Study at an award-winning university
We're the Times Higher Education (THE) University of the Year. We've also been awarded a Gold rating in the Teaching Excellence Framework – a reflection of the outstanding education we offer our students.
Are you in Year 12? You could join us for a real taste of life as an Illustration student with our free residential experience this July. Places are limited – find out more and apply for our Amplify Your Summer Character Design Programme in Cambridge.
Join a course that scored 94% for Teaching on my Course and 91% for Learning Opportunities in the National Student Survey 2023. With its vibrant studio culture and small class sizes, combined with excellent printmaking, 3D, photography and life-drawing facilities, our illustration course has consistently high student satisfaction ratings.
We know that our students want to learn from the best, so all of our tutors are professional illustrators. They’ll help you find your visual style and kick-start your career. But they’ll never forget the reason you chose to study illustration in the first place. At Cambridge School of Art, you’ll find there’s always time to experiment, discover, discuss and create.
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Alua Imanalina, "On 'Hearth, Home and Homeland'"See more of our Illustration students' work
Our BA Illustration students created a series of banners to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the Jesus Green Lido.Find out more about the project
Senior Lecturer in Illustration Jim Butler's book 'Blackrock Sequence' was selected for exhibition at the Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge.Read more about Jim's success
ARU graduate Aleesha illustrated the Ladybird book penned by HM King Charles.Read more about Aleesha's royal commission
Klara picked up the Association of Illustrators Spotlight Award at New Designers 2023.See more of our award-winning students
Tess made the longlist of the AOI World Illustration Awards 2023 for her book Ewe Lamb.See more of our award-winning students
Take a look at some of the latest work by our BA (Hons) Illustration students.
Leah won the 2023 Stratford Literary Festival 'Design a Book Jacket' Competition with her cover for the festival’s Young Poets Collection, earning a cash prize and a commission with publisher Little Toller Press.Find out more about Leah’s win
Our second-year students collaborated with Cambridge Constabulary to raise awareness of violence against women and misogyny in Cambridge.Find out more about the Cambridge Constabulary Live Brief
Children's book author and illustrator Kristin talks about her career since graduating from ARU's BA (Hons) Illustration in 1998.ARU Spotlight Podcast: Kristin Roskifte
BA (Hons) Illustration Course Leader Chris Draper talks about the importance of curiosity and developing your own artistic voice.
Course Leader Chris talks about his journey as a practising illustrator, from education to professional life.ARU Spotlight Podcast: Chris Draper
Illustration student Guoste talks about what made her choose to study at Cambridge School of Art.
Winner, ‘New Talent’ category, World Illustration Awards 2021.
Winner, ‘New Talent’ category, World Illustration Awards 2021.
BA (Hons) Illustration student Kata talks about her experiences on the course.
Winner, Network Rail's "Wish I Was There" competition 2021.
As well as our dedicated illustration studio, where you’ll have your own desk, you’ll have use of the following facilities:
Our new digital workshop includes a variety of computer aided manufacturing machines, helping you learn up to date manufacturing and design processes as well as supporting many traditional techniques. These technologies include:
Our Creative Showcase shines a spotlight on what makes ARU creative and cultural – our spaces, places and people. Find out more about our community, the difference we make, the stories we tell, and the things that inspire us.
Meanwhile, Present is an exhibition that you curate for yourself. Explore the work of our graduating students in this eye-catching virtual degree show.
Alternatively, take a guided tour and meet our students.
The creative industries are booming in the UK, employing more than two million people. With a wealth of careers to choose from, our graduates have found success as book illustrators, graphic designers, luxury homeware designers and more. Want to follow in their footsteps?
Cambridge is the perfect place to gain experience – a creative hotspot that’s home to thousands of established businesses and start-ups.
There are plenty of opportunities to get your work seen, too. At the end of your final year, you’ll take part in our degree show and the New Designers graduate exhibition in London – the perfect launchpad for your career.
Graduation doesn’t need to be the end of your time with us, of course. You might decide to stay at ARU and study for a Masters, such as our renowned MA Children’s Book Illustration. Take advantage of our Alumni Scholarship and get 20% off your fees.
Informed by employers, our courses support an integrated approach to employability. You’ll have opportunities to develop the skills and abilities they are looking for and gain a deeper understanding of how your academic learning relates to the world of work through Live Briefs and Ruskin Modules.
To amplify your career ambition, you will need to actively dedicate time outside of your studies, whether you choose to explore placements, internships or volunteering. Or you could make a social impact by collaborating with our partner organisations through our volunteer scheme Students at the Heart of Knowledge Exchange (SHoKE). These all give you an edge, providing you with experience that you will be able to evidence on your CV and talk about in interviews.
Our Employability and Careers Service offers a range of expert advice and support to build your unique professional profile, including tailored career appointments, advice on writing your CV, and help to complete job applications. You’ll have 24/7 access to the Careers Centre, our comprehensive online digital resource, which empowers you to start building a Personal Career Development Plan from the very start. Design your future at ARU.
We’re a member of the Association of Illustrators (AOI), giving you access to practical information and support – and the chance to make professional connections.
"My images have been licensed for greetings cards, puzzles and ceramics – and I'm proud to say that my fabric is available to buy from Liberty London."Catherine Rowe
BA (Hons) Illustration graduate and founder of Catherine Rowe DesignsCatherine's story
Do you have a question that we haven't answered so far? Talk to our application experts. You can also ask our Student Ambassadors about life at ARU.
We're here Monday-Thursday 9am-5pm (please note we close at 3.30pm on the first and third Thursday of the month for staff training), and Friday 9am-4.30pm.
Applying for one of our art and design courses? Get expert advice on putting together a portfolio that showcases your skills.Portfolio tips and advice
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