- Start dateSeptember 2017
- Course length1 year 3 months full time (45 weeks across a four-term model)
Applications for 2017/18 entry to this course have now closed. View the full list of Postgraduate courses at LCC.
MA Animation explores both the theory and practice of animation across a broad range of experimental visual media.
About this course
MA Animation allows you to test and discover creative ideas within a critical framework, whilst developing accomplished production skills across 2D, 2.5D, 3D, stop-motion and drawn animation.
The course encourages experimental and reflective practice that echoes the cross media nature of the design, communication and media industries.
It builds on LCC's extensive resources, in digital, time-based and interactive media alongside printmaking, graphic design and visual communication.
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Animation at LCC is taught as a broad and experimental visual practice in the context of communication design. With new technologies changing how we make, understand and experience animation, students are encouraged to test boundaries and look at animation in many forms and in many ways.
MA Animation explores both the theory and practice of animation aiming to give you the tools to be able to express creative ideas using a broad range of experimental visual media. You will investigate the production of animation in an era with unparalleled opportunities for skilled visual communicators.
What can you expect?
The central ethos of the course is to give you enough freedom and guidance to test and discover creative ideas within a critical framework in balance with developing the accomplished production skills across 2D, 2.5D, 3D, stop-motion and drawn animation, to realise your creative goals.
You will develop skills in narrative storytelling and interpreting ideas for the flat screen and you'll also be encouraged to work across multiple formats. You'll explore how animation can be used in different contexts, such as in the fine arts installation as well as in digital media – exploring the online, mobile and interactive opportunities for animation practice.
The course supports progression to research at MPhil/PhD level as well as to advanced self-directed experimental practice.
Building on LCC's resources, in digital, time-based and interactive media alongside printmaking, graphic design and visual communication, the course encourages an experimental and reflective practice that echoes the cross media nature of the design, communication and media industries.
The course is delivered across four terms, starting in September and finishing in December the year after. Incorporating a summer break, this is a one-year full-time course (45 taught weeks), delivered over 15 months. You will respond to briefs that are set to test the learning in the units described below.
Each course is divided into units, which are credit-rated. The minimum unit size is 20 credits. The MA course structure involves six units, totalling 180 credits.
Autumn, Term 1
- 1.1 Animation Practice and Process 3D & 2D (40 Credits)
- 1.2 Design for Animation, Narrative Structures and Film Language (20 Credits)
In term one you will explore a range of both technical and conceptual approaches to animation and work with a range of technologies and processes by producing short form animation across 2D & 3D to set briefs. You'll also engage in a programme of theoretical seminars that explore the cinematic underpinning of this practice. This phase is the technical and conceptual basis for the subsequent units of the course.
Spring and Summer, Terms 2 and 3
- 2.1 Experimental Critical Practice and Research (40 Credits)
- 2.2 Collaborative Unit (20 Credits)
- 3.1 Final Major Project and Thesis (60 credits)
You will engage in experimental 2D/3D animation process and practice, developing your distinct visual voice. This is underpinned by critical study that significantly expands your understanding of the themes animation can address in a critical context, and by a technical programme that ensures you are able to experiment widely with various animation techniques. Term two specifically contains the cross college collaborative unit.
Autumn, Term 4
- 3.1 Final Major Project and Thesis continued (60 Credits)
You will take the knowledge, skills and experience gained on the course and synthesise these through the production of a self directed longer form project and associated thesis.
If you are unable to continue or decide to exit the course, there are two possible exit awards. A Postgraduate Certificate will be awarded on successful completion of the first 60 credits and a Postgraduate Diploma will be awarded on successful completion of the first 120 credits.
How to apply
You can begin your application for this course using our online application form – the link to this is below. Before you apply, we recommend you take some time to read the course Entry Requirements section to learn about the application process, including detailed guidance on the extra information we will ask you to provide later in the process.
Required information for all postgraduate course applications
You will need to enter the following information in the online application form:
- Personal details (including full name; date of birth; nationality; permanent address and English language level)
- Current and/or previous education and qualification details
- Employment history
Before you can submit the form, you’ll also need to agree to the terms and conditions for how we process your data – these are explained in the form.
Please note, if you’re an international applicant we will need to contact you separately to ask for copies of certain documents (for example, English language qualification/certificate and copies of any previous UK study visas).
Extra information required for applications to this course
Once you have submitted the online application form, we will send you a confirmation email.
From January 2017 you will be emailed a link to our online application tool, where you should submit the extra information we require for the selection process:
- Personal statement
Project proposal (400- 800 words)
The course leader will then review your work, may invite you to interview, and will then make a decision on your application, from January 2017.
The admissions team will be in touch after that to let you know the outcome and to guide you through the next steps.
Start your application now
Applications for 2017/18 entry to this course have now closed.
Applications are accepted and offers made, throughout the year. Early application is advised.
The application form can be saved as you fill it out, so you don’t need to complete it all at once. You will also have the chance to review all the information and make any necessary amendments before you submit the application form.
