Animation BA (Hons)

Study level: Undergraduate
Student stood behind a 3D digital animation

The BA (Hons) Animation at Coventry University is for storytellers and artists who want to bring life to their creations through the application of movement.

Year of entry

Location

Coventry University (Coventry)

Study mode

Full-time
Sandwich

Duration

3 years full-time
4 years sandwich

Course code

WW27

Start date

September 2024


Course overview

From the outset, this course gives you the opportunity to create a highly creative portfolio relevant to your chosen area of creative practice.

Other benefits include the following:

  • Our graduates could be expected to work as 3D animators, 2D animators, riggers, modellers, character designers, environment artists, story boarders, animation directors, writers and comic artists.
  • The course cultivates a form of teaching where students experiment, exercise and practise. Our students explore, experiment and design with both analogue (drawing and primary visual research) and digital technologies and generate outcomes in 3D and 2D.
  • The Animation team fosters inclusivity in character development and narrative, drawing upon the traditions of cultures from around the globe, both contemporary, historical and mythological, with considerations of race, age, gender, disability and variety of body type.
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Why you should study this course

  • The outward facing nature of the course. Professional practice is a key component of the course with scope to undertake placements2 and briefs that respond to the needs of the creative industries.
  • A flexible approach enabling you to individually develop your creative practice and portfolio towards a wide range of potential career paths.
  • Opportunity to develop skills and experiment with a wide range of technology and traditional media.
  • Opportunity to take a placement or study abroad year2 (subject to additional costs).
  • Teaching staff are industry experienced practitioners and/or research active. Staff have worked for a wide range of clients and on major arts funded projects. Staff bring this experience into the teaching environment through practical teaching activities and project work that is core to the curriculum - it also helps to maintain currency and professional alignment to course content. Staff maintain a continuous relationship with industry and have a significant and growing portfolio of collaborative and industry-focused projects that inspire student research and development activities (staff may be subject to change).

What you'll study

This course has a common first year.

The common first year enables you to work alongside students doing similar courses to you, to widen your knowledge and exposure to other subject areas and professions. You will have the opportunity to collaborate with other students, so you can share your insights and experience which will help you to develop and learn.

If you discover an interest in a specific subject you have studied, upon successful completion of your first year, you could swap degrees with another course in your common first year (subject to meeting progression requirements).

Common first year courses

  • Animation BA (Hons)
  • Digital Media BA (Hons)
  • Games Art BA (Hons)
  • Games Design and Development BA (Hons)
  • Visual Effects (VFX) BA (Hons)

In the first year, the curriculum is shared across related courses allowing you to gain a broad grounding in the discipline before going on, in the second and third years, to specialist modules in your chosen field.

Modules

  • Creative play is the use of playful approaches to solve problems and develop solutions. This is an intensive real-world simulation module where you will be handed a live brief (either commercial, artistic, social or cultural) with a problem to solve. You will work collaboratively with students in the Creative Technologies cluster to create a ‘rapid prototype’ solution that can be presented to the client or wider public. Modelled on a ‘hackathon’, where coders, designers, project managers and others collaborate intensively on a project, this module will aim to enable you to develop skills across project management techniques, working to a creative brief, collaboration and problem-solving, as well as applying your subject specialist skills in an interdisciplinary team.

    Compulsory

  • Digital technologies have impacted the ways we tell and share stories. The module will examine traditional approaches to narrative in the context of new and emerging forms of storytelling such as games, virtual production, interactive web experiences, and immersive production. This module will enable you to think about the way that networked culture has enabled new forms of storytelling and creative design.
    You will explore the theoretical and practical dimensions of and approaches to narrative and storytelling drawing on the foundations of narratological theory and its practice. You will also investigate the effects of immersive forms of digital storytelling such as games, visual production, interactive storytelling, and extended reality (XR).

    Compulsory

  • This module aims to develop your skills in a range of specialist fields through applied practice. The module explores design principles and skills across a range of areas and you will apply your understanding of these design principles through the use of industry-standard software to respond to task briefs.
    It will introduce you to analogue and digital tools and methods used to produce artefacts in the creative industries including but not limited to VFX, games art, animation, digital media, and virtual production. You will receive specialist skills training in your field of study and apply the learned skills in a series of task-based artefacts.

