You’ll start the course by gaining a broad understanding of the animation process, while creating your first projects using digital and analogue techniques. You’ll take your personal practice further – expanding your knowledge and exploring the historical, theoretical and social context of your subject.
You’ll spend your time in specialist studios, using industry standard equipment to hone your technical skills in a broad range of disciplines, including:
- Fundamentals of 2D, 3D and stop motion animation
- Storyboarding and film language for animation
- Life drawing
- Storytelling and direction
- Camera, lighting and composition
- Art direction; creating and designing characters and worlds
- Characterization and acting for animation
- Mixed media and experimental animation
- New platforms, gaming, VR and installation
- Traditional and digital production techniques and process; from idea development to delivery
- Professional practice and business skills
You’ll have many other valuable experiences too – such as script writing exercises and opportunities to direct voice actors and puppeteers.
Through lectures, tutorials, seminars and workshops you’ll gain a deep understanding of the principles and techniques that underpin animation, learning from a team of active animators, directors and producers.
Subject: Movement Transformation & Life - 30 credits
Subject: Storytelling - 30 credits
In your first term, the emphasis is on creative enquiry and knowledge acquisition, where you’ll explore the extent and diversity of contemporary animation practice, experimenting with techniques, practicing animation principles and developing digital skills. You’ll discover key concepts in film language, narrative and non-narrative structures, design, motion theory and team working.
Field one: collaborate - 20 credits*
Widen your horizons by joining students from other courses to collaborate on a project. You’ll take inspiration from other disciplines to build on your experience and expand your creativity – and use your skills and artistic insight to apply them to your work.
Constellation: concept - 40 credits
This module introduces you to the wider world of ideas, theory and contextual studies to help you develop your academic research skills and critical thinking. You’ll focus on particular areas of interest in study groups and you’ll become familiar with the exciting trans-disciplinary research and expertise in Cardiff School of Art & Design.
Subject: Production - 40 credits
You’ll develop your skills and concepts within digital technology, building your understanding of the animation process and industry terminology. You’ll work on your writing skills and scripting – as well as storyboarding, time management and budgeting practices. And you’ll become accomplished at using key tools and concepts.
Field two: explore - 40 credits*
You’ll expand your experiences with challenging projects designed to encourage you to explore and experiment outside your immediate discipline. This transformative opportunity leads to new thinking and innovation and opens up all kinds of future possibilities. You’ll take on exciting projects that challenge you in new ways. You can also choose to travel, take a work placement, start your own business or try something new.
Constellation: critique - 40 credits
By critiquing literature, journals and exhibitions, you’ll hone your ability to put your design practice into context. You’ll also have opportunities to interact with students and staff and delve deeper into your areas of interest.
Subject: animation major project - 40 credits
This level focuses on individual student creative development, helping you to decide the path you want to take in the future. You’ll experiment with techniques, tools and structures – consolidating the skills you need to begin your professional career or take on further study. And you’ll bring everything together to produce an animated project that reflects your learning and professional goals.
Field three: Exposure - 40 credits
Your final term is dedicated to a major project and an exhibition of your work. This is where you draw together everything you’ve learned during the course and is the launch pad to your future career.
Constellation: contribution - 40 credits
Your practice is underpinned by your knowledge. Demonstrate your research and analysis skills in your final constellation submission, where you explore ideas in both written and practical forms.
*modules available through the medium of Welsh
Learning & Teaching
A significant focus on Studio teaching is maintained, supported by Keynote Lectures and supporting seminars. Individual students will be supported by significant amounts of ‘feedback’ during Group Critiques, single and group tutorials.
During their first year of study each student can expect to receive between 14 and 22 hours of contact time per week via lectures, seminars, tutorials and practical workshops.
Students take a significant lead in their studies, develop their own research focus and expertise base and actively engage with the process of assessment and the manner in which their individual expertise is expressed and tested.
Students will be supported as they work autonomously such that they are able to generate significant and unique learning through rigorous, self-directed and collaborative practice.
Throughout the duration of your studies, you will be evaluated on three main criteria, which underpin all of the disciplines being taught at CSAD:
The practical, technical and conceptual skills you acquire during your course.
Your understanding and knowledge of broader intellectual context within which your discipline and work is located. This includes historical, environmental and ethical issues and will often be explored in your 'Theory and Context' modules.
Your understanding of intellectual and creative ideas from within and beyond your discipline; plus your ability to acquire new concepts and form new ideas. Ideas will be explored in your written work, as well as being evident in your practical progress.
Each of these criteria is given equal weighting during the assessment process. That is to say that they are seen as equally important and critical to your development; an emphasis which is designed, for example, to enable a more well-rounded skill set from a student who may be skilled technically, but weak in generating ideas, or a student with much creative flair who may struggle to hone a broad concept into a strong, individual design.