We will send you emails as you progress through the application process, so do check your inbox (and junk folder, just in case). These emails will contain important information about your application and links to the online forms you should use to submit the extra information required.
An applicant will normally be considered for admission if they have achieved an educational level equivalent to an honours degree in either animation, illustration, visual communication, graphic design or closely related subject, and present a portfolio of moving-image work. However, we do not exclude candidates who have graduated from other less strongly aligned disciplines.
This educational level may be demonstrated by:
- Honours degree (named above);
- Possession of equivalent qualifications;
- Prior experiential learning, the outcome of which can be demonstrated to be equivalent to formal qualifications otherwise required;
- Or a combination of formal qualifications and experiential learning which, taken together, can be demonstrated to be equivalent to formal qualifications otherwise required.
Language requirements (International/EU)
All classes are conducted in English. If English is not your first language, we strongly recommend you let us know your English language test score in your application. If you have booked a test or are awaiting your results, please indicate this in your application. When asked to upload a CV as part of your application, please include any information about your English test score.
- IELTS 6.5 (or equivalent) is required, with a minimum of 5.5 in each of the four skills.
- You can check you have achieved the correct IELTS level in English on the Language Requirements page.
All applications will be considered by the course team who will consider key elements when making a decision on your suitability to join the course:
- Firstly they will look at your qualifications and transcript (or projected results)
- Then they will scrutinise your personal statement, project proposal, portfolio and any previous work experience
Academic or professional references are not required for this course.
Offers will be made based on the following selection criteria, which applicants are expected to demonstrate:
- Sufficient prior knowledge and experience of and/or potential in animation practice to be able to successfully complete the programme of study, and have an academic or professional background in a relevant subject
- Knowledge of visual culture and be able to engage in critical discussion
The personal statement is a very important part of your application and should demonstrate to the course team that you are interested in Animation and that you have thought very carefully about why you wish to study on the course.
Ensure that your personal statement it is well written, clear and free of any spelling mistakes. It is your chance to impress the course team by showing a strong interest in the subject, demonstrating what you feel you would bring to the course, your appreciation of what the course can offer you and how you feel it might help you in the future. This can be demonstrated through work experience, previous studies and your personal experience.
All applicants will be expected to submit an electronic portfolio as part of their application. At application stage, we are as excited to see a portfolio of strong image making that has a sense of sequential play, as we are to see an accomplished portfolio of animation work.
As a student on the course you will have been selected for something specific you portray through your portfolio. This could be a strong illustration or design portfolio that indicates a desire to take work into the 3D space and work with sound in a time-based format, or an accomplished portfolio of animation work that indicates a commitment to focus on personal development through a further course of study.
- Your portfolio should have some examples of image-led and visual work from either education or professional practice.
- It should contain an animation movie of minimum 60 seconds in length. Please state your role (animator, editor, sound, story, background) and techniques you have used. Preferably it should a personal work and animated entirely by yourself.
- It should contain a minimum of five projects and self-initiated projects are also encouraged.
- If you have links to web projects or media assets, please note these in your CV.
Please provide a CV detailing your education, qualifications and any relevant work or voluntary experience. If English is not your first language it is important that you also include in your CV details of your most recent English language test score.
Project proposal (400- 800 words)
You will be expected to outline an idea for your major project in your application. This should describe your area of interest, field of study and the particular focus of your intended project.
Your proposal should also include an overview of how you intend to go about producing the project and the methodology.
It is important to recognise that these ideas will inevitably develop and change across your year of study on the course and only serve to inform your application at this stage.
Applicants are usually interviewed by the course team before a place can be offered. Interviews will take place at LCC, or via Skype/telephone.
Fees and funding
Home / EU fee
In addition to tuition fees you are very likely to incur additional costs such as travel expenses and the cost of materials. We strongly suggest you read the information on our Additional Costs page.
Find out about the accommodation options available and how much they will cost.
Scholarships and awards
A range of scholarships, bursaries and awards are available to postgraduate students at UAL.
Postgraduate loans of up to £10,000 are now available for eligible UK and EU students. A full list of eligibility criteria and information on applying can be found on the postgraduate loans webpage.
Home / EU and International students
Funding opportunities available for this course:
Graduates of MA Animation will be equipped to work in an increasingly technologically informed and interdisciplinary design world, with in-depth skills in the following areas: animation and animation production both 3D and 2D visual communication, narrative and sequential image making, typography, and time-based design as well as having a portfolio of personal work to enable you to seek work as a commercial animation director.
A significant proportion of graduates from this course will want to practice as commercial animators.
UAL Jobs and Careers
UAL has a number of services and networks that hold regular workshops and careers fairs developed to help you establish and promote your career in the arts, design, or media. These include:
Careers and Employability are the University's dedicated careers and professional practice service. We help UAL students and graduates embark on their professional futures in the creative industries, find jobs, set up a business, and sell their work. We run events throughout the year on all aspects of the career journey.
Creative Opportunities jobs board helps graduates and students find job and internship opportunities and connect with organisations and companies in the creative sector. We post jobs and paid internships, part-time work, freelance contracts and full-time opportunities.