BA (Hons) Animation
Institution code: N39Course UCAS code: W615Course length: 3 years
Explore the full range of animation techniques from 2D, CGI and stop motion on our BA (Hons) Animation degree course.
Our undergraduate animation course will help you develop core skills as an animator, as well as giving you the chance to focus on an area of your choosing within the diverse and ever-evolving animation industry.
Throughout your degree you’ll explore everything from character-based animation to technical 2D compositing and CG rigging; from auteur to ideas-based approaches in filmmaking.
You’ll graduate from the course with a personal showreel and online portfolio to promote and showcase your best work, equipped to pursue the career you choose and tackle any creative challenge the world of animation can throw at you.
Your animation skills
Explore basic storytelling techniques through workshops and masterclasses in dynamics, storyboarding and character creation. Develop skills of mastering movement through the principles of animation, drawing, observation, character, performance and expression, as well as sound and story design.
Discover how the illusion of life through observation, design and an understanding of movement underpins all great animated experiences. Engaging and interactive lectures and workshops will cover essentials such as character design, acting for animation and character sculpting.
Your animation future
You’ll have the opportunity to test your developing skills through engagement with industry, pitching responses to live briefs and your personal and collaborative projects to industry-based guest visitors from companies such as the BBC, Screen South and Bafta award-winning Blue Zoo.
You’ll get the chance to learn from experts, including eminent visiting lecturers like Oscar-winning director Daniel Greaves and animation, motion graphics and VR expert Kris Lavington Woods. Offering an insider view on a dynamic and fast-changing sector, they’ll help set you on the path for a successful career in animation.
Graduates work in a broad range of careers including
You’ll get specialist creative careers advice from our Careers Team in the Ideas FactoryNUA to help support you as you plan your career.
Watch the BA Animation showreel
- Year 1
- Explore the three major animation techniques: hand drawn and digital 2D, stop motion and digital 3D
- Gain understanding of the principles of animation; dynamics; character design; storyboarding, animatic production; animation production; sound design; skills of observation and life drawing; acting for animators; editing; compositing; show reel design
- Explore theory in character analysis and narrative structures
- Develop an understanding of media roles and practices.
- Year 2
- Build on fundamental skills with personally defined experimentation and continue to practice animation principles
- Work collaboratively through a series of projects designed to allow you to establish a good practice, essential for the animation industry
- Focus on production areas of your choosing
- Continue to explore your chosen areas of specialisation and develop your skills, with the potential to combine techniques
- Develop an understanding of audience, context, film language, and the elements of compelling storytelling.
- Year 3
- Specialise and bring together all your learning and experiences to create a personal portfolio
- Engage with a collaborative project with either your peers or external collaborators, allowing your creative skills to be tested in an industry standard practice
- Continue to enhance and refine your technical and creative skills in your chosen specialism
- Produce a personal showcase of your specialist skills and an original, animated short film
- Complete a Research Report that provides broad contextualisation to your practice.
Typical UK offers
A / AS Levels – GCE
GCE A/AS Levels 3 A-level qualifications at grades BBB, at least one of which must be in an art, design or media related subject. Where candidates are not taking 3 A-levels, NUA will consider combinations of A-level/AS-level and other Level 3 qualifications.
BTEC Extended Diploma (QCF or RQF)
Distinction, Merit, Merit in an art, design or media related subject
BTEC Diploma (QCF or RQF)
Distinction*, Distinction* in an art, design or media related subject
UAL Extended Diploma
UAL Level 3 Foundation Diploma in Art and Design
UAL Level 4 Foundation Diploma in Art and Design
Foundation Diploma in Art and Design
Access to Higher Education Diploma (Art and Design)
International Baccalaureate Diploma
A minimum of 32 points
NUA welcomes applicants of all ages from all backgrounds. Your application will be primarily assessed through interview and portfolio review so even if you have no formal qualifications or do not meet our typical offers it can still be worth applying.
If you are studying at the time of your application and your interview is successful, it is likely that you will receive a conditional offer.
If the qualification that you are studying is not shown, do not worry as we are able to accept other pre-entry qualifications as well as combinations of different qualifications. Please do contact our Student Recruitment Team if you have any queries.
