School of the Arts, English and Drama

Undergraduate study

Graphic Communication & Illustration

The application process

Before you start on the steps below, have a look at our general guide to applying to Loughborough University

Step 1: Personal statement

A personal statement is your first chance to impress us. There are so many ways to get this wrong that it is worth taking a moment to think about getting it right.

The reader (that's us), needs a clear statement about you; your ambitions, interests, hobbies, abilities, skills and activities. We are looking for people who are engaged with the world.

  • Do we need to know that you, 'have always wanted to be a; Graphic Designer, Illustrator, Typographer or Film Director; since childhood?' Not really. We work on the assumption that communications and design excite you.
  • Do we need to know about your work placements? Absolutely.
  • Are we interested in learning about your hobbies, your Duke of Edinburgh award work, community involvement, musical skills or charitable work? Oh yes! We want to know your achievements.

Give us a clear, honest and relevant statement about the qualities you bring, as a living breathing person, to the programme.

Step 2: Application

Apply through UCAS using the following codes:

  • Graphic Communication & Illustration BA Hons - 3 years full-time - W900
  • Graphic Communication & Illustration BA Hons - DPS/DIntS 4 years full-time sandwich - W901


The UCAS application deadline is 15 January.

Step 3: Prepare your portfolio

A portfolio is a visual argument for your qualities as a candidate. It doesn't need to be a record of everything that you've ever done. We would recommend including work that shows an ability to construct images and control processes.

You will need to show an ability to visually generate, develop and assess ideas. Sketchbooks do this job well, as they show your process of thinking and experimentation.

We need to see:

  • Approximately 20 pieces of work.
  • Evidence of good ideas. This may be through sketchbooks showing ideas being generated in response to an initial proposition e.g. the brief.
  • Evidence of these ideas being evaluated for design effectiveness; of decisions being taken and judgements made.
  • Evidence of experimentation in selecting the most appropriate materials and techniques to make the final piece.
  • A degree of material skill in making the artwork look great. This could be a hand technique like drawing or a technically mediated process like Photoshop.

Step 4: Interview

Our Interview Week takes place in February each year. You will receive an invitation to an Interview Day by email, which will give you the opportunity to book a specific date and time slot via an online form.

We interview, not because it is easy or cheap, but because it is the best way of meeting young talents: talents who want to make wonderful things. In the interview we don't just look at work, we meet people. It is entirely likely that there will be a student representative involved in the interview: we trust our students and value their opinions.

We will look through your work, guiding us isn't necessary but we will frequently ask you questions. We will be looking for technical craft and the ability to communicate visually.

We will also be looking at your development work because we need to be able to understand the ways in which you move an idea from the inside of your head into the real world.

We will ask you questions about yourself, your cultural life, your interests and your outside activities (we do like people who are actively engaged in the world around them). We will give you the opportunity to ask us questions: take it and make us tell you something cool.

Step 5: Offer

If you are successful at interview, you will recieve a conditional or unconditional offer of a place on our course before 31 March.

Step 6: Decision

You will have until 6 May to respond to UCAS with your decision about which of your offers you want to select as your Firm and Insurance choices.

Step 7: Results

Life is unpredictable. You may have been given a set of predicted grades by your educational institution in all good faith, and then find yourself with something lower than you were expecting. If this is the case there may, possibly, be something we can do. It is worth contacting us and checking.

We will have made our own judgements about you and your work during the interview. We might feel strongly enough about the quality of your work that, on review, we may be able to ask the university for a variation on your entry tariff. Be under no illusions, this isn't a common occurrence, but it can happen.

So, if the difference between the entry grade tariff we've asked for and what you've achieved is small, then please contact our admissions officer and ask us to review your case. We'll let you know if we have any room for movement.