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Animation at UCA

If you’re keen to forge a career within the world of animation, then look no further than our renowned BA (Hons) Animation course at UCA Farnham. 

Established in 1972 by Academy Award™ winner Bob Godfrey, ours is one of the best-known and most highly regarded animation courses in the world, with graduates going on to create iconic characters such as Hey Duggee, Peppa Pig, and Compare the Market’s meerkats. Whatever your preferred medium – whether you want to make animated films using CGI, traditional drawing, oil on glass, sand animation, or pixelation – you’ll be encouraged to follow your passions and aim high.  

To help you achieve this, you’ll have access to our incredible facilities, including a stop motion studio with Dragonframe Capture, professional camera equipment, and stages pre-rigged with grips, stands, and lights. Not to mention computer suites kitted out with the latest Adobe, Toon Boom, and Maya CG software.  

Along the way, we’ll support you with our extensive knowledge, experience, and industry contacts, providing everything you need to become an innovative storyteller and artist.

 

Course entry options

Select from the following options to find out more about the different study options available for this course:

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Institution code
C93
UCAS code
W615
Campus
UCA Farnham
Start date(s)
September 2024, September 2025
Duration
3 years full-time
Entry requirements

112 UCAS points

International equivalent qualifications

 

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Institution code
C93
UCAS code
W61A
Campus
UCA Farnham
Start date(s)
September 2024, September 2025
Duration
4 years full-time
Entry requirements

32 UCAS points

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Institution code
C93
UCAS code
W61C
Campus
UCA Farnham
Start date(s)
September 2024, September 2025
Duration
4 years full-time
Entry requirements

12 years of schooling (with good grades)

Close
Institution code
C93
UCAS code
W616
Campus
UCA Farnham
Start date(s)
September 2024, September 2025
Duration
4 years full-time
Entry requirements

112 UCAS points

International equivalent qualifications 

Close
Institution code
C93
UCAS code
W61B
Campus
UCA Farnham
Start date(s)
September 2024, September 2025
Duration
5 years full-time
Entry requirements

32 UCAS points

Close
Institution code
C93
Campus
UCA Farnham
Start date(s)
September 2024, September 2025
Duration
5 years full-time
Entry requirements

12 years of schooling (with good grades)

Accreditations, partners and industry connections

Two minute stories


Discover the stories of our Animation students
What you'll study

What you'll
study

The content of the course may be subject to change. Curriculum content is provided as a guide.

UCA’s Integrated Foundation Year is designed to give you the skills you’ll need to start your degree in the best possible way – with confidence, solid knowledge of creative practice, study skills and more.

You’ll explore a range of creative techniques and develop your portfolio, with your chosen subject in mind. We’ll work with you throughout the year to ensure you’re on the right track and give you the tools to achieve your highest potential on your degree.

Find out more about the Integrated Foundation Year

For our students coming from a non-UK educational background, UCA has launched an Integrated International Foundation Year, based at UCA Farnham to bring students from around the world to one hub of creativity.

This year of preparatory study is designed to give you the skills you’ll need to start your degree in the best possible way – with confidence, solid knowledge of creative practice, study skills and the English speaking and writing skills you’ll need to succeed.

You’ll explore a range of creative techniques and develop your portfolio, with your chosen subject in mind. We’ll work with you throughout the year to ensure you’re on the right track and give you the tools to achieve your highest potential on your degree.

Find out more about the Integrated International Foundation Year

Launch
You’ll begin by taking part in a series of interdisciplinary workshops and seminars based around ideas generation, creative practice, and development. This week will help students develop their understanding of creativity and different sources of inspiration via different approaches, concepts, and mediums.

Animation Principles
This unit will introduce the fundamental principles of animation through a range of traditional and contemporary animation techniques. Complimentary to this, you’ll learn essential drawing and mark-making skills necessary for observing and interpreting the mechanics of movement and gesture.

Equality, Diversity and Inclusion
The unit provides an opportunity for students to explore what is meant by equality, diversity, and inclusion and the implications of these concepts for creative practice. It will equip students to understand how our social identities (such as, gender, race/ethnicity, class, disability, sexual orientation, and religion) contribute to the inclusion and/or exclusion of individuals in creative spaces.

