Embracing all aspects of animated film making, this animation degree simply makes perfect sense if you’re an aspiring animator.
Animation is at the heart of the movie industry, from the latest blockbuster to the small budget indie. Here you will develop your vision as an artist, animator, designer and director, equipping yourself with the essential skills to establish yourself in the animation industry. You'll be encouraged to experiment and be given the space to explore your own creativity and develop your own style. You’ll study across a broad range of animation practice, including traditional and digital 2D, motion graphics and stop motion, as well as 3D computer animation and even working directly onto 16mm film.
While studying animation you'll combine both theory and practice to develop your skills and knowledge. In class discussions and lectures, you'll learn about the history of animation, building your understanding of the changing practices of animation and being introduced to new concepts around animation and games.
When it comes to practical work, you'll develop and consolidate your own approach to animation in our state-of-the-art animation studios. Using building your own animated films as part of your portfolio development module. Using industry standard software, you'll build and refine your technical skills with a focus on designing and directing your own animated films, which will make up part of your portfolio development module. You'll also learn storytelling, scriptwriting and characterisation alongside film and sound editing techniques to convey compelling narratives.
You’ll learn alongside our BAFTA winning academic team who all work professionally in film making, each with their own set of skills in long and short animation, commercials, TV shows, motion graphics and music videos. They have worked with companies like Dreamworks, Warner Bros, Cartoon Network and the BBC with nominations and wins across events such as Cannes Film Festival and London International Animation Festival.
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.
While on the course, you'll have close, regular contact with your lecturers and tutors. You’ll also get support from our Student Learning and Graduate Academic Assistants, who have experience in your subject area. Full time specialist technicians and technical tutors with in-depth professional experience will support you during workshops and studio practice.
We have strong links with UK and international animation companies, and our industry partners even sponsor final year students and give specialist workshops and lectures. You'll have the opportunity to build your network, as well as showcasing your work to employers within the creative industry at events, festivals and our end of term Degree Show. Our graduates have gone on to work on such films as Wes Anderson's 'Isle of Dogs', as well as animation companies like Lupus Film, Tiger Aspect Productions and Passion Pictures.
If you're passionate about animation and determined to succeed in a high pressure, fast paced environment, our BA in animation can set you up with the skills and support you'll need to succeed.
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This module aims to develop:
This module will introduce students to the core issues in the international history of animation and computer animation. It will survey the changing modes of production, practices, aesthetics and accompanying theories and enable the student to develop research skills and engage critically with the topic.
This module aims to further develop:
This module aims to introduce students to a range of theories and aesthetic concepts relating to animation, games and digital culture and their cinematic legacy. Close readings of key texts introduce critical and methodological approaches. It will further develop an understanding of academic research methods and will include an examination of representational and social aspects of visual culture.
This Module aims to:
This module aims to enable students to identify and deliver a research project related to their studio practice. The project will involve an analytical engagement with a range of research resources in order to have a greater understanding of an aspect of studio practice through its historical, theoretical and social contexts. The module will consolidate the development of skills of project identification, research organisation and development, time management, visual analysis and critical argument. Students will extend their ability to think creatively about the presentation of conceptual, critical and contextual material in both written and visual form. Students will further consolidate the development of skills required for autonomous learning.
This module will introduce you to the fundamentals of character animation and explores a range of visual storytelling and sound production techniques. On completion of the module you will be practiced in using visual research as a tool for developing realistic and convincing animation and have a working knowledge of storyboarding, animatic production, audio recording and creative sound design techniques.
This module aims to encourage you to develop a unique vision drawn from personal experience and to explore creative approaches to animation filmmaking. You will examine their own history and cultural background to find inspiration for a narrative, to develop into an animated short. From the initial concept through to completed film, you will gain an elemental working knowledge of the animation process, working from concept to pre-production and production through to post-production.
This module will introduce you to the essential processes and disciplines utilized in animation production. Comprising a series of workshops aimed at developing entry level animation related expertise, the aim of the module is to bring you up to a fundamental level of competence across a range of 2D and 3D animation techniques including stop motion, a portfolio of industry standard animation software packages and a regular program of classes in life drawing for animation.
This module will introduce you to core issues in the international histories and theories of animation. It aims to develop students’ understanding of the changing cultural contexts, modes of production, technologies, practices and aesthetics that characterise the evolution of animation as a global art form. It aims to develop your abilities to engage critically with key concepts related to animation and to develop research and analytical writing skills. The module informs and expands your knowledge of how their own practice relates to that of others, which in turn promotes personal development and innovation.
The module aims to enable you to explore the communication of emotional states in animation and to create original designs of both characters and backgrounds using materials in an innovative way. These character projects give the animator the skills they need to develop both technical and storytelling skills. The module further develops your storytelling skills and collaborative working practices. Throughout the module, students gain a deeper understanding of animation from a contemporary, historical and cultural perspective.
This module aims to develop your personal voice to produce original and enthralling stories. It fosters a better understanding of film structure and narrative and development of a personal animation style. It aims to improve your animation skills as well as help them acquire new software skills. It will enhance your professional documentation and pitching skills so that you can verbally pitch an idea for a 2-minute animated short film and then develop and produce it to completion. Through the process of feedback, you will further develop skills to enable articulate discussion, analysis and evaluation of your own work and that of others. Throughout the module, you will gain a deeper understanding of animation from contemporary, historical and cultural perspectives.
