Create worlds where anything is possible. Our animation degree, recognised by ScreenSkills, immerses you in the visual arts industry, teaching you how to delight audiences and viewers. Encourage your imagination to run wild and see your ideas flourish on screen.
Fancy following in the footsteps of those working in pioneering studios like Disney, Pixar and Aardman? From film to television, virtual reality to web animation and video games, our BA (Hons) Animation degree teaches you how to bring visual art forms to life. You’ll learn how to tell stories and engage audiences by creating the illusion of movement.
Animate your learning
The course is based around practical learning. Up for the challenge of working on live animation briefs from industry experts? Want to test your creative limits and see your ideas on screens big or small? The practical teaching on the animation course reveals how to make your animation ambitions a reality.
Over the three years you’ll experience the whole animation process – from idea generation and character creation to pitching, animated performance and post-production. We’ll also bring you face-to-face with artists from leading animation houses to give you networking opportunities that could propel your career.
ScreenSkills recognised course
This animation degree is recognised by ScreenSkills, the industry-led skills body for the UK’s screen-based industries. It carries the ScreenSkills Select quality-mark which indicates courses best suited to prepare students for a career in the screen industries.
It will help you achieve your aspirations, from careers in film through to web animation and video games.
You’ll build the foundations of your creative and practical animation skills during the first year of your animation course. We’ll cover commercial and experimental animation techniques as well as learning about character and performance. Dramatic creation and film structure are also on the agenda. You’ll find out how to take ideas from conception to final piece by working on briefs.
Applying Animation examines animation as a principal mode of communication across a range of media formats within today’s visually dominated culture. Through a series of focused research/animation projects, you will engage with global contexts for animation and apply your findings to generate commercial/experimental animation-based products. Application of animation might include projection-mapping projects, VR simulations, augmented reality or animations for mobile devices. Research, imagination and exploration will drive the ideas within this module. You will be asked to stretch the boundaries around traditional animation production and communication, break the constraints of the rectangular frame, and find experimental solutions for commercial problems. Practical workshops, research tasks and site visits will assist in developing the skills and knowledge required to complete an original animation response.
Module code: MED1452
Making It Move: Animation Techniques 1
Making It Move: Animation Techniques 1 recognises that animation is fundamentally concerned with the ability to effectively create the illusion of movement using inanimate forms. Through the investigation of a range of animation processes and techniques, this module introduces key animation principles that can be applied across various formats and media. The module is designed to build a strong practical animation foundation from which you can explore and develop essential animation skills and techniques. Examples may include pixilation, rotoscoping, sound production, 3D CGI, stop-motion, model-making and 2D animation production techniques. Workshops will develop an essential practical and contextual foundation from which to establish connections and relationships between various animation processes and motivations, as well as the techniques and procedures that underpin them, such as sound, editing and cinematography.
Module code: MED1449
Performance and Character: Animation Techniques 2
Performance and Character: Animation Techniques 2 reveals how character and narrative represent the two main drivers for an animated product. The module will introduce strategies and skills for developing and presenting character designs, animating and extracting effective performance to create appeal, emotion and convey narrative. You will establish key aspects of analysing and understanding acting and performance to underpin character development, design and movement. You will also explore aspects of acting for stage and screen, while analysing human movement, gesture, pose, form and anatomy through workshops and practical assignments. The module will examine how to adapt live movement into convincing animated timing, investigate how audio can enhance performance, and identify professional formats and standards for production design and presentation. You will learn to research, plan and articulate your solutions for application across a range of animation concepts.
Module code: MED1450
What is Animation: Animation in Context
What is Animation: Animation in Context brings together shared theoretical principles from film theory, media studies and animation analysis to question the meaning of animation as a mode of communication, an art form and a cultural phenomenon. Discussions and topics include montage, anime, animated documentary, gaming and adult sitcoms. At the heart of the module is the recognition that the subject of animation exists within a unique environment surrounded by a rich source of influences which are drawn from aspects of fine art, graphics, illustration, and film and TV production. The module places animation within its historical and contemporary context, while exploring it as a form of communication within today’s creative and interdisciplinary visual environment. You will investigate a broad range of animation styles and approaches in European and International animation texts, developing your understanding and knowledge of animation production as a method to place your own animation production design work within an appropriate contemporary context.