Public Exhibition
You’ll be introduced to effective forms of presentation and how they can greatly benefit your portfolio as well as your ability to be able to curate your own work. Alongside the development of your presentation and curation skills, you will also be introduced to moving image as a way in which to display your work.

Opportunity - 24-hour film challenge
This week will help you develop your understanding and appreciation for fast-paced idea generation while working within a team. You’ll work to create an idea, develop your concept and produce a short film in 24 hours.

Group Film
You’ll be introduced to various filmmaking conventions and associated theories in order to help you work in a group to produce a short, animated film. You’ll learn pitching and presentation skills, the individual roles and responsibilities in a production team and the importance and purpose of design, storyboarding and animatics in presenting your ideas.

Animation Industry Practices
Through a series of tailored seminars and workshops you will be set briefs that are aligned to the entry requirements typical of an internship/junior level animator role within the animation industry.

Animator’s Portfolio
The Animator’s Portfolio is a focus on your own individual work and creative practice, with a view to your future in the creative industries. You’ll create an online web presence to showcase and contextualise examples of your current working practice, and learn to curate your own work and design your portfolio to be both aesthetically pleasing and accessible.

ATOM Activities
ATOM activities are tiny pieces of individual learning that facilitate interdisciplinary exposure across the university. Collectively they form a small fraction of your curriculum that is determined through your own personal choice and interest.

PLE Digital Outcome
In this unit you will collate a digital record, reflecting on your learning journey through the first year of your degree. You will be identifying key points and developments within all units undertaken. We are interested in seeing a detailed account of your academic, technical and creative progress and development.

Launch week
A series of interdisciplinary seminars and workshops on how to evaluate your own work and recognise your points of strength. This week will investigate how creative risk-taking, invention and experimentation helps to develop your work.

Short Film
In this unit you are asked to 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. In order to have your film accepted into a festival it will need to demonstrate a high level of creativity, technical competence and originality whilst communicating a clear idea. All films will be prepared for entry into one or more festivals.

The Conscious Practitioner
This unit aims to promote progressive values and attitudes to diversity and inclusion in creative practice. Students will have the opportunity to explore global perspectives and influences on creative practice, drawing upon interactions with varied identities, cultures, politics, and histories. The unit will explore how beliefs, values and attitudes drive behaviour and practices. Students will reflect on the development of their own creative influences, perspectives, practices, and sense of belonging as developing creative professionals in global and contemporary spaces.

Opportunity Week – Game Jam
This week consists of a series of interdisciplinary seminars, screenings, and workshops on creative game-building subjects through the lens of a ‘Games Jam’ event. You’ll see the possibilities and potential of what you could create in a short space of time, with the influence of their individual practises and subjects.

You’ll explore further innovation, technique, and technology in production, distribution and exhibition of a fully functioning and playable video game.

Research, Reflection and Practice
Research is a practical activity that will further your creative, technical, and critical abilities. The research you will undertake within this unit will be expanded to take account of wider contexts and how these key debates, discussions and discourses relate to your own evolving animation practice. It will be used to produce a fully contextualised film outcome with depth and character. You’ll also produce a statement of intent for your final year, including your dissertation proposal, and there’s also an opportunity to undertake a self-generated work placement.

Client Brief
In collaboration with a client, you’ll work in small production teams to reflect usual industry working practices. Each member will explore both individual roles and responsibilities while maintaining a wider role within the team and the project. Using advanced digital animation techniques in 2D, 3D, or a combination, you’ll look beyond the tools of the software and explore their creative use within the context of the clients' requirements and needs.

ATOM Activities
This unit is an extension of your Year 1 ATOM Activities.

PLE Digital Outcome
You’ll build your industry community and professional networking footprint, creating a digital folder evidencing that you are actively engaging in sustainable professional development. You’ll showcase current and newly established professional networks and identify common interests.

