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3D Animation and Games BA Honours

Sharpen your technical and artistic skills for a career in animation and 3D animation for games
September 2023
EU/International induction: September 2023
3 years full-time
£9,250 (UK) *
£15,100 (EU / INT) *
Course leader
Billie Loebner

Combining theory with active learning in a studio environment, our 3D animation course gives you the practical skills needed to start your career in the animation or games industry.

3D Animation is the future

With more than 2000 active games and animation studios in the UK, has there ever been a better time to enter the British gaming industry and take part in a game design course? As part of our 3D design course module you'll gain the knowledge and space to develop as an artist working with 3D software. You'll cover the key areas within the industry: character art, environment art, character animation, rendering and dynamics, virtual reality design, Z-Brush sculpting, 3D printing and a host of others. All this builds your confidence and equips you for a career in the industry.

A studio environment helps build your skills

You'll perfect your skills in a live studio environment working on the latest industry standard software and techniques, mirroring exactly how animators and game designers work daily.

You'll learn through discussions, demonstrations, seminars, presentations and practical work, as well as intensive workshops combining individual and group work. All of these support you as you learn all about contemporary workflows in commercial animation and games studio pipelines.

Our studio facilities are second to none and you'll work on industry-standard software such as Maya and Z-Brush. The studio also hosts high-spec, overclocked workstations, 20 VR devices, a motion capture studio, green screen and a state-of-the-art 3D printing and scanning studio.

Take that first step towards an animation career

Our course also allows you to build your professional network - beyond your day-to-day learning, you’ll also have the opportunity to attend guest lectures and masterclasses from animation professionals to interview them and learn more about their work. Previous lecturers have included Sydney Padua, senior animator on Clash of the Titans and Jungle Book, and Alex Robinson and Daniel Boyle of the award winning Treat studio. During your course, you’ll even have the chance to gain work experience in a studio, as you complete a four week live project responding to a brief set by industry practitioners that reflect the most emergent and contemporary practices in the industry.

You also get the support you need to succeed. From your Personal Tutor to your Graduate Academic Assistant, each one has studied your subject and will provide the support you need based on their own experience. If you need a little help with writing, numeracy or library skills, we can help with that too. We also offer support from specialised technicians with professional experience in your field. They support you in the studio and in workshops, as well as during your projects.

We have strong links with art and design employers to help you find the career of your dreams. Graduates have gone on to work with game studios like Rockstar and Cloud Imperium Games, as well as animation boutiques like Treat Studios and Blue Zoo. A degree in 3D animation and games is the first step for a career as an artist in the games and animation industries.

Year after year our students produce outstanding industry-standard work and leave the course with an impressive portfolio to launch their career. Take a look at some of the work from last year’s graduates on our Creative Graduates 2022 exhibition site.

Find out more

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What will you study on the BA 3D Animation and Games?

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.


  • Year 1

    • From Pencil to Pixel (30 credits) – Compulsory

      This module will introduce you to the core issues in the history of animation and computer graphics. It 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 12 Principles of Animation and Computer Generated Imagery. You look at visual storytelling in detail and how storytelling applies to Game Environments, character design and Virtual Reality. You will be 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.

  • Year 2

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

      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 (‘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 experimentation's, you will 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. It will further develop an understanding of academic research methods and will include an examination of psychological and cultural aspects of computer games.

  • Year 3

    • Major Projects and Professional Portfolio Development (90 credits) – Compulsory

      This module aims to build on the artistic tendencies that you 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 you graduate with an outstanding portfolio and professional network that gives you the confidence and skills to be thoughtful innovators in this exciting field.

    • 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.

More information about this course

See the course specification for more information about typical course content outside of the coronavirus outbreak:

Optional modules are usually available at levels 5 and 6, although optional modules are not offered on every course. Where optional modules are available, you will be asked to make your choice during the previous academic year. If we have insufficient numbers of students interested in an optional module, or there are staffing changes which affect the teaching, it may not be offered. If an optional module will not run, we will advise you after the module selection period when numbers are confirmed, or at the earliest time that the programme team make the decision not to run the module, and help you choose an alternative module.

  1. Overview
  2. Teaching and learning
  3. Assessment and feedback
  1. Standard entry requirements
  2. International (inc. EU)
  3. Interviews and portfolios
  4. How to apply
  1. UK
  2. EU fees
  3. EU / International
  4. Additional costs

Each year we take final year projects from students on BA 3D Animation and Games to be displayed at the Arts and Creative Industries degree show, usually held at the Truman Brewery.

Have a play with the 3D Models below designed by our students.

Scroll through the images below to see examples of student work.

How can the BA 3D Animation and Games support your career?

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.

Our facilities are second to none and include:

  • Industry standard software including Maya, Cinema 4D, VRay, Octane Render, Arnold, Zbrush, Mudbox, Substance Painter, 3D Coat, Topogun, Unreal Engine, Unity and the Adobe Creative Suite
  • A brand new suite of 30 high-spec workstation specialists computers, 15 ‘Overclocked’ Alienware Machines and an 80+ workstation ‘digital media workshop’
  • Over 20 VR Devices, including Oculus Rift Consumer Version with Oculus Touch, HTC Vive, Gear VR and PS VR
  • A £100k Motion Capture studio
  • An art and design library with over 75,000 books
  • A state-of-the-art 3D printing studio
  • Traditional darkrooms
  • Professional Sound Recording Studio and Mixing Desk
  • Digital Media Labs
  • 3D Workshops

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.

Billie Loebner
Programme Leader of BA 3D Animation and Games

Billie is an Animation Director and visual artist working across diverse platforms and media, frequently combining digital and traditional techniques, and exploring the boundaries and confluences of current industry fields of practice. She studied at St Martins, Falmouth and the National Film & Television School, then went on to make one of the BAFTA winning Animated Minds series of animations for Mosaic and her films have been screened at festivals internationally. She has recently begun working with Big Community Productions where she is currently co-producing a unique and technically ground breaking new project.

  • Constantinos Panayi

    3D Animation and Games BA graduate

    My teacher at college advised me that Middlesex is one of the best universities in the country for studying 3D Animation and Games. It has all the latest software, technology and VR equipment which I was able to use while studying. My tutors were also a tremendous help - if I needed advice or help with things like coding I could ask them.

    I used the skills I developed on the course to design virtual reality projects that help young patients stay relaxed and informed during their time in hospital. My projects included creating an animated VR experience of an MRI scan, which helps patients to have better awareness about the process they’re due to undergo, as well as a virtual garden which brings an escape for patients in isolation wards to a relaxing, peaceful environment.

We’ll carefully manage any future changes to courses, or the support and other services available to you, if these are necessary because of things like changes to government health and safety advice, or any changes to the law.

Any decisions will be taken in line with both external advice and the University’s Regulations which include information on this.

Our priority will always be to maintain academic standards and quality so that your learning outcomes are not affected by any adjustments that we may have to make.

At all times we’ll aim to keep you well informed of how we may need to respond to changing circumstances, and about support that we’ll provide to you.

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Duration: 3 years full-time

Code: W615

Games and Level Design BA Honours

Start: September 2023, September 2023: EU/INT induction

Duration: 3 years full-time

Code: W249

Visual Effects BA Honours

Start: October 2023

Duration: 3 years full-time, Normally 5 years part-time

Code: W614

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