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BA (Hons)

Animation

BA Animation
  • UCAS code(s): W213
  • Level(s) of study: Undergraduate
  • Study mode(s): Full-time
  • Location: City Campus
  • Starting: September 2020
  • Course duration: 3 year(s)
  • Entry requirements: More information
  • * This course is now closed for entry for 2020, please ring our Clearing Hotline 0115 848 6000 to speak to one of our team to discuss current vacancies. *

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 as 12th best University for Art and Design in the UK. (The Complete University Guide 2021).
  • 95% of our undergraduate students are satisfied with the quality of this course. (National Student Survey 2020).
  • 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 European or international exchange programmes.
  • 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.
Video Icon
Work by our BA (Hons) Animation students
2020 Degree Showreel under construction, here’s a teaser from the class of 2020.

What you'll study

  • Year One

    Animation Principles

    (100 credit points)

    Through studio-based seminars, tutorials and self-directed research, we will introduce you to the core concepts, principles and foundational skills of animation practice. You will work on your own short creative exercises, giving you a portfolio of work at the end of each term that will show your engagement, understanding and achievements in the animation processes you are studying. You will learn through traditional and digital 2D and 3D animation, life drawing, 3D asset building, drawing for storyboarding, audio recording and production workflow.

    Animation Studies I

    (20 credit points)

    You will explore the cultural and historical context of animation, giving you a firm understanding of the core theories and ideas that underpin visual storytelling for the animated screen. You will learn how to contextualise animated work as it relates to form, visual style, narrative, and technique, and how to relate this understanding to the development of your own practical work.

  • Year Two

    Animation Studio

    (60 credit points)

    You will progress your character animation and visual development skills in your chosen technique, work collaboratively on a client-led live brief and produce an animated short. Additionally, you will be able to choose between discovering new ways to produce 2D animation for children’s content or going deeper into 3D workflow.

    Animation Studies II

    (20 credit points)

    Develop a deeper understanding of the theories, ideas and cultural contexts that relate to and surround animation, with a focus on building your employability skills, such as collaborative working, research and communication skills, strategies for critical investigation, and developing independence.

    Co Lab: Research, Exploration and Risk-taking

    (20 credit points)

    Through active participation with team-based problem-solving, you will work together in mixed teams on a project where you will use your creative ideas to generate solutions to the challenge or brief. This collaborative learning experience will expose you to a range of new processes and approaches that will develop your creative thinking.

    Optional module

    You will also choose one optional 20-credit module from:

    • 3D Materials and Exploration
    • Storyboarding
    • Character Ideation
    • Experimental Animation
  • Final year

    Animation Specialist Project

    (100 credit points)

    Work individually or collaboratively to produce a substantial original piece of creative work that will form the core of your portfolio. This can be a short film and reel or a specialist body of work and reel. You’ll have the freedom to develop your storytelling voice, reflect upon and evaluate the creative process, and identify where you see yourself within the animation or associated industries.

    Animation Studies III

    (20 credit points)

    Further develop your understanding of animation theories, ideas and cultural contexts, exploring and researching ideas that will inform your work for the Animation Specialist Project, and beyond career beyond graduation.

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.

COVID-19 Planning

We will be adopting a range of blended teaching and learning techniques including online and face-to-face (where practical) to ensure that students can meet their learning outcomes in full. We will respond proactively to any national or local policy changes (including lock down) to ensure student safety as our primary concern whilst continuing to focus on offering a comprehensive student academic experience and will work flexibly with our students to ensure they are not disadvantaged by COVID-19.

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 (27%), independent study (73%).
  • Year 3 lectures/seminars/workshops (23%), independent study (77%).

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 2016/17).

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

In addition, you’ll also have the opportunity to complete a longer work experience or placement, with the chance to gain an additional Diploma or Certificate in Professional Practice, dependent on duration. Course tutors and our Employability team are on hand to support you in applying for placement and professional practice opportunities.

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 prospective students who wish to apply via Recognition of Prior Learning should initially contact the central Admissions and Enquiries Team who will be able to support you through the process.

NTU may admit a student with advanced standing beyond the beginning of a course, through an assessment of that student's prior learning, whether it is certificated or uncertificated. Our Recognition of Prior Learning and Credit Transfer Policy outlines the process and options available to these prospective students, such as recognising experiential learning or transferring to a similar course at another institution, otherwise known as credit transfer.

All applications welcome

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

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

What are we looking for?

We accept qualifications from schools, colleges and universities all over the world for entry onto our courses. If you’re not sure how your international qualification matches our course requirements, please visit our international qualifications page.

Other requirements

All prospective students who wish to apply via Recognition of Prior Learning should initially contact the central Admissions and Enquiries Team who will be able to support you through the process.

NTU may admit a student with advanced standing beyond the beginning of a course, through an assessment of that student's prior learning, whether it is certificated or uncertificated. Our Recognition of Prior Learning and Credit Transfer Policy outlines the process and options available to these prospective students, such as recognising experiential learning or transferring to a similar course at another institution, otherwise known as credit transfer.

