SCQF Level 8
Art and Design

Course Overview

Visual Communication in Illustration HND is a vibrant and creative course designed to give you a thorough understanding of the visual communication industry. This course will allow you to discover dynamic knowledge and develop the skills needed to work as a freelance illustrator or progress on to university degree courses.  

You will learn industry-relevant programmes in specialised illustration areas such as editorial, design, advertising and book publishing. Our aim is to promote your individual creativity, develop your artwork and prepare you for working in the industry. You will be taught by experienced illustrators and there will be options to undertake client-led live projects and briefs set by professionals from the creative industry as well as taking part in national design and illustration competitions. This is all invaluable practical experience to prepare you to work as a professional illustrator. Throughout the course, you will also develop a range of vocational and transferable skills which are highly sought after in today’s competitive job market. Edinburgh is a creative hub and it is a gift to study art and design in such a cultured city. HND students will have the opportunity to exhibit their work in prestigious galleries for the general public, industry professionals and future colleagues to view.  

The course has a dedicated Facebook page. If you’d like to see some of our students’ work or simply look at things that inspire us, please follow the link here: 


Here is a link to our ‘moving image’ videos: 

And a link to some of our graduates who are now working in the industry: 

What You Will Learn
  • Visual Communication Skills and Knowledge
  • Project Work Based on Specialised Illustration Areas: Editorial (Magazines and Newspapers) Design, Advertising, Moving Image and Book Publishing
  • Drawing Skills
  • Printmaking
  • Design, Typography and Layout Skills
  • Presentation Skills
  • Preparing and Organising Work and Meeting Deadlines
  • Portfolio Production
  • Producing Self-Promotion and Marketing Materials
  • Transferrable Core Skills
Entry Requirements
  • Year one: Two Highers or Btec/UAL Level 2/3 or Foundation Diploma or SQA NC at SCQF Level 6 
  • Year two: Pass all 15 credits available at HNC Level
  •  You must submit a portfolio that demonstrates your advanced art and design skills and an understanding of the creative process 
English Proficiency Requirements
  • IELTS 5.5
How the course is assessed
  • Assessment is through practical projects where students tackle a range of client-initiated briefs, design competitions, and studio projects 
Information on Test/Auditions/Interview Requirements
  • All applicants are required to submit a Digital Portfolio and attend an Applicant Session.
  • Information on Digital Portfolios and Applicant Sessions will be sent to you after completing your online application form.
Progression And Articulation Routes

Recognised entry to second and third year Scottish 4 year Degree, for example

  • ECA Second-year entry
  • Grays School of Art
  • GSA
  • HWU
  • Napier and Abertay
  • Recognised second-year entry to R.U.K 3 year Degrees
Career Opportunities
  • Freelance illustration 
  • Working in a design or advertising agency 
Number Of Days Per Week
  • 3 days per week 
Course Cost And Funding Options
Student Stories

HND Illustration student Alex Williams tells us of his creative process and experiences at Edinburgh College school of art. 

“Studying Illustration for the past two years has allowed me to develop a broad array of techniques using digital software such as Photoshop and Illustrator. Prior to this course I had little knowlegde of digital illustration do starting out was difficult but so rewarding! Now my work is mostly all digital. I enjoy poster and book cover design, however, this year I’ve been focusing on chracter development which I’ve never done before. This course has allowed me to discover what I am passionate about and enjoy. 

Next year I will be heading to Abertay University to study Computer Arts. I will continue to develop my digital skills as an illustrator and progress onto a bright future in the industry.” 

Read more of our student stories here.

Start Date and Time

Full Time

This course will start week commencing...
  • Monday 30/08/2021
End Date

Full Time

This course will end on...
  • Friday 17/06/2022
Course Delivery
x x x x
MIDLOTHIAN x x x x x
MILTON RD x x x x x
SIGHTHILL x x x x x
OUTREACH x x x x x

Courses may be subject to alteration or cancellation

Join the Community
Graduate Book 2021

​​Our Graduate Book celebrates the achievements of our HND Art and Design students.  All eight of the HNDs in Art and Design are included and these cover a wide range of specialist subjects that can be studied at Higher Education level at Edinburgh College.

Download the Graduate Book 2021

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To apply please download an SCP application form and contact your guidance teacher who will support you through your application.

For further information please contact the College t: 0131 669 4400 | Terms of use and disclaimer
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