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Undergraduate

BA (Hons) Animation

Close up shot of moulded shapes in a variety of pastel colours
Hatije Kargin, 2020 BA (Hons) Animation, London College of Communication, UAL.
College
London College of Communication
UCAS code
W617
Start date
September 2023
Course length
3 years

BA (Hons) Animation is a practice-led course, enabling you to choose one of two specialist pathways: Experimental and Character. You’ll gain entrepreneurial skills, develop expertise across the production process, and learn how flexibility can help you deal with the challenges of being a professional animator.

Why choose this course at London College of Communication

  • You’ll learn core traditional skills and principles in animation to underpin your future specialism in areas such as 3D digital animation and modelling, or stop-motion animation, as well as 2D analogue and digital.
  • Drawing is taught as a key skill that informs all aspects of your subject knowledge and technical expertise, underpinning strong animation and design skills while enabling you to express your creative ideas with skill and dexterity.
  • Digital animation is taught intensively from Year 1 onwards, recognising the particular demands of this skillset and the levels of expertise expected of graduates by industry.
  • ‘Live’ projects and competitions are delivered in collaboration with external industry partners, giving you the opportunity to practice your skills in a professional context while building a professional portfolio of work. Previous partners  include: Channel 4, MTV, National Trust, All Saints Records, Marmite and The Royal Society.

Open Days

The next Open Day for this course is Saturday 10 December. Book your place.

Explore life at LCC with our interactive Virtual Open Day.

Course accredited by:

Course overview

BA (Hons) Animation encourages you to explore formats and outcomes beyond traditional modes. In Year 1 you’ll learn core creative skills in idea development, design, pre-production and production techniques all of which underpins the wide range of contemporary animation practices.

After discussion with tutors you will then choose a pathway that fits with your developing skills and specific creative interests and abilities.

The Experimental pathway will encourage you to experiment with design, technique, content and format. You can explore a range of approaches and processes beyond conventional formats such as performance, installation, interactive, projection mapping, stop-motion, short film or documentary form.

On the Character pathway, you’ll engage with a wide range of current and emerging technical skills and knowledge. Specialising in character animation, you will learn skills in 2D and stop-motion animation, character design, storyboarding, storytelling and creative writing while developing your understanding of the professional production pipeline.

What to expect

  • You’ll look at animation in a broad context and develop your expertise across the whole production process while working both individually and in teams.
  • You’ll be taught drawing as a key skill that informs your subject and technical knowledge, and learn how to deal with the challenges of being a professional creative practitioner, such as the importance of flexibility and the value of entrepreneurial skills.
  • An emphasis on developing your communication and presentation skills, giving you the confidence to share your ideas to colleagues and clients in professional contexts.

Industry experience and opportunities

The course is designed to ensure you’ll benefit from access to the specialist creative industries in London, as well as other Colleges within the University, a network of professionals, and key industry partners.

Industry-led and mentored ‘live’ projects and competitions are delivered in collaboration with external industry partners, giving you the opportunity to practice your skills in a professional context and to build a professional portfolio of work. Previous industry partners include: Channel 4, MTV, National Trust, All Saints Records, Marmite, The Royal Society, Tate, V&A Museum of Childhood, Westfield, British Library, Hostelworld, Child Poverty Action Group, and Horniman Museum and Gardens.

Additionally, you’ll have the opportunity to undertake the Diploma in Professional Studies or the UAL Diploma in Creative Computing between Years 2 and 3 to enhance your learning experience and employability skills.

Mode of study

BA (Hons) Animation runs for 93 weeks in full time mode. It is divided into 3 stages over 3 academic years. Each stage lasts 31 weeks.

Course units

In common with all courses at University of the Arts London, this course is credit rated. The course is 3 years, levels 4-6. Each year requires you to achieve 120 credit points. To be awarded the BA (Hons) Animation qualification, you need to accumulate a total of 360 credits.

Year 1

All students take the same units in Year 1, although the projects will vary in the Visual Narrative unit focusing their proposed pathway specialism.

