Key facts

Entry requirements

104 or DMM

Additional entry requirements apply to this course. Full entry requirements

UCAS code

W615

Institution code

D26

Duration

3 yrs full-time

Three years full-time, four years full-time with a placement

Fees

2024/25 UK tuition fees:
£9,250

2024/25 international tuition:
£16,250

Entry requirements

104 or DMM

Additional entry requirements apply to this course. Full entry requirements

UCAS code

W615

Institution code

D26

Duration

3 yrs full-time

Three years full-time, four years full-time with a placement

Fees

2024/25 UK tuition fees:
£9,250

2024/25 international tuition:
£16,250

Recent graduates are working as animators, VFX technical directors, lead technical runners, compositors, modellers and designers, with companies such as Brown Bag, Studio SOI, Cloth Cat, RJDM, Double Negative and Disney.

We encourage you to be innovative, creative and push the boundaries of storytelling and artistic style. You will receive a grounding in the fundamental skills of animation, with the opportunity to develop more specialist skills from the second year of study.

You will develop your own distinct style and voice, as well as enhancing your technical and creative knowledge by studying the modules within this programme.

Our excellent facilities include dedicated animation and sound studios, graphics studios, computer suites and a suite of Cintiq stations. You will be supported to master professional tools, such as TVPaint, Maya, Photoshop, Premiere Pro, Substance Painter and After Effects.

Our supportive and collaborative studio culture creates a nurturing atmosphere that aims to encourage professional development. Teaching is delivered primarily through demonstration and practical workshop sessions, providing hands-on experience in drawing, script writing, idea generation, visual communication, pre-production, audio production and digital 2D and 3D animation practice.

Access one-to-one support from the Leicester Media School Drawing Centre to perfect your drawing skills and meet like-minded artists.

Work on a major project tailored to the animation industry, which will give you the chance to enter national and international competitions and festivals.

Exhibit your work at the week-long DMU Degree Show, one of Leicester’s biggest art and design shows, where final-year students have the chance to meet talent scouts and win industry prizes.

Enjoy developing your skills in a vibrant studio culture and preparing for a future in the animation industry by using our specialist facilities and software.

 

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What you will study

Block 1: Introductory Sessions

The first module aims to introduce and build foundational skills in animation practice, theory, narrative and drawing. The practical material will be focused on the established 12 principles of animation and is structured to support the developmental skills necessary to become animation practitioners. 2D and 3D Animation will use industry standard software and introduce professional processes in preparation of a larger scale portfolio work. Students will also explore narrative for animation, focusing on the fundamental aspects of ideas generation, structure and story concepts. Animation history will critically explore the animation landscape and students will explore the context of animation, reflecting on the materials presented and how this may apply to their own practice. Introductions to drawing will form the foundational skill necessary to support refined, professional animated practice through study, rendering and mark making.

Lecture: 18 hours

Studio/lab: 60 hours

Self-directed study: 130 hours

Tutorial: 30 hours

Assessment: 62 hours

Block 2: Animation principles

This module further expands on the Principles of Animation, applying them to character performance across 2D and 3D. Narrative structure will unpack the various ways we can tell animated stories, introducing students to a variety of narrative approaches that reflect professional processes. Students will further develop their drawing portfolios with a focus on perspective, shading, scale and form. Students will also be introduced to audio, where they engage in recording practices in preparation of their animated works. Animation history will investigate the artistic productions of international animation, exploring a variety of animated approaches from a contextual perspective.

Lecture: 18 hours

Studio/lab: 60 hours

Self-directed study: 130 hours

Tutorial: 30 hours

Assessment: 62 hours

Block 3: Visual thinking and communication

This module expands on animation fundamentals; exploring expression, dialogue, and the emotive performance of character animation in both 2D and 3D. Narrative practice will support students' final block animation, as they develop short form stories to bring to life through scripts for animated projects. Students will begin to explore pre-production, producing industry-standard storyboards, based on continuity editing. These will focus on character and how this relates to both environments and emotions through narrative. Anatomy will further develop drawing fundamentals exploring the human body and how it can be accurately and creatively articulated through visual imagery. This module will also continue with Audio production for animation, where students will engage in recording processes in preparation of their block 4 animated projects.

