This course is open for applications.
About this course
- Entry year:
- Course code:
- Film and Journalism
- City Campus
- 15 months
- Full-time, starts September
- Programme leader:
- Julia Bracegirdle (Acting)
- Key fact:
- Learn your craft from internationally renowned practitioners. We have partnerships with the region's animation industry - including Aardman Animations, A Productions and Arthur Cox - and students have the opportunity to get feedback on their films from leading industry professionals.
Page last updated 15 October 2019
This Skillset accredited MA Animation course will help you develop storytelling and craft skills to allow you to gain entry level jobs in the animation industry.
Why study this course?
The course is based at Bower Ashton Campus, part of City Campus, where exceptional facilities and resources include state-of-the-art digital media, production and fabrication workshops offer a combination of traditional tools and the latest technology.
Based in Bristol, a global centre of excellence in animation, film and television production, it attracts students from around the world. Bristol is the place to study animation, home to Aardman Animations, A Productions, Arthur Cox and other internationally renowned animation companies.
The course is taught via practical workshops, a rolling programme of guest lecturers and industry speakers and there are opportunities for work experience within the industry.
Animation students also get to work collaboratively with students on other postgraduate programmes, including MA Documentary and Features and MA Wildlife Filmmaking and with external organisations including the BBC, the BFI and composers from the Royal Academy of Music.
Engaged and industry-led teaching
Practitioners from Bristol's leading animation studios support both the development and delivery of this course, offering professional advice and guidance through workshops and master classes. You will also have the opportunity to be mentored one-to-one by industry professionals.
You will learn from the best in the business, gaining industry insight as well as work experience opportunities and the chance to attend networking events and screenings.
A strong focus on long term employability, ensures you graduate as a multi-skilled lifelong learner, with confidence, connections and a desire to further develop and enhance your practice.
See our MA Animation Flickr gallery for some examples of our student's work.
Watch: The learning and teaching experience
The course is made up of six modules delivered over three semesters:
- Developing Practice in Animation (30 credits) - You will develop a range of practical craft skills and techniques relevant to the production of animation in a range of different disciplines through a series of short projects supported by practical workshops, life drawing, seminars and lectures.
- Pre-Production for Animation (30 credits) - You will produce relevant pre-production material for a film idea. This involves the refinement and development of ideas along with the creation of the necessary pre-production materials in line with future ambitions. The module culminates in you making a presentation 'pitch' of your proposed film ideas to an invited panel of staff and external representatives from the animation industry.
- Production for Animation (45 credits) - You will produce your film within the context of a production team. This involves the refinement and development of ideas generated during previous modules and the creation of the necessary production materials and footage. This will be undertaken within a discipline appropriate to your stated aims and future ambitions for employment within the industry.
- Professional Practice in Animation 1 (15 credits) - All students are expected to undertake a period of work experience relevant to their particular practice and engage in appropriate live projects that will enhance their employability status. Self-promotion, networking and research into the creative industries are central to this module.
- Post Production for Animation (45 credits) - During this module you are expected to edit and complete the project you have developed and made over the last two semesters, including the compilation and/or creation of any other relevant work that will enhance and complement the project.
- Professional Practice in Animation 2 (15 credits) - An in-depth critical evaluation of your progress on the course and the work completed forms a central part of this module. You will make a presentation of your work to your peer group, tutors, and representatives from industry along with prospective employers. You will also create a show reel, portfolio and other self-promotion material necessary to prepare your work for public screenings, networking events and job interviews.
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
You are taught through a combination of lectures, workshops, seminars, individual and group tutorials, master classes and a rolling programme of guest speakers in areas such as design, animation and cinematography.
There is also time set aside for self-directed studio work with supervision and support from academic and technical staff.
This course will enable you to:
- Develop existing and acquire new practical craft based skills, increase your range of technical and production skills and experience.
- Work as part of a production team to develop and produce a short animated film.
- Undertake relevant research into industry, the roles within production suited to your own creative and professional ambitions.
- Take on a creative role within collaborative and live projects.
