BA (Hons) Animation

BA (Hons) Animation

Course Overview

Animators use times​ sound and form to create the illusion of motion. They breathe life into stories. Even the simplest line drawing can magically come alive and delight anyone in a language that is understood by all.  You'll become familiar with techniques, principles and skills that open up the world of animation. You'll find your own place in the story telling, planning, and execution of a created world.​

This course will introduce you to traditional and contemporary techniques of animation, challenging you to experiment and innovate, and ultimately helping you make your mark in this field.

You'll have access to workshops and specialist equipment in the purpose built School of Art & Design, enjoy the opportunities of collaboration with students across other disciplines and bring new ideas to your own practice.​​

​Course Content​

​​​​Year One

Animation Studio 1: 40 credits (Term 1)
Field 1: 40 credits (Term 2)
Constellation: 40 credits (Term 1, 2 & 3)

This level is designed to enable students to explore and understand the extent and diversity of contemporary animation practice, whilst also nurturing the School of Art and Design's ethos of creativity and experimentation. The emphasis is on creative enquiry and knowledge acquisition, where you will focus on experimenting with animation techniques, practicing basic animation principles and digital skills. Additionally, you will be introduced to key concepts in film language, narrative and non-narrative structures, design, motion theory and team working. 

Topics include:

  • Storyboarding, animatics and timing for animation.
  • Life and observational drawing.
  • Use of appropriate software, hardware and traditional tools.
  • Personal philosophy in relation to animation practice.
  • Definitions, origins and scope of sequential image making.
  • The historical and cultural practices present within the production of the animated form.
  • Research in relation to idea generation and concept development.
  • Character and characterisation.
  • Narrative, non-narrative and experimental forms of sequential animation.

Year Two

Animation Studio 2: 40 credits (Term 1)
Field 2: 40 credits (Term 2)
Constellation: 40 credits (Term 1, 2 & 3)

This level focuses on individual student creative development, where there is opportunity to nurture talent within a given specialism, in order to prepare for potential creative collaborations and in their future career paths.

This level also develops your skills and concepts within digital technologies in order to advance the understanding of animation processes and terminology. Writing-skills and scripting for animation will continue to be developed along with story boarding, time management and budgeting practices.

During this year your use of current key animation tools, design concepts and skills will be developed. For example:

  • Techniques and processes involved in the production of an animation.
  • Devising and writing treatments appropriate to the medium.
  • Pre-production planning and appropriate post-production techniques.
  • Expertise in and appropriate use of, traditional and digital tools and techniques.
  • The requirements of an identified audience or user.
  • Knowledge of the existence of new markets, platforms and contexts.
  • The impact of different narrative, non-narrative and experimental approaches. ​
  • Concept Design.
  • Character Design.
  • Sound Design.
  • Physical and virtual environments.
  • Generating ideas for short form animations and formulating a synopsis.

Year Three

Animation Major Project: 40 credits (Term 1)
Field 3: 40 credits (Term 2)
Constellation: 40 credits (Term 1, 2 & 3)

Animation by definition is a broad discipline and the opportunities and roles that await an animator on graduation are wide ranging. During this year you will be encouraged to identify the areas that you wish to develop in preparation for professional life or further study.

In part this will mean synthesizing previous learning and appropriately applying, in a reflective manner, appropriate cognitive and practical approaches to the production of an animated project, consistent with your professional goals and the global context.

You will be encouraged to experiment with techniques, tools and structures. The uniqueness and versatility of this form, will help you emerge as new animators who have the skills and confidence to explore and exploit animation's application to new markets and contexts and be critical thinkers, who are confident, responsive contributors to their professional disciplines.​

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.

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.


You will be assessed via coursework: written and portfolio based, viva voce (presentation and critiques. 

In line with the CSAD Undergraduate Scheme each 40 credit module will have a single summative assessment point at the end of the module.
Interim assessments in a module will be formative only.

Discussions involving staff and students are a central feature of the critiques in assignments and project work organised within the studio programme. Critiques are held at each assessment stage (interim or final) of an assignment or project in the studio-based modules where students present their work to the year group and tutor for feedback and debate. This event is a cornerstone of the learning process. Assignments are designed to ensure that students tackle a wide range of case studies or precedent that illustrates a variety of situations or solutions. The critique process ensures students learn from work being done by others as well as through their own efforts.

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, five GCSE passes including English and Maths at grade C or above plus:

  • 300 points from a successfully completed Art & Design Foundation Diploma or/and
  • At least 3 A Levels / Scottish Advanced Highers from any Subject (General Studies excluded)
  • QCF BTEC Extended Diploma: Distinction Distinction Merit
  • 300 points from the Irish Leaving Certificate at Highers to include 3 x B1 grades from any subject (minimum grade C2 considered)
  • Access to HE Diploma with 45 credits at Level 3 within a relevant subject
  • Welsh Baccalaureate Advanced Diploma considered along with grades CC at A Level within any subject, General Studies excluded
  • Qualifications equivalent to the above

If your qualification isn't listed above, please refer to the UCAS website.

For applicants only undertaking 2 A Levels or BTEC equivalent, or applying with other life experiences, other qualifications and/or art & design achievements will be considered.

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  click here

How to Apply:
Applications for this course should be made online to UCAS at For further information please visit our How to Apply pages at

UCAS Code: 6HJ3

Key Facts

Place of Study:
Cardiff School of Art & Design
Llandaff Campus

Course Length:
Three years full-time.

International Applicants:
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

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

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.

Bursaries & Scholarships:
The university also offers a bursary and scholarship scheme to help students whilst at university. To see if you are eligible, visit​

Contact Us

For general enquiries please contact the Admissions Team on 029 2041 6044 or email

For course specific enquiries, please contact:

Admissions Tutor, Stephen Thompson
Tel:  029 2020 5011

Full terms and conditions in relation to accepting an offer to study at Cardiff Metropolitan University can be found by visiting