Illustration Animation

The department set up the UK's first degree in illustration animation. Kingston School of Art is still one of very few universities in the country to offer the combined discipline and it leads university league tables in the subject.  Illustration animation seeks to explore how the two disciplines work individually and combined, in diverse applications to the broadest and most inclusive audiences.

We practise thinking through making. At all levels we develop students skills in observation, thinking and making. We emphasise the importance of content combined with practical technique and skills for achieving meaningful communication. We embrace the traditional domains of illustration and animation as well as emerging areas of collaboration and hybrid practice. Students explore the primacy of imagery to originate and translate source material, from stories and experiences to facts and information.

Our approach is broad and inclusive. We explore all applications of illustration animation; for example, in print and publishing, digital and web content, gaming, virtual reality and moving image. We encourage students to apply their practice to express a wide range of challenging ideas and visions to give voice  to critical positions or communities that are rarely heard.

Our students develop individual processes and visual identity alongside learning the value of collaboration and team-working. Kingston School of Art's studio based delivery creates a supportive environment that enables group interaction and reflection. Our studios are like laboratories to try out, prototype and refine visual languages and methodologies.

Our illustration animation graduates become illustrators, animators, art directors, producers, set designers, game developers, curators, critical writers and artists. They are regularly featured in UK and international awards. In 2017 three have been selected by It's Nice That for their Graduate showcase, finalists in D&AD yellow pencil awards, three in Adobe Creative Conscience Awards, Penguin Design Award, Royal Television Society Awards and one undergraduate film shortlisted for BAFTA animation award.

Picture and frame: Undergraduate study

Kingston School of Art's illustration animation degree ranks highly in The Guardian league table 2018.

The Illustration Animation BA (Hons) at Kingston combines narrative and time-based subjects to give the undergraduate complete creative freedom to engage in visual thinking, expression and communication.

Illustration has expanded from the traditional printed page to explore many forms of visual media. These include digital interaction and virtual reality, objects, spaces and environments. Animation as a time based medium allows exploration from traditional to hybrid domains like virtual and augmented reality.

The course is built around drawing. It is carefully structured to develop the student's individual voice, applying content to image communication.

We support learning though making and every student is given free access to all workshops. This enables them to test and prototype using any process from etching to ceramics to arc welding to laser cutting and 3D printing or large scale textile printing.

The course includes self-initiated and group work assignments and presentations encouraged through self reflective and critical discourse, individual practice is built and tested by peer group interaction. This breadth ensures students develop the range of skills essential to contemporary practice in all forms of applied image making.

Projects with industry, cultural and social institutions test and shape student understanding in professional situations. Staff practitioners and alumni networks offer insight and contacts with international creative practice, including studio visits and placements.

The course has an excellent reputation for nurturing graduates who become leading practitioners in illustration and animation, as well as design, direction and a broad range of creative careers.

Creative professional understanding: Postgraduate illustration

Kingston School of Art offers a stimulating environment for the postgraduate study of illustration.

This course aims to develop creative professional understanding of illustration in the context of communication design.

Kingston lies within easy reach of central London and its major art galleries, museums and cultural attractions.

Kingston School of Art has some of the best fabrication and visual process workshops in the UK. This enables the most exciting innovations in 'thinking through making'.

Students benefit from being in a community of masters disciplines that includes sustainable design, graphics, fashion and product and furniture design.

From 2017, the Masters in Illustration includes the option of a one-year UK work placement, enhancing the students' experience and connections in industry. This type of assessed placement is not available on any other postgraduate courses.

The MA course is part of the highly-regarded Department of Illustration Animation. The department includes the BA course and a unique cluster of specialist PhD students exploring the potential and reach of the subject.