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


Students invited for interview must evidence a portfolio of practical work as well as a sample of written work. This provides the opportunity to show thinking through making, and the skills required to visualise and further realise ideas in the material world. The portfolio must demonstrate quality throughout a whole variety of work, from visual research, observational drawing, sketchbook and/or layout pad use, technical ability, and the presentation of finalised artefacts.

In recognition that students will be from different educational backgrounds and undertaking a variety of qualifications, it is expected that the portfolio will evidence the appropriate skills for students’ individual circumstances.

It is essential to provide in the portfolio an accompanying written essay of no less that 1000 words on a topic related to themes explored in the practical work, fully referenced with source material.

As a guide, work in the portfolio should evidence:

  • initiation and development of substantive ideas through drawing and other forms of mark making;
  • experimentation, exploration, evaluation and effectiveness through a wide range of materials and media;
  • appropriate use of techniques and presentation skills at all stages of the creative process;
  • an ambitious, inquiring and critical approach to work (practical and written);
  • not less than six substantial projects with associated development work.

Step 4: Interview

Our interviews will run from December each year. You will receive an invitation to an interview session by email, which will give you the opportunity to choose a date to attend. Please note that the event will include a talk and a tour, and that you will be allocated a time for your interview on arrival.

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.