Stop-Motion Animation and Puppet-Making

BA (Hons)

Key facts

Location:

Stoke-on-Trent Campus

Mode of attendance: Full-time
Duration: 3 years full-time
UCAS code: WW67
Academic year: 17 September 2018 – 7 June 2019

Introduction

This degree gives you the skills to join the vibrant and evolving animation industry, helping you grow as a stop motion animator or articulated puppet maker.

This is currently the only course in the UK that focuses solely on stop motion animation and puppet making. You'll explore the fundamental aspects of character performance and storytelling, utilising traditional and state-of-the-art methods of animation production. Building a portfolio of skills and experience, you'll specialise in stop motion animation or puppet and set fabrication.

We pride ourselves on creating a professional and commercial studio environment for our students to flourish in. Collaboration is encouraged and working relationships are formed that will last long into your creative careers and life beyond graduation. Q&A sessions with industry professionals will give you an insight into the world of animation. Students have previously visited studios such as Pixar Animation, Walt Disney Feature Animation, Starburns Industries, Screen Novelties, Athena Studios, CalARTS, Aardman Animations and Mackinnon & Saunders.

On successful completion of study, we will issue the following award: BA (Hons) Stop-Motion Animation and Puppet-Making

Course content

Throughout the course, you will have the opportunity to focus on storytelling, character performance, idea generation and communication, and the development of your individual style. You’ll specialise in modelling, animation and composite-based applications using industry-recognised technologies.

Focusing on the many craft-based skills of the stop motion processes, you will be supported by a series of specialist lectures, demonstrations and seminars.

We cover professional stop-frame techniques, character and set design, puppet and set making, lighting, editing and cinematic film language. You’ll create engaging, broadcast-quality animated sequences, character studies, short films and stings.

Using both traditional methods and the new technologies of modern filmmaking, you’ll learn about the changing face of stop motion animation as it evolves for the 21st Century.

Talks from industry professionals will give you an insight into the level of proficiency expected after graduation. Recent visitors have included Oscar and BAFTA winning director Suzie Templeton, Animators from Aardman Animation, BAFTA winning Ainslie Henderson, Mackinnon & Saunders, international voice artist Marc Silk, and creative directors from Sky ARTS and the RSA.

Modules

This module map provides an indicative list of the modules that make up your course. Each module is worth a specified number of credits: you take a combination of compulsory and optional modules, enabling you to cover key subject knowledge while developing your own interest. You must take modules worth a total of 120 credits at each level of the course. The number of optional modules you can take depends on the number of compulsory modules at a given level, you may have more choice in later parts of the course.

Our teaching is informed by research, and modules change periodically to reflect developments in the discipline. You can always find the most up-to-date information about your modules and who is teaching them in our module catalogue. We aim to ensure that all optional modules run as scheduled. If for any reason an optional module cannot be run we will advise you as soon as possible and help you choose an alternative module.

Before you can register on some optional modules, you may be required to have undertaken prerequisite modules. Some module combinations may not be allowed.

Year 1

Semester 1
Module title
Animation Fundamentals Compulsory
Semester 2
Module title
Stop Motion Pipeline Compulsory
Animated Film Language Compulsory
Sculpture for Stop Motion Animation Compulsory

Year 2

Semester 1
Module title
Character Animation Implementation Compulsory
Audio, Sound and Score for Animation Compulsory
Semester 2
Module title
Puppet Performance Compulsory
Animation Debates Compulsory
Digital Compositing: Intermediate Level Optional
From Script to Screen Optional
Experimental Animation Optional
Animation Collaboration Brief Optional

Year 3

Semester 1
Module title
Individual Short Animation Compulsory
Animation Futures Destinations Compulsory
Animation Declarations Compulsory
Semester 2
Module title
Final Major Signature Projects Compulsory

Teaching staff

You will be taught by an expert teaching team whose expertise and knowledge are closely matched to the content of the modules on the course. The team includes senior academics and professional practitioners with industry experience. Postgraduate research students who have undertaken teaching training may also contribute to the teaching of seminars under the supervision of the module leader. Our teaching is research-informed and 72% of our full-time staff are Fellows of the Higher Education Academy.