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Local student means; you are an Australian citizen or permanent resident, a New Zealand citizen or a permanent humanitarian visa holder.
Personalised for INTERNATIONAL students.
International student means; you are not an Australian citizen or permanent resident, a New Zealand citizen or a permanent humanitarian visa holder.

Bachelor of Illustration

VTAC Code: HEVAILL CRICOS: 061836F VTAC Number: Fairfield 6900368372







3 years full time / 6 years part time


3 years

Next Intake


Next Intake


Be drawn to a career in illustration

Hone your illustration skills and knowledge with Melbourne Polytechnic’s Bachelor of Illustration. You’ll learn through research-based practice that will enhance your capacity to see the world in a different way. Illustrators are well placed to collaborate and play a creative role in the diverse realm of visual culture. This unique degree also sets you up to succeed, addressing business practice and opportunities for entrepreneurship in today’s creative arts industry.

Combine traditional skills with modern applications

Our Bachelor of Illustration will teach you essential artistic context to improve your skills. You will investigate a wide range of visual art practices and draw on history, technology, commerce, media and cultural studies as you analyse and critique the development of illustration and visual language. You’ll learn about the traditional practices of publishing, advertising, promotion and editorial work alongside contemporary digital visual culture. Melbourne Polytechnic lecturers are all leading industry practitioners, with a wealth of experience to share. Attend Creative Forums, featuring leading creative industry figures sharing wisdom and networks. Melbourne Polytechnic Illustration students are well-regarded, with alumni winning awards at the Australian Student Design Awards, the Undergraduate Exhibition, the Koko Black Creative Drawing Prize and even having animated films in the Melbourne International Film Festival.

Design a creative and diverse career

Melbourne Polytechnic graduate illustrators will have the training for diverse careers, being able to use their highly-developed skills in the media, film, urban design, and art sectors. If you have successfully completed the first two years of the bachelor degree, you may choose to exit with the Associate Degree of Illustration qualification. Graduates of our Bachelor of Illustration or Associate Degree of Illustration might find work in advertising, publishing, new media areas of content and games, film and animation, creative directorship, creative consultancy, event management, exhibition design and curating. You could even run your own illustration studio.

Illustration Information Session

Information sessions carousel image

Come to our info session to chat about the Bachelor of Illustration with our Head of Program, Stephen Pascoe.

Lecturers and current students will be in attendance to show you the Illustration studios and answer all your questions about the course.

The event is held in B Space Gallery at Fairfield Campus, and will feature a student exhibition, including work for sale.

September 13th, 3.30pm - 5.30pm.

Register now

Career Pathways

Where will this take me

This unique degree sets you up to succeed, addressing business practice and opportunities for entrepreneurship in today’s creative arts industry.
  • Publisher
  • Exhibition Designer
  • Event Manager
  • Creative Artist
  • Self-Employed Artist
  • Consultant
  • Art Curator
  • Illustrator

Course Details

Delivery methods

Course delivery continues at Melbourne Polytechnic during the challenges of the coronavirus (COVID-19) situation the world is facing right now. Our top priority remains the health, safety and well-being of our community.

Class Schedule

Contact the Creative Arts Department for more information on part-time study.

Assessment Methods

Various forms of assessment may be used including portfolio, projects work, research, essays and presentations.

Units of Study

Credit points are a basic measure of student workload. All subjects are given a credit point value. Most subjects at Melbourne Polytechnic are 12 credit points. A normal full-time annual workload is 96 credit points. The academic year is divided into two main semesters; full-time students usually enrol in 48 credit points each semester, part-time students usually enrol in 24 credit points each semester or less.

