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MSc Computer Animation

Course Description

The Computer Animation Master’s programme at Kent is oriented towards current industrial needs, technology and practice. It is designed to be a direct route into this high-profile, modern and creative industry, and has been developed jointly by the School and our industrial partner Framestore CFC.

Develop your knowledge and understanding of the animation process, software tools, techniques and packages, and the technical aspects of working in a professional animation environment. The MSc programme offers invaluable experience of working to professional briefs and under expert supervision of professional animators to prepare you for a career in industry.

Competition is fierce in animation and visual effects and success depends on your concentration levels, constant practise and ability to grasp the essence and modern techniques of animation. Successful former students are now working in animation and animation layout roles for companies such as Sony Games and Framestore CFC on major titles in games, television and film.

Visit the website https://www.kent.ac.uk/courses/postgraduate/248/computer-animation

About the School of Engineering and Digital Arts

The School of Engineering and Digital Arts successfully combines modern engineering and technology with the exciting field of digital media. The School, which was established over 40 years ago, has developed a top-quality teaching and research base, receiving excellent ratings in both research and teaching assessments.

The School undertakes high-quality research that has had significant national and international impact, and our spread of expertise allows us to respond rapidly to new developments. Our 30 academic staff and over 130 postgraduate students and research staff provide an ideal focus to effectively support a high level of research activity. We have a thriving student population studying for postgraduate degrees in a friendly, supportive teaching and research environment.

We have research funding from the Research Councils UK, European research programmes, a number of industrial and commercial companies and government agencies including the Ministry of Defence. Our Electronic Systems Design Centre and Digital Media Hub provide training and consultancy for a wide range of companies. Many of our research projects are collaborative, and we have well-developed links with institutions worldwide.

Course structure

This intensively taught postgraduate course lasts a full year. It takes place in a dedicated computer laboratory where you have your own seat and computer for the duration of the course. The course lectures and workshops, whether led by visiting professionals or staff, are all held in this room. Demonstrations and showing of films are by means of an HD projector. By the end of the year, the lab will be where you live as much as your accommodation.


The following modules are indicative of those offered on this programme. This list is based on the current curriculum and may change year to year in response to new curriculum developments and innovation. Most programmes will require you to study a combination of compulsory and optional modules. You may also have the option to take modules from other programmes so that you may customise your programme and explore other subject areas that interest you.

EL831 - Digital Visual Art set-up (15 credits)
EL832 - Animation Principles (15 credits)
EL833 - Visual Training (15 credits)
EL837 - Professional Group Work (15 credits)
EL863 - Advanced 3D Modelling (15 credits)
EL864 - Pre-Visualisation (15 credits)
EL865 - Action in Animation (15 credits)
EL866 - Acting in Animation (15 credits)
EL830 - Computer Animation Project (60 credits)


Each module is assessed by practical assignments. The project work is assessed on the outcome of the project itself.

Programme aims

This programme aims to:

- enable you to develop your knowledge and understanding within the field of 3D computer animation, which will equip you to become a professional in the animation and visual effects industry

- produce professionally-trained animators who are highly skilled in using state-of-the-art 3D animation software for producing animated films

- provide you with proper academic guidance and welfare support

- create an atmosphere of co-operation and partnership between staff and students, and offer you an environment where you can develop your potential

- strengthen and expand opportunities for industrial collaboration with the School of Engineering and Digital Arts.

Research areas

- Intelligent Interactions

The Intelligent Interactions group has interests in all aspects of information engineering and human-machine interactions. It was formed in 2014 by the merger of the Image and Information Research Group and the Digital Media Research Group.

The group has an international reputation for its work in a number of key application areas. These include: image processing and vision, pattern recognition, interaction design, social, ubiquitous and mobile computing with a range of applications in security and biometrics, healthcare, e-learning, computer games, digital film and animation.

