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Undergraduate

BA (Hons) Animation

Screenshot from test animation of stick men running on a street
Hatije Kargin, 2020 BA (Hons) Animation, London College of Communication, UAL.
College
London College of Communication
Start date
September 2021
Course length
3 years
UCAS code
W617

BA (Hons) Animation is a practice-led course, enabling you to choose one of four specialist pathways that reflect industry specialisms: Animation Arts, 3D Computer Animation, Visual Effects (VFX) and Games Arts.

Why choose this course at London College of Communication

  • You will learn core traditional skills and principles in animation to underpin any future specialism such as 3D Digital Animation and Modelling or Stop-motion animation, as well as 2D analogue and digital.
  • You will be taught drawing as a key skill that informs all aspects of your subject knowledge and technical expertise. Solid drawing underpins strong animation and design skills and enables you to express your creative ideas with skill and dexterity.
  • Digital animation is taught intensively from year one onwards to students who choose 3D Computer Animation or Games Arts as their specialism, recognising the particular demands in becoming skilled in this technique and the levels of expertise expected of graduates by the industry.
  • 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 and The Royal Society

Open Days

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

A recording of our latest online Open Day for this course is now available. Watch online now.

The next Portfolio Advice Session for this course will take place on Tuesday 15 December.

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.

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.

  • empty workshop space with chairs, tables, tv screen's vr booths and coding area
    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.

Course overview

In Year 1 you’ll learn skills in pre-production and design for animation, and different animation production techniques – 2D hand-drawn, 2D digital, 3D digital and stop-motion – before working towards a specialist area.

Key characteristics of the four pathways are:

  • Animation Arts pathway builds on the existing practice of BA (Hons) Animation in which you’ll experiment with design, technique, content and format. Animation is no longer restricted to conventional formats and the course reflects this by encouraging you to explore a range of areas including performance, installation, interactive, projection mapping, short film or documentary. 
  • 3D Computer Animation pathway is designed with industry professional practice at the forefront.

    It will equip you with the specialist skill set required to create 3D digital art within established industries such as animation, film, television, and games, or empower you to push the envelope with emerging technologies such as Virtual Reality (VR), Augmented Reality (AR), and Mixed Reality (MR).

    You’ll gain an understanding of the software, workflow and pipeline principles that underpin this specialist area as you use them to bring to life digital worlds and characters.

  • Visual Effects (VFX) pathway gives you the experience and skills to work in the film, television and animation industries, having the particular skills to be able to create through digital techniques, characters, objects, environments and effects that are not seen in front of the camera, but are integral to the imagined world.

    You'll study rendering and composition tools, procedural effects such as fire and tornadoes, and learn how to build digital creatures and characters. You’ll work in close collaboration with BA Animation students across the other pathways and will be supported in collaborations outside of your discipline.
     
  • Game Arts pathway engages you with a wide range of current and emerging gaming platforms. The increased demand for games along with the increase in processing power of our digital devices means that games are becoming more complex in terms of visual content and animation.

    Consumers playing on devices from games consoles to smartphones are now expecting much more in terms of visual feedback from their games. This pathway would prepare animators to use not only traditional framed based techniques but also procedural, real-time animation approaches.

What can you expect?

BA (Hons) Animation will actively encourage you to investigate formats and explore outcomes beyond the traditional modes associated with animation - such as installation, virtual reality (VR), augmented reality (AR), live performance, projection mapping, short film documentary to equip graduates with the ability to offer multi-disciplinary solutions.

The course looks at animation production in a broad context, providing an intensive and team-based experience, in which you develop expertise in the whole production process. You’ll learn how to deal with the challenges of a professional animator – the importance of flexibility and the value of entrepreneurial skills.

You’ll be taught drawing as a key skill that informs all aspects of your subject knowledge and technical expertise.

The course places a strong emphasis on developing your communication and presentation skills, giving you the confidence to articulate your ideas to colleagues and clients in a professional context.

Work experience and opportunities

Industry-led and mentored live projects and competitions are delivered in collaboration with external industry partners. You’ll have the opportunity to practice your skills in a professional context and to build a strong portfolio of work.

Previous industry partners include Channel 4MTVNational Trust, All Saints RecordsMarmiteThe Royal SocietyHorniman MuseumTatePaperchaseHostelworldProtein DanceNutkhutV&A Museum of ChildhoodWestfieldand The Rivers Trust.

