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About This Masters Degree

Course Description

First Year

The autumn term of the first year is divided into three main areas of focus. The first term comprises of across- School electives and a series of Animation-specific workshops.

Students choose one elective from the School of Communications and participate in all of the animation workshops, which are designed to develop new ways of working. Additionally the workshops serve to introduce students to the programme and College facilities, to enable independent future use of the facilities, and to introduce a broad range of academic and technical staff.

The second term is spent producing the First Year Project. Students attend short script workshops to provide insights into writing-skills, research and the norms of scripting. Story boarding, time management and budgeting are discussed in one-to-one and group tutorials with the programme staff. Students may work individually or in collaboration. Students must prepare a Statement of Intent outlining their aims and objectives for the project.

In the third term, first years each assist a second-year student with their graduation project for approximately two weeks. Students then go on to undertake research and initial writing of a dissertation and the development of their graduation projects. Specific workshops aimed to support your graduation project development also take place and include scriptwriting, story and improvisation and animation techniques. Visits to professional animation artists and production studios are also arranged in this term.

There are many parallel activities throughout the year, including stimulating lectures and screenings from a range of eminent filmmakers and artists.

Second Year

The second year begins with students presenting their work to the incoming students, and handing in their completed dissertation. During the year, students are primarily involved in developing and producing one or more self set projects.

Preparation and initial stages of production of the MA project/s occurs during the first term of the second year. This includes: scripts, storyboards, budget, schedule, equipment and room bookings. Contact with musicians, composers, actors and scriptwriters is encouraged. Workshops in script writing, editing and direction usually take place during this term and build on those undertaken in the previous term. A read-through and improvisation on written ideas can be arranged this term to assist with dramatisation, characterisation and casting.

The spring term is spent in production creating the content, working with composers and dealing with other elements of the soundtrack for the final degree project/s. Preparations for the Summer Show also take place in this term. All image and principal sound should be completed by the end of this term, with the final term focusing on postproduction preparation and plans for installations and exhibition for the Summer Show.

Second-year students have priority over equipment in the final term. Rough edits should be completed in good time for the Pre-Assessments.

Final Examinations follow in mid-term. In the interval, between Pre-Assessments and Final Examinations, final editing and mixing of the soundtrack takes place. Immediately after Final Examination, showprints and a DVD showreel are made to be ready for the Summer Show.

Critical & Historical Studies

The RCA provides a unique environment for postgraduate art and design students to reflect upon their own practice, and to engage with students from their own and other disciplines. The role of Critical & Historical Studies (CHS) is to support the studio programmes in enabling these critical engagements to take place. The courses offered by CHS to first year studio-based MA students propose an intellectual framework within which they can begin to establish a coherent relationship between theory and practice.

In the autumn and spring terms there are a series of College-wide seminars and lectures. The autumn term series will relate to your particular discipline (though it is possible to elect to join a series being offered to students on other programmes) whereas the spring term series will be more broad-based and cross-disciplinary in nature.

In the spring and summer terms, a CHS tutor will give you individual tutorials to support the development of a dissertation which is submitted at the start of the second year. The dissertation should be between 6,000–10,000 words in length – this is a major piece of work and you will be not be able to submit for the Final Examination until you have passed this assessment.

Entry Requirements

Applicants are normally expected to have a degree in art and design or equivalent experience.

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