Study options


BA (Hons)

Key facts

UCAS code:
Stoke-on-Trent campus
Study option:
3 Years
Start date:
23 September 2024


Learn what industry needs, including life drawing skills, performance animation, good story characters and software knowledge

Professional showreel

You’ll be able to showcase your specialist animation skills to future employers

Global connections

Our industry links include Aardman, Pixar, Walt Disney, Nickelodeon, CalARTS and Carse & Waterman

From Wallace and Gromit through to The Lion King and Kung Fu Panda, animation has been the creative force behind countless hit movies.

Now you can pursue your own career as a character animator by taking our BA (Hons) in Animation. It’s an ideal platform for working in feature or short film production, games, VFX, advertising or other creative industries.

Our focus on employability skills means you’ll develop a professional showreel. We’ll also give you lots of other opportunities, such as entering competitions like the RTS Awards and British Animation Awards, attending public screening events, and visiting studios and galleries. We also work with animation festivals, giving you the chance to exhibit your projects.

During the first year, you will cover a wide range of animation techniques, including 2D digital, 3D digital, stop motion, motion capture and the growing trend for hybrid animation. You can then specialise as you progress through the course.

Drawing skills are at the heart of animation and are highly sought after by industry. We’ll get you involved in lots of observational drawing to help you understand depth, pose and other artistic concepts. We’ll also cover life sculptures so you can develop a character from clay through to CGI.

Other skills include 3D modelling, compositing, keyframe animation, character design and environmental design. For stop motion, you’ll learn all about casting, armature building and fabricating puppets.

And you’ll explore animation rigging, which involves constructing digital skeletons of characters to introduce movement, performance and the ability to talk realistically.

You could be collaborating with students from across the Media, Performance and Communication department, including sound designers, musicians, actors and visual effects specialists.

Our collaborative work involves industry as well. We have global connections with brands like Aardman, Pixar, Walt Disney, Nickelodeon, Blue Zoo and Carse & Waterman.

Guest speakers have included voice artist Marc Silk, who has worked on Star Wars films and voiced Johnny Bravo for the Cartoon Network; BAFTA and Emmy award-winning animator and director Joanna Quin; and Tab Murphy, screenwriter of Disney’s Hunchback of Notre Dame and Atlantis: The Lost Empire.

The degree also delves into the history of animation and how it has evolved over time. This will help deepen your appreciation for animation’s impact and significance in the world of performance and storytelling.

Throughout your studies, you’ll have access to industry-standard software, including Maya, Toon Boom Harmony, Adobe Animate and Dragonframe. Our well-equipped studios feature Cintiq suites for 2D and 3D digital content, a 4K editing suite, sound recording booths and VR suites.

We also have a motion capture studio, virtual studio, high-definition cameras and LED lighting, stop motion rooms and a dedicated life drawing room.

And you’ll benefit from the extensive expertise of our academic staff, who have worked in CGI, stop motion and the commercial sector. We also have a technician who offers valuable assistance in sessions and is your go-to person if you need support with practical work or software-based projects.

With so much support, you’ll be industry-ready by the time you graduate.

On successful completion of study, we will issue the following award: BA (Hons) Animation with the option of achieving a specialism in 2D Digital Animation, 3D Digital Animation, Computer Games Animation or Stop Motion Animation.

Course content

The course content is challenging, but exciting and totally industry focussed. You’ll learn through specialist lectures, technical demonstrations and seminars that focus on character animation and animated performance, acting methods and the principles of animation through the creation of professionally crafted animation and motion studies using industry-recognised technologies.

As a character animator your skills are relevant to a broad range of industry opportunities including: feature film production, short film production, computer games, commercial, VFX and beyond.  You will be encouraged to build a network of contacts and creative collaborators during your time as a studying professional.

In addition to your animation training your professional development is supported by regular Drawing for Animation classes – including themes of human, animal and imaginative realism.  Animation in context, research sessions and industry-related briefs help to further inform and prepare you for the world of employment within the animation industry as well as giving you greater understanding of the animation eco-system.

The culmination of your studies will be the production of a professional showreel and body of work that supports your career objectives within your selected specialism.  As a final year student you will have the opportunity to present your completed work to a selected panel of industry practitioners as part of ‘Industry Portfolio Week’.

