BA(Hons)
Animation

Student using lightbox to create 2D traditional animation

About this course

Accreditations and partnerships:

The UK Socrates-Erasmus Council
  • Entry year: 2015/16
  • Course code: W615
  • Applications: UCAS
  • Level: Undergraduate
  • Tariff points: 280
  • Department: Creative Industries
  • Campus: Bower Ashton
  • Duration: Three years full-time. Six years part-time.
  • Delivery: Part-time, Full-time
  • Study Abroad: Yes
  • Programme leader: John Parry
  • Key fact: In our BA(Hons) Animation course you will learn through practice. Animation, live briefs, group work, placements and networking events mean that, on graduation, you will be ready to work in the industry.

Introduction

Why BA(Hons) Animation?

UWE Bristol is a centre of animation excellence. Our UK-leading BA(Hons) Animation is a practical production course which will develop your creative flair and provide you with highly sought-after technical skills.

You will learn by making. Working with new and emerging technologies and state-of-the-art equipment from the start, you will write, design and animate for production. Our active programme of live briefs, placements and networking events mean that, on graduation, you will be ready to work in the industry.

Why study this course?

Animation is based at Bower Ashton Campus, along with all our Creative Industries and fantastic facilities for animation. You will be taught in the Bristol School of Animation, which has links with some of the UK's major animation companies. We are also active in the European Animation Trainers Network (ETNA), an international forum for the industry.

You will be joining a small, creative community where every student is known and valued. All staff are active animators with commercial experience and our strong links with industry mean that you will benefit from professional expertise throughout. Studio work is balanced by theoretical study and work experience.

Real-world experience

Work experience and professional practice punctuate all three years. You will regularly work to live briefs, individually and in groups, and present your work to industry guests.

You will benefit hugely from being part of Bristol's vibrant arts and cultural scene, where boundaries between students and workers in the creative industries are often blurred. Many friendships made on the course continue long after graduation, developing into partnerships, startups and larger businesses.

Where it can take you

Our students go on to successful careers in the creative industries animation, graphic design, illustration, film, media and gaming across the UK and worldwide.

Watch our video to find out more about studying Animation at UWE Bristol.

This video requires javascript to be enabled and flash installed to view.View this video on the youtube website

>> Structure

Student's view

We've had lots of opportunities to meet professional animators which has given me a far greater understanding of the industry that I hope to be working in after graduation. Daniel

Structure

Content

During the course you are introduced to contemporary production processes and methods as well as fundamental principles of animation that may be applied within classical 2D and 3D, stop frame and computer (CG) animation. Film making, narrative and design for animation are central to the course.

There are Professional Practice and Work Experience modules at every level. Through these you will be introduced to and explore different career and further study options for Animation and the wider Creative Industries.

Year 1

This period of exploration and investigation provides you with an understanding of the principles of animation, in addition to the technical skills and knowledge that will enable you to further your creative development during Year two.

You will study the following compulsory modules:

  • Introduction to Animation
  • Exploring Practice in Animation
  • Critical Perspectives
  • Professional Practice and Work Experience 1

Year 2

You will develop the necessary skills for animation and film making, studying narrative structures, short form writing, cinematography, producing, production design, directing, sound design and production in small teams.

The Professional Practice and Work Experience module will consolidate your position as an emergent animator. In semester two you may choose to take an international exchange module.

You will study the following compulsory modules:

  • Developing Collaborative Practice in Animation
  • Creative Analysis
  • Professional Practice and Work Experience 2

Plus one of the following optional modules:

  • Developing Practice in Animation 2
  • International Exchange

Final Year

During your final year you will undertake a major self-directed programme of study culminating in a final production piece. This not only reflects your own individual area or research but allows you to test ideas and concepts in a completely professional environment in preparation for production. Your final production is completed to industry standard and as part of your studies you will be expected to prepare your portfolio and show reel within a format that enables you to further exploit the work within a broader commercial context. There is also an opportunity to work in team on collaborative work with institutions such as the Royal Academy of Music.

You will study the following compulsory modules:

  • Preparation for Extended Study in Animation
  • Extended Study in Animation
  • Independent Research Project
  • Professional Practice and Work Experience 3

Please note course content and structure can change from year to year. As a result there can be variation between the information shown here and the course when it is delivered. Please also note this structure is for the full-time course delivery only. For part-time delivery the same modules will be studied however the structure will differ.

Learning and Teaching

Teaching is delivered through a combination of lectures, seminars, practical workshops, projects and tutorials. European and international visits and field studies are key experiences on offer within the school.

For more details see our full glossary of learning and teaching terms.

Assessment

A variety of assessment methods are used throughout the course including practical visual presentations, essays, reports and group presentations. Assessments of practical work focus on the processes that you have used to develop your ideas as well as the final piece; you are expected to record and present your research and developmental work for this purpose.

