Best Animation Courses in UK

Getting a career in animation is very profitable, both financially as well as skill-wise. It gives you the freedom of personal expression and creativity, and if you’re skilled at it – it is also quite lucrative. For those who have decided to pursue a career in animation, some of the best animation courses in the UK are offered by universities like Teesside University, Norwich University of the Arts, and all the way to the Royal College of Art. Studying animation ranges from full-degree programmes, short-term courses, as well as workshops aiming to develop specific skill sets.

UK universities have proven their expertise and academic excellence by being listed at the top of the main university ranking institutions. That’s why the UK is the second most favored study destination in the world for internationational students, after the United States. Thousands of international students enroll in UK universities every year, as a result of the large variety of benefits a British degree holds, as well as the authentic UK experience. When it comes to a career in animation, below you will find some of the best animation courses in the UK where you will get the skills you need towards a successful career.

1. Teesside University, Middlesbrough

The Computer Animation BA (Hons) course at Teesside University is a perfect choice for those aiming to pursue a career as either a 3D animator, motion picture animator in the games, film, or TV industries. The course focuses on the creation of 3D computer animation for games, film and TV. It teaches its students the essential skills for all animation roles like:

  • Drawing
  • Pre-visualisation
  • Cinematography
  • Asset Design and Modelling
  • 2D and 3D keyframe animation and simulation

The course’s length is 3 years (4 with a work placement) or 4 years, including a foundation year (5 with a work placement).

2. Falmouth University

The Animation and Visual Effects course at Falmouth University will work on developing your skills to succeed in the animation industry. It will give you the freedom to develop imaginative stories and master directing and producing techniques. Among others, you will also get to work on briefs for globally renowned organisations. You will be given the opportunity to submit your second-year films to national festivals as well as pitch your third-year project to an industry panel. You will also get to meet and learn from many professional industry mentors.

Falmouth University offers the following courses in the field of animation and illustration:

  • Animation & Visual Effects BA (Hons)
  • Illustration BA (Hons)
  • Illustration MA/PGDip (online)

3. Norwich University of the Arts

Norwich University of the Arts offers an Animation and Visual Effects course as well. This course is highly regarded due to the skills it transmits and its professional academic staff. At this university, you will earn excellent skills in animation and visual effects, starting from the screen industries to architecture, urban design, scientific visualisation, creative design, and virtual reality. This course can last either 3 years or 4 years, and the typical career paths include:

  • Animator
  • Roto Artist
  • Texture Artist
  • 3D Generalist
  • Character Designer
  • Producer
  • Lighting Supervisor
  • Compositor
  • Art Director
  • Modeller
  • Architectural Visualiser
  • Experiential Designer

4. Middlesex University

Middlesex University gives you the opportunity to develop your vision as an artist, animator, designer, and director. You will have your own space where you will explore your creativity and get to study on a variety of animation practice, such as traditional and digital 2D, motion graphics, stop motion, and 3D computer animation.

During your studies, you will get both theoretical and practical knowledge. You will get to learn about the history of animation, the changing practices of animation, as well as the new concepts in the field of animation. You will be given the possibility to build your own animated films as part of the module. The animation and illustration courses this university offers are:

  • 3D Animation and Games BA Honours (Course)
  • Animation BA Honours (Course)
  • Illustration BA Honours (Course)

5. Glyndwr University, Wrexham

The specialised Animation programme Glyndwr University offers is a 3-year Animation course which will “transform you into a versatile creative in the art of the moving image.” It is the 1st in Wales when it comes to overall satisfaction in the area of Cinematics & Photography. When you finish this course you will be able to apply for jobs in studios, start your own studio, or work as a freelance artist.

During the course you will learn the essentials of visual communication and drawing, learn to apply them to character design and background design. You will get to practice character animation using 3D techniques and explore animation with a focus on 2D techniques. At the end, you will develop a final degree project. The Animation courses this university offers are:

  • Animation BA (Hons)
  • Animation MDes
  • Animation with Foundation Year BA (Hons)

6. Staffordshire University

Staffordshire university offers an Animation course with challenging, exciting, and industry-focused content. You will get to develop your character animation skills using 2D, 3D, and Stop Motion animation. Since the university focuses on employability, during the course, you will develop a portfolio that shows your creative personal style as well as the needs of the industry. The animation and illustration courses this university offers are:

  • Animation BA (Hons)
  • Animation with a Foundation Year BA (Hons)
  • Illustration BA (Hons)

7. University of Bolton

The Animation and Illustration degree at the University of Bolton offers a variety of challenging practical assignments, which will equip you with the skills and knowledge necessary to succeed in the field of animation, be it in television, film, the web, publishing and advertising, or video games and animated special effects.

