Animation BA Honours | Middlesex University London
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Animation BA Honours

Learn about the course below
Code
W615
Start
October 2018
Duration
3 years full-time
Attendance
Full-time
Fees
£9,250 (UK/EU) *
£12,500 (INT) *
Course leader
Jonathan Hodgson

BA Animation is a multi-disciplinary programme that embraces all aspects of animated film making. If you're an aspiring animator, BA Animation will help you develop your production skills, ensuring you gain the experience you need to work in today's highly competitive and exciting animation industry.

Why study BA Animation at Middlesex University?

At Middlesex, we passionately believe in the importance of formal and conceptual experimentation as a means to developing innovative approaches to animation. The work our students complete on this course is both varied and distinctive, thanks to the unique and exceptional learning experience we offer. You are encouraged to develop your own vision as an artist, animator, designer and director, whilst equipping yourself with all the essential skills and knowledge needed to establish yourself as an animation professional. In all areas of animation, you will be taught by award-winning animators in outstanding animation facilities.

Since the early 1980s, graduates of the Animation department at Middlesex University have gone on to become some of the biggest names in UK animation. Alumni include Joanna Quinn, who has twice been nominated for an Academy Award, and BAFTA winning Neville Astley, co-creator of the popular children's series Peppa Pig. Our GAA Harriet Titlow has created a really exciting showcase website which profiles the work of our Animation students in more detail.

Course highlights

  • Our facilities are among the best in the country, built to professionally approved specifications; the animation studio is fully equipped with state-of-the-art technology
  • Our BAFTA winning academic team are all working professionally and have specialised expertise in short- and long-form animated filmmaking, commercials, TV series and motion graphics
  • Unlike equivalent degrees at other universities, our students benefit from three years of Life Drawing classes to improve their draughtsmanship, an important skill for professional animators
  • Middlesex has strong links with employers - visiting lecturers have included Merlin Crossingham, animation director of Wallace and Gromit at Aardman Animation; and Kitty Taylor, BAFTA winning animation director of Charlie and Lola
  • At the end of your degree, you will exhibit your work at our Degree Show, which is a great opportunity to show off your talents to creative industry employers
  • You have the opportunity to showcase your work at a wide range of events, including film festivals and the MDX Animation showcase for animation industry VIPs
  • As a student of this course you'll receive a free electronic textbook for every module.

What will you study on the BA Animation?

On this course you will study a broad range of animation practice including:

  • Traditional 2D: Drawing, Painting, Mixed Media
  • Digital 2D: Flash, After Effects, Cel Action and TV Paint
  • Stop Motion: Puppet, Claymation, Cut Out, Sand on Glass, Paint on Glass and Pixilation
  • 3D Computer Animation: Maya and Motion Capture

In your first year you will develop a personal approach to animation and learn to apply an understanding of film language, narrative and the technical processes of animation to the creation of your own animation sequences. You will learn about changing practices in the history of animation and explore and experiment with different forms of graphic media.

In your second year you will further develop your animation practice and begin to identify specific areas of interest. The second year of study gives you the opportunity to refine your technical and problem-solving skills. In the Digital Cultures module you will be introduced to a range of concepts regarding animation in games and play, particularly in relation to computer games.

In your final year you will consolidate your skills to a professional standard and fully prepare for a career in the animation industry, identifying potential career paths and preparing a graduation showreel, portfolio and promotional material.

What will you gain?

You will learn to:

  • Research and develop your own ideas and turn them into compelling and emotive screenplays
  • Develop strong and believable animated characters that your audience can empathise with
  • Explore and experiment with image making as a means to developing a personal visual language
  • Effectively use film language to communicate concept, character, personality and emotion
  • Plan and manage all aspects of an animation production and deliver on time according to an agreed schedule
  • Use film editing techniques to effectively convey concepts and narrative
  • Use sound recording and editing techniques to create professional soundtracks for your films.

Modules

  • Year 1

    • From Pencil to Pixel (30 Credits) – Compulsory

      This module will introduce the core issues in the history of animation and computer graphics. You will survey the changing practices, aesthetics and accompanying theories and enable you to develop research skills and engage critically with the topic.

    • Introduction to Animation and Creative Workshops (90 Credits) – Compulsory

      This module gives you an exciting foundation in the Fundamentals of Animation. We explore visual storytelling in detail and the importance of experimentation, research and development in Animation film making. You are methodically taken through the technical principles of analogue and digital 2D Animation, Stop Motion and 3D Computer Animation and learn a range of industry standard software relevant to animation production, in a way that is accessible, creative and rewarding. Alongside the core teaching, there are many exciting intensive workshops involving collaboration with students from BA 3D Animation and Games, and BA Illustration.

