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Course starts: 19 September 2022Apply now
The animation, games and visual effects (VFX) industries are always searching for new talent. BA (Hons) Animation and Games Art allows you to explore and develop both traditional and new techniques, learning key digital skills in 2D and 3D as well as the core principles of character-led animation.
You'll have the opportunity to work on industry-led briefs and entries for festivals and competitions such as Encounters, RTS awards, 11 Second Club and E4 Stings. We’re affiliated with Game Republic too, t's all part of our commitment to help you become industry ready.
We place Animation and Games Art within the broader context of design to help you keep your career options open. You'll also have the creative freedom and flexibility to develop your specific areas of interest, gaining transferable skills crucial for employability.
In the first year – the foundation year – you will study five modules; a module about the foundations of art, design, performance and media production, an essential study skills module, a foundation project module, practical numeracy skills, and an introduction to creative practice module. After completion of this foundation, you will then move onto the Animation and Games Art honours degree course.
In your second year you will learn classical animation techniques and core digital skills. You will also learn about the broader context of design with students from other design subjects. In your third year you will be introduced to more advanced approaches such as 3D, character rigging and motion capture. In your final year you will build your portfolio and undertake a personal research project that will lead into your Final Major Project. You will exhibit your work at our Design Degree Show, which will be visited by industry experts and potential employers. Teaching is almost entirely practical and studio-based, supported by lectures, seminars and tutorials. Our academic team encourage you to express ideas and push the boundaries of creativity. Assessment is mainly through coursework.
View more student work on our Sunderland Creatives website.
The Creative Industries: Arts, Design, Performance, Media Production Integrated Foundation Year includes five modules:
Some modules have prerequisites. Read more about what this means in our Help and Advice article.
Learn the fundamental principles of animation using traditional studio practices in 2D drawn animation through weekly character-based exercises that will culminate in a short, animated sequence using Toon Boom Harmony software. Be introduced to the Adobe Creative Suite in a separate creative brief related to game design. Attend weekly life drawing classes to enhance your figurative and imaginative drawing skills and engage in contextual and visual research to support and enhance your practical work.
Create short sequences as part of a team using a variety of traditional techniques such as Pixillation, Direct animation, Smudge ‘n Click, Cut-out and Stop Motion, building on the principles and skills learnt in semester 1 and exploring visual storytelling further. Produce a short film for a student-led competition and public screening to showcase your first year’s work. Continue to attend weekly life drawing classes looking at expressive and experimental drawing techniques. Be introduced to 3D software and tools in a series of creative workshops and have the opportunity to collaborate with BSc (Hons) Game Development students and participate in local Game Jams.
Develop a knowledge and understanding of the important theoretical and historical contexts which have shaped modern design, opening up creative possibilities in your work. Gain a broad view of design disciplines, through lectures and seminars intended to provoke wider debate. Develop analytical and research skills by exploring subjects in design theory and history through assignments. Finish the module with an understanding of various historical and theoretical ideas, intended to encourage you to challenge conventional thinking.
Produce a collection of 3D animations culminating in an interactive, playable character. Produce a 3D digitally sculpted model and environment. Produce a short, animated lip-sync performance sequence working to a pre-recorded soundtrack.
Follow the preproduction pipeline for creating either a pitch bible for a children’s tv series or a games document for a 7-PEGI game from visual and contextual research through concept art, story art, character design, environments, assets, linear and non-linear storytelling. Create an animatic or walkthrough to demonstrate your concept’s viability. Pitch your idea in a short presentation at the end of the module. Work individually or as part of a creative team. Collaborate further with BSc (Hons) Game Development students.
Create a music video for an artist of your own choosing either as part of a collaboration, or working alone. Study the application of advanced After Effects e.g. rotoscoping, tracking techniques, using green screen and keylight - and choose to apply any creative technique to your work. Explore the genre and contextual background to music and animation in film and games, to the title sequence as an art form as well as create an ident for yourself. Help to organise a showcase of your work at a public screening at the end of the academic year.
Develop a critical understanding of important issues linked to design such as the environment, globalisation, gender representation, equality and diversity. Be encouraged to consider your ethical role as a developing designer. Be introduced to ways of considering a major piece of written work (the dissertation in Stage 3), based on a subject relevant to your own practice. Finish the module with a developing design philosophy that potentially impacts on your ways of working and thinking in terms of studio practice.
Experience a short work placement with an employer. Alternatively, gain other experience of working in the creative industries. Examples include: live jobs; competition briefs; a creative placement; and a collaboration with fellow students from relevant subject areas.