Module code: MED1451
Working in Creative Industries
Working in Creative Industries introduces you to the various sub-sectors of the constantly changing and evolving media and creative industries. The module will develop your knowledge and understanding of economic and policy concepts as well as issues within the context of the media and creative industries. The aim is to develop your understanding of contemporary media settings, from industrial to political, scholarly and practical. You will examine the television, film, animation, music, print, performing arts and online digital industries while also developing research skills.
Global Popular Culture introduces you to a range of popular culture products and processes and encourages you to reflect on the relationship between national and global consumption and reception. As such, the module will examine elements of pop-culture from a variety of nations and facilitate discussions of culture, popular culture and global and national markets and trends. You will be encouraged to explore areas around convergence, the diversity of experience and the reception of popular culture.
Module code: MED1446
Photography covers the basics in digital camera use and post-production, semiotic and photography theory. As practical knowledge of camera equipment and composition are required to fully exploit the creative possibilities of visual media, this module is designed to develop your camera skills, technical competence, and understanding of composition and photography. It concentrates on the principles of stills photography and develops your understanding of the photographic image that will be fundamental in developing knowledge and understanding for all visual communication. You will learn how to use digital photographic cameras and consider composition, framing, colour and post-production. The module also outlines how to ‘read’ photographs and use theoretical models (semiotics) to underpin your understanding. All work will be undertaken using digital technology and basic training in the use of cameras and Adobe Photoshop will be provided. No previous experience is required, and all equipment will be provided by the University.
Module code: MED1447
Language 1 is ideal if you want to learn a new language, or further develop your current language skills, as an integrated part of this degree. You can study French, German, Arabic, Italian, Mandarin, Japanese or Spanish (subject to minimum numbers for your preferred language). Delivered at the Edge Hill Language Centre, the module will be taught in an interactive, communicative manner, using authentic materials in the target language. Emphasis will be placed on all four areas of reading, writing, speaking and listening. You will play an active role in the weekly two-hour classes, engaging in role-plays, short conversations, videos, authentic texts and listening materials. You will also be encouraged to reflect on your own learning needs. On enrolment to the module, you will complete a language induction form and be placed into a language level group appropriate for your prior knowledge of your chosen language. Please note, while we will endeavour to accommodate varying language levels per module, this is not always possible. While you can join the module with some prior experience of your target language, you will not be able to study a language you are already fluent or proficient in.
Module code: TLC1010
In the second year of your animation course, you’ll take a closer look at rigging, animation, sound, lighting, cinematography and post-production to develop your practical experience in Year 2. Working on the theory behind this visual art form you’ll get to understand commercial and avant-garde animation in context. We’ll also give you opportunities to enhance your communication skills through presenting your ideas on a variety of animation projects.
Animation Light: Staging and Performance engages you with the complex nature of lighting and cinematography, in both physical and virtual environments, while exploring the equally critical role of performance and its staging. Establishing a specific situation or time within the animated image, while also creating mood and atmosphere, is largely dependent on the artistic performance of the animator, both through their characters and in creative staging using effective cinematographic sensitivity. As such, this module encourages you to engage directly with a range of performance approaches, lighting techniques and situations through studio-based training using the latest lighting equipment. Undertaking a series of dedicated projects, both individually and as part of a group, you will gain expertise in areas of performance and the associated lighting, shadow and colour for use within animation projects. You will explore the synergies between animated performance and the dynamic effects of cinematography, as well as the related design sensitivities required for 3D CGI, stop-motion and 2D animation, across a variety of production contexts.
Module code: MED2335
Animation Studio Skills
Animation Studio Skills focuses on your ability to understand and apply current animation production processes and techniques. Underpinned by investigative research into up-to-date studio practice, as well as industry masterclasses, studio visits and taught sessions, this module presents you with opportunities to develop specialist skills relating to a range of 2D, 3D CGI and stop-motion animation practice. This may include VFX, rigging techniques, motion-control and sound production techniques. The module will ensure that you are conversant with current animation design, process and technical craft skills and are familiar with sector trends in this competitive market.
