You will acquire a professional understanding of studio and freelance practice, developing specialist skills within a range of creative careers from concept art for the film and game industries, to comic art and self-published comics.

This transdisciplinary course offers a space for you to explore comic and concept art holistically to become a versatile specialist. We are a studio-based course where you can discover the theory, practice, and professional context of comic and concept art through a hands-on and industry-relevant approach. You will have opportunities to apply your skills across a range of specialisms including character, environment, architecture, prop, mech, vehicle and creature design, storyboarding, narrative illustration, comics and graphic novels.

Your learning experience will be professionally focused throughout the course with opportunities for industry contact and embedded professional practice skills. Established industry links will complement the curriculum through visiting professionals, live briefs, and visiting lecturer workshops. Opportunities for visits within the UK and abroad are supported to enhance your awareness of the comic and concept art industry in an international context.

There are opportunities for collaborative projects within the course and across the University. You will also have a variety of opportunities to collaborate with industry, past examples include Thought Bubble – the leading comic art festival in Europe. You will be supported in developing a range of career options upon graduation.

@lau_comicandconceptart

Book an open day

course details

What You'll Study

Year One — You will explore how to think and draw as a comic artist and concept artist. Practical workshops introduce and develop your skills in design drawing, idea generation, and visual storytelling. Lectures and seminars develop your understanding of the historical and professional contexts of the comic art and concept art industries. Weekly deadlines, group projects and art tests give you your first taste of the pace and soft skills required to be a comic and concept artist. There is a focus on experimentation and developing traditional drawing skills to inform your 2D and 3D digital skills.

Year Two — You will explore the cultural and professional contexts of comic and concept art. Lectures and seminars develop your skills in worldbuilding, cultural awareness, and believability. Practical workshops further develop your digital 2D & 3D workflows in visualising characters and their worlds around them. There will also be opportunities for hands-on traditional workshops. There is a focus on developing a specialism, an online professional profile and industry engagement.

Year Three — You will focus on developing your specialism and industry-related skills for becoming a professional comic and/or concept artist. You will negotiate a creative project including industry engagements—competitions, live briefs, studio visits, industry research and work experience— building a portfolio that reflects your professional practice and career ambitions as a versatile specialist.

Work Experience

Work experience covers a broad range of activities and students are encouraged to undertake work placements during their time at university. As well as guidance from the course team our Careers, Employability and Enterprise team offer support that enhances employability skills and underpins engagement with industry.

Accolades

Students are actively involved in national festivals, curating and running convention tables, gaining professional experience and industry exposure. Recently, Thought Bubble Festival and Gallery 164 hosted Stories of People, Places and Things; an exhibition of student work celebrating the history, vibrancy and tales surrounding Quarry Hill in Leeds. 

Course Specification

Destination Careers

Graduates will be prepared for employment across a range of roles within the creative industries including:

  • Commercial/independent/freelance comic artist
  • Storyboard artist for film/animation/games/TV/advertising
  • Character designer for comics/film/games/animation/figurines/miniatures
  • Concept art generalist for film/animation/games/TV
  • Comic strip cartoonist
  • Editorial/political cartoonist
  • Caricature artist
  • Pre-production artist for film
  • Visual development artist for animation
  • Creature designer for the entertainment industry or scientific illustration
  • Experience/theme design for museums or theme parks
  • Sci-fi/fantasy illustrator for publishing
  • Marketing artist for games
  • Cover artist for comics

Entry Requirements

We’re looking for students with the best potential to succeed - irrespective of their background. That’s why we welcome a wide range of qualifications and experience.

Click here to view our entry requirements

Portfolio Guide

A well-considered portfolio says a lot about an applicant and their work. Our guidance is not meant to limit your creative statement. In general terms, however, we would expect to see examples of the following:

  • A range of approaches to drawing and image making exploring a breadth of media

  • Evidence of drawing from both observation (eg. life drawing or still life) and the imagination would be desirable
  • Sketchbooks, notebooks and development sheets demonstrating the visual development of ideas and concepts

  • Examples of design/idea development/visual storytelling which may include character/creature/environment development, sequential drawing, pre-production or 3D concepting

  • Critical journals, notebooks, essay or blogs etc. demonstrating an interest in narrative, drawing, image making and contemporary comic and concept art

If you have digital media (eg. a digital portfolio, 3D models or 360-degree paintings) to show, please be prepared to provide an Apple Mac compatible copy of them on a disc which must be left with programme staff.