We provide a number of ways for you to track your progress en route to submitting your work for marking. Understanding that the emphases will revolve around the core areas of skills, context and ideas, you will also become familiar with the structured assessment form used by your tutors and learn to relate to your work back to the intended learning outcomes of each brief.
The main types of formative assessment are; academic (feedback from your tutors); peer (from your course-mates or project partners); and self-assessment (which is your own critique, in light of other forms of feedback). You won't just be receiving feedback at the end of a brief, however – your tutors will often assess your progress as your work develops, providing formative feedback at crucial moments where it is hoped to encourage you to take risks, maintain your motivation or shape-up your ideas ahead of deadline.
Employability & Careers
Graduates from the programme are well placed to work as independent animators, join media & design companies or advertising agencies, or to be employed in the film, television and broadcast industries.
During the course, there will be the opportunity to undertake live briefs, work experience, This will include building contacts and undertaking placements as well as exposure to animation professionals through industry talks and mentoring. You will be offered support in forming your own business should you choose to do so.
Some graduates become teachers by taking a PGCE. Some graduates elect to take their studies further by studying at CSAD for a Master's level qualification and there are opportunities to take this further still, into research with a PhD or a Professional Doctorate in Art or Design.
Entry Requirements & How to Apply
Applicants should have a strong art and/or design portfolio and demonstrate a commitment to art and/or design, and preferably five GCSE passes to include English language and Mathematics* at grade C or above/grade 4 or above (for applicants holding newly reformed GCSEs in England)
Our typical offers will include:
- 120 points from a successfully completed Art & Design Foundation Diploma or/and
- 120 points from at least 2 A Levels; Welsh Baccalaureate – Advanced Skills Challenge Certificate will be considered as a third subject
RQF National Extended Diploma: Distinction Distinction Merit
- 120 points from a combination of Scottish Highers and Scottish Advanced Highers
- 120 points from the Irish Leaving Certificate at Highers to include 2 x H2 grades from any subject. H4 at Higher Level is the minimum grade which can be counted towards an offer
- 120 points from the Access to Higher Education Diploma within a relevant subject
*For Welsh applicants sitting the reformed Mathematics GCSE, we will accept either GCSE
Mathematics – Numeracy.
For applicants only undertaking 2 A Levels or equivalent, or applying with other life experiences, other qualifications and/or art & design achievements will be considered along with the rest of the academic profile and we may issue a graded offer in lieu of an offer using the UCAS Tariff.
If you are studying combinations of the above, or if your qualification isn’t listed please either contact Admissions or refer to the
UCAS course search for the entry requirements. Further information on our entry requirements, including qualifications from the EU can be found by clicking
Before making an application, international students (those outside of the EU), should contact the International Office at Cardiff Met to discuss the necessary procedures in relation to studying with us. For further information visit
Selection Procedure and Interview Days:
Selection is based on the receipt of a completed UCAS application and attendance at a School of Art & Design Interview.
Acceptance at interview is based upon a balance of three criteria:
Personal enthusiasm for and immersion in the practice and theory of Art & Design
Academic achievement and ability
Quality of work, ambition and skills demonstrated in a portfolio
For more information about Art & Design Interview Days, please
How to Apply:
Applications for this course should be made online to UCAS at www.ucas.com/apply. Part-time applications should be made direct to the University at www.cardiffmet.ac.uk/selfservice
For further information please visit our How to Apply pages at www.cardiffmet.ac.uk/howtoapply.
Tuition Fees, Student Finance & Additional Costs
For up to date information on tuition fees and the financial support that may be available whilst at university, please refer to www.cardiffmet.ac.uk/fees.
Undergraduate costs of study in CSAD
CSAD provides a variety of basic materials. These enable students to develop their competence in a range of skills and demonstrate their technical ability. Materials needed in unusual quantities, or those that are specialised, expensive or unusual are at the student’s expense. Advice will be given about how ‘unusual’ is defined, which materials are deemed to be ‘expensive’, and examples given of what is viewed to be ‘unusual’. CSAD students often elect to spend on materials they prefer to work with, including sketchbooks and pens, as well as specialist equipment of their own choosing.
In the main, no charges are made for the use of equipment, with the exception of some specialist high end equipment such as the Mimaki and 3D printers. Access to
Cardiff FabLab is subject to student membership; it offers reduced fees for student use.
For further information about additional course costs, including fees, equipment requirements and other charges for each undergraduate programme, please visit
Field trips and visits
Field trips that are part of core learning will be paid for by the School. Additional visits are occasionally arranged which are optional and where the students may be asked to share the costs. The costs of study abroad, including exchanges, placements and projects are the responsibility of the individual student.