A Sense of Place: Animation and Environment is a module based on the principle that the animated frame provides a blank canvas from which to generate, explore and manipulate concepts of space and place. With a focus on environment, the module introduces the methods designed to help you to develop believable and engaging animated spaces. Sessions will cover themes such as spatial narrative, architectural research observation, and construction and soundscapes, all of which can help to establish the location of your animation. You will examine how to construct and develop environments within animation production and discover how, with the advent of 3D CGI environment work, animation production has increasingly moved away from creating 2D backdrops of landscape and cityscape, to include working with geometry in 2.5D.
Module code: MED2333
Animation and the Avant-Garde
Animation and the Avant-Garde introduces you to the landscape of experimental forms of animation, from the dawn of cinema right through to the present day. The module will interweave both theory and practice, to allow you to learn about the development of avant-garde forms of filmmaking, with a particular focus on experimental animation, before applying your contextual knowledge to your own practice. You will be introduced to the broad history and theory of avant-garde, with more specialised sessions on ground-breaking artists such as Walter Ruttmann, Len Lye and Jan Svankmajer. You will then apply your knowledge in workshops where you will create your own experimental animation product.
Module code: MED2339
Animation and the Real World
Animation and the Real World is centred on the principle that the commercial application for an animated product is no longer confined to a single screen, 16:9 format. Animation output today embraces small-screen formats, large-elongated multi-screen side-of-building-advertisements and game-based environments, all of which sit alongside more traditional platforms for TV or film. Through the investigation of real-world contexts, such as festivals, virtual reality, projection for theatre venues and art projects, as well as TV and commercial advertising, this module examines the diverse range of possible screening opportunities for animation outputs today. You will also consider and develop professional approaches to project-management, pitching, concept research, working to client specifications and delivering a final product. Assessment will be via live and simulated creative industries/animation briefs. These will provide you with opportunities to develop the skills, techniques and processes to respond to commercially orientated products in creative, imaginative and exciting ways.
Module code: MED2336
Animation on Screen
Animation on Screen provides a critical and historical approach to the various forms of animation. Being a popular mainstream form in a variety of media including television, film and game, animation provides a rich field for study. Furthermore, the subject of animation exists within a unique environment which draws upon elements of fine art, graphics, illustration, film, and TV production. With a history to rival live action cinema, animated forms have been at the centre of critical debates around their use, from political propaganda to the relationship with art, to the everyday and the real. A range of critical approaches will be evaluated in the light of animation being a form that shares so much with live action cinema, yet formally proclaims its dissimilarity to it. Encompassing movements such as mainstream, political and avant-garde styles, while encouraging a critical appreciation of diverse animations from around the globe, the module will enable you to recognise and evaluate the nature of animation’s unique potential for communication and artistic expression.
Module code: MED2346
Fan Cultures and Subcultures
Fan Cultures and Subcultures requires you to critically evaluate the development of a variety of media audiences into actively engaged consumers and, potentially, producers of content of their own. The module will focus on the rapid growth in the development of fan culture in recent years and situate fan cultures within the context of wider audience behaviour. You will analyse the history of subcultural modes of active fandom, dating back to the cultural revolution of the rock and roll age, Hollywood cinema and the development of television in the aftermath of World War II. You will also be encouraged to engage with research methods appropriate to the study of media audiences and subcultural communities, including quantitative and qualitative methods such as surveys, ethnography or focus groups as means of developing primary data.
Module code: MED2329
Studio Case Study 1: Disney – Princess or Pariah
Studio Case Study 1: Disney – Princess or Pariah provides you with the opportunity to research and explore the concept of social and political change, including their effect on animation production content in global audience contexts. Using contemporary Disney production output and its global media company position, you will explore both changing character design and story content guidelines for audiences in the light of social change. The changing landscape of socially responsible content creation, as well as the ever-increasing guidelines and conventions now affecting the design of international production products, will also be assessed. Investigating the drivers and processes of the American studio system and the Disney corporation, you will explore the effect of major players like Disney on modern transglobal media product design.
