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MA 3D Computer Animation

Start date
September 2019
Course length
1 year 3 months full-time (45 weeks across a four-term model)

Course summary

MA 3D Computer Animation is a practice-led course that explores both the theory and practice of digital 3D animation in film, television, games and interactive applications. With new and emerging technologies changing how we make, understand and experience animation, you'll be encouraged to push boundaries and explore the practices of animation from a variety of critical and professional perspectives.

About this course

MA 3D Computer Animation offers a thorough understanding of the different processes to integrate 3D animation into projects, as well as introducing solid animation skills for work within traditional computer-generated imagery (CGI) mediums such as film and motion graphics.

London College of Communication is well placed to build on the teaching expertise and reputation of the existing MA Animation course, to provide MA 3D Computer Animation to students from backgrounds as varied as fine art, motion graphics, animation and architecture.

This course forms an integral part of a future-facing Screen School at LCC; dedicated to collaborative working, new fields of enquiry and research with a global reach.

Open evening

The next Open Evening for this course will be on Thursday 6 December.

Book your place

Course details

In an era of unparalleled opportunities for skilled visual players and sequential image-makers, you will create, explore and play with 3D digital technologies and develop a specialist personal practice. The animation industry is rapidly evolving, with new developments in real-time animation and immersive digital world-building.

Through experimentation and learning of advanced technical skills, you’ll instigate innovative approaches driven by critical understanding and self-reflection.

During the course, you’ll create 3D computer animation sequences and assets, both individually and as part of creative teams comprising students from different media disciplines.

Collaborative work forms an important part of the course philosophy and you'll work with external industry partners as well as other courses within LCC such as MA Games Design, MA Illustration and Visual Media, MA Visual Effects and MA Animation.

The course curriculum covers to two main areas:

Animation for Film and Motion Graphics

In this area, you'll learn the skills to be a specialist in the latest technologies within animation, lighting and compositing. Building on the principles of animation, cinematography and film language, you’ll explore filmic storytelling and characterisation within short animated sequences, motion graphics and/or short films.

Animation for Games and Immersive Storytelling

You’ll learn specialist 3D animation techniques such as real-time animation, environment design, interactive design and 360° storytelling.

What can you expect?

As well as developing skills in 3D space narrative and interpreting ideas for the flat screen, you’ll also explore the differences between producing linear storytelling and viewer-led interactive experiences.

You’ll be encouraged to work across multiple formats, exploring how animation can be used in different contexts such as in the digital media, online, mobile and interactive games and installations, virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR).

Live industry projects, workshops and professionals masterclasses, will introduce you to a field that’s constantly growing and developing, giving you skills for work in a collaborative and/or independent practice.

Through engagement with a range of industry professionals and permanent teaching staff, you’ll have access to workshops that build in complexity from intermediate to advanced levels across 3D computer animation skills.

Academic contextualisation, criticality and curiosity underpin studio practice, while collaboration across courses and programmes within the Screen School are encouraged.

The course supports progression to research at MPhil/PhD level as well as to advanced self-directed practice.

Course units

MA 3D Computer Animation 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 One

Unit summary:

  • 3D Computer Animation Fundamentals (40 credits)
  • Design for Animation, Narrative Structures & Film Language (20 Credits)

In Term One, you will explore a range of both technical and conceptual approaches to 3D computer animation and real-time motion graphics. Work will explore technologies and processes by producing short-form animation across the 3D computer animation spectrum to set briefs. You'll also engage in a programme of theoretical seminars that explore the cinematic and interactive underpinning of this practice. This phase is the technical and conceptual basis for the subsequent phases of the course.

Spring and Summer, Terms Two and Three

Unit summary:

  • Advanced and Experimental 3D Computer Animation Techniques (40 credits)
  • Collaborative Unit (20 Credits)

In Terms Two and Three, you will engage in experimental 3D computer animation processes and practice, developing your distinct visual voice. This is underpinned by a critical study that will significantly expand your understanding of what themes animation can address in a critical context and across interdisciplinary fields.

You will experiment widely across a technical programme introducing you to various 3D computer animation techniques. These techniques focus on pushing the boundary of what 3D computer animation can deliver, exploring formats from flat screen to AR and VR, and potential interactive approaches and games.

Autumn, Term Four

Unit summary:

  • Final Major Project and Thesis (60 Credits)

In Term Four, you will use the knowledge, skills and experience gained on the course so far, and synthesise these through the production of a collaborative interdisciplinary or self-directed longer final major project and associated thesis.

The thesis is a 5000-word reflective report should show that the design and production processes carried out in your final major project exhibit the required characteristics for a Masters degree.

It should discuss the decisions that have been made and placed in the context of current industry practice and research in the area and reflect on the process and the final multimedia content to identify its strengths and weaknesses.

It is an opportunity for you to demonstrate the depth of critical understanding of your field and to show that you can objectively analyse your own work.