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.

Course Structure

The academic year for this course is divided into 2 blocks.

The 1st block is of 15 weeks’ duration from late September to mid-February. In accordance with the University timetable, there will be a four week holiday in December.

The 2nd block is also of 15 weeks’ duration from mid-February to the end of June with a four week holiday for Easter.

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

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

This unit introduces you to the course and its subject specialism as well as to effective learning and studentship at an undergraduate level. There’s a focus on theory and practical skills development that will encourage you to explore the wider college facilities such as print workshops and photography studios.

Production principles

This unit introduces you to the fundamental terminology, technology and craft skills that underpin all areas of animation across all pathways. You will work in stop-motion, 2D drawn animation (both analogue and digital), rostrum camera and 3D computer animation.

The unit covers a range of key production areas including the principles of animation, design for animation, character design, storytelling and performance. This unit focuses on short projects developed through skills-based workshops.

Visual Narrative

This unit extends the Principles of Animation unit, giving you a deeper understanding of how a narrative is constructed visually. All students will follow this unit, but you will also have the option of exploring your preferred area of specialism.

You’ll attend workshops and taster sessions relating to pathway options. The workshops will give a basic introduction to the fundamentals of visual effects, 3D computer animation, game arts, stop-motion and 2D animation.

The shared delivery includes working with sound, creative writing, story development and its translation into visual formats, visual literacy, film language, and editing techniques. You will be required to select your area of specialism towards the end of this unit.

Contextual and Theoretical Studies 1

This unit introduces you to histories, theories and debates in relation to animation and visual and material culture. It focuses on the development of ideas in design and explores the common themes and relationships that occur between theory and culture. You will examine animation in a range of media and through a variety of representations.

Year 2

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

Pathway Units

This unit builds on the learning developed in Year 1, advancing your skills in the technical and practical skills of your chosen area of specialism.

You’ll learn skills through studio projects, some of which will work across other pathways to encourage and facilitate collaborations.

  • Principles of Animation Arts: students following the Animation Arts will build on the existing practice of BA (Hons) Animation, experimenting with design, technique, content and format.

    Animation is no longer restricted to conventional formats and the course reflects this by encouraging you to explore a range of areas including performance, installation, interactive, projection mapping, short film or documentary.

  • Principles of Visual Effects (VFX): students following the VFX pathway will be encouraged to develop concepts and articulate them through a variety of visual effect techniques such as: tracking, rotoscoping, greenscreen, grading, matte painting, compositing, projections, CG integration, reconstruction, simulations and shooting for VFX.
     
  • Principles of Game Arts: students following the Game Arts pathway will focus on developing an understanding of the fundamentals of animation for games: Game Narratives, Digital fundamentals, Game Assets, Design and Concept, CGI Foundation.
     
  • Principles of 3D Computer Animation: students following the 3D Computer Animation pathway will focus on developing an understanding of the fundamentals of 3D digital animation: modelling, key-framing, animating and rigging.
  • Introduction to Professional Practice

This is also a shared unit across all pathways to open up the possibility of collaboration. The unit focuses on work-based learning, competitions and/ or live projects that will be initiated, mentored and judged in collaboration with external industry and cultural partners. Work placement and/ or live project opportunities will enable students to experience the professional world they will eventually be working in.

This experiential learning environment will support the development of skills and tools that are necessary for professional practice.

Exploratory Practice: Animation Arts/ VFX/ 3D Computer Animation/ Game Arts

Whichever pathway you take, you will 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:

  • VFX: Rotoscoping, Tracking and match moving, Lighting and rendering, Performance Animation (motion capture), Digital paint, simulations, lens distortion, and shooting for VFX. 
     
  • Game Arts: Game flow, Digital sculpture, Character animation, Experimental games, Design for interaction, Performance animation.
     
  • 3D Computer Animation: Cameras, Lighting, rendering, Materials texturing, UV mapping, Maya dynamics, Animation task and skinning, Digital sculpture – Mudbox.

Contextual and Theoretical Studies 2

Following on from Contextual and Theoretical Studies 1, this unit is shared unit across all pathways and will introduce you to the histories, theories and debates in relation to animation, games, VFX and visual and material culture.

