Student illustrating on a Wacom tablet screen
UCAS Code
W615
Mode of Study
Full-time, Full-time sandwich with work placement
Duration
3 years full-time, 4 years sandwich with work placement
Start Date
September 2022
Accredited
Yes

Overview

Visual communication and entertainment have become a dominant force in the last 20 years, with animation at their core. Animators are in demand across a range of creative industries including television, film, web, computer games, education, and marketing.

With our Animation degree course, you'll gain the sought-after technical skills, artistic insight, and platform diversity to apply your talent to any form of visual arts, media, or communication. You'll develop advanced abilities in character animation, visual storytelling, compositing and editing, and learn from active industry professionals who’ve directed animations for Disney, Warner Bros., and Cartoon Network, and produced special effects for prominent film franchises like Lord of the Rings, Harry Potter, and Chronicles of Narnia.

At the end of the course, you’ll be primed for a successful career in 2D or 3D animation across multiple industries.

Course highlights

  • Practise the techniques that animators use in the film industry, such as the performance capture process used in the film Avatar
  • Learn industry-standard software and production methods and use professional animation equipment including Adobe Creative Cloud, Autodesk Maya, TV Paint, and Wacom Cintiq digital drawing displays
  • Meet prospective employers and industry contacts by showcasing your work at our student screening in London
  • Gain valuable industry experience and knowledge by taking an optional placement year – either with a company or as self-employed
  • Demonstrate your technical proficiency to industry peers by earning Adobe Certified Associate (ACA) accreditation
  • Impress the public and potential employers by showcasing your final-year work at our annual Graduate Shows
  • Put your artistry and skills to prize-winning test by taking part in our annual University GameJam

90% of graduates in work or further study 15 months after this course (HESA Graduate Outcomes Survey 2018/19)

TEF Gold Teaching Excellence Framework
Joint Audio Media Education Services

Accreditation

This Animation degree course is accredited by JAMES (Joint Audio Media Education Services), a group of industry professionals and employers.

The JAMES accreditation lets potential employers know that this course gives you the relevant skills and abilities you need to work in the animation industry when you graduate. This gives you an edge over students who didn’t do an accredited course when you’re applying for jobs.

JAMES reviews our accreditation every 3 years to make sure the Animation course content remains up-to-date with industry trends and developments. So you’ll always be learning skills relevant to your career.

Watch our BA (Hons) Animation Graduate Show 2021 showreel

We've picked some of the best work from our 2021 graduates so you can get a taste of what you can achieve by studying Animation at Portsmouth.

Entry requirements​

BA (Hons) Animation

Typical offers
  • A levels – BBB–BBC
  • UCAS points – 112–120 points (calculate your UCAS points)
  • BTECs (Extended Diplomas) – DDM–DMM
  • International Baccalaureate – 25

See full entry requirements and other qualifications we accept

Selection process

All shortlisted applicants will need to attend an interview with a portfolio of work.

For more information on how to put together a portfolio, read our BA (Hons) Animation creative portfolio guide.

English language requirements
  • English language proficiency at a minimum of IELTS band 6.0 with no component score below 5.5.

See alternative English language qualifications

We also accept other standard English tests and qualifications, as long as they meet the minimum requirements of your course.

If you don't meet the English language requirements yet, you can achieve the level you need by successfully completing a pre-sessional English programme before you start your course.

Facilities and specialist equipment

Student using a Wacom tablet

Wacom Studio

Design eye-catching illustrations, animations, and layouts in our 20-seat PC studio with industry-leading Wacom Cintiq widescreen graphics tablets.

Explore Studio

Two men fighting with mocap suit and VR headset

Motion Capture Studio

Our studio is decked with all you need for visual effects, gaming and other virtual productions.

Explore Studio 

Careers and opportunities

The UK’s animation industry creates pioneering content and visual effects worldwide for commercials, websites, games, and interactive technologies. Animations for events, concerts, theatre performances, and theme parks are also on the rise (Animation UK). With the rapid development of future technologies such as virtual, mixed, and augmented reality, animation continues to be a growing sector of the global media and entertainment market.

