Skip to main content
Postgraduate

MA Animation

Niancao Yang, 2020 MA Animation, London College of Communication, UAL
College
London College of Communication
Start date
September 2024
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.

MA Animation online mode

This version of MA Animation is offered in in-person mode. Alternatively, you may be interested in applying to an online version of the course.

Applying for more than 1 course

You can apply for more than 1 postgraduate course at UAL but we recommend that you apply for no more than 3. Find out more in the Apply Now section.

Why choose this course at London College of Communication

  • Artists as authors: You’ll use course projects to explore and position your practice as a filmmaker, animator and moving image artist in an informed and progressive manner.
  • Critical community: You’ll develop the tools to analyse and understand visual history and culture through project groups, seminars, study trips and workshops.
  • Building networks: You’ll enhance your career potential by engaging with guest experts, and access postgraduate resources, events and opportunities through the wider UAL community.
  • Advanced learning: Encouraged to work independently, you’ll manage your own development and consider possibilities offered by working at a higher academic level.
  • Connecting resources to contexts: With access to outstanding technical facilities, library catalogues and archival collections, you’ll be led by processes of making - developing work for professional contexts while preparing to progress as an artist, animator, director, author or academic.

Open Evening

The next Open Evening for this course will be announced soon.

Follow MA Animation

Twitter

Course overview

MA Animation explores both theory and practice, giving you the tools to express your creative ideas using a range of visual media.

In an era with unparalleled opportunities for skilled visual communicators, and with advancing technologies changing how the moving image is experienced by audiences, we teach animation as an experimental visual practice .

You’ll be encouraged to test boundaries and experiment to find your own creative voice. You’ll explore meaningful themes while learning how to engage with audiences through multi-disciplinary approaches and outlining critical ideas in visual culture, drawing reference to contemporary, personal, social, ethical, cultural, political, religious and environmental issues.

What to expect

  • Develop accomplished skills in animation practice, evidenced in a portfolio of work.
  • Test creative ideas within a critical framework.
  • Learn skills of team-working, reflecting workflows of professional practices.
  • Develop a deeper knowledge of the theory that underpins your practice.

Industry experience and opportunities

Enterprise and employability are central to the design of the course, enabling you to develop your creative, technical and academic skills, and to apply these to your own creative practice.

Where possible, you may have opportunities to work on projects such as live briefs, industry partnerships, or a combination of activities.

Mode of study

MA Animation is offered in full-time mode and runs for 45 weeks over 15 months, with a break over the summer. You will be expected to commit an average of 40 hours per week to your course, including teaching hours and independent study.

Course units

In response to the Climate Emergency, UAL has embedded responsible practices within the curriculum. We shaped our courses around principles of social and racial justice, and environmental sustainability that ensure learning outcomes reflect the urgent need to equip you with the understanding, skills, and values for ethical practice and empower you to work towards an equitable future.

This MA course is divided into five units. Each unit is credit-rated. The minimum unit size is 20 credits. The total credits for this course is 180 credits.

Autumn, term 1

Experiment: Creative Practice (20 credits)

In Term 1 you will explore a range of technical and conceptual approaches to animation by producing short-form animation tests. This unit aims to support the development on your individual voice as an animation practitioner.

You'll engage in experimental animation process and practice, developing your distinct visual voice. This is underpinned by critical study that significantly expands your understanding of the themes that animation can address in a critical context, and by a technical programme that ensures you are able to experiment widely with various animation techniques.

Analyse: Informed Practice (20 credits)

In this unit, you will engage in a programme of theoretical seminars that explore the specific cinematic underpinning of animation culture and practice.

This forms the technical and conceptual basis for the subsequent units of the course.

Spring, term 2

Collaborative Unit (20 Credits)

You’ll have the opportunity to engage in a specific collaboration with a related course or an external partner. Collaborative partners may include fellow postgraduate students at LCC or UAL, postgraduate students at other Higher Education Institutions, and external organisations such as companies, cultural institutions, community groups, NGOs and charities.

Create: Personal Project (60 credits)

In this unit, you'll develop and produce a short animation or a body of experiments that form a coherent project - exploring a range of technical and conceptual approaches to the workflow of professional animation production.

Working from concept, research and development to pre-production, production and post-production, you'll outline a critical idea or theme that draws reference to a range of contemporary, personal, social, ethical, cultural, political religious and/or environmental issues.