Introduction to Animation (20 credits)

With a focus on theoretical, critical and practical skills development, you’ll be introduced to the course and its subject specialism, as well as effective learning at undergraduate level.

Production Principles (40 credits)

This unit introduces you to the fundamental terminology, technology and craft skills that underpin all areas of animation across all pathways. You’ll work in 2D drawn animation (analogue and digital), 3D computer animation, and Visual Effects. The unit covers a range of key production areas including the principles of animation, observational drawing, design for animation, character design, storytelling, creative writing, sound and performance, and focuses on short projects developed through skills-based workshops.

Visual Narrative (40 credits)

An extension of Production Principles, this unit will provide a deeper understanding of how narrative is constructed visually. You’ll attend workshops aligned to the 4 pathway options and have the opportunity to select your preferred area of specialism.

Informed Practice 1 (20 credits)

You’ll be introduced to histories, theories and debates in relation to animation and visual and material culture. Focusing on the development of creative ideas, you’ll explore the common themes and relationships between theory and culture.

Year 2

Both pathways will follow the same unit structure to enable collaboration across the pathways, however the content and delivery will be differentiated to reflect the specialisms.

Pathway Units – Principles (40 Credits)

Building on Year 1, you’ll advance your learning through the technical and practical skills of your specialism.

  • Principles of Experimental: If you follow the Experimental pathway, you’ll experiment with design, technique, content and format and have opportunities to explore a range of areas beyond conventional formats such as performance, installation, interactive, projection mapping, short film or documentary.
  • Principles of Character: If you follow the Character Pathway then you’ll focus on developing your understanding of the fundamentals of animation such as character design, storyboarding, storytelling and creative writing.

Professional Practices (20 credits)

Focusing on work-based learning, this unit will help you to consider your future career goals and the steps you need to take to achieve them. You’ll also be introduced to essential tools for professional presentation through tutorials and workshops. If you’re interested in applying for the Diploma in Professional Studies, we’ll support you through the application process.

Exploratory Practice: Experimental/ Character (40 Credits)

Whichever pathway you take, you’ll explore the application of your skills through a selection of longer form projects. At this level, you’ll be encouraged to enquire about your own personal and unique approach to your subject area.

Technical skills workshops will continue on all pathways, these include:

  • Experimental: After Effects and other Adobe Suite software, Resolume, production design, puppet-making, and lighting and cinematography for stop-motion.
  • Character: Toon Boom Harmony, Storyboard Pro, After Effects and other Adobe Suite software, performance for animation, lip synch, and the animation production pipeline.

Informed Practice 2 (20 credits)

Following on from Informed Practice 1, this unit is a shared unit across all pathways and will expand upon histories, theories and debates in relation to animation, games, visual effects and visual and material culture. Continuing to focus on the development of creative ideas, you’ll explore the common themes and relationships between theory and culture and your place within it.

Year 3 – (Year 4 for students returning from an additional Diploma year)

All pathways will follow the same unit structure to provide the opportunity for collaboration across the pathways; however, the content and delivery will be differentiated to reflect the specialisms.

Final Major Project: Experimental/ Character (60 credits)

The Final Major Project is a collaborative project that will allow you to make a significant contribution to a major project in a specialist role within a small production team. Working with a carefully formed team based on your interests and specialisms, this is an opportunity for you to demonstrate the skills you've developed over the course.

Professional Futures (20 credits)

This unit builds on the experiences gained through Year 2 Professional Practices. There’s a focus on tailoring skills towards a specific role within the industry, and on developing professional methods and tools of presentation such as CV and personal website. The unit will contribute towards your portfolio of work. This experience will give you the opportunity to make introductions to contacts in the animation and creative industries.

Informed Practice 3 (40 credits)

This unit is a culmination of the ‘Informed Practice’ component of the course. The subject of your work will be based on a written proposal and research produced at the end of the second year, and can be directly linked to other Year 3 units.