Lecture: 18 hours

Studio/lab: 60 hours

Self-directed study: 130 hours

Tutorial: 30 hours

Assessment: 62 hours

Block 4: Project 1

In this final module students will create a short form animation in both 2D and 3D in preparation of both their portfolios and second year 2D or 3D pathway learning. This should integrate and consider the placement of audio production conducted in block 3 and reflect the material taught throughout the year. Narrative production will finalise students' understanding of story and animation by documenting the processes of their animated work to reflect industry standard practice. Drawing content will focus on conceptual application and design, expanding outside of realism into more imaginative forms relating to digital practice. Students will continue pre-production, translating storyboards into industry standard animatics, further developing students' growing portfolios. This module will finalise students' foundational knowledge in anticipation of increased creative ownership, professional practice and independence in their second year.

Lecture: 18 hours

Studio/lab: 60 hours

Self-directed study: 130 hours

Tutorial: 30 hours

Assessment: 62 hours

Block 1: Advanced animation

For this module students will select between the 2D and 3D pathway, this will channel and focus their professional and creative development to specialise in either mode of animated practice. They will learn new creative methods and software, producing performative tasks relating to puppet and rigged animation respectively. Animated work will be supported by audio, reflecting professional production practices, in anticipation of sound and dialogue tasks. Students will further explore the contextual history of animation at a more advanced and critical level, studying the impact of digital 3D animation and VFX. Additionally, students will produce a body of pre-production, reflecting either 2D or 3D industry pipelines. This will begin with effective research and ideation processes, concepts and designs focused on creative briefs. Drawing content will focus on imaginative application, with an emphasis on character design, supporting the collective elements of this block and further contributing to a developing artistic portfolio.

Lecture: 18 hours

Studio/lab: 60 hours

Self-directed study: 130 hours

Tutorial: 30 hours

Assessment: 62 hours

Block 2: Animated communication

In this module students focus on animated performance, exploring how sound and dialogue relate to practice, producing portfolio pieces relating to either their 2D or 3D pathway. 2D pathway students will learn how to create dialogue-based animations and 3D pathway students will focus on facial rigging in preparation of dialogue. The animated outcome will integrate sound preparation from the first module, to show an advanced understanding of how audio relates to animation. Students in either mode of practice will also collaborate in a group project, as they each contribute animated work to a larger scale team project. Visual context will explore how design communicates the various intentions of narrative through design, further developing the practical implementation of context to practice. Students will then explore more advanced skills in drawing, developing a 4-panel comic format body of work which aims to further develop the relationship between narrative structure and design. Pre-production will investigate the advanced applications of both design and narrative in relation to a developing body of pre-production portfolio work.

Lecture: 18 hours

Studio/lab: 60 hours

Self-directed study: 130 hours

Tutorial: 30 hours

Assessment: 62 hours

Block 3: Project development

This module will prepare both 2D and 3D pathways students to produce a final animated short to include in their developing professional portfolios. These developing animations will be supported by audio sessions which will facilitate further understanding of professional production practices. Students will also explore layout and composition, examining the deliberate placement and framing of their design work and how this applies to narrative. Pre-production will enter the animatic phase for 2D or 3D, as students apply their developed work to a progressed level reflecting the industry production pipeline. Students will be further supported in traditional life drawing sessions, focused on anatomy, dynamic art and action poses to further expand their portfolios and support animated practice.