The module develops your core technical and professional skills to prepare them to interact with the industry. Continuing from the Level 4 animation skills workshops, the module improves and expands students’ animation skills towards a professional level. Life drawing strengthens your drawing skills, enhancing your understanding of form and perspective and exposing them to new and different materials. The professional practice and development section of the module improves your collaborative skills by allowing them to work in an animation production team, which mirrors how a professional studio works. The grad assist project helps you to develop your listening and teamwork skills; this internal internship is accompanied by a project where you research and contact members of the industry, preparing them for seeking employment.
The module aims to develop your abilities to think independently and to apply analytical and critical thinking skills to your work as creative practitioners, as well as to be able to effectively research, reflect and communicate in an academic context. The curriculum is socially critical in its aims, drawing from the analytical and critical methodologies found in aesthetics, critical theory, film, media and cultural studies. It plays a central role in your development of graduate attributes such as academic excellence, critical thinking, effective communication, ethical awareness, teamwork and cultural competency.
This module aims to reinforce, extend and consolidate previously acquired skills to achieve a confident, independent approach to animation practice at a professional level. You may elect to work either individually, as a partnership or in collective to develop a compelling concept, proposal and preproduction materials, from which you will then prepare an engaging final major project, choosing to work either on an animated short film or alternatively, produce a professional portfolio.
This module aims to advance your ability at identifying and evaluating potential career paths and anticipating the expectations of the animation industry. Essential work experience will be gained through collaboration on a professional ‘Live Brief’, delivered according to the specifications of a real creative industries client. Additionally, you will prepare a graduation showreel, portfolio presentation and promotional materials. On completion of this module students will have garnered essential professional experience, built their self-confidence and finessed their professionalism, organization, presentation and communication skills.
This module aims to enable you to identify, conduct and deliver a critical and contextual research essay that is the product of sustained engagement with a range of research resources and an area of animation practice. The module will consolidate the development of skills of project identification, research organisation and development, time management, visual analysis and critical argument. You will extend your ability to think creatively about the presentation of historical, conceptual, critical and contextual material in both written and visual form. You will further consolidate the development of skills required for autonomous learning, which are intended to promote the lifelong learning habits of critical practitioners. You will also practice your capacity for self-reflection and respond productively to feedback over the course of an extended written project.
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.
Check out recent work by current students and alumni at the MDX Animation online showcase.
Each year we take final year projects from students on BA Animation to be displayed at the Arts and Creative Industries degree show, usually held at the Truman Brewery.
|Animation Director||Motion Graphic Designer||2D animator||Stop Motion Animator|
|Storyboard Artist||Layout Artist||Character Designer||Background Artist|
|After Effects Artist||Producer||Compositor||CGI animator|
Most recently, 2021 BA Animation graduate Kate Mercer’s animated film ‘Walden’ won the Exceptional Merit award at the Nature Without Borders International Film Festival.
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.
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.
Steve May is an animation director and freelance illustrator based in London (UK). He studied painting and filmmaking at Trent Polytechnic (1988-91) and after several years working as an illustrator / animator, gained an MA in Animation at the Royal College of Art (1999-2001).
As an animation director his films ‘Anger & Rabbits’ won the Association of Illustrators Gold New Media Award in 2012 & 2010. ‘X&Y’ (2008) was shortlisted for the British Animation Awards 2008 and has been screened internationally. His films ‘Gut’ (2001) and ‘Round’ (2000) have been screened in numerous international festivals and he has directed work for commercials and television including ‘Cyberstreetwise’ for HM Government, and ‘Spacehopper Man’ for BBC 3's acclaimed Monkeydust series.
As an illustrator he has produced high quality illustration work for a variety of clients including Marks & Spencer, Harper Collins, The Guardian, The Economist, Puffin & Faber amongst many others.
Daniel is a BAFTA nominated animation director based in London who specialises in mixed media and stop motion animation. He graduated from Middlesex University with BA Animation in 2017 and NFTS with MA Directing Animation in 2020. He has freelanced for clients such as Netflix and It's Nice That, working with companies such as Pavilion Works and Mindful Education.
Anthony is an animator, illustrator and story maker who previous to studying animation, worked as a freelance illustrator for several years. He brought his experience and illustration skills as a freelancer to the animation course and created a film in his first year that won an award at Middlesex Universities end of year showcase for best animation. The film also debuted at Alexandra Palace's Drive-In Cinema before each main showing. As well as illustration and animation, Anthony is a keen storyteller and writes stories for potential animations in his spare time. For Anthony's final year project, he created a concept for an animated series with a portfolio of illustrations and an introduction sequence. Anthony considers himself a generalist and is looking to move into the animation industry as either a designer or animator.
Animation BA graduate
Antonio J Busto Algarin
Animation BA graduate
Animation BA graduate
Animation BA graduate
Animation BA graduate
Animation BA graduate
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.
Start: September 2023, EU/International induction: September 2023
Duration: 3 years full-time
Start: September 2023, September 2023: EU/INT induction
Duration: 3 years full-time