Bachelor of Arts (Honours) Animation and Illustration

Bachelor of Arts (Hons) in Animation and Illustration

Course Overview

  • 4


  • 8


  • 575*


  • US802

    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.

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.

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 guidelines

Your portfolio should reflect your enthusiasm for studying within the artistic areas of 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, mixed-media, 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

A minimum of one full sketchbook

Applicants must submit one completed sketchbook. Applicants who have additional sketchbooks may submit up to 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 the portfolio itself. Storyboards, comic panels 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, concepts 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. Visual exploration and doodling is what your sketchbooks are for!

8-10 pieces of Completed Artwork

These pieces are your main portfolio of completed work outside of your sketchbook. Try to have a variety of work in this section of your portfolio. Include longer studies of humans, animals, objects or landscapes rather than quick sketches. Take your time to observe and work into these pieces. They can be further developed with colour, tone and texture. Animation can be part of this section. Animations should be uploaded to YouTube and a link should be emailed to before the submission date. Include your name as per your CAO application on all work that you submit.

Portfolio Submissions

Change of mind deadline for this programme is Friday June 2nd at 5pm.

Change of mind applications are through the CAO website.

No further applications will be accepted after this date.

The course title is BA (hons) in Animation and Illustration. The CAO course code is US802. You will receive notification regarding when to submit your portfolio a number of weeks before the assessments. Portfolio assessments will be on Friday 10th of March 2023 in TUS. Digital portfolios can be submitted. However we advise that you present your portfolio in person if you can so we can see your work in its best format. For further information on portfolio requirements please see the FAQ document or contact Yvonne Hennessy at email:

Click here for 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 & Design
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 is required.

QQI: QQI applicants to this programme must hold one of the following awards: Art (6M4029), Cartoon Animation (6M5545), Interior Design (5M5054), Design (5M2208), Creative Craft (5M1981), Art, Craft, and Design (5M1984), Art (5M1985), Creative Media (5M5048), Multimedia Production (5M2146) or Graphic Design (5M1995). Distinctions are required in 3 modules. *For all applicants, portfolio presentation is required.

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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 and Illustration will equip graduates to carry out a number of roles in animation and illustration production associated with animated films, television production and television advertising. Other specific roles include; background artist, character designer, animator, agency illustrator and production roles. This programme will particularly suit applicants who wish to work in creative industries that value artistic talent, visual awareness and organisational skills.

Work Placement

In Year 3 students undertake a 12-week work placement between January and June. This allows the student to explore areas of interest and experience the sector first hand before proposing their Year 4 individual project. It helps learners to discover what they would like to pursue and deliver for their final major project with an informed decision.

Further Study

An honours degree (Level 8) is an effective basis for postgraduate training and research leading to Masters and PhD (Level 9/10) qualifications. Staff in the department and in the Careers Office can advise on the range of opportunities available at TUS Midlands and elsewhere for such postgraduate programmes. Full details of all postgraduate programmes at TUS Midlands are contained in the postgraduate prospectus. New post-graduate opportunities are updated regularly.

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