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DRPS : Course Catalogue : Edinburgh College of Art : Design

Undergraduate Course: Illustration 2A: Illustration Theory and Practice (DESI08063)

Course Outline
SchoolEdinburgh College of Art CollegeCollege of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 8 (Year 2 Undergraduate) AvailabilityNot available to visiting students
SCQF Credits20 ECTS Credits10
SummaryIn this course students will explore fundamental methods and processes of Illustration in the visual interpretation of texts, themes and concepts. They will generate and consider ideas, explore research methods and expand their visual language to communicate complex concepts clearly to specific audiences.

Course description This course will introduce students to a range of methodologies in order to generate ideas and undertake research, which they will apply to the interpretation of texts and narratives through imagery. They will learn how to plan and develop a design project from initial ideas to final work, communicating their process and creative journey through sketchbooks. This will include studies in observational drawing, colour, composition and the relationship between text and image.

During the course students will use drawing to work through concepts, create narratives and reflect through observation. Projects will allow them to interpret both their own texts and existing literature. The course also considers the professional demands of being an Illustrator and working directly with a client.

The course is taught through a series of lectures, seminars, workshops and tutorials. Students are expected to undertake projects set within the course, documenting work through a portfolio and sketchbook. They are also expected to engage independently with the broader field of art and design, for example by visiting exhibitions and reading relevant journals.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements This course is only available to students on the Illustration Degree Programme in the School of Design.
Additional Costs Studio costs will cover general art & design materials, printing and presentation of work £50-£100.
Course Delivery Information
Academic year 2024/25, Not available to visiting students (SS1) Quota:  53
Course Start Semester 1
Timetable Timetable
Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 200 ( Lecture Hours 9, Seminar/Tutorial Hours 18, Supervised Practical/Workshop/Studio Hours 12, External Visit Hours 3, Feedback/Feedforward Hours 4, Formative Assessment Hours 0.5, Summative Assessment Hours 0.5, Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 4, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 149 )
Assessment (Further Info) Written Exam 0 %, Coursework 100 %, Practical Exam 0 %
Additional Information (Assessment) Formative Assessment:
At the mid-way point, students will be required to submit one project (selected pages from a sketchbook of preliminary work and 2-5 resolved illustrations) compiled and submitted as a 6-8 page PDF to LEARN. Written feedback and grades will be provided.

Summative Assessment:
Students will compile and submit a 12-16 page PDF to LEARN documenting the development and resolution of each project. It will be annotated with description and reflection on the context, function and learning of the work at each stage.

Relationship between Assessment and Learning Outcomes:

All 3 Learning Outcomes are assessed and are equally weighted.
Feedback Formative verbal feedback will be given regularly throughout the course through one-to-one tutorials and peer review through small group discussions.

Formative written feedback and indicative grades will be given following a submission at the mid-way point.

Summative written feedback and grades will be given at the end of the course.
No Exam Information
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. Analyse ideas and themes within Illustration briefs, identify a range of solutions to design problems and select appropriate ideas to develop further.
  2. Demonstrate a development of practical skills, concepts and materials in preparatory Illustration work.
  3. Resolve Illustration work to an academic and professional level of finish and communicate clearly the progression of a project through images and annotations.
Reading List
Embury, G., & Minichiello, M. (2018). Reportage illustration: Visual journalism. London: Bloomsbury Visual Arts.

J. New, DRAWING FROM LIFE: THE JOURNAL AS ART, Princeton Architectural Press, 2005


Q. Blake, IN ALL DIRECTIONS: TRAVEL AND ILLUSTRATION, Hayward Gallery Publishing, 2005

J. OReilly, VAROOM, AOI (Ongoing Periodical)
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills On completion of this course students will have the following range of skills:

Research and enquiry:
Be creative problem solvers
Be able to think critically
Have a range of approaches to independent research

Personal and intellectual autonomy:
Be able to think creatively
Have confidence in decision making

Personal effectiveness:
The ability to plan, organise and manage their time
Be aware of the professional demands of being an illustrator

Communicate verbally through presentations and the explanation of ideas.
Communicate in written form both formally and through sketchbooks.
Have interpersonal skills that allows peer review which is sensitive and useful.
KeywordsGraphic arts,Book arts,Architecture of the page,Word-pictures,Visual communication,Drawing
Course organiserMs Sarah Lippett
Tel: (0131 6)51 5726
Course secretaryMiss Linsey McEwan
Tel: (01316) 515448
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