We accept qualifications from all over the world, to find our entry requirements from a specific country, please check our dedicated international pages.
Most international students are required to hold an English language qualification. Applicants are required to have a minimum UKVI approved IELTS exam score of 6.0 overall, with a minimum of 5.5 in each section. Equivalent English language qualifications are acceptable such as, IB English language syllabus A or B/English Literature (Grade 4).
You can email us on firstname.lastname@example.org if you’d like to discuss your application individually.
BA Animation degree portfolio guidance
After you apply to study BA Animation at NUA we’ll invite you to an interview on campus or by skype or telephone, depending on your circumstance.
If you apply by the UCAS deadline of 15 January your interview will usually take place in February. We’ll ask you to prepare your portfolio ready to bring with you or submit online ahead of your interview.
This is your chance to show us what you’re all about. Choose pieces that reflect your creativity and personal interests, as well as demonstrating your technical skills.
How much work should I include?
Choose at least two projects that show the steps you took to develop an idea. This might mean you include experiments, drafts or variations that demonstrate the progression of a project from the earliest stages through to completion. Don’t worry if they’re not perfect drawings, paintings or renderings – we want to understand how you think during the creative process.
What type of work should I include?
Finished projects that you’re excited about! Remember, we’re interested in you. What motivates your choice in discipline? What shapes your creative identity? You can submit assessed projects and coursework, but we recommend including independent work where possible. Self-initiated projects showcase your ability to generate ideas and tell us more about you and your ambition.
Things to consider
Take your time choosing pieces for your portfolio
You should be confident and passionate talking about each piece. You may not be able to talk us through everything in your portfolio at the interview, so be sure to present the work in a logical way. Choose a layout that tells the story of each project and use a structure that gives a full picture of your creative practice.
Show us the full range of your creative experience and interests
Tell us about contemporary creatives that have influenced your practice. Exhibitions, shows or festivals that have inspired you or influenced your work. Competitions you’ve entered and prizes you’ve won. If you can, avoid too much repetition in style and subject matter.
Your portfolio should be relevant to the course you’re applying to, but you can include a wide range of work that shows your creativity, technical competence and understanding of space.
You may wish to include some of the following:
- A showreel of animation or film work
- Drawings, paintings or illustrations that demonstrate your skills, including life drawings, still life, images from observation (people and landscapes) or concept designs of characters and backdrops
- Use of digital software, which may include Flash, After Effects, Adobe Creative Suite, Coral Painter, ZBrush, Maya or Mudbox
- Scripts or short stories
- Story boards
- Models and/or sculptural works in any medium
- Experimentation in a range of styles and approaches in addition to your own style
- Sound design
- If you’re only submitting hardcopy materials you should aim to submit 20-30 pieces. Portfolios should be ring bound or loose boards between A4 and A1 in size.
- Include 2-3 sketchbooks with the portfolio to demonstrate idea development, contextualisation and your work strategies.
- Large, intricate or fragile pieces should be shown as good quality photographs.
- If you’re submitting a showreel you should also present 10-15 images of other work (see digital portfolios guidance below).
- Labels should be discreet, neat and used in a consistent manner for clear navigation.
- Ensure your name is on the portfolio.
- Include up to 30 images, including images from sketchbooks, research, experimental work and finished pieces.
- If you’re presenting a showreel, your work should be no longer than five minutes, but you can include 10-15 accompanying images.
- Ensure photographs and scans are in focus and in large enough format to see clearly.
- Digital work should be presented on an online platform such as your own website, Tumblr, Flickr, Prezi, MeMyArt, YouTube, Vimeo or a personal blog. The link should then be submitted through the Applicant Portal or by emailing the relevant address below.
- Ensure your digital portfolio is accessible before you arrive for interview, as your interviewer will load it in advance of the interview.
- UK and EU applicants should send their link to email@example.com
- Non-EU and EEA applicants should send their link to firstname.lastname@example.org
As part of your offer you may be asked to submit a piece of written work in addition to your application, usually after your interview.
Typically an essay, report or completed log of between 500 and 1,000 words, your submission should demonstrate your ability to think critically, make informed analysis and communicate confidently in a subject area related to your proposed course of study.