Summer and Autumn, terms 3 and 4 

Propel: Professional Futures (60 credits)

You’ll bring together the knowledge, skills and experience gained on the course to produce a self-directed, collaborative project and associated critical investigation.

 

If, during the course of your studies, you are unable to continue and you decide to exit the course, you may get one of these two possible exit awards:

  • Postgraduate Certificate will be awarded on successful completion of the first 60 credits.
  • Postgraduate Diploma will be awarded on successful completion of the first 120 credits.

 

Learning and teaching methods

  • Lectures/large group learning and peer learning
  • Workshop and seminar learning
  • Co–creation seminars
  • Academic tutorials
  • Individual and group critiques 
  • Individual project work
  • Self-Directed learning
  • Assessed assignments
  • Technical workshops
  • Demonstrations

UAL Showcase

Explore work by our recent students on the UAL Showcase

  • Harmony
    Harmony, Xuyi Dai, 2023 MA Animation, London College of Communication, UAL
  • Myths about Disability
    Myths about Disability, Manyu Zhao, 2023 MA Animation, London College of Communication, UAL
  • Emily and her Friends
    Emily and her Friends, Jiaqi Cai, 2023 MA Animation, London College of Communication, UAL
  • Twist and Shout
    Twist and Shout, Bingxue Xiang, 2023 MA Animation, London College of Communication, UAL
  • Architect Interview Simulator
    Architect Interview Simulator, Yinyun Xu, 2023 MA Animation, London College of Communication, UAL
  • Bits
    Bits, Rosa Sawyers, 2023 MA Animation, London College of Communication, UAL

Student work

Student trailers 2022

Student trailers 2021

Student trailers 2020

Student trailers 2019

Kaleidoscope

Student trailers 2018

Pangea

Stay

Yu Sun

Eternal While It Lasts

Dan Wu

HOLE

Xueying Pei

Pomegranate

Taddea Tinchon

I was Attacked

Sara Massieu

Merror

Yixue Cui

Lovebites

Noura Kamal

The Ichthyophbia Experience

GarpTwo

Love Yourself

Yu Sun

The Mind Of An Artist

Bernard Cohen

Butterfly Mother: teaser

Student voices

Zuliana Eusoff

Zuliana’s final major project is a 2D-animated music video for a Malaysian rock band.

Itziar Ortiz

Itziar talks through her film, a personal project dedicated to her sister using hand drawn 2D animation.

Rosa Beiroa

Rosa's project is a poetic hand drawn animation, exploring the beauty of the female body. Rosa talks through her film and time studying at London College of Communication.

Asheila Amara

In this student voice, Asheila talks through her final major project and experience of studying MA Animation.

Instagram

Course stories

410 Gone

410 Gone


openresty

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.

Staff

Lecturers

  • Vida Vega
  • Carla Mackinnon
  • Dominica Harrison
  • Mario Radev

Fees and funding

Home fee

£13,330

This fee is correct for 2024/25 entry and is subject to change for 2025/26 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.

Students from countries outside of the UK will generally be charged international fees. The rules are complex so read more about tuition fees and determining your fee status.

International fee

£28,570

This fee is correct for 2024/25 entry and is subject to change for 2025/26 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.

Students from countries outside of the UK will generally be charged international fees. The rules are complex so read more about tuition fees and determining your fee status.

Scholarship search

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

Apply now

Application deadline

Deadline

Round 1:

13 December 2023 at 1pm (UK time)

Round 2:

3 April 2024 at 1pm (UK time)

Digital portfolio deadline

Round 1:

16 January 2024

Round 2:

16 April 2024

Decision outcome

Round 1:

End of March 2024

Round 2:

End of June 2024

Round 1
Round 2
Deadline
13 December 2023 at 1pm (UK time)
3 April 2024 at 1pm (UK time)
Digital portfolio deadline
16 January 2024
16 April 2024
Decision outcome
End of March 2024
End of June 2024

The deadline has now passed. However, this course is still open to applications and will remain open until all places are filled.