    Compulsory

  • This module explores complex specialist skills development in the creative field of study, developing an understanding of professional approaches to processes through the application of skills. The focus of skills development will be on 2D and 3D visualisation and their application. In addition, you will be introduced to personal development planning and will be supported to become reflective learners through seminar and tutorial work.

    Compulsory

  • This module aims to encourage you to explore ideas development through practical exercises in concept development, prototyping, and design. This module will provide an introduction to problem analysis including brainstorming, the use of genres within the creative industries, concept sketching, prototyping, virtual production, design elements and the synthesis of these skills within visualisation techniques and the presentation of these concepts to the given audience
    You will engage with the perspectives, tools, and methods used within professional practice in the creative industries to develop initial concepts into testable prototypes for development and present these in a pitch presentation.

    Compulsory

  • This module will introduce you to the contemporary creative industries landscape, exploring theoretical and professional foundations in the practice of digital design and development in games, digital media, animation, VFX, and related fields. It will engage with the changing production context and the impact of new and emerging technologies on people, pipelines, and processes across these media forms.
    The module will explore approaches to production within the context of the creative industries, focusing on roles and responsibilities, production processes, and pipelines and workflows.

    Compulsory

In year two, you will continue to develop the skills and knowledge you’ve learnt. We do this by embedding the following four principles into the curriculum and developing your:

  • Technical skills – digital fluency, backed with the right academic knowledge
  • Study skills – to be an adaptive, independent and proactive learner
  • Professional skills – to have the behaviour and abilities to succeed in your career
  • Global awareness – the beliefs and abilities to be a resilient, confident and motivated global citizen

You will develop more advanced knowledge and skills to do with: character design, creature creation, and modelling, amongst others.

Modules

  • In this module, you will build on your experience and understanding of the processes of animation learned at level 4. The module encourages experimentation and problem solving whilst taking a broader approach to animation production, learning new techniques to address new challenges.

    You should develop your understanding of two-dimensional and three-dimensional digital animation theory and practice whilst developing a personal visual language. The project brief will include opportunities to examine developing media toolsets for animation and related outputs. An exploration of the concepts and applications of developing media activities within professional practice will also be included in the module.

    Compulsory

  • Bringing together best practice across VFX, animation and games, this module should advance your knowledge of 3D animation practices and character design. It builds on skills gained at Level 4 and examines fundamental techniques such as character sheets concept art and pre-visualisation, through to production, turntable renders, rigging, and walk cycles. You will also gain experience of working with different render engines to produce render passes, or AOVs (Arbitrary Output Variables) for compositing purposes. You may have the opportunity to collaborate with students from Games Art and Visual Effects (VFX).

    Compulsory

  • This module examines 3D character design techniques using sculpting platforms such as Mudbox or ZBrush from concept to development. You will create specific creatures (and relevant assets such as props or weapons) and rig them for animation in the context of games, film, and other creative formats. The module explores key animation skills in terms of breaking down the distinct stages of animation workflow such as testing, refining, and rigging. You will be expected to research anatomy and myology as the basis for their designs and produce characters that are broken down into manageable components for later use in the pipeline. You may have the opportunity to collaborate with students from Games Art and Visual Effects (VFX).

    Compulsory

  • The pre-production process in animation focuses on concepting, storyboarding, scripting, animatics, design, and logistics, and takes you through the pre-production pipeline in preparation for final animation production or related media.

    In this module, there is an emphasis on effective time management, professionalism, and preparedness. You will seek to develop a body of work that demonstrates a personal visual language that responds to market trends, innovation and emerging markets and avenues of employment, whilst simultaneously identifying the area of professional practice that you wish to pursue.

    Compulsory

  • Modelling and creating musculoskeletal structures for movement is core to the 2D and 3D animation process. In this module, you will look at the industry conventions that underpin effective modelling and rigging for animation, games, and live action content. Exploring both digital and physical production methods, you will have the opportunity to explore form using software or physical/mechanical production.
    You are strongly encouraged to draw upon a range of cultural references and explore variety and difference to inform your project outcomes. There will be an examination of developments and innovations together with opportunities to explore traditional and newly developing techniques in modelling and rigging. You will explore and evaluate the creative processes employed within various methods of the depiction of 3-dimensional form.