Critical evaluations are also written to accompany major pieces of project work. In these you are expected to critique and analyse your own production work including your working methodologies, techniques and production management processes and relate them to the broader contexts of professional animation practice.

For more details see our full glossary of assessment terms.

>> Features

Special Features

Placements

There are no formal placements but our students work and volunteer in local companies throughout the course. Professional practice and work experience modules take place every year, allowing you to explore your future career or study options.

Major companies such as Aardman, the BBC, 422 South and Icon Films, and numerous boutique studios and startups, are based locally. Companies are constantly looking for new talent and informal placements often lead to permanent employment. Recent visitors to the course include Wonky, Sun and Moon, ArthurCox, A-productions and Hello Charlie.  

Fieldwork

Field trips have included a residential drawing trip to Pembroke and day trips to London, Oxford, Bath, Weston Super Mare and Bristol Zoo. Students have gone on film and animation trips to Monstra Lisbon, ITFS Stuttgart, and to the animation festival in Annecy. Last year they visited the Klik festival in Amsterdam. In spring 2014, four students organised their own tour of southern Spain to draw and document the landscape and architecture and to empirically document conditions and situations.

Study facilities

Animation is based at Bower Ashton Campus, along with UWE Bristol"s Creative Industries. Specialist facilities, integrating studio, study and social requirements, are currently being expanded, along with a new learning zone and improved Students" Union, library and catering facilities.

Find out more about the facilities and resources UWE has to offer.

>> Careers

Careers/further study

The UK produces some of the very best animators in the world. Over the years, UWE Bristol has been a major provider of this talent, with successful graduates finding work as independent animators, filmmakers and freelance practitioners at leading animation studios.

A number of students progress to UWE Bristol's MA Animation, others to the NFTS and RCA. Some international students return home to pursue further study in education or go further afield to, for example, CalArts or Animation Sans Frontieres to continue their animation development.

Award-winning careers service

Our award-winning careers service helps you develop your graduate employment potential through career coaching, a vacancy service for internships, placements, graduate jobs, global opportunities, volunteering and community activity plus support for entrepreneurs and access to employer events.

Graduate destinations

Find out what our graduates are doing six months after graduating; includes examples of careers, employers and further study. Download a PDF from graduate destinations.

See great graduate prospects for further information.

Creating employable students

UWE Bristol places strong emphasis on employability and skills development at every level. Through work placements, volunteering, study abroad and UWE initiatives which nurture talent and encourage innovation, students gain valuable real-world experience and graduate with diverse career opportunities and a competitive place in the job market.

Be inspired

Daniel successfully gained employment in the animation industry and has gone on to work as a freelance animator and compositer. Hear how Dan landed his dream job.

Hear about Tanya's experience on the course and some of the work opportunities generated by the Enterprise office.

See some of our students' work on flickr.

Useful links

Prospects - careers in the creative arts sector

>> Fees

Fees

Fee information

For information about fees and funding for courses please see our fees and funding pages.

>> Entry

Entry

Typical offers

  • Tariff points: 280
  • GCSE: Grade C or above in English Language, or equivalent.
    Please note the University does not accept Level 2 Key Skills, Functional Skills or Certificates in Adult Numeracy and Literacy as suitable alternatives to GCSEs.
  • A-level subjects: No specific subjects required. Points from A-Level General Studies and AS-Level subjects (not taken onto full A-Level) can be included towards overall tariff. You must have a minimum of two A-Levels.
  • EDEXCEL (BTEC) Diploma: A minimum of DMM from the BTEC Diploma
  • Access: Achievement of the HE Diploma; to include 15 L3 credits at merit; achievement of Level 2 credits giving GCSE equivalency (where appropriate) in English Language. Applicants completing Level 3 credits in Art and Design are guaranteed an interview.

Entry requirements

Individual offers may vary. Entry is based on portfolio and ability.

Successful applicants are generally those with the strongest portfolios. Students of all ages and from all social backgrounds are recruited with a variety of qualifications including Foundation Studies Diploma, BTEC National Diploma, A levels or equivalent qualification in Art and Design.

Applicants demonstrating commitment to and knowledge of the subject on their application form are invited to a selection session where they will be required to present a collection of their creative work to demonstrate a good practical ability in and understanding of their chosen field.

The emphasis should be on quality rather than quantity and applicants may wish to include samples from a range of disciplines such as model making, CGI, digital and traditional media. However, evidence of an interest in Film and Animation studies should be included, demonstrating work composed and framed for a screen or TV format such as evidence of storyboarding and sequencing of narrative. Also required are relevant sketchbooks, a variety of drawing approaches, design and samples of written work.

How to apply

Please see the general information about applications.

For further information

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