Year zero is a preparatory year which provides you with a focused introduction to your chosen area of study and upon successful completion. It will secure your place on the three-year degree without further application or interview.
Drawing and Mark Making
You will be introduced to and learn the fundamental drawing and mark making skills required to develop your own illustration and animation style. You’ll learn to understand the importance of drawing in your work, and how you can interpret the world around you with your sketches.
Ideas, Research and Processes 1: Generating Content
Through a variety of idea development strategies, active research and engagement and experimentation with practical processes, you’ll learn the essential starting points for developing ideas for both illustration and animation.
Ideas, Research and Processes 2: Developing and Identifying Practice
Continuing from the previous unit, you’ll begin to identify, select and use visual and narrative practices to develop and create the content or subject matter of your work.
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 you produce should draw upon all of the creative, technical and theoretical knowledge you have gained.
Drawing for Animation
Develop the essential drawing skills necessary for communicating ideas visually, and in turn develop your observational skills. You’ll attend formal life-drawing sessions and keep sketchbooks, drawing journals and keep a daily drawing blog. This unit is designed to complement the Animation Principles unit.
Through individual animation exercises and a group project, you will learn the importance of effective character design, staging and storyboarding when producing animation. This will teach you the fundamental principles and technique of animation and how to use them effectively in your own films.
Fundamental principles of digital practices and workflows – in both 2D and 3D computer animation - are explored in this unit, from the designing and creation of digital assets suitable for animation, through to refining key framed movement.
Animation: Context and Interpretation
You will be introduced to 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.
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
Following the Short Film unit, you’ll get feedback on your work. This feedback, together with tutorials, will identify your strengths, areas of improvement and interests to take forward into 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.
Advanced Digital Techniques
Through a series of seminars and workshops, you’ll look beyond the tools of computer software and explore their creative use within the context of your own animated sequences. You’ll go on to 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.
Exploring 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. You will also consider animation’s wider contexts in moving image, media culture and the visual arts.
Study Abroad (optional)
This optional unit will allow you to spend a period of time in an overseas educational institution.
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’ll have the opportunity to screen your film at the Graduation Show and you’ll be encouraged to submit to competitions and festivals internationally.
Your 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.
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.
Study abroad (optional)
This course offers the opportunity to study abroad for part of Year 2. To find out more about studying abroad as part of your course please see the Study Abroad section:
Fees and additional costs
The course fees per year for 2020 entry are:
- UK and EU students - £9,250
- International students - £16,250 (standard fee)
- International students - £15,600 (full early payment fee)
Additional course costs
In addition to the tuition fees please see the additional course costs for 2020 entry.
Find out more about our course fees and any financial support you may be entitled to:
These fees are correct for the stated academic year only. Costs may increase each year during a student’s period of continued registration on course in line with inflation (subject to any maximum regulated tuition fee limit). Any adjustment for continuing students will be at or below the RPI-X forecast rate.
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
- The Mill
- Create and Make
- 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)
- Moth Collective
- Fudge Animation