BA (Hons) Animation with Foundation Year

UCAS CODE: CMSF
TARIFF: 32 - 56
  • Study Mode: Full time
  • Location: High Wycombe / BNU based at Pinewood Studios
  • Duration: Four Years
  • Start Date: September 2022

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.

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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.
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Animation examples of student work
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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

Animated haunted castle at night
Animation header

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.

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.

dragon animation student work

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.

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?

This course is offered as a four-year programme, including an initial Foundation Year. The Foundation Year will allow you to develop your academic study skills and build confidence in your abilities, identifying your own strengths and development needs for progression onto an undergraduate degree.

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.

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Placements Plus

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.

Useful Documents

BA (Hons) Animation Programme Specification

What are the course entry requirements?

A typical offer will require a UCAS tariff score of: 32 - 56

Applicants who do not meet the minimum requirements for the 3-year undergraduate programme, or those who do not feel fully prepared for a Level 4 course, will be considered for the 4-year programme including a Foundation Year. If you wish to enquire further, please send your query along with any academic evidence or references to admissions@bucks.ac.uk

Find out more about our General Entry Requirements.

 

This provides a guide of the modules that make up your course. Please refer to the Programme Specification at the bottom of the Course Details tab for the full breakdown of core and optional modules, as well as the credits needed to complete your degree. You can find more information about how your course is structured on our Academic Advice section.

Year 1 Modules

Preparing for Success Knowledge and Creativity

Preparing for Success Self-development and Responsibility

Inquiry and Research Skills

Digital Media

Computing Essentials

Year 2 Modules

3D Modelling and Pipeline

Texturing and Look Development

Lighting and Rendering

Animation Principles and The Moving Figure

Visual Narrative

Rigging

Year 3 Modules

Character Animation and Performance

Creature Animation

Destruction Simulation

Stop Motion

Motion Graphics

Year 4 Modules

Industry Production Project

Portfolio Piece

Creative Production Project

Showreel

What are the tuition fees

Home

Home, Academic Year 2022 - 2023

£9,250 per year

International

Overseas/International, Academic Year 2022 - 2023

£14,250 per year

From September 2022, those students living in the UK or Republic of Ireland, and EU nationals with settled status in the UK, will be considered Home students.

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@bucks.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 3D Animation.

Course leader

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Rob Penhaligon
  • Senior Lecturer
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Anne-Marie Perks
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Sydney Padua
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Elle Bromfield
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Miles Skarin
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Steve Cassar
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