Animation | Four Year

BA (Hons)

2018 entry

The first year (or Year 0)
 of this four-year route will develop the fundamental skills you’ll need to grow your potential as an animator. You’ll improve
 your observational and drawing skills, and you’ll also undertake theoretical studies to underpin your practical education. You’ll develop your research and design skills, as well as working on a personal project.

Animation is one of the most significant and rapidly expanding media fields. An enormous range of career opportunities exist in animation, from the traditional techniques of animation storytelling to drawn, model and CGI animation.

Alumni of our BA (Hons) Animation course include over twenty Oscar and BAFTA winners, as well as numerous nominees and many other award winners who have maintained UCA’s reputation for creativity and innovation in a vibrant and ever expanding animation industry.

From Peppa Pig, the Meerkats, and Fantastic Mr Fox, to Frankenweenie, Simon’s Cat, and Hey Duggee, many of our Animation students have gone on to become renowned animators, directors, filmmakers and producers in the world of animation.

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Length of study:

Four years (Year 0 + three-year degree) full-time

Starts:

September 2018

Campus:

UCA Farnham

UCAS code:

W617

UCAS institution code:

C93

UCAS campus code:

F

Course overview:

Our four-year course nurtures your abilities. Successful completion of the Year 0 secures a place on the three-year degree course without further application or interview.

Established in 1972 by Academy Award winner Bob Godfrey as the UK’s first course to take an academic approach to animation, we pride ourselves on giving our students a comprehensive understanding of frame-by-frame image manipulation using the ever expanding range of creative techniques.

Whether you want to make films using CGI software such as Autodesk Maya, use the latest 2D drawing processes or produce stop-motion films shot in our professionally equipped studios, you’ll be encouraged to follow your passions as you discover and develop your own creative approach to animation.

Guided and supported by our team of highly experienced and well-connected tutors alongside a broad range of visiting industry professionals, you’ll discover that animation is so much more than making moving images.

You’ll develop a deeper understanding of narrative, character development, movement, sound, and the full range of expressive and personal filmmaking techniques contemporary animation now uses.

As a long-established degree course, we’ve built an extensive network of industry connections, giving us access to high-profile visiting lecturers, commissions, competitions and exciting work-placement opportunities.

Our industry links include Studio AKA, Cinesite, The Mill, Nexus, and the National Film and TV School.

Open Days

Register for an Open Day to find out more about this course in person

Course content - 2018 entry

Year 0 is a preparatory year which provides you with a focused introduction to your chosen area of study and upon successful completion, it'll secure your place on the three year degree without further application or interview.

Please note, syllabus content indicated is provided as a guide. The content of the course may be subject to change.

Course modules

  • Drawing and Mark Making

    You are introduced to the idea that drawing is a fundamental skill for the development of both illustration and animation and is integral to the creative process. It is the means by which you visually respond to and interpret what you see in the world around you.

  • Ideas, Research and Processes 1: Generating Content

    Introduces you to the fundamental starting points for developing ideas for both illustration and animation, through the use of a variety of idea development strategies, active research and engagement and experimentation with practical process.

  • Ideas, Research and Processes 2: Developing and Identifying Practice

    You'll continue to experiment with a combination of processes and production methods introduced to you in the previous unit however now you will also begin to identify, select and use visual and narrative practices to develop and create the content or subject matter of your work.

  • Themed Project

    Building on the ideas, experiences and research achieved this is the summation of your learning on the course so far, you'll be asked to produce a body of work in response to a given theme or brief. The work that you produce should draw upon all of the creative, technical and theoretical knowledge that you have gained.

In the first year, you'll be introduced to the University and the technical workshops and facilities available to you. On the course you’ll learn the technical and conceptual skills that will give you a solid foundation from which to explore your areas of specialist activity.

Please note, syllabus content indicated is provided as a guide. The content of the course may be subject to change.

Course modules

  • 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.

  • Digital Skills

    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.

  • Animation Principles

    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.

Please note, syllabus content indicated is provided as a guide. The content of the course may be subject to change.