    Compulsory

  • Working collaboratively is core to the animation process and in this module, you will work as part of a creative team to produce a completed animation-related project, offering you the opportunity to experience first-hand the requirement for effective interpersonal engagement and professionalism across several disciplines. You should gain understanding of team dynamics and how to leverage your own and collaborators’ skills and abilities to the advantage of the overall team to successfully deliver the project.
    You will be required to attend regular team briefings, keep an accurate production log, and maintain a high level of professional communication with your team for the duration of the module. You will have an opportunity to define your own area of specialist interest and to take ownership of your individual contribution to the team project, which you will be marked on.

    Compulsory

There’s no better way to find out what you love doing than trying it out for yourself, which is why a work placement2 can often be beneficial. Work placements usually occur between your second and final year of study. They’re a great way to help you explore your potential career path and gain valuable work experience, whilst developing transferable skills for the future.

If you choose to do a work placement year, you will pay a reduced tuition fee3 of £1,250. For more information, please go to the fees and funding section. During this time you will receive guidance from your employer or partner institution, along with your assigned academic mentor who will ensure you have the support you need to complete your placement.

Modules

  • This module provides you with an opportunity to reflect upon and gain experience for an approved placement2 undertaken during your programme. A placement should usually be at least 26 weeks or equivalent; however, each placement will be considered on its own merits, having regard to the ability to achieve the learning outcomes.

    Optional

  • This module provides you with an opportunity to reflect upon and gain experience for an approved international study/work placement2 undertaken during your programme. A work/study placement should usually be at least 26 weeks or equivalent; however, each placement will be considered on its own merits, having regard to the ability to achieve the learning outcomes.

    Compulsory

Year three aims to bring you to the level to enter the world of work by consolidating your knowledge and skills from Year one and two. You could also work on a large final project in an area of your interest, with the support of a mentor.

Modules

  • The ability to address and respond to client briefs in a variety of contexts is core to animation practice and the positioning of animators within the professional landscape. This module provides you with the opportunity to externalise your practice by executing and synthesising responses to a range of professional, live, competition and self-initiated briefs.

    You will undertake projects that are relevant to your professional goals and will address issues including visual development, scheduling, turnaround times, verbal and visual presentation, budgeting and meeting the expectations of clients and contractees. Emphasis will be on ideas generation, encouraging you to formulate and articulate solutions professionally and within strict deadlines.

    Compulsory

  • Animation and related disciplines are informed by contemporary artistic, technical, historical, and cultural factors. You will undertake an exploration of contemporary, cultural, and technological debates and precedents relevant to your practical work so that you can locate your work within contexts of professional creative practice. Through this investigation, you will engage with industry, responding to the expectations of your chosen area of practice. Using this research, you will craft a report that will form the basis of the proposal for your Final Major Project.

    Styles of presentation for this component of the submission are flexible including visual/audio visual content. It must be a critically researched endeavour, in a text-based or scripted format which includes a bibliography, full referencing of sources and follows the guidelines provided in lectures and handouts. You should draw upon a range of primary and secondary research to formulate a critical report with which to facilitate your transition into professional creative practice.

    Compulsory

  • In this module, you will build on the skills and reflection developed in earlier stages. You will collect and collate your work and reflect on the relations, interpretations, and context of your current animation practice. You will be expected to demonstrate/evidence your awareness and understanding of the particularities of your chosen career direction through focused research, and to place your career aims in a professional context/ marketplace(s). The module will provide the opportunity for you to consider your own body of work within the context of your chosen field. At the conclusion of your final year, you will be required to present your work in an appropriate form for distribution within a professional context.

    Compulsory

  • In this module you will develop your ability to negotiate the challenges of working as part of a creative and technical team within and across disciplines. Throughout this module, you will be expected to further develop appropriate levels of negotiation, reflection, technical and visual research, and idea development together with growing awareness of different approaches to practice. You will be expected to plan, record, and implement the creation of finished artefacts in collaborative teams.