Work placement (optional)
Work on a chosen live brief as well as a piece to showcase your skills and enhance your showreel/portfolio. Employability Day will enable you to meet successful alumni from this and other Design courses and hear about their experiences after graduating and tips on employability. Create a Professional Engagement Document, which will show how you have interacted over the past two years with industry professionals either through placements, social media, visits to festivals and studios or other networking events. Focus on CV writing and interview techniques as well as the creative and technical skills required for your chosen specialism to enhance your employability.
Research an approach, concept or practice relevant to your specialism that is intended to support your practical work in your final major project. An example of this from a recent graduate was the study of Magic Realism, which directly fed into the narrative of their graduation film. Demonstrate academic research methods to formulate a written piece of 6,000 words.
Build on the skills and knowledge, both technical and creative, that you have gained across all previous modules to create a piece of work that best reflects your specialism and will, hopefully, take you into professional employment. Choose to work individually or as part of a team. Set up and exhibit your work in the final year Degree Show, which is open to the public and industry practitioners.
We don’t currently display entry requirements for United States. Please contact the Student Admin team on firstname.lastname@example.org or 0191 515 3154.
Entry requirements are provided for guidance only and we may offer you an entrance interview which will help us determine your eligibility for your chosen degree. This enables us to consider making you an offer if you are perhaps a mature student who has been out of education for a period of time, or you have gained significant knowledge and skills through employment rather than traditional education.
Eligible entry qualifications:
1. Normally a minimum of three Level 2 qualifications (NVQ, GCSE or equivalent), including Maths and English at grade C or above** and a minimum of 40 UCAS tariff points from Level 3 qualifications (e.g. A or AS Levels, BTEC certificates/diplomas, access courses or equivalent)
2. Demonstrable evidence of appropriate knowledge and skills acquired from at least three years of post-school work experience.
If you are unsure of whether you think you might be suitable for the course, please contact us!
** If you have studied for a GCSE which has a numerical grade then you will need to achieve a grade 4 or above. Equivalent alternative qualifications are also accepted, such as Level 2 Key Skills in Communication and Application of Number. If you have not achieved a grade C in Maths and English we may be able to work with you to ensure that you are able to gain these in the first year of the course, depending on your experience.
If English is not your first language, please see our English language requirements.
The annual fee for this course is £9,250 if you are from the UK/Ireland/EU settled/pre-settled.
If you are a full-time UK/Irish/EU settled/EU pre-settled student you may be eligible to receive financial support to cover your fees for the full four years. UK and EU settled students may also be eligible to receive a maintenance loan.
Please note, this course is not available to international students.
Learn more about settled status, pre-settled status, special discounts, visa requirements and Common Travel Area (CTA) agreements for the Republic of Ireland applicants in our Help and Advice article.
Take a look at the Your Finances section to find out about the scholarships and bursaries that may be available to you.
This information was correct at the time of publication.
Our graduates have gone on to work throughout the film, special effects, games, and television industries, and worked on projects including The Lord of the Rings, Harry Potter, Grand Theft Auto, Creature Comforts, Miffy and Hey Duggee.
Recent employers have included:
You will have opportunities to apply for internships and we actively encourage you to build up a compelling creative portfolio. We also encourage you to participate in competitions and award schemes.
In addition, our students are actively encouraged to attend annual animation festivals such as the Manchester Animation Festival (MAF), as well as visits to arts venues across the UK and in cities such as Barcelona, Amsterdam and New York.
Through our links with industry we attract professionals in animation to come into the University and give talks. These help you gain valuable insights and contacts in the world of work.
Past visiting speakers include quadruple-BAFTA award-winning Jardone Sage (CITV) - a graduate of the course, Curtis Jobling (creator of Bob the Builder), Susannah Shaw (Aardman), Barry Purves (Lord of the Rings), alumni and award-winning Catherine Salkeld (Story Artist and VR director at Blue Zoo Studios), and Andy Davies (Sony Games).
All students studying on-campus undergraduate Animation and Games Art courses can take up a CV-enhancing work placement, a University-led industry initiative, or a professional and business development boot camp.
By the term placement, we mean we are offering you a taste of the industry which might last anything from two days to four weeks on a part-time basis.
Creative Industries Week gives everyone in the Faculty of Arts and Creative Industries the opportunity to participate in a range of projects, workshops, talks, industry visits and career events. This exciting week encourages interdisciplinary working, broadens your experience, to build your confidence and help develop your career path.
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