• CollegeLCC
  • Start dateSeptember 2018
  • Course length3 years
  • UCAS codeW617

BA (Hons) Animation

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 and games arts.

About this course

Learn the fundamental skills and principles of animation in an intensive and collaborative setting where you’ll develop knowledge and understanding of the whole production process.

After your first year you’ll choose one of four specialist pathways: 

  • BA (Hons) Animation: Animation Arts
  • BA (Hons) Animation: 3D Computer Animation
  • BA (Hons) Animation: Visual Effects (VFX)
  • BA (Hons) Animation: Game Arts

The collaborative nature of the pathways ensures that you will graduate with the technical, creative and critical skills to work both in a specialist role within your field, as well as in a multidisciplinary context within the creative industries. You will benefit from access to a broad range of specialist creative industries and a network of professionals and key industry partners.

As a revalidation, BA (Hons) Animation will retain its distinctive course features, most notably:

  • A playful, curious and experimental approach to animation
  • A questioning and critical investigation of format and audience 
  • Embracing physical making and how that can be used to inform aesthetics unique to digital environments

Student films and profiles

Still from animation by Daria Terenteva

Student work by Daria Terenteva // Watch on Vimeo

Student voices: Batuhan Bintas – BA (Hons) Animation

Still from ‘Apologies, I’ve been struggling to understand you’ animation.

Student Work by Suzanne Matharan // Watch on Vimeo

Student voices: Antonia Blakeman – BA (Hons) Animation

Watch // Student Work // Isobel Lester – Virtual Dreamer 

Image of music video produced by first year BA (Hons) Animation student
Still of the student's work on BBC4's Music Moguls programme

BA (Hons) Animation students work on BBC4’s Music Moguls – LCC Blog.

BA (Hons) Animation student Monica Ng discusses her work at LCC Summer Shows 2015.

Degree shows: Animation 2015 Showreel

Summer Shows 2015: Still from ‘Inside In, Outside Out’, Devdut Scialo, 2015
Still from ‘Inside In, Outside Out’, Devdut Scialo, 2015

BA (Hons) and FdA Animation Showreel 2013 (Running Time 6:18)

Content

BA (Hons) Animation is subject to revalidation. Revalidation is a process that makes sure students get a high-quality academic experience. During revalidation, there may be some changes and developments to course content. Please contact us if you have any questions about this course.

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, animated graphic novel, mobile, 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 work within a 3D digital team, in the animation, film, TV, commercials, visual effects or games industries. You’ll gain an understanding of the software, workflow and pipeline principles that underpin this specialist area.

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.

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 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 and The Rivers Trust.

London is now a recognised hub of media employment. BA (Hons) Animation at LCC - as one of few courses of its kind in Greater London - uses its location as a key asset. You’ll benefit from access to the specialist creative industries, other Colleges within the University, as well as a network of professionals and key industry partners.

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.

Principles of Animation

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 pathway will have the opportunity to work in stop-motion, 2D drawn animation (analogue and digital), rostrum camera and/ or 3D computer (Cinema 4D).
  • Principles of Visual Effects (VFX): students following the VFX pathway will focus on developing an understanding of the fundamentals of VFX: Digital fundamentals, 3D Toolbox, CGI foundations.
  • 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: Lighting and rendering, Compositing, Animation foundation (character), Digital sculpting, VFX research and development, Rigging & creature FX, Environmental FX, 3D match moving, Performance Animation (motion capture).
  • 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 the 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.

Staff

Course Leader

Susi Wilkinson

Lecturers 

Katerina Athanasopoulou, Su-Lynn TanGrant Petrey, Daniel Saul, Joseph Childs

Associate Lecturers and Visiting Practitioners

Florian Stephens, Jane Hankin, Ross Mullan

Contextual and Theoretical Studies Coordinators 

Dr. Mark Ingham, Dr. Ian Horton

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 (IMDb / Interview)
  • Effie Pappa – Award-winning animation director (Website)

How to apply

This section includes information on how to apply, course entry requirements, selection criteria, information about interviews and portfolio advice.

Home/EU applicants

You must apply through Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS), where you’ll need the following information:

  • University code: U65
  • Course code: W617
  • There is no campus code for LCC 

Go to 'Apply' from the UCAS home page, where you will be able to register and create a password that gives you unique access as you complete your application form. London College of Communication (LCC) courses are listed under University of the Arts London.

We have recently made changes to our application process for Home/EU applicants. To find out more, view the Undergraduate Application Process page.

