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Postgraduate

MA Animation (online)

Animation of a character sitting on a ledge
Work by Jennifer Escudero (still image from animation)
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 (online) explores both the theory and practice of animation across a broad range of experimental visual media.

Subject to approval

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

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 27 April at 5.30pm. Book your place.

Course overview

MA Animation (Online) will give 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 also explore meaningful themes while learning how to engage with audiences through multi-disciplinary approaches, and outline critical ideas in visual culture with 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 vital teamwork skills which reflect the workflows of professional practice

  • Develop a deeper knowledge of the theory underpinning your own practice

  • Also be expected to have access to a computer, drawing tablet, camera, microphone and good internet connection. Software such as Toon Boom and Maya will be provided for free, although you may be required to purchase other programmes at an educational price.

Work 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. 

You’ll have opportunities to take part in projects such as live briefs and industry partnerships, working with teammates and client briefs before presenting your work in progress and final outcomes. 

You’ll also be supported to develop professional tools of self-presentation such as CVs and showreels, make your own industry connections, and explore industry opportunities on both local and international levels. 

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. 

Contact us

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

Contact us to make an enquiry.

Course units

Each course is divided into units, which are credit-rated. The minimum unit size is 20 credits. The MA course structure involves 5 units, totalling 180 credits.

Autumn, term 1

Experimental Critical Practice and Research (20 Credits)

This unit aims to support the development of your individual voice as an animation practitioner. You’ll explore a range of technical and conceptual approaches to animation by producing short-form animation tests, and engage in experimental animation process and practice as you develop your distinct visual voice.  

This will be underpinned by critical study that significantly expands your understanding of themes that animation can address in a critical context, alongside a technical programme that will ensure you’re able to experiment widely with various animation techniques. 

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

In this unit, you’ll engage in a programme of theoretical seminars that explore the cinematic underpinning of animation culture and practice. This knowledge will form the technical and conceptual basis for subsequent units of the course.  

Spring, term 2

Animation Practice and Process (60 Credits)

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

  • 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

  • Portfolio of work
  • Prepared writing
  • Crits and presentations

How to apply

Information for disabled applicants

UAL is committed to achieving inclusion and equality for disabled students. This includes students who have:
     
  • Dyslexia or another Specific Learning Difference
  • A sensory impairment
  • A physical impairment
  • A long-term health or mental health condition
  • Autism
  • Another long-term condition which has an impact on your day-to-day life
Our Disability Service arranges adjustments and support for disabled applicants and students. Read our Disability and dyslexia: applying for a course and joining UAL information.

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

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

12 January 2022 or 13 April 2022

The equal consideration deadline has now passed. However, this course will remain open to applications until places have been filled. We recommend you submit your application as early as possible to allow the Admissions team to quickly resolve any queries.

If this course requires a portfolio, 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.

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.

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

12 January 2022 or 13 April 2022

The equal consideration deadline has now passed. However, this course will remain open to applications until places have been filled. We recommend you submit your application as early as possible to allow the Admissions team to quickly resolve any queries.

If this course requires a portfolio, 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.

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.

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 add @arts.ac.uk to your contacts to ensure that you do not miss any important updates re: your application to UAL.

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.

Requesting feedback

If you would like to request feedback – please email lcc.ukeu@arts.ac.uk if you are a Home or EU applicant, or lcc.international@arts.ac.uk if International. We are only able to provide feedback to you directly, or to someone you have told us in writing can receive it on your behalf.

Fees and funding

Home fee

£9,240

This fee is correct for 2022/23 entry and is subject to change for 2023/24 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

£18,890

This fee is correct for 2022/23 entry and is subject to change for 2023/24 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

Careers and alumni

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.