Computer Animation Arts

BA (Hons) - UCA Rochester - 2019

With a focus on art and design, BA (Hons) Computer Animation Arts will allow you to bring characters and worlds to life and explore your imagination through 3D animation.

With an emphasis on production design, you’ll graduate from Computer Animation Arts as a skilled artist in both 2D and 3D production, a proficient high-tech software user of programs and software.

We'll help you develop a well-rounded skillset highly sought after by employers in the computer animation industry and associated creative sectors, with working knowledge of the industry, a network of contacts and experience.

Driven by the world’s seemingly limitless demands for creative and original CG content, bring your imagination to life with our Creative Skillset accredited BA (Hons) Computer Animation Arts degree which offers you an outstanding launchpad for an exciting career in this rapidly evolving industry.

With its emphasis on production design, storytelling and software training, students of the Computer Animation Arts course graduate as dextrous, professional creatives in 2D and 3D workflows for computer animation.

Drawing is fundamental to this Computer Animation Arts degree, with weekly life-drawing classes and drawing-based pre-production a pre-requisite of all projects in every year.

In addition to weekly taught classes, student software training is supported by a course website containing over 200 bespoke online video tutorials. This online resource is available 24/7 and is updated on a constant basis to reflect industry practices and changes in professional software packages.

Students have open access to 50 industry standard computers (both PC & Mac platforms) containing professional software, including Autodesk Maya, Mudbox, and Adobe Creative Suite (Photoshop, After Effects, Premiere, Animate, Audition, and Illustrator).

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

Length of study:

Three years full-time


UCA Rochester

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Entry requirements:

112 UCAS tariff points

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Next event

20 Feb 2019

Open Day - all campuses

Course details

  • Year 1

    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. 

    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.

    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.

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

    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.

  • Year 2

    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.

    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.

    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.

    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.

    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.

  • Year 3

    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. 

    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.

    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.

    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.

  • Study abroad

    This course offers the opportunity to study abroad for part of your second year. To find out more about studying abroad as part of your course please see the Study Abroad section:

  • Fees

    Find out all about the fees for studying with us, as well as the grants, loans and other financial support you may be entitled to:


This course has a dedicated baseroom for tutorials, seminars group and personal working with computers, lightboxes and drawing facilities. There are also specialist IT suites with software for animation and design including Autodesk Maya, Mudbox, Matchmover, Adobe Photoshop, After Effects and Premiere.

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Course connections

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

  • Industry links

    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.
  • Careers

    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

    Graduates have gone on to work at companies such as:

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

    Watch the interview with graduate Urvashi who after graduation worked in industry and then has also continued onto a postgraduate course at UCLA in America:

  • Further study

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


How to apply - 2019 entry

I am a UK or EU citizen ...

I am not a UK or EU citizen ...

When to apply:

If applying via UCAS the application deadline is the 15 January. If applying directly to us, you can apply throughout the year but we recommend you apply as early as possible so you have time to arrange accommodation and visas.

More information:

Go to our how to apply pages

Entry requirements

UK entry requirements

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

One of the following:

  • 112 new 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
  • 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 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.

International entry requirements

To view the equivalent entry requirements for your country please select it in the list below.

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Non-UK equivalent qualifications

English language requirements

Your portfolio

For this course we will require you to attend an Applicant Day and bring your portfolio for assessment. 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. Further information on how to compile a portfolio and the specific requirements for examples of work to be included will be provided on the Applicant Portal after you apply.

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