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Animation (MA)

Course Description

Our MA Animation course builds on our long history of providing highly regarded animation education at UCA Farnham, and will provide you with a strong interdisciplinary approach to the animated form. We offer a dynamic environment in which you'll be able to engage with the animated form in traditional 2D and 3D stop motion, as well as the theoretical aspects of the discipline.

This course attracts students from around the world and has a rich cultural mix. You'll approach animation as a broad discipline and be encouraged to engage with experimental and speculative approaches to making through a range of projects, which will culminate in the production of a high quality animated film.

Have a question? Just ask us - http://www.uca.ac.uk/ask-uca/

Student work


Course overview

MA Animation at our Farnham campus has a long history of nurturing creative, innovative and challenging animators and has an incomparable alumni. This course will support you in developing practical skills while fostering a high standard of diverse critical approaches.

On this course you'll be encouraged to take risks, explore and develop your interests, and exchange, debate and discuss your ideas. You'll be expected to produce original and exciting films during your time with us, and explore the wide range of creative possibilities of frame-by -frame filmmaking. We'll encourage you to be open to these possibilities and to develop new skills, as well as building on your existing ones.

Your studies will be supported by internationally renowned staff on a course that is proud to have no house style. We'll encourage you to explore your own natural inclinations - whether narrative, experimental, documentary or fiction. This will enable you to establish yourself as a rounded professional who can formulate ideas in a sophisticated framework.

Our course uses a wide range of technical resources that cover the whole spectrum of contemporary animation practice, from traditional drawn and stop motion animation to the latest digitally generated imagery.

Course content

Stage 1 -

You'll be introduced to the University and the technical workshops and facilities available to you. The first stage includes a range of lectures and seminars and you’ll start to explore your creative practice;

Critical Contexts: This unit explores the contemporary and historical contexts of media production. Current theories about media, communication and digital cultures will be examined through questioning ideas around representation, time, technologies and storytelling.

Skills and Development: Animation Practice: This unit allows you to further your knowledge and technical ability within your own animation practice. Through a series of practical workshops and lectures, you'll cover pre-production and research, sound design, storyboarding and animatics, animation techniques and editing.

Stage 2 -

During stage two you begin developing your MA project, evaluating and testing out the aims of your proposal over a sustained period of self-directed study;

Animation Production: You'll build on the research questions you initiated and explored in the Skills and Development unit. This is the period within which you'll undertake the majority of your production work for your film. Throughout the unit, you'll be encouraged to critically reflect on the development of your project.

Stage 3 -

In the third stage of the course, you'll apply the knowledge gained through your research to create a final body of work;

Project Delivery and Professional Context: Animation: This allows you to reflect on the work that you've produced so far, and resolve it into a form that allows for completion and delivery of your animated film.

Programme specification - http://webdocs.ucreative.ac.uk/Animation_MA_F_PSpec_201314-1377246000007.pdf


Stop motion studio - Stop motion studio running Dragonframe capture software. Two Cannon DSLRs and professional camera stands. Both stages are pre-rigged with grips, stands and lights.

Animation studio - Animation studio with individual workstations, light boxes, wacom tablets, line testers and batch scanners. All Macs in the studio offer the full Adobe Creative Suite as well as Toon Boom.

Sound studio and editing suites - Sound studio and sound editing suites for animation and film courses.

Course staff

Lesley Adams - http://www.uca.ac.uk/staff/lesley-adams/

Course connections

::Industry partners::

Our course actively encourages you to gain industry experience through a wide variety of approaches. These include work experience, internships, studio visits, commissions and competitions and entry into major film festivals.

We've built an extensive network of industry connections, giving us access to high-profile visiting lecturers, and to commissions, competitions and exciting work placement opportunities.

Our industry links include:

- Aardman Animations
- Passion Pictures
- Mackinnon & Saunders
- Nexus
- Framestore
- Cinesite
- The Mill
- ustwo
- Stylorouge
- Blink Productions
- ITV.

In the last three years, speakers on the course have included animators, directors and other creative practitioners such as:

- Barry Purves - Oscar-nominated animator and director
- Caroline Leaf - Oscar-nominated animator and director
- Phillip Hunt - Oscar-nominated producer, and director at STUDIO AKA
- Smith & Foulkes - Oscar-nominated animators and directors
- Darren Walsh - multi-award winning commercials director of 'Meerkats'
- Pete Saunders - director of Mackinnon & Saunders, makers of puppets for Tim Burton
- Cyriak Harris - maverick and internet sensation
- Joanna Quinn - film director and prize-winning animator.
- Michael Dudok de Wit - Oscar-winning animator and director
- Grant Orchard - BAFTA and Oscar-nominated animator and director
- Max Hattler - renowned, award winning artist working with animation.


Animation is one of the most significant and rapidly expanding media fields. An enormous range of career opportunities exist in animation. These range from the traditional techniques of animation storytelling, drawn to model and CGI animation.

Typical careers in the industry include:

- Directors
- Producers
- Animators (in commercials, films, broadcast, online media and games)
- Editors
- Character designers
- Production designers
- Pre-vis artists
- Compositors
- Storyboard artists
- Post-production.

As one of the pre-eminent animation courses in the world, our sought after alumni have landed many exciting, high-profile roles across the industry - including positions as:

- Animators
- Directors
- Producers
- Designers
- Model makers
- Storyboard artists
- CG animators
- CG riggers.

Many well-known studios have been set up by our alumni, including:

- Astley Baker Davies (makers of Peppa Pig)
- Mackinnon & Saunders
- Moth Collective
- Slurpy Studios
- Honeycomb Animation (makers of Grizzly Tales for Gruesome Kids)
- Film Fabrik
- Animade
- Slinky Pictures
- Tandem Pictures.

This gives the course very solid links to a vibrant industry and we enjoy close connections with a range of creative talent, studios and potential employers.

::Further study::

You may want to undertake further study or research to specialise even more.

Your portfolio

For this course, we'll require you to attend an Applicant Day and bring your portfolio for assessment. Further information on how to compile a portfolio, and the specific requirements for examples of work to be included, will be provided on the Applicant Portal after you've applied.

Student regulations

Find out more about the operation of our courses, student conduct, assessments and examinations - http://community.ucreative.ac.uk/student-regulations

Farnham Animation

Visit the course website for student, staff and alumni stories and awards, as well as information about visiting lecturers on the course - http://www.farnhamanimation.com/

Visit the Animation (MA) page on the University for the Creative Arts website for more details!

All Available Videos:

(Student Profile)

Marina Koleva

"I Learned a lot during my MA course at UCA Farnham. The emphasis was on our artistic development and forging our own path in the animation industry. I am now looking forward to putting my skills and knowledge into practice"


Entry Requirements

A good honours degree (normally 2.1 or above) or equivalent qualification in your chosen subject or a related discipline and/or Relevant work experience, demonstrating your ability to study at postgraduate level. MA Animation is designed for candidates with previous animation experience. Our course encourages you to refine your practice, rather than introduce you to the principles of animation. If animation is new to you, we'd suggest enrolling on the Graduate Diploma in Art & Design before undertaking our ma programme.

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