Course modules

  • Animated Cultures

    This unit explores the diverse cultures of animation through key debates, and the work of key practitioners. Technological, social and aesthetic innovations will be explored 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.

  • Short Film

    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, a wide range of approaches to animation production will be examined.

  • Study Abroad (optional)

    This optional unit will allow you to spend a period of time in an overseas educational institution.

The third year will see you achieve a greater level of independence with self-managed research, study and practice, resulting in a final major project and a written dissertation.

Please note, syllabus content indicated is provided as a guide. The content of the course may be subject to change.

Course modules

  • Destinations

    Equips 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 will 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.

  • Final Film

    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.

  • 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.

Course staff

Staff directory

International study

Find out more about studying in the UK, or studying part of your course abroad at one of our partner institutions (study abroad option not available on all courses).

Course connections

On this course, you'll be exposed to a world of opportunities

As a long-established degree course, we’ve built an extensive network of industry connections, giving us access to high-profile visiting lecturers, and to commissions, competitions and exciting work-placement opportunities. Our industry links include:

  • Aardman Animation
  • Studio AKA
  • Cinesite
  • The Mill
  • Create and Make
  • Stylorouge
  • Agile Films
  • Blackdog Films Limited
  • HSI Film
  • Blink Productions
  • The Film Club
  • National Film and TV School
  • Passion Pictures (one of the leading studios in Europe)
  • Nexus
  • Moth Collective
  • UsTwo
  • Beakus
  • Animade.

Animation is one of the most significant and rapidly expanding media fields. An enormous range of career opportunities exist in animation, from the traditional techniques of animation storytelling to drawn, model and CGI animation. Typical careers in the industry include:

  • Directors
  • Producers
  • Animators (in commercials, films, broadcast, online media and games)
  • Editors
  • Character designers
  • Production designers
  • Pre-vis artists
  • Compositors
  • Storyboard artists
  • Post-production.

As one of the pre-eminent animation courses in the world, our sought after alumni have landed many exciting, high profile roles across the industry. These include positions as:

  • Animators
  • CG animators
  • CG riggers
  • Designers
  • Directors
  • Model makers
  • Producers
  • Storyboard artists.

Many well-known studios have been set up by our alumni including:

  • Animade
  • Astley Baker Davies (makers of Peppa Pig)
  • Film Fabrik
  • Honeycomb Animation (makers of Grizzly Tales for Gruesome Kids)
  • Mackinnon & Saunders
  • Moth Collective
  • Slurpy Studios
  • Tandem Pictures.

This gives our course very solid links to a vibrant industry, and we enjoy connections with a range of creative talent, studios and potential employers.

You may also like to consider further study at postgraduate level.

How to apply - 2018 entry

I am a UK or EU citizen ...

I am not a UK or EU citizen ...

Entry requirements - 2018 entry:

Entry requirements

The standard entry requirements* for this course are:

One of the following:

  • 64 new UCAS tariff points (equivalent to 160 old UCAS tariff points), see accepted qualifications
  • Pass at Foundation Diploma in Art & Design (Level 3 or 4)
  • Merit, Pass, Pass at BTEC Extended Diploma
  • Pass at UALAB Extended Diploma
  • 64 new UCAS tariff points from an accredited Access to Higher Education Diploma in appropriate subject.

And four GCSE 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 to apply.

*We occasionally make offers which are lower than the standard entry criteria to students who have faced difficulties that have affected their performance, and who were expected to achieve higher results.

Your portfolio

No formal portfolio is required for this course, as the first year of the course (Year 0) provides you with the skills required to start the three-year BA (Hons) degree. However, if you do have a portfolio you'd like to bring with you, we'll be able to provide you with some helpful feedback and also advise you on whether the four-year degree option (Year 0 entry) or three-year degree option (Year 1 entry) will be best suited to your strengths and interest. We'll require you to attend an Applicant Day which will include an interview. This will also give you the opportunity to visit us, meet the course team and see the facilities.

Fees & finance

Uncover all the costs involved, as well as the grants, loans and other financial support you may be entitled to.

Student regulations

Find out more about the operation of our courses, student conduct, assessments and examinations.

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