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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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:
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