    This module addresses the collaborative culture of studio production across the animation and games art pipelines and responds to the need for collegiate communication in a professional working environment. Starting with a negotiated brief, you will produce work that will demonstrate meaningful planning, time management and high-quality output. You will minute and action appropriate expectations negotiated during the daily scrum which will be presented in the form of a production report at the end of the module.

    Compulsory

  • This module provides you with an extended period of studio practice to allow you to consolidate and refine your practice and produce a substantial, sustained, and coherent body of work leading towards a relevant professional portfolio. You are guided to both conceive and manage complex and challenging projects, by responding to a variety of live externally set briefs, and/or by extending your own studio practice.

    Projects may be hypothetical or personal, providing suitable context and purpose can be evidenced and supported in the proposal. You may choose to work collaboratively with clients, organisations, and audiences, or individually, establishing a realistic and externally tested personal practice. You will be expected to develop your skills in terms of managing complex, multi-dimensional challenges, integrating the skills and depth of knowledge acquired at Levels 4 and 5, whilst expanding your own discipline expertise. You will be expected to demonstrate the integration of analytical, theoretical, creative, and craft/ technological skills, explore/expand upon your personal philosophy, and evidence familiarity with the professional practices of the creative industry.

    You will be expected to demonstrate a high order of professional and transferable skills (relevant to your chosen discipline) including, for example, presentation and pitching skills, written and visual documentation, client meeting, brief writing, self-reflection, and portfolio preparation and exhibiting.

    Compulsory

We regularly review our course content, to make it relevant and current for the benefit of our students. For these reasons, course modules may be updated.


How you'll learn

Teaching contact hours

We understand that everyone learns differently, so each of our courses will consist of structured teaching sessions, which can include:

  • On campus lectures, seminars and workshops
  • Group work
  • Self-directed learning
  • Work placement opportunities2.

The number of full-time contact hours may vary from semester to semester, however, on average, it is likely to be around 12 contact hours per week in the first and second year dropping to around 10-12 contact hours per week in the third and final year as you become a more independent learner.

Additionally, you will be expected to undertake significant self-directed study of approximately 15 hours each week, depending on the demands of individual modules.

Part of university life is undertaking self-directed learning. During a typical week you will have time that allows you to work independently to apply the skills and knowledge you have learnt in taught or facilitated sessions to your projects or assignment briefs. This self-directed learning allows you to use your research skills, consolidate your knowledge or undertake collaborative group work.

As an innovative and enterprising institution, the university may seek to utilise emerging technologies within the student experience. For all courses (whether on-campus, blended, or distance learning), the university may deliver certain contact hours and assessments via online technologies and methods.

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, we are prepared for courses due to start in or after the 2023/2024 academic year to be delivered in a variety of forms. The form of delivery will be determined in accordance with Government and Public Health guidance. Whether on campus or online, our key priority is staff and student safety.


Assessment

This course will be assessed using a variety of methods which will vary depending upon the module.

Assessment methods include:

  • Portfolio
  • Presentation
  • Coursework
  • Project
  • Composite Assessment
  • Artefact

The Coventry University Group assessment strategy ensures that our courses are fairly assessed and allows us to monitor student progression towards achieving the intended learning outcomes.


International experience opportunities

We aim to encourage students to broaden their horizons by taking advantage of either study abroad or placement opportunities2. The art and design course teams work hard to ensure that students have the opportunity to widen their cultural understanding and feed their creative research through travel. Our students have gone on study trips to Lisbon, Barcelona, Paris and Copenhagen (subject to additional costs). These experiences often underpin independent projects and allow you to gain confidence in travelling abroad.

Please note that all international experience opportunities may be subject to additional costs, competitive application, availability and meeting applicable visa and travel requirements are therefore not guaranteed2.


Entry requirements

Typical offer for 2024/25 entry.

Requirement What we're looking for
UCAS points 112
A level BBC
GCSE Minimum 5 GCSEs graded 9-4 including English
BTEC DMM
IB Diploma 29 points
Access to HE The Access to HE Diploma. Plus GCSE English at grade 4 / C or above.