- Social and Affective Computing
- Assistive Robotics and Human-Robot Interaction
- Brain-Computer Interfaces
- Mobile, Ubiquitous and Pervasive Computing
- Sensor Networks and Data Analytics
- Biometric and Forensic Technologies
- Behaviour Models for Security
- Distributed Systems Security (Cloud Computing, Internet of Things)
- Advanced Pattern Recognition (medical imaging, document and handwriting recognition, animal biometrics)
- Computer Animation, Game Design and Game Technologies
- Virtual and Augmented Reality
- Digital Arts, Virtual Narratives.


We have developed the programme with a number of industrial organisations, which means that successful students will be in a strong position to build a long-term career in this important discipline.

The School of Engineering and Digital Arts (http://www.eda.kent.ac.uk/) has an excellent record of student employability (http://www.eda.kent.ac.uk/school/employability.aspx). We are committed to enhancing the employability of all our students, to equip you with the skills and knowledge to succeed in a competitive, fast-moving, knowledge-based economy.

Graduates who can show that they have developed transferable skills and valuable experience are better prepared to start their careers and are more attractive to potential employers.

Find out how to apply here - https://www.kent.ac.uk/courses/postgraduate/apply/

Visit the MSc Computer Animation page on the University of Kent website for more details!

(Student Profile)

James Harmer

404.jpg Before taking the Kent Masters course in animation I thought I would end up in architectural modeling, but now I have a much more interesting job at the Framestore CFC in London's Soho, working in final layout for an upcoming Universal Pictures 3D animated feature which is due for release in Christmas 2008. Between leaving the Master's course and employment at Framestore I worked on layout on a Scottish 3D feature which used the voice of Sean Connery, but I decided I preferred London to Glasgow and got into layout at Framestore via a brief stint of being a runner. No matter how grand your qualifications, studios in the film business will only take you on if you've proved you can contribute and muck-in. Once that's established they will really allow you to develop your talent. The quality of the modelers, animators and lighters I now work with is truly world class and its amazing that you really can earn a good living being an artist. It's enjoyable and inspiring to go to work every day. Before taking the Masters in Computer Animation at Kent, I would never have believed that all this was possible and I strongly recommend it to anyone seriously interested in really having a career in 3D.

(Student Profile)

Richard Chellew

405.jpg After completing my Multimedia Technology & Design degree I wanted to further my education at Kent by doing the MSc in Computer Animation. I had always been interested in film, drawing and design and saw it as a good move to follow my interests.

Soon after joining the course I felt I was where I wanted to be and really started enjoying the lectures and the projects. Here it gave me a good understanding of the workflow of an animator from pre-viz right through to production, as well as giving me the essential skills I needed to animate at an industry standard, meeting challenging deadlines all the way.

After graduating with Distinction, which I was absolutely thrilled to get, I was lucky enough to be chosen for a three month internship with Framestore CFC in London.

(Student Profile)

Vincenzo Marco Pilato

406.jpg Now working at Glagow Animation.

My Greatest passion is Art. Since I was a child I always watched movies and cartoons trying to understand how they were made. I started off as a 2D artist Drawing and scribbling away in a notebook. Soon I went to school and learned how to draw, paint and sculpt in the classical European style. I was also fascinated with the Asian style so developed my own style through the mixture of these.

I realised that still images and sculptures were not enough and my passion brought me to reach further. I graduated from Multimedia Technology and Design where I started to learn the wonderful world of Computer Graphics. I like to give life and character to my creations in my animations.

(Student Profile)

Matthew O'Donnell

2186.jpg As a previous student who studied Multimedia and Design Technology at the University of Kent I decided to further my educational career towards animation. The University filled my expectations during my bachelor’s degree so it was obvious to look at the MSc Computer Animation course at the University of Kent.

I find the Computer Animation course interesting as I get to learn new and interesting techniques every week. Due to the course being one year, the work is very intense straight from the start. The Computer Animation course starts with a four week module which covers visual effects, modelling and computer animation. The course works closely with the Visual Effects course so therefore at the end of the first four weeks if you decide that the Visual Effects course suits you better you can change without a problem.

