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Animation (MA)

Course Description

This course recognises the demand for innovative and truly creative individuals in the media industry. We produce highly regarded artists who will make a significant impact and contribution in today’s evolving marketplace.

Taught by our BAFTA award winning staff and visiting industry professionals, the course mission is to evolve highly respected individuals who will fill influential creative positions in the film, television, advertising, games, visual novels and mobile app fields. Students learn how to develop and explore intellectual property and realise its outcome, channelling animation into new forms of information delivery within the entertainment and communication industries. This will provide you with vital professional links after graduating and help to build your confidence and skill-base specific to your own career needs.

During the course you will explore animation production through a series of lectures, seminars and practical workshops. This will be supported by life drawing sessions, technical support and software demonstrations covering practical and technical skills at an advanced level. In addition to this, industry-related guest lecturers will be invited to provide vibrant masterclasses and workshops offering professional advice and guidance on your work.

You will also be encouraged to attend the many animation festivals celebrated in the UK and abroad whenever possible, including Annecy International Animation Film Festival and Bradford Animation Festival.

See the website http://courses.southwales.ac.uk/courses/138-ma-animation

Skillset accredited

Our MA Animation is part of the Skillset Media Academy Wales, a partnership of the leading film and media schools in Wales. Students on our postgraduate animation award benefit from close contact with the Academys Industry Panel and opportunities to access professional master classes, workshops, networking events, jobs and work placements. They also have the chance to promote their work through an exclusive online network.

What you will study

You will develop a critical understanding of intellectual property and the evolution of animation into new forms of information delivery in today’s entertainment and communication industries. The course is designed to develop and produce your ideas through the following five modules:
- Animation Pre-Production
- Animation Production
- Animation Post-Production
- Advanced Software Skills 1
- Advanced Software Skills 2

Common Modules:
The Faculty understands the importance of a strong grounding in research knowledge and skills, enterprise and innovation as part of a balanced postgraduate education.

We also recognise that each student has different requirements of their postgraduate experience.

You can choose to study one of the following three, 20 credit common modules. Each of these has a different focus, enabling you to select the module that will be most beneficial to you.

- Creative and Cultural Entrepreneurship:
This module aims to develop your knowledge of the methods to identify, develop and manage enterprise and innovation in the creative sector. It will then help you apply this to your own entrepreneurial project.

- Research and Practice in the Creative and Cultural Industries:
The focus of this module is on the development of research knowledge and skills, while also encouraging critical engagement with approaches to creative practice. You will also explore ideas, debates and issues in the creative and cultural industries.

- Research Paradigms:
This module focuses on research paradigms and their theoretical underpinnings. It also looks at key conceptual tools drawn from a wide range of subject areas relevant to postgraduate research in the creative industries.

PLEASE NOTE: Modules are subject to change.

Learning and teaching methods

The MA Animation is taught in a professional and friendly creative environment. All staff are industry trained and active in research and/or consultancy. Our well-equipped studios include state-of-the-art facilities with industry-standard software packages. You will have studio and workshop tutorials that are supported by lectures, seminars, integrated case study analysis, discussion groups and multimedia presentations. There is also a programme of industry-related guest lectures delivered by experienced visiting lecturers.

Work Experience and Employment Prospects

The MA Animation produces flexible, highly skilled animators who can make a significant contribution to the field. Our graduates have successfully gained work at multi award-winning and internationally recognised studios, including A Productions Ltd, Aardman Animations Ltd, ArthurCox, Bermuda Shorts, Beryl Productions International Ltd, Blitz Games, Disney Interactive, Double Negative, MTV, Nexus Productions, Rushes and Tinnopolis.

Assessment methods

Throughout the MA Animation you will be assessed on the outcome of your practical work supported by written reports.Assessment may also include individual or group presentations during seminar sessions, offering the opportunity to not only build your confidence in discussing your ideas to your peers, but also provide the opportunity to receive feedback on your progress and ways of developing your work.

Visit the Animation (MA) page on the University of South Wales website for more details!

(Student Profile)

Sarah Millman

"We've had some great people give lectures on this course. My favourite was Tim Allen, a stop motion animator who has worked on some amazing projects, such as The Corpse Bride and Fantastic Mr Fox. I also loved learning about storyboarding, as i've never studied it before and it's fascinating."

(Student Profile)

Trygve Bjellvaag

Trygve Bjellvaag, lecturer on MA Games Enterprise and former student of MA Animation tells us what he enjoyed about his course and why the new MA course is a must for students.

"I was a 3D design and animation teacher for several years in Norway. I got to a point in life were I wanted to move and travel and wanted to study a degree in animation. I opted to study MA Animation as the learning outcomes were focused towards pitching, idea generation and collaboration towards other media which is what I was looking for. The degree was more TV, film and comics related than I thought, but also open ended enough so I could learn about other media, while focusing on my own pathway which was in games.

During my studies, I did everything from writing an essay about ‘Augmented Reality for Cardiff Castle’, to making a fully-fledged pitch document for a math game featuring a wild robot monkey escaping from a sinister corporation.

For my major project I choose to create a short movie done completely within the game engine ‘Unreal Engine 4’. This is a completely new way of creating content and means you can create something professional really quickly.

I became part of the game development scene in Cardiff. I started meeting up with game developers, hobbyists and students alike in my spare time and frequently showed my work for feedback and critique reviews.

As soon as the job came up at the university for a lecturer on MA Games Enterprise, I jumped at the chance. I was a previous 3D design and animation teacher, which meant I could help shape the modules of the course.

I’m shaping the MA course into a ‘producer’ type role rather than just another ‘pipeline creation course’. This way students will be ready to run, create and deliver projects as well as working on them. This is a considerable strength in a growing mega industry.


Entry Requirements

A good Honours degree in a relevant discipline or appropriate professional qualification; or an HND/HNC and relevant experience; or equivalent international qualifications. Those without such qualifications will be considered on an individual basis, where prior experience will be taken into account. All applicants will be invited to a portfolio-based interview, which should include a showreel of recent work. During the interview, applicants will be expected to outline and discuss the project proposal for the Independent Study module and/or major project.

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