Elective units
You'll also undertake two elective units across the year - choose from:

  • Applied Skills for a Sustainable Media Industry - UCA is a founder member of the albert Education Partnership from BAFTA, which brings together Film and TV course providers from across the country and empowers their students to consider and help alleviate the screen industry’s impact on the climate crisis. Upon successful completion of this unit, you will achieve certification as an ‘albert Grad’, signalling your achievement of highly employable skills for a sustainable industry.
  • Audio World Building - Sound design can have an enormous impact on any moving image project. This unit will encourage you to explore the way sound can be used to underpin action, describe the unseen, establish an environment, set a tone, depict a mood or even to directly elicit an emotional response from an audience. 
  • Cinematography - This unit is essential if you want to develop yuor skills in visual storytelling and creating compelling visuals for film and video. By taking this unit, you will learn the principles of cinematography and gain hands-on experience using industry-standard equipment to create professional quality visuals.
  • Consent, Intimacy and Stage Combat - This unit focuses on the fundamental skills and principles required for performing effective, believable, and safer intimacy and unarmed (hand to hand) combat for stage and screen.
  • Film Production - This unit is designed to provide learners with practical skills and knowledge in film production, with a focus on collaboration, professionalism, and self-reflection. The unit will culminate in a group film production project, where learners will have the opportunity to apply their skills and knowledge.
  • Immersive Production - You will explore cutting edge and future focused technology to gain a broad comprehension of the expertise and skills required if you want to delve further into immersive media production. The unit will enable you to get a strong understanding of where the production industry is heading and allow you to pitch a concept using these technologies for a television production brief.
  • Interdisciplinary Collaborations in Music and Theatre - This unit encourages interdisciplinary collaboration between Music, Acting & Performance, and Design for Theatre & Screen to plan, rehearse and deliver a live performance piece to an audience of peers and the public. This project puts music performance at the centre of the collaboration. 
  • Loops and Micro Format Films - You’ll discover the creativity and versatility of the simple animated (or live action) loop for use on your website as a showcase to promote your own work or engage your ‘brand’, and create three loops to upload to your websites or use in social media for self-promotion.
  • Motion Capture & Green Screen - Motion capture is a technique used to capture the movements of actors or objects in digital form. Green screen is a technique used to composite two or more images or video streams together by replacing a specific colour (usually green or blue) with another image or video stream. In this unit you’ll learn about how both these things can work in the VFX industry.
  • Physical Theatre Production - You’ll work together with students from a wide range of courses to make a live physical theatre production. This could be further augmented by animated material or filmed material. TV or film students may also be involved capturing or streaming the performance.
  • Postproduction Editing - This elective unit is essential if you want to become proficient in the art of post-production film editing. Using industry-standard software - Avid Media Composer (Davinci Resolve, and Premiere Pro) – you’ll create a professional quality scene and have analysed and evaluated professional editing and sound design workflows.
  • Prestige Television - Starting with the claim that television reaches more people than any other cultural form, this unit examines and articulates the meanings of ‘Quality’ and ‘Prestige’ as they relate to Television, and why these genres of ‘Prestige’ have become dominant.
  • Screen Writing - You’ll be introduced to a range of creative writing skills and, in particular, the highly visual medium of writing for film and television. You will view and compare the work of some of the industry’s most accomplished contemporary screen writers, learn how to present and format a script and write your own story outline for a short film, series or screenplay.
  • Shakespeare Festival - In this unit you will stage an abridged version of a Shakespeare play in an outdoor festival setting at sites around UCA Farnham campus. A director will help you shape the play and actors, composers and designers will work together to rehearse and run the festival events. 
  • TV in the Age of Digital Disruption - This unit examines and critically interrogates the changing dynamics of television production, distribution, textual analysis and audience engagement in an age of ‘digital disruption’, particularly following the rise of streaming services.
  • Verbatim - You will explore Verbatim texts and performance practices including ‘headphone’ theatre and documentary theatre practices. The unit will culminate in small group films/performances using the practical techniques studied.
  • Virtual Production - Virtual production has emerged as a cutting-edge technology that revolutionizes the way film and television productions are made. You’ll gain the knowledge, skills, and experience needed to use virtual production tools and techniques to create immersive and interactive digital content.

If you opt to complete a professional practice year, this will take place in year three. You will undertake a placement within the creative industries to further develop your skills and CV.

