Skip to main content
Postgraduate

MA Animation (online)

Close up shot of moulded shapes in a variety of pastel colours
Work by Jennifer Escudero (still image from animation)
MA Animation, London College of Communication, UAL
College
London College of Communication
Start date
Course length
1 year 3 months full-time (45 weeks across a four-term model)

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

Why choose this course at London College of Communication

  • Design is taught as a key skill that informs all aspects of your subject knowledge and technical expertise, enabling you to express your creative ideas and develop a unique personal animation style.
  • Building on your create skillset, you'll be supported to develop an advanced animation practice that engages critically with your audience.
  • Industry-standard digital approaches are taught as tools that underpin traditional and experimental animation.
  • Collaboration is facilitated across course, programme and School communities, reflecting the collective nature of the animation workflow.
  • Studying online will enable you develop as a resourceful animation practitioner who can take advantage of the materials and opportunities around you.
  • This version of MA Animation is offered entirely in online mode. Alternatively, you may be interested in applying to an in-person version of the course.

Open Evenings

The next Open Evening for this course will be on Wednesday 8 February. Book your place.

The next online Open Day for this course will be on Tuesday 7 March at 4.30pm. Book your place.

Course overview

As one of the fastest growing disciplines in the creative landscape, animation continues to expand across fields ranging from advertising and games to film and television.

MA Animation (online) will provide you with the latest knowledge and approaches to build your animation, design, and creative direction skills. Through a journey of experimentation, you’ll explore animation techniques and digital technologies to help you develop your own tone of voice, and have the support and freedom to specialise in your chosen direction.

You’ll also join an inclusive online community that promotes cultural and international connections between members who share your interest in animation.

Throughout your studies, you’ll engage in academic discussions, develop critical thinking skills, and communicate sophisticated concepts around political, ethical and social issues.

This course is ideal for graduates, animators, and artists who wish to gain additional knowledge relevant to their profession, and for those who prefer to study remotely. You might also be a professional wishing to change careers, or someone without much direct experience of animation practice who wants to learn more about the subject in one of the top universities in the field.  

What to expect

  • You’ll develop accomplished skills in various animation practices, with a special focus on digital animation due to the online nature of the course.
  • You'll attend online classes, participate in academic discussions, and develop a deeper knowledge of the theory underpinning your own practice.
  • With opportunities to test creative ideas within a critical framework, you’ll also learn vital teamwork skills which reflect the workflows of professional practice.
  • You’ll be given free access to software such as Toon Boom, After Effects and Maya, although you may need to purchase other programmes at a reduced educational price.
  • As an MA Animation (online) student, you’ll be expected to have access to a computer, drawing tablet, camera, microphone and good internet connection.
  • You’ll learn through online and distance learning platforms, where you’ll use your camera and microphone for a more direct and engaging learning experience by participating in activities and group discussions.

Industry experience and opportunities

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

You’ll have opportunities to take part in projects such as live briefs and industry partnerships, where you’ll work with teammates on client briefs before presenting your work-in-progress and final outcomes. You’ll also be supported to develop professional self-presentation tools such as CVs and showreels, make industry connections, and explore industry opportunities on both local and international levels.

Mode of study

MA Animation is offered online 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

Register your interest to receive information and updates about studying at UAL.

Contact us to make an enquiry.

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 1

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 2

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.  

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

Online:

  • 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

Fees and funding

Home fee

£10,160

This fee is correct for 2023/24 entry and is subject to change for 2024/25 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 nationals and UK residents who meet the rules. However, the rules are complex. Find out more about our tuition fees and determining your fee status.

International fee

£20,780

This fee is correct for 2023/24 entry and is subject to change for 2024/25 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 (Experiential) Learning

If you do not meet these entry requirements but your application demonstrates additional strengths and alternative relevant experience, you may still be considered. This could include:

  • 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. We cannot guarantee an offer in each case.

English language requirements

  • IELTS 6.5 (or equivalent) is required, with a minimum of 5.5 in each of the four skills.

All classes are taught in English. If English isn’t your first language, you will need to show evidence of your English language ability when you enrol. For further guidance, please check our English language requirements.

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

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

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 (online). 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.

Application deadline

19 December 2022 and 3 April 2023

For 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 for 19 December 2022 for Round 1 or by 3 April 2023 for Round 2.

The round 1 deadline has been changed to 19 December to give you more time to make your application.

When you'll hear from us

If this course requires a digital portfolio as part of the application process, you will be invited to submit this through UAL’s online submission tool, PebblePad. We will request this separately after initial processing of your application is complete. Once we request your portfolio, you will have 7 days to submit it.

Once you’ve sent in your application, this will be sent through to our course teams for review. 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.

Extra information required for applications to this course:

  • Portfolio

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.

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 (online). 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.

Application deadline

19 December 2022 and 3 April 2023

For 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 for 19 December 2022 for Round 1 or by 3 April 2023 for Round 2.

We recommend you submit your application as early as possible before these deadlines to allow the Admissions team to resolve any initial queries about your application as quickly as possible.

When you'll hear from us

Once you’ve sent in your application, this will be sent through to our course teams for review. Find out more about what happens after you apply.

Careers

Graduates of MA Animation (online) are equipped to work in an increasingly technologically informed and interdisciplinary design world, with in-depth skills across areas such as:

  • animation and animation production
  • 3D and 2D visual communication
  • narrative and sequential image making
  • typography
  • time-based design.

Throughout your time on the course, you’ll build a portfolio of personal work that will enable you to pursue a successful career as a commercial animator, animation director or other related roles within the field.