BA (Hons)

Animation

  • UCAS code(s): W213
  • Level(s) of study: Undergraduate
  • Study mode(s): Full-time
  • Location: City Campus
  • Starting: September 2019
  • Course duration: 3 year(s)
  • Entry requirements: More information

The UK's animation industry is global success, so there's never been a better time to start your career as an animator.

As an ambitious designer and creative thinker, you explore all aspects of 2D and 3D animation on this cutting-edge degree course. We'll equip you with the critical and technical skills required to produce animated works, alongside learning about scriptwriting, character development, storyboarding and cinematography.

This course will give you the professional, creative, intellectual and technical skills you’ll need to work successfully within the international animation industry. Learn about animation in a way that reflects current art and industry practice.

You’ll explore the different areas of animation through studio practice, academic research, and study. By the end of the course you’ll have developed an animated thesis film and a professional show reel, tailored to your own career aspirations, and be ready to launch your career as an animator.

Key features

  • Develop as an animator in a University ranked 8th in the UK for Art & Design. (The Complete University Guide 2019)
  • Study the broadest range of disciplines, including drawing, writing and storyboarding for 2D and 3D animation; character design and performance animation; experimental animation; scoring, production and direction.
  • Have access to industry-standard equipment and software such as Autodesk’s Maya, TVPaint, CelAction2D, ZBrush and Dragonframe.
  • Develop your professional skills through self-initiated work experience placements, industry competitions, collaborations with organisations and guest lectures.
  • Learn from course staff with expertise in areas such as scriptwriting, sequential drawing and commercial animation.
  • Apply to study part of your degree abroad through our Erasmus+ programme.
  • Exhibit your work at our Degree Show in Nottingham in your final year.
  • Be selected to showcase your work at international film festivals, such as the Annecy International
    Animated Film Festival.
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Student work
Work by our BA (Hons) Animation students

What you'll study

  • Year One

    Understanding Animation (100 credit points)
    Learn how image sequences make animation and how storyboards and scene progression help the audience believe in the characters on screen. Look at animation software and workflows and how to design for movement, considering movement theory, timing, spacing, weight and impact, and how things jump and walk. Learn about scriptwriting and character development for animation, think about film language and cinematography, and consider how these are developed through storyboards for animation productions. You’ll also look at audio and working with actors for animation and film.

    Animation Studies 1 (20 credit points)
    Learn about the context of modern animation, its history, and its place within film studies. Explore animation’s relationship with its audience, and how communication and storytelling take place.

  • Year Two

    These two year-long modules run side by side.

    Animation Studio (100 credit points)
    In Term One, through tutorials, seminars, lectures and master classes, you'll write, design and animate a single character that demonstrates specific character traits. This will help you to develop critical and technical skills, and group critiques and audience testing will give you feedback on your work. In Term Two you'll develop multiple characters, concentrating on interaction, action and reaction, thinking, and moving. In Term Three you'll complete a large final project, in groups, working to a commercial brief and pitching to a client.

    Animation Studies 2 (20 credit points)
    Explore the idea of graphical storytelling and its relationship to animation. Focus on the frame, and what it means across a range of related media, and how control of the frame empowers the animator.

  • Final year

    Thesis Film (120 credit points)
    Continue to develop your skills in preproduction, production, and postproduction. You’ll conceive and produce animated works for your portfolio that demonstrate a full range of studio skills and critical understanding of the animated form.

    Emphasis will be placed on acting and performance, producing animated works that communicate narratives suitable for the portfolio of an animation professional, or for submission to animation festivals.

    A critical document will be developed alongside your animation. This piece of illustrated writing will explore the cultural and conceptual background of your thesis film. It will explore character and meaning, story, and message.

Course specification

View the full course specification
Please note that course specifications may be subject to change

How you’re taught

Teaching and learning experiences will include:

  • lectures and briefings
  • studio workshops
  • seminars
  • tutorials
  • peer and self-evaluations
  • verbal and visual presentations
  • teamwork
  • live projects
  • study trips
  • personal development planning.

Assessment

Assessment is 100% through coursework. You will receive feedback throughout each module and will be awarded a grade.

