On this course you will experience a broad range of skills and techniques relating to a range of different areas within the animation and digital effects industries before choosing a specific area to specialise in. You then develop your skills and knowledge in that chosen area to become a multi-talented animation and digital effects artist.
You are supported in the production of creatively driven work to a professional standard and encouraged to challenge boundaries and think in original ways. You develop intellectual and critical approaches to creative tasks and production processes in animation and digital effects. The course provides an environment where you are enabled to work flexibly and independently within the diverse media industries.
We have up-to-date industry standard animation and digital compositing software and facilities allowing you to build your professional skill set throughout the course. You develop practical and conceptual skills in animation production through real world scenarios. You make and complete animations and digital effects to a high professional standard and develop a portfolio of work that showcases your skills to future employers.
Postgraduate certificate modules
Postgraduate diploma CORE modules
Postgraduate diploma OPTION modules
Careers exist in filmmaking professions, where everything from set designing to cinematography now involves or is entirely completed by computer-generated images, animation and digital compositing – all techniques you can develop on this course.
Continuing expansion of this area offers exciting and challenging career opportunities in • film and television production • game development • motion graphics • web content creation.
Animation is a fantastically diverse medium, and its possibilities are expanding continually. Animators are dealing with new platforms for delivery, new technologies for production and new audiences as the theories and contexts of animation are being developed and understood.
Animation has become an integral element of most feature production through VFX pipelines, documentary production through the use of data visualisation and improved compositing techniques, and a vital part of any interactive production.
In order to address the wide range of potential interests within the discipline of animation, our courses are non-prescriptive in terms of methodology and output and take advantage of extensive classical and digital technical resources.
A large part of your research work on the course will relate to both your chosen way of working and how to position yourself in the wider milieu of animation. You will develop an awareness of how to affect dynamic transformation and movement, whether it’s upon a product, an environment, a data set or a film narrative. You will be required to be resourceful, critical, and above all independent.
*Please note that the one year MA is under review for 2017/18. Applications are currently being accepted for the two year MFA only.
The main focus of your programme, whether you apply for the one year MA or the two year MFA, will be the production of a short animated film. Although there is no set limit, most students produce a piece of between five and 12 minutes in length. This will be part of a substantive body of practical and written work that will also be submitted for assessment.
The one year MA is best suited to candidates who already have experience of studying at ECA.
The two year MFA allows more time to experiment, and importantly, to explore the new opportunities that Edinburgh offers as a location in which to base your studies, and to allow possible participation in the events of the Edinburgh Festival.
While the MA can be completed as a standalone degree in one year, continuation to the MFA is possible. Both programmes include a combination of practical studio work, theory, written studies, professional practice preparation, and a lecture/seminar series, which explores the wider context of your discipline.
It is important to mention that neither of our postgraduate programmes are focused on a particular piece of software, or a particular technique. To this end it is vital that you have some experience of film making before you consider studying with us for either an MA or MFA, we would expect this to be evident in your application portfolio.
Our graduates find work in four main arenas: animation for cinema, broadcast and web platforms; interactive animation; compositing and visual effects; and data visualisation. Many of our graduates have gone on to careers as award winning independent filmmakers or have followed the studio route and worked with companies such as the BBC, Channel 4, Rushes, Aardman, Laika, Passion Pictures, KoLik, and Nexus Productions, or with directors such as Tim Burton and Sylvain Chomet.
This is a full-time, 180-point Master's programme. You will complete this qualification in three consecutive trimesters over 12 months, delivered at Victoria University's Miramar Creative Centre.
Covers computer graphics techniques that are used as current practice in the film industry through a range of projects ranging from generating special effects to the algorithmic treatment of media.
And one of the following two courses MDDN421 or MDDN422
Learn and practice skills relating to previsualisation, production planning and coordination for creating assets, effects and content for Visual Effects and Motion Graphics.
Covers skills and techniques for creating and working with human, creature and mechanical rigs and controls for digital character animation.
Engage with toi (Māori creativity) and mātauranga (Māori understanding) in the production of both visual and material cultural design that honours our place and past in Aotearoa New Zealand. Guided by traditional Māori protocols and knowledge, students will learn how to understand and interact with Māori symbols and visual spatial strategies in ways that are culturally sound and appropriate.
Covers advanced investigations into topics relevant to professional practice for design today including branding, marketing, networking, presentation and portfolio.
And one of the following two courses MDDN431 or MDDN432
Learn about traditional applications of lighting such as portraiture, practical studio lighting, and cinematography and engage with digital tools to apply traditional lighting techniques to digital media.
Gain relevant skills for creating compelling and emotive animated sequences of digital characters.
Trimester Three: Research Practicum
This studio consists of a supervised practicum, working on a design studio based research and project, generally as a placement in the visual effects industry.
Graduate with a sought-after combination of technical knowledge and experience appropriate for working in the Visual Effects industry or other creative digital fields.
Combine footage and CG assets together to produce visual effects for film and media.
Bring digital characters to life with expressive movement and emotions.
Animate typography, graphical elements and imagery to produce compelling animations.