Year 3

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: Animation Arts/ VFX/ 3D Computer Animation/ Game Arts

The Final Major Project is a collaborative project that allows you to make a significant contribution to a major project in a specialist role within a small production team.

This is an opportunity to exploit and exhibit the skills developed over the course. You’ll work together with a carefully formed team, based on interests and specialisms.

Professional Practice

This unit builds on the experiences gained through Year 2 Introduction to Professional Practice. 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.

Contextual and Theoretical Studies 3

This unit is a culmination of the Contextual and Theoretical Studies component of the course. the subject of the work will be based on a written proposal and research produced at the end of the second year -it can be directly linked to other Year 3 units.

Learning and teaching methods

  • Seminars
  • Study Visits
  • Personal Tutorials
  • Group Tutorials
  • Lectures
  • Workshops

Assessment methods

  • Supervision
  • Tutorials
  • Peer review
  • Report
  • Presentation
  • Lectures
  • Seminar
  • Tutorials
  • Workshops supporting individual and group needs
  • Guest lectures
  • Self-assessment document
  • Reflective diary

Staff

Susi  Wilkinson

Susi Wilkinson

Course Leader, BA (Hons) Animation

Katerina  Athanasopoulou

Katerina Athanasopoulou

Course Tutor, BA (Hons) Animation

Su-Lynn  Tan

Su-Lynn Tan

Lecturer, BA (Hons) Animation

Mark  Ingham

Dr Mark Ingham

Design School Learning and Teaching Innovation Lead

Ian  Horton

Dr Ian Horton

Reader in Graphic Communication

Lecturers

Grant Petrey, Daniel Saul, Joseph Childs

Associate Lecturers and Visiting Practioners

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. Previous and current guests have included the likes of:

  • Tim Webb – Award-winning animation director (Vimeo)
  • Joanna Lawrence – Animation artist (Vimeo)
  • Shaun Clarke – Director, animator and filmmaker (Website)
  • Andy Biddle – Animator (IMDbInterview)
  • Effie Pappa – Award-winning animation director (Website)

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

Home/EU/International

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 (InternationalEU)

IELTS level 6.0 or above, with at least 5.5 in reading, writing, listening and speaking. Please check our main English language requirements page for more information.

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.

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

Making your application

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.

You must apply for this course though Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS), where you'll need 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 15th January for equal consideration. However this course will consider applications after that date, subject to places being available.

Deferring your place

This course allows offer holders to defer. If you have an offer of a place, but you would like to defer starting for a year, please contact our Admissions Service as soon as possible via your UAL Portal. Make sure you check our Admissions Policy before requesting a deferral.

If you are an EU offer holder, it is important to consider that, from 2021-22, you may be charged International fees, which are higher. Read our Coronavirus guidance for prospective students for details.

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.

Erasmus

For further information on Erasmus and UAL exchange schemes, please visit the Erasmus and Non-Erasmus Exchanges section on the UAL website.

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 15th January for equal consideration. However this course will consider applications after that date, subject to places being available.

Immigration history check

International applicants, whether applying online via UCAS or through a UAL representative or by direct application, you will need to complete an immigration history check to establish whether you are eligible to study at UAL. If you do not complete the check, we will not be able to proceed with your application.

Deferring your place

This course allows offer holders to defer. If you have an offer of a place, but you would like to defer starting for a year, please contact our Admissions Service as soon as possible via your UAL Portal. Make sure you check our Admissions Policy before requesting a deferral.

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 Track. 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 come to London College of Communication to attend one of our Offer Holder events. Offer holders will have the chance to meet the team, find out more about the course, and see our diverse and vibrant student community in action.

Requesting feedback

This course receives a high number of applications, and we can’t provide feedback to everyone who is unsuccessful. We can only provide feedback after you’ve had an interview.

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

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

Fees and funding

Home fee

£9,250 per year

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.

Home fees are currently charged to UK resident nationals . However, the rules are complex. Find out more about our tuition fees.

From 2021/22 entry, most EU students will be charged the International tuition fee rate, depending 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.

International fee

£22,920 per year

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.

Students from countries outside of the UK are currently charged international fees. The rules are complex so read more about our tuition fees.

From 2021/22 entry, most EU students will be charged the International tuition fee rate, depending 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.

Scholarship search

Careers and alumni

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.

Alumni