Upon completing our Animation degree course, you can be part of this vital industry that transcends all sectors.

Graduate roles

Our graduates have worked in a wide range of artistic roles, including:

  • animators
  • concept artists
  • directors
  • compositors
  • creative directors
  • art directors
  • modellers
  • user interface (UI) designers
  • post-production technical directors

Graduate destinations

Our graduates have worked at renowned companies such as:

  • Climax
  • Framestore
  • The Mill
  • Sony Pictures Animation
  • Kuju Games
  • Centroid 3d in Pinewood Studios
  • Cartoon Network

Graduate productions

Some of our alumni have worked on high-profile feature films and cartoons, including:

  • Avatar
  • Life of Pi
  • Tim Burton’s Alice in Wonderland
  • The Amazing World of Gumball

Ongoing careers support

Get experience while you study, with support to find part-time jobs, volunteering opportunities, and work experience. You can also venture into freelancing, or set up and run your own business with help from the University Startup Team.

Towards the end of your degree and for up to five years after graduation, you’ll receive one-to-one support from our Graduate Recruitment Consultancy to help you find your perfect role.

" Throughout ... I was given plenty of opportunities to develop a range of skills ... without the pressure to pick a specific path. This was definitely one of my favourite aspects of the course, which enabled me to get a sense of where my strengths lie while encouraging me to explore areas that I may not have considered previously. "

Immy Goodman, BA (Hons) Animation 2021 graduate

Read Immy’s story

Placement year (optional)

Between your second and third year, you can complete an optional work placement to gain professional experience and enhance your skills. It's also a great incentive for employers once you graduate.

You can work for a company, organisation or agency, or you can go self-employed and start your own business with fellow students or by yourself.

Whatever you decide – or even if you just want some employability advice – our exclusive Creative Careers team can support you every step of the way.

Creative Careers

Our in-faculty Creative Careers team has extensive recruitment experience and knows the creative sector well, making it easier for students to find placements within the creative industries.

They can guide you through every step of the application process, including:

  • Searching for the ideal job through their database of vacancies
  • Giving tips on how to write an interesting CV that will catch employers' attention, no matter the role
  • Organising mock interviews, so you can hone your technique and familiarise yourself with the recruitment environment
  • Writing your startup business proposal – if you're going down the self-employment route

The team will continue to give you support throughout your placement year.

Placement destinations

Students have completed work placements at Oscar and BAFTA winning companies such as:

  • Mosaic Films
  • Framestore

What you can do on a placement year

If you're thinking of doing a placement but not sure what role to take or where to go, we can steer you in a direction that fits your aspirations.

Check out our Creative Careers team's blog to discover where fellow creative technologies students have interned during their studies.

Read our blog post

What you'll study on this BA (Hons) Animation degree

Each module on this course is worth a certain number of credits.

In each year, you need to study modules worth a total of 120 credits. For example, 4 modules worth 20 credits and 1 module worth 40 credits.

Modules

Year 1

Core modules

What you'll do

You'll examine each aspect of the production pipeline, analyse the work of notable animators and studios, and develop a project from concept, through to a final piece of animation.

What you'll learn

When you complete this module successfully, you'll be able to:

  • Research and evaluate the advantages and disadvantages of different methods of animation production
  • Apply each aspect of the production process to current and future animation projects
  • Appraise working methods in relation to industry practitioners
  • Appraise industry animations to identify techniques and approaches
Teaching activities

On this module you'll attend practical classes and workshops.

Independent study time

We recommend you spend at least 152 hours studying independently. This is around 4.5 hours a week over the duration of the module.

Assessment

On this module, you'll be assessed through coursework (100% of final mark) – 2 x portfolios.

What you'll do

You'll get a solid understanding of weight, materiality and kinetics. You'll learn techniques such as squash and stretch, anticipation, staging, straight ahead and pose to pose animation, follow through and overlapping action, slow out and slow in, arcs, secondary action, timing, exaggeration and solid drawing.

