BA(Hons) Animation (with Foundation Year)
This course is open for applications
Page last updated 2 November 2020
Study in a studio environment with professional-standard facilities and the focus on the real-world skills you need to succeed in your career.
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.
Why UWE Bristol?
BA(Hons) Animation is based in the Bristol School of Animation 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.
Studying this in Bristol means you'll be based in a centre of animation production excellence in Europe, with our animation courses forming an integral part of the city's success.
This practice-based production degree 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 designed to prepare you for work in a commercial environment. Live briefs, work-based placements and networking events support your transition 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 course.
Our City Campus is a creative powerhouse. It spans 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.
Focus on the avenues that most interest you, and graduate with an impressive portfolio of work.
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 MA in Animation.
The optional modules listed are those that are most likely to be available, but they may be subject to change.
Year zero (foundation year)
You will study:
- Observation and Making
- Developmental Projects: Building a Creative Identity
- Academic Skills
- Foundation Project.
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.
You will study:
- Collaborative Projects
- The Animation Business
- Animation Studies 2.
Plus one optional module from:
- Animation Practitioner
- International Exchange.
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 course, which covers ideas, story and design. Explore contemporary production processes and methods as well as fundamental principles of animation you can apply within classical 2D, 2D digital, 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.
Craft your skills as a researcher, working with academics and partners helping to shape new thinking in the field.
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 mindset, by working on live projects, competitions, and through collaborative work with other creative individuals and institutions.
Engage with our industry partners such as Aardman Animations, Sun and Moon, Rumpus and Hello Charlie to get an inside track on industry trends. You'll get to interview industry contacts and pitch your portfolio to an industry panel.
Many animators work on a freelance basis, so we'll cover areas such as how to set up your own studio, find clients, promote yourself and run your own business. There are also workshops available on topics such as contracts, business plans, tax and quoting.
In Year three, you'll have the choice of working on a traditional dissertation or using a different medium to present your work, such as a visual essay or film.
Visit Bristol School of Animation to get a flavour of our students' work.
Approximate percentage of time you'll spend in different learning activities*:
|Year||Scheduled learning and teaching study||Independent study||Placement study|
*Calculated from compulsory and optional modules (where applicable) each year
See our full glossary of learning and teaching terms.
Look forward to plenty of opportunities to network, exhibit, get known and collaborate in Bristol and beyond.
Work opportunities for students will be published throughout the course and are a great way to build your CV and experience before you graduate.
You can also enter your creative work into international animation festivals and competitions to gain experience and promotion opportunities. Our students have won the regional Royal Television Society awards for animation in six out of the past seven years, and won a national award in 2019.
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.
Approximate percentage of marks awarded by each assessment method*:
|Year||Written exam assessment||Coursework assessment||Practical exam assessment|
*Calculated from compulsory and optional modules (where applicable) each year
See our full glossary of assessment terms.
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.
Grow your personal and professional network, and develop specialist subject knowledge by spending a semester at one of our fantastic partner universities abroad.
Increase your confidence, intercultural communication skills and boost your employability.
Explore our study abroad pagesto find out more.
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 favourite 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.
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.
Tailoring what and how you study, you can shape the course towards your chosen career path.
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).
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.
Full Time Course
Supplementary fee information
Additional costs are for 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.
- Tariff points: 48
- 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.
- English Language Requirement: International and EU applicants are requirement to have a mimimum overall IELTS (Academic) score of 5.5 with 5.5 in each component (or approved equivalent*). *The university accepts a large number of UK and International Qualifications in place of IELTS. You can find details of acceptable tests and the required grades you will need in our English Language section. Visit http://uwe.ac.uk/englishlanguagerequirements
- 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 one A-Level.
- EDEXCEL (BTEC) Diploma: No specific subjects required.
- Access: No specific subjects required.
- Baccalaureate IB: No specific subjects required.
If you exceed the entry requirements you may be eligible for BA(Hons) Animation.
For country specific entry requirements please find your country on the Country Information pages.
Applicants will be required to submit a digital portfolio for review. For more details on the process, please visit our selection page.