While on your Professional Practice Year, you will be required to pay a reduced tuition fee for that year. This fee will be determined using government funding regulations. Based on current regulations, we expect this to be a maximum of 20% of the tuition fee rate that you are charged for your second year of study. You will also incur additional travel and accommodation costs during this year. The University will provide you with further advice and guidance about this as you approach your Professional Practice Year.

Please note: If you are an international applicant, you will need to enrol onto the course ‘with Professional Practice Year’. It will not be possible to transfer onto the Professional Practice Year after enrolment

Launch – Professional Practice
This unit focuses on ground-breaking, creative work that has surprised, shocked, and changed the way we view the world. It will help you see the possibilities and potential of what you could create and achieve in your final year. You’ll explore further innovation, technique and technology in production, distribution, and exhibition.

Pre-production and Pitch
This unit provides an in-depth look at the initial stages of the production process of animation filmmaking. This is your opportunity to propose, develop and refine your ideas and techniques in order to shape them into a fully formed concept that is production-ready. You’ll develop your scripts and concepts, consider your audience, structure your time, and clarify your production techniques, before crafting and presenting a film pitch with supporting documents that fully articulate your concept.

Opportunity Week
The week comprises a series of interdisciplinary lectures, seminars and workshops centred around life after graduation. It covers important and relevant subjects, like internships, interviews, professional etiquette, freelancing, presentation skills, applying for funding, networking, artist residency programs, handling criticism and rejection.

Dissertation
You’ll undertake 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.

Graduate Film
Your Graduation film represents the culmination of your time at UCA, and should draw upon all of the creative, technical, and theoretical knowledge that you have gained. The film can be made in any style, medium or genre, and should be accompanied by a professionally facing showreel. You can work individually, collaboratively or as part of a group – but whatever you produce, it must be of a standard that is aimed at entry into international film festivals, the creative industries or postgraduate study.

This course is designed to offer you (if eligible) the opportunity to study part of your degree aboard at a UCA partner university, while still earning credits towards your UCA degree.

For more information please visit the Study Abroad section

Industry placement
offer

Preparing graduates for successful careers underpins everything we do, and all students on this course may be offered support to identify and prepare for an industry placement according to their individual needs. We’ll draw on our wide range of contacts within the creative industries to help provide you with opportunities that align with your interests and future career aspirations.

Course specifications

Please note, syllabus content indicated is provided as a guide. The content of the course may be subject to change in line with our Student Terms and Conditions for example, as required by external professional bodies or to improve the quality of the course.

Explore our gradshow

Each year, we’re privileged to be able to share our graduates’ incredible work with the world. And now’s your chance to take a look.

Visit the online showcase
Fees & funding

Fees & financial support

Tuition fees - 2024/25 entry

  • Integrated Foundation Year: £9,250
  • BA course: £9,250

If you opt to study the Professional Practice Year, for 2024 you will be required to pay a reduced tuition fee of £1,850. You will also incur additional travel and accommodation costs during your Professional Practice year. The University will provide you with further advice and guidance about this.

Tuition fees - 2024/25 entry

  • Integrated International Foundation Year: £9,250 (see fee discount information)
  • BA course: £9,250 (see fee discount information)

If you opt to study the Professional Practice Year, for 2024 you will be required to pay a reduced tuition fee of £1,850. You will also incur additional travel and accommodation costs during your Professional Practice year. The University will provide you with further advice and guidance about this.

Tuition fees - 2024/25 entry

  • Integrated International Foundation Year: £16,950
  • BA course: £17,500

If you opt to study the Professional Practice Year, for 2024 you will be required to pay a reduced tuition fee of £3,390. You will also incur additional travel and accommodation costs during your Professional Practice year. The University will provide you with further advice and guidance about this.

Please note: The fees listed on this webpage are correct for the stated academic year only, for details of previous years please see the full fee schedules.

UCA scholarships and fee discounts

At UCA we have a number of scholarships and fee discounts available to assist you with the cost of your studies.

Financial support

There are lots of ways you can access additional financial support to help you fund your studies - both from UCA and from external sources. Discover what support you might qualify for please see our financial support information.

Additional course costs

In addition to the tuition fees there may be other costs for your course. The things that you are likely to need to budget for to get the most out of a creative arts education will include books, printing costs, occasional or optional study trips and/or project materials.