What you'll learn

When you complete this module successfully, you'll be able to demonstrate:

  • An understanding of key animation principles, 2D key framing and dope sheets
  • The ability to prepare drawings for 2D animation that demonstrate weight, volume, movement and gesture, balance, and timing
  • An understanding of animation studio production methods including planning, key framing, inbetweening, line testing, clean-up and art-working
Teaching activities

On this module you'll attend practical classes and workshops.

Independent study time

We recommend you spend at least 152 hours studying independently. This is around 4.5 hours a week over the duration of the module.

Assessment

On this module, you'll be assessed through coursework (100% of final mark) – 2 x portfolios.

What you’ll do

You'll explore interface familiarisation and 3D orientation, 3D database structure and file management, polygon modelling, materials and textures, lighting and rendering, animation tools, basic rigging, and skinning.

You'll also research, develop and produce a 3D animation.

What you’ll learn

When you complete this module successfully, you'll be able to:

  • Identify the processes and methods involved in the production of a 3D animation project
  • Use design processes and methods to produce a research and development portfolio
  • Select and apply the appropriate software skills to produce a 3D animation
Teaching activities

On this module you'll attend practical classes and workshops.

Independent study time

We recommend you spend at least 152 hours studying independently. This is around 4.5 hours a week over the duration of the module.

Assessment

On this module, you'll be assessed through:

  • coursework (100% of final mark) – 2 x portfolios

What you'll do

You'll explore colour, texture and mark-making and be introduced to traditional and digital painting techniques.

What you'll learn

When you complete this module successfully, you'll be able to:

  • Execute drawing to record the shape, structure, proportion, weight, balance and movement of the human form
  • Critically reflect on your drawing
  • Use drawing to record the colour and texture of objects and environments with attention to composition
  • Use colour, texture and mark-making as a means of expression
  • Explore image manipulation and movement using relevant 2D software
Teaching activities

On this module you'll attend practical classes.

Independent study time

We recommend you spend at least 154 hours studying independently. This is around 4.5 hours a week over the duration of the module.

Assessment

On this module, you'll be assessed through coursework (100% of final mark) – 2 x portfolios.

What you'll do

You'll also develop technical skills in sound and editing, and learn how to visualise and develop ideas and narrative through storyboard techniques.

What you'll learn

When you complete this module successfully, you'll be able to:

  • Demonstrate narrative understanding through use of animatic
  • Appraise and present ideas for an animated film production
  • Demonstrate knowledge of structure, continuity, composition, sound, editing, timing, character posture and design to an animatic production
  • Employ ideas and organise material in a comprehensive manner, utilising appropriate technologies to clearly communicate
Teaching activities

On this module you'll attend seminars and tutorials.

Independent study time

We recommend you spend at least 152 hours studying independently. This is around 4.5 hours a week over the duration of the module.

Assessment

On this module, you'll be assessed through coursework (100% of final mark) – 2 x portfolios.

What you'll do

You'll develop critical thinking and analysis skills and learn about key concepts such as semiotics, stereotypes, discourse, identity, viewing positions and cultural difference.

What you'll learn

When you complete this module successfully, you'll be able to:

  • Identify and describe key theories about meaning production, representation and spectatorship
  • Discuss contemporary debates about representation and spectatorship
  • Articulate critical understanding and basic analysis of animation and film
  • Recognise the relevance of theories and debates to your creative work
  • Recognise a variety of animation and film work styles and contexts
Teaching activities

On this module you'll attend lectures and seminars.

Independent study time

We recommend you spend at least 152 hours studying independently. This is around 4.5 hours a week over the duration of the module.

Assessment

On this module, you'll be assessed through:

  • a 1-hour in-class test (50% of final mark)
  • a 1,500-word essay (50% of final mark)

Year 2

Core modules

What you'll do

You'll develop collaborative team working and communication skills, and enhance your understanding of the commercial production workflow of animation studios.

You'll learn research methodologies required for successful character animation and develop practical animation skills in 2D or 3D animation.

What you'll learn

When you complete this module and the accompanying 'Animation Group Project: Production' module successfully, you'll be able to:

  • Demonstrate technical and organisational skills in the group production of an animation production diary and project report and further research and development folder
  • Demonstrate the ability to meet the demands and constraints of working as an efficient and active team member
  • Evaluate and appraise animation research methodologies
  • Select and employ a range of industry relevant 2D or 3D animation techniques
  • Critically reflect on own practice
Teaching activities

On this module you'll attend practical classes.

