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Online Illustration Courses

The Online Foundation Diploma in Illustration is a three-stage, full-time or part-time programme designed for serious career-oriented students who wish to be Illustrators. This exciting course gives students the confidence and skills to create fluent, individual and highly creative illustrations for their portfolios.

Our online illustration course has a strong practical focus, embracing a broad range of approaches and media, across contexts such as editorial, illustration, or sequential narrative. All this is further underpinned by contextual studies and the development of students’ professional persona and identity.


Online illustration courses in the UK

Successful graduates earn a Foundation Diploma qualification that is equal to 3 A-Levels and is nationally accredited by the UK’s largest vocational awarding body, SEG ABC Awards. Equally valuable, graduates achieve a superior specialist portfolio of Illustrations that will enable them to access top universities and employment as professional qualified illustrators.

Course Overview

    • Entry Requirements: 16 years or over, GCSE / IGCSE Art or photography or good portfolio. Mature students require no exam qualifications, some ability to draw and paint and a desire to succeed are required. Send example of your work if unsure of level.
    • Part-time programmes (2 years): available all year around – enrolling now
    • Full-time programmes (1 year): start December to January and September to October. Exceptions may apply.
    • Requirements: computer with broadband connection / basic art materials
    • Progression:to any University / BA Honours Degree
    • Accreditation: SEG ABC Awards
    • OFQUAL Regulated: Yes (Ofqual number 500/8476/8)
    • UCAS Tariff: up to 112 points – equivalent to two A Levels at A* grade – university entry requires 80 -100 UCAS points
    • UCAS application supported:Yes
    • Portfolio support: Yes

How It Works

Online Studio

Students enrolled in our online illustration courses receive access to their own online studio where they can work through their course. Units and assignments are listed along with supporting resources, video tutorials for skills development, step by step guides etc. 

Digital Portfolio

Photographs of students’ completed work are uploaded to their college e portfolio for assessment and constructive, friendly written feedback on how to progress. 

Dedicated Support

Additionally, students on our online illustration course are invited to discuss with an experienced and qualified personal tutor their progress and receive face to face verbal feedback, encouragement and support. 

Students may also benefit from relationships with their fellow online students as they can view profiles and comment on each others’ artwork if they wish.


Our online illustration course has a formative assessment and you will receive a summary of progress at the end of units and the course. 

Your Final Major Project will be assessed externally by the exam board and this will decide your final grade. You will be kept informed every step of the way on how to improve your work.

Structure Of The Course

The online illustration course comprises three distinct stages; Exploratory stage, Pathway stage and finally Confirmatory stage. Each stage is 12 to 24 weeks in duration depending on whether you study full-time or part-time. These can be extended if required.

The Exploratory stage 

This is the first stage of the course and as the title suggests it gives you the opportunity to understand at a deeper level what art and design is and to experience working in a number of disciplines. 

Within each discipline, you will use a range of materials and processes and learn the value of drawing and photography as a starting point.

You are offered 5 projects from which you study 4.

  • Photography (mandatory)
  • Fine Art
  • Graphic Design and Illustration
  • 3D (Architecture, 3d Design, Sculpture)
  • Fashion and Textiles

The Pathway stage 

This is where you choose which pathway/discipline you wish to explore further and at a greater depth. Your tutors will review with you your work from the exploratory phase and this will inform your decision. The final decision is of course yours.

The Confirmatory stage 

This is the final stage of the foundation diploma and the only stage that will decide your final grade. 

You will be asked to write a statement of intent with the support of your tutor. This document will outline your chosen final major project.

Your final major project is practical and can be in any form you choose; showreel, a dress, a series of photographs, a painting, an animation, a design for an interior, architectural design, a video game etc.


Fee = £2999 GBP- $3981 USD.

Concessions are available for recipients of state benefits.

International students fee (outside Europe) £5,000 GBP / $6,200 USD / 438,000 INR / 645,000 JPY / 44,000 CNY. 

NOTE: Surcharges may apply to Chinese students to prevent our courses from becoming overwhelmed by a disproportionate number of Chinese students. It is important to OCAD to offer opportunities to all students.

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