We recognise a breadth of qualifications, speak to one of our advisers today to find out how we can help you.

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Portfolio

You may be required to attend a portfolio showcase, activity session or audition or submit a portfolio via email (as is appropriate to your course), either virtually or face to face, as is practical to arrange. Invites for these sessions will be sent directly to your contact email.

Each application will be considered on its merits.

Are you eligible for the Fair Access Scheme?

We believe every student should have the opportunity to dream big, reach their potential and succeed, regardless of their background. Find out more about our Fair Access Scheme.

Select your region to find detailed information about entry requirements:


You can view our full list of country specific entry requirements on our Entry requirements page.

Alternatively, visit our International hub for further advice and guidance on finding in-country agents and representatives, joining our in-country events and how to apply.

If you do not have the typical entry requirements, you may want to consider studying this course with an international foundation year. Upon successful completion our International Foundation Year - Art, Design and Media will provide you with the knowledge and skills you need to progress onto this undergraduate degree.

Portfolio

You may be required to submit a portfolio via email or alternatively attend a showcase activity session or audition (as is appropriate for your course) which can be virtual or face to face, as is practical to arrange. Invites to send in your portfolio or attend these sessions will be sent directly to your contact email.

Each application will be considered on its merits.

English language requirements

  • IELTS: 6.0 overall (with at least 5.5 in each component area)

If you don't meet the English language requirements, you can achieve the level you need by successfully completing a pre-sessional English programme before you start your course.

For more information on our approved English language tests visit our English language requirements page.

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Fees and funding

2024/25 tuition fees.

Student Full-time Part-time
UK, Ireland*, Channel Islands or Isle of Man £9,250 per year Not available
EU £9,250 per year with EU support bursary**
£19,850 per year without EU support bursary**
Not available
International £19,850 per year Not available

If you choose to do a work placement2, you should consider travel and living costs to cover this. There is also a tuition fee3 of £1,250 that will cover your academic support throughout your placement year.

For advice and guidance on tuition fees and student loans visit our Undergraduate Finance page and see The University’s Tuition Fee and Refund Terms and Conditions.

We offer a range of International scholarships to students all over the world. For more information, visit our International Scholarships page.

Tuition fees cover the cost of your teaching, assessments, facilities and support services. There may be additional costs not covered by this fee such as accommodation and living costs, recommended reading books, stationery, printing and re-assessments should you need them. Find out what's included in your tuition costs.

The following are additional costs not included in the tuition fees:

  • Any optional overseas field trips or visits: £400+ per trip.
  • Any costs associated with securing, attending or completing a placement (whether in the UK or abroad).

*Irish student fees

The rights of Irish residents to study in the UK are preserved under the Common Travel Area arrangement. If you are an Irish student and meet the residency criteria, you can study in England, pay the same level of tuition fees as English students and utilise the Tuition Fee Loan.

**EU support bursary

Following the UK's exit from the European Union, we are offering financial support to all eligible EU students who wish to study an undergraduate or a postgraduate degree with us full-time. This bursary will be used to offset the cost of your tuition fees to bring them in line with that of UK students. Students studying a degree with a foundation year with us are not eligible for the bursary.

  • We carry out an initial fee status assessment based on the information you provide in your application. Your fee status determines your tuition fees, and what financial support and scholarships may be available to you. The rules about who pays UK (home) or international (overseas) fees for higher education courses in England are set by the government's Department for Education. The regulations identify all the different categories of student who can insist on paying the home rate. The regulations can be difficult to understand, so the UK Council for International Student Affairs (UKCISA) has provided fee status guidance to help you identify whether you are eligible to pay the home or overseas rate.

    If you meet all the criteria required by any one category, including any residence requirements, your institution must charge you the home rate. You only need to find one category that you fit into.


Facilities

Coventry University is home to superb facilities4 and our new Arts and Humanities building is planned to open in 2023. With access to industry-standard software, workshops and studio environments, you’ll gain practical experience through a mix of in-house assignments, self-initiated tasks, national and international competition opportunities, project briefs and concept visualisation briefs2.