Depending on the module, you may be assessed through:

  • 2D visual research
  • sketchbooks and design development work
  • 3D development work and final animation
  • portfolio work
  • reports and evaluations
  • essays
  • dissertation or alternative projects
  • visual and verbal presentations.

Your final degree mark will be based 100% on your final year work.

Exchange opportunities

If you’re thinking about studying part of your degree abroad, the course has exchange agreements with a number of institutions around the world.

Exchanges take place in Year Two of the course. You’ll receive guidance from the University about where you can go and study, and help in completing your application and arranging your exchange.

Degree Show

In your final year you’ll exhibit your work as part of our  Degree Show. This event includes all final year students across NTU’s art and design courses, and is a great platform for you to showcase your work to members of the creative industries.

You’ll also have the opportunity to be selected to exhibit your work at international film festivals, such as France’s Annecy International Animated Film Festival.

Assessment methods

  • Year 1 coursework (100%).
  • Year 2 coursework (100%).
  • Year 3 coursework (100%).

Contact hours

A full-time student on average can expect to spend 1200 hours a year learning which will typically be broken down as follows:

  • Year 1 lectures/seminars/workshops (21%), independent study (79%).
  • Year 2 lectures/seminars/workshops (20%), independent study (80%).
  • Year 3 lectures/seminars/workshops (22%), independent study (78%).

Careers and employability

Animation students at a study trip to Manchester Film Festival (image credit: Ellen De Brito-Morris)

The School of Art & Design has an excellent graduate employment rate, with 96% of our undergraduate students in employment or further study within six months of graduating (DLHE 2015/16).

Employability is a key focus of this course, with modules including initiatives such as live projects and trips, and the opportunity to exhibit your work, which will help to raise your profile and enhance your future career.

This course will prepare you to work in the digital media field, in areas such as feature films, television, heritage interpretation, advertising, and games production.

You’ll also develop transferable skills for alternative careers in media, freelance design, teaching and retailing.

YouFirst – working with our Employability team

Studying a creative degree in a large university has many benefits, none more so than having access to a large employability team.

Our friendly, experienced careers consultants will work closely with you at every stage of your career planning, providing personal support and advice you won't find in a book or on the Internet. You can benefit from this at any time during your studies and for up to three years after completing your course.

Connecting with industry and work placement opportunities

Industry professionals will visit the course to guest lecture and share their experiences. Live projects and competitions will help you to gain real experience of the industry, make contacts, and build your portfolio and CV.

You’ll be encouraged to undertake short periods of work experience alongside your studies. Course staff and our NTU Employability team will be on hand to support you with advice on how to approach companies and get the most from your experience.

You will normally complete these placements during holiday times, but you will have the option of taking up to two weeks out of term time, which you can negotiate with your tutor.

Develop as an animator in a University ranked 8th in the UK for Art & Design. (The Complete University Guide 2019)

Entry requirements

What are we looking for?

  • A-levels – BBC; or
  • BTEC Extended Diploma – DMM; or
  • 112 UCAS Tariff points from three A-levels  or equivalent qualifications; and
  • GCSEs – English and Maths or Science grade C / 4.

Other requirements

All applications welcome

We welcome applications from prospective students with a range of qualifications and experience, and all are assessed on an individual basis. Mature applicants who do not meet the standard entry criteria can still be considered providing they have relevant experience to compliment any qualifications.

All applicants will need to apply through UCAS and will be expected to present a creative portfolio if invited to attend an interview.

What are we looking for?

  • A-levels – BBC; or
  • BTEC Extended Diploma – DMM; or
  • 112 UCAS Tariff points from three A-levels or equivalent qualifications; and
  • GCSEs – English and Maths or Science grade C / 4.

Other requirements

All applications welcome

We welcome applications from prospective students with a range of qualifications and experience, and all are assessed on an individual basis. Mature applicants who do not meet the standard entry criteria can still be considered providing they have relevant experience to compliment any qualifications.

All applicants will need to apply through UCAS and will be expected to present a creative portfolio if invited to attend an interview.