  • Year 2

    • Animation Practice and Creative Workshops (90 Credits) – Compulsory

      This module investigates contemporary workflows in the Animation industry through a series of intensive workshops, including individual and group work. This includes a deeper exploration of film language and the importance of characterisation in story development and design. Building on the skills developed in Year 1 you will work on a challenging Advanced Animation Skills Workshop and a collaborative Mixed Media Animation Workshop. As the year progresses you will collate and present your investigations in a Two Minute Animated Film. This curriculum aims to be varied and surprising, encouraging the nurturing of individual art practices and group working. Through this succession of technical and artistic experimentations, you gain the confidence to begin approaching studios while establishing your own collectives and professional networks.

    • Animation and Digital Cultures (30 Credits) – Compulsory

      This module aims to introduce a range of theories and concepts relating to games and play. You will further develop an understanding of academic research methods and the module will include an examination of psychological and cultural aspects of computer games.

  • Year 3

    • Animation: Major Projects and Professional Portfolio Development (90 Credits) – Compulsory

      This module combines group and individual projects and aims to reinforce, extend and consolidate previously acquired skills and knowledge to achieve a confident, independent approach to animation practice at a professional level. We invite established creative industry professionals to set live briefs and help you to hone your skills as emerging animation professionals. You can choose direct your own Graduation Film, working as an independent animation director or alternatively form a partnership or collaboration with other students from your cohort. During your final year you will cultivate highly articulate analysis, evaluation and discussion with an explicit critical understanding of current animation practice. Identify potential career paths and anticipate the expectations of the animation industry in the presentation of a graduation film and show reel, portfolio and promotional material.

    • Critical and Contextual Research Proposition Essay (30 Credits) – Compulsory:

      This module aims to enable you 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 can find more information about this course in the programme specification. Module and programme information is indicative and may be subject to change.

  1. Overview
  2. Teaching and learning
  3. Assessment and feedback
  1. UK & EU
  2. International
  3. Interview and portfolio
  4. How to apply
  1. UK & EU
  2. International

How can the BA Animation support your career?

Animation at Middlesex will prepare you for a career in many areas of the animation industry including animation director, producer, 2D animator, stop motion animator, games animator, modeler, rigger, renderer, after effects artist, compositor, motion graphic designer, CGI animator and web designer. Our students have gone on to work in roles where animation skills are highly valued, for example, creating visuals for live music tours, concerts, events, theatre productions and operas. The BA Animation also enables entrepreneurial students to set up their own business.

Middlesex has strong links with art and design employers. Our industry partners sponsor final year students and give visiting lectures. Hundreds of art and design agencies, organisations and other employers attend our final year degree show each year.

Work experience

Work experience in all forms greatly improves graduate employment prospects and we encourage all our students to undertake work experience during their studies whether through part-time work, volunteering or other means. The Animation department also organises live projects with industry practitioners so you can experience working on professional creative briefs.

Our specialist Employability Service and London location ensure that every year our students and graduates have access to an excellent range of work experience opportunities.

What support is available?

Our Employability Service can help you to develop your employability skills and get some valuable work experience. We provide workshops, events and one-to-one support with job hunting, CVs, covering letters, interviews, networking and so on. We also support you in securing part-time work, placements, internships and volunteering opportunities, and offer an enterprise support service for those looking to start their own business.

Our specialist facilities are recognised as among the best in country and include:

You can also hire specialised equipment for your assignments. There is a wealth of specialist technical help with professionals dedicated to helping you achieve excellence in our workshop areas.

Jonathan Hodgson
Course Leader

Jonathan Hodgson is an internationally acclaimed, BAFTA and Luna de Valencia award winning animation director who combines teaching with a successful career in the animation industry. A Royal College of Art graduate, he has directed numerous award winning short films, high profile advertising campaigns, TV motion graphics and was art director on the children's TV series Charlie and Lola. Clients include: BBC1, BBC2, Channel Four, Diesel Jeans, Saab USA, Bell Atlantic, United Bank of Switzerland, Vanguard, the Home Office and Persil. His specialist area of research and practice is animated documentary. He teaches Classical and Digital 2D animation, After Effects, Sound Design and Animation Direction.

www.hodgsonfilms.com

www.hodgsonfilms.tumblr.com

Osbert Parker
Lecturer - Stop Motion

Triple BAFTA nominated director Osbert Parker is perhaps best known for his signature style of using cut-out animation mixed with live action for commercials and short films. Film Noir was nominated for a BAFTA in 2006 and also nominated for the Palme d'Or at Cannes Film Festival. Yours Truly won best short animated film at the British Animation Awards, was also nominated for a BAFTA in 2008 and selected for Sundance. Parker is a 2008 UK Film Council Breakthrough Brit and his commercial credits include such clients as Coca-Cola, Nike, Budweiser, Orange, The World Wildlife Fund and MTV. As well as specialising in Stop Motion he also teaches Animation Direction.

www.osbertparker.com

Chris Shepherd
Lecturer – Animation

Chris Shepherd is a BAFTA nominated television/film writer and director. He is mainly known for combining live action with animation. His work fuses comedy with commentary on the darker side of human nature. In 2017 he directed an animated film, as a tribute to playwright Joe Orton. Watch the trailer.

