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Animation - MFA


Course Description

Programme description

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.

Programme structure

*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.

Career opportunities

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.


Visit the Animation - MFA page on the University of Edinburgh website for more details!

Entry Requirements

Normally a UK 2:1 honours degree, or its international equivalent, in animation or film.You must submit a portfolio as part of your application. All applicants must also meet our English language requirements.

Last Updated

02 June 2017

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