Foundation courses

If you need to do an art and design foundation course to meet our course requirements please visit Nottingham Trent International College (NTIC). If you’re already studying in the UK at a school or college and would like to know if we can accept your qualification please visit our foundation courses page.

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 speak to one of our official NTU representatives for your country.

How to apply

Apply through UCAS. If your application is successful, you'll be invited to an interview where you'll need to bring with you your portfolio.

Download our portfolio checklist.

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

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 (if applying to more than one university in the UK), or through our NTU applicant portal

If you aren't a resident in the UK, we'll ask you to submit a digital portfolio in lieu of an interview.

Get some digital 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.

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 School of Art & Design will provide you with £100 of credit each year (for a maximum of three years) to use in our art shop, school workshops and school printing facilities.

The School will cover the costs of any mandatory study trips.

In your final year, the School of Art & Design will provide infrastructure costs for your Degree Show, including select screening and exhibition set-up costs.

Additional costs

Print and copy costs

The University allocates an annual printing and copying allowance of £20 depending on the course you are studying. For more details about costs for additional print and copying required over and above the annual allowance please see the Printing, photocopying and scanning information on the Library website.

Material costs

Depending on the materials you choose to work with, you should budget around £100 per year (minimum) for production costs associated to your course, including things like your final year project.

Stationery and reading materials

Most study modules will recommend one or more core textbooks, which most students choose to purchase. Book costs vary between courses and further information is available in the University’s bookshop, Blackwell’s.

A good supply of these essential text books are available in the University libraries, which students can easily borrow or access on-line/directly whilst studying in the library. You should budget £100 per year (minimum) for stationery and reading materials.

Although this is not a requirement for entry on the course or for successful study, once you have joined the course, some students choose to buy a laptop. Costs for this can vary depending on the technique you want to work in and the subsequent computer specification. If you do wish to purchase a computer, we advise you to wait until the course starts so that you can take advice on the specs needed for the work you are doing.  You should expect to pay between £800-£1,500.

As part of your studies, you’ll need to store large quantities of data and we recommend you budget £70 for a rugged 1TB portable hard drive.

Field trips

All essential field trip costs will be included in your course fees. There may be the opportunity to take part in optional field trips, which do incur additional costs.

If you choose to join an optional UK study trip, you’ll need to budget around £50 per year (minimum). If you choose to join an optional international study trip, you’ll need to budget £500 per year (minimum).

Placements

If you're undertaking a placement year, you'll need to budget for accommodation and any travel costs you may incur whilst on placement. Many of our placement students do earn a salary whilst on placement which can help to cover these living costs.

If you undertake work experience or a longer placement, you will have the chance to gain an additional Certificate or Diploma in Professional Practice, dependent on duration.  The Diploma in Professional Practice incurs a fee for the additional placement year.

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 School of Art & Design will provide you with £100 of credit each year (for a maximum of three years) to use in our art shop, school workshops and school printing facilities.

The School will cover the costs of any mandatory study trips.

In your final year, the School of Art & Design will provide infrastructure costs for your Degree Show, including select screening and exhibition set-up costs.

Additional costs

Print and copy costs

The University allocates an annual printing and copying allowance of £20 depending on the course you are studying. For more details about costs for additional print and copying required over and above the annual allowance please see the Printing, photocopying and scanning information on the Library website.

Material costs

Depending on the materials you choose to work with, you should budget around £100 per year (minimum) for production costs associated to your course, including things like your final year project.

Stationery and reading materials

Most study modules will recommend one or more core textbooks, which most students choose to purchase. Book costs vary between courses and further information is available in the University’s bookshop, Blackwell’s.

A good supply of these essential text books are available in the University libraries, which students can easily borrow or access on-line/directly whilst studying in the library. You should budget £100 per year (minimum) for stationery and reading materials.

Although this is not a requirement for entry on the course or for successful study, once you have joined the course, some students choose to buy a laptop. Costs for this can vary depending on the technique you want to work in and the subsequent computer specification. If you do wish to purchase a computer, we advise you to wait until the course starts so that you can take advice on the specs needed for the work you are doing.  You should expect to pay between £800-£1,500.

As part of your studies, you’ll need to store large quantities of data and we recommend you budget £70 for a rugged 1TB portable hard drive.

Field trips

All essential field trip costs will be included in your course fees. There may be the opportunity to take part in optional field trips, which do incur additional costs.

If you choose to join an optional UK study trip, you’ll need to budget around £50 per year (minimum). If you choose to join an optional international study trip, you’ll need to budget £500 per year (minimum).

Placements

If you're undertaking a placement year, you'll need to budget for accommodation and any travel costs you may incur whilst on placement. Many of our placement students do earn a salary whilst on placement which can help to cover these living costs.

If you undertake work experience or a longer placement, you will have the chance to gain an additional Certificate or Diploma in Professional Practice, dependent on duration.  The Diploma in Professional Practice incurs a fee for the additional placement year.

Still need help?

+44 (0)115 941 8418