At this stage in your education we are much more interested in ideas development, work in progress and drawing skills rather than completed polished projects. As a rough guide, we would expect to see at interview around a dozen pieces of work supported by sketchbooks/notebooks and development sheets where appropriate.


We also run a range of daytime and evening portfolio development courses specialising in preparation for further and higher art and design education. For more information on current courses please click here.

Interview Guide

When you arrive at reception you will be met by a member of the programme team who will take you to the studio where you will leave your portfolio.

You will be shown around the department and have the opportunity to ask questions. You will then be given a brief exercise (it is not a test) that you can do in the library or café.

Whilst you have been doing this the programme staff will have been looking at your work. You will be interviewed by one member of the programme team.

Since we book in several students in one half day session, you should be prepared to be in the University for up to three hours. If you have had to travel long distances and have a train pre-booked, please let us know in advance and we will try to arrange the timing of your interview so you can get away in time.

Criteria

This is identified from one or more of the following:

Good use of drawing, image making and visual skills to inform the development work.

  • Portfolio
  • Sketchbooks
  • Development sheets
  • Samples of work

The ability to generate, explore and develop a range of creative ideas and visual narratives involving character/creature/environment development, sequential drawing, pre-production and/or 3D concepting.

  • Portfolio
  • Sketchbooks
  • Development sheets
  • Samples of work

Skills and inventiveness in the use of a variety of traditional and/or digital media and techniques appropriate to comic and concept art.

  • Portfolio
  • Sketchbooks
  • Development sheets
  • Samples of work

An awareness of the concerns, trends, and contexts of contemporary comic and concept art and visual culture.

  • Portfolio
  • Sketchbooks
  • Samples of work
  • Personal statement
  • Interview

An active interest in the subject and ambition to succeed.

  • Portfolio
  • Sketchbooks
  • Samples of work
  • Personal statement
  • Interview

Contact Hours & Teaching/Learning Methods

Undergraduate degree courses at Leeds Arts University are delivered and supported through a range of teaching and learning strategies. Courses are made up of modules, these are elements of study that are taught and assessed separately. Each module carries a clearly identified credit value, the accumulation of which will allow you to progress to the next level of the course. 100 hours of learning are expected for every ten credits of the course. Each level (year) of the course is made up of 120 credits and therefore requires 1200 hours of learning. This equates to 40 hours of study per week throughout the academic year.

For every 100 hours of study, approximately 25 hours are delivered as taught or staff-led sessions and the remaining hours are a combination of other types of supported learning and independent study. Individual courses have their own learning cultures based on their specific use of the teaching and learning methods listed here. These methods feature differently depending on the course, level, aims of module, content of the sessions and progress through an academic year.

For further information visit Undergraduate teaching & learning at Leeds Arts University.

Tuition Fees and Other Costs

Tuition Fees

Our current fees are listed here

Other Costs

Further costs of study are related largely to the costs of materials and depend very much on how individual students choose to respond to University briefs. At the start of the first year you will be provided with starter kit of equipment and materials that will help you during the first few months of the course. Each course also provides basic studio materials and equipment that will help you complete set projects. As you progress through the course, any additional costs will be dependent on the type of work you choose to develop and the central resources that relate to your work.

The costs below are the result of asking our students to state how much they spend during the year and creating an average, as such they are indicative only.

Equipment & Materials

  • Level 4 (First Year) - Materials, printing etc. £150
  • Level 5 (Second Year) - Materials, printing etc. £150-£250
  • Level 6 (Third Year) - Materials, printing etc. £150-£300

At Level 6 the university will pay a contribution to the cost of materials, preparing your portfolio and/or exhibiting your work professionally.

Computers and Digital Equipment

You will have access to a range of digital equipment in course studios and central resources throughout your studies. You may decide to purchase your own equipment as your studies progress which may result in additional costs. These may include:

  • Wacom drawing tablet £70-£300
  • Mac or PC £500-£1,800
  • External hard drive £50-£120
  • Digital camera £100-£250

These items are not essential for the start or completion of the course. If you are intending to buy a computer for your studies we suggest that you wait until you get here. You will quickly find out what you need and what you don’t need. The Course Team will be able to offer you advice on what to buy and where to purchase it from based on your creative needs and budget.