Academic year

The course operates on a modular basis that provides flexibility and choice. Typically the majority of modules are 30 academic credits with a smaller number of 15 credit modules. Each credit taken equates to a total study time of around 10 hours. Total study time includes scheduled teaching, independent study and assessment activity. Full-time students take modules worth 60 credits per semester, with part-time students taking proportionately fewer credits per semester. All students take a total of 120 credits per level and 360 credits for the degree as a whole. Your overall grade for the course and your degree classification are based on the marks obtained for modules taken at levels 5 and 6. The full-time course has one start point in September.

Animation Showreel 2023

Animation Showreel 2023


A selection of work from the graduating class of 2023

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The tables provide an indicative list of the modules that make up the course for the current academic year. Each module is worth a specified number of credits. Our teaching is informed by research, and modules change periodically to reflect developments in the discipline. We aim to ensure that all modules run as scheduled. If for any reason a module cannot be run we will advise you as soon as possible and will provide guidance on selecting an appropriate alternative module where available.

Year 1 compulsory modules
Year 1 compulsory modules
Animation Principles 20 credits
Animation World 40 credits
Character Creation 40 credits
Human Anatomy & Movement 20 credits
Year 2 compulsory modules
Year 2 compulsory modules
Animated Stories 40 credits
Animation Experts 20 credits
Animation Experts 20 credits
Team Animation 40 credits
Year 3 compulsory modules
Year 3 compulsory modules
Animation Passion Project 20 credits
Animation Pipeline 40 credits
Animation Pitch 20 credits
Show 3 optional modules

Progression routes to masters

Entry requirements

We use UCAS points in our offer making and welcome a wide range of qualifications.

112-120 UCAS Tariff points

  • GCE A Levels - grades BBC or equivalent
  • Pearson BTEC National Extended Diploma - grade DMM
  • Access to HE Diploma - Pass Access with a minimum of 80 UCAS tariff points. Applicants to Staffs who are taking the Access to HE Diploma receive a reduced tariff point offer as part of our access and participation plan activity
  • UAL Level 3 Extended Diploma - grade of Merit overall
  • OCR Cambridge Technical Extended Diploma - grade DMM
  • T Levels - Eligible T Level applications will be asked to achieve a minimum overall grade of P (A*-C) or Higher Pass as a condition of offer

All applicants are individually assessed via a portfolio review.

We understand that you might have experienced a challenging run up to higher education and may have not met the entry requirements as listed. If this is the case don’t worry, contact us and our team of expert advisors can guide you through the next stages of application, or help you find the perfect course for your needs.

Staffs filmmakers sweep the board at the region’s ‘student Oscars’


Recent graduates from Staffordshire University took home six out of the 10 awards, at the Royal Television Society’s Midlands Student Awards

For equivalent entry requirements in your home country, please see the information on our country pages.

Choose your country

Check our entry and English language requirements for your country.




Students from our BA (Hons) Animation course have gone on to work in a diverse range of careers within series animation, adverts, games and film.

We’ve had graduates work on projects including: Scream Street, Dirk Gently, Skyfall, Guardians of the Galaxy, Transformers, Wes Anderson’s Isle of Dogs, and Chuck Steel: Night.

They have also landed work with international studios, such as:

  • Blue Zoo Animation
  • TT Games & TT Fusion
  • Jellyfish Pictures
  • Sky
  • Giant Animation
  • Second Home Studios
  • Disney Europe
  • Sony Entertainment
  • Valve
  • ILM
  • One6th
  • Moving Picture Company
  • Rocksteady Studios
  • Cloud Imperium Games
  • Team 17
  • Playdemic
  • Factory Create
  • Studio Liddell
  • Big Tooth Studios
  • Proof Inc
  • Brown Bag Films
  • Aardman Animation
  • Mackinnon and Saunders
  • Boulder Media
  • Carse & Waterman
  • Double Negative
  • Cinesite

Graduates can also continue with their studies by taking our MA in Animation.


BA (Hons) Animation - Redmond Beer

BA (Hons) Animation - Redmond Beer


BA (Hons) Animation student Red discusses why he chose Animation, and 3D Animation in particular, and what it felt like to collaborate with the charity The Big Issue.

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Teaching and assessment


The Animation course is designed around the idea of a Dove-Tailed Curriculum. This is an Innovative & Applied Learning approach where module content explicitly relates to other areas of learning in the Animation curriculum at all stages of progression and development. In a way you could visualise it as three strands that are interconnected:

  • There is the Production aspect, which will allow you to focus on character animation and explore different medias of animation, ultimately choosing a specialism.
  • There is the Drawing aspect, which will allow you to develop and build on a crucial set of skills and core competencies.
  • There is the Animation in Context aspect, where you will learn and explore the context of animation, in order to make your animations stronger.