Independent study time

We recommend you spend at least 152 hours studying independently (alone or in your group). This is around 9 hours a week over the duration of the module.

Assessment

On this module, you'll be assessed through coursework (100% of final mark) – 2 x portfolios.

What you'll do

You'll continue developing collaborative team working and communication skills, and enhance your understanding of the commercial production workflow of animation studios.

You'll continue learning research methodologies required for successful character animation and developing practical animation skills in 2D or 3D animation.

What you'll learn

When you complete this module and the previous 'Animation Group Project: Introduction' module successfully, you'll be able to:

  • Demonstrate technical and organisational skills in the group production of an animation production diary and project report, as well as a further research and development folder
  • Demonstrate the ability to meet the demands and constraints of working as an efficient and active team member
  • Evaluate and appraise animation research methodologies
  • Select and employ a range of industry relevant 2D or 3D animation techniques
  • Critically reflect on your own practice
Teaching activities

On this module you'll attend practical classes.

Independent study time

We recommend you spend at least 152 hours studying independently (alone or in your group). This is around 9 hours a week over the duration of the module.

Assessment

On this module, you'll be assessed through coursework (100% of final mark) – 2 x portfolios.

What you'll learn

When you complete this module successfully, you'll be able to:

  • Record information, generate and develop ideas, plan and structure work flow and create visualisations in the form of stills
  • Produce visual research sketchbooks that examine the full working process through dynamic and visually stimulating drawing
  • Record the structure, shape and movement of animal forms through drawing
  • Interpret narrative creatively into informative and visually persuasive storyboards
  • Explore a variety of animation techniques
  • Utilise 3D modelling software
Teaching activities

On this module you'll attended supervised workshops.

Independent study time

We recommend you spend at least 154 hours studying independently. This is around 9 hours a week over the duration of the module.

Assessment

On this module, you'll be assessed through a portfolio (100% of final mark).

What you'll do

You'll focus on theoretical and historical contexts of production, and engage in debates on topics including the shift from analogue to digital technologies, globalisation of media institutions, international art movements, narrative structures and themes, transculturalism and fandom.

What you'll learn

When you complete this module successfully, you'll be able to:

  • Describe and assess key critical debates around animation
  • Evaluate research sources and place them within theoretical contexts
  • Assess issues of representation in relation to production of animation
  • Describe transcultural/global contexts of contemporary cultural production
Teaching activities

On this module you'll attend lectures and seminars.

Independent study time

We recommend you spend at least 154 hours studying independently. This is around 4.5 hours a week over the duration of the module.

Assessment

On this module, you'll be assessed through:

  • an examination (50% of final mark) – in-class of 1-hour duration
  • a 2,000-word essay (50% of final mark)

Optional modules

What you'll do

You'll take this optional module as part of the second year of your course.

What you'll learn

When you complete this module successfully, you'll be able to:

  • Manage and complete tasks in an overseas study environment relevant to your course, with an appropriate level of skill, independence and performance
  • Reflect on your personal development and how your employability prospects have been enhanced by the exchange
Teaching activities

N/A

Independent study time

N/A

Assessment

On this module, you'll be assessed through a 2,000-word report (100% of final mark).

What you’ll learn

When you complete this module successfully, you'll be able to:

  • Work independently with less need for supervision and direction
  • Communicate a detailed knowledge of the contexts of business and industry-specific practices relevant to your chosen field
  • Demonstrate awareness of ideas, contexts and frameworks within self-employment, freelancing or business start-ups
  • Develop professional working relationships within industry/business disciplines
  • Proactively evaluate your strengths and weaknesses, and develop your own criteria and judgement relating to your business practice, future learning and future employability goals
Teaching activities

N/A

Independent study time

N/A

Assessment

On this module, you'll be assessed through a portfolio (100% of final mark).