- Improve your presentation, communication, production management and organisation skills.
- Benefit from the opportunities generated by the University's links to the animation industry through work experience, networking events and screenings while gaining professional contacts.
This 15-month course is delivered as full-time and starts in September and runs to the following January. It is divided into three semesters each comprising a 15-week period of study.
Students have access to studios and technical resources five days a week with two to three days of contact time.
You will be assessed through a combination of practical work, presentations and written assignments.
See our full glossary of assessment terms.
This course is recognised by Creative Skillset, Sector Skills Council and carries the Creative Skillset Tick for the purposes of indicating courses best suited to prepare students for a Creative Industries career.
"There is a strong emphasis on preparation for entry into the industry, which is reflected in the high graduate employment rate." Marion Edwards, ScreenSkills Industry Evaluator.
There is no official work placement element but there are opportunities to undertake short periods of work experience in studios at a suitable point in the degree. This is often extended and can lead to a real job on completion of the course.
You may undertake self-directed industry visits to research and network with practitioners (e.g. model making, CG animation) through the Professional Practice modules.
Studying at Bower Ashton offers an excellent base for students within the exciting City Campus that connects 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, student support services, as well as the extensive resource base that make up the departmental facilities and resources. You will also 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 Arnolfini and Watershed in Bristol City Centre.
The course is based in industry standard animation studios which are equipped with high-end Apple Macs and PCs with industry standard software and DVD authoring facilities as well as state-of-the-art 2D and 3D model animation equipment. You also have access to the Department's recently upgraded Media studios, EPI Centre, 3D Centre, Print fabrication facilities and newly extended library.
Find out more about the facilities and resources UWE has to offer.
Skills and support
Skills development is embedded throughout the course and you will develop the creative, technical and professional skills required by the animation and media industries and a range of other careers.
Through practical assignments, live projects and technical workshops you will develop key skills in scheduling, production management, budgeting, life drawing, visualisation, networking, marketing, and research.
Study support is also provided throughout and offers valuable advice and guidance for both home and overseas students on a range of matters including presentation skills support and coursework preparation.
Showcase your work
Take a look at some of our students' exhibits on Tumblr.
Careers / Further study
This postgraduate course will allow you to return to industry with enhanced skills and further experience or start afresh in the diverse field of animation. The course content and structure enables you to pursue your interests and specialisms whether in 2D/drawn, CG, stop motion or other forms of animation in a range of roles including direction, production, storyboarding, model-making, layout, design and teaching.
Past students have gained employment and worked on productions throughout the worldwith companies such as: Aardman Animations, A Productions, Wonky, Rumpus and Sun and Moon.
We are looking for highly motivated creative students with some prior experience in animation or a related area. Usually applicants will have an honours degree in the Visual Arts but those with other academic qualifications or relevant professional experience are also encouraged to apply.
Candidates are usually invited to interview if this is practical. You will be expected to articulate a clear vision of the potential role of animation in the development of your own creative practice and will be expected to make a short presentation of previous work relevant to animation and your potential development in this field.
There is no official closing date for postgraduate courses and we accept applications throughout the year. If you are applying to organisations for funding they may have application deadlines by which time you will need to know if you have a place on a course. You should build this deadline into your application process and if you are working to a funding deadline then please let us know.
A representative from the University makes regular visits to Brunei, Hong Kong, Japan, Malaysia, Singapore and Taiwan and is able to view portfolios and interview students.
The University also has representatives in a number of other countries. Please contact Admissions and International Recruitment for further details via email at email@example.com or phone +44 (0)117 32 84716.
If you are unable to meet up with a Bristol UWE visiting representative then please send us your application in the normal way. We will then contact you and advise you where and how to send us some samples of your creative work.
How to apply
There is no official closing date and we accept applications throughout the year.
If you are applying to organisations for funding, they may have application deadlines by which time you will need to know if you have a place on a course. You should build this deadline into your application process and if you are working to a funding deadline then please let us know.
For further information
- Email: Admissions@uwe.ac.uk
- Telephone: +44(0)117 32 83333