This flagship UCA animation course is one of the best in Europe. Established in 1972 by the British Oscar-winning animator Bob Godfrey, it was the first degree to specialise in the academic study of animation.
UCA BA Animatiion course alumni are second-to-none and include nine Oscar winners and nominees including Michael Dudok de Wit, Daniel Greaves and Suzie Templeton as well as numerous BAFTA and British Animation Award winners and nominees.
Many successful studios have been set up by our alumni including McKinnon & Saunders (Fantastic Mr. Fox, Corpse Bride etc.), Astley Baker Davies (Peppa Pig), Animade and the Moth Collective. This gives the course solid links to a wide range of creative talent, studios and potential employers.
The course itself is committed to the study and exploration of animated filmmaking. It encourages creativity and individuality through a broad definition of animation, which includes any technique that is created ‘frame by frame’.
We respect all well-established traditional approaches to animation whilst fully integrating all of the digital techniques and standards of a rapidly evolving industry.
Critical and Theoretical Studies (CTS) help develop an in depth understanding of animation, its practices and contexts, and support all of the studio practice.
Length of study:
Mode of Study:
Fall / Spring
You’ll be introduced to – and begin to develop – key concepts and critical debates in media, visual and cultural theory central to moving image and animation in particular.
You’ll learn fundamentals of animation, encouraging you to experiment and find your voice within animation filmmaking.
We’ll also teach you the technical and conceptual skills that will give you a solid foundation from which to explore your areas of specialist activity.
Animation: Context and Interpretation
This unit introduces and develops key concepts and critical debates in media, visual and cultural theory central to reading and thinking about moving image in general and animation in particular.
This unit introduces digital practices and workflows in both 2D and 3D computer Animation. Fundamental principles are explored from the designing and creation of digital assets suitable for animation through to refining key framed movement.
Drawing for Animation
This unit is designed to complement the Animation Principles unit and will develop the essential drawing skills necessary for communicating ideas visually. You’ll develop your observational skills with formal life-drawing sessions and the keeping of sketchbooks, drawing journals and the maintenance of a daily drawing blog.
This unit will teach you the fundamental principles and techniques of animation and how to use them effectively in your own films. Through individual animation exercises and a group project, you will learn the importance of effective character design, staging and storyboarding when producing animation.
The second year focus is on finding your own specialist way of working and you’ll be encouraged and supported to start working more independently. During this year you may also have the opportunity to complete an industry work placement or even study abroad.
You will further develop the techniques you learned in the first year alongside a deeper understanding of animation’s cultural context. You’ll specialise in your chosen medium and create two of your own films.
This unit explores the diverse cultures of animation through key debates and the work of key practitioners. You will explore technological, social and aesthetic innovations in relevant critical contexts. We will also consider animation’s wider contexts in moving image, media culture and the visual arts.
Advanced Digital Techniques
This unit explores advanced 2D and 3D computer animation concepts and methodologies. In part one of the unit, through a series of seminars and workshops, you will look beyond the tools of the software and explore their creative use within the context of your own animated sequences. In part two of the unit you will work in small production teams, where roles and responsibilities reflect that of industry practice. Each team will produce an animated piece using a combination of 2D and 3D software.
You’ll produce a professionally finished film with the aim of having it screened at a competitive international animation festival before the end of your second year.
Research and Concept
The research you will undertake will be a continuation of the film making skills you acquired in the unit ‘Short Film’ and through feedback and tutorials, individual strengths, weaknesses and interests will be identified and students will be guided towards an individual course of study. Your research may include expanding your existing technical skills or experimenting with new techniques and to this end, you will examine a wide range of approaches to animation production.
The third year will see you achieve a greater level of independence with self-managed research, study and practice.
You’ll undertake your final film and dissertation. You’ll have the opportunity to screen your film at the Graduation Show and you’ll be encouraged to submit to competitions and festivals internationally.
This unit aims to equip you with the skills, knowledge and confidence to present yourself to potential employers in the best possible way. By evaluating your coursework so far and identifying your individual strengths, the unit aims to focus your ambition towards your chosen career path.
Proposal and Pitch
You’ll take your first steps towards making your final animated film – proposing, developing and refining your ideas.
This major piece of work will be the climax of your learning journey, drawing on all the creative, technical and theoretical knowledge you’ve developed.
You dissertation involves a substantial period of sustained, individually negotiated research on a subject related to the contextual and/or theoretical concerns of your discipline or chosen area of practice, towards the provision of structured written argument.
For further info on how to apply or any other queries you may have please call our Admissions team on 7000 52 50 or fill in the contact form below and a member of staff will contact you as soon as possible.
That’s why your portfolio is an especially important part of your application to study with us; and we can help.
Our academics can offer you expert advice on how to showcase your creative work and build a portfolio that will make your application stand out.
More advice on how to create an exceptional portfolio is also available here, along with specific portfolio requirements for this course.
Along with your portfolio, the standard entry requirements** for this course are:
• 112 UCAS tariff points from accepted qualifications or
• Pass at Foundation Diploma in Art & Design (Level 3 or 4) or
• Distinction, Merit, Merit at BTEC Extended Diploma or
• Merit at UAL Extended Diploma or
• 112 UCAS tariff points from an accredited Access to Higher Education Diploma in appropriate subject
• Secondary School leaving Certificate e.g. Apolytirion
And four GCSE (or equivalent) passes at grade A*-C and/or grade 4-9 including English (or Functional Skills English/Key Skills Communication Level 2).
Other relevant and equivalent level 3 UK and international qualifications are considered on an individual basis, and we encourage students from diverse educational backgrounds apply.
If your first language is not English, you will need an IELTS score of 6.0 or equivalent.