Illustration for Commercial Application

Why should you study
Illustration for Commercial Application?

A unique programme that offers opportunities to build a credible portfolio with delivery by practitioners from the illustration industry.

So what do we offer that is so different?
• From the moment you start you are an illustration industry professional as a member of the Association of Illustrators
• We provide you with access to the highest profile illustrators in the world through our extensive visiting lecturer scheme
• We support and guide you to have your own unique illustrative voice, evident from the diversity and breadth of our students work.

BA (Hons) Illustration for Commercial Application

UCAS Code W220

UCAS Tariff 96 (2018 start) | 112 (2019 start)

Duration Three years

You won’t find another illustration degree like ours, anywhere. This is quite a bold statement to make but we back this up with a wealth of industry links, exhibition opportunities, the distinctive studio culture and the fact that no two days on this degree are ever the same.

In the past, our visiting lecturers have included:

  • Chris Riddell – Visting Fellow, Children’s Laureate, Author, Illustrator
  • God Machine – Illustrator
  • Sam Arthur – MD, Nobrow Publishing
  • Zara Pickin – Illustrator
  • Drew Millward – Illustrator
  • Dan Mumford – Illustrator
  • Tom J Newell – Illustrator
  • Craw – Artist / Illustrator
  • Curtis Jobling – Illustrator
  • Mr Millerchip – Illustrator
  • Hunt Emmerson – Author / Illustrator
  • Sara Ogilvie – Illustrator
  • W.J Cadwell – Illustrator
  • Lucy MacLeod – Illustrator

You will work on high profile projects for real-life customers, who in the past have included:

  • Nobrow Publishing
  • Flying Eye Books (publisher)
  • Rockpool Children’s Books (publisher)
  • One and Other (magazine)
  • Sunday Girl (magazine)
  • Avalanche Party (merchandise / band)
  • Running Man ( retail chain)
  • Urban Outfitters ( retail chain)
  • Wylam Brewery (craft beers)
  • Middlesbrough Institute of Modern Art (mima)

”CCAD deliver a course that is forward thinking, dynamic and delivered with passion and knowledge. It’s rare to see a group of students as engaged with the craft and discipline of illustration as I have witnessed at Hartlepool. Well-equipped studios, print facilities and a rich and varied visitors program, coupled with a drive from the staff to really deliver a course that offers the students a real insight into the creative and freelance worlds.”Drew Millward, Illustrator

We exhibit in places such as:

  • The Coningsby Gallery, London
  • The House of Blah Blah, Middlesbrough
  • The Festival of Illustration, Hartlepool
  • Ernest, Newcastle
  • Truman Brewery, London (Degree Show)

Commercial opportunities for our students have included:

  • Spitalfields Market, London – Level 5 students selling work
  • Coningsby Gallery – Level 4 selling exhibition
  • The House of Blah Blah – Selling exhibition for Level 4 / 5 / 6
  • Ernest – Two exhibitions of successfully submitted work

This course also is behind the successful Hartlepool Festival of Illustration, which runs bi-annually. The festival is an arts council supported exhibition of internationally renowned illustrators and a series of workshops for illustrators of all ages.

What will you study on Illustration for Commercial Application?

In your first year (Level Four) you will explore:

  • • Drawing in contemporary illustration
    • Creative processes and visualisation
    • Exploring narrative in illustration
    • Visual culture

In your second year (Level Five) you will develop:

• Innovation in illustration
• Exploring and application of non-narrative illustration
• Visual culture theory
• Negotiated commercial application

In your third year (Level Six) you will produce:

  • • Project research and preparation
    • Dissertation/Report
    • Final Major Project
    • Final Show & Portfolio

This degree is for you if you wish to have a career in:

  • Advertising illustration
  • Book illustration, including children’s books
  • Editorial illustration
  • Fashion illustration
  • Freelance illustration
  • Greetings card illustration / design
  • Magazine illustration
  • Product illustration, e.g.. homeware, fashion, accessories, stationery
  • Studio illustration


The delivery of the programme is as unique as the course itself, the core staff all have experience in industry with a range of specialist skills.
Collectively they have worked for M&S, BBC Publications, Red Bull, Paramount Picture, Batsford Publishing, The Observer, The Royal Ballet, The Oldie, Microsoft, Nestle UK, and Scholastic Books to name just a few.
All the departmental staff still practice their craft in the industry gaining commissions across the globe. Combine this with an extensive Visiting Lecturer programme and the course provides a relevant, exciting and career focused curriculum that understands the value of ‘real life’ opportunities

The quality of teaching at CCAD is spot on, the range of tutors all have an extensive knowledge of illustration and are truly passionate about the course and your learning experience.

Alan Vest
Third year (Level 6) student


We pride ourselves on creating a real-life digital design agency environment – we offer CCAD students their own independent work bays with Apple Macs and industry standard software. This means they are able to be creative at any time, without having to book computers, which is the benefit of studying graphic design and communication with us rather than at a larger institution.


QAA commended the way CCAD enhances student learning

Only 15% of the institutions reviewed received a commendation in 14/15


96.7% of 2016 graduates

were in work or full-time study six months after graduation

don’t be shy we’re very social  sicial

Latest News

[wdi_feed id=”4″]