study and lectures. There are opportunities to work on live projects and take part in national student competitions. Throughout the year there are visits to exhibitions and professional studios.

In addition, we have a robust programme of visiting professionals and guest speakers, providing insight into the real world aspects of working in the creative industries.

Assessment methods

Coursework is continually assessed throughout the academic year. The year is divided into 3 teaching blocks and so the assessment is spread evenly throughout the course. There are opportunities for re-assessment throughout the year.  There are no end of term exams.

Additional Information


You'll be expected to provide your own basic materials including a USB pen drive or another storage device, steel ruler; craft knife & blades, glue stick, scissors, pencils & eraser, masking tape, paints, inks and brushes.

Throughout the course, you'll need a number of notebooks/sketchbooks for research and development work. 

  • Mode of Study:
  • Start Date:
    31st Aug 2020, 2 years
  • Location:
    City Campus
  • Applications from International Students Welcome