BA (Hons) Animation

Attend an open day How to apply
Attend an open day How to apply

Overview

Taught by professional animators, practitioners and academics this course will provide you with an understanding of animation production for industry. Recognised as one of the largest media hubs in Europe, Manchester is a vibrant city with a wealth of opportunities to connect with the animation sector. Through the course you will be introduced to techniques relevant to cutting-edge animation and the underlying principles of motion, performance and expression. The course focuses on the creative practices, motion and storytelling fundamentals that are at the heart of all animation, irrespective of technique. Animation is one of the fastest growing sectors in the creative industries and due to our ever-growing hunger for animated content there are now many opportunities to work in this vibrant field.

Find out more about this course, including resources and staff profiles at www.art.mmu.ac.uk/animation

Features and Benefits

Career Prospects

The move of the BBC and ITV children’s departments to MediaCityUK has enhanced an already strong children’s media ecosystem. Skilled talent in animation is necessary not only for the high-profile children’s animation programming, but also for the myriad of agencies that produce high-end animated content for gaming, marketing/advertising, e-learning, publishing, visual effects, augmented reality, architectural visualisation, app development, prototyping, etc. There is an ever-growing demand in Manchester for this type of talent, which makes Manchester Met’s focus on future animation so timely and exciting.

Learn more about graduate careers

Entry requirements

These typical entry requirements apply to the 2019 academic year of entry and may be subject to change for the 2020 academic year. Please check back for further details.

We will ask for a portfolio of your work as part of your application.

UCAS tariff points/grades required

112

112 at A2 or equivalent (which can include Foundation Diploma in Art & Design). A Level General Studies is not accepted.

Specific GCSE requirements

GCSE English Language at grade C or grade 4. Equivalent qualifications (eg. Functional Skills) may be considered

Non Tariffed Qualifications

Pass Access to HE Diploma in a relevant subject with a minimum 112 UCAS Tariff Points

International Baccalaureate points

26

IELTS score required for international students

6.0. with no element below 5.5

There’s further information for international students on our international website if you’re applying with non-UK qualifications.

Course details

During the course, you will be introduced to the core animation principles, study the art of storyboarding and cinematography, develop your skills in character design and experience the fundamental techniques of animation production. Access to industry standard software is available in all Animation studios to allow students to, through continued practice, hone their skills in animated performance and storytelling. Throughout the course emphasis is placed on ideas generation, storytelling and process; primarily students will develop skills in filmmaking practice in order to write, design and manage the production of an animated film. Through a series of focused units, the course is designed to support students through this process culminating in the production of a significant output; an animated short film. All films are the result of team efforts where individuals will contribute significant contributions in their chosen field of specialist study eg. 3D modeler, animator, character designer, director, concept, background, or storyboard artist, scriptwriter etc.

The first year is a general foundation to the craft, skills and conceptual thinking required for the art of animation. You will be introduced to the core underlying principles of animated movement, the disciplines of cinematography and storytelling and the animation pipeline and team production of a proof of concept for animated filmmaking. You will also engage in contextual practice to support understanding of wider creative fields relevant to your development as a creative practitioner along with professional engagement relevant to animation.

Read more about this year of study

Core Units

Unit X

At Level 4, this unit encourages some collaborative, interdisciplinary practice and shared experience. There are lectures and talks from key research staff, students and external experts. Teaching will be in the form of tutorial groups, weekly meetings and presentations. The set projects will vary from year to year and are designed to be responsive to current creative opportunities. 

Animation Principles

In this unit you will be introduced to the fundamental principles of animation, not just how to make things move, but how to make inanimate objects come to life. The unit aims to teach the craft of animation, through a series of tasks using a variety of animation techniques. You will explore and practice the mechanics of motion such as weight, timing, overlap and anticipation, leading up to basic exercises in expression and performance. The unit also explores some experimental approaches to animation, with an ultimate aim to develop your knowledge of the craft, your creativity and aspiration to innovate.

Visual Narrative

This unit focusses on visual narrative and aims to inform you on how to tell a story through the tools available to an animator; exploring principles of cinematography, film language, storyboards and animatics. You will also be introduced to the challenges of creating a believable world in which to construct narratives and develop an animated sequence utilising conceptual, character and environment design methods.

