Overview

In a world where visual communication is the norm, animators are in high demand in TV, movies, gaming, corporate films, education and mainstream news media.

This BA (Hons) Animation degree course gives you the technical skills, insight and platform to apply your creative talent to a successful career in 2D or 3D animation in the film, computer games, visualisation, motion capture and advertising industries.

What you'll experience

On this Animation degree course you’ll:

  • Develop creative and technical abilities in character animation, visual storytelling, compositing and editing
  • Learn from staff who co-directed animations for Disney, Warner Brothers and Cartoon Network, works for the BBC, and produced animation and special effects for high-profile feature films including the Lord of the Rings, Harry Potter and Chronicles of Narnia franchises
  • Develop your practical skills in our animation drawing room, visual effects (VFX) facility, motion capture studio and Wacom Cintiq suite
  • Practice techniques such as the performance capture process that animators used in the film, Avatar
  • Use the latest software (Maya, 3D Studio Max, Photoshop, Toonboom, Flash, TV paint), production methods and CG (computer graphic) equipment

You can also:

  • Meet prospective employers and other industry contacts when you showcase your work at our student screening in London

Work experience and career planning

To give you the best chance of securing a great job when you graduate, our Careers and Employability service can help you find relevant work experience during your Animation degree course. You'll also get career planning help and support from your personal tutor.

We can help you identify placements, internships, voluntary roles and freelancing opportunities that will complement your studies and build your portfolio.

What you'll study 

Each module on this course is worth a certain number of credits.

In each year, you need to study modules worth a total of 120 credits. For example, 4 modules worth 20 credits and 1 module worth 40 credits.

Year 1
Core modules

Animation Production Process – 20 credits - On this module, you'll learn about each aspect of the animation production process in practical workshops.

Introduction to 2D Animation – 20 credits - This module introduces you to the craft of 2D animation.

Introduction to 3D Animation – 20 credits - This module introduces you to the latest industry tools and techniques used in animation production.

Introduction To Visual Research For Animation – 20 credits - On this module, you'll learn drawing, colour and texture as visual research and exploration.

Narrative – 20 credits - On this module, you'll develop an understanding of film language, camera angles, composition, lighting, mise-en-scène, editing and sound design.

Signs and Meaning in Animation – 20 credits - This module focuses on questions of meaning, spectatorship and representation and highlights how animation fits within the wider context of contemporary visual culture.

Year 2
Core modules

Animation Group Project: Introduction – 20 credits - On this module, you'll work in a group to research and develop animations.

Animation Group Project: Production – 20 credits - On this module, which follows on from the 'Animation Group Project: Introduction' module, you'll continue working in your group to produce and present animations.

Experimental Animation – 20 credits - On this module, you'll explore the visual research methods that will improve your skills in the pre-production stage of animation.

History and Theory of Animation – 20 credits - On this module, you'll develop analytical skills and critical thinking in animation, building on what you learned in year 1.

Optional modules

Creative Technologies Study Exchange – 60 credits - This module gives you the opportunity to do a study placement in a Higher Education institution outside of the UK. It allows you to enhance your learning experience by adding a global dimension to your studies.

CCI Self-Employed Placement – Full Year – 40 credits - This optional year-long module gives you experience in setting up and running a small business during the placement year of a sandwich degree.

CCI Work Placement – Full Year – 40 credits - This optional year-long placement module gives you relevant industrial or commercial experience during the placement year of a sandwich degree.

Engaged Citizenship Through Interdisciplinary Practice – 20 credits - On this module, you'll develop your creative, intellectual and interpersonal attributes.

Intermediate 2D Animation – 20 credits - On this module, you'll develop your animation principle skills and learning animation techniques for big studios, executing tests which involve stretching, weight and anticipation.

Intermediate 3D Animation – 20 credits - On this module, you'll develop skills and knowledge in character animation and use technical, performance, illustrative and narrative techniques to create a 3D animated sequence.

Introduction to Visual Effects – 20 credits - This module introduces you to digital visual effects, as well as simulation-based and procedurally-generated artwork, in relation to the role of an effects animator or effects technical director for the VFX (visual effects) industry.

