If you're an aspiring animation director, this degree will enable you to develop your creative and technical skills, ensuring you gain the experience you need to work in today's highly competitive and exciting animation industry.
In our high-spec animation facilities, you will use the latest software and work alongside specialist technicians with extensive professional experience. Our facilities feature stop motion studios, 3D printing, puppet and model making, and a brand-new 80-workstation digital media workshop.
We have excellent industry connections and our graduates go on to work at some of the top animation studios in the UK and abroad including Aardman Animations, Netflix, Blink Ink, Lupus Films, Tiger Aspect Productions, Blue Zoo, Passion Pictures, Spa Studios and IOD Productions.
You will learn from award-winning animation directors who work closely with industry partners to share their knowledge and facilitate specialist workshops and lectures. Partners include art and design agencies, animation studios, visual effects companies, content providers and games developers.
The work you create with us will become part of your animation portfolio which will help showcase your skills and experience to our industry network and beyond. You will leave ready for a career at one of the top animation studios in the UK or abroad.
We have an excellent record of placing our students on Master’s programmes such as the Royal College of Art and the National Film & Television School, and some go on to undertake practice-based PhDs.
You’ll learn a broad range of creative practices including traditional and digital 2D, motion graphics, stop motion, 3D computer animation and working with 16mm film.
In class discussions and lectures, you'll learn about the history of the medium and discover new approaches to animation practice.
In our state-of-the-art animation studios, we'll help you develop your animation skills including scriptwriting, character development, video and sound editing.
We'll help keep you ahead of the latest technological innovations and trends with regular workshops with guest speakers, such as award-winning directors Joanna Quinn, Kitty Taylor and Merlin Crossingham and prolific voice actor David Holt.
You will learn to:
Check out recent work by current students and alumni at the MDX Animation showcase which includes all of our annual showreels.
Each year we take final year projects from students on BA Animation to be displayed at the Arts and Creative Industries degree show, and showcased in a Central London cinema.
Watch Adara Todd's award-winning animated short video on Alzheimer's Disease.
Matteo Galinna's YouTube channel Silly Incorporated has 144k subscribers and racking up a total of 73 million views, with films such as 'Skateboards and Centaurs' produced here at Middlesex.
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Here is an overview of what will be covered in each year of study:
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 Critical Animation Aesthetics module, you will be introduced to a range of animated genres and forms from around the world.
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 show reel, portfolio and promotional material. You will research and write a contextual dissertation that connects to your practical areas of interest.
Throughout this course, you will study a broad range of animation practices and industry-standard tools including:
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.
For more details on this course, please download the Animation BA Honours specification (PDF).
Our specialist facilities are recognised as among the best in the 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.
We offer lots of support to help you while you're studying including financial advice, wellbeing, mental health and disability support.
We'll support you if you have additional needs such as sensory impairment or dyslexia. And if you want to find out whether Middlesex is the right place for you before you apply, get in touch with our Disability and Dyslexia team.
Our specialist teams will support your mental health. We have free individual counselling sessions, workshops, support groups, and useful guides.
Our Middlesex Unitemps branch will help you find work that fits around uni and your other commitments. We have hundreds of student jobs on campus that pay the London Living Wage and above.
You can apply for scholarships and bursaries and our MDX Student Starter Kit to help with up to £1,000 of goods, including a new laptop or iPad.
We have also reduced the costs of studying with free laptop loans, free learning resources, and discounts to save money on everyday things. Check out our guide to student life on a budget.
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. Animation at Middlesex will prepare you for a career in many areas of the animation industry, with roles including:
Motion Graphic Designer
Stop Motion Animator
After Effects Artist
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. To name a few of our alumni and their work:
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, and two of 2023 graduate Anna Maria Leventi's films have been selected for the London International Animation Festival
Our employability service, MDXworks will launch you into the world of work from the beginning of your course, with placements, projects and networking opportunities through our 1000+ links with industry and big-name employers in London and globally.
Our dedicated lifetime career support, like our business start-up support programme and funding for entrepreneurs, has put us in the top 10 UK universities for students who want to be CEOs and entrepreneurs (Hitachi, 2021).
You’ll study with students from 122 countries who’ll hopefully become part of your global network. And after you graduate, we'll still support you through our alumni network to help you progress in your chosen career.
Placements and internships greatly improve graduate employment prospects, and those who take part achieve excellent academic results through applying their learning in a professional setting.
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 gain prestigious placement opportunities.
The fees below are for the 2024/25 academic year:
Part-time: £77 per taught credit
Full-time students: £16,600
Part-time students: £138 per taught credit
The following course-related costs are included in the fees:
To help make uni affordable, we do everything we can to support you including our:
1. UK Fees: The university reserves the right to increase undergraduate tuition fees in line with changes to legislation, regulation and any government guidance or decisions. The tuition fees for part-time UK study are subject to annual review and we reserve the right to increase the fees each academic year by no more than the level of inflation.
2. International Students: Tuition fees are subject to annual review and we reserve the right to increase the fees each academic year by no more than the level of inflation.
Any annual increase in tuition fees as provided for above will be notified to students at the earliest opportunity in advance of the academic year to which any applicable inflationary rise may apply.
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.
In 2019, he won his second BAFTA for his animated short, Roughhouse. He has also won Best British Film at London International Animation Festival with his short animation film Roughhouse. He has designed and directed the animation 'The Trouble with Love and Sex', which explores relationships using audio from a series of Relate counselling sessions, and was the first full length animated documentary to be broadcast on British TV.
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.
Sam is a film theorist specialising in animation aesthetics, intertextuality and the Hollywood animation industry. He has written widely on these topics, including his book DreamWorks Animation: Intertextuality and Aesthetics in Shrek and Beyond. He is also the convenor of the Animation Special Interest Group for the British Association of Film, Television and Screen Studies, and the host of the Disniversity podcast
Matt Graduated from Middlesex University’s Illustration BA in 2016. After working as an in-house illustrator at a London brand agency, Matt went freelance. In 2020 he created the opening animated title sequence for Sky Cinema’s 2021 film, ‘To Olivia’. Matt continued his studies at the London Atelier of Representational Art (LARA) drawing programme.
Emma was born in London. She studied Graphic design at The Royal College of Art. She has worked as an Animation Director, Artist, Graphic Designer and Lecturer and has written, designed, and illustrated books, for both adults and children. She co-founded Pearly Oyster Productions making many successful and award-winning animated films, including The Queen's Monastery and Beware Of Trains. She is currently developing a new animated documentary.
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.
Magda is an animator and director based in London. She studied Communication Design at the University of Applied Science in Hamburg and received an MA in Documentary Animation at the Royal College of Art. In her works, she displays a range of animation styles and techniques, creating personal and commercial work for clients such as Hulu and Giphy.
James Downes studied Interactive Media at CCAD (Northern School of Art) and went on to study BA animation at Middlesex and graduated in 2018. Following his graduation at Middlesex James worked at The Brewery VFX working on advertisements for global brands such as Gucci. He then returned to Middlesex University as an animation technician assisting students with digital and stop-motion animation methods. He currently works on various freelance projects frequently collaborating with UK music artists.
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.