Lecture: 18 hours

Studio/lab: 60 hours

Self-directed study: 130 hours

Tutorial: 30 hours

Assessment: 62 hours

Block 4: Project 2

This module will finalise student animated shorts in relation to either 2D or 3D pathway disciplines, refining and preparing their work ready for portfolio integration. Students will also complete their pre-production work by generating test shots that reflect the years developing work and to further enhance their developing portfolios. To widen the student’s perspective on animated narratives and styles, the field of Contemporary Experimental Animation is explored, examining films that push traditional cinematic storytelling and innovate animated techniques through an artistic lens. Students will further develop their drawing skills with a focus on creative set design and environments, presenting both traditional and digital modes of practice.

Lecture: 18 hours

Studio/lab: 60 hours

Self-directed study: 130 hours

Tutorial: 30 hours

Assessment: 62 hours

Block 1: Pre-production 1

Students will begin their final year with the necessary groundwork and pre-production processes to facilitate a larger scale project. This block encourages independence, as students accumulate what they have learned throughout the course to prepare for their 2D or 3D final project. Students will engage in processes such as; idea generation, concepts, storyboards, scripts and design; producing material that demonstrates their thought process and the applicable preparation for their final project. Audio will provide students with collaboration opportunities to consider in their pre-production and scheduling, allowing them to be involved in the full production process. The focus of lecturers will be to support, guide and facilitate the student realising their animated ambitions, acknowledging the developed expertise they have cultivated whilst on the course.

Lecture: 18 hours

Studio/lab: 60 hours

Self-directed study: 130 hours

Tutorial: 30 hours

Assessment: 62 hours

Block 2: Pre-production 2

This module will finalise the needed 2D or 3D preparation for students' final projects. All students are expected to produce a body of both visual and written materials demonstrating appropriate pre-production to create their 2D or 3D projects in the following modules. The prepared materials should reflect the industry processes relating to either 2D or 3D modes of practice to further enhance students' professional portfolios. Guidance will be given by lecturers to support the ambitions of the students' projects and further promote the implementation of professional practice. Students developing projects will be supported by sound production, providing collaboration opportunities to further enhance their projects as they follow industry production pipelines.

Lecture: 18 hours

Studio/lab: 60 hours

Self-directed study: 130 hours

Tutorial: 30 hours

Assessment: 62 hours

Block 3: Animation production

During this block students enter the production phase of their projects in either 2D or 3D modes of practice. The work should reflect the body of pre-production produced in the previous modules and students are expected to document their production process. They will demonstrate industry standard procedures to ensure the work produced is portfolio ready for their post DMU careers. Audio production will support students developing work to encourage professional processes and industry ready projects. Additional guidance and support is provided in relation to industry preparation to ensure students are professionally prepared.

Lecture: 18 hours

Studio/lab: 60 hours

Self-directed study: 130 hours

Tutorial: 30 hours

Assessment: 62 hours

Block 4: Post-production

The final module concludes with the post-production phase in relation to the students' final 2D or 3D major project. Students are expected to finalise their major project and demonstrate professional post-production processes. This will be accompanied by documentation reflecting on their work, critically evaluating the materials they have produced and the production of promotional materials to prepare for film festival submissions and their post DMU careers. Students will be supported with further industry preparation exploring industry application processes, so they leave prepared for professional environments.

Lecture: 18 hours

Studio/lab: 60 hours

Self-directed study: 130 hours

Tutorial: 30 hours

Assessment: 62 hours

Note: All modules are indicative and based on the current academic session. Course information is correct at the time of publication and is subject to review. Exact modules may, therefore, vary for your intake in order to keep content current. If there are changes to your course we will, where reasonable, take steps to inform you as appropriate.

Structure

On this course, you will benefit from block teaching, you will focus on one subject at a time instead of several at once.

Teaching is delivered primarily through lectures and practical sessions, with access to keynote lectures and support from industry mentors. Practical classes provide hands-on experience of both drawing, idea generation, pre-production and digital 2D animation development. Tutorials are used to provide feedback and a framework for ensuring you see improvements in your work. Additional learning materials are also offered online.