These costs will vary according to the nature of your project work and the individual choices that you make. Please see the Additional Course Costs section of your Course Information for details of the costs you may incur.

Facilities

Animation facilities include stop motion studio with Dragonframe capture software, Canon DSLRs and professional camera stands, and stages pre-rigged with grips, stands and lights. Studios feature individual workstations, light boxes, Wacom tablets, line testers and batch scanners. Macs have the full Adobe Creative Suite as well as Toon Boom and Maya CG software, while there’s also sound and editing suites on campus.

View 360 virtual tour

Animation studio, UCA Farnham

Animation studio, UCA Farnham

Animation studio, UCA Farnham

Sound and editing suite, UCA Farnham

Michelle Brand

"I chose animation because it combines all my interests at once – art, filmmaking, and storytelling. Although I had done some animation before the course, my passion grew during my studies."

Michelle Brand

Entry & portfolio requirements

Entry & portfolio
requirements

BA (Hons) course
BA (Hons) course with Professional Practice Year

The standard entry requirements* for these courses are one of the following:

  • 112 UCAS tariff points, see accepted qualifications
  • Pass at Foundation Diploma in Art & Design (Level 3 or 4)
  • Distinction, Merit, Merit at BTEC Extended Diploma / BTEC National Extended Diploma
  • Merit at UAL Extended Diploma
  • 112 UCAS tariff points from an accredited Access to Higher Education Diploma in appropriate subject
  • 27-30 total points in the International Baccalaureate Diploma with at least 15 IB points at Higher level, see more information about IB entry requirements.

And four GCSE passes at grade 9-4/A*-C 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.  

Portfolio requirements

For these courses, we’ll need to see your portfolio for review. We’ll invite you to attend an Applicant Day so you can have your portfolio review in person, meet the course team and learn more about your course. Further information will be provided once you have applied. View more portfolio advice

 


BA (Hons) course with Integrated Foundation Year
BA (Hons) course with Integrated Foundation Year and Professional Practice Year

The standard entry requirements* for these courses are one of the following:

  • 32 UCAS tariff points, see accepted qualifications
  • Pass at Foundation Diploma in Art & Design (Level 3 or 4)
  • Pass, Pass, Pass at BTEC Extended Diploma / BTEC National Extended Diploma
  • Pass at UAL Extended Diploma
  • 32 UCAS tariff points from an accredited Access to Higher Education Diploma in appropriate subject
  • 24 points from the International Baccalaureate, see more information about IB entry requirements.

And four GCSE passes at grade 9-4/A*-C 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. 

Portfolio requirements

For these courses, we’ll need to see your portfolio for review. We’ll invite you to attend an Applicant Day so you can have your portfolio review in person, meet the course team and learn more about your course. Further information will be provided once you have applied. View more portfolio advice

 


*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.

BA (Hons) course
BA (Hons) course with Professional Practice Year

The entry requirements for these courses will depend on the country your qualifications are from, please check the equivalent qualifications for your country:

Any additional entry requirements listed in the UK requirements section, e.g., subject requirements, work experience or professional qualifications, also apply to international applicants applying with equivalent qualifications.

Portfolio requirements

You will be required to submit a portfolio for review. Further information on specific portfolio requirements and how to submit your portfolio will be sent to you after we have reviewed your application. View more portfolio advice


BA (Hons) course with Integrated International Foundation Year
BA (Hons) course with Integrated International Foundation Year and Professional Practice Year

For these courses you need to have completed 12 years of schooling (with good grades) and show strong evidence of your ability to successfully complete the programme and progress onto your chosen degree.

Any additional entry requirements listed in the UK requirements section, e.g., subject requirements, work experience or professional qualifications, also apply to international applicants applying with equivalent qualifications.

Portfolio requirements

These courses don't require a portfolio. 


English language requirements

To study at UCA, you'll need to have a certain level of English language skill. And so, to make sure you meet the requirements of your course, we ask for evidence of your English language ability, please check the level of English language required:

Don't meet the international entry requirements or English language requirements?

You may be able to enter the course through the following entry pathways:

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