Module code: MED2338
Language 2 is ideal if you want to learn a new language, or further develop your current language skills, as an integrated part of this degree. You can study French, German, Arabic, Italian, Mandarin, Japanese or Spanish (subject to minimum numbers for your preferred language). Delivered at the Edge Hill Language Centre, the module will be taught in an interactive, communicative manner, using authentic materials in the target language. Emphasis will be placed on all four areas of reading, writing, speaking and listening. You will play an active role in the weekly two-hour classes, engaging in role-plays, short conversations, videos, authentic texts and listening materials. You will also be encouraged to reflect on your own learning needs. On enrolment to the module, you will complete a language induction form and be placed into a language level group appropriate for your prior knowledge of your chosen language. Please note, while we will endeavour to accommodate varying language levels per module, this is not always possible. While you can join the module with some prior experience of your target language, you will not be able to study a language you are already fluent or proficient in.
Module code: TLC2000
In your final year of this animation degree, you’ll become familiar with the real-life aspects of running and working within a professional animation studio. Hear from industry guest speakers and work out your future career path.
Finally, you’ll get to show your creative abilities and technical skills on a comprehensive animation project, and complete a dissertation in an area of animation that interests you most.
Animation Project: Pre-Production offers you the opportunity to undertake in-depth personal research and develop the pre-production process for a substantial animation project. The module takes you through three of the five key processes of production (development, pre-production design, production scheduling) and provides you with a professional framework in which to prepare to undertake a large-scale, animation-based production project under supervision. It is essential that the planning and preparation of a large-scale animation project anticipates and addresses potential issues and problems in production before they arise. On this module you will therefore develop advanced skills in pre-production design, process and management, ensuring you gain a specialised focus on the importance of the pre-production process, in preparation for developing a full animation product.
Module code: MED3279
Animation Project: Production
Animation Project: Production offers you the opportunity to work under supervision to develop a substantial animation project and undertake in-depth personal research. Animation production requires a dedicated and focused approach to translating and completing the work undertaken during pre-production. This module will enable you to enhance and apply your animation production skills to a single overarching project in your chosen area of specialism. You will explore areas of interest, investigate topics and examine a range of presentational forms explicitly linked to the project. The module takes you through the key processes of production and post production and provides you with a professional framework in which to undertake a supervised large-scale animation-based production project.
Module code: MED3280
Creative Enterprise and Employment Portfolio
Creative Enterprise and Employment Portfolio is focused on the development of individual enterprise and employment strategies, as well as the production of an industry-standard showreel or portfolio of work. The aim is to provide you with the opportunity to present your best work in the most suitable format for potential employers enabling you to demonstrate your production skills in preparation for the highly competitive employment marketplace in the creative industries. You will receive guidance on how to structure a CV and engage with entrepreneurial routes to employment. This will include assistance in working with local and regional initiatives, employer mentoring, networking communities and small business set-up. The module will also cover postgraduate study opportunities.
Module code: MED3276
Dissertation/Research Project offers you the opportunity to undertake an in-depth personal research project, under supervision, and explore a range of relevant research methodologies and presentational formats. You will gain a thorough knowledge of your chosen subject area and be expected to shape that knowledge to produce a final submission that demonstrates your ability to locate the material within the wider contexts of your discipline. The project will require the consideration and discussion of methodological and/or epistemological issues, as well as a reflection on the ethical implications of research. The dissertation will allow you to work independently, with a supervisor, to explore areas of contemporary academic interest, consider issues of current or historical industry practice, and critically analyse case studies or products within specific cultural and social contexts.
Animation and Representation examines what animation as a medium can tell us about our shifting cultures and societies. The module will analyse animation to determine how different forms of the medium have presented ideologies and issues concerning representation. The module will examine a range of animated examples that fully represent the diversity of styles, techniques and technologies that have emerged through the history of animation. The case studies will invite the opportunity to explore broader social, political, historical and aesthetic paradigms in the way they are illustrated, articulated and negotiated across complementary axes of animated style and representation.
