BA 3D Animation and Games provides the artistic and technical skills you will need to build a career in either the Animation or Games Industry, with a specialist focus in the fields of Virtual Reality, Character Art / Environment Art, 3D Animation and Game Development. It is a multi-disciplinary programme focused on cutting edge artistic developments in CGI.
You will operate in an active studio environment using the latest industry standard software and techniques. With close proximity to Central London, there are many exciting opportunities at your fingertips. You will benefit from industry links and real-world briefs set by industry practitioners.
We focus on individual talents to ensure your portfolio is exceptional and unique. Graduates from the course have found employment in high profile Games studios such as Cloud Imperium Games and Rockstar, animation boutiques such as Treat Studios and Blue Zoo, as well as 3D pre-visualization studios such as Red and Grey Ltd.
91% of our BA 3D Animation and Games students were in graduate-level employment within six months of graduating (DLHE 2013).
On our course you will develop as an artist working with 3D software. The course framework includes project based collaborations and integrated workshops that are designed to develop observational drawing and technological skills essential to 3D computer animation production and computer games. This interdisciplinary approach combines a critical arts education with specialist knowledge in 3D technology and workflows.
In the first year you will attend lectures and workshops in the fundamental principles of animation and storytelling, alongside intensive workshops in Environment and Character design, Virtual Reality design, Z-Brush sculpting and even 3-D printing.
The second year uses this interdisciplinary foundation to explore specialist workflows while retaining an experimental, playful and collaborative atmosphere. This includes a series of short intensive projects where you will be introduced to the latest industry standard techniques (e.g. modern asset workflows, Physically Based Shading, GPU Rendering, Dynamics). Briefs are studio orientated and supported by both your lecturers and specialist technical tutors. This practical curriculum is interwoven with lectures and seminars that address the historical and cultural background to animation, games and digital culture.
In the final year of study, students are given the opportunity to specialise in a wide variety of disciplines such as Character Art, Environment Art, Game Development, 3D Character Animation, Rigging, Lighting / Rendering and Concept Art . There is a strong focus on producing an outstanding portfolio of work, tailored to your individual strengths and artistic temperament.
This module gives you an exciting foundation in the 12 Principles of Animation and Computer Generated Imagery. We look at visual storytelling in detail and how storytelling applies to Game Environments, character design and Virtual Reality. Students are methodically taken through the technical principles of 3D software, in a way that is accessible, creative and rewarding. The module is a substantive foundation in these principles. Alongside the core teaching, there are four very exciting intensive workshops involving collaboration with students from BA Animation and BA Games Design.
This module will introduce students to the core issues in the history of animation and computer graphics. It will survey the changing practices, aesthetics and accompanying theories and enable the student to develop research skills and engage critically with the topic.
This module investigates contemporary workflows in commercial animation and games pipelines through a series of intensive workshops, including individual and group work. This includes using the concept of the Diorama as a way of exploring artistic approaches to environmental modelling, such as hand painted, vertex painted (i.e. ‘low poly’ and Cel Shaded) and physically based rendering workflows; experimentation with abstract dynamics in Cinema 4D; character animation in Maya; and Virtual Reality development using Unreal and Unity. As the year progresses you will collate and present your investigations online in the form of a professional portfolio. This curriculum aims to be varied and surprising, encouraging the flourishing of individual art practices and group working. Through this succession of technical and artistic experimentations, students gain the confidence to begin approaching studios while establishing their own collectives and professional networks.
This module aims to introduce students to a range of theories and concepts relating to games and play. It will further develop an understanding of academic research methods and will include an examination of psychological and cultural aspects of computer games.
This module aims to build on the artistic tendencies that students become aware of during the first two years. Specialist pathways into professional practice are discussed and a final major project (individual or collaborative) is negotiated alongside a four week live project, where industry practitioners set briefs that reflect the most contemporary and emergent practices in the field. Past visitors have included Sydney Padua, senior animator on Clash of the Titans and Jungle Book; Alex Robinson and Daniel Boyle of the award winning Treat studio and the prestigious artist, Alan Warburton, who is breaking new ground with his investigative CGI films and essays. The aim is to see our students graduate with an outstanding portfolio and professional network that gives them the confidence and skills to be thoughtful innovators in this exciting field.
This module aims to enable students to identify and deliver a research project that is the product of sustained and creative engagement both with a range of research resources and an area of studio-practice. The module will consolidate skills of project identification, research organisation and development, time management, written and visual analysis and the presentation of a critical argument/thesis. The module further consolidates the development of skills required for autonomous learning.
You will hone your skills through demonstrations and practical work in our studios and workshops, as well as lectures, seminars, tutorials, visits and your own personal research. Recent visiting lecturers include Paul Chung, 3D Animation Director at Dreamworks and Warner Bros.
You will also have the opportunity to attend presentations by professional animators and interview them to learn more about their work. You will give presentations, take part in class discussions and work on group projects, essays and practical assignments.
You may have the opportunity to do a short work placement with a design organisation.
You will show off your work through end-of-term exhibitions and showreel and portfolio presentations. You will also be assessed through practical projects, essays, reports, critiques, presentations, diaries and learning logs, as well as your participation in practical sessions. Some assignments are individual; for others you will work in a team.
