The animation, games and visual effects (VFX) industries are always searching for new talent. BA (Hons) Animation and Games Art allows you to explore and develop traditional animation techniques, key digital skills in 2D and 3D, and learn the core principles of character-led animation.
You'll be working on industry-led briefs and entries for festivals and competitions such as Encounters Film Festival and E4 Stings. It's all part of our commitment to help you become industry ready.
We place Animation and Games Art within the broader context of design to help you keep your career options open. You will also have the creative freedom and flexibility to develop your specific areas of interest, gaining transferable skills crucial for employability.
Year 1 (national level 4):
- Fundamentals of Animation and Games Art (60 credits)
Learn the fundamental principles of animation using traditional studio practices in 2D drawn animation through weekly character-based exercises that will culminate in a short, animated sequence using Toon Boom Harmony software. Be introduced to the Adobe Creative Suite in a separate creative brief related to game design. Attend weekly life drawing classes to enhance your figurative and imaginative drawing skills and engage in contextual and visual research to support and enhance your practical work.
- Creative Exploration (40 credits)
Create short sequences as part of a team using a variety of traditional techniques such as Pixillation, Direct animation, Smudge ‘n Click, Cut-out and Stop Motion, building on the principles and skills learnt in semester 1 and exploring visual storytelling further. Produce a short film for a student-led competition and public screening to showcase your first year’s work. Continue to attend weekly life drawing classes looking at expressive and experimental drawing techniques. Be introduced to 3D software and tools in a series of creative workshops and have the opportunity to collaborate with BSc (Hons) Game Development students and participate in local Game Jams.
- Design Theories, Practitioners and Context (20 credits)
Develop a knowledge and understanding of the important theoretical and historical contexts which have shaped modern design, opening up creative possibilities in your work. Gain a broad view of design disciplines, through lectures and seminars intended to provoke wider debate. Develop analytical and research skills by exploring subjects in design theory and history through assignments. Finish the module with an understanding of various historical and theoretical ideas, intended to encourage you to challenge conventional thinking.
Year 2 (national level 5):
Produce a collection of 3D animations culminating in an interactive, playable character. Produce a 3D digitally sculpted model and environment. Produce a short, animated lip-sync performance sequence working to a pre-recorded soundtrack.
- Preproduction Practice (20 credits)
Follow the preproduction pipeline for creating either a pitch bible for a children’s tv series or a games document for a 7-PEGI game from visual and contextual research through concept art, story art, character design, environments, assets, linear and non-linear storytelling. Create an animatic or walkthrough to demonstrate your concept’s viability. Pitch your idea in a short presentation at the end of the module. Work individually or as part of a creative team. Collaborate further with BSc (Hons) Game Development students.
- Advanced Visual Effects and Motion Graphics (20 credits)
Create a music video for an artist of your own choosing either as part of a collaboration, or working alone. Study the application of advanced After Effects e.g. rotoscoping, tracking techniques, using green screen and keylight - and choose to apply any creative technique to your work. Explore the genre and contextual background to music and animation in film and games, to the title sequence as an art form as well as create an ident for yourself. Help to organise a showcase of your work at a public screening at the end of the academic year.
- Global Challenges and the Ethical Designer (20 credits)
Develop a critical understanding of important issues linked to design such as the environment, globalisation, gender representation, equality and diversity. Be encouraged to consider your ethical role as a developing designer. Be introduced to ways of considering a major piece of written work (the dissertation in Stage 3), based on a subject relevant to your own practice. Finish the module with a developing design philosophy that potentially impacts on your ways of working and thinking in terms of studio practice.
- Experiencing the Creative Industries (20 credits)
Experience a short work placement with an employer. Alternatively, gain other experience of working in the creative industries. Examples include: live jobs; competition briefs; a creative placement; and a collaboration with fellow students from relevant subject areas.
Work placement (optional)
Final year (national level 6):
- Professional Engagement (40 credits)
Work on a chosen live brief as well as a piece to showcase your skills and enhance your showreel/portfolio. Employability Day will enable you to meet successful alumni from this and other Design courses and hear about their experiences after graduating and tips on employability. Create a Professional Engagement Document, which will show how you have interacted over the past two years with industry professionals either through placements, social media, visits to festivals and studios or other networking events. Focus on CV writing and interview techniques as well as the creative and technical skills required for your chosen specialism to enhance your employability.
- Design Dissertation (20 credits)
Research an approach, concept or practice relevant to your specialism that is intended to support your practical work in your final major project. An example of this from a recent graduate was the study of Magic Realism, which directly fed into the narrative of their graduation film. Demonstrate academic research methods to formulate a written piece of 6,000 words.
- Design - Final Major Project (60 credits)
Build on the skills and knowledge, both technical and creative, that you have gained across all previous modules to create a piece of work that best reflects your specialism and will, hopefully, take you into professional employment. Choose to work individually or as part of a team. Set up and exhibit your work in the final year Degree Show, which is open to the public and industry practitioners.