We have a thriving studio culture with dedicated workspaces for all students in purpose-built studios with permanent exhibition displays, supported by wide-ranging technical facilities in both traditional and new technologies. In our Media Loan shop, you will have access to a range of photographic and media resources4.

Hyperstudio

The Hyperstudio is designed to be an experimental space where staff, students, community, and industry can collaborate to solve real world problems. It is a cube with high-speed connectivity and power, that is both a making and showing space into which an array of physical and digital technologies can be brought to support project needs.

Immersive media studio

The immersive media studio is a studio space designed to allow design, collaboration and testing of immersive experiences that combine audiovisual elements in diverse ways. It is centred on performance capture and high-end XR capabilities and includes capability for immersive audio integration.

Hacklabs: Electronic and Digital

The two hacklab spaces are experimental spaces on the bleeding edge of emerging technologies and processes where students and staff can be guided in their exploration of new and emerging practices in an array of fields. A library of resources such as sensors and other physical computing solutions, and software for experimentation will be available.


Careers and opportunities

Graduates could be expected to work as animators, graphic novel artists, environment artists and storyboard artists as well as pursuing careers in teaching and study at postgraduate level. In the past, graduates have returned to share their experiences and advice as visiting lecturers and have continued to support the next generation of Animation students.

After studying, students go on to work in the following areas: fashion, advertising, comic books, tv and film production, children’s picture books, textiles and homewares design, artists, art direction, games art and animation, teaching and study at postgraduate level.

Further study

You can choose to continue your studies at Coventry University with the Illustration and Animation MA.

You may be entitled to an alumni discount on your fees if you decide to extend your time with us by progressing from undergraduate to postgraduate study.


How to apply

  • Coventry University together with Coventry University London, Coventry University Wrocław, CU Coventry, CU London, CU Scarborough, and Coventry University Online come together to form part of the Coventry University Group (the University) with all degrees awarded by Coventry University. 

    1Accreditations

    The majority of our courses have been formally recognised by professional bodies, which means the courses have been reviewed and tested to ensure they reach a set standard. In some instances, studying on an accredited course can give you additional benefits such as exemptions from professional exams (subject to availability, fees may apply). Accreditations, partnerships, exemptions and memberships shall be renewed in accordance with the relevant bodies’ standard review process and subject to the university maintaining the same high standards of course delivery.

    2UK and international opportunities

    Please note that we are unable to guarantee any UK or international opportunities (whether required or optional) such as internships, work experience, field trips, conferences, placements or study abroad opportunities and that all such opportunities may be unpaid and/or subject to additional costs (which could include, but is not limited to, equipment, materials, bench fees, studio or facilities hire, travel, accommodation and visas), competitive application, availability and/or meeting any applicable travel, public authority guidance, decisions or orders and visa requirements. To ensure that you fully understand any visa requirements, please contact the International Office.

    3Tuition fees

    The University will charge the tuition fees that are stated in the above table for the first Academic Year of study. The University will review tuition fees each year. For UK (home) students, if Parliament permit an increase in tuition fees, the University may increase fees for each subsequent year of study in line with any such changes. Note that any increase is expected to be in line with inflation.

    For international students, we may increase fees each year, but such increases will be no more than 5% above inflation. If you defer your course start date or have to extend your studies beyond the normal duration of the course (e.g. to repeat a year or resit examinations) the University reserves the right to charge you fees at a higher rate and/or in accordance with any legislative changes during the additional period of study.

    4Facilities

    Facilities are subject to availability. Access to some facilities (including some teaching and learning spaces) may vary from those advertised and/or may have reduced availability or restrictions where the university is following public authority guidance, decisions or orders.

    Student Contract

    By accepting your offer of a place and enrolling with us, a Student Contract will be formed between you and the university. A copy of the current 2023/2024 contract is available on the website for information purposes however the 2024/25 Contract is currently being updated so please revisit this page before submitting your application. The Contract details your rights and the obligations you will be bound by during your time as a student and contains the obligations that the university will owe to you. You should read the Contract before you accept an offer of a place and before you enrol at the university.

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