Previsualisation and Motion Capture – 20 credits - In this module, you'll explore the role of previsualisation (previs) artists within film, TV and game productions.

Professional Experience – 20 credits - This module gives you the opportunity to gain credit towards your degree from paid/unpaid work, volunteering, research placements, internships and other work-related learning.

Student Enterprise – 20 credits - This module is a problem-based learning module, which will introduce you to the basics and reality of setting up and running a small business.

Year 3
Core modules
Employment Preparation – 20 credits - This module prepares you for applying for jobs in the industry.

Major Project: Client Base – 20 credits - On this module, you'll follow a client brief to deliver a professional animation.

Major Project: Resolution – 20 credits - On this module, you'll develop a professional animation using the animation, art direction and pre-production skills you developed in the Advanced Pre-Production Methods module.

Written Project – 20 credits - This module brings together the ideas and concepts you've studied during your degree.

Optional modules
Advanced 2D Animation – 20 credits - On this module, you'll develop technical animation skills in classical animation and create a showreel with technical 2D animation to a professional standard. 

Advanced 3D Animation – 20 credits - In this module, you’ll develop your 3D animation skills.

Advanced Pre-Production Methods – 20 credits - On this module, you'll prepare for your major project by developing a preproduction dossier that focuses on your strongest skills. You'll develop awareness of professional pre-production methods and build an understanding of the importance and relevance of production planning in the industry.

Advanced Visual Effects and Environments – 20 credits - This module examines dynamic simulations of 3D digital environments and their interaction with particle systems, structure dynamics, cloth, fluids and crowd simulations that are influenced by the laws of physics.

Motion Capture Applications – 20 credits - The module introduces you to the principles of performance capture techniques focusing on current industry standards and applications.

Teaching

Teaching methods on this course includes:

  • lectures
  • workshops
  • seminars
  • one-on-one tutorials

There’s an emphasis on production processes such as computer animation, modelling, rigging and rendering.

Teaching staff include experienced experts who have worked for companies such as the BBC, Channel 4, Framestore, Sony Computer Entertainment, Disney, Warner Brothers, Weta and Double Negative.

You can access all teaching resources on Moodle, our virtual learning environment, from anywhere with a Web connection.

How you're assessed

You’ll be assessed through:

  • animation design projects
  • a showreel and portfolio
  • written coursework (one module per year)
  • a dissertation

You’ll be able to test your skills and knowledge informally before you do assessments that count towards your final mark.

You can get feedback on all practice and formal assessments so you can improve in the future.

The way you’re assessed may depend on the modules you select. As a guide, students on this course last year were typically assessed as follows:

  • Year 1 students: 100% by coursework
  • Year 2 students: 17% by practical exams and 83% by coursework
  • Year 3 students: 17% by practical exams and 83% by coursework

Careers and opportunities

When you finish this Animation degree course, our careers and employability service can help you find a job that puts your skills to work in the industry.

Previous students have gone on to work as animators, concept artists, directors, compositors, creative directors, art directors, modellers, user interface (UI) designers and post-production technical directors at well-known companies such as:

  • Climax
  • Framestore
  • The Mill
  • Sony Pictures Animation
  • Kuju Games
  • Centroid 3d in Pinewood Studios
  • Cartoon Network on the Amazing World of Gumball

They’ve worked on high-profile feature films and cartoons including:

  • Avatar
  • Life of Pi
  • Tim Burton’s Alice in Wonderland
  • The Amazing World of Gumball

Other graduates have continued their studies at postgraduate level or set up successful businesses with help and support from the University.

After you graduate, you can get help, advice and support for up to 5 years from our Careers and Employability service as you advance in your career.

BA (Hons), BA (Hons) Award
September Start
Full-time, Sandwich Study Mode
3 years Duration

Entry Requirements For This Course

112 points to include a minimum of 2 A levels, or equivalent. Applicants without art and design qualifications or experience may be asked to submit a digital portfolio in advance of an invitation to interview.

English language proficiency at a minimum of IELTS band 6.0 with no component score below 5.5.

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