Animation is everywhere: from the classic Disney fairytale to the quirky Aardman comedy and the dynamic Pixar blockbuster.
Our illustrious alumni at Pixar, Industrial Light & Magic (ILM), and Aardman testify to the success of our Creative Skillset accredited curriculum and production-based studio environment.
Graduates from this course have gone on to work in studios across the world, including Pixar, Aardman, carrot, Lupus, and ILM. We’ll introduce you to the fundamental skills of drawing and painting which underpin animation in all forms. Along with training in industry-standard software, you’ll be able to apply your skills to hand-drawn, stop-motion, and CGI work. Working as part of a team in an animation studio environment, you’ll develop your personal portfolio and produce graduate films.
We have industry-standard facilities, where you’ll have access to the following throughout your studies – PC workstations with WACOM Intous Pro Tablets, a render management software, Adobe Creative Cloud, ToonBoom Harmony, Storyboard Pro, Dragon Frame, Mari, Maya, ZBrush, Da Vinci Resolve and Red Giant Complete.
Visits from industry practitioners and opportunities for studio placements will add to your knowledge and prepare you for a career that could see your work in film, commercials or even video game production. We’ll teach you skills to shape the future of the industry.
Course duration: 3-years (full-time)
UCAS course code: W615
UCAS institution code: A66
Level 4 (first year)
First-year introduces you to the fundamental principles of animation. Through workshops, seminars and lectures, you’ll learn traditional animation techniques and how to use contemporary software. We’ll teach you the 12 Principles of Animation in theory and practice, using 2D animation exercises that are used by professionals. You’ll learn to use the industry-standard software, and study layout and background design. Using sketchbooks to explore a variety of media, you'll develop a more subtle understanding of character performance and cinematic storytelling.
You'll study critical theories, concepts and analysis, and develop an understanding of historical and contemporary practise within the specialism.
Level 5 (second year)
In the second year, you’ll develop your individual role within animation production by working on team-based projects. From conception to post-production you'll enhance your understanding of animation through workshops.
You'll also advance in your drawing and painting skills and abilities in 2D, CG and stop-motion. You'll research and develop your own personal project as part of a pitching process in line with industry practices, and be given the opportunity for industry experience or overseas study – you may also look at completing an optional work placement.
Level 6 (third year)
In your third year, you’ll successfully demonstrate your commitment to the collective responsibility of production and post-production. You’ll identify your specialist role and develop a portfolio as part of a 2D, CGI or stop-motion film production.
A big focus will be communication, team-working skills and mentorship guidance. Enhancing your skills as an animation practitioner through exploration of theory and practice, you'll develop strategies for personal planning and self-reflection, consider career aspirations and produce a targeted portfolio.
You’ll have the opportunity to pitch your story idea and take part in the process of selecting which films go into full production.
All students are registered for the award of BA (Hons). however, exit awards are available if you leave the course early, having successfully completed one or two levels. If you successfully complete a level of the course, yoU'll automatically be entitled to progress to the next level.
For the award of a Certificate of Higher Education (CertHE), you must have achieved a minimum of 120 credits at Level 4. This qualification may be awarded if you leave the University following successful completion of the first year of your course.
For the award of a Diploma of Higher Education (DipHE), you must have achieved a minimum of 240 credits of which a minimum of 120 must be at Level 5. This qualification may be awarded if you leave the University following successful completion of the second year of your course.
For the award of a BA (Hons), you must have achieved a minimum of 360 credits of which a minimum of 240 must be at Level 5 or above, of which a minimum of 120 credits must be at Level 6. This qualification will be awarded upon successful completion of your course.
A BA without Honours may be awarded if you have achieved 300 credits, at least 180 of which are at Level 5 or above, and at least 60 of which are at Level 6.
How to apply
Once you've found the perfect Undergraduate course, you can apply to study via UCAS, including direct entry applications to second and third year.
When applying through UCAS, use the institution code A66. All of our courses take place on one site, so we don't have a campus code. We'll then use your completed UCAS form to make decisions about your application. You can find out more about entry requirements in our application section.
When you apply to one of our courses, it's important that you help us get a good picture of both you and your work – so you'll need a great personal statement. We want to know more about why you're interested in the course, your key influences, and what you hope to do after your studies.
If you're invited for an interview, many of our courses will ask you to see a portfolio of your work so we can get more insight into your ideas and abilities. To help you, we've created guidelines outlining what we expect from your portfolio for each course.
If you already hold or you are taking relevant qualifications to meet our entry requirements we will be very happy to receive an application. In your portfolio, we’ll be looking for strong life drawing skills, observational work, painting, character design and storyboards. We don’t need to see animation work, but your work should show a sense of movement, narrative and storytelling.
Check our gallery section and watch the video providing top tips on how to prepare your portfolio.
Due to Covid-19 and the need for social distance, we will not be able to offer on-campus interviews to applicants this cycle. For courses that require a portfolio review or an audition, the Admissions team will be in touch with you and request a digital portfolio or audition.
We will hold Offer Holder days in Spring and invite applicants to visit the campus and meet the course team, or if you are unable to visit us you will be able to attend a virtual Offer Holder Day.
This course is drawing for animation, so emphasise and prove your ability to draw.
Listed below are a number of suggestions to help you when you are collecting your work together:
Thorough sketchbook work indicating private study and an interest in animation
Research study portfolio of Course work
Life drawing portfolio and observational drawing
Storyboard ideas and sketchbooks of film visuals
DVD showreel, if possible, but not compulsory (no longer than 5 mins)
Tips for digital portfolios
Universities interviewing for creative courses will expect to be presented with a portfolio to help them understand your ability and range of work. Your portfolio could be your golden ticket into receiving an offer so making sure it’s presentable, well-organised and accessible is essential.
Fees and Funding
The fee that you pay the Arts University Bournemouth provides the necessary equipment and training for you to complete your course.
You may also choose to buy some items of personal equipment such as a laptop or tablet computer, but this is not required; desktop and laptop computers are available for you to use in common study areas, including a loan system in the Library.
We're very proud of our employability rate. Many of our graduates have gone to work in studios across the world, with students often being ‘snapped up’ ahead of graduation. Our students work in 2D traditional animation, 3D computer animation, stop-motion puppet animation, games art direction and many other areas of animation and film. Graduates from this course have gone on to work in studios including:
Aardman Animation (UK)
Electronic Arts Games (UK)
Framestore CFC (UK)
Locksmith Animation (UK)
Studio Ghibli (UK
Industrial Light and Magic (UK/USA)
Brown Bag (Ireland)
Cartoon Saloon (Ireland)