Module code: MED3282
Studio Case Study 2: Ghibli – Anime and Globalised Subculture
Studio Case Study 2: Ghibli – Anime and Globalised Subculture traces the unique creative movement of storytelling and visual interpretations exploring the important themes, social disciplines, cultural identity, art, history and sub-culture that has shaped anime and the prolific art and film of Studio Ghibli. The case study will establish the critical role of Studio Ghibli in progressing the anime art form to the level of cultural distinction and legacy that achieve such global popularity. You will analyse the culture underpinning the disciplines of Japanese art and investigate the origins of anime subcultures from comic to screen. The module will look at the media and contemporary art culture and identify artistic and literary traditions, themes and styles of presentation that can be traced to traditional art forms. The overarching aims are to investigate the concepts that drive the storytelling, analyse the narrative structures that communicate globally, identify the cinematography and grammar unique to the art-form, and explore how to apply the design, aesthetics, visual dynamics and production processes unique to anime animation.
Module code: MED3281
Language 3 enables you to build on and develop your previous language knowledge in French, German, Arabic, Italian, Mandarin or Spanish. You must have either studied the prior language module in the previous year or be able to demonstrate equivalent knowledge of your target language (though you will not be able to study a language you are already fluent or proficient in). The language levels available will be determined by the continuation of corresponding groups from the previous language module. You will gain the language skills necessary to become a more proficient user of the language. Classes will be taught in an interactive and communicative manner using authentic materials to promote meaningful communication. They will be conducted in the target language as much as possible. Emphasis will be on speaking and listening, with appropriate attention also being paid to other communication skills. Other work will include a variety of tasks which may be completed in the Language Centre.
Module code: TLC3000
Optional modules provide an element of choice within the course curriculum. The availability of optional modules may vary from year to year and will be subject to minimum student numbers being achieved. This means that the availability of specific optional modules cannot be guaranteed. Optional module selection may also be affected by timetabling requirements. Some restrictions on optional module choice or combinations of optional modules may apply.
How you'll study
Teaching and learning for the animation course takes place through workshops, lectures, seminars and screenings. Your learning will be supported by a Personal Tutor, individual or group tutorials and an experienced team of specialist technicians. You will also have the opportunity to attend annual Animation festivals, such as Manchester Animation Festival MAF.
Timetables for your first week are normally available at the end of August prior to enrolment in September. You can expect to receive your timetable for the rest of the academic year during your first week. Please note that while we make every effort to ensure that timetables are as student-friendly as possible, scheduled teaching can take place on any day of the week. Wednesday afternoons are normally reserved for sports and cultural activities.
How you'll be assessed
Assessment will be via written and practical assignments, research projects and individual and group presentations.
Who will be teaching you
The animation course is taught by an enthusiastic, experienced team with a wide range of interests and practical animation industry experience. Lecturers are research-active in animation and the media and have experience in using the variety of resources available to you.
Guest speakers will also contribute to programme delivery and develop your industry contacts. Recent guest speakers to the University include BBC (CBeebies/CBBC), Mackinnon and Saunders (Corpse Bride, Frankenweenie), Cubic Motion (Amazing Spiderman 2), Mainframe North and Studio Liddell, as well as speakers from Cosgrove Hall Fitzpatrick (Pip) and Factory TransMedia (Strange Hill High and Clangers).
Typical offer 112-120 UCAS Tariff points. The study or experience of creative arts subjects, for example art, graphics or media, is preferred.
In most cases we will invite you to provide a digital portfolio of work to support your application. An interview may form part of the selection process.
BTEC Extended Diploma (or combination of BTEC QCF qualifications)
Distinction, Merit, Merit (DMM).
Overall grade of Merit.
International Baccalaureate (IB)
We are happy to accept IB qualifications which achieve the required number of UCAS Tariff points. Subject-specific requirements at Higher Level (HL) Grade 5 may apply.
Access to Higher Education Diploma
45 credits at Level 3, for example 15 credits at Distinction and 30 credits at Merit or 24 credits at Distinction and 21 credits at Merit. The required total can be attained from various credit combinations.
