Animation students at work



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About this course

Entry year:
Course code:
Tariff points:
Film and Journalism
City Campus
Three years full-time
Study abroad:
Programme leader:
Rachel Mills
Key fact:
Gain valuable practical experience through live briefs, group work, placements and networking events and graduate ready to make your mark in the industry.

Page last updated 5 July 2019


Why study animation?

Animation is a broad creative subject that offers opportunities to all kinds of creatives, including storytellers, designers, artists, technologists and performers.

It reaches audiences young and old right across the globe. It educates, entertains and informs. It shows us things we could never see with our own eyes; buildings not yet built, the workings of a heart, a dying star.

It can help us visualise the dynamics of an unfolding news event, place long-extinct creatures into your very hands, and breathe life into those that have never existed.

Animation turns the possible into the magical and makes the impossible plausible.

Why UWE Bristol?

BA(Hons) Animation is based at Bower Ashton Studios, part of our City Campus. Our new animation studio spaces and facilities include digital media studios, production studios and fabrication workshops, offering both traditional tools and the latest technology.

Explore recent graduate work and news stories at Bristol School of Animation.

Bristol is a centre of animation production excellence in Europe and our animation provision forms an integral part of its success. This practice-based production course not only develops your creative flair but also provides you with highly sought-after technical skills.

Learn through making using industry standard equipment. Practical work is balanced by theoretical study, work experience and research activities, all deigned to prepare you for work within a commercial environment. Live briefs, work-based placements and networking events assist the transition from education into professional practice.

Join a long-established, highly creative animation community in which students are known and valued for their individual creative flair. You'll be taught by a team with extensive commercial animation experience, with regular contributions from commercial practitioners. This, coupled with our strong links with the UK's major animation companies, will ensure you benefit from professional expertise throughout the programme.

Our City Campus is a creative powerhouse. It spans across Bristol and is made up of Bower Ashton and renowned contemporary arts centres Spike Island, Arnolfini and Watershed.

Be a part of Bristol's vibrant arts and cultural scene and make friendships that continue long after graduation, developing into partnerships, startups and larger businesses.

Showcase your work through our online presence, regular networking events and final year Creative Industries Degree Show to impress talent scouts and potential employers.

Where can it take me?

Animation is a growing sector that extends way beyond traditional TV based media, one that will continue to need a wide range of creatives of all kinds.

Our graduates have gone on to form careers in the animation industry, graphic design, computer games, illustration and so on, both throughout the UK and across the world.

Some choose further study at master's level, including our own postgraduate MA in Animation programme.

Read about our graduate Elise's career in stop-motion animation and Sam's career in digital animation.

Watch: The learning and teaching experience

Accreditations and partnerships:



The optional modules listed are those that are most likely to be available, but they may be subject to change.

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
  • Character Animation
  • Ideas, Design, Story
  • Animation Studies.

Year two

You will study:

  • Collaborative Projects
  • The Animation Business.

Plus one optional module from:

  • Animation Practitioner
  • International Exchange.

Final year

You will study:

  • Studio 1
  • Animation Studies 3
  • Studio 2
  • Enterprise in Animation.

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

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

Creativity is central to the programme, which covers ideas, story and design. Explore contemporary production processes and methods as well as fundamental principles of animation that you can apply within classical 2D and 3D, stop frame and computer (CG) animation.

Develop your creative and technical craft skills in animation, writing, directing, design, and production to underpin your individual creative development.

Study narrative structures, short form writing, cinematography, production design, directing and sound design, while working on productions in small teams to advance your chosen specialism.

Enter your creative work into international animation festivals and competitions to gain experience and promote your work. Our students have won the regional Royal Television Society awards for animation in six out of the past seven years.  

Test your ideas and concepts in a professional environment to prepare for a major self-directed final production piece. Hone your professional practice and entrepreneurial skills by working on live projects and through collaborative work with other creative individuals and institutions, including composers from the Royal Academy of Music.

Engage with our industry partners such as Aardman Animations, Sun and MoonA-Productions and Hello Charlie to be get an inside track on industry trends.

Visit Bristol School of Animation to get a flavour of our students' work.

See our full glossary of learning and teaching terms.

Approximate percentage of time you'll spend in different learning activities*:

YearScheduled learning and teaching studyIndependent studyPlacement study

*Calculated from compulsory and optional modules (where applicable) each year


You can expect to be assessed through presentation of your practical work, individual and group presentations, essays, reports and your overall professionalism.

Assessments of practical work focus not only on the individual processes you've used but also on the development of your ideas. We expect you to record and present your research and developmental work along with the final output.

Writing critical evaluations to accompany major pieces of project work will help you critique and analyse aspects of your practice, including; production work, working methodologies and techniques, and production management. You'll relate them to the broader contexts of professional practice and research.

See our full glossary of assessment terms.

