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Animation

BA (Hons)

PENCIL. PIXEL. PUPPET

Create an industry-relevant showreel of character animation in your chosen specialism.

Industry-facing course

Focused on employment and the development of engaging and believable character animation.

Global Connections

Including Aardman, Carse & Waterman, Pixar, Walt Disney, Nickelodeon and CalARTS.

UCAS code:
W616
Location:
Stoke-on-Trent campus
Study option:
Full-time
Choose another study option
Duration:
3 Years
Start date:
14 September 2020
Book onto an Open Day Enquire about this course Apply now

Do you have a favourite character from an animated film? Whether it’s Buzz Lightyear, a minion from Despicable Me, Jack Skellington or one of the Disney princesses, have you ever wondered what and who turns them into such likeable (or loathe-able) characters?

Our BA (Hons) Animation course will transform you into one of these creators in industry, focusing on the development of character animation skills, while being supported by core competencies and collaborative skills. If you are drawn to the thought of giving life to inanimate objects using 2D, 3D and Stop Motion animation - this course is for you.

As a University, we are focused on employability, and our animation course is no different. During the course you’ll develop a professional showreel and portfolio that is in-line with both your own personal style and current industry needs and expectations.

Your first year of study will work on a variety of skills, while building a theoretical knowledge of animation, story art, asset creation, drawing and design. In the second and third years of the course, you’ll be encouraged to individually tailor the course to your own needs by selecting from key specialist modules, depending on your personal and career interests. You'll have access to industry standard animation software and equipment in support of your chosen specialism, with the majority of your time working in our professional animation studios and post-production facilities

Whether you choose to specialise in 3D Digital, 2D Digital, Computer Games or Stop Motion animation, we’ll support you with industry level expertise, both in and out of the classroom. There will be opportunities to engage in public screening events, studio and gallery visits, international trips, and UK animation festival visits. Plus, our termly ‘Creative Intervention Workshops’, where all year groups collaboratively explore creative topics, will help you build the networks within the University that could last a lifetime.

You will receive recognition of your ‘pathway specialism’ on your degree certificate and your transcripts that will demonstrate to graduate recruiters the specialist skills and capabilities you have attained throughout your studies.

New for 2019, we have a professional studio facility called ‘in CUBE 8’ where students, supported by Technical staff, provide year-long animation services in response to Live Briefs and external client needs - a space for students to gain experience of production management and professional production skills.

 

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.

On successful completion of study, we will issue the following award: BA (Hons) Animation

On successful completion of study, we will issue the following award: BA (Hons) 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’.

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’.

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.

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.

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.

Modules

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.

Standard route

Year 1 compulsory modules
Anatomy Of Animation: 1 15 credits
Character Animation Portfolio: 1 15 credits
Drawing For Animation: 1 (Human) 30 credits
Principles Portfolio 15 credits
Story Art Portfolio 15 credits
Year 2 compulsory modules
Anatomy Of Animation: 2 15 credits
Animation In Context: The Screenings 15 credits
Character Animation Portfolio: 2 15 credits
Collaborative Production Project 15 credits
Drawing For Animation: 2 (Animal) 30 credits
Professional Portfolio: 1 15 credits
Show 16 optional modules
Year 3 compulsory modules
Animation In Context: Research Project 15 credits
Drawing For Animation: 3 (Imaginative Realism) 30 credits
In Cube 8 30 credits
Pitch. Present. Collaborate. 30 credits
Professional Portfolio: 2 15 credits
Show 12 optional modules

Modules

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.

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

  • Typical UCAS offer: 112 points
  • A levels: BBC
  • BTEC: DMM
  • Foundation Diploma in Art and Design: Merit if taken

All applicants are individually assessed via portfolio and attendance at a Showcase Selection Event.

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

  • Typical UCAS offer: 112 points
  • A levels: BBC
  • BTEC: DMM
  • Foundation Diploma in Art and Design: Merit if taken

All applicants are individually assessed via portfolio and attendance at a Showcase Selection Event.

  • Typical UCAS Offer: 48 points
  • A levels: A, DD, EEE
  • BTEC: PPP

Facilities

Careers

Graduates from our BA (Hons) Animation course have moved into a diverse range of careers within animation, stop motion animation and film, working on projects including Wes Anderson’s ‘Isle of Dogs’, ‘Chuck Steel: Night of the Trampires’ and the CiTV series ‘Go-Jetters’.

 

Past students have also gone on to work for international studios such as

 

  • Brown Bag Films,
  • Aardman Feature Animation,
  • Mackinnon & Saunders,
  • Boulder Media,
  • Carse & Waterman,
  • Double Negative
  • Cinesite

 

We’ve also built the foundations for graduate success at International Animation Festivals and competitions, including: British Animation Awards and the Royal Television Society Awards.

 

Teaching

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.

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.

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.

Assessment

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.

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.

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 (including reading, note-taking and presentation skills); written English (including punctuation and grammatical accuracy); academic writing (including how to reference); research skills; critical thinking and understanding arguments; and revision, assessment and examination skills (including time management).

Additional support

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

Feedback

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.

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.

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.

Staff

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.

Stuart Messinger
Stuart MessingerCourse Leader

Stuart worked on a wide range of industry projects before joining Staffordshire University, from Grizzly Tales for Gruesome Kids to the Harry Potter franchise and Aardman Animations’ The Pirates!

Read full profile

For the course starting on 14 September 2020 the tuition fees are:

Study option
Full-time
UK / EU / Channel Islands
£9,250 per year of study
International (Non-EU)
£14,000 per year of study

For the course starting on 21 September 2020 the tuition fees are:

Study option
Full-time
UK / EU / Channel Islands
£9,250 for your first year subsequent years will be charged at the University standard rate
International (Non-EU)
£14,000 for your first year subsequent years will be charged at the University standard rate

UK, EU 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.

International (Non-EU) students: Tuition fees will remain the same for each year of your course, as long as you complete it in the normal time-frame (i.e. no repeat years or breaks in study).

Our students

about
Gary Carse & Daniel Waterman
Animation graduates

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.

Apply

Stoke-on-Trent campus
BA (Hons)
Full-time
14 September 2020

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.

Social media

23/10/2019 18:01:03 / Animation / Full-time / 20.0 / 36.0 / SSTK-12382 / Direct link

23/10/2019 18:01:03 / Animation / Part-time / 7.0 / 36.0 / SSTK-08053 / Direct link

23/10/2019 18:01:03 / Animation / Full-time, with a foundation year / 7.0 / 36.0 / SSTK-12003 / Direct link