|Course Length:||3 years Full-Time|
|Start Dates:||September 2015, September 2016|
|Department:||Department of Media|
|Location:||Edge Hill University|
- Explore a broad range of animation media and gain technical skills and a critical design appreciation of animation production processes;
- Benefit from extensive guest speakers from industry to support your learning;
- Build a portfolio of production products, undertake a work placement and develop industry contacts.
Animation is about the magic of making things move and telling stories through a rich and diverse visual art form. It is also about developing personal creativity, exploring exciting ways to engage audiences and developing visual communication methods. You will combine creativity and cutting-edge animation practice with the ability to develop and communicate good ideas.
Throughout the programme you will study traditional and contemporary digital animation processes, animation theory, film language and drawing. Essential skills designed to support your creativity will enable you to build an animation portfolio and prepare you for working within an exciting and diverse industry.
Course in Depth
What will I study?
In Year 1, you will explore the relationship between animation production and design, gaining a range of creative and practical animation skills. You will cover scriptwriting, dramatic creation and film structure, learning how to develop ideas from conception to final production. You’ll also consider visual culture as an important element within animation.
Year 2 develops your practical skills working on 3D and interactive and character animation. You will also practice essential animation studio skills such as sound, lighting, post-production and SFX. You’ll gain an understanding of media theory and its relevance to animation forms through the study of, and the relationship between, producers and audiences. Year 2 also offers a series of elective modules for developing specialist animation skills and techniques. These include CGI, stop motion and 2D and convergent animation.
Year 3 includes studio practice where you will appreciate the real-life aspects of running and working in a professional animation studio. Guest speakers will engage you in evaluating the industry and encourage you to think about your future. You will create a substantial animation project demonstrating your ability and have the option of undertaking an in-depth research project or dissertation in an area that interests you.
How will I study?
This degree adopts a vocational approach and coursework includes practical projects, essays, case studies and individual and group presentations. Tutors provide individual supervision and support and the course is supported by state of the art facilities including Apple Mac studios, television and animation studios and video editing suites.
How will I be assessed?
Assessment will be via written and practical assignments, research projects and individual and group presentations.
There are no formal written examinations as part of the current assessment methods on this programme.
Who will be teaching me?
You will be taught by an experienced team with a wide range of interests and industry experience. Lecturers are research-active in animation and the media and have experience in using the variety of resources available to you.
The programme team run a dedicated blog for prospective Animation students. Keep up-to-date by visiting blogs.edgehill.ac.uk/animation.
A Great Study Environment
The Department of Media is based in Creative Edge, a state-of-the-art £17m building offering highly contemporary suites of outstanding facilities for Animation students.
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.
Practical animation work is supported by four dedicated animation studios equipped with 24″ HD Cintiq Wacom Touch monitors, Rostrum camera stations, Rotational light-boxes, and industry standard software: Adobe Creative Suite (including Photoshop, After Effects, Illustrator, Flash), Toon Boom Storyboard, Animate Pro, Autodesk Suite (including Maya, 3DS Max, Motion Builder), Nuke, 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 with 18-135mm IS Lens, Dragon Frame DCM-16 software with USB controller and its accompanying ARC Triad1 motion control head, which together provide accurate motion control for multi-pass single frame production to match live-action and green screen footage. You will also have access to two green-screen production facilities and a motion-capture suite.
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 (AKG, Coles, Neumann, sE, Electro Voice, etc). There are also several dedicated rehearsal rooms which provide electronic keyboards (Yamaha, Kawai) and a range of acoustic and electric guitars (Fender, Gibson, Gretsch, Martin, Taylor, etc), effects modules and practice amps.
The University library stocks a comprehensive range of animation books, e-books and specialist animation journals, including Animation Magazine, the Animation Practice, Process and Production Journal, and theInternational Journal of Computer Graphics and Animation.
The North West is a vibrant place to study Animation and Edge Hill University’s outstanding facilities are underpinned by excellent links with the creative industry centres in Manchester and Liverpool. Recent guest speakers to the University include 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).
Additionally, you will have the opportunity to attend annual Animation festivals, such as BAF Bradford Animation Festival and Animex. A partnership with Beijing Institute of Graphic Communication and Changsha offers the possibility of an overseas exchange.
MED1200 Scriptwriting (20 credits)
Scriptwriting examines particular demands of scriptwriting for the moving image and, in particular, scriptwriting for animation. During the module you will undertake a variety of exercises and practical writing projects designed to help encourage an appreciation of the processes of dramatic creation. Ideas will be developed from initial concept through to final animation production and translation of a finished product.