English language requirements

If English isn't your first language, you need to show us that your language skills are strong enough for intensive academic study. You can check our language requirements and list of accepted English language tests. Your British Council office can tell you where you can take an International English Language Testing System (IELTS) test locally.

Next steps

Please also take a look at our International students page and our application guide for international students, which are full of advice and information about the University.

If you need any more help or information, please contact our International team or call on +44 (0)115 848 4200. Alternatively, you can get in touch with our staff at the International Development Office, who are always happy to help. Or speak to one of our official NTU representatives for your country.

How to apply

Apply through UCAS.

We will ask you to provide a submission of work online.

If successful, you'll be invited to an interview where you'll need to bring with you your creative portfolio.

Get some portfolio advice.

Getting in touch

If you need any more help or information, please email our Admissions team or call +44 (0)115 848 4200.

Please read our notes on the University's commitment to delivering the educational services advertised.

Apply through UCAS.

We will ask you to provide a submission of work online.

If successful, you'll be invited to an interview where you'll need to bring with you your creative portfolio.

Get some portfolio advice.

Keeping up to date

After you've applied, we'll be sending you important emails throughout the application process – so check your emails regularly, including your junk mail folder.

Please also take a look at our International students page and our application guide for international students, which are full of advice and information about the University.

If you need any more help or information, please contact our International team or call on +44 (0)115 848 4200. Alternatively, you can get in touch with our staff at the International Development Office, who are always happy to help. Or speak to one of our official NTU representatives for your country.

Please read our notes on the University's commitment to delivering the educational services advertised.

Further information on how to apply

Need help with your application?
For admissions related enquiries please contact us:
Telephone: +44 (0)115 848 4200

Fees and funding

Preparing for the financial side of student life is important, but there's no need to feel anxious and confused about it. We hope that our fees and funding pages will answer all your questions.

Getting in touch

For more advice and guidance, you can contact our Student Financial Support Service.

Tel: +44 (0)115 848 2494

What's included in the course fees?

The annual fee for our undergraduate degree courses includes a number of items. In addition to expert tuition and access to our first-class workshop and IT resources, you'll receive:

  • mandatory field trips, exhibitions and events required as part of your core studies
  • £100 print and materials credit for each year of your course (for a maximum of three years) for use in the Bonington art shop and School of Architecture, Design and the Built Environment workshops and print facilities
  • materials for induction workshops and activities within the workshops and laboratories
  • professional body course accreditation (where applicable)
  • infrastructure costs for final year Degree Shows within Nottingham (where applicable).

You are expected to purchase your own books, standard drawing and writing equipment, and consumables.

Where optional study visits are offered, you will need to meet the cost of these.

While we aim to keep any extra study costs to a minimum, please see our page on additional costs and optional extras to find out about any additional expenses you may incur on your course.

Preparing for the financial side of student life is important, but there's no need to feel anxious and confused about it. We hope that our fees and funding pages will answer all your questions.

You might be able to get a scholarship to help fund your studies. We award scholarships to those international students who can demonstrate excellent achievement, passion, and dedication to their studies.

Please take a look at our International students page for information about fees, scholarships for international students, visas and much more.

Getting in touch

For more advice and guidance, you can contact our Student Financial Support Service.

Tel: +44 (0)115 848 2494

What's included in the course fees?

The annual fee for our undergraduate degree courses includes a number of items. In addition to expert tuition and access to our first-class workshop and IT resources, you'll receive:

  • mandatory field trips, exhibitions and events required as part of your core studies
  • receive £100 print and materials credit for each year of your course (for a maximum of three years) for use in the Bonington art shop and print facilities
  • materials for induction workshops and activities within the workshops and laboratories
  • professional body course accreditation (where applicable)
  • infrastructure costs for final year Degree Shows within Nottingham (where applicable).

You are expected to purchase your own books, standard drawing and writing equipment, and consumables.

Where optional study visits are offered, you will need to meet the cost of these.

While we aim to keep any extra study costs to a minimum, please see our page on additional costs and optional extras to find out about any additional expenses you may incur on your course.

Still need help?

+44 (0)115 941 8418