Computer Animation Arts BA (Hons)

Computer Animation Arts BA (Hons)

Course overview

Everyone can dabble in digital art and animation with the help of their smartphone or tablet - but if you want to take your skills to the next level and turn your passion into a career, our BA (Hons) Computer Animation Arts course is for you.

The course has an emphasis on art and production design, and the skills you’ll learn will make you a proficient user of industry-standard programs and software. You’ll also develop traditional artistic skills to help you make your mark in the industry.

As you learn to use programs such as Autodesk Maya and Adobe Creative Suite, you’ll gain digital skills that are highly prized by employers.

You’ll develop your drawing skills in weekly life-drawing classes and have access to a wealth of online learning support, including a collection of more than 200 bespoke online video tutorials, which are constantly updated to reflect evolving industry practice.

Graduates go into the job market with a wealth of transferable skills and have gone on to work for major companies including Industrial Light and Magic, Double Negative, Framestore, Glassworks and Blue Zoo.

Please note - this course is subject to validation and will be moving from UCA Rochester to UCA Farnham for 2022 entry.


Length of study 3 years full-time
Campus Farnham
Entry requirements 112 UCAS tariff points
Course entry options Sept 2022
UCAS institution code C93
UCAS code W281

Accredited by:

Course details

Course details

Toolkit 1
This unit comprises three elements: drawing, animation, and Autodesk Maya and supporting software. Together, they comprise the toolkit - skill-sets fundamental to the origination and execution of computer-generated imagery and animation.

You’ll investigate the 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.

You’ll be introduced to theoretical frameworks through which to consider, contextualise and challenge your creative practice. Understanding the historical, cultural and theoretical context in which computer-generated imagery and animation is situated is crucial to broadening perspectives and enriching your abilities to discuss, develop and disseminate your ideas with confidence.


Toolkit 2
This unit comprises three elements – character design, animation, and Autodesk Maya and supporting software – to 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 and you’ll work together 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 three 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, and readies you to formally place your work within frameworks of theory and practice, as required by the final year Thesis unit. 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.

Study Abroad (optional)
This optional unit will allow you to spend a period of time in an overseas educational institution.

You’ll 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 if first agreed with participating tutors.

You will demonstrate innovative, sophisticated and professional approaches to the production of ambitious computer generated imagery and animation, supported by expert creative methodologies. Showing independent learning, reflective practice and pipelines commensurate with professional practice are 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.

You’ll utilise a range of research skills and develop an identified methodological approach appropriate to their chosen subject area, reflecting upon and articulating a clear and sustained argument which conforms to academic conventions and demonstrates detailed analysis and evaluation.


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.

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:

Study abroad information

Tuition fees
The course fees per year for 2022 entry will be available here shortly. 

As a guide the fees for 2021 entry are:

  • UK students - £9,250 
  • EU students - £9,250 (see fee discount information)
  • International students - £16,950 (standard fee)
  • International students - £16,270 (full early payment fee)

Additional course costs
In addition to the tuition fees please see the additional course costs. The details for 2022 will be available here shortly. As a guide please see the additional course costs for 2021 entry.

Further information
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.

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.


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.



Animation studio, UCA Farnham


Sound recording studio, UCA Farnham


Animation studio, UCA Farnham


Digital Media suites, UCA Farnham

Course connections

Course connections

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.


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: Interview For UCA

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

Deanna Crisbacher
Deanna Crisbacher

"I’ve learned so much and been able to pursue my passions – filmmaking and storytelling. I’m very grateful to all the tutors for what they have taught me and how they’ve encouraged me to create and experiment."

Entry requirements

Entry requirements

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 / BTEC National 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.

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

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

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

Pre-sessional English courses in the UK or China

UCA International Foundation courses

The UCA International College

For this course, you’ll be required to submit an online portfolio via your UCA Applicant Portal. 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 and upload your portfolio will be provided once you have applied. If you receive an offer, you’ll be invited to attend an Offer Holder Webinar where you can meet the course team and learn more about the course.

More portfolio advice

Apply now

UK applications

International & EU applications

Due to visa requirements, this course is not available to students that require a Tier 4 (General) visa.
If you have another category of visa please contact us: to find out if you are eligible to study.

If you're interested in joining Year 3 of this course, please contact our International Admissions Team on +44 (0) 1252 892838 or

When to apply:

The UCAS application deadline is 15 January. If you are 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.

For more information visit our how to apply pages

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