MED1204 Understanding Visual Cultures (20 credits)
Understanding Visual Cultures introduces you to ways in which you can think about, and thus critically examine the visual and visualisation. Engaging with a variety of theoretical approaches, you will be offered opportunities to actively engage with visual technologies and experiences and to apply and problematise critical approaches through reflection upon your experiences.
MED1213 Animation Production (20 credits)
Animation Production introduces you to a variety of associated animation production techniques including 2D animation, analysing 2D and 3D animation, digital and non-digital animation, transferring analogue to digital, rostrum camera production, using light boxes, scanning images, 2D CG animation techniques, stop motion animation techniques and timing for animation. The module specifically encourages the development of practical skills from traditional to digital.
MED1214 Drawing and Design for Animation (30 credits)
Drawing and Design for Animation offers the opportunity to develop a range of creative animation skills and production methods, both from a digital and traditional perspective. The module may include the following areas of study: life-drawing sessions, storyboard production, creative processes via drawing and rudimentary perspective skills.
MED1215 Experimental and Convergent Animation Environments (20 credits)
Experimental and Convergent Animation Environments provides an introduction to contemporary and traditional practices and establishes contexts for independent and commercial production, developing skills and concepts in relation to experimental animation production and research. You will explore the notion of an alternative vocabulary within animation production including innovative approaches to the aesthetics of motion, pacing, structure, visual design, colour, form and the interaction of image and sound. You will also investigate how digital animation environments can reinvent ‘classic’ approaches to production forming synergies between contemporary and traditional practices. This module introduces issues surrounding ‘new’ and ‘old’ within the context of artistic achievement, develops an insight into the historical lineage of experimentation into established processes and concepts, and identifies contemporary examples through production research.
MED1216 What is Animation? History and Context (10 credits)
What is Animation? History and Context places animation within its historic and contemporary context and explores the concept of animation as a form of communication within today’s multifarious visual environment. Through a combination of written and practical-based work, you will investigate a broad range of animation styles and approaches including European and International animation texts. Developing your understanding and knowledge of animation production, you will be able to place your own production design work within an appropriate contemporary context.
MED2211 SFX and Post Production (20 credits)
SFX and Post Production builds upon the skills-base accumulated throughout the programme and is designed to provide you with a high level of practical post-production techniques and skills as well as the ability to critically analyse screened SFX. The module may include the following subjects: advanced 3D effects, compositing and SFX techniques, and post production processes including blue-screen.
MED2224 Scriptwriting and Character Development (20 credits)
Scriptwriting and Character Development focuses on the discipline of both scriptwriting and character animation production. You will develop a variety of character animation production techniques and processes including 2D and 3D CG animation and develop your skills as a scriptwriter. The module may include the following subjects; life-drawing, facial animation, body language, concepts of movement and gesture, weight, balance and dynamics, caricature and expression (including facial expression and body language) and acting.
MED2226 Lighting, Sound and Art Direction (20 credits)
Lighting, Sound and Art Direction gives you the opportunity to engage with the complex nature of lighting in both physical and virtual environments. Within the theoretical framework of the module you will explore the practical and dynamic effects of lighting and colour. The module provides the opportunity to enhance your sound production skills and consider the use of sound within the animation arena at an advanced level of detail. You will generate lighting and sound effects using a variety of techniques as a complement to animated sequences.
MED2227 Spectacles, Bodies and Other Pleasures: Concepts in Television, Animation and Film (20 credits)
Spectacles, Bodies and Other Pleasures: Concepts in Television, Animation and Film is centred on how animation, television and film are in a constant process of change. This evolution is partially determined by new technologies which is reflected in contemporary media theory. The module aims to bring these theories together by analysing the experience of the visual in contemporary media. It will thus draw attention to the increased emphasis on aesthetics in film and television theory, ideas of spectacle and the centrality of the body to the experience of different media. It will also reflect on issues of convergence, the global and divergence in relation to the visuality of media. You will gain a deeper insight into key concepts of animation, television and film by focusing on contemporary discourses in their historical context, further enhancing your understanding of film, animation and television whilst also developing your critical and analytical skills.
MED2228 Animation Practice (20 credits)
Animation Practice provides you with the opportunity to attain skills in production research, pre-production processes, presenting, pitching, and portfolio and showreel development. The notion of animation is now synonymous with a diverse range of industries, including television, cinema, advertising, computer games, design and the Internet. There is a high demand for animators to transfer multiple skills and strategies for this diverse practice. The module identifies common and specific working practices across a broad range of animation production disciplines. These include independent and commercial practice in television, cinema, advertising, computer games, design, advertising, and multi-platform media. Through master classes and workshops from practitioners, you will be given the opportunity to experience, discuss and present projects and concepts to industry specialists. You will be encouraged to recognise preferred working practices and to relate your practice to vocational aspirations.