At this university, you will be encouraged to develop professional standards in illustration, animation, and digital software programmes. Initially, you will be offered an introduction to the basics of animation and illustration, meanwhile in the second half of the course you will be offered the possibility to specialise in either area. The courses this university offers are:

  • Animation And Illustration BA (Hons)
  • Visual Effects And Animation BSc (Hons)

8. Solent University (Southampton)

The 3-year Animation course at this university will help you develop your practical skills and become a multi-disciplined animation professional. You will also develop your portfolio as well as receive training from professionals in the field of animation. During the second year of your studies, you will have the option to undertake an industry placement where you will spend time in a professional studio and create work for a variety of professional clients. Solent University offers the following courses:

  • Animation BA (Hons)
  • Animation with a Foundation Year BA (Hons)
  • Digital Animation BA (Hons)
  • Film Visual Effects BA (Hons)

9. University of Central Lancashire

University of Central Lancashire offers an award-winning Animation degree designated to help you create unique animated characters through the freedom of creative thinking and self-expression. You will gain useful technical knowledge about the current industry practices , such as script writing, character design, animating, editing, storyboarding, and sound design. This programme is tailor-made to suit each student, and for the past six years, UCLan students have been winners of Royal Television Society regional prizes. The courses this university offers are:

  • Animation BA (Hons)
  • Animation with a Foundation Year BA (Hons)
  • Animation MA

10. University of Gloucestershire

University of Gloucestershire has been ranked top 20 in the UK for film production and photography and 9th for teaching satisfaction, in the Guardian University Guide 2020.

The three-year Animation course at this university is taught by practicing professionals who have worked for the likes of the BBC, Channel 4, ITV, Dreamworks, and more. During your studies, you will have the freedom of developing your own style and career path. This course will give you the preparation you need in either feature films, television, apps, games, music videos or advertising. So, just pick and choose!

11. University for the Creative Arts

The University for the Creative Arts is quite famous in the field of animation. The courses it offers are quite thorough and highly-regarded. Its Animation course offers its students the freedom to develop their own personal style, which they will find useful in the job market. Students at this university will develop a deeper understanding of the narrative, character development, movement and sound, and the large variety of the expressive and personal filmmaking techniques used by contemporary animators nowadays. The courses offered at this university are:

  • Animation BA (Hons)
  • Animation | Four Year BA (Hons)
  • Computer Animation Arts BA (Hons)
  • Animation MA

12. Leeds Arts University

The BA (Hons) Animation course at this university is highly exceptional as well. This course encourages collaboration, not only at course level but also across the university, including live briefs and international competitions. Overall, you will be guided towards developing your specialist practice within animation and become the best at what you do in the job market.

The course lasts three years, and during the first year you will get to work on pre-visualisation, character, narrative, sequential thinking skills, and more. The second year will be focused on the development of your own specialist practice through briefs and self-identified projects. Meanwhile, in the third year, you will get to work more on your own creative ambitions towards your career goals.

13. Royal College of Art

Royal College of Art offers an MA Animation programme with over 30 years of history. This programme offers three pathways: Experimental, Documentary, and Narrative. Animation at this university inspires the students to delve deeper into creativity and create masterpieces. It is a world-renowned place for artistic practice and risk-taking, with a curriculum that includes workshops, lectures, discussions, screenings, and tutorials. So, when applying for the Animation programme at the Royal College of Art, you should choose one of the following specialist areas:

  • Experimental Animation
  • Documentary Animation
  • Narrative Animation

14. Bournemouth University

The BA (Hons) Computer Animation Art and Design course at this university is delivered within the National Centre for Computer Animation (NCCA), known as the most established centres for animation in the country. Graduates of this university have worked on films like Blade Runner 2049, The Avengers, Dunkirk, and more.

Paying special attention to the creative side of computer animation, this course combines both traditional art disciplines with the technically focused ones. Its aim is to produce graduates who will make a difference in the fields of computer animation, visual effects, and computer games. Getting this degree means you will be able to fulfill roles such as, Computer Graphics & Animation Artistic Director, Visual Effects Artist, Visual Effects Supervisor, and more. The courses this university offers are:

  • BA (Hons) Computer Animation Art and Design
  • BA (Hons) Computer Animation Technical Arts
  • MSc Computer Animation and Visual Effects
  • MA 3D Computer Animation

So, getting a career in animation is not only lucrative; but the process is quite fun as well. The possibility of self-expression and creativity are what make this degree highly sought-after.

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