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: animation studio one - 2 x 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: animation studio two - 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: consolidate - 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.
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
Please note: The following entry requirements relate to September 2017 entry and use the new UCAS tariff. Please refer to our Entry Requirements for further information on the new tariff, or contact Admissions if you have any questions.
Applicants should have a strong art and/or design portfolio and demonstrate a commitment to art and/or design, five GCSE passes including 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:
- 96 - 120 points from a successfully completed Art & Design Foundation Diploma or/and
- CCC - BBB / 96 - 120 points from 3 A Levels; or grades CC - BB at A level along with the Welsh Baccalaureate – Advanced Skills Challenge Certificate grade C
- QCF BTEC Extended Diploma: Merit Merit Merit - Distinction Distinction Merit
- 96 - 120 points from a combination of Scottish Highers and Scottish Advanced Highers
- 96 - 120 points from the Irish Leaving Certificate at Highers to include 3 x H2 grades from any subject. H4 at Higher Level is the minimum grade which can be counted towards an offer
- 96 - 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 or 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 here.
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. 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.