Assessments include regular screenings of artwork and reports for peer, tutor and industry critique. You will be encouraged to produce festival ready animation and a showreel for employment, guided by experts from the animation industry and the teaching team. Industry representatives make regular visits to give presentations and review showreels.

Contact hours

You will normally attend around 12-16 hours of timetabled taught sessions each week, and are expected to undertake at least 24 further hours of directed independent study and assignments as required.

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Student work

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Our facilities

Our sophisticated, specialist facilities include industry standard 2D animation software, recording and sound studios, life room, and computer suites with Cintiq stations. Access to these facilities throughout your course, as well as lectures and practical workshops, will give you professional insight for a future career in the animation industry.  

What makes us special

Three students working together around a laptop

Block Learning

With Education 2030, you’ll learn in a focused ‘block’ teaching format, where you study one subject at a time instead of several at once. As a result, you will receive faster feedback through more regular assessment, have a more simplified timetable, and have a better study-life balance. That means more time to engage with your DMU community and other rewarding aspects of university life.

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DMU Global

Through DMU Global, we offer an exciting mix of overseas, on-campus and online international experiences, including the opportunity to study or work abroad for up to a year.

The diverse mix of academic-led trips, summer schools and volunteering projects organised through DMU Global saw recent Animation students have travelled with DMU Global to Tokyo, Japan to explore visual effects, media and animation.

Where we could take you

Animation student drawing a skeleton on a large sketchpad

Graduate Careers

Our graduates are working as animators, producers, high-flying VFX technical directors, lead technical runners, compositors, modellers and designers working on TV series and films.

They are working with international companies like Double Negative, Ubisoft (Shanghai), Jagex, MPC, The Mill, Blue Zoo, Character Shop, RJDM Animations and Ragdoll Productions and have worked on major films including ‘Batman: The Dark Knight Rises’, 'Les Miserables', 'Superman Man of Steel', 'Thor: The Dark World', 'Ex Machina', 'The Hunger Games: Catching Fire' and ‘Total Recall’.

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Placements

Work-based placements are one of the best ways to boost your skills and experience, and can often lead to your first graduate role.

They are the perfect means of discovering how your studies relate to the real world, and provide an opportunity to improve your confidence and make contacts to help you get ahead in the job market.

DMU’s dedicated Placements Teams can help you by providing access to hundreds of opportunities, giving one-to-one CV advice and interview preparation, and offering training sessions and support from a dedicated tutor.

Course specifications

Course title

Animation

Award

BA (Hons)

UCAS code

W615

Institution code

D26

Study level

Undergraduate

Study mode

Full-time

Start date

September 2024

Duration

Three years full-time, four years full-time with a placement

Fees

2024/25 UK tuition fees:
£9,250

2024/25 international tuition:
£16,250

Entry requirements

Typical entry requirements

We welcome applicants from a range of backgrounds.

  • 104 UCAS points from at least 2 A levels or equivalent, with Art and Design at grade C or above
  • Art and Design BTEC National Diploma/Extended Diploma at DMM

Plus five GCSEs grade C or above including English or equivalent

Alternative qualifications include:

  • Pass in the QAA accredited Access to HE Art and Design course with at least 15 credits in Art and Design at merit. English GCSE required as a separate qualification as equivalency is not accepted within the Access qualification. We will normally require students to have had a break from full-time education before undertaking the Access course
  • International Baccalaureate: 24+ points including Art and Design at higher level grade 5
  • T Levels Merit
  • Art and Design Foundation Diploma: Pass

English language requirements

If English is not your first language, an IELTS score of 6.0 overall with 5.5 in each band (or equivalent) when you start the course is essential.

English language tuition, delivered by our British Council-accredited Centre for English Language Learning, is available both before and throughout the course if you need it.

Interview and portfolio

Interview required: No

Portfolio required: Yes

Please see our portfolio advice page for full details.