Code Subject Elective Description Year Semester
BIL101 DRAWING FOUNDATION Core This subject introduces students to the basic knowledge and practice of drawing and rendering. Students will develop proficiency through life and general drawing, practical exercises, briefs and the maintenance of research journals. 1 1
BIL102 DIGITAL FOUNDATION Core This subject introduces students to the conventions and methods employed in contemporary digital illustration practice. Students will develop practical skills, as well as a critical awareness of industry practice through exercises, creative projects and an essay. Skills will be developed in both vector and raster software. 1 1
BIL103 DESIGN FOUNDATION Core This subject introduces design theory by establishing a practical foundation from historical and contemporary design practice. The subject provides an introduction to spatial awareness, expression, abstraction, typography and colour theory. 1 1
BIL104 MEDIA AND CONTEXT: CONTEMPORARY VISUAL CULTURE Core Illustration is now an integral facet of contemporary visual culture. This subject contextualises illustration in the prevailing creative arts culture and enables analysis and discussion of the broad issues around current illustration practice. 1 1
BIL105 DRAWING: MEDIA AND APPLICATION Core Students will develop perceptual and mimetic skills through the application of rendering and interpretation techniques addressing more complex subject matter and the human figure. Students will apply design elements and principles to drawing and explore concepts of visual metaphor and commentary. 1 2
BIL106 DIGITAL IMAGING Core Students will further develop their skills and knowledge in digital illustration practice, both historical and contemporary. Experimentation, reflection and analysis will be encouraged to aid in the development of personal styles within digital illustration. Creative projects will address publication of outcomes across a range of media. 1 2
BIL107 DESIGN SOLUTIONS Core This subject encourages the development of a personal design vocabulary. Students will further develop their skills and knowledge of design methodologies across diverse publishing outcomes. 1 2
BIL108 MEDIA AND CONTEXT: 20TH CENTURY ILLUSTRATION Core Illustration, its emergence as a definitive commercial craft and medium for personal expression is examined in this subject. Students will evaluate and critique illustrative work and creative thinking against the backdrop of 20th century history and change. 1 2
BIL201 DRAWING:OBSERVATION AND INVENTION Core Students will demonstrate inventiveness in the production of drawings integrating traditional and digital drawing techniques. More complex drawings will be characterised by personalised visual narrative and stylised graphic outcomes. 2 1
BIL202 DIGITAL ILLUSTRATION Core Students will develop an understanding of principles, conventions and methods involved in digital illustration for the moving image. Skills and principles will be applied to industry relevant projects such as character model sheets, storyboards and character animation. 2 1
BIL203 DESIGN INNOVATION Core Students will apply their accumulated knowledge and skills in illustration and design to complete set projects that solve broad and authentic visual communication problems. Students apply design methodologies to the project management of dimensional, print and screen outcomes. 2 1
BIL204 MEDIA AND CONTEXT: NARRATIVE IN HISTORY Core The visual narrative prior to the 20th century is examined in this subject, with particular focus on illustration, how it diverged from, and intersected with, visual arts history. Students will investigate characteristics of pre-20th century creative culture and its influence on current visual arts thinking and practice. 2 1
BIL205 DRAWING: INNOVATIVE PRACTICE Core Students in this subject will begin to apply personal methodologies in developing an innovative drawing practice. Research and analysis of historical and contemporary drawing is maintained, and authentic industry contexts will be explored. 2 2
BIL206 DIGITAL STUDIO Core Students will develop an understanding and the ability to apply principles and methods in dynamic digital media. Students will experiment and evaluate their methods in dynamic digital media with a view to producing innovative work relevant to future industry practice. 2 2
BIL207 CREATIVE STUDIO Core Students develop and define their creative practice through a self-initiated illustration project. Students focus on the development of a mature design folio with an emphasis on creative freedom and experimentation. This subject is the first of three creative studio subjects that constitute the second half of the creative practice strand. 2 2
BIL208 INDUSTRY: DESIGN PROCESS AND MANAGEMENT Core Students will critically engage in analysis of illustration and design from an historical and contemporary perspective. It will prepare them to plan, execute, reflect and appraise production processes to industry standards. Students will engage with this subject from a personal and collaborative viewpoint. 2 2
BIL301 DRAWING STUDIO:ILLUSTRATIVE CONTEXT Core This subject consolidates personal methodologies to the point where a comprehensive folio of work is produced showcasing traditional and digital techniques. Personal drawing will be characterised by inventive visual narrative reflecting a refined illustration technique and sensibility. 3 1
BIL302 CREATIVE CONTRACT Core This subject consolidates self-initiated practice. Through collaborative projects, with attention to creative work management and documentation, students will further develop personal artwork. The pursuit of aesthetic refinement and technical proficiency support the establishment of a creative identity surrounding their personal folio. 3 1
BIL303 INDUSTRY ENTERPRISE Core This subject prepares students to identify and develop business opportunities, and develop an understanding of working as an illustrator in a professional studio environment and to engage with design professionals and community. 3 1
BIL304 INNOVATION Core This subject extends the students’ accumulated body of knowledge with the intent to develop a more innovative and creative illustrative practice. Students will produce a body of illustrative work that reflects a self-critical selection of imagery and content. Further consolidation of creative identity will enhance the student’s capabilities, and enable them to engage fully in the creative arts industry; to lead and collaborate as confident contemporary illustrators. 3 2
BIL305 INDUSTRY CONNECT Core At the completion of this subject a student will be able to research and independently develop business opportunities, take a lead role in creative teams and plan and exercise sustainable business practices and operations. 3 2

Bachelor of Illustration graduate show

A woman sitting at a table carefully painting a picture she drew

Goodbye Frederick is an illustration show about endings – and beginnings. 

