Study illustration abroad

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Creative Arts & Design

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Find your perfect illustration programs abroad

Find illustration programs you love that match your needs and aspirations, where you stand a high chance of acceptance.

Illustration degrees abroad

Illustration is the academic study of visual images and the messages they communicate. Programs in illustration provide students with the theoretical knowledge and practical skills needed to get ahead in this creative industry.

As well as studying the principles and processes behind powerful illustrations, you’ll trace the evolution of the industry throughout history. You’ll experiment with a range of artistic methods and media, from drawing and digital, to painting and printmaking. These experiences will help you to master your own visual style.

Illustration is a practice that varies tremendously between countries and cultures. By studying abroad, you’ll encounter new illustrative styles, techniques, processes, and concepts that’ll enrich your artistic education. You’ll become a more original, versatile, and well-rounded artist.

Illustration program structure

You can study illustration at various undergraduate and postgraduate degree levels. Two-year associate degrees introduce students to the fundamentals of the field, equipping you for entry-level employment or further study.

The majority of illustration students choose to enroll in a bachelor’s program. These degrees are offered as a BA across most of the world and you’ll study for a minimum of three years.

However, if you choose to study in the US or Canada, you might pursue a bachelor of fine arts (BFA) course. This four-year program has a more intensive illustration focus, so you’ll take fewer liberal arts classes.

Once you’ve completed your bachelor’s, you can enroll in an MA or master of fine arts (MFA) program. Both programs can be studied over one or two years, but they differ slightly in content. MA programs are structured around critical study and research, whereas MFA courses focus on professional artistic practice.

PhDs in illustration are available and can take anywhere between four and seven years to finish. Doctorate degrees are particularly useful if you’re hoping to work in higher education.

Illustration programs are normally taught through a combination of lectures, seminars, tutorials, and studio-based workshops. Most universities will also arrange guest presentations from industry specialists, relevant field trips, and on-campus exhibitions.

Thanks to the wide range of elective modules offered as part of illustration programs, you can easily tailor your degree to suit your interests. However, most courses will cover these key topics:

  • Introduction to visual communication
  • Theories and practice of visual communication
  • Illustration techniques
  • History of art and illustration
  • Contemporary illustration
  • Illustrations for publications
  • Fundamentals of digital illustration
  • Color theory
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Best countries to study illustration

Best universities to study illustration

Illustration study abroad programs

What are the top illustration undergraduate programs abroad?

  • Lewis UniversityIllustration - BA (with foundation)

    • 40 months
    • On campus
    • Full-time
    • Jan, Aug
    Program type
    Bachelor's
    Subject area
    Illustration
    Location
    Romeoville, USA
    Next start date
    January 2025 +1 more
    Annual tuition fee
    39,400USD
  • Southern Utah UniversityStudio Arts: Illustration - BFA

    • 4 years
    • On campus
    • Full-time
    • Jan, May
    Program type
    Bachelor's
    Subject area
    Illustration, Studio Art
    Location
    Cedar City, USA
    Next start date
    January 2025 +1 more
    Annual tuition fee
    20,822USD
  • University of South CarolinaStudio Art: Graphic Design and Illustration - BFA

    • 4 years
    • On campus
    • Full-time
    • Jan
    Program type
    Bachelor's
    Subject area
    Illustration, Studio Art
    Location
    Columbia, USA
    Next start date
    January 2025
    Annual tuition fee
    35,972USD
  • Teesside UniversityIllustration - BA (Hons)

    • 3 years
    • On campus
    • Full-time
    • Sep
    Program type
    Bachelor's
    Subject area
    Illustration
    Location
    Middlesbrough, UK
    Next start date
    September 2025
    Annual tuition fee
    15,000GBP
  • Ulster UniversityIllustration (Belfast Campus) - BA (Hons)

    • 4 years
    • On campus
    • Full-time
    • Sep
    Program type
    Bachelor's
    Subject area
    Illustration
    Location
    Belfast, UK
    Next start date
    September 2025
    Annual tuition fee
    16,320GBP

See all undergraduate degrees in illustration abroad

What are the top illustration postgraduate programs abroad?

  • Bath Spa UniversityDesign: Illustration - MA

    • 1 year
    • On campus
    • Full-time
    • Sep
    Program type
    Master's
    Subject area
    Illustration
    Location
    Bath, UK
    Next start date
    September 2025
    Annual tuition fee
    17,760GBP
  • Teesside UniversityIllustration - MA

    • 1 year
    • On campus
    • Full-time
    • Jan, Sep
    Program type
    Master's
    Subject area
    Illustration
    Location
    Middlesbrough, UK
    Next start date
    January 2025 +1 more
    Annual tuition fee
    15,000GBP
  • Arts University BournemouthIllustration - MA

    • 1 year
    • On campus
    • Full-time
    • Feb, Oct
    Program type
    Master's
    Subject area
    Illustration
    Location
    Poole, UK
    Next start date
    February 2025 +1 more
    Annual tuition fee
    19,950GBP
  • University of HartfordIllustration - MFA

    • 2 years
    • On campus
    • Full-time
    • Jan, Sep
    Program type
    Master's
    Subject area
    Illustration
    Location
    Hartford, USA
    Next start date
    January 2025 +1 more
    Annual tuition fee
    15,314USD
  • Falmouth UniversityIllustration: Authorial Practice - MA

    • 1 year
    • On campus
    • Full-time
    • Sep
    Program type
    Master's
    Subject area
    Illustration
    Location
    Falmouth, UK
    Next start date
    September 2025
    Annual tuition fee
    17,950GBP

See all postgraduate degrees in illustration abroad

Future illustration careers

Over the course of your education, you’ll have built up an impressive portfolio of work and a transferable artistic skillset. Therefore, you’ll be able to showcase your talent and potential to employers across several creative sectors.

Illustration graduates go on to land a range of exciting positions, including:

  • Illustrator
  • Animator
  • Graphic designer
  • Printmaker
  • Concept artist
  • Cartoonist
  • Lecturer
  • Fashion designer

Participating in relevant work experience is one of the best ways to extend your knowledge, demonstrate your passion, and step-up your employability. Speak to your university’s career service about the benefits of securing placements and internships.

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