Books, Online Subscriptions & Competitions

You will have access to an extensive range of books, text and online resources provided by the University. There will also be opportunities to submit to national and international competitions and live projects as part of your course. These resources are directly related to your studies and highlighted in modules as you progress through the course. Throughout your time on the course you may choose to purchase your own copies of key texts, subscribe to online networks and enter non-compulsory competitions. These may cost up to an additional £100 per year.

Educational Visits and Off-Site Activities

We arrange a range of research trips for all level 4 and 5 students. These trips are an essential part of the course and the costs are covered by course budgets.

We organise trips to important events and festivals such as Thought Bubble, Industry Workshops London or similar . All students are encouraged to attend and prices for the festivals are between £10-£350 which includes a festival pass, coach and accommodation. We also encourage you to identify your own visits that are relevant to your areas of interest.

If there is student demand we try to organise an optional trip to a European destination* (approximately £350) and/or one international trip (around £800).

These visits are planned to enhance your experience and are optional. We plan activities and aim to provide information about suggested places to visit and equivalent events for those students who are unable to participate in the visits.

*We do not guarantee that we will run international visits. The decision is made annually based on availability, cost and the number of students required to make the trip viable.


We provide support for undergraduate students dependent upon their financial circumstances. Visit Undergraduate Financial Support for further information.

Terms & Conditions and Key Information

Our Terms & Conditions are here.

If you would like to download the Key Information on this course click here.

International Opportunities / Visiting and exchange students

We are delighted to welcome undergraduate visiting and exchange students from Europe and around the world who would like to spend a semester or a full academic year taking credits from our exciting range of courses. You will be fully integrated into the academic and social life of the University during a period of full-time supervised study and your credits transferred back to your home institution.

You can join us through programmes such as Erasmus+, individual university partnerships or as an independent applicant. Please see here for more information and how to apply.

Leeds Arts University students interested in spending some time overseas can find information on the international opportunities available during your course here.

Questions? Contact international@leeds-art.ac.uk

Apply Now

Please apply direct to the University for our BA (Hons) Comic & Concept Art course using the links below.

Home/EU applicants

Click here to apply via UCAS

International applicants

Click here to apply directly

If you need any assistance completing the form please contact the Admissions team at admissions@leeds-art.ac.uk or call us on 0113 280 8000.

 

Duration
3 Years
Study Mode
Full Time
Institution Name
Leeds Arts University
Institution Code
L28
UCAS Code
W223
Awarded by
Leeds Arts University

Comic & Concept Art student wins bronze in international comic competition

Mourning Crow, a story that follows a bereaved young man to a graveside, impressed the judges of ClipStudio.net’s International Comic/Manga School Contest 2020 to succeed in the comic category. …

University is in the top five for Design & Crafts!

Leeds Arts University is in the top five for Design & Crafts in The Guardian University League Tables 2020 …

Latest news

More News

Students celebrate LGBT+ History Month at Leeds Corn Exchange

To mark February’s LGBT+ History month, Leeds Arts University Students' Union and Spectrum Society celebrated the University’s LGBTQIA+ community with a showcase of students’ work at Leeds Corn Exchange. …

Honorary arts degrees awarded by Leeds Arts University

A leading creative director in the interiors industry, and a renowned photographer are set to receive honorary Master of Arts degrees from Leeds Arts University. …

Leeds Arts University shortlisted for six 2020 WhatUni Student Choice Awards

Leeds Arts University has been shortlisted for the 2020 WhatUni Student Choice Awards across six categories – University of the Year, Course & Lecturers, Local Life, Student Support, Students’ Union and Uni Facilities. …

Leeds Arts University wins student choice award for Best University Facilities!

Leeds Arts University was announced as the winner of the Whatuni Student Choice Award for Best Facilities, taking the prize for the third time in six years. …

"Drawing, worldbuilding, and storytelling are at the heart of Comic & Concept Art. Visualise the imagination, create characters and explore stories.”
Rosemary Chalmers, Course Leader
BA (Hons) Comic & Concept Art