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BA (Hons) Animation

UCAS CODE: CMSA
TARIFF: 88 - 112
  • Study Mode: Full time
  • Location: High Wycombe / BNU based at Pinewood Studios
  • Duration: Three Years
  • Start Date: September 2023

You can also study this course:

Do you have a passion for animation? Do you want to develop your skills ready for a career in this industry? On this completely practical course you’ll cover a range of areas using up-to-date software, with the support and guidance from our experienced lecturers. Split between our High Wycombe campus and BNU teaching base at Pinewood Studios, you’ll have the opportunity to learn the skills and knowledge you need for your future, all whilst studying right in the heart of the famous creative hub.

 

 

Award of 11th place overall University of the Year - Whatuni Student Choice Awards 2022
95% of our graduates in work or study after 15 months after graduation, HESA 2022
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
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Open Days

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.

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Application Guide

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.   

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Students' Union

At BNU, we believe in putting our students first. That’s why we’re the only university in the UK to offer free access to such a diverse and exciting range of activities through our SU – all to enrich your university experience. 

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 for storytelling. The UK is particularly renowned for stop-motion or stop-frame animation and children's animation. It also has a thriving computer games industry.

Your skills will be valuable in any animation role, including but not limited too;

  • Commercials
  • Films
  • Games
  • Web design
Everything that I’ve learnt from my animation classes has been invaluable. Learning the principles and all the different ways they apply to different styles of animation has been so useful.
Sian Hearn
A head shot of a smiling Sian Hearn facing directly into the camera

Why study at Buckinghamshire New University?

At Buckinghamshire New University we focus on preparing you for work in the industry, helping you to stand out to employers when you graduate. With the right teaching and learning opportunities, it’s possible to turn your passion for animation into a rewarding and successful career.

Led by our enthusiastic and dedicated team of industry-savvy practitioners and experienced academics, you will have the freedom to explore all areas of animation. During your time with us you may also get direct access to guest lectures and can benefit from live project briefs, master classes, and plenty of networking opportunities.

Animated haunted castle at night
Animation header

On this dynamic course you’ll have access to all the industry-standard equipment you need to bring your ideas to life, such as a VR lab and motion capture studio. You could also find yourself working at our BNU teaching base at Pinewood Studios. Here you’ll have the opportunity to learn the skills and knowledge you need for your future, all whilst studying right in the heart of the famous creative hub.

Our Small group sizes enable staff and students to work together as a friendly and collaborative community of learners. It also means you’ll benefit from more one to one support with your lecturer.

With London only a short journey away, you can take the opportunity to visit some of the world’s best exhibitions, galleries, museums and conventions for inspiration.

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
  • Renderman
  • Substance
  • 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.

In your final year you will also have exclusive access to our new ASUS ProArt lab at our High Wycombe campus which allows you to use our best facilities to really hone your project work and showreel to help you get the job of your choice.

Whilst studying with us you will also use our AppsAnywhere web service, which provides access to many of the software applications you use for learning and studying. AppssAnywhere can be used from your own device or from a University owned PC or laptop, from any location.

This video was our first experiment with our new Xsens motion capture suits. With the help of dancers from BNU’s BA Dance and Performance course, we motion captured a routine on the concourse running though the university and replaced one of the dancers with a version of the Lonely Robot and comped this back into the footage. We also have state of the art Faceware kits for face motion capture.

What will I study?

The course covers everything you need to know to be career-ready upon graduation. Starting with the fundamentals, in you’ll learn the basics of animation, visual effects and games art. You will begin to animate in a believable manner and get a feel for pre-visual narrative and layout.

At the end of year one you will also be given the opportunity to change your degree and hone in on your passion, Visual Effects or Games Art, if that’s the field you wish to pursue.

Throughout this course, you will also learn how to create detailed models from scratch through to lighting and rendering. You’ll also explore different aspects of the animator’s role. You’ll create stop motion sequences, experiment with different styles of animation and learn about 3D character acting.

By your final year, you’ll be working on projects to build your showreel for entry into employment in this exciting industry. You will also have opportunities to collaborate with students on other creative courses at the university.

Animation Studios
Animations Students Work

How will I be taught and assessed?

Our BNU teaching team are industry-professionals, with years of experience working in the sector and training future generations of animators. Through their support and the course you’ll gain the skills and knowledge you need within the industry.

You’ll also have the opportunity to work with guest lecturers, take part in a range of workshops and work on a load of live briefs. 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. You’ll keep a reflective journal and learn how to give presentations like the professionals. From expressiveness, to bringing a character to life you’ll be hands-on in gaining the skills you need.

Pinewood studios exterior building
BA Animation is a great course that gives you the fundamental skills and knowledge to prepare you for the industry. It is also a great place to network via workshops and gain links in the industry.
Hilary Orange
A headshot of a smiling Hilary Orange stood facing directly into the camera

BA (Hons) Animation Programme Specification

What are the course entry requirements?

A typical offer will require a UCAS tariff score of: 88 - 112

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.

Modules

This provides a guide 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 and Pipeline

Texturing and Look Development

Lighting and Rendering

Animation Principles and The Moving Figure

Visual Narrative

Rigging

Year 2 Modules

Character Animation and Performance

Creature Animation

Destruction Simulation

Stop Motion

Motion Graphics

Year 3 Modules

Industry Production Project

Portfolio Piece

Creative Production Project

Showreel

What are the tuition fees

Home

Home, Academic Year 2023 - 2024

£9,250 per year

International

Overseas/International, Academic Year 2023 - 2024

£15,000 per year

Most courses will involve some additional costs that are not covered by your fees.

You could benefit from financial support through a bursary or scholarship during your time as a student. For more details visit our financial support, bursaries and scholarships section.

Questions about fees?

Contact our Enquiries Team:

0330 123 2023

advice@bnu.ac.uk

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 BA (Hons) Animation course will help prepare you for a range of career possibilities in any sector which requires the animator role. Our recent alumni have gone onto work for;

  • DNeg
  • Framestore
  • TT Games. (Warner Bros)
  • Mediatonic Games
  • FST.
  • Ubisoft
  • Cinesite
  • Airship Studios.

Graduates can also choose to study for a postgraduate course, such as our MA Advanced 3D Animation.

I’d 100% recommend my course. It was well run, had amazing tutors and was always a lovely environment to be in. I learnt so many new skills during my time at BNU and came out of it with a new passion for editing and 3D modelling. I even found myself a full time job 3 months after finishing my course.
Maddy Kendal-Murray
A headshot of a smiling Maddy Kendal-Murray wearing glasses and stood in front of a brick wall

In 2022 we held our first end of year show at the John Barry Theatre at Pinewood Studios. Professionals from the industry were invited to see students' work from their final year on the BA (Hons) Animation course, providing exciting networking opportunities. These industry experts were very impressed with the quality of students' work.

 

Course leader

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Rob Penhaligon
  • Senior Lecturer
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Anne-Marie Perks
  • Associate Lecturer
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Elle Bromfield
  • Lecturer
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miles skarin
Miles Skarin
  • Lecturer
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Steve Cassar
  • Senior Lecturer
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