Optional Diploma between Years 2 and 3

Between Years 2 and 3 of the course, you’ll also have the opportunity to undertake one of the following additional UAL qualifications:

Diploma in Professional Studies (DPS) (Optional)

An optional, year-long learning opportunity which enables you to develop your professional skills by undertaking time out for industry experience. Supported throughout the year by academics, you’ll build on the knowledge gained on your course in a range of national or international locations, and graduate with an additional qualification of Diploma in Professional Studies.

Diploma in Creative Computing (Optional)

Between Years 2 and 3, you can undertake the year-long Diploma in Creative Computing. This will develop your skills in creative computing alongside your degree. After successfully completing the diploma and your undergraduate degree, you’ll graduate with an enhanced degree: BA (Hons) Animation (with Creative Computing).

Learning and teaching methods

  • Seminars
  • Study visits
  • Personal tutorials
  • Group tutorials
  • Lectures
  • Guest lectures
  • Workshops

Online Open Day

Graduate showcase

Explore work by our recent students on the UAL Graduate Showcase

  • Through my Head and my Bones
    Through my Head and my Bones, Frankie Waugh, 2021 BA (Hons) Animation, London College of Communication, UAL
  • Graduation Film: Love Predator
    Graduation Film: Love Predator, Keyue Ma, 2021 BA (Hons) Animation, London College of Communication, UAL
  • Weathered
    Weathered, Jáchym & Karina , 2021 BA (Hons) Animation, London College of Communication, UAL
  • UAL Graduate Showcase
    UAL Graduate Showcase, Iksha Khapung, 2021 BA (Hons) Animation, London College of Communication, UAL
  • Royal Academy of Music Piano Festival / Weathered
    Royal Academy of Music Piano Festival / Weathered, Karina Casañas Invernon, 2021 BA (Hons) Animation, London College of Communication, UAL
  • Showcase the void
    Showcase the void, Cavelle Williams, 2021 BA (Hons) Animation, London College of Communication, UAL

Student work

Ma’s Well Cooked

A chef working in the last restaurant in the world knows everyone by name until a stranger appears and threatens the peace.

Work by Alexandra Kostyuk, Joshua Brand, Francesca Agolli, Luxi Rong, Baisen Diao, Evangelos Markou, Fabian Wong and Shiran Shu.

Where the Orchids Grow

A woman named Vidnaka is tasked to protect her tribe in the forest, however, due to the corrupted nature of the forest she is left alone.

Work by Rahul Malik, Stephen Bunn and Irnadas Ait-Ferrah.

Forge

A client-based group project in response to the Horniman Museum's Wonder of the World brief.

Work by Mohamed Awale, Rafael Hara, Mukky Masunthasuwan, Charlotte Dillon, Mitchell Davis and Hatije Kargin.

Bloodline Black

A project that explores the atrocities and exploitation of the mining trade in the Congo.

Work by Pip Branson.

George Crumb's 'Aries'

This is a 2D digital audio-responsive animation in collaboration with Xiaowen Shang, a pianist from the Royal Academy of Music.

Work by Anouska Lee, Fabian Wong and Shenglin Wang.

Dan and Claire

This is a test for 'Chopping Wood Chips', an animated short film entirely made in plywood (and a tiny bit of wine).

Work by Alize Sotelo and Rita Ataide Novais.

Student voices

Adam Shirvani

Student Voices

Adam’s project Pyramids is an exploration of humanity using music and philosophy.

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.

  • Students using the computers in the Digital Space
    Student in Creative Technology Lab, 2020. London College of Communication, UAL. Photograph: Tim Boddy
    Creative Technology Lab

    A multi-purpose space that supports students with: Creative Coding, Physical Computing, Projection Mapping, Games, and Virtual Reality.

  • 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.

Lecturers

Daniel Saul, Joseph Childs

Associate Lecturers and Visiting Practitioners

Florian Stephens, Jane Hankin, Ross Mullan

Visiting Lecturers

Teaching on BA (Hons) Animation is also complemented by a number of guest lecturers from a range of industry professionals across the animation and wider media industries.

Fees and funding

Home fee

£9,250 per year

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.