Because these all relate to each other, you are expected to attend all module sessions in order to benefit from the delivery and understanding of new material, gain understanding of module expectations and the related tasks. Attendance is also important for you to engage in the regular peer-to-peer and tutor feedback.

Specific technical and software support and tuition will be delivered through timetabled sessions with the support of academic and Technical Support teams (dependant on class size and numbers) in support of your specialism pathway.

Through your specialism, you will plan and create responsive animation sequences that illustrate your understanding of the mechanics of character animation, staging and scenarios, as well as considering the media’s limitations and their unique capabilities in industry.


Integration of research, theory and practice.

Each module makes a link between understanding the contextual basis of each aspect of an animation production and its anticipated audience. This assimilation of theoretical framework and skills-based learning supports a problem solving, applied and collaborative approach to study and life-long learning. You will carry out theoretical research through independent and class-based study in a range of written and visual presentations alongside your studio practice.


There are no exams for this course – assessment is based entirely on coursework. We find this is the best way to assess the integrated approach to research, theory and practice that you’ll engage in. Your coursework, carried out in response to assignments, project briefs or self-initiated proposals, will be presented in forms appropriate to professional practice, such as visual sketchbooks, short animated sequences, word-processed reflective evaluations, preproduction material and production development documentation. It may take the form of an essay or report. Your approach to the coursework for a given module should be individual and distinctive. Tutors see this work throughout its development thus forming a one-to-one professional working relationship with you throughout each production.

Formative assessment is carried out in tutorial and critique situations and feedback is usually provided to you orally, with an audio visual or written record kept either by the tutor and/or yourself. This is sometimes produced as the result of peer- or self-assessment exercises.

Learning support

In addition to the excellent support you will receive from your course teaching team, our central Academic Skills team provides group and one-to-one help to support your learning in a number of areas. These include:

  • study skills such as reading, note-taking and presentation skills
  • written English, including punctuation and grammatical accuracy
  • academic writing and how to reference
  • research skills
  • critical thinking and understanding arguments
  • revision, assessment and examination skills
  • time management

Additional support

Our Student Inclusion Services support students with additional needs such as sensory impairment, or learning difficulties such as dyslexia.


As part of a tutorial process we call ‘Reflect. Select. Evolve.’ course staff will help ensure that you are focusing on the right specialism by looking back at your progression and development to date. You will also look ahead to plan what medium to focus on in future modules in order to develop the focus your specialist skills. This will usually take the form of individual tutorials with the relevant specialism Leader or Course Leader.

Although feedback is a constant process – the ‘Reflect. Select. Evolve.’ process officially happens at the end of each semester.

You will normally receive feedback on coursework assessments within 20 working days following the date of submission. This usually takes the form of written or audio-visual documentation.

Animation Showreel 2022

Animation Showreel 2022


Check out some of the amazing work created by our talented BA (Hons) Animation students.

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Your study time will consist of class contact hours, self-directed learning, assessment and placements where appropriate. Your actual contact hours will depend on the subject area, on the option modules you select and professional body requirements.

Year 1

26% of time in lectures, seminars or similar
74% of time in independent study
0% of time in work based learning

Year 2

23% of time in lectures, seminars or similar
77% of time in independent study
0% of time in work based learning

Year 3

21% of time in lectures, seminars or similar
79% of time in independent study
0% of time in work based learning

Independent learning

When not attending lectures, seminars, laboratory or other timetabled sessions, you will be expected to continue learning independently through self-study. Typically, this will involve utilising a range of digital resources including our virtual learning environment; reading journals, articles and books; working on individual and group projects; undertaking research in the library; preparing coursework assignments and presentations, and preparing for examinations. Your independent learning will be supported by a range of excellent facilities. These include the library, open access computer facilities, informal learning zones, a range of laboratories and performance and studio spaces.

Year 1

0% practical assessments
100% coursework
0% written exams

Year 2

0% practical assessments
100% coursework
0% written exams

Year 3

0% practical assessments
100% coursework
0% written exams


All of our academic staff love animation and are passionate about sharing their many years of industry experience. In fact, many of them are current professionals or active researchers working within Animation, moving image and performance related areas.

You’ll join an exciting and creative community – where we pride ourselves on creating a professional and commercial studio environment in which our students can flourish.

Our approachable and Industry-experienced animation lecturers and staff will support you throughout the course and be on hand to help you identify and achieve your goals.