Read more about deadlines

Apply now

Application deadline

Deadline

Round 1:

13 December 2023 at 1pm (UK time)

Round 2:

3 April 2024 at 1pm (UK time)

Digital portfolio deadline

Round 1:

16 January 2024

Round 2:

16 April 2024

Decision outcome

Round 1:

End of March 2024

Round 2:

End of June 2024

Round 1
Round 2
Deadline
13 December 2023 at 1pm (UK time)
3 April 2024 at 1pm (UK time)
Digital portfolio deadline
16 January 2024
16 April 2024
Decision outcome
End of March 2024
End of June 2024

The deadline has now passed. However, this course is still open to applications and will remain open until all places are filled.

Read more about deadlines

Apply to UAL

Start your application
or

Apply with a UAL Representative

Based across the world, our local UAL representatives can support you with your application from your home country. Check to see if there is a representative available in your country currently.

Find your representative

How to apply

Follow this step-by-step guide to apply for this course

Step 1: Initial application

You will need to submit an initial application including your personal statement and CV.

Personal statement advice

This should be about 500 words long and include:

  • your reasons for choosing the course
  • your current creative practice and how this course will help you achieve your future plans
  • any relevant education and experience, especially if you do not have any formal academic qualifications.

CV advice

Please provide a CV detailing your education, qualifications and any relevant work or voluntary experience. If you have any web projects or other media that you would like to share, please include links in your CV. If English is not your first language, please also include your most recent English language test score.

Step 2: Digital portfolio

We will review your initial application. If you have met the standard entry requirements, we will ask you to submit a digital portfolio.

You’ll need to submit these via PebblePad, our online portfolio tool.

Digital portfolio advice

Your portfolio should consist of recent work that reflects your creative strengths.

It should:

  • include the follow 2 pieces of work only. Both pieces must be created by you as an individual, not as part of a group.
  • feature 1 complete animation that showcases your best animation work and/or narrative skills.
  • feature 1 animation, image or alternative medium that employs the technique and/or theme that you wish to approach during your MA studies. This work can be a fragment, a test or a completed animation.
  • be clearly labelled with titles and dates
  • be uploaded directly onto PebblePad as video or image files. Accepted file types include avi, mp4, mpg, mpeg, mkv, mov, wmv for video files or jpeg, png for imagery. Please do not include any links to websites.

Options for upload can be, video files (e.g. avi, mp4, mpg, mpeg, mkv, mov, wmv) or image files (jpeg, png) and should be clearly labelled with numbers and titles.

Please do not submit links to websites (e.g. Youtube, Vimeo, Dropbox). Please upload images and films directly on PebblePad.

Please do not add extra items to the portfolio. You should submit no more than the two items requested

For more support, see our Portfolio advice and PebblePad advice.

Step 3: Interview

You may be invited to an interview following our review of your application. All interviews are held online and last 15 to 20 minutes.

For top tips, see our Interview advice.

You also need to know

Communicating with you

Once you have submitted your initial application, we will email you with your login details for our Applicant portal.

Requests for supplementary documents like qualifications and English language tests will be made through the applicant portal. You can also use it to ask questions regarding your application. Visit our After you apply page for more information.

Applying to more than 1 course

You can apply for more than 1 postgraduate course at UAL but we recommend that you apply for no more than 3 courses. You need to tailor your application, supporting documents and portfolio to each course, so applying for many different courses could risk the overall quality of your application. If you receive offers for multiple courses, you'll only be able to accept 1 offer. UAL doesn't accept repeat applications to the same course in the same academic year.

Visas and immigration history check

All non-UK nationals must complete an immigration history check. Your application may be considered by our course teams before this check takes place. This means that we may request your portfolio and/or video task before we identify any issues arising from your immigration history check. Sometimes your history may mean that we are not able to continue considering your application. Visit our Immigration and visas advice page for more information.

External student transfer policy

UAL accepts transfers from other institutions on a case-by-case basis. Read our Student transfer policy for more information.

Alternative offers

If your application is really strong, but we believe your strengths and skillset are better suited to a different course, we may make you an alternative offer. This means you will be offered a place on a different course or at a different UAL College.

Deferring your place

We do not accept any deferral requests for our postgraduate courses. This means that you must apply in the year that you plan to start your course and you will not be able to defer your place to start at a later date.

Application deadlines

For postgraduate courses at UAL there are 2 equal consideration deadlines to ensure fairness for all our applicants. If you apply ahead of either of these deadlines, your application will be considered on an equal basis with all other applications in that round. If there are places available after the second deadline, the course will remain open to applications until places have been filled.

Careers

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.