Please note, the above examples may differ from actual offers made. A combination of A Level and BTEC awards may also be accepted.
If you have a minimum of two A Levels (or equivalent), there is no maximum number of qualifications that we will accept UCAS points from. This includes additional qualifications such as Extended Project Qualification (EPQ), AS Levels that haven't been continued to A Level, and General Studies AS or A Level awards.
English language requirements
International students require IELTS 6.0, with a score no lower than 5.5 in each individual component, or an equivalent English language qualification.
If your current level of English is half a band, one band, or one-and-a-half bands lower, either overall or in one or two elements, you may want to consider our Pre-Sessional English course.
Should you accept an offer of a place to study with us and formally enrol as a student, you will be subject to the provisions of the regulations, rules, codes, conditions and policies which apply to our students. These are available at www.edgehill.ac.uk/studentterms.
Did you know?
If you join a full time undergraduate degree at Edge Hill University, we will guarantee you the
offer of a room in our halls of residence for the first year of your course.
Animation students are based in Creative Edge, a state-of-the-art £17million building offering highly contemporary suites of outstanding facilities for the Department of English and Creative Arts.
Key features include TV studios with broadcast capacity and full production capabilities, recording studios, sound-editing suites, animation studios, a photographic studio, radio studio and multimedia laboratory. Our innovative resources are designed to ensure you gain practical experience to a professional standard. Dedicated support in the use of all creative media facilities is available through our Media Development Team.
Where you'll study
Practical animation work is supported by four dedicated animation studios equipped with 24″ HD Cintiq Wacom Touch monitors, Rostrum camera stations, Rotational light-boxes, 3D Printer and industry standard software: Adobe Creative Suite (including Photoshop, After Effects, Illustrator, Flash), Toon Boom Storyboard Pro, Harmony Premium, Autodesk Maya, Cinema 4D, ZBrush and VRay. Mac studio facilities provide access to the latest editing and audio software (AVID ProTools 11, Apple Logic X, Propellerhead Reason 7, Adobe SoundBooth CE, Native Instruments Komplete Ultimate, and Sibelius).
The stop-motion studio is designed to professional standards, utilising Canon EOS 700D/850D with 18-135mm IS Lens, Dragon Frame, Dedo lighting and motion control camera movement technologies. For Foley-FX work and voiceover production, you will utilise our audio post-production studios which come equipped with AVID ProTools HDX digital recording systems with C|24 control surfaces, as well as Waves and IK Multimedia, and a range of microphones. There are also several dedicated rehearsal rooms which provide electronic keyboards and a range of acoustic and electric guitars, effects modules and practice amps.
The UK tuition fee rate is subject to final Government approval for academic year 2023/24 entry. The University may administer a small inflationary rise in tuition fees, in line with Government policy, in subsequent academic years as you progress through the course.
EU/EEA and Swiss students who have settled or pre-settled status under the EU Settlement Scheme, as well as Irish nationals, may be eligible for the UK tuition fee rate.
Subject to eligibility, UK students joining this course can apply for a Tuition Fee Loan from the Government to cover the full cost of tuition fees. UK students enrolling on the course may also be eligible to apply for additional funding to help with living costs.
Please view the relevant Money Matters guide for comprehensive information about the financial support available to eligible UK students.
EU/EEA and Swiss students who have settled or pre-settled status under the EU Settlement Scheme may be eligible to apply for financial support. Irish nationals can ordinarily apply to Student Universal Support Ireland (SUSI).
If you are an EU student who does not have settled or pre-settled status, or are an international student from a non-EU country, please see our international student finance pages.
Your future career
You’ll graduate with a degree endorsed by ScreenSkills and be ready to dive into this vibrant and creative industry. A broad range of career paths could await you. Our graduates have secured rewarding roles such as:
animator at nDreams
senior motion designer at Crucial-FX
3D animator at Creative Soup
animator at Framestore
graphic designer at New Balance
Through this animation degree you’ll also have invaluable opportunities to network with members of the creative community that give a flavour of what the industry is really like.
Building a strong network within this burgeoning industry could set you up to find the animation career path best suited to your skills and interests.