Daryl Marsh

Senior Lecturer

Course Leader for BA(Hons) Animation with long term professional animation experience in London, Manchester and Copenhagen. Specialisms include CGI, Virtual Reality & Augmented Reality. Researching immersive experiences and emerging technology.

Daryl's profile

Robin Heap


Robin is an animation filmmaker who specialises in stop motion animation development and production.

Robin's profile

Dr Monireh Astani

Senior Lecturer

Monireh is a researcher and practitioner invested in the interdisciplinary, audience-oriented, creative practices of animation, visual design, and VR/AR.

Monireh's profile

Jack Woodvine

P/T Lecturer (Hrly) - Animation

I am a 2D animator, specialising in 2D digital animation. My main interest in this field is the creation of 2D digital rigs within Harmony, using the various tools available to create digital puppets with believable movement.

Jack's profile

Adam Watkins

P/T Lecturer (Hrly) - Animation

Adam is a freelance 2D animator, storyboard artist and illustrator. He predominantly uses the software Toonboom Harmony for both hand-drawn and rigged animation which is the main software of focus in my technical demonstrations.


For the course starting on 23 September 2024 the tuition fees are:

Tuition fees for BA (Hons)-Full-time
Study option UK / Channel Islands International
Full-time £9,250 per year of study £16,750 per year of study

UK and Channel Island students: This tuition fee is agreed subject to UK government policy and parliamentary regulation. If the UK government passes appropriate legislation, the fee for subsequent years of study may increase in each academic year. But this increase will not exceed the rate of inflation as measured by RPIX**. Any change in fees will apply to both new and continuing students. The University will notify students of any change as early as possible. Further information about fee changes would be posted on the University’s website once this becomes available.

**RPIX is a measure of inflation equivalent to all the items in the Retail Price Index (RPI) excluding mortgage interest payments.

Included in tuition fees
Included in the fees:

Travel, and accommodation costs incurred by compulsory trips and visits away from the University that are directly linked to the learning requirements of a specific module. 

The use of all workshops, studios and specialist technical facilities and hire of equipment relating to the course of study.


Not included in tuition fees
Not included in the fees:

The estimated cost of text books over the duration of the course. All essential text books are available from the library, but some students chose to purchase their own copies.

Travel, subsistence, entrance fees etc. incurred by optional trips and visits away from the University related to the course.

The cost of materials for the development of a student’s individual practice and work. Additional costs vary dependent upon student’s own choice of materials and approach to their practice.

Optional personal insurance when borrowing equipment such as cameras, lighting equipment etc. for extended period of use off campus [Approx £50-£100]. It may be possible to add some items to home contents insurance.

Accommodation and living costs
Accommodation and living costs

Accommodation and living costs are not included in our fees. 

Sources of financial support

If you receive funding from Student Finance you may be eligible to apply for additional benefits. Details can be obtained by reading our additional funding web pages, or visiting

Scholarships and additional funding

As an undergraduate student at Staffordshire, you may be eligible for additional financial support through one of our scholarships and bursaries. You can visit our funding page to find out more and check your eligibility.

Our students

We started our business whilst at university and couldn’t have done that without the support of Staffordshire University. They have a really forward-thinking attitude and allow students to achieve what they are capable of. The experience we had was a bit like working at Facebook or Google; they really created the right vibe.

Gary Carse & Daniel Waterman

Animation graduates

Staffs was an experience unlike any other. As animation software is expensive, they’ve made sure there are a good number of computers for students. The staff are incredible too. They’ve been there when I’ve asked for help and offered alternative solutions. I don’t think I would have advanced as an animator or artist if they weren’t supporting me and pushing me to try new things. I owe a lot to them for that and will forever be grateful. 

Kalina Kolchevska


When I came on the Open Day, seeing all of the facilities and having an interview with Stuart – the tutors are just really friendly and there’s like a family atmosphere that I find really positive.  

One of the most important things for me, because I’m a 2D Digital Animator, is the Cintiqs we have – the digital tablets. You as an individual you can’t really buy that kind of thing because they’re so expensive so having them on hand is really useful.  

Janine Perkins

BA (Hons) Animation


Location Award Study option Start date Apply Link
Stoke-on-Trent campus BA (Hons) Full-time 23 September 2024 Apply now

Rules and regulations

If you are offered a place at Staffordshire University, your offer will be subject to our rules, regulations and enrolment conditions, which may vary from time to time.

Students of Staffordshire University enter into a contract with us and are bound by these rules and regulations, which are subject to change. For more information, please see: University Policies and Regulations.

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