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Animation degrees | course guide

Create new worlds with the skills you gain on an Animation degree, and prepare for exciting graduate work within the entertainment industry.

Hand sketching animation ideas on storyboard

CONTENTS

  1. What’s Animation?

  2. What Animation degrees can you study?

  3. What do you need to get onto an Animation degree?

  4. What topics does an Animation degree cover?

  5. How will you be assessed?

  6. Why study Animation?

  7. What do Animation graduates earn?

  8. What jobs can you get as an Animation graduate?

  9. What are the postgraduate opportunities?

  10. Similar subjects to Animation

  11. Have any questions?

What’s Animation?

Animation is the process of creating moving visuals with drawings, designs or puppets.

During an Animation course, you’ll employ 2D and 3D techniques, cameras, CGI and other software and equipment to create animated works. You’ll learn about storyboarding, character development, scriptwriting and cinematography, as well as industry-standard processes and specialist skills.

Degrees in this subject area set you up for professional work creating animated worlds for computers, games, TV, film and more.

What Animation degrees can you study?

Undergraduate Animation degrees on offer in the UK include:

  • Animation BA
  • Animation BDes
  • Animation Production BA
  • Animation and Visual Effects BA
  • Graphic Design and Animation BA

Several options include industry experience as part of the course. 

  1. GO TO
  2. Find an Animation degree
  3. Types of undergraduate degrees

What do you need to get onto an Animation degree?

Most undergraduate Animation courses ask for around 96–120 UCAS points. Not every university will base an offer on UCAS points, and some courses may have lower or higher requirements. You can get UCAS points from one of the following:

  • A Levels: BBB–CCC
  • BTECs: DMM–MMM
  • Scottish Highers: BBBB–ABCC
  • International Baccalaureate: 32–26
  • Universities will usually ask that you have studied a creative arts subject

Other good subjects to have studied include:

  • Art and design
  • Graphic design
  • Media
  • English
  • IT
  • Creative writing
  • Film
  • Computer science

Experiences that would look good on your application:

  • Volunteering or work experience with an animation, computer games, broadcasting or advertising company
  • Knowledge of CAD and computer software programmes
  • Illustration or other creative arts courses
  • Membership of an animation-focused community

Other requirements for this subject include:

  • You may be invited to an interview to show a portfolio of work, demonstrating your drawing, storytelling and character design skills
  1. GO TO
  2. Entry requirements
  3. About UCAS points
  4. Alternatives to A Levels

What topics does an Animation degree cover?

Typical modules on a course in this subject include:

  • Structure and narrative
  • Visual language
  • Contextual and theoretical studies
  • Animation strategies
  • Character animation
  • Process and production
  • 2D and 3D techniques
  • Cameras and CGI

How will you be assessed?

Depending on your modules, you could be assessed through:

  • Showreels
  • Portfolios
  • Presentations
  • Essays
  • Reports
  • Final-year dissertation

Why study Animation?

Courses often have partnerships with industry organisations like the BBC, Channel 4, the National Trust, MTV, the Tate and Nickelodeon.

Career-specific skills:

  • Handmade and digital animation
  • Drawing and illustration
  • Model making
  • 2D and 3D
  • Film
  • Stop-motion
  • Kinetic technology

Transferable skills:

  • Time management
  • Attention to detail
  • Creativity
  • Project management
  • Communication
  • Problem-solving
  • Interpersonal
  • Teamwork
  • Presentation

Professional accreditations:

  • CILECT (the International Association of Cinema, Audiovisual and Media Schools)
  • Adobe Certified Associate (ACA)

What do Animation graduates earn?

When starting as a graduate animator, you can expect an entry-level salary of around £14,000.

The average salary for an animator in the UK is around £24,500. Salaries can be higher than £36,000 for those with lots of experience in high-level positions.

What jobs can you get as an Animation graduate?

Many graduates work in the entertainment and digital industries, working on films, TV, advertising, computer games and other media. Examples of roles that graduates go into:

  • Animator
  • Director
  • Producer
  • Production designer
  • Storyboard artist
  • Motion designer
  • Model maker
  • Games developer
  • Concept artist
  • Interface developer
  • Illustrator
  • VFX producer
  • Multimedia specialist
  • Special effects technician
  • Production coordinator
  • Runner

What are the postgraduate opportunities?

Examples of postgraduate courses available at universities in the UK:

  • Animation MA
  • Animation & VFX MSc
  • Game Art and Animation MSc by Research, MPhil, PhD
  • Illustration and Animation MA
  • 2D Animation and Stop Motion MA

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