Bachelor of Arts (Hons) in Animation and Illustration

Bachelor of Arts (Honours) Animation and Illustration

Course Overview

  • 4


  • 8


  • 575*


  • AL861

    CAO Course Code

Why take this course?

This programme is unique to the midlands campus as no other educational provider offers a programme combining both animation and illustration at undergraduate or postgraduate level in Ireland. Graduates of the BA (hons) in Animation and Illustration will have the capacity to apply their knowledge and understanding of the fundamentals of illustration and principles of animation to a broad range of areas within the animation and illustration sector in Ireland and internationally. Our students develop the capacity for independent learning as well as producing work collaboratively. Solid analytical and IT-related skills, as well as high levels of critical reasoning through the twin emphasis of both animation and illustration, are vital to creating strong, visually appealing and imaginative artwork.

In this podcast, lecturer Yvonne Hennessy discusses the BA (Hons) in Animation and Illustration, including portfolio requirements and the types of materials that should be used.

What will I experience?

Our students develop into imaginative, confident and creative individuals capable of thriving and adapting to the rapidly changing visual culture and world of animated film and print illustration. You will be allowed to give full vent to your creativity and explore all sorts of areas where your illustration and animation skills could be used. You will be encouraged to cultivate your creative abilities and technical skills through an understanding of the connections between illustration and animation. In year 3, students undertake a 5 month long placement between early January and late June.

What opportunities might it lead to?

There has been significant growth in the Irish animation and illustration industries. The sectors have become a central component of Ireland’s digital and creative economy with increasing career opportunities every year. With a host of successful home-grown animation studios the opportunities within animated series, feature films and co-productions has risen steadily over the past number of years. Ireland has talented and technically sophisticated studios creating and producing content for print, television, cinema, video games and mobile platforms.

Additional Information

Portfolio Requirements

Your portfolio should reflect your enthusiasm for studying animation and illustration. You should demonstrate a high level of draughtsmanship, creativity and experimentation through a wide range of media including but not limited to pencil, paint, photography, animated experiments. You are advised to choose only their best artwork. Curate your portfolio leaving our portfolio assessors with the impression that you have a passion for drawing and an interest in making things move. Do not include fan art. All work must be your own original artwork.

What to include in your portfolio

1/ A minimum of one full sketchbook

Applicants must submit one completed sketchbook. Applicants who have additional sketchbooks may submit upto 5 sketchbooks in total if they wish.Your sketchbook should include a large amount of observational studies of both humans and animals. These can be quick sketches capturing movement and gestures. These are best submitted within a sketchbook. You can include photographic work, as well as photographs of clay, collage, mixed media, stop motion models/sets and photographs of large pieces of artwork that you cannot fit into sketchbook itself. Storyboards, comic book pages and poster design can be included. Please fix the pages together in sequence and clearly label and number them. Your storyboards can show an idea for a short film or advertisement using any style or medium you like to work in. Your sketchbooks can include visual development, concept doodles and ideas that you have been working on. Show us what interests you and what inspires you to make the work you make from the world around you.

2/ 8-10 pieces of completed artwork

Include 8-10 pieces of completed work. Longer studies of humans, animals, objects or landscapes should be further developed with colour, tone and texture. These studies are usually part of your main portfolio of completed work outside of your sketchbook work. 8-10 of these artworks is sufficient.

Submission of Portfolio

Portfolio submission is normally early to mid-March. Portfolios can be submitted in the traditional fashion or in digital format. Full details are posted on the web by December 1st.

Click here for further details and FAQs.

Course Details

Course Duration:
4 Year
CAO Course Code:
Cut Off CAO Points:
Course Award:
Bachelor of Arts (Honours)
Course NFQ Level:
Level 8
Dept of Mechanical/Polymer Engineering
Minimum Entry Requirements:

Grade H5 in two subjects, plus Grade O6 in four other subjects. Two of these subjects must be Mathematics and a language (English or Irish) Note: An F2 in Foundation Level Mathematics will be accepted as meeting the minimum Mathematics requirement. *For all applicants, portfolio presentation required.

QQI: QQI applicants to this programme must hold one of the following awards: Art, Craft, and Design (5M1984), Art (5M1985), Graphic Design (5M1995), Multimedia Production (5M2146) or Creative Media (5M5048). Distinctions are required in 3 modules. *For all applicants, portfolio presentation is required.

Course Prospectus


Course Structure

Year 1

Semester 1

  • Explorative Animation 1
  • Explorative Illustration 1
  • Explorative Ideation 1
  • Explorative Drawing 1
  • Creativity in Context 1

Semester 2

  • Explorative Animation 2
  • Explorative Illustration 2
  • Explorative Drawing 2
  • Creativity in Context 2

Year 2

Semester 1

  • Studio Animation 1
  • Studio Illustration 1
  • Narrative & Script Writing 1
  • Studio Drawing 1
  • Practice in Context 1

Semester 2

  • Studio Animation 2
  • Studio Illustration 2
  • Narrative & Script Writing 2
  • Studio Drawing 2
  • Practice in Context 2
  • Placement Preparation

Year 3

Semester 1

  • Advanced Animation
  • Advanced Illustration
  • Advanced Narrative & Scriptwriting
  • Theory into Context: Critical Issues

Semester 2

  • Placement

Year 4

Semester 1

  • Dissertation Proposal
  • Project Proposal
  • Final Project
  • Advanced Drawing
  • Dissertation

Semester 2

  • Dissertation
  • Final Project

Careers & Opportunities

Career Prospects

The BA (Hons) in Animation & Illustration will equip graduates to carry out a number of roles in animation and illustration production associated with short animated films, feature animated films, TV production and TV advertising. Other specific roles include; background artist, character designer, animator, agency illustrator and production assistant. This programme will particularly suit applicants who wish to work in creative industries that value artistic talent, visual awareness and individuality and team players.

Work Placement

In year 3, students undertake a 5 months placement between early January and late June.

Further Study

An honours degree (Level 8) is and effective basis for postgraduate training and research leading to Master’s and PhD (Level 9/10) qualifications. Staff in the department and in the Careers Office can advise on the range of opportunities available at AIT and elsewhere for such postgraduate programmes. Full details of all postgraduate programmes at AIT are contained in the postgraduate prospectus.

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