We will consider all applications on their individual merit; successful applicants should demonstrate suitability, dedication and fitness for their chosen programme of study. All candidates are asked to submit evidence of previous production and creative practice, normally presented as a portfolio. As far as possible, students are invited to attend for interview and will be offered the opportunity to view the School and meet appropriate staff and students. Where prior qualifications are not available applicants with appropriate experience will be assessed on the evidence of their commitment and the quality of their portfolio.
Typical offers for this course:
A Levels minimum two, maximum three subjects
Edexcel BTEC Level 3 Extended Diploma minimum two, maximum three subjects
Access to HE Diploma
Pass with 45 credits at Level 3 , of which all 45 must be Merit or higher
If you are unable to meet the entry requirements for this course you may still be eligible for our Foundation year course. This is an extra year of study to prepare you for the full degree. For more information see our Foundation Year in Visual Arts page. You may also be interested in our intensive Foundation in Art and Design, successful completion of which will guarantee a place on a nominated degree. This is a twelve-week course, running from June until September, to prepare you for degree-level study. For more information see our iFAD page.
The UCAS Tariff has changed for courses starting in September 2017. The points awarded to each qualification have been lowered in comparison to the previous UCAS Tariff. Our entry requirements are displayed as the grades you will require, however if you wish to find out the equivalent tariff points please use the UCAS calculator.
UK/EU and International students are eligible to apply for this course.
If you have achieved a qualification such as a foundation degree or HND, or have gained credit at another university, you may be able to enter a Middlesex University course in year two or three. For further information please visit our Transfer students page.
If you have relevant work experience, academic credit may be awarded towards your Middlesex University qualification. For further information please visit our Accreditation of Prior Learning page.
We accept the equivalent of the above qualifications from a recognised overseas qualification. To find out more about the qualifications we accept from your country please visit the relevant Support in your country page.
If you are unsure about the suitability of your qualifications or would like help with your application, please contact your nearest Regional office for support.
You will not need a visa to study in the UK if you are a citizen of the European Union, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway or Switzerland. If you are a national of any other country you may need a visa to study in the UK. Please see our Visas and immigration page for further information.
You must have competence in English language to study with us. The most commonly accepted evidence of English language ability is IELTS 6.0 (with minimum 5.5 in all four components). Visit our English language requirements page for a full list of accepted English tests and qualifications. If you don't meet our minimum English language requirements, we offer an intensive Pre-sessional English course.
Entry onto this course requires an interview. You should allow two hours for the whole interview process as this includes a tour of the facilities. We use the interview to find out more about you, to better understand your aspirations and interests, and to explore why you want to study with us.
You should also bring a full portfolio to the interview. Portfolios for this course should include 10-20 pieces of work that represent your art and design skills and experience, together with your favourite sketchbook.
This is a highly competitive course, however we welcome students from a variety of backgrounds; prior 3D software experience is not necessary. The main thing we look for in your portfolio is good observational drawing, imagination and a personal sketchbook filled with ideas.
We've put together a short video to help you prepare your portfolio.
This degree will prepare you for an animation career focusing on 3D Animation and animation roles within the computer games industry.
Middlesex has strong links with art and design employers. Our industry partners sponsor final year students and give visiting lectures, and hundreds of art and design agencies, organisations and other employers attend our final year degree show each year.
All our staff work professionally in the animation industry. Some of their professional work can be seen on their websites, linked below.
Joint Programme Leader of BA 3D Animation and Games
Sophie Mobbs is a computer animator with 10 years' experience working as an animator in the games industry. She has worked on eight published games for PCs, consoles and handhelds, specialising in 3D in-game animation and Full Motion Video. Games she has contributed to include: Alien vs Predator (Rebellion), Chill, Dogs of War, Lego Island 2, Lego Island 3, Xtreme Stunts, Urban Freestyle (Silicon Dreams) Formula 1 2004, and Formula 1 2005 (Sony).
Sophie also has a published graphic novel and draws comics under a pseudonym for anthologies within the British Small Press. She teaches Maya and Flash and she is currently conducting PhD research in Body Language with Animation.
Joint Programme Lecturer in 3D Animation and Games
Professor of Animation Aesthetics
Before joining Middlesex, Suzanne Buchan was Professor of Animation Aesthetics and Director of the Animation Research Centre, University for the Creative Arts, UK and she also taught at the University of Zurich and the Zurich University of the Arts.
She is Founding Editor of animation: an interdisciplinary journal, a member of the AHRC Peer Review College and is active as a curator and a consultant for international film festivals, museums and broadcast media.
In addition to our permanent academic team we have a regular programme of special lectures and masterclasses from animation professionals. Recent visiting lecturers include Merlin Crossingham, animation director of Wallace and Gromit at Aardman Animation; Kitty Taylor, BAFTA winning animation director of Charlie and Lola; Paul Chung, 3D Animation Director at Dreamworks and Warner Bros; CGI artist Alan Warburton; David Surman of Pachinko Pictures; and Alex Robinson and Danny Boyle, founders of Treat Studios.
Our facilities are second to none and include:
You can also hire specialised equipment for your assignments and there is a wealth of specialist technical help in our workshops from professionals who are dedicated to helping you achieve excellence.