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Course Code: NFAAN011

Course Level: Level 3

Study Mode: Full-Time

Course Type: A Levels and A+ Programmes

Course overview

Do you enjoy drawing? Could you tell a story using moving images? This fresh and exciting course will support you in a journey that encourages creativity and ambition. Immerse yourself in a captivating world of visual storytelling with our A Level Illustration and Animation course. This dynamic program combines traditional drawing techniques with digital animation skills, allowing students to explore a range of creative possibilities. From character design to narrative development, students develop the skills and techniques to bring their ideas to life through illustration and animation.

You will be introduced to key creative principles, exploring both traditional and digital methods of creating visual imagery, further applying these skills equally within moving image approaches. You will learn about the work of leading industry figures from Disney to Miyazaki and will explore a range of techniques including model-based animation, illustration, time-lapse and digital.

The course will teach you how to manage the animation processes, such as planning and setting-up a production pipeline and you will also develop learning skills such as teamwork, communication, presentation, planning and managing resources.We will also encourage you to engage with artwork and the world around you, drawing inspiration and ideas as your work improves in complexity and ambition, allowing for a broad and creative approach to illustration and design.

In addition to examples of your creative work, you will need a minimum of five GCSEs at grade 5 or above, in subjects relevant to your A Level or A+ Programme subject choices. This should ideally include English Language and maths as well as a creative subject, however we actively encourage interested learners to apply and attend an informal interview to allow us to find out more about you, your career aspirations, predicted grades and creative ability.

You will receive feedback every day on your work, including peer feedback. There well be regular written feedback to help you improve. The course is formally graded in year 2 via two extended coursework units. The first is negotiated with your tutor based on an area of interest to you and includes an extended essay (60%). The second is again coursework based, following starting points set by the exam board EDUQAS (40%).

Progression to year 2 will be dependent on successful completion of the first year taking into account Internal Progression Examination results and the Key Assessment Profile throughout the first year.

The final A level certification you will receive is entitled Art and Design: Graphic Communication. This means that you cannot study Graphic Design as a separate subject.

If you wish to find out more you can contact Subject Leader Simon Jones by emailing:

An A level in Illustration & Animation (Graphic Communication), can give you points to take forward for an HE application in Creative subjects and give you transferable skills to use in any number of workplace scenarios. The UK’s film and computer games industries are a major employer for animators. Illustration itself is broadly sought after for many industries. Some directions for illustrators include health and medical illustration, children’s products and picture books, commercial packaging design, infographics such as instructions, magazine, book cover and further editorial illustrations, exhibition artwork, fashion industry illustrations - including surface pattern and T shirt design, concept illustration and illustration for print and online.

This course is free for anyone aged 16 – 18. 

College Maintenance Allowance (CMA): Anyone with a household income under £26,000 can receive up to £20 per week financial support to help pay for travel and meals and meet the costs of essential trips, books, stationery and equipment. The payments will be subject to full attendance on your course. A range of other financial support is available, depending on your personal circumstances. For more details visit


pass rate


achieved A*-B in 2023


What else do I need to know?

Think of what you're capable of. Then think beyond it.

Step up to a top university or move into a competitive programme like Medicine or Law with our Honours Programme. Perfect for ambitious and high-achieving students.

The Honours Programme is an additional pathway for students whose aspirations are to progress onto highly competitive courses at top universities, such as those in the Russell Group. Once accepted onto the programme, you’ll be expected to commit extra time every week to this intensive support pathway.

Find out more here