a couple of students using equipment in the UWE Bristol animation studio


Animation (with Foundation Year)

Please note there are no vacancies on this course for September 2019

About this course

Entry year:
Course code:
Tariff points:
Film and Journalism
City Campus
Four years
Programme leader:
Julian Scott
Key fact:
Study in a studio environment with professional-standard facilities and the focus on the real-world skills you need to succeed in your career.

Page last updated 13 August 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. Here you'll find a range of excellent facilities for filmmaking, animation and photography, including our new animation studio spaces, digital media studios, production studios and physical making workshops.  These facilities offer 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 designed 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 course.

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, start-ups 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.

International students

This course will give you the skills and confidence to find out what type of artist you are. Not only will you develop your creative portfolio while studying the foundation year, but you will have the opportunity to reach and improve your English language and communication skills through a unique module designed for those in the creative arts.

Find out our country specific requirements on our Country Information pages

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 course.

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

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 course, 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.

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

See our full glossary of learning and teaching terms.


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*:

YearWritten exam assessmentCoursework assessmentPractical 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-ProductionsSun and MoonWONKYAardman 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 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.

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.


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

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 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.

Learn more about costs.


We are pleased to confirm that our New students webpages are now available for students starting this course in September 2019. Here you can find links to useful information about registering, course start dates, arriving on campus what to expect before and when you arrive.

We automatically send a message via your Welcome website plus an email to notify you once your Preparing to Study information is available. It is important that you regularly check your Welcome website for new messages.

Typical offers

  • 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:

    If English is not your first language, you will need to meet the UK Border Agency's and the University's minimum English language requirements, such as the International English Language Test (IELTS) overall score of 5.5 with 5.5 in each component

  • 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: Achievement of the Access to HE Diploma; no specific subjects required.
  • Baccalaureate IB: No specific subjects required.

Entry requirements

Applicants will be invited to submit a digital portfolio for review.  We are interested in your creative ideas, skills and ability. For guidance on what to include in your portfolio, watch our portfolio advice video.

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 who expect to achieve a higher tariff score may also be interested in our BA(Hons) Animation.

Read more about entry requirements.

International Students

Our foundation courses will give you the skills and confidence to find out what type of artist you are, as well as delivering a specific module that will improve your English language and help you adjust to studying in the UK.

Find out our country specific requirements on our country information pages.

Offer Types

If you have not received your exam results, your offer from us 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 we 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 here, 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

You might also like

Back to top