Course structure

The information outlined is an indicative structure of the course. Whilst we will aim to deliver the course as described on this page, there may be situations where it is desirable or necessary for the University to make changes in course provision, for example because of regulatory requirements or operational efficiencies, before or after enrolment. If this occurs, we will communicate all major changes to all applicants and students who have either applied or enrolled on the course.

Please note that due to staff research agreements or availability, not all of the optional modules listed may be available every year.

In addition, the provision of course options which depend upon the availability of specialist teaching, or on a placement at another institution, cannot be guaranteed. Please check this element of the course with the course team before making a decision to apply.

Webpage updates

We will update this webpage from time to time with new information as it becomes available. In the meantime, if you have any questions, please contact a member of the course team.


Danyl  Bartlett

Danyl Bartlett

Programme Director, Moving Image and Digital Arts

Course Leader

Luke Bridger

How to apply

Opportunities for all

We are committed to making university education an achievable option for a wider range of people and to supporting all of our students in achieving their potential both during and after their courses.

We welcome applications from people with disabilities. If you have a disability (e.g. mobility difficulties, sensory impairments, medical or mental health conditions or Asperger’s syndrome) we strongly encourage you to contact us on or +44 (0)20 7514 6156 so that we can plan the right support for you. All enquiries are treated confidentially. To find out more, visit our Disability & Dyslexia webpages.

Entry requirements

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.
  • If your first language is not English, you can check you have achieved the correct IELTS level in English on the Language Requirements page.

For further details regarding international admissions and advice please visit the International Applications page.

Selection criteria

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 an ability to engage in critical discussion


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.

Personal statement advice

You will be asked to complete a personal statement describing why you want to study on MA 3D Computer Animation. You will be expected to demonstrate critical knowledge of and enthusiasm for the subject, and a well-articulated rationale for joining the course.

The personal statement is a very important part of your application and should demonstrate to the course team that you are interested in the subject 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.

Portfolio and interview advice

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 interactive materials that have a sense of sequential play, as we are to see an accomplished portfolio of animation work.

  • Your portfolio should have some examples of image-led and visual work from either education or professional practice, with a focus on character performance and/or world-building.
  • It should contain an animated showreel of minimum 60 seconds in length. Please state your role (artist, animator, editor, sound, story, background) and techniques you have used.
  • Include a minimum of five projects and self-initiated projects are also encouraged.
  • If you have links to online projects or media assets, please note these in your CV.

As a student on the course, you will have been selected for a specific interest that you've demonstrated within your portfolio. This could be a strong animation portfolio that indicates interest in narrative and performance within feature-length animation, or an accomplished portfolio of animation work that indicates a commitment to focus on personal development through a further course of study.

Applicants are usually interviewed by the course team before a place can be offered. Interviews will take place at LCC, or via Skype/telephone.


Deferring an offer

If you are offered a place for 2019/20 but wish to defer to 2020/21, information on how to do this and who to contact can be found in your offer letter. Additionally, International applicants should pay the deposit in order to defer. In all cases, deferred places will be held for one year.

Making a deferred application (during 2018/19 for entry in 2020/21)

Home/EU applicants are permitted to make a deferred application. International applicants are not permitted to make a deferred application.

Making your application

We ask all applicants to complete an online application and upload additional digital items, via the Apply Now link. Before you apply, we recommend you take some time to read the course Entry Requirements section below to learn about the application process and the additional items you would also need to supply.

All applications will be reviewed 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)
  • Secondly, they will review your personal statement and portfolio

There is no requirement for an academic or professional reference.

Required information for all postgraduate course applications

You will need to enter the following information in the online application:

  • 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
  • CV
  • Personal statement

Before submitting your application, you will need to agree to the terms and conditions for how we process your data – these are explained in the application form. Once you have submitted the online application, we will send you a confirmation email.

Please note: if you are an international applicant we will ask you 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

You will also need to supply:

  • Portfolio

After you have submitted your application, the course leader will then review your work, may invite you to interview or interview you via Skype, and will then make a decision on your application.

The admissions team will be in touch soon after that to let you know the outcome and to guide you through the next steps.

Start your application now

Applications are accepted and offers are made, throughout the year. Early application is advised.

Apply now

The online application 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 press submit.

As you progress through the application process we will send you emails with important information, so do check your inbox regularly (and junk folder, just in case).

After you apply

Successful applicants will be guided through the rest of our admissions stages and towards enrolment on the course.

Fees & Funding

Home / EU fee

£10,890 (2019/20)

UAL alumni receive a £1,000 discount

Course fees may be paid in instalments

International Fee

£19,930 (2019/20)

UAL alumni receive a £1,000 discount

Course fees may be paid in instalments

Additional costs

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:

  • £1000 fee discount for UAL alumni

Scholarship search

Careers and alumni

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