You will select one of the following modules:
MED2229 2D and Convergent Animation: Principles, Process and Technologies (20 credits)
2D and Convergent Animation: Principles, Process and Technologies recognises the vast opportunities offered by contemporary 2D and related mixed media practices open to the modern animation designer. You will have the opportunity to explore the broad range of current, emergent and avant-garde animation practice and process in this field, alongside the expanding array of audience delivery options and their implications on the design process. This module empowers you to begin to define an individual signature and design style in this area of animation and to place your work in appropriate contemporary production contexts for studio practice work.
MED2230 3D CGI: Principles, Process and Technologies (20 credits)
3D CGI: Principles, Process and Technologies recognises the differing requirements demanded by a variety of digital animation formats such as computer games, online animation and mobile technologies with specific reference to 3D CGI animation and modeling. Topics covered may include character animation for games, pre-rendered and real-time animation, creating 3D environments. The module enables you to begin to define an individual signature and design style in this arena of animation and place your work in appropriate contemporary production contexts.
MED2231 3D Stop-Motion: Principles, Process and Technologies (20 credits)
3D Stop-Motion: Principles, Process and Technologies offers the opportunity of specialist study in the key aspects of contemporary stop-motion animation, from character animation and SFX processes to mixed and multimedia design practices for this field. The module enables you to begin to define an individual signature and design style in this arena of animation and to place your work in appropriate contemporary production contexts.
MED3101 Personal Specialism (Pre-Production) (30 credits)
Personal Specialism (Pre-Production) offers you the opportunity to undertake in-depth personal research and to develop the pre-production process for a substantial animation project. The module guides 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 supervised large-scale animation/SFX production project. The aim is for you to develop advanced skills in pre-production design, process and management.
MED3102 Personal Specialism (Production) (30 credits)
Personal Specialism (Production) offers you the opportunity to work under supervision, to develop a substantial animation project and undertake in-depth personal research relevant to that project. You will examine areas of interest, investigate topics, and explore a range of presentational forms explicitly linked to the project. The module guides you through the final two key processes of production (production and post production) and provides you with a professional framework in which to undertake a supervised large-scale animation/SFX/VFX production project.
MED3124 Studio Practice/Placement (20 credits)
Studio Practice/Placement focuses on the real-life aspects of running and working with an animation studio. You will engage with important practical issues and essential professional practices including health and safety, copyright and project budgeting. The module is designed to provide you with real opportunities to meet and discuss the experiences of animation with professionals and also explores the range of opportunities for postgraduate study. Guest speakers will be a particularly important component of this part of the module and you will be encouraged to evaluate the realities of working within the animation industry, engaging in postgraduate study and being proactive in assessing your future. Key workshops on issues such as employment, interviews, networking, freelance work and finance will be offered throughout the module. You will also be given the opportunity to engage with industry in terms of both placement and live projects.
You will select a total of 40 credits from the following modules:
FLM3023 Cult Cinema (20 credits)
Cult Cinema introduces you to films that are often marginalised in academic film discourse as a consequence of their modes of production, content or manner of consumption. The module theoretically explores the interrelated concepts of ‘cult’, ‘trash’ and ‘exploitation’ cinema.
FLM3027 Animation and the Cinema (20 credits)
Animation and the Cinema provides a critical and historical overview of animation on film, encompassing mainstream, political and avant-garde forms and styles. The module encourages an appreciation of diverse animations from around the globe.
MED3225 Dissertation (40 credits)
Dissertation offers you the opportunity to undertake an in-depth personal research project, under supervision, and explore a range of research methodologies and presentational formats appropriate to the project. You will gain a thorough knowledge of your chosen subject area and will 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 module will enable 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.
MED3233 Showreel and Enterprise (20 credits)
Showreel and Enterprise is focused on the production of an industry standard showreel, or equivalent, which provides you with the opportunity to present your best work in formats suitable for potential employers to judge. The module is designed to provide you with a means of demonstrating your production skills to potential employers, as well as funding bodies for postgraduate study. You will engage with entrepreneurial routes to employment, receive assistance in working with local and regional initiatives, and be introduced to employer mentoring, networking communities and small business set-up.
Please note, optional module selection is subject to module availability and timetabling. Some restrictions on optional module choice may apply.