Erasmus

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

Deferrals

Deferring an Offer

If you are offered a place for 2018/19 but wish to defer to 2019/20, information on how to do this and who to contact can be found in your offer letter.

International applicants will have to pay a deposit in order to defer.

In all cases, deferred places will be held for one year.

Making a Deferred Application (during 2018/19 for entry in 2019/20)

Home/EU applicants are permitted to make a deferred application. International applicants are not permitted to make a deferred application.

This section includes information on how to apply, course entry requirements, selection criteria, information about interviews and portfolio advice.

International applicants

International applicants can apply through either of the following routes:

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.

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.

Deferrals

Deferring an Offer

If you are offered a place for 2018/19 but wish to defer to 2019/20, information on how to do this and who to contact can be found in your offer letter.

International applicants will have to pay a deposit in order to defer.

In all cases, deferred places will be held for one year.

Making a Deferred Application (during 2018/19 for entry in 2019/20)

Home/EU applicants are permitted to make a deferred application. International applicants are not permitted to make a deferred application.

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 minimum entry requirements for this course are:

64 UCAS tariff points gained at GCE Advanced (A) Level or equivalent. (A-level subjects studied may include: English; History; Media; Business; Art and Design, or other subjects within Social Sciences). Ideally your A-levels will be achieved at grade C or above.

Or

One subject at A-level achieved at grade C or above PLUS Foundation Diploma in Art & Design (Level 3/4).

Alternatively, you will be considered if you have achieved a minimum of 64 UCAS tariff points from one of the following qualifications:

  • BTEC Extended Diploma
  • UAL Extended Diploma in Art and Design
  • Access to HE Diploma
  • International Baccalaureate Diploma
  • Equivalent EU or Non-EU qualifications

Additionally, you will have achieved passes at grade C or above in at least three GCSE subjects including English.

If you are applying on the basis of your previous experience, you should apply as normal via UCAS. You will then be guided by the admissions team on next steps of the AP(e)L process, through either Accreditation of Experiential Learning (AEL) or Accreditation of Certificated Learning (ACL).

If you have successfully completed year 1 of a degree course at another institution and wish to continue your studies at LCC, you can identify the point of entry as year 2 on your application, and consideration will be given by the course admissions tutor. 

Language Requirements (International/EU)

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.

  • IELTS 6.0 (or equivalent) is required, with a minimum of 5.5 in each of the four skills.
  • You can check you have achieved the correct IELTS level on our language requirements page.

Student selection - what do we look for?

As part of your application, you will be asked to submit a full portfolio of work. We make our offers based on the strength of the whole application, and therefore don’t routinely invite applicants to interview.

The course admissions tutors will review the following key elements when making a decision on your suitability to join the course:

  • Most importantly they will review your personal statement and the quality of the uploaded portfolio
  • They will consider your qualifications (or projected results)
  • They will review your academic or personal references
  • International applicants may be invited to interview in person at LCC, or via Skype if overseas or unable to attend.

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. 

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. 

Selection Criteria

The portfolio, along with the details on your UCAS application (including the academic reference and your personal statement) will be used by the course admissions tutors to assess your suitability 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

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.

What happens next?

We invite all offer holders to come to LCC, from January onwards, 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.

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

Fees and funding

Home / EU fee

£9,250 (2018/19). 

Tuition fees for undergraduate degree courses have been set at £9,250 per year for full-time study. This applies from the 2018/19 academic year, subject to changes in the law. Tuition fees may increase in future years for new and continuing students, in line with an inflationary amount determined by government. Please visit our Undergraduate tuition fees page for more information.

International fee

£19,350 (2018/19).

Additional costs

In addition to tuition fees you are very likely to incur additional costs such as travel expenses and the cost of materials. Please read the information on our additional costs page.

Accommodation

Find out about the accommodation options available and how much they will cost.

Scholarships and awards

There are a number of scholarships and awards available to students on this course. Use our search tool to find out more information.

Scholarships search

Career paths

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.

UAL Jobs and Careers 

UAL has a number of services and networks that hold regular workshops and careers fairs developed to help you establish and promote your career in the arts, design, or media. These include:

Careers and Employability are the University's dedicated careers and professional practice service. We help UAL students and graduates embark on their professional futures in the creative industries, find jobs, set up a business, and sell their work. We run events throughout the year on all aspects of the career journey.

Creative Opportunities jobs board helps graduates and students find job and internship opportunities and connect with organisations and companies in the creative sector. We post jobs and paid internships, part-time work, freelance contracts and full-time opportunities.