BA (Hons) Animation (2D and Stop Motion)

Top in Wales for Animation and Games Guardian University Guide 2023

The BA (Hons) in Animation (2D and Stop Motion) at USW will give you an all-round experience of what it is like to be an Animator in a variety of industries. Within your journey as an Animator, USW will be there to support you every step of the way from film directing/producing to animating concept and design. Animation at USW is about developing fundamental core skills, creativity and professional excellence in your chosen field, underpinned by strong storytelling.  
 
We have created a learning environment which mirrors the animation industry, utilising studios with up-to-date software and hardware, and spacious stop motion filming rooms, fabrication suites and workshops to make puppets sets and props.  
 
Within our course we encourage cross-disciplinary collaboration with other creative disciplines including CG, VFX, drama, film, music and sound. 
 
You’ll be studying at USW’s creative campus in the centre of Cardiff where we have strong links with local industry such as Clothcat Animation, Picl Animation, Beryl Productions and Bad Wolf studios.  
 
We actively encourage students to undertake placements with our industry contacts throughout the UK including Bristol, Manchester and London.  
 
There is a strong emphasis on teamwork and professional practice on this animation course, which will give you a realistic understanding of how the industry works and will enhance your employment prospects. USW's Animation degree is part of Film & TV School Wales, which provides students with the skills and opportunities needed to work in today’s exciting TV and Film industry.  

90% of our BA (Hons) animation (2D and Stop Motion) students were satisfied with their course. National Student Survey 2022
 
See work from our students on our USW Animation (2D and Stop Motion) YouTube channel  and Vimeo.

Follow our USW Creative Instagram and USW Creative Twitter

You can also follow USW Animation on Instagram. 


 

UCAS Code Study Mode
2022
Duration Start Date Campus Campus Code
23X6 Full-time 3 Years September Cardiff (ATRiuM) B
N/A Part-time 6 Years September Cardiff (ATRiuM) B
UCAS Code Study Mode
2023
Duration Start Date Campus Campus Code
23X6 Full-time 3 Years September Cardiff (ATRiuM) B
N/A Part-time 6 Years September Cardiff (ATRiuM) B

The modules on this course will help you develop as a professional Animator in your chosen field, whether that’s in animation in 2D or stop-motion or concept in either of these areas. 
 
You will learn new ways of thinking, making, drawing and creating work which in turn, will prepare you for the animation industry.  
 
The first year concentrates on core traditional drawing, visual language and digital skills for animation and animated storytelling. You’ll improve your skills and learn how to work as part of a creative team.  
 
During the second and third years, you’ll develop your specialist areas of animation and identify your strengths in small production teams, working on live briefs or your own short films. You’ll also work towards high levels of skill in animated outcomes, whether these are in pre-production (e.g. concept, storyboard, backgrounds, character design) or in 2D traditional or digital/ stop-motion production (e.g. character animation, sets, props, puppet and model-making), or post-production compositing. 
 
By the time you graduate, you’ll have produced an exciting showreel and your own short graduation film – all you’ll need to impress employers and to make your start in this dynamic industry. You’ll also develop lots of transferable skills, including team working and time management.  

Year One

Introduction to Animation 

  • The 12 Principles of Animation, movement and believability and sound sync to visuals  

Drawing and Visual Language  

  • Understanding the basics of drawing shape and form developing strong observational skills and their importance within the context of Animation practice 

Further Adventures 

  • Developing fundamental animation skills in the form of biped and quadruped walk cycles and animal studies  

Exploring Animation 

  • Understanding technological, social, and aesthetic context of animation, introduce students to a range of animation-as-art possibilities via materials, media, design styles and techniques. 

Narrative strategies 

  • Introduction to animatics and storyboarding techniques, Exploring storytelling, and narrative structures, animation studies research skills. 

Animation and Design  

  • Fundamental skills in strong Character design, camerawork animation skills through performance and sound sync dialogue work. 