Visit the virtual exhibition

Fees & Costs

Per year $17760
Per semester $8880
Per year $21320
Per semester $10660

When you are studying higher education courses you may qualify for FEE-HELP payments for part or all of your tuition fees. FEE-HELP loans do not cover materials costs.

Find out more information about FEE-HELP.

Fees displayed are effective for new applications received on or after 1 November 2021. Tuition fees do not include textbooks, course materials or overseas student health insurance and visa fees.

After initial deposit, international students are able to pay tuition fees in installments, four times per year.

For more detailed information please read the International Student Fees.

Fees explained

The fees for those ineligible for a government-funded enrolment. 

Check your eligibility here.

The cost of tuition for those eligible for government funding.

Check your eligibility here.

Additional expenses

The Student Services and Amenities Fee is charged at forty cents (40 cents) per student contact hour and is capped over a twelve (12) month period, effective from the enrolment date, to:

  • $250 for full fee-paying students; and
  • $175 for concession-paying students studying Certificate I, II, III, or IV.

Amenities fees are used to improve non-academic services including libraries, counselling services, student support, and recreational activities.

When you are studying higher education courses you may qualify for FEE-HELP payments for part or all of your tuition fees. FEE-HELP loans do not cover materials costs.

Find out more information about FEE-HELP.


Attend an interview.

Applicants with recent secondary education (within the past two years)

  • Year 12 VCE or equivalent, with a study score of at least 20 in English
  • Presentation of a folio and attendance at an interview

Applicants with vocational education and training (VET) study

  • Successful completion of a VET Diploma in Visual Arts.
  • A Diploma in Visual Arts – Illustration Stream, an Advanced Diploma of Graphic Design or an Advanced Diploma of Creative Product Design enable admission into 2nd Year of the Bachelor of Illustration.
  • Presentation of a folio and attendance at an interview.

Applicants with higher education

  • A complete or incomplete higher education qualification.
  • Presentation of a folio and attendance at an interview.

Applicants with work and life experience

  • Relevant creative arts industry or life experience.
  • Recognised and appropriate prior learning.
  • Presentation of a folio and attendance at an interview.

Attend an interview.

Academic: Australian Year 12 equivalency
English: Academic IELTS 6.0 with no individual band below 5.5, Pearson PTE Academic 50 overall with no individual communicative skill below 42, or Melbourne Polytechnic recognised equivalency.
Other: Applicants are required to present a folio and participate in an interview*
*Interviews by Skype or telephone are available for overseas and interstate applicants
Further: Information about authentic folio verification and lodgement can be provided by the Creative Arts Higher Education (HE) department, by email:

Next Steps

Melbourne Polytechnic is committed to providing transparency to the admissions process. In line with this commitment, we provide you with information that will help in making informed choices about your future studies.

Find out more about Melbourne Polytechnic’s commitment to admissions transparency.

Applicants for this course will need to have met the academic requirements. Meeting the minimum admission criteria does not guarantee entry into this course. Past academic performance may be considered.

You may also be required to attend an interview to discuss your career plans, aptitude and understanding of your chosen course of study and the requirements of tertiary study. (This may be conducted face-to-face or by through a video conference call using Skype or other application).

During your interview, you may be asked to provide:

  • Your CV outlining your relevant work and life skills and experience
  • Any letters of reference from employers
  • Documents relating to prior study including course transcripts and subject outlines from other Higher Education Providers if you wish to apply for credit
  • Your portfolio of work

Applicants may be required to attend an interview. Details will be provided by telephone or mail to applicants selected to attend an interview.

When we receive your application, the International Office will be in contact with you shortly to discuss your application and provide you additional instructions.

If you'd like to speak to one of our International Office staff directly, call 1300 635 276

You are currently looking at information for local students

Local student means; you are an Australian citizen or permanent resident, a New Zealand citizen or a permanent humanitarian visa holder.