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Animation - MA


Course Description

Want to focus on your animation and motion graphics skills that are in great demand within the film, television, computer games and new media industries?

MA Animation at Northumbria is designed to meet the needs of the animation industry, enabling you to gain high-level technical skills while encouraging you to experiment and think creatively.

You’ll study topics including animation criticism and aesthetics, animation production methods and undertake a major project, producing an animated short film, or an equivalent piece of original work to act as a calling card for your future career.

Working in a studio-based environment with the latest technology and industry standard software, you’ll engage with live and research-led briefs, preparing you for roles in the creative industries.

As a graduate you will be able to demonstrate advanced skills in contemporary animation and digital media that are in great demand within the creative industries.

Learn From The Best

Your tutors have extensive professional experience and have worked as animators, designers and directors for film and television companies including Sky, STV, BBC and Sony Pictures Entertainment.

Their knowledge of industry practice is reflected in the real-life briefs that you’ll work on in a specialist studio environment.

Lectures from guest experts and visits to local and London studios also help to develop your understanding and experience of the animation profession.

Teaching And Assessment

You’ll learn through a mixture of lectures, seminars, tutorials and workshops that reflect professional animation industry practice. You’ll be encouraged to use the e-learning portal and blogs to document and communicate your research and design progress.

You’ll be assessed throughout the course, reflecting real-life practice in the design profession where work is informally critiqued in the studio environment by peers or formally by clients during presentations. Assessments may take the form of written and practical projects, for example, producing scripts and storyboards.

Your major project, which is usually an animated short film, or an equivalent piece of original work forms a key part of your assessment. These final pieces, which are of a professional standard, are presented during a final presentation and you will receive formative feedback from both staff and peers throughout their development.

Module Overview
MI7001 - Animation Production Methods (Core, 30 Credits)
MI7002 - Animation Research & Development (Core, 30 Credits)
MI7003 - Major Project (Core, 60 Credits)
MI7004 - Experimental Animation 1 (Core, 30 Credits)
MI7005 - Experimental Animation 2 (Core, 30 Credits)

Learning Environment

You’ll have access to a dedicated studio space, packed with high-end facilities and specialist hardware including computers, rendering facilities, stop-motion rigs and a colour 3D printer. And you’ll be working with industry standard animation software such as Maya, Houdini, Renderman, and Nuke.

You’ll have access to an e-learning portal that provides lecture materials, creative and technical support resources and reading lists together with discussion boards and notices. You’ll be encouraged to use this and write blogs to document and communicate your research and design progress.

Digital Tutors provide support for the design and technical software support you’ll be using during your course.

Research-Rich Learning

Research based learning is built into your course as part of project briefs and workshop sessions.

Your tutors are actively engaged in research which they bring into workshop sessions, reflecting contemporary animation practices and culture. You’ll get the chance to be involved in projects that help develop theory at the forefront of animation research.

Your studies will equip you with the latest theoretical, practical and professional knowledge, skills and applied thinking to prepare you for a variety of roles within the creative industries.

Guest talks, placements, live briefs, studio visits and the chance to showcase your work all help you to develop contacts and networks that will be valuable in your future career.

Give Your Career An Edge

This is an industry-focused course, designed to prepare you for a career in the animation industry.

You’ll visit design and animation studios in North East England and London as well as attending industry talks and taking part in live design projects in collaboration with commercial partners.

You may also have the opportunity to attend the Pictoplasma Conference held annually in Berlin where you can see cutting-edge, contemporary character design and animation and carry out research ahead of your major project.

Another important engagement with industry is the Design & Art Direction New Blood Showcase, (D&AD), in London in July. This gives you the chance to showcase your work and network with design, animation and production studios.

Throughout your course you’ll develop social, communication, design and management skills that are desired by employers, including team working and production management.

Your Future

The Masters in Animation is designed to give you a firm grounding in theoretical, creative, practical and professional development. You’ll graduate with advanced ideas and skills in contemporary animation and digital media that mean you’ll be well placed for roles in the film, television, computer games and new media industries.

There are a number of employment opportunities available on graduation, such as Visual Effects (VFX) and 3D Artists at Time Based Arts and Pixel Blimp, Character Animators at Jellyfish Pictures, or Motion Designers at Framestore - all London based companies, and Arcus Studios employ graduates as animators in the North East.

Visit the Animation - MA page on the Northumbria University website for more details!

Entry Requirements

Applications from UK and international students are welcome. Applicants should have an honours degree or equivalent and should be able to demonstrate commitment and enthusiasm for media and communication: this could be by reference to books read or experienced gained within the industry. Overseas applicants should have an IELTS score of 6.5. International students without the required level of English may be asked to undertake additional English language training. Mature students without formal qualifications will always be considered and invited to contact the admissions tutor to discuss their application.

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Recipient: Northumbria University

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