Year Two 

Design for Animation 

  • Progressing skills as designers for Animation practice in 2D and stop-motion, learn design for backgrounds, storyboarding techniques, style frames , line work and good design practice for creative output to pursue Design or Animation pathways,

Technical Practice in 2D Stop Motion 

  • Exploring specialist skills within both 2D and stop-motion, learning creative use of digital software and/or puppet making skills in short animated sequences for TV Idents. 

Applied Animation Practice 

  • Animation is now an all-pervading medium, in multiple settings, not always on a traditional viewing screen. This module explores current and future possibilities for animation creativity and employment opportunities in collaborative and cross-media environments. 

Critical studies  

  • Research Animation within an historical context and relate it to the present and to develop a proposal document to inform the final year coursework 

Animation Pipeline  

  • Understanding the processes of working an Animation major production from pre-production through to post-production, team working and possible live client briefs  

Year Three 

Scriptwriting for Animated Television and film  

  • An optional module to learn scriptwriting skills for TV and Film for commissioning agencies and broadcasters 

Critical Research in Animation 

  • An optional module to produce a dissertation or critical analysis via practice, on a chosen subject with an emphasis on critical analysis and scholarly research. 

Specialist Advanced Animation projects 

  • Create your own projects using advanced software knowledge to produce industry focused briefs and exercises, title sequences, promotional material and idents. 
     

Major project pre-production 

  • Develop and research extensive material and professional skills for a final major film or concept portfolio project  

Major project production 

  • Produce major project output for a film or concept showreel project. This project will launch you into the Animation industry by learning collaboration with others in production teams, and by producing professional  quality work in your chosen field of  2D and/ or stop-motion.  

Business and Employability 

  • Developing your professional portfolio, showreel whilst producing self-promotion work creating a strong social media presence. You will research the current animation industry in your chosen field. We also run a trip to London studios every year and visit studios in Bristol and in the immediate vicinity of Cardiff.  

Teaching

Our teaching team is made up of industry professionals and technical experts. They will guide and push you to develop your own identity as a designer. You will develop all the skills and professional attributes required of an industry leader. You can expect lectures and workshop both online and in-person. Most of all, you can expect to be hands on and working from day one in our busy and active studios.

Assessment

This degree is assessed through regular coursework submissions, as well as practical assessments, presentations and collaborative projects. Assessment is designed to support your learning and help you achieve your goals.

Accreditations

This course is currently recognised by ScreenSkills, the industry-led skills body for the UK's screen-based industries and carries the ScreenSkills Select quality-mark for the purposes of indicating courses best suited to prepare students for a career in the screen industries. 
 
As part of our Skillset accreditation, you’ll have the opportunity to access work placements during the course. We also actively encourage you to pursue your own work experience throughout the course. 

Placements

At USW we prepare you for your future career from day one. You'll work with the Animation industry throughout your degree and we'll support you to gain valuable experience through, work experience and placements. 

We have strong links with industry partners that can offer opportunities for work experience. Many of these are right on our doorstep in Cardiff, ensuring you make the most of your time in this creative capital city. 

Animation is an exciting and lucrative industry as well as being a highly creative one. Due to the online nature of the work, studios now offer a flexible working approach which opens up more career opportunities across the UK, even the world.

Field Trips

You will have an opportunity to develop your visual and drawing skills on field trips to zoos, farms and nature reserves as well as  external events to towns and cities. 

We visit studios around the local areas such as Bad Wolf studios and Clothcat Animation as well as further afield in Bristol such as  ‘Joe Wallace’ and Aardman studios

We also run a two day trip to London every year and visit studios such as Studio AKA, The Line, Picturesmith and Goldenwolf studios as well as meeting up with our Alumni.  

We visit Animation Festivals in the UK and in Europe.   

There may be additional costs associated with this course

Facilities

As part of our Cardiff campus, animation students benefit from a whole floor dedicated to Animation as well as a life drawing room and spacious stop motion workshops, filming rooms and access to 3D printing and laser cutting areas. 
All computer labs are kitted out with the most up to date software and large cintiques. Software is also accessible from outside the university campus, enabling you to work from home in comfort.  