Option Units

Contextualising Practice with Language 1

You are allocated to one of five pathways addressing programme-based clusters of cognate practice areas. Lectures, seminars, guest speakers and visits will address the historical, critical and cultural contexts of art and design practice. The 15 credit option is taken when you opt to do a 15 credit Uniwide languages unit as well (mmu.ac.uk/uniwide).

Contextualising Practice 1

30 credit unit. You are allocated to one of five pathways addressing programme-based clusters of cognate practice areas. Lectures, seminars, guest speakers, visits will address the historical, critical and cultural contexts of art and design practice.

Building on Year 1, you will continue to work in a collaborative context. Acquiring further skills and making use of further opportunities, students will continue to prepare for a potential future working in the animation industry through the group production of their first full animated film. Further experiences in post-production are offered whilst underpinned with contextual practice to support understanding of wider creative fields relevant to your development as a creative practitioner. A further Unit X collaboration allows students further opportunities to develop their practice in filmmaking production. Students will start to build a body of work to develop a wider professional engagement both within and external to the School of Art.

Read more about this year of study

Core Units

Unit X

This unit explores collaborative and interdisciplinary art and design practice.  You will have the opportunity to engage in a range of external-facing learning opportunities which will encourage collaborative, interdisciplinary practice and shared experience; this may take the form of spending time outside of the University and working within the creative community and the public domain.

Animation Process and Practice

Strong performance and acting creates believable character animation. This unit explores the process and practice behind animation performance. This unit aims to develop your understanding, skills and knowledge of what tools and techniques are available to an animator to create character animation. Strong performance and acting is what makes the audience believe that an animated character is alive but how does an animator achieve this. Utilising acting workshops to explore themes of performance, life drawing workshops focussing on the anatomy and motion of humans and animals, and weekly lectures on the analysis of performance; students will produce a short piece of fully animated character animation. 

Post Production for Animation

By definition, animation is a complex structure of digitally manipulated images projected in quick succession to give the illusion of movement together with the integration of sound for the full audience experience. This unit aims to explore the role of visual effects, sound design and compositing in animation and how technology has an impact on the post production processes. The unit also covers the ever diversifying end user digital platforms where audiences can consume and engage with animation.

Option Units

Contextualising Practice 2

Delivery of critical, historical and professional issues to enhance your development within practice-based clusters. Delivery to clusters of cognate practice areas. Content consists of selected thematic options in critical and historical areas plus cluster-wide professional and employability issues, facilitating and enhancing the development of both studio-based work and identity as a practitioner.

Contextualising Practice with Language 2

Delivery of critical and historical issues to enhance the student's development within practice-based clusters.  Content consists of selected thematic options in critical and historical areas facilitating and enhancing the development of both studio-based work and identity as a practitioner. Modes of delivery include lectures, seminars, tutorials, guest speakers, visits and placements.

In the third year, you will have the opportunity to be a key part of a major animation, which will showcase your individual talents as part of a significant production, which will be developed and pitched to industry professionals. The finished piece will be shown at our graduation showcase, the MSOA degree show and students will be encouraged to submit these to Animation Festivals and competitions. You will also develop an extended essay focused on an area of particular interest to the individual’s practice, as well as a focused body of professional engagement to support the journey between graduation and entry into the industry, where appropriate.

Read more about this year of study

Core Units

Animation Development

In this unit, you will develop an idea or concept for a major animated project which will then be pitched. The subject of the project is arrived at through negotiation. Chosen projects will proceed to the pre-production phase where you will work on developing that idea to a full pre-production package including design, research and animation tests leading towards an industry standard animatic. This unit provides the opportunity for you to research and develop an idea or concept for a professional, substantial, industry standard animated work. You will work collaboratively reflecting current industry practice in animation production.

Major Animation

This major 60 credit unit allows you to consolidate the skills and knowledge accumulated throughout the course, and to produce the film conceptualised, presented and tested in the development unit. You will work on a major animated work as a key member of the production team, utilising level 5 (and level 4 if appropriate) students as crew members. By the end of the unit, all students will have a major credit on at least one full production of a single piece of broadcast quality animated film showing attention to narrative and advanced production and post-production techniques.

Option Units

Contextualising Practice with a Language 3
Programme of research and critical analysis of cultural and professional issues related to a your individual practice interests. A negotiated project focused around an individually defined area appropriate to your aims and ambitions.
Contextualising Practice 3
Programme of research and critical analysis of cultural and professional issues related to a student's individual practice interests.

