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Postgraduate

MA Animation

Niancao Yang, 2020 MA Animation, London College of Communication, UAL
College
London College of Communication
Start date
September 2021
Course length
1 year 3 months full time (45 weeks across a four-term model)

MA Animation explores both the theory and practice of animation across a broad range of experimental visual media.

Places available: Home applications only

We are no longer accepting applications from international students for 2021/22 entry to this course.

Please check this page regularly as places may become available later in the year and if they do, we will reopen applications.

Re-approval​

Please note this course is undergoing re-approval. This is the process by which we ensure the course continues to provide a high-quality academic experience. During re-approval there may be some changes to the course content displayed on this page. Please contact us if you have any questions about the course.

Open Evenings

The next online Open Day for this course will be announced soon.

An introduction to postgraduate courses in the Moving Image and Digital Arts programme is available online. Watch now

Follow MA Animation

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Student work

Work by Jiaqi Wang

Animation collaborating with The Cuming Museum by student Jiaqi Wang

Work by David Zamorano.

Animation for The Cuming Museum by David Zamorano.

Student voices

Student Voices: Alejandra Serra

MA Animation student Alejandra talks us through her work in the London College of Communication Postgraduate Shows 2016.

Student Voices: Rafael Aflalo

MA Animation student Rafael talks us through his work in the London College of Communication Postgraduate Shows 2016.

Course stories

Facilities

  • A tutor in the process of producing a print.
    Image © Lewis Bush
    Printmaking

    This workshop offers a wide-range of expertise in everything from etching to lithography.

  • Student reading a book in between two bookshelves in the Library
    Students in the Digital Space. London College of Communication, UAL. Photograph: Alys Tomlinson
    The Digital Space

    The Digital Space is an open-plan, creative hub with computers set up with specialist software.

  • A 3D model of a wolf produced by an animation student.
    Image © Lewis Bush
    Animation and Games Design

    Discover the range of resources on offer to students studying Animation and Games Design.

Course overview

Animation at London of Communication 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.

Mode of Study

MA Animation is in Full Time mode which runs for 45 weeks over 15 months. You will be expected to commit 40 hours per week to study.

Course units

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 five units, totalling 180 credits.

Autumn, Term One

Animation Practice and Process (40 Credits)
Design for Animation, Narrative Structures and Film Language (20 Credits)

In Term 1 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 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, Term 2

Experimental Critical Practice and Research (40 Credits)
Collaborative Unit (20 Credits)

You'll 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.

Summer and Autumn, Terms 3 and 4

Final Major Project and Thesis (60 credits)
Experimental Critical Practice and Research (40 credits)
Final Major Project and Thesis (continued)

You will take the knowledge, skills and experience gained on the course and bring these together in 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.

Learning and teaching methods

  • Lectures/Large Group Learning
  • Workshop and Seminar Learning
  • Academic Tutorials
  • Individual and group critiques 
  • Individual project work
  • Self-Directed learning
  • Assessed Assignments
  • Technical Workshops
  • Demonstrations

Assessment methods

  • The Portfolio of work
  • Prepared writing
  • Crits and presentations

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 disability@arts.ac.uk 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.

APEL (Accreditation of Prior Learning)

Applicants who do not meet these course entry requirements may still be considered in exceptional cases. The course team will consider each application that demonstrates additional strengths and alternative evidence. This might, for example, be demonstrated by:

  • Related academic or work experience
  • The quality of the personal statement
  • A strong academic or other professional reference
  • OR a combination of these factors

Each application will be considered on its own merit but we cannot guarantee an offer in each case.

Language requirements

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.

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

Making your application

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:

  • First, 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

Before you apply, please take time to read the guidance below. You will be asked to provide the following items and upload documents when completing 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
  • CV
  • Personal statement

Extra information required for applications to this course:

  • Portfolio
  • Study proposal/project proposal

Start your application 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.

Apply now

Deferring your place

This course allows offer holders to defer. If you have an offer of a place, but you would like to defer starting for a year, please contact our Admissions Service as soon as possible via your UAL Portal. Make sure you check our Admissions Policy before requesting a deferral.

External Student Transfer Policy

If you are currently studying at another institution and have successfully completed 60 credits in the equivalent units/modules on your current PG course and wish to continue your studies at London College of Communication, you can apply to transfer.

The Admissions Tutor will consider applications on a case by case basis, subject to places being available. You must apply directly to the course via the course webpage as early as possible.

Further information about the external student transfer policy can be found on the Office for Students Information page.

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.

Personal statement advice

You will be asked to complete a personal statement describing why you want to study on MA Animation. Candidates 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're 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's 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.

Study proposal/project proposal advice

The proposal should be a short idea of maximum 250 words which should explore the idea and technique for an animation project you wish to create. This can be a film, installation, or another format. The Proposal should include at least one image or sketch.

Application deadline

15 May 2021

We recommend you apply as soon as possible before this date, for equal consideration. We may still be able to accept applications after this date, depending on availability.

When you’ll hear from us

Once you’ve sent in your application, this will be sent through to our course teams for review. We’ll be in touch shortly after you apply with information about next steps. Find out more about what happens after you apply.

Places available: Home applications only

We are no longer accepting applications from international students for 2021/22 entry to this course.

Please check this page regularly as places may become available later in the year and if they do, we will reopen applications.

