Do you have a passion for all thing animation? Do you want to develop your skills ready for a career in this industry? On this 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.
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.
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 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. It also has a thriving computer games industry.
Your skills will be valuable in any animation role, including but not limited too;
- 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
Why study at Buckinghamshire New University?
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 both words – University and the industry. Our course gives you the opportunity to explore our High Wycombe campus, as well as our BNU base at Pinewood Studios.
- 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. From expressiveness, to bringing a character to life you’ll be hands-on in gaining the skills you need.
- At BNU we offer small classes across the board, meaning you gain a close-knit community and plenty of one-on-one contact and support with your tutor.
- 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?
This course covers everything you need to know to be career-ready upon graduation. Starting with the fundamentals, in your first year 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.
Throughout this course, you will also learn how to create detailed models from scratch through to lighting and rendering. Your main base will be at our High Wycombe campus, and from there you’ll spend a number of days visiting our BNU teaching 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 also be given the opportunity to change your degree and hone in your passion and skills into Visual Effects or Games Art if that’s the field you wish to pursue.
In year two, you’ll focus entirely on animation, learning about 3D character acting, stop motion and motion graphics. By year three, 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.
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.
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 to succeed.
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. 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.
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
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.
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 and Pipeline
Texturing and Look Development
Lighting and Rendering
Animation Principles and The Moving Figure
Year 2 Modules
Character Animation and 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, recent alumni have gone onto work for;
- TT Games. (Warner Bros)
- Mediatonic Games
- Airship Studios.
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