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Our MA in Computer Animation is a mastery of the art and science of animation wizardry! At our animation wizarding school we provide students with an understanding of the magic behind animation styles and techniques.
We use the technology to cast new spells and approaches in the control of motion and the use of timing during the illusion of animated sequences.
MA students will gain a better appreciation of replicating, animating and mastering natural forces, summoning visions of weight, inertia, friction, linear and non-linear motion. Throughout the year of study, we aim to propel student’s knowledge of animation grammar and lore – the grimoire of animation principles and filmmaking.
We encourage students to extend their visual library of motion work, to craft the best and most ambitious and evocative scenes. In the last part the apprentice and journeymen stages are done (early terms in part 1) and students seek full mastery (latter stage in part 2) in the production of computer animation, normally encountered in production workflows.
You can apply directly to the University using the Apply Now button at the top of the page.
In addition to the personal and academic details required on the application form, you will be asked to name two referees. Ideally, your referees should be able to provide an academic reference but professional or personal (not family) references are acceptable for applicants who have not recently been in education. If you are unsure about obtaining a reference, please contact the admissions tutor who will be able to provide guidance.
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Tuition Fees 2023/24:
Five reasons to study this course
- The ethos is to experiment, to extend and enhance your ways of approaching animated art – and beyond!
- Students working at postgraduate level forge new connections and our alumni of students – from both the BA and MA – have gained animation positions in the industry on some outstanding films and features.
- The resources, the support, the camaraderie engendered on the award, working with staff that have taught animation for over 15 years, create an excellent atmosphere of learning.
- A post-graduate student in animation will often display courage and a focus to discover new terrain, new methods and new techniques; to create a bold new reel of engaging work. We help you with all of the above.
- A stand-alone single year of study that empowers students to push their animation creativity and imagination to a much higher level than before!
What you will learn
Animation knowledge, animation art and production techniques inform all the classes. This MA is suitable for experienced animators and for those that wish to learn and add computer animation to their portfolio.
The structure gives priority to the creative exploration and adoption of innovative new animation methods, to develop new work in the fields of image creation, 3D modelling, 2D classical animation, sound and vision, pre-production, project management, etc. You are encouraged to explore and utilise the latest computer technologies, as other areas encourage group productions and the crossover of ideas and techniques at an advanced level.
Students enhance their ability to understand the way in which different software applications are used in a single project, to be able to plan, use and integrate assets generated and bring them together into a final animated film. The course is industry facing, based upon industrial studio best practices.
Our MA in Computer Animation is designed to pave the way into a career with either larger or medium sized animation and film/TV facility companies, or as an individual providing animation services from their own studio.
The mode of delivery has not changed over the nine years of this programme’s life and is delivered in accelerated mode, starting at the beginning of October and ending at the end of September (the following calendar year) for those students who choose to study full time. Those who wish to study part-time usually have one additional year to complete their programme and will complete it within a two-year span.
The programme is divided into two parts, the first is part 1, which is taught and the second is part 2, which is a group project where the students execute their own animated film production.
The modules reflect the high standard required for a postgraduate level of study and the needs of the industry. They encourage critical evaluation, independent judgement and the assimilation of advanced knowledge and skill.
- Computer Animation Elements teaches the analysis of motion, its control, using a variety of methods, motion grammar and the technical, creative aspects of animation.
- Computer Animation Narrative focuses upon producing and controlling narrative through the choreography of simple characters and the camera.
- Pre-Production teaches the methods and workflows of creative production planning including story writing and organisation.
- Research methods & Communication module is designed to promote methodical exploration of related topics which are usually visually or animation oriented and the methods used to write reports or proposals.
- Production Method modules focus on learning the workflows and methodology of using and integrating a wide range of computer software used in animation production.
- Production Management explores team structure, communication between team members and the management of clients. Time management across a production team and its manipulation is also a vital aspect of this module.
- Post-production specialises in compositing which has now become a major part of the animation production workflow but the preparation of sound is also covered here.
This suite of modules and others are designed to give the animation post-graduate student a balanced approach to what is a very broad and complex subject; designed as stepping stones towards a successful career in our global animation industry.
The heart of part 2 is a single 60 credit module, the major project, which runs during the summer period between June and September. Depending on cohort size, one or two full-scale team productions are executed.
Class content, exercise and theoretical content is communicated through demonstrations and lectures. Workshops enable the student to further investigate techniques, methodology and procedures demonstrated, to create functional animated sequences. Coursework set encourages the students to develop their visual literacy skills, to create appealing designs and evocative computer-generated animation.
Through further study time and experimentation and the student will develop a mastery of the technical requirements in the production of computer animation. The approach is systematic and requires each student to experience a wide range of animation tasks, challenges and experiences.
The first part of the MA Computer Animation degree requires each student to advocate their individual idea for animated film production. The major project offers an opportunity for full time and part-time students to work together on a common major project or to provide input or services between each other’s major projects.
Ideas are “pitched” to tutors and the rest of the student cohort and the selected project is taken forward and further developed in the second part of the module. Under supervision they have an opportunity to identify an ambitious and challenging Part II Project which is academically rigorous and to be completed as a team project, to break down the production material so that every team member has a specialist area to work in.
We normally require an undergraduate 2.1. However, we also consider candidates with relevant experience and aim to interview all applicants. Where possible, we invite prospective students to book a taster session and/or Open Day, to discuss this application further, to see if it suits their expectations.
The main career opportunities that the MA in Computer Animation offers are found in:
- TV Broadcast Content
- TV Commercials Content
- General Digital Media Content
- Feature Film Content
- Computer Games Content
- Computer Games Promotion
- Corporate Sector Promotion
- Corporate Sector Training
- Education Sector Training
Our students have access to a diverse range of equipment and resources which, in most cases, is sufficient to complete their programme of study. We provide the basic materials necessary for students to develop their practical work within our extensive workshop and studio facilities.
However, it is likely animation students may incur some additional costs in the extension of their personal practice. Examples include purchasing their own specialised materials and equipment, software and hardware, joining optional study trips, paying for printing, etc.
Please visit our Bursaries section to find out more.
Please visit our Study Abroad and Exchange section to find out more.
Please get in touch with us if you have any questions related to the University or to this course in particular.