Computer Animation Arts

BA (Hons)

2018 entry

Driven by the world’s seemingly limitless demands for creative and original CG content, our Computer Animation Arts degree offers you an outstanding launch pad for an exciting career in this rapidly evolving industry.

Throughout the course you’ll discover how to use animation specific software – whilst also harnessing more traditional art materials.

Our Computer Animation Arts course focuses predominantly on art and design, with an additional emphasis on the fundamentals of production design, so you’ll graduate from UCA as a skilled artist in both 2D and 3D.

We’ll train you to become an experienced, proficient software user, helping you to develop a well-rounded skillset highly sought after by employers in the animation industry and associated creative sectors.

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Length of study:

Three years full-time

Starts:

September 2018

Campus:

UCA Rochester

UCAS code:

W281

UCAS institution code:

C93

UCAS campus code:

R

Course overview:

You’ll explore the broad variety of pathways offered by this discipline, including concept art, story development, character design, and animation and film, as well as developing a rich understanding of art and cultural history.

You’ll have access to a dedicated baseroom and computer suites, as well as high-tech software such as Autodesk Maya, Mudbox, and the Adobe Creative Suite – so you’ll be given all the tools you’ll need to really explore your design ingenuity and push your creative boundaries.

Graduates of our Computer Animation Arts course leave UCA equipped with an array of transferable skills, helping them to secure careers with big industry names such as Industrial Light and Magic, Game Studios, Framestore and Glassworks, Dovetail Games, and Blue Zoo.

They also enter a variety of fields within the industry such as visual effects; toy, character, and game design; as well as freelancing.

Course content - 2018 entry

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

  • Toolkit 1

    This unit comprises three elements – Drawing, Animation, and Autodesk Maya & Supporting Software. Together, they comprise the toolkit - skill-sets fundamental to the origination and execution of computer generated imagery and animation

  • Environment

    This unit requires you to investigate ways in which environments may be represented creatively through the design and production of digitally painted concept art, production art and a computer generated digital set.

  • Story

    This unit challenges you to pre-produce, produce and post-produce your first computer generated animation.

  • Contexts

    This unit introduces students to theoretical frameworks through which to consider, contextualise and challenge their creative practice. Understanding the historical, cultural and theoretical context in which computer generated imagery and animation situates is crucial to broadening perspectives and enriching students’ abilities to discuss, develop and disseminate their ideas with confidence.

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

  • Toolkit 2

    This unit comprises three elements – Character Design, Animation, and Autodesk Maya & Supporting Software. Together, they enhance and expand upon core skill-sets fundamental to the origination and execution of engaging computer generated imagery and animation.

  • Collaboration

    Experience of collaboration is a key industry expectation of animation students. This unit challenges you to engage in teamwork in the pre-production, production, post-production and promotion of an original animated short. You will be required to identify your strengths as they align with specific studio roles; for example, concept artist, production designer, character designer, pre-visualiser, modeller, sound designer and animator.

  • Premise

    This unit requires you to identify, develop and pre-produce the premise of your Year 3 project or projects. Premise associates with both the creative and technical constituents of your proposal – what it is you're seeking to put into pre-production and how they expect to produce it. In addition to your individual proposals, you are required to research job roles, departments, and specialisms within computer animation and associated careers.

  • Perspectives

    This unit explores theoretical ideas that associate with postmodernity. A wide range of critical frameworks deriving from philosophy, linguistics, anthropology, feminism, media studies and economics are drawn upon in considering the aesthetics, production and consumption of computer animation, film and associated visual culture.

    The unit readies you to formally place your work within frameworks of theory and practice as required by the Year 3 Thesis unit.

  • 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

  • Minor

    The unit requires you to produce a refined body of work demonstrating knowledge of professional practices representative of cg industry pipelines. The project’s scope should be achievable within the constraints of the project framework but demonstrate creative ambition, advanced proficiency and consistent professionalism.

    A Minor project proposal may be continued into the Major project as first agreed with participating tutors.

  • Major

    This unit requires you to demonstrate innovative, sophisticated and professional approaches to the production of ambitious computer generated imagery and animation, supported by expert creative methodologies. Independent learning, reflective practice and pipelines commensurate with professional practice are now essential.

  • Thesis

    This unit consists of a substantial period of individually negotiated research on a subject related to the contextual and/or theoretical concerns of your creative practice towards the provision of a cogent written argument .

    The unit enables you to engage with a range of research skills and develop an identified methodological approach appropriate to their chosen subject area. Students are expected to reflect upon and articulate a clear and sustained argument that conforms to academic conventions and demonstrates detailed analysis and evaluation.

  • OR Extended Thesis

    Extended Thesis enables you to engage exclusively with individually negotiated research on a subject related to the contextual and/or theoretical concerns of your creative practice towards the provision of a cogent written argument. You are expected to develop an identified methodological approach appropriate to their chosen subject and articulate a clear and sustained argument that conforms to academic conventions. The investigation should be appropriately ambitious and characterised by extensive, wide-ranging research.

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

Course modules

Course staff

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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

Our professional staff have close connections with alumni of the Gnomon School of Visual Effects, West Hollywood, as well as with new and established CG arts, animation and creative media opportunities.

 

 

There is also the opportunity for work placements in the second year with companies such as:

  • Nexus Productions
  • Butch Auntie

Possible career destinations include:

  • Art directors
  • CG artists and animators for film and game
  • Concept artists
  • Creative project managers
  • Creative writers
  • Freelance creatives
  • Post-production designers
  • Pre-production artists
  • Production artists
  • Production managers
  • Publishers.

 

Graduates have gone on to work at companies such as:

  • Double Negative
  • Framestore
  • The Mill
  • Glassworks
  • Squint/Opera
  • Butch Auntie.

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

How to apply - 2018 entry

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Entry requirements - 2018 entry:

As a leading creative arts university, we want to attract the best and most creative minds in the country – so we take a balanced approach to candidate assessment, taking both individual portfolios and exam results into account. 

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.

Entry requirements

Along with your portfolio, the standard entry requirements* for this course are:

One of the following:

  • 112 new UCAS tariff points (equivalent to 280 old UCAS tariff points), see accepted qualifications
  • Pass at Foundation Diploma in Art & Design (Level 3 or 4)
  • Distinction, Merit, Merit at BTEC Extended Diploma
  • Merit at UAL Extended Diploma
  • 112 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. We consider the strength of our applicants’ portfolios, as well as their grades -  in these cases, a strong portfolio is especially important.

Your portfolio

Ultimately, we're looking for highly motivated, creative individuals who want to become successful digital artists and professionals. Previous experience of digital work isn't essential or required. We especially welcome portfolios that demonstrate creative imagination, developed ideas, interest in storytelling, artistic ability (such as life drawing) and cultural interests. So, your portfolio might include examples of life drawing, digital painting, illustration, sculpture, video, photography and animation.

More portfolio advice

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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