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

£25,970 per year

This fee is correct for 2023/24 entry and is subject to change for 2024/25 entry.

Tuition fees for international students may increase by up to 5% in each future year of your course.

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

The course team welcomes applicants from a broad range of backgrounds from all over the world. The course attracts students who apply direct from A-level (or equivalent) or from Foundation Diploma in Art and Design, or other art or design courses, as well as mature students who may have previously worked in industry.

The standard entry requirements for this course are as follows:

96 UCAS tariff points which can be made up of one or a combination of the following accepted full level 3 qualifications:

  • A Levels at grade C or above (preferred subjects include: English; History; Media; Business; Art and Design, or other subjects within Social Sciences).
  • Pass at Foundation Diploma in Art & Design (Level 3 or 4).
  • Merit, Merit, Merit at BTEC Extended Diploma (preferred subjects: Art and Design, IT & Computing).
  • Merit at UAL Extended Diploma.
  • Access to Higher Education Diploma (preferred subject: Digital and Creative Media, Film and Production, Computing).
  • OR equivalent EU/International qualifications, such as International Baccalaureate Diploma at 24 points minimum 

And 3 GCSE passes at grade 4 or above (grade A*-C)

APEL - Accreditation of Prior (Experiential) 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
  • A combination of these factors.

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

English language requirements

  • IELTS level 6.0 or above, with at least 5.5 in reading, writing, listening and speaking.

All classes are conducted in English. If English is not your first language you will be asked to provide evidence of your English language ability when you enrol. Please check our main English language requirements page for more information.

Selection criteria

The portfolio, along with the details on your UCAS application (including the academic reference and your personal statement) will be assessed against the following criteria:

  • Evidence of ideas generation: quality of ideas and expression of conceptual thinking.
  • Technical skills and experimentation with visual creativity, demonstrated in your own creative work.
  • Materials and media exploration and experimentation: experimentation and testing of materials in realisation of concept.
  • An understanding of the need for a critical and analytical approach (through research and practice) to this area of study.

Apply now

Apply for this course though Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS), where you'll need to provide the following information:

  • University code: U65
  • Course code: W617

London College of Communication courses are listed under University of the Arts London.

Application deadline

We recommend you apply by 18:00 GMT on 25 January 2023 for equal consideration. However this course will consider applications after that date, subject to places being available.

Personal statement advice

This is an important part of your application and should demonstrate to the team that you are interested in animation, and that you have thought carefully about why you want to study on this course.

You can demonstrate this through your previous work experience or study, personal experience and your ambitions for personal development as a student at LCC. 

You should ensure it is written clearly, and free of any spelling mistakes. It is your chance to impress the team by demonstrating your appreciation of what the course can offer you and how you feel it will help you in the future. 

State what you personally would bring to the course, and explain what motivates you to learn, explore and experiment.

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, and request your deferral by contacting us through the UAL Portal using the Contact Us button in your My Application(s) tab.

Transfers

If you are currently studying somewhere else on a course in an equivalent subject area and would like to transfer to this course, you can transfer to:

  • Year 2, if you’ve completed 120 credits in Year 1
  • Year 3, if you’ve completely 240 credits in Years 1 and 2

Apply via UCAS and choose Year 2 or 3 for your POE (Point of Entry)

Please check our Student Transfer Policy for more important information and be ready to provide us with your current course handbook and Year 1/Year 2 unit transcripts.

Referral to alternative UAL courses

The University operates a cross-referral system, where applicants can be considered for and offered a place on an alternative course, if the admissions tutor feels they are more suited to that course. If you wish to opt out of the cross-referral process you can do so at the application form stage.

International applicants can apply through either of the following routes:

If you are applying through UCAS you will need the following information:

  • University code: U65
  • Course code: W617

London College of Communication courses are listed under University of the Arts London.

Further information on applying via UCAS is provided on the University Applying through UCAS page.

For full details on the application process, visit the Undergraduate application page, and for further advice for international applicants, please visit the UAL International Application page.

Application deadline

We recommend you apply by 18:00 GMT on 25 January 2023 for equal consideration. However this course will consider applications after that date, subject to places being available.