The course is fantastic for students who want to be keen animators, as you get to learn the key elements to become a professional animator in the industry. The modules vary from each other so that you get to learn all aspects of computer animation.

I personally encourage new interested students who intend to further their education in animation to look at this course. As well as this you get to meet people from different backgrounds and you get the chance to work with interesting people who work in the computer animation industry. This course has a special relationship with the largest animation studios in Europe, Framestore CFC as well as others. It is very common for the students to get taught by professional animators who are working on upcoming films. They also provide great feedback for your work so that you can consistently improve on your animations all the time.

(Student Profile)

Yiannis Philiastides

2187.jpg I completed a BA Illustration with Animation course in 2011. The illustration course helped me develop my artistic and storytelling skills, while the animation course allowed me to bring them to life. I studied traditional and 2D digital animation but wanted to learn CGI animation as well, to add to my skill set and be better prepared for industry.

The MSc Computer Animation course is providing me with the necessary technical expertise and mirrors professional life in the industry as closely as possible. It is fast paced, with multiple projects running simultaneously, including group projects in collaboration with students from the MSc DVE and Architectural visualisation courses. After just six months I feel confident using software such as Autodesk Maya and Mudbox , which I had never used before, to industry level, as well as motion capture equipment.

The course also allows the flexibility to concentrate on particular areas such as character animation, creature animation, 3d modelling etc. and I’m looking forward to the final project. Further insights of the industry are provided through the various guest lecturers that visit from a number of prestigious and well-established UK studios. I would recommend the programme to anyone determined to enter the animation industry and who is passionate on the subject.


University of Kent Postgraduate Support Scheme 2015 - 20+ Awards

The bursaries are £10,000 each for study on a taught Master's degree programme at the University of Kent.
The bursary does not have to be repaid.
The bursary will contribute to the cost of tuition fees for the Master’s degree and any associated University charges (ie accommodation fees) with any balance awarded as a maintenance grant.
Bursaries are available for full or part-time study (over a maximum of two years).
Students must register for a taught Master’s degree programme at Kent, ie an award of LLM, MA, MSc in September 2015. Apply online.
The bursaries will be distributed in accordance with the following priority until all awards are allocated:
those who satisfy the eligibility criteria (below)
on the basis of their undergraduate degree classification (First or 2.1)
the date that all conditions of the offer are satisfied
We will aim to make the allocations by mid-July 2015
It is the responsibility of the applicant to ensure that all necessary data has been submitted and conditions of offer are satisfied as soon as possible.
The bursary cannot be held in conjunction with other funding except in exceptional circumstances and will not be awarded with any other funding from the University of Kent, for example the Alumni Loyalty Discount or Graduate School Scholarship

Value of Scholarship(s)



“Home” fee paying & UK permanent resident; Completed a 3 year UG degree, starting in 2012, finishing in 2015. Have paid, or be responsible for repaying to Student Loans Company, the higher rate tuition fees in full;
Have achieved a First or a 2.1; Have demonstrated criteria, to include either 1 or 2 below: 1. a household income of £42,620 or lower & either a) a family home postcode in an area of low participation in higher education or b) currently be in receipt of a Disabled Students’ Allowance, 2. be a care leaver; Have made an application and been admitted for a taught Master’s degree programme at Kent.

Application Procedure

Before you can be considered for a bursary you must make an application for an eligible taught postgraduate programme at the University of Kent, and be offered a place
Consideration for a bursary will be dependent on the degree application and you are urged to make an application for a place to study as soon as possible. Further information about the scheme and the selection processes will be made available as they are agreed and it is recommended that you check this page regularly for updates.
Please note: When making an application, please note you must use your family/parental address and postcode in order for us to confirm your eligibility

Further Information


Entry Requirements

A 2.2 or higher honours degree in animation, digital effects, fine art, architecture, multimedia, illustration, digital arts, computing and film making. All applicants are required to present a portfolio. For detailed information see our English language requirements web pages (View Website).

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