Assessment weightings and contact hours

10 credits equates to 100 hours of study, which is a combination of lectures, seminars and practical sessions, and independent study. A 3 year degree qualification typically comprises of 360 credits (120 credits per year). The exact composition of your study time and assessments for the course will vary according to your option choices and style of learning, but it could be:

Study
Assessment

Manchester School of Art

Our School of Art is the second oldest design school in Britain, offering courses designed to serve specialist industry needs and give students the tools for their chosen career.

Like the city of Manchester, the school prides itself on being creative, unconventional and professional, providing a broad range of architecture, art, design, media and theatre undergraduate and postgraduate courses in a unique creative environment that encourages creative collaboration across the disciplines.

More about the department

Taught by experts

Your studies are supported by a team of committed and enthusiastic teachers and researchers, experts in their chosen field. We also work with external professionals, many of whom are Manchester Met alumni, to enhance your learning and appreciation of the wider subject.

Meet our expert staff

Fees

UK, EU and Channel Island students

UK, EU and Channel Island students: Full-time fee: £9,250 per year. This tuition fee is agreed subject to UK government policy and parliamentary regulation and may increase each academic year in line with inflation or UK government policy for both new and continuing students.

Non-EU international students

Non-EU international students: Full-time fee: £16,500 per year. Tuition fees will remain the same for each year of your course providing you complete it in the normal timeframe (no repeat years or breaks in study).

Additional Information

A degree typically comprises 360 credits, a DipHE 240 credits, a CertHE 120 credits, and an integrated Masters 480 credits. The tuition fee for the placement year for those courses that offer this option is £1,850, subject to inflationary increases based on government policy and providing you progress through the course in the normal timeframe (no repeat years or breaks in study). The tuition fee for the study year abroad for those courses that offer this option is £1,385, subject to inflationary increases based on government policy and providing you progress through the course in the normal timeframe (no repeat years or breaks in study).

Additional costs

Specialist Costs

£600

Students are recommended to purchase a laptop or Desktop PC in their first year capable of producing creative digital work, together with specialist software. However, there are PCs in campus and students can loan laptops. Students are also advised to purchase a digital storage device (at least 1TB), a Wacom digital tablet and a pair of professional headphones (although the Wacoms and headphones are available for free loan on campus). In years 2 and 3 students may be required to purchase specialist software licences.

Placement Costs

£75

There is a compulsory study trip to Manchester Animation Festival – all students are expected to attend at a cost of £75 for a student pass for the week. Depending on availability and costs another National or International trip may be offered within the academic year (this may occur in the Summer term). This is reliant on student numbers of interest to keep costs down. If numbers are low information will be supplied to those interested to allow them to travel independently.

Professional Costs

There are no additional professional membership fees required for full qualification.

Other Costs

Final year students may wish to invest in a professional website hosting service in order to promote their work.

Funding

Find out more about financing your studies and whether you may qualify for one of our bursaries and scholarships.

Money Matters

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How to apply

You can apply for this course through UCAS.

Apply now

UCAS code(s)

D367

Remember to use the correct institution code for Manchester Metropolitan University on your application: our institution code is M40

You can review our current Terms and Conditions before you make your application. If you are successful with your application, we will send you up to date information alongside your offer letter.

MANCHESTER IS YOUR CITY. BE PART OF IT.

Programme Review
Our programmes undergo an annual review and major review (normally at 6 year intervals) to ensure an up-to-date curriculum supported by the latest online learning technology. For further information on when we may make changes to our programmes, please see the changes section of our Terms and Conditions.

Important Notice
This online prospectus provides an overview of our programmes of study and the University. We regularly update our online prospectus so that our published course information is accurate. Please check back to the online prospectus before making an application to us to access the most up to date information for your chosen course of study.

Confirmation of Regulator
The Manchester Metropolitan University is regulated by the Office for Students (OfS). The OfS is the independent regulator of higher education in England. More information on the role of the OfS and its regulatory framework can be found at officeforstudents.org.uk.

All higher education providers registered with the OfS must have a student protection plan in place. The student protection plan sets out what students can expect to happen should a course, campus, or institution close. Access our current Student Protection Plan.

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