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:

  • First, 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

Before you apply, please take time to read the guidance below. You will be asked to provide the following items and upload documents when completing 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
  • CV
  • Personal statement

Please note: we will ask you for copies of certain documents (for example, English language qualification/certificate and copies of any previous UK study visas).

For further advice on how to apply please visit the UAL International Application page. International applicants can alternatively apply through one of our official representatives in your country.

Extra information required for applications to this course:

  • Portfolio
  • Study proposal/project proposal

External Student Transfer Policy

If you are currently studying at another institution and have successfully completed 60 credits in the equivalent units/modules on your current PG course and wish to continue your studies at London College of Communication, you can apply to transfer.

The Admissions Tutor will consider applications on a case by case basis, subject to places being available. You must apply directly to the course via the course webpage as early as possible.

Further information about the external student transfer policy can be found on the Office for Students Information page.

Immigration history check

Whether you are applying through a UAL representative or direct application you will need to complete an Immigration History check. If you do not complete the Immigration History Check we will not be able to proceed with your application.

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.

Personal statement advice

You will be asked to complete a personal statement describing why you want to study on MA Animation. Candidates 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're 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's 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.

Study proposal/project proposal advice

The proposal should be a short idea of maximum 250 words which should explore the idea and technique for an animation project you wish to create. This can be a film, installation, or another format. The Proposal should include at least one image or sketch.

Deferrals

Deferring your place

This course allows offer holders to defer. If you have an offer of a place, but you would like to defer starting for a year, please contact our Admissions Service as soon as possible via your UAL Portal. Make sure you check our Admissions Policy before requesting a deferral.

Application deadline

12 February 2021

Please note the application deadline date has changed from 15 March 2021. This course will consider applications after the deadline, subject to places being available. We recommend you apply as soon as possible before the deadline for equal consideration.

When you’ll hear from us

This course receives a high volume of applications. We need to make sure that we give all applications equal consideration, so the course team will review them all after the application deadline date. This means you won’t hear from us about any next steps until after this date. Find out more about what happens after you apply.


After you apply

Communicating with you

After you have successfully submitted your application online, you will receive an email confirming your application and providing your login details for the UAL Applicant Portal. Please log into the portal, as this is where we will send you important updates and requests, and you can contact us with any questions you may have about your application.

What happens next

Portfolio advice

Our MA students focus on style and technique. As part of your application, you’ll be asked to provide a portfolio of work which contains 5 items.

You should choose items for your portfolio which represent your best work, your research, or something you wish to develop further: for example, style, technique format, narrative or ideology.

Mandatory items

You must include both of the following mandatory items and submit them as video files (e.g. avi, mp4, mpg, mpeg, mkv, mov, wmv):

  • One animation which showcases your best animation or narrative skills. This must have been created by you as an individual, not as part of a group.
  • One film or short clip of an animation that you’d like to develop further. Remember to choose examples which best represent your work and skills.

Option items

You must also include a further 3 items from the following list of options:

  • Life drawing/sketches/art – choose a drawing or image that showcases your drawing skills and capture style.
  • Concept drawing/illustration/art/photo/video link/embedded video - choose an item that showcases and captures what most interests you. This can be in terms of style, character, topic, ideology or technique.
  • Video link/embedded video: submit a showreel which features your best animation work (up to a maximum of 30 seconds).

You must ensure that you include 3 items in total from the ‘Option items’ list. For example, you can choose to include one item from each of the 3 options, or 3 items from one of the options. You do not have to include work from all 3 options.

Important: Overall, there should be a total of 5 items in your portfolio (2 mandatory and 3 option items).

Formats

You’ll be able to upload video files, stills or audio files (referred to as ‘images’ in our system) as part of your portfolio.

Read more about maximum file sizes and the file types we accept on our UAL portfolio advice page.

Please provide any link as text, not a photograph, and carefully check that your link works correctly. You should also ensure that you provide any required passwords for your files.

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

How we notify you of the outcome of your application

You will receive the outcome of your application through the UAL Applicant Portal.

Fees and funding

Home fee

£11,220 per course

This fee is correct for 2021/22 entry and is subject to change for 2022/23 entry. Tuition fees may increase in future years for new and continuing students on courses lasting more than one year. For this course, you can pay tuition fees in instalments.

Home fees are currently charged to UK resident nationals. However, the rules are complex and you can find out more on our tuition fees pages.

From 2021/22 entry, most EU students will be charged the International tuition fee rate, although this may depend on your individual circumstances. If you started your course in October 2020 or earlier, you’ll continue to pay Home (UK) fees for the duration of your course. Read more advice for EU students on our Brexit information webpage

International fee

£22,920 per course

This fee is correct for 2021/22 entry and is subject to change for 2022/23 entry. Tuition fees for international students may increase by up to 5% in each future year of your course. For this course, you can pay tuition fees in instalments.

International fees are currently charged to students from countries outside of the UK. However, the rules are complex and more information can be found on our tuition fees pages.

From 2021/22 entry, most EU students will be charged the International tuition fee rate, although this may depend on your individual circumstances. If you started your course in October 2020 or earlier, you’ll continue to pay Home (UK) fees for the duration of your course. Read more advice for EU students on our Brexit information webpage

Scholarship search

Careers and alumni

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.

Alumni