Susan Light
Life Drawing Tutor

Susan Light studied Fine Art at Leeds Polytechnic and San Francisco State University. A practising painter working from a studio in NW London, her paintings have been selected for the BP Portrait Award, the Ruth Borchard Collection and Hunting Art Prizes amongst others. She teaches painting from her studio and drawing on the Illustration and Animation courses at Middlesex University.

Guy Sherwin
Senior Lecturer in Animation

Guy Sherwin trained as a fine artist and brings a radical and exploratory approach to his preferred medium of film. His work investigates qualities of light, time and sound often in live performance with his partner Lynn Loo. They have toured programmes of their multi-projection films to venues in Europe, North America and S.E.Asia.

Dr Lilly Husbands
Lecturer in Animation Theory and Research

Dr Lilly Husbands received her doctorate in Film Studies from King’s College London. Her research and teaching is concerned with closely investigating contemporary experimental animation, focusing particularly on the varieties of non-normative aesthetic experience that such works invite and cultivate. Her interests include experimental cinema and video, animation and special effects, film aesthetics, film philosophy, spectatorship, and film music. She has published widely on experimental animation in Moving Image Review & Art Journal (MIRAJ), Frames Cinema Journal and Alphaville: Journal of Film and Screen Media.

Isabella Barszcz
Senior Animation Technician

Isabela Barszcz is an award winning polish animation director and a graduate from Middlesex University. She is regularly engaged in collaborations with musicians, working on music videos and visuals for projections. Izabela‘s most recent project ”Mannequin”, a new video opera about human cloning, was premiered at Tête-à-Tête Opera Festival in London.

  • Kuba Ludziejewski

    Animation BA graduate

    Being part of the course helped me to realise my potential and gave me some great work experience opportunities. I worked on the visuals for The Who's US Tour 2011 and also went to Milan for the Design week in May 2012 to work on the live visuals for Bombay Sapphire Gin. After graduating, Kuba joined Treatment Studios, a collaborative association of designers, directors and content producers who create visuals for live music tours, concerts, events, award ceremonies, large-scale theatre productions and operas.

  • Kuba Ludziejewski

    Animation BA graduate

    Busto's graduation film 'The Day I Killed My Best Friend' was premiered at the 56th BFI London Film Festival and won the audience prize at the ANIMAR Animation Festival in Valencia. The film has also recently been awarded best student film at the prestigious 2014 British Animation Awards.

    I have always worked a lot on my own but I can't say that everything I made at Middlesex University was just thanks to me. The teachers and students from the Animation department gave me some of the most important help, guidance and professional opportunities.

  • Emmy Ivanova

    Animation BA graduate

    I chose the BA Animation course at Middlesex after seeing the facilities and meeting some of the tutors at an Open Day. The course offers exactly what I was looking for; a mix of traditional, digital and 3D animation. It allows a lot of freedom to develop our own ideas and make actual films, not just exercises. It is all combined with great tutors who work in the industry at the moment themselves and there is no better way to learn.

    What I love about the course is that the tutors really care about the individual. They push you to produce your best work. I have also met some brilliant guest lecturers, which I never dreamt I'd be able to do. It has been such an inspiring and fulfilling experience to learn about the filmmaking journey and if you want to be a filmmaker and not just an animator, Middlesex University is the place to go.

  • Svetlana Simanenkova

    Animation BA graduate

    I chose to apply to Middlesex University because it was well established, with a good ranking and reputation. Of course, having BAFTA winning and nominated teaching staff lecturing on the course also impressed me.

    I've really enjoyed the experiences offered by this course. The facilities and equipment are amazing and I've produced some fruitful collaborations with other students. The tutors are always there for you regarding any questions or queries you have and they're always willing to share tips on animation and filmmaking techniques.

  • Rebecca Balint

    Animation BA graduate

    The Animation course at Middlesex University is a fantastic programme for future animators. This course made me grow as an artist and as a person. If you are hard working and passionate about what you do, this is the course for you.

  • Clive Shaw

    Animation BA graduate

    Clive's second year film was chosen by The Simpsons creator Matt Groening for Shooting People's Film of the Month Award in September 2011.

    As a mature student returning to full-time education I'm glad I chose Middlesex. The campus facilities, one-to-one support and in-depth training gave me the confidence and techniques to have the career I had dreamed of and get my work seen around the world.

Other courses

3D Animation and Games BA Honours

Start: October 2018, EU/International induction: September 2018

Duration: 3 years full-time

Code: WP15

Illustration BA Honours

Start: October 2018, EU/International induction: September 2018

Duration: 3 years full-time

Code: W220

Games Design BA/BSc Honours

Start: October 2018, EU/International induction: September 2018

Duration: 3 years full-time

Code: BA: W24Z, BSc: W24X

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