We loan out cintiques, pens,  light boxes and you also have  access to cameras and  laptops  via our Media Loans store.    

You also have access to University-wide facilities and equipment. The Third floor where we are based also features a creative space where students can meet to collaborate, work, host meetings, network and relax. 

Lecturers

Corrado Morgana, Academic Subject Manager
Gerald Emanuel, Senior Lecturer
Leonie Sharrock, Senior Lecturer
Sarah Strickett, Lecturer and main Point of Contact for Course.
Brian Fagence, Lecturer
Graham Griffiths, Lecturer
Matthew Gravelle, Lecturer 
Stan Evens, Technical Demonstrator

Henry Nicholson, HPL Stop motion
Jonathan Edwards, HPL 2D and Stop motion

We regularly revalidate courses for quality assurance and enhancement

At USW, we regularly review our courses in response to changing patterns of employment and skills demand to ensure we offer learning designed to reflect today’s student needs and tomorrow’s employer demands.

If during a review process course content is significantly changed, we’ll write to inform you and talk you through the changes for the coming year. But whatever the outcome, we aim to equip our students with the skillset and the mindset to succeed whatever tomorrow may bring. Your future, future-proofed.

 

The entry criteria below shows the qualification range within which the University will make offers. The University has a Contextual Admissions Policy, therefore, whilst most offers we make are at the top of the range, under the Policy we take certain aspects of an application into consideration and eligible UCAS applicants can receive a personalised offer or have results considered individually when you receive them.  Here is a link to our Contextual Admissions Policy Statement. 

 

Combinations of qualifications are acceptable and other qualifications not listed here may also be acceptable. 

 

Applicants in the UK

Selection for this course is based on a suitable application and attendance at an interview with successful outcome. You may also be required to provide a portfolio of your work prior to attending interview where your course requires this, and full details of what is required will be provided once your application has been processed.

Applicants outside the UK

Selection for this course is based on a suitable application and submission of a portfolio of your work which the Course Leader confirms is suitable for an offer to be made.

 

Typical A-Level Offer

BCC - CDD to include a relevant art and design subject (this is equivalent to 104-80 UCAS tariff points).

Typical Welsh BACC Offer

Pass the Advanced Welsh Baccalaureate Diploma with Grade C/D in the Skills Challenge Certificate and BC - CD at A Level with a relevant art and design subject (this is equivalent to 104-80 UCAS tariff points).

Typical BTEC Offer

BTEC Extended Diploma Distinction Merit Merit - Merit Merit Pass in a relevant subject (this is equivalent to 112-80 UCAS tariff points).

Typical IB Offer

Pass the International Baccalaureate Diploma with a minimum score of 29 overall including 5 or above in English at standard level

Typical Access to HE Offer

Pass the Access to HE Diploma with a minimum of 80 UCAS tariff points

Additional Requirements

GCSEs: The University normally requires a minimum 5 GCSEs including Mathematics/Numeracy and English at Grade C or Grade 4 or above, or their equivalent, but consideration is given to individual circumstances

International Entry Requirements

We also welcome international applications with equivalent qualifications. Please visit the country specific pages on our international website for exact details.

English Requirements

In general, international applicants will need to have achieved an overall IELTS grade of 6.0 with a minimum score of 5.5 in each component.

However, if you have previously studied through the medium of English IELTS might not be required, but please visit the country specific page on our international website for exact details. If your country is not featured please contact us.

Full-time fees are per year. Part-time fees are per 20 credits. Once enrolled, the fee will remain at the same rate throughout the duration of your study on this course

 

August 2022 - July 2023 Fees


  • Full-time UK:  £9000

  • Full-time International: TBC

  • Part-time UK:  £720 per 20 credits

August 2023 - July 2024 Fees


  • Full-time UK: TBC

  • Full-time International: TBC

  • Part-time UK: TBC

Student Perks

At the University of South Wales, you’re investing in so much more than a degree. We strive to provide our students with the best possible experience, no matter what you chose to study. Whether it’s access to top of the range mac books and PCs, state-of-the-art facilities packed with industry-leading equipment and software, masterclasses and events led by industry experts, or a wide range of clubs and societies to meet likeminded people, better tomorrows start with extra perks.