Approximate percentage of marks awarded by each assessment method*:

YearWritten exam assessmentCoursework assessmentPractical exam assessment

*Calculated from compulsory and optional modules (where applicable) each year



Students who get work experience tend to graduate with better degrees and are better prepared for entering the commercial sector. Experience also hones your skills, industry knowledge and professionalism through networking, making you a sought after graduate.

While we provide no formal placements for our students, many find placement work through our industry contacts. Placements within the last year have included studios such as A-Productions, Sun and Moon, WONKY, Aardman Animations and Rumpus.

We are fortunate enough to be located near a range of production companies that are always on the lookout for new and emerging talent. Informal work-based placements and networking often results in paid work and longer-term employment.

Get help to find your placements and support throughout from department staff and our award-winning careers service.


Students often elect to undertake field trips either individually or as a group as part of their broad range of study. Bristol Zoo and a local zoo farm are favorite locations for the study of animals for Action Analysis studies.

You'll be given the opportunity to work with the British Film Institute (BFI) Animation Boot Camp, which provides workshop instruction for young people from around the UK.

Study facilities

Our animation studios are based at Bower Ashton Studios, alongside other first-rate fabrication, computer and TV studio facilities. There is also an impressive creative and cultural industries library and student support services.

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. Attend lectures and seminars at the prestigious Arnolfini and Watershed in Bristol city centre.

A mix of traditional and hands-on learning environments helps you quickly take on essential knowledge and skills, standing you in good stead for your professional career.

Learn more about UWE Bristol's facilities and resources.


Careers / Further study

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

Some students progress to our MA Animation, while others go on to the National Film and Television School (NFTS) and Royal College of Arts (RCA).

Get inspired

Our award-winning careers service will develop your employment potential through career coaching and find you graduate jobs, placements and global opportunities.

We can also help find local volunteering and community opportunities, provide support for entrepreneurial activity and get you access to employer events.

Visit our employability pages to learn more about careers, employers and what our students are doing six months after graduating.

Watch Dan's video to see how he landed his dream job as a freelance animator.

See also:

Prospects - careers in the creative arts sector


Full Time Course

FeesAmount (£)
Home/EU-Full Time-Annual (Per Year) Fee9250
Home/EU-Full Time-Module Fee (15 Credit)1156
International-Full Time-Annual (Per Year) Fee13000
International-Full Time-Module Fee (15 Credit)1625

Part Time Course

FeesAmount (£)
Home/EU-Part Time-Module Fee (15 Credit)1156

Indicative Additional Costs

FeesAmount (£)
Additional Course Costs - Full Time - Home/EU - Indicative Maximum Cost Per year420
Optional Field Trip - (Maximum Cost)500

Supplementary fee information

Additional costs

This refers to items you could need during your studies that aren't covered by the standard tuition fee. These could be materials, textbooks, travel, clothing, software or printing.

Learn more about costs.


Typical offers

  • Tariff points: 112
  • GCSE: For all applicants, Grade C/4 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.
  • Relevant subjects: Art & Design, English, Animation, Film/Media Production, Film/Media Studies
  • 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

We recognise the individual nature of each application and our typical offer should be viewed as a guide. UWE Bristol welcomes interest from applicants who may not have the standard entry requirements. We will consider evidence of your relevant personal, professional or educational experience where it demonstrates an ability and potential to succeed on the course. Please include details of any relevant experience in your application.

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.

Read more about entry requirements

Portfolio and selection session

Entry is based on portfolio and ability. Successful applicants are generally those with the strongest portfolios. For guidance on what to include in your portfolio, watch our portfolio advice video.

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 selection session will provide applicants with an opportunity to demonstrate their

  • communication, interaction and analytical skills
  • critical engagement with the discipline/profession/programme area
  • interest and motivation to study.

Further details specific to the programme are outlined below.

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.

Interviews typically take place between January and March, according to when you apply.

English language support

If you meet the academic requirements but require additional support to take your language skills to the required level, you may be able to attend one of our pre-sessional English courses. Students who successfully complete the pre-sessional course can progress onto their chosen degree course without retaking an IELTS or equivalent.

Read more about our Pre-Sessional English Programme.

Offer Types

If you have not received your exam results, your offer from UWE Bristol will be conditional and will be subject to you achieving the tariff points/grades required for your course.

If you have already satisfied the academic entry requirements of your chosen course, you are likely to be made an unconditional offer. Please note that UWE Bristol will only make unconditional offers if you have already achieved your qualifications.

To make sure our applicants are academically prepared for when they start their studies at UWE Bristol, we do not make unconditional offers to those that are still studying their Level 3 qualifications (such as A-Levels, BTEC, Access or equivalent). We hope that this will encourage our applicants to value their academic achievements as much as we do.

How to apply

Read more about undergraduate applications.

For further information


UWE Main Campus

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