BA (Hons) Illustration

This three years or four-year international route Bachelor's of Art in Illustration will introduce you to the fundamentals of the creative industry and will give you the opportunity to refine a career path. This programme has been selected by BSBI from among the many prestigious international degrees offered by University for the Creative Arts.

Faculty of Creative Industries

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Awarded in partnership with the UK’s highest-ranking creative art institution, University for the Creative Arts, this degree programme fosters an engaging and practical approach to illustration. Students are encouraged to develop their own unique approach to the subject, gaining the skills they need to thrive in their future careers. 

Our broad approach in teaching methods within this course includes a special focus on narrative and drawing practice as well as critical analysis, workshops and collaborative live projects.

This course will enable you to develop your analytical and technical skills. You’ll explore innovative approaches to the subject with access to a studio environment, combining all your newly acquired skills within a dynamic and inventive visual storytelling final project.

The four-year international route programme includes a foundation year, which will introduce you to the fundamentals of the creative industry and will give you the opportunity to refine a career path. You’ll build a strong portfolio needed to progress directly into your BA degree, whilst being prepared to use English language in an academic context. 

Berlin School of Business and Innovation is in partnership with University for the Creative Arts (UCA). As a result of this partnership, BSBI is able to offer the BA (Hons) Illustration programme. UCA is an acclaimed creative institution in the UK that ranks highly in all three of the major UK league tables. The university has also been ranked 13th out of all UK universities in the Guardian League Table 2020; and ranked no.7 in the 2021 Guardian League Tables for Business, Management & Marketing.



What will you experience?

Essential tools taught in this programme include narrative, drawing skills and self-directed study which is progressively introduced and encouraged. Students will learn through studio time, seminars and workshops accompanied by subject specific tutorials. Your learning experiences will be enriched as you will be studying in Hamburg, one of Europe’s most exciting creative and leading industry hubs which is in close proximity to the start-up capital of Berlin.

Students will have additional access to course and reading materials via the University for the Creative Arts platform.

Why study this programme?

You will earn a bachelor’s degree with 120 UK credits per year (equivalent to 60 ECTS per year). This helps student mobility in the EU when it comes to transferring credits from one higher education institution to another.

Who should take this programme?

We encourage students to use illustration as a visual platform for communication of ideas and opinions. These ideas will be linked to contemporary socio-political and cultural developments with a special focus on independent visual communication to boost your employability upon graduation. This course aims to encourage you to delve into the exciting possibilities and routes of illustration in an industry related context and develop through individual originality your own personal style.

Programme price


Hamburg: October

2024 October: International students Price: €11,000/year | EU students Price: €8,450/year

Special offer effective until 31 December 2024: Up to 30% savings for International Students | 10% savings for EU Students

Terms and conditions apply. Find out more here.

The School’s admissions process is subject to the Consumer Contracts (Terms and Conditions). Information on your Right of Withdrawal and our Refund Policy can be found in the BSBI study agreement.

Portfolio Scholarship Competition

Students have the opportunity to showcase their creativity and the chance to receive a scholarship on tuition! This competition is valid on the Faculty of Creative Industries programmes being offered at the Hamburg campus.

Best Portfolio (Study for Free!)

1 Student | 100% Scholarship on Tuition

Second Best Portfolio

10 Students | 50% Scholarship on Tuition

Third Best Portfolio

20 Students | 40% Scholarship on Tuition

Find out more about how to apply here.

Programme Structure

The learning and teaching will consist of a variety of elements such as lectures, tutorials, workshops, animated/non-animated video, practical work, seminars and trips. The assessment strategy will include individual/group reports and/or presentations, case studies, essays, portfolio development, reflective journals and experiential work based activities.

You will study up to four days per week, in smaller class sizes and more frequent sessions. Teaching takes place Monday to Saturdays, during morning, afternoon, or evening sessions.


  • English for Academic Purposes, Research and Study skills
  • Exploring Practices, Process, Materials and Techniques
  • Investigating Specialist Practice
  • Final Major Project


  • Professional Practice 1: Destination
  • Drawing and Narrative
  • Theory & Context


  • Documentary Illustration
  • Professional Practice 2: Platform
  • Exhibition practice
  • Critical Analysis and Research
  • Study Abroad Exchange (optional)


  • Major Project
  • Professional Practice 3: Launch
  • Responding to external briefs
  • Illustration Dissertation

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of the course students should be able to:


  • Apply good knowledge of English to communicate relevant international, cultural, contemporary knowledge and historical, theoretical and professional contexts
  • Take a responsible and individual approach to developing creative practice which demonstrates political, social and cultural awareness
  • Work both independently and collaboratively in the development of self-critical, analytical and evaluative approaches in the broader understanding Illustration practice


  • Apply autonomy to deliver primary and secondary research involving the identification and use of relevant resources
  • Adopt a flexible approach to a variety of circumstances and challenges both in your practice and career development
  • Apply the knowledge and skills acquired in your specialist field in the practice of illustration and/or postgraduate study


  • Enhance understanding of critical engagement within the creative arts industry
  • Learn to quickly respond to complex demands and initiate successful creative solutions
  • Present and communicate compelling ideas, both orally and in written form through an understanding of the historical, contemporary and cultural frameworks
  • Navigate future career paths through professional networking opportunities and focused research
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Career Progression

BSBI’s industry focused study environment supports students in reaching their career ambitions. Upon successful completion of this course, you’ll be able to pursue careers in the following areas:

  • Freelance illustration
  • In-House illustration and design
  • Printmaking
  • Project management
  • Web and app illustration
  • Digital imaging
  • Art Director
  • Set designer
  • Education

Hamburg shows it is at the heart of the creative industries within Europe.

Designers and illustrators can benefit from digitization and the positive economic situation in Germany, did you know the industry has had an average growth of 4.1% until 2014-2019 in the communication design industry? Source:

Established Creative Agencies: Study in Hamburg and be close to creative agencies like Jung von Matt, Blynk, Serious, Paperlux Studio, Sum.Cumo. Better yet, be near to start ups featuring client portfolios reaching from BMW, Google, Airbus to Mercedes Benz and Mc’ Donalds.

The gaming industry is booming, and here’s why: 

  • Are you aware that the German games market has had a considerable surge in sales revenue in the Covid-19 year 2020? What does this mean? It means that this industry is gaining popularity, interest and the investment from both a consumer and customer is growing – so as a budding illustrator, more job opportunities will arise. Source:
  • Of 1.2 Million employed in the creative industries, over 30%, around 472k are based in the software/gaming industry. SourceStatista
  • In Hamburg, the software and games industry, which will likely need illustrator, accounts for 28% percent of the workforce. Source: Monitoring report culture and creative industries 2019 on behalf of the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy (BMWi). ZEW – Leibniz Center for European Economic Research GmbH Mannheim. Fraunhofer Institute for Systems and Innovation Research ISI. December 2019

BSBI’s dedicated Careers Service helps illustration students and alumni reach their career goals and realise their potential. The Service offers specialised support and aims to build long-lasting relationships with local and national employers. To find out more about the support available, visit the Careers Service website.

The Virtual Student Lounge

BSBI offers you the opportunity to attend our Virtual Student Lounge to help you gain an insight into life at the school. Through a video call consultation, you’ll be able to get a virtual campus tour, learn more about our programmes, bursaries and scholarships, and get answers to any questions you might have regarding the admission procedure.

You’ll also be able to discover more about living and studying in Europe’s start-up capital, Berlin and find out more about the services on offer at BSBI.

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