280 UCAS Tariff points. Creative Arts subjects are preferred. The production of a creative arts portfolio can be credited with contributing 80 UCAS Tariff points towards the total.
Some typical examples of how you can achieve 280 UCAS Tariff points are detailed below.
- A Levels – BBC;
- BTEC Extended Diploma (or combination of BTEC QCF qualifications) – Distinction, Merit, Merit (DMM);
- Access to Higher Education Diploma – successful completion of Diploma.
Please note, the above examples may differ from actual offers made. A combination of A Level and BTEC awards may also be accepted.
As long as 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 the Welsh Baccalaureate and Certificate of Personal Effectiveness (CoPE), AS levels that haven’t been continued to A2, and General Studies AS/A2 awards.
For further information on how you can meet the entry requirements, including details of alternative qualifications, please visit www.edgehill.ac.uk/offers.
EU students can get country-specific information about the University’s entry requirements and equivalent national qualifications at www.edgehill.ac.uk/eu.
International students should visit www.edgehill.ac.uk/international for information on the entry criteria for overseas applicants.
Recognition of Prior Learning
Edge Hill University recognises learning gained elsewhere, whether through academic credit and qualifications acquired from other relevant courses of study or through recognition of an individual’s professional and employment experience (also referred to as ‘experiential learning’).
Previous learning that is recognised in this way may be used towards meeting the entry requirements for a programme and/or for exemption from part of a programme. It is your responsibility to make a claim for recognition of prior learning. For guidance, please consult the University’s Recognition of Prior Learning Policy and contact the faculty in which you are interested in studying.
What are my career prospects?
You will be able to seek a career in animation houses, film studios, television companies and web companies as well as freelance opportunities.
How can I enhance my employability?
It is useful to consider, even before you apply, how you will spend your time while studying and make the most of your university experience.
Optional, additional activities are available on this degree which can help to prepare you for a stimulating and rewarding career. These include:
- Sandwich Year – you can apply to complete a sandwich year industrial placement as part of your programme (usually the third year of a four year degree) and gain highly relevant work experience;
- Year Abroad – you can apply to spend an additional year (usually the third year of a four year degree) studying or working abroad. Year Abroad options include ERASMUS exchanges with a growing number of European universities, study exchanges with universities in North America and Australia, and student opportunities in China;
- Language Learning – you may be able to select language modules in French, Spanish or Mandarin, delivered at the Edge Hill Language Centre, as additional study.
Please note, these options are selected during your course, not at the time of application.
Tuition fees for full-time study on this undergraduate degree are £9,000 per annum for UK and EU students and £11,150 per annum for international students enrolling on the programme in academic year 2015/16.
Subject to eligibility, UK and EU students can apply for a Tuition Fee Loan from the Government to cover the full cost of tuition fees. UK students may also be eligible to apply for additional funding to help with living costs.
For comprehensive information about the financial support available to eligible UK and EU students joining this programme in academic year 2015/16, together with details of how to apply for funding, please view our Money Matters 2015/16 guide at www.edgehill.ac.uk/undergradfinance2015.
Financial support information for international students can be found at www.edgehill.ac.uk/international/fees.
Edge Hill University offers a range of scholarships with a competitive application process for prospective full-time undergraduate students. These scholarships aren’t linked to academic success and celebrate determination, talent and achievement beyond your coursework, for instance in creativity, enterprise, ICT, performance, sport or volunteering.
Additional scholarships are available to eligible UK and EU students which you may qualify to receive. These scholarships reward outstanding grades and support students from lower income families with the cost of higher education.
To find out more about scholarships, to assess your eligibility, and to meet some of our dedicated scholarship winners, visit www.edgehill.ac.uk/scholarships.
How to Apply
Apply online through UCAS at www.ucas.ac.uk.
Visit www.edgehill.ac.uk/applyucas to find out more about the application process.
If you are considering applying to study at Edge Hill University, the best way to gain an insight into student life is to discover our stunning campus for yourself by attending an open day. You can view dates and book your place at www.edgehill.ac.uk/bookanopenday.
Alternatively, if you are unable to attend an open day, you can find out more about all of our events for prospective undergraduate students, including monthly campus tours, at www.edgehill.ac.uk/undergradevents.
Request a Prospectus
If you would like to explore our full range of degrees before you apply, you can order an undergraduate prospectus at www.edgehill.ac.uk/undergradprospectus.
Get in Touch
If you have any questions about this programme or what it’s like to study at Edge Hill University, please contact:
- Course Enquiries
- Tel: 01695 657000
- Email: email@example.com