Personal statement advice

This is an important part of your application and should demonstrate to the team that you are interested in animation, and that you have thought carefully about why you want to study on this course.

You can demonstrate this through your previous work experience or study, personal experience and your ambitions for personal development as a student at LCC. 

You should ensure it is written clearly, and free of any spelling mistakes. It is your chance to impress the team by demonstrating your appreciation of what the course can offer you and how you feel it will help you in the future. 

State what you personally would bring to the course, and explain what motivates you to learn, explore and experiment.

Immigration history check

You will be asked to complete an immigration history check to establish whether you are eligible to study at UAL. We will not be able to proceed with your application until you have submitted your completed Immigration History 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, and request your deferral by contacting us through the UAL Portal using the Contact Us button in your My Application(s) tab.

Transfers

If you are currently studying somewhere else on a course in an equivalent subject area and would like to transfer to this course, you can transfer to:

  • Year 2, if you’ve completed 120 credits in Year 1
  • Year 3, if you’ve completely 240 credits in Years 1 and 2

Apply via UCAS and choose Year 2 or 3 for your POE (Point of Entry)

Please check our Student Transfer Policy for more important information and be ready to provide us with your current course handbook and Year 1/Year 2 unit transcripts.

If you are an International applicant and studying outside the UK, please complete your Direct application and then contact us via your UAL Portal to ask to be considered for Year 2/Year 3.

Please be ready to provide an official document (translated into English) from your current university, explaining the learning outcomes of the units you have completed.

Referral to alternative UAL courses

The University operates a cross-referral system, where applicants can be considered for and offered a place on an alternative course, if the admissions tutor feels they are more suited to that course. If you wish to opt out of the cross-referral process you can do so at the application form stage.

Study abroad applicants

International undergraduate students can apply to join BA (Hons) Animation for a period of up to three terms as a Study Abroad student.

Visit the Study Abroad page for details of how to apply.

After you apply

Communicating with you

After you have successfully submitted your application, you will receive an email confirming we have successfully received your application and providing you with your login details for the UAL Portal. We will request any additional information from you, including inviting you to upload documents through the portal. You should check your UAL Portal regularly for any important updates and requests.

If you have achieved or expect to achieve the standard entry requirements we will consider you for a place on the course. We make our offers based on the strength of the whole application, and therefore don’t routinely invite applicants to interview.

International applicants may be invited to an online interview. Interview details will be sent via the UAL Portal.

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

Portfolio advice

Your portfolio of work is the most important part of your application, and you must clearly evidence development work as well as work from completed projects.

Please provide us with no more than 10 examples of your current work. Within your work sample, please include no more than five minutes of durational work (moving image or sound) along with a contextual statement that explains your contribution to the finished product.

It is important that the course admissions tutors are clear about your role within the production of the durational work.

Important Note: You are strongly advised not to delay the upload by trying to create new work; your main aim should be to demonstrate the creativity within your current portfolio.

What happens next?

We will advise you of your application outcome through UCAS Hub. If you are an International applicant and have applied directly or through an agent, we will notify you through the UAL Portal.

We invite all offer holders to attend one of our offer holder sessions where you'll hear from the team, find out more about the course, and the diverse and vibrant student community at LCC.

Requesting feedback

This course receives a high number of applications. Unfortunately, we can’t provide feedback to everyone who is unsuccessful. We can only provide feedback after you’ve had an interview. 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. If you would like to request feedback  please contact us through the UAL Portal using the Contact Us button in your My Application(s) tab.

Successful applicants will be guided through the rest of our admissions stages and towards enrolment on the course.

Careers

BA (Hons) Animation will prepare you for progression into jobs in animation or related time-based media production, usually in a freelance capacity.

You can expect to enter a variety of production areas that use animation such as roles in production, direction, design and characterisation. Your portfolio will provide you with the opportunity to demonstrate the relevant skills and knowledge required for successful employment in these fields.

Additionally, some students may choose to progress to further study at postgraduate level on our MA Animation course.