“Students learn everything they need to know on the course. We expect them to come with a passion for the subject area and be able to explain their ideas.”
– Peter Martin, Course Leader
Fees and Funding
The cost of your course is determined by your status as either ‘UK/EU’ or ‘International’, so it’s important to check your fee status. If you’re unsure, the UKCISA website will help you determine whether you’re eligible to pay a UK/EU fee (also called a ‘home’ fee). If you’d prefer to speak to NUA directly, please contact email@example.com
UK/EU students are eligible for a tuition fee loan from the UK government, meaning you won’t have to pay your fees up front. Further details about tuition fee loans are provided below. International students are not eligible for the UK government tuition fee loan.
2018/19 Tuition Fees For New Entrants
Undergraduate degree (full-time three and four year degree)
Undergraduate degree (full-time three and four year degree)
Fees will remain the same for each year of your course.
Find out more about 2018 fees for international students and the support available.
Financial support for UK/EU students in 2018
Tuition fee loans and loans for living costs are available, as well as non-repayable NUA bursaries that take into account family income. Find how to apply for funding.
Tuition Fee Loan for Undergraduate study
Tuition fee loans are available for UK and EU students.
- Available to cover the full cost of your tuition
- You don’t have to pay for your course up front yourself
- Only start paying back when you are earning over £25,000 per year
Maintenance Loan for Undergraduate study – 2018/19
Student Maintenance Loans are available for UK and eligible EU students to help with living costs such as accommodation, food, clothes, travel and course expenses. The amount students receive is dependent on household income and any maintenance grant received.
- A loan of up to £8,700 may be available if you live away from home.
- A loan of up to £7,324 may be available if you live with your parents.
How can you find out more?
Find out about scholarship programmes available to NUA applicants.
NUA offers bursaries to new students whose household income is £42,875 or less.
NUA alumni, staff and feeder staff discount
All NUA alumni are eligible for a £1,000 discount on NUA postgraduate degree fees. All NUA staff and staff from feeder institutions are eligible for a £500 discount on NUA postgraduate degree fees.
"I’m most productive in the Media Lab where I can work collaboratively with other students. Here we can discuss and debate ideas. It’s a good way to overcome self-criticism and avoid creative block"
BA (Hons) Animation
"The course focused on a variety of software skills which we used in live briefs, set by animators working for companies such as Baby Cow and Balloon Dog."
BA (Hons) Animation
"We work in all types of animation including 3D, 2D and stop motion. You can experiment on each project and through our group work I’ve had the chance to be involved with all aspects from storyboarding and editing to sound design."
BA (Hons) Animation
Stephanie & Fiona Dulieu
"The diversity of projects meant we explored lots of different ideas. We used the NUA workshops and software to push our ideas further."
BA (Hons) Animation
Melanie Coombs (Visiting Lecturer)Oscar-winning Producer, Melodrama Films
Clare Kitson (Visiting Lecturer)Animation Commissioner for Channel 4 (1989–99)
Don Boyd (Visiting Lecturer)Hollywood Director, Producer of numerous feature films
NUA welcomes ‘Hymn’ by Damien Hirst to campus
Damien Hirst's monumental scuplture, Hymn comes to Norwich University of the Arts.
Student films on Random Acts Ignition Network
Two animated films have been selected for screening on the Channel 4 ‘Random Acts’ website.
NUA Lecturer takes national role at Animated Women UK
NUA Lecturer Helen Piercy has been appointed Education Advisor at Animated Women UK.
A Place in the World
Friday 9 March 2018 - Saturday 28 April 2018
An exhibition of photography & film coinciding with the Women of the World (WoW) Festival.
Tuesday 15 May - Saturday 7 July 2018
Explore 'Unanamed' and 'Palace' by Nathan Coley at East GalleryNUA and St Laurence's church.
A Place in the World Workshops at East Gallery
Friday 27 - 28 April 2018
Interactive workshops for schools based on the current East GalleryNUA show 'A Place in the World'.
Undergraduate Open Day
Friday 29 June 2018
Explore our studios. Meet our staff and students. Find out how we are Teaching Excellence.