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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 2022
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.

Open Evenings

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

A recording of our latest online Open Day for this course is available, watch online.

Follow MA Animation

Twitter

Online Open Day

(Recorded March 2021)

Student work

Student trailers 2020

Student trailers 2019

Kaleidoscope

Student trailers 2018

Pangea

The Ichthyophbia Experience

GarpTwo

Love Yourself

Yu Sun

The Mind Of An Artist

Bernard Cohen

Butterfly Mother: teaser

CHASMS trailer: Chiara Pisanu

This film explores the way human beings respond to emptiness with addiction and sense of loneliness.

Alona trailer: Kea Xie

Alona is a story about a planet where only a little boy exists and struggles with loneliness.

The Red Pen

Lighter trailer: Dani Marsh

A dark fairytale where a society of Huldra use their hair to keep them grounded to the floor, while two lovers embark on a courageous quest for freedom.

Blinded by Love trailer: Yige Yang

A man feels responsible for a vulnerable seedling and is willing to go to great lengths to protect it from all the dangers around them.

Student voices

Student Voices: Itziar Ortiz

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

Student Voices: 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.

Student Voices: Asheila Amara

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

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

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

Throughout the course, you will:

  • 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

Work 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.

Contact us

For queries relating to the Coronavirus outbreak, read our Coronavirus guidance for prospective students.

To register your interest and receive information and updates about studying at UAL, please complete this form.

If you can’t find the information you’re looking for or to ask a question, please contact us.

Course units

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 One

Experimental Critical Practice and Research (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 animation can address in a critical context, and by a technical programme that ensures you are able to experiment widely with various animation techniques

Design for Animation, Narrative Structures and Film Language (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 Two

Animation Practice and Process (60 Credits)

In this unit you will develop and produce a short animation project of up to 3 minutes, or a body of experiments that form a coherent project.

You’ll explore 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, outlining a critical idea or theme that draws reference to contemporary, personal, social, ethical, cultural, political, religious and/ or environmental issues.

Collaborative Unit (20 Credits)

You’ll have the opportunity to engage in a specific collaboration with a related course or an external partner. Alternatively, you might undertake a work placement.

 

Summer and Autumn, Terms 3 and 4 

Professional Skills and Situating Practice (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:

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

Lecturers

  • Chris De Selincourt
  • Carla Mackinnon
  • Dominica Harrison
  • Mario Radev

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 accepts requests from offer holders to defer their place for one academic year. Deferral requests are granted on a first-come, first-served basis until all deferral places are filled, or a deadline has been reached, whichever is sooner. Read our Admissions Policy for details, including how to request a deferral and by when.

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

12 January 2022 or 13 April 2022

For all postgraduate courses at UAL there are 2 rounds of applications. This is to ensure equal consideration and fairness for all of our applicants. You must apply by 12 January 2022 for Round 1 or by 13 April 2022 for Round 2. We recommend you submit your application as early as possible before these deadlines, to allow the Admissions team to resolve any queries and progress your application as quickly as possible.

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 in two rounds, after each application deadline date. This means you won’t hear from us about any next steps until after the relevant application deadline date. Outcomes for Round 1 will be released by (at the latest) end of March and outcomes for Round 2 will be released by end of June 2022.

Remember to check the outcome of your application in the UAL Portal. If you apply in Round 1 and don’t hear back from us, we will consider your application within Round 2.

Find out more about what happens after you apply.

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). Read our immigration and visa information to find out if you need a visa to study at UAL.

You can only apply to the same course once per year. Any duplicate applications will be withdrawn. Read the UAL international application advice for further information on how to apply.

Start your application now

There are 2 ways international students can apply to a postgraduate course:

The application form can be saved as you fill it out, so you do not 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.

Deferring your place

This course accepts requests from offer holders to defer their place for one academic year. Deferral requests are granted on a first-come, first-served basis until all deferral places are filled, or a deadline has been reached, whichever is sooner. Read our Admissions Policy for details, including how to request a deferral and by when.

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.

Application deadline

12 January 2022 or 13 April 2022

For all postgraduate courses at UAL there are 2 rounds of applications. This is to ensure equal consideration and fairness for all of our applicants. You must apply by 12 January 2022 for Round 1 or by 13 April 2022 for Round 2. We recommend you submit your application as early as possible before these deadlines, to allow the Admissions team to resolve any queries and progress your application as quickly as possible.

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 in two rounds, after each application deadline date. This means you won’t hear from us about any next steps until after the relevant application deadline date. Outcomes for Round 1 will be released by (at the latest) end of March and outcomes for Round 2 will be released by end of June 2022.

Remember to check the outcome of your application in the UAL Portal. If you apply in Round 1 and don’t hear back from us, we will consider your application within Round 2.

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

All applicants will be asked to provide a portfolio of work.

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

Items should be video files (e.g. avi, mp4, mpg, mpeg, mkv, mov, wmv) or image files (jpeg), clearly labelled with number and title. Please do not embed external links onto the video or image.

Mandatory items

You must include all three of the mandatory items:

  • Animation: one complete 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.
  • Animation: one animation which showcases which technique and/or theme you wish to approach during the course of the MA. This must have been created by you as an individual, not as part of a group. This can be a fragment or a test or a completed animation
  • Research: One image or short clip of an animation or alternative medium that you’d like to develop further. Remember to choose examples which best represent your work and skills which you wish to develop further.

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 the  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 not usually interviewed for this course, but if invited to an online interview, details will be sent via UAL Portal.

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.