What you’ll learn

When you complete this module successfully, you'll be able to:

  • Work independently with less need for supervision and direction
  • Communicate a detailed knowledge of the contexts of business and industry-specific practices relevant to your chosen field
  • Demonstrate awareness of ideas, contexts and frameworks within your chosen area of employment
  • Develop professional working relationships within industry/business disciplines
  • Proactively evaluate your strengths and weaknesses, and develop your own criteria and judgement relating to your business practice, future learning and future employability goals
Teaching activities

N/A

Independent study time

N/A

Assessment

On this module, you'll be assessed through a portfolio (100% of final mark).

What you'll do

You'll do this by engaging in interdisciplinary work, developing an appreciation of other creative disciplines and understanding how professionals collaborate.

What you'll learn

When you complete this module successfully, you'll be able to:

  • Demonstrate independent, analytical and creative attributes
  • Demonstrate the ability to be an effective team player, able to provide leadership and to support the success of others
  • Communicate clearly and effectively using various methods and to different audiences
Teaching activities

On this module you'll work independently and in groups with regular tutorial support, and also attend some briefings and lectures.

Independent study time

We recommend you spend at least 176 hours studying independently. This is around 10.5 hours a week over the duration of the module.

Assessment

On this module, you'll be assessed through:

  • a group presentation (40% of final mark)
  • an individual portfolio (40% of final mark)
  • a 1,000-word report (20% of final mark)

What you’ll learn

When you complete this module successfully, you'll be able to:

  • Employ relevant approaches to work flow
  • Create a large variety of qualities of movement to a professional standard
  • Select and employ a range of performance related to character animation development
Teaching activities

On this module you'll attend lectures and supervised workshops.

Independent study time

We recommend you spend at least 152 hours studying independently. This is around 9 hours a week over the duration of the module.

Assessment

On this module, you'll be assessed through coursework (100% of final mark) – 2 x portfolios.

What you’ll learn

When you complete this module successfully, you'll be able to:

  • Evaluate and appraise animation research methodologies
  • Select and employ various industry-relevant animation techniques
  • Critically reflect on your own work
  • Select and employ a range of performance and narrative skills related to character animation development
Teaching activities

On this module you'll attend practical classes.

Independent study time

We recommend you spend at least 152 hours studying independently. This is around 9 hours a week over the duration of the module.

Assessment

On this module, you'll be assessed through coursework (100% of final mark) – 2 x portfolios.

What you'll do

You'll gain an appreciation of working practice and learn how to analyse appropriate use of simulations and effects.

What you'll learn

When you complete this module successfully, you'll be able to:

  • Demonstrate practical solutions to real problems using appropriate visual effect techniques
  • Apply different kinds of physics simulations and procedural-based effects
  • Analyse and reflect upon a library of reference works and observations, articulating how their research has informed and progressed the development of flexible pipelines and software interoperability
Teaching activities

On this module you'll attend practical classes.

Independent study time

We recommend you spend at least 152 hours studying independently. This is around 4.5 hours a week over the duration of the module.

Assessment

On this module, you'll be assessed through a portfolio (100% of final mark).

What you'll do

You'll enter at the appropriate level for your existing language knowledge. If you combine this module with language study in your first or third year, you can turn this module into a certificated course that is aligned with the Common European Framework for Languages (CEFRL).

What you'll learn

When you complete this module:

  • You'll have improved your linguistic skills in Arabic, British Sign Language, Italian, Japanese, Mandarin, French, German or Spanish
  • You'll be prepared for Erasmus study abroad
Teaching activities
  • 12 x 2-hour seminars
Independent study time

We recommend you spend at least 176 hours studying independently. This is around 10 hours a week over the duration of the module.

Assessment

On this module, you'll be assessed through: 

  • coursework (100% of final mark) 

What you'll do

You'll cover planning, producing and delivering concise materials, addressing the specific creative needs of a studio client using the CCI Motion Capture Suite, and industry-standard software.