Each course also has their own unique student benefits to prepare you for the real word, and details of these can be found on our course pages. From global field trips, integrated work experience and free course-related resources, to funded initiatives, projects working with real employers, and opportunities for extra qualifications and accreditations - at USW your future, is future-proofed.

Click here to learn more about student perks at USW.

Additional Costs

As a student of USW, you’ll have access to lots of free resources to support your study and learning, such as textbooks, publications, online journals, laptops, and plenty of remote-access resources. Whilst in most cases these resources are more than sufficient in supporting you with completing your course, additional costs, both obligatory and optional, may be required or requested for the likes of travel, memberships, experience days, stationery, printing, or equipment.

* Obligatory

Item Cost
Kit (Uniform and Equipment) - 2D £40 - £80
External Hard Drive (£40-£80 required all academic years),
Kit (Uniform and Equipment) - 2D £100
Sketchbooks (£100 required all academic years).
Kit (Uniform and Equipment) - 2D £150
Drawing Equipment (£150 required all academic years),
Kit (Uniform and Equipment) - 2D £50 - £800
Wacom Tablet/ Cintiq (£50 - £800 only required for Years Y2 & 3)
Kit (Uniform and Equipment) - 2D £200
Books/ Magazines (£200 required all academic years).
Kit (Uniform and Equipment) - Stop Motion £40 - £80
External Hard Drive (required all academic years).
Kit (Uniform and Equipment) - Stop Motion £200 - £300
Materials for puppets. Years 2 & 3
Kit (Uniform and Equipment) - Stop Motion £200 - £300
Materials for Sets. Years 2 & 3.
Kit (Uniform and Equipment) - Stop Motion £200 - £300
Tools for building/sculpting. Years 2 & 3.
Kit (Uniform and Equipment) - Stop Motion £150
Sketchbooks/ Drawing materials (required all academic years)
Other: Misc. travel/ entry costs for visits £0 - £100
All academic years

UK students

Apply via UCAS if you are a UK residing applicant, applying for year one of a full-time undergraduate degree, Foundation Year, Foundation Degree or HND and you have not applied through UCAS before. If you are applying to study part-time, to top up your Foundation Degree or HND, or to transfer to USW from another institution, please apply directly

International and EU students

Apply directly to the University if you live outside the UK. 

Admissions statement

At USW, we help you start your career before you graduate with relevant industry placements and a degree that is 100% focused on what employers need in the future. The teaching environment at USW offers an unparalleled experience when it comes to developing the Animators of tomorrow. 

Our graduates have an extensive portfolio of skills that cover all aspects of the Animation industry from concept through to  Animation skills in  2D and Stop Motion  They are well rounded, focused and confident professionals, who are undertaking successful careers within the industry.  

Our USW Alumni have gone on to win  festivals,  Oscars and Baftas  on  films such as ‘Early man’ ‘Kubo and two strings’ ‘Fantastic Mr Fox  ‘ and ‘Farmageddon .’ 

Students have progressed to a range of animation studios including:

  • Studio AKA,  
  • A productions   
  • Goldenwolf   
  • Disney   
  • Wes Anderson   
  • Picturesmith 
  • Trampires studio 
  • Clothcat 

Our Careers and Employability Service

As a USW student, you will have access to advice from the Careers and Employability Service throughout your studies and after you graduate.

This includes: one-to-one appointments from faculty based Career Advisers, in person, over the phone or even on Skype and through email via the "Ask a Question" service. We also have extensive online resources for help with considering your career options and presenting yourself well to employers. Resources include psychometric tests, career assessments, a CV builder, interview simulator and application help. Our employer database has over 2,000 registered employers targeting USW students, you can receive weekly email alerts for jobs.

Our Careers service has dedicated teams: A central work experience team to help you find relevant placements; an employability development team which includes an employability programme called Grad Edge; and an Enterprise team focused on new business ideas and entrepreneurship.

Full-time

Part-time