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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 2022
Course length
3 years
UCAS code
W617

BA (Hons) Animation is a practice-led course, enabling you to choose one of four specialist pathways: Animation Arts, 3D Computer Animation, Applied 2D Animation and Visual Effects (VFX). 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.

Subject to re-approval

Please note this course is undergoing re-approval. This is the process by which we ensure the course continues to provide a high-quality academic experience. During re-approval 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

  • 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 online Open Day for this course will be announced soon.

The next College Tour for this course will take place on Saturday 27 November.

Course accredited by:

Online Open Day

(Recorded March 2021)

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.

  • 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.

Course overview

In Year 1, you’ll learn skills in pre-production and design for animation alongside different animation production techniques – 2D hand-drawn, 2D digital, 3D digital and stop-motion – before working towards a specialist area in 1 of 4 pathways:

  • Animation Arts - Experiment with design, technique, content and format, with opportunities to explore a range of less conventional areas including performance, installation, interactive, projection mapping, short film and documentary.
  • 3D Computer Animation - Designed with professional industry practice at the forefront, this pathway equips you with the specialist skills needed to create 3D digital art in established industries such as animation, film, television or games. You’ll explore emerging technologies such as Virtual Reality (VR), Augmented Reality (AR) and Mixed Reality (MR), bringing digital worlds and characters to life while developing an understanding of software, workflow and pipeline principles.
  • Visual Effects (VFX) - Develop the experience and skills needed to work in the film, television and animation industries by using digital techniques to create characters, objects, environments and effects that may not be seen in front of the camera, but are integral to imagined worlds. You’ll study rendering and composition tools, procedural effects like fire and tornadoes, and learn how to integrate digital creatures and characters, working in close collaboration with other animation students and students outside your discipline.
  • Applied 2D Animation - Specialising in character animation, learn skills in 2D animation, character design, storyboarding, storytelling and creative writing while developing your understanding of the professional production pipeline. BA (Hons) Animation at LCC is a certified Toon Boom Centre of Excellence (COE), which means that you’ll learn Toon Boom software as a key tool in your specialist skillset.

What to expect

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

You’ll consider animation production in a broad context through an intensive and team-based experience where you’ll develop expertise in the whole production process.

Drawing skills will inform all aspects of your subject knowledge and technical expertise, and you’ll learn how to deal with the challenges of a professional animator including the importance of flexibility and entrepreneurial skills.

With strong emphasis on developing your communication and presentation skills, you’ll also gain the confidence to articulate your ideas to both colleagues and clients. 

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 build a strong portfolio of work.

Previous industry partners include Channel 4, MTV, National Trust, All Saints Records, Marmite, The Royal Society, Horniman Museum, Tate, Paperchase, Hostelworld, Protein Dance, Nutkhut, V&A Museum of Childhood, Westfield, The British Library and The Rivers Trust.

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): An optional, year-long learning opportunity which enables you to develop your professional skills by undertaking a variety of placements and industry experiences. 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: An optional, year-long opportunity which allows you to develop the computational skills that are shaping the future of the digital creative industries. After successfully completing the Diploma and the final year of your undergraduate degree, you’ll graduate with an enhanced degree title: for example, BA (Hons) Animation (with Creative Computing). 

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.

Contact us

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

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

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

Course units

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)

This unit introduces you to both the course and its subject specialism, as well as effective learning and studentship at undergraduate level.

A focus on theory and practical skills development will encourage you to explore wider College facilities such as print workshops and photography studios.

Production principles (40 Credits)

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

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

Visual Narrative (40 Credits)

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

You’ll attend workshops and taster sessions relating to pathway options, which offer a basic introduction to the fundamentals of visual effects, 3D computer animation, 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. Towards the end of the unit, you’ll select your area of specialism.

Informed Practice 1 (20 Credits)

This unit introduces you to histories, theories and debates in relation to both animation and visual and material culture.

Focusing on the development of ideas in design, you’ll explore the common themes and relationships that occur between theory and culture, and examine animation in a range of media and through a variety of representations.

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

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: Principles of... (40 Credits)

Building on Year 1, this unit will support you to further develop technical and practical skills in your chosen area of specialism. You’ll learn skills through studio projects, some of which will work across other pathways to encourage and facilitate collaboration.

  • Principles of Animation Arts: 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 Visual Effects (VFX): You’ll be encouraged to develop and articulate concepts 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 3D Computer Animation: You’ll focus on developing your understanding of the fundamentals of 3D digital animation – modelling, key-framing, animating and rigging.
  • Principles of Applied 2D Animation: You’ll focus on developing your understanding of the fundamentals of 2D animation – character design, storyboarding, storytelling and creative writing.

Professional Practices (20 Credits)

Shared across all pathways, this 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.

An experiential learning environment including work placements and/or live projects will provide opportunities for you to experience the professional world that you’ll eventually be working in while supporting the development of skills and tools needed for professional practice.

Exploratory Practice: Animation Arts/ VFX/ 3D Computer Animation/Applied 2D Animation (40 Credits)

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

Technical skills workshops will continue on all pathways, including:

  • Animation Arts: After Effects and other Adobe Suite software, Resolume, production design, puppet-making, and lighting and cinematography for stop-motion.
  • Visual Effects (VFX): Rotoscoping, tracking and match moving, lighting and rendering, performance animation (motion capture), digital paint, simulations, lens distortion, and shooting for VFX.
  • 3D Computer Animation: Cameras, lighting, rendering, materials texturing, UV mapping, Maya dynamics, animation task and skinning, digital sculpture – Mudbox.
  • Applied 2D Animation: Toon Boom Harmony, Storyboard Pro, After Effects and other Adobe Suite software, and the 2D production pipeline.

Informed Practice 2 (20 Credits)

This unit is shared 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 – (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 (60 Credits)

This collaborative project enables you to make a significant contribution to a major project while working in a specialist role within a small production team.

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

Professional Futures (20 Credits)

Building on experiences gained through Professional Practices in Year 2, you’ll focus on tailoring skills towards a specific role within the industry while developing professional methods and tools of presentation such as your CV and personal website.

The unit will contribute towards your portfolio of work and will also give you the opportunity to begin making contacts in the animation and creative industries.

Informed Practice 3 (40 Credits)

Culminating the Informed Practices component of the course, this unit will be based on a written proposal and research produced in Year 2, which 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 

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.

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//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

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.

Making your application

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 26 January 2022 for equal consideration. However this course will consider applications after that date, subject to places being available.

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.

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.

There are 2 ways international students can apply to an undergraduate course:

You must apply through UCAS, where you will need the following information:

  • University code – U65
  • UCAS course code – W617

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

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.

Application deadline

We recommend you apply by 26 January 2022 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 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.

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 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, 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.