What you'll learn

When you complete this module successfully, you'll be able to:

  • Apply the fundamentals of staging and cinematography to successfully convey the visual requirements that support story in film
  • Quickly create assets that meet professional pre-visualisation standards and solve creative issues efficiently in industry-standard software
  • Appraise the theoretical and practical aspects of virtual production technology to improve the previs production process
  • Demonstrate understanding of the technical aspects of breaking down a script into a practical and functional previs
  • Apply the professional tools and techniques involved in a virtual production
Teaching activities
  • 12 x 1-hour practical classes and workshops
  • 12 x 1-hour supervised learning sessions
Independent study time

We recommend you spend at least 176 hours studying independently. This is around 10.5 hours a week over the duration of the module.

Assessment

On this module, you'll be assessed through:

  • a portfolio (100% of final mark)

What you'll learn

When you complete this module successfully, you'll be able to:

  • Identify future career goals and reflect on these to develop a personal development plan (programme of learning), which includes suitable work experience and skills/knowledge development opportunities
  • Arrange suitable work experience, engage with personal development opportunities and analyse relevant literature relating to enhancing your employment opportunities
  • Critically evaluate and articulate your learning (knowledge, skills and attributes) in relation to your future career goals
Teaching activities

On this module you'll take part in work-based learning and attend lectures.

Independent study time

We recommend you spend at least 188 hours doing work-based learning or studying independently. This is around 11 hours a week over the duration of the module.

Assessment

On this module, you'll be assessed through:

  • a 1,000-word report (20% of final mark)
  • a 3,000-word report (80% of final mark)

What you'll do

You'll form a small group (typically with 4 other students) and work through areas such as designing, manufacturing and pitching ideas. The knowledge and skill you will get through this module will help you to run your own business, but are also transferable skills you can use in many other careers.

What you'll learn

When you complete this module successfully, you'll be able to:

  • Critically reflect on your effectiveness at tasks that use employability skills such as project planning, communication, time management, leadership and teamwork
  • Evaluate the theory and complete the practice of establishing and running a business enterprise
  • Understand the systems commonly used to plan, record and monitor business decisions and company transactions
  • Critically reflect on the factors that contribute towards the success or failure of business start ups
Teaching activities

On this module you'll attend lectures.

Independent study time

We recommend you spend at least 176 hours studying independently (including group work). This is around 10.5 hours a week over the duration of the module.

Assessment

On this module, you'll be assessed through: 

  • a 2,000 word report (50% of your final mark)
  • an oral assessment and presentation (50% of your final mark)

Year 3

Core modules

What you'll do

You'll set up an online presence for your portfolios and animations, research potential employers, and develop skills for online networking.

What you'll learn

When you complete this module successfully, you'll be able to:

  • Produce a CV, design pack and showreel to an appropriate industry standard
  • Demonstrate an industry-relevant level of presentation
  • Research and evaluate relevant opportunities in relevant industries/education
Teaching activities

On this module you'll attend tutorials, practical classes and workshops.

Independent study time

We recommend you spend at least 154 hours studying independently. This is around 9 hours a week over the duration of the module.

Assessment

On this module, you'll be assessed through a portfolio (100% of final mark).

Full module details to be confirmed.

What you'll learn

When you complete this module successfully, you'll be able to:

  • Critically evaluate research and design processes by gathering and selecting appropriate materials utilising a variety of methods and sources
  • Apply skills and knowledge in a variety of techniques and processes appropriate to fashion / textile design
  • Demonstrate resourcefulness and entrepreneurial skills to support own practice and the practice of others
  • Employ self-management skills to study independently or collaboratively, set goals, manage workloads, meet deadlines and anticipate and accommodate change 
Teaching activities
  • 32-hours of practical classes and workshops
  • 20-hours of supervised learning
  • 8-hours of timetabled lectures
  • 24-hours of timetabled seminars
  • 2-hours of tutorials
Independent study time

We recommend you spend at least 327 hours studying independently over the duration of the module.

Assessment

On this module, you'll be assessed through:

  • coursework (100% of final mark) – 2 x portfolios

What you'll do

You'll produce an extended essay, developing academic arguments supported by engaging critical ideas from seminars and from the supplied reading list.

