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On this course you’ll be able to develop your skills and knowledge using up-to-date software, with the support and guidance from our experienced lecturers. You’ll also benefit from guest workshops and the opportunity to get innovating at our Pinewood Studio base, putting you right at the heart of one of the UK’s most important creative communities.
Our creative briefs and projects will help you bring to life stories through the form of animation and upon graduation make your portfolio shine.
The processes I learnt at BNU, I now use every day at work. BNU is an amazing uni, which creates an easy environment to learn in. It just lets you focus on you and your development as a person before heading into the real world.Alexandra Young
We understand that when it comes to deciding where you’d like to study, there are a lot of things to consider. Come along to our Open Day and discover why BNU could be the place for you. You can find out more about your course, meet the course team, and get all your questions answered.
For everything you need to know about applying, check out our Application Guide. You can find useful information for each stage of your application journey – from before you even apply to what to do if you receive an offer, and everything in between.
At BNU, we believe in putting our students first. That’s why our Students’ Union has been ranked in the top three in the UK in the National Student Survey (NSS 2020). We’re the only university in the UK to offer free access to such a diverse and exciting range of activities – all to enrich your university experience. It’s a big deal!
* NATIONAL STUDENT SURVEY AVERAGE FROM 2019 AND 2020
Why study this subject?
Whether it is 2D, stop-motion, 3D hand-drawn or computer-generated animation, a skilled animator can create the illusion of real life and all roles call for high levels of creativity and passion.
The animation industry needs strong creative people with good team working skills. The UK is particularly renowned for stop-motion or stop-frame animation and children's animation and has a thriving computer games industry.
Your skills will be valuable in any animation role, including commercials, games, web design, or any other situation that requires an animator.
Why study at Buckinghamshire New University?
A skilled animator can create the illusion of real life. Explore acting, expressiveness, and have fun bringing a character to life in a physical space. Soon you’ll be captivating audiences with your characters.
There are plenty of reasons for you study Animation at Buckinghamshire New University and here are just a few of them:
- You'll get the best of the university and the industry with classes on both our High Wycombe campus and our Pinewood Studios base
- You'll be studying a completely practical course – we focus on what you need to know for a career in animation; you’ll keep a reflective journal, and learn to give presentations like the professionals
- Small class sizes mean plenty of contact with your tutors
- The industry is all about teamwork; you will learn about industry pipelines and where animators can fit in
- You’ll have access to our industry standard equipment, including a VR lab, renderfarm, motion capture studio, and state or the art face capture kit and Xsens suits.
We’ve structured the course to build up your skills during your three years here. If you have no experience of animating, you’ll get to grips with tools and techniques in your first year, learning to develop great models for yourself. We cover everything you’ll need to create realistic scenes and believable, engaging characters.
Throughout the course you’ll explore different aspects of the animator’s role. You’ll create stop motion sequences and experiment with different styles of animation.
By your final year, you’ll be working on a production with your classmates, specialising in a role that interests you.
What facilities can I use?
We’ve made sure you have access to industry-standard equipment. Our labs give you access to Maya, Nuke, Adobe Creative Cloud, Substance, Renderman and ZBrush. Most of our 3D animation is currently done in Maya. To combine live TV with computer graphics you will use VizRT. For modelling you’ll use ZBrush, Marvellous Designer and a range of other pieces of software commonly used in industry. We review the list every year.
We have the latest equipment used in many films, TV shows and commercials. A motion capture studio, renderfarm, and even VR facilities for this increasingly important area in delivery and development. You’ll have access to a stop motion studio and up-to-date camera equipment.
What will I study?
You’ll begin the course learning the fundamentals of the animation, visual effects and games art industries. You will learn to animate in a believable manner and get a feel for pre-visual narrative and layout.
On this course, you will also learn how to create detailed models from scratch through to lighting and rendering. You’ll start off at our High Wycombe campus, and spend a number of days visiting our base at Pinewood Studios. These will both inspire you and help you to understand what the industry of today is really up to.
At the end of year one you will have the choice of changing to Visual Effects or Games Art if you discover that your real passion lies in one of these fields instead.
In year two, you’ll focus entirely on animation, learning about 3D character acting, stop motion and motion graphics. You’ll spend time at our High Wycombe Campus and at our base at Pinewood Studios perfecting your skills.
By year three, you’ll be working on projects to build your showreel for entry into employment in this exciting industry and will have opportunities to collaborate with students on other creative courses at the university.
Whilst studying with us you will also use our BucksAnywhere web service, which provides access to many of the software applications you use for learning and studying. BucksAnywhere can be used from your own device or from a University owned PC or laptop, from any location.
How will I be taught and assessed?
Our Bucks teaching team have years of experience working in the industry and training future generations of animators.
We’ll arrange guest lectures and put you to work on live projects. With the busy nature of the studios, and London being so close, there will be a constant flow of talented animators for you to learn from.
The animation industry needs strong creative people with good team working skills. So, we focus on the quality of your work and, along with our own detailed feedback, we will encourage you to learn to self-evaluate and self-improve through the use of reflective journals.
Because exams are not very useful in assessing the artistic capability of an animator, we focus on portfolio-based coursework instead. To be well prepared for the demanding professional world, you will need to work really hard on your skills throughout the course.
BNU is a Placements Plus university. So, whatever degree you do, you can be sure there’ll be plenty of industry-relevant opportunities on offer, to help you get into your chosen field.
We’ll also prepare you for work beforehand, with special skills for work training, further boosting your CV, and building skills employers will value. In recognition of the value we place on these skills we have incorporated this experience into your study time.
Placements Plus is all about helping you get some valuable experience under your belt while you’re a student, to increase your choices later, and help you get the graduate-level job you want.
What are the course entry requirements?
A typical offer will require a UCAS tariff score of: 80 - 104
A minimum of two full A-levels (or equivalent) is required and a typical offer also requires GCSE Maths and English at grade C/4. Every application is considered on an individual basis.
For further details of our international English entry requirements, please visit our international pages.
Applicants who do not meet the minimum requirements for the three-year undergraduate programme, or those who do not feel fully prepared for a degree course, can apply for a four-year programme including a Foundation Year; find out more.
This module map provides a list of the modules that make up your course. You can find more information about how your course is structured on our Academic Advice section.
Year 1 Modules
3D Modelling & Pipeline
Texturing & Look Development
Lighting & Rendering
Animation Principles & The Moving Figure
Previz & Layout
Year 2 Modules
Character Animation & Performance
Year 3 Modules
Industry Production Project
Creative Production Project
How much does it cost
Home and EU
Home and EU, Academic Year 2021-2022
£9,250 per year
International, Academic Year 2021-2022
£13,750 per year
What are my career prospects?
Throughout your time with us we’ll support you on the route to your chosen career. We’ll help you to develop crucial skills, encouraging you to become enterprising, employable and good leaders. We also help you find employment after graduation. Have a look at our Careers and Employability pages to find out more.
Our Animation course will help prepare you for a range of career possibilities in any sector which requires the animator role, such as:
- Web Design
- Any other situation that requires an animator.
Recent alumni have gone onto become:
- TT Games. (Warner Bros)
- Mediatonic Games
- Airship Studios.