Student using lightbox to create 2D traditional animation



Please note the tariff points stated for this course are indicative. The tariff points for 2018 will be published by August 2017.

About this course

Entry year:
Course code:
Tariff points:
Film and Journalism
City Campus
Three years full-time. Six years part-time.
Part-time, Full-time
Study abroad:
Programme leader:
Chris Webster
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.

Page last updated 4 April 2017


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, part of the City Campus. Exceptional facilities and resources include digital media studios and our animation studios. Our production and fabrication workshops offer a combination of traditional tools and the latest technology.

You will be taught in the Bristol School of Animation, which has links with some of the UK's major animation companies. Explore some of the recent graduate work and news stories on the Bristol School of animation website. You can also follow our twitter feed @uwe_animation and watch a variety of animation on our vimeo channel.

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: The learning and teaching experience

Accreditations and partnerships:



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 one

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:

  • Animation Foundations
  • Studio
  • Ideas, Design and Storytelling
  • Animation Studies.

Year two

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.

You will study the following compulsory modules:

  • Collaborative Projects
  • The Animation Business.

Plus one of the following optional modules:

  • Animation Practitioner
  • 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:

  • Independent Specialist Practice 1
  • Critical Studies in Animation
  • Independent Specialist Practice 2
  • Enterprise in Animation.

Please 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.

The University continually enhances our offer by responding to feedback from our students and other stakeholders, ensuring the curriculum is kept up to date and our graduates are equipped with the knowledge and skills they need for the real world. This may result in changes to the course. If changes to your course are approved, we will inform you.

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.


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.



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.  


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 with access to specialist facilities and resources and animation studios.

Studying at Bower Ashton offers an excellent base for you within the exciting City Campus, connecting teaching and learning with some of the best creative and cultural organisations in Bristol. Bower Ashton houses the main library supporting the creative and cultural industries as well as student support services. 

You will have the opportunity of studying and accessing facilities at other sites within City Campus. This may include attending lectures, including guest lectures, and seminars at the City Campus at Arnolfini and City Campus at Watershed in Bristol city centre.

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

Showcase your work

Take a look at some of our students' exhibits on Tumblr.


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 employment potential through career coaching, a vacancy service for internships, placements, jobs, global opportunities, volunteering and community activity plus support for entrepreneurial activity, and access to employer events.

Creating employable students

UWE Bristol places strong emphasis on employability and skills development at every level. Through work placements, volunteering, study abroad and initiatives nurturing talent and innovation, you will have opportunities to gain valuable real world experience, allowing you to graduate with diverse career opportunities and a competitive place in the job market.

Visit our Employability pages to find out about careers, employers, real world experience and what our students are doing six months after graduating.

Be inspired

Daniel successfully gained employment in the animation industry and has gone on to work as a freelance animator and compositer. Watch Dan's YouTube video to see how he landed his dream job.

See some of UWE Bristol students' work on flickr.

Useful links

Prospects - careers in the creative arts sector


Full Time Course

FeesAmount (£)
International-Full Time-Annual (Per Year) Fee12500
International-Full Time-Module Fee (15 Credit)1563

Indicative Additional Costs

FeesAmount (£)
Additional Course Costs - Full Time - Home/EU - Indicative Maximum Cost Per year400
Optional Field Trip - (Maximum Cost)500

Supplementary fee information

The additional costs listed are those that students could reasonably expect to incur during their studies and are for items not covered by the standard tuition fee. These could be materials, text books, travel, clothing, software or printing.

For information about funding for undergraduate courses see our funding pages.


Typical offers

  • Tariff points: 112
  • GCSE: For all applicants, Grade C or above, or Grade 4 under newly reformed GCSE grading, 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: No specific subjects required.
  • Access: Achievement of the Access to HE Diploma; to include 15 level 3 credits at merit.
  • Baccalaureate IB: No specific subjects required.

Entry requirements

Please read the general information about entry requirements.

Due to the creative nature of the course, you will be considered on your own individual merit and potential to succeed. We may make different offers where appropriate to candidates who have a strong portfolio, or substantial relevant work/other experience and whose motivation and skills would enable them to succeed on the course. In your application, please give full details of any relevant work experience and qualifications (including modules and units).

Portfolio and selection session

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.

Entry is based on portfolio and ability.

How to apply

Please see the general information about applications.

For further information


UWE Main Campus

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