What you'll learn

When you complete this module successfully, you'll be able to:

  • Critically evaluate how particular media forms organise understandings, meanings and effects
  • Demonstrate a critical understanding of the interconnectedness of films/animations and their contexts
  • Employ a critical awareness of major debates in film studies, animation and visual culture by evaluating academic and aesthetic sources
  • Select and employ the necessary transferable skills needed to organise and manage self-directed projects
  • Assemble your completed work in a professional manner, to a specific length, format, and deadline, properly referencing sources and ideas
Teaching activities

On this module you'll attend seminars and tutorials.

Independent study time

We recommend you spend at least 178 hours studying independently. This is around 10.5 hours a week over the duration of the module.

Assessment

On this module, you'll be assessed through:

  • a 3,500-word essay

Optional modules

What you'll learn

When you complete this module successfully, you'll be able to:

  • Create a variety of qualities of movement, to a professional standard
  • Handle character animation briefs confidently, to industry standard
  • Demonstrate a professional ability to prepare a range of drawings for 2D animation, which demonstrate weight, volume, balance, timing, movement and gesture
  • Produce animated sequences of good quality (which include line tests/pre-visualisation/earlier iterations as well as finished examples)
  • Demonstrate a professional ability to composite scenes from different layers/elements
  • Demonstrate proficiency in working with 2D animation software
Teaching activities

On this module you'll attend lectures and supervised workshops.

Independent study time

We recommend you spend at least 152 hours studying independently. This is around 9 hours a week over the duration of the module.

Assessment

On this module, you'll be assessed through coursework (100% of final mark) – 2 x portfolios.

What you’ll do

You'll also receive short projects, exercises and support for your major animation project.

What you’ll learn

When you complete this module successfully, you'll be able to:

  • Understand, analyse and demonstrate competent visualisation skills using 3D animation, compositing and modelling software
  • Visually communicate representational form using animation software
  • Select and apply the appropriate software skills to produce 3D models, textures and animation to a professional standard
Teaching activities

On this module you'll attend practical classes and workshops.

Independent study time

We recommend you spend at least 152 hours studying independently. This is around 9 hours a week over the duration of the module.

Assessment

On this module, you'll be assessed through a portfolio project (100% of final mark).

What you'll learn

When you complete this module successfully, you'll be able to:

  • Analyse and compare your pre-production methods with industry practitioner methods
  • Approach pre-production art with a variety of methodologies and techniques
  • Describe the role of storyboarding and other pre-visualisation tools in translating narrative script into animation
  • Critically negotiate and contrast the decisions and actions you need to take to achieve the best result on your major project
  • Critically reflect on the professionalism of your approach to animation pre-production in relation to industry expectations and your career plans
Teaching activities
  • 24 x 2-hour practical workshops
Independent study time

We recommend you spend at least 152 hours studying independently. This is around 4.5 hours a week over the duration of the module.

Assessment

On this module, you'll be assessed through:

  • a portfolio (100% of final mark)

What you'll do

The tasks you'll cover relate to the role of an effects animator or effects technical director in the VFX industry.

What you'll learn

When you complete this module successfully, you'll be able to:

  • Demonstrate practical solutions to real problems using appropriate visual effect techniques
  • Apply different types of physics simulations, and procedural dynamic effects
  • Analyse and reflect on a library of reference works and observations, articulating how their research has informed and progressed the development of flexible pipelines and software interoperability
Teaching activities

On this module you'll attend tutorials and workshops.

Independent study time

We recommend you spend at least 167 hours studying independently. This is around 10 hours a week over the duration of the module.

Assessment

On this module, you'll be assessed through a portfolio (70% of final mark).

What you'll do

You'll explore this through the use of the CCI Motion Capture Suite and industry-standard software.

What you'll learn

When you complete this module successfully, you'll be able to:

  • Appraise theoretical and practical aspects of performance capture technology to understand the character animation production process
  • Demonstrate an understanding of the technical aspects of 3D character animation and performance capture technology
  • Demonstrate the ability to apply the appropriate judgement and techniques needed to ensure that the fidelity of an actor's performance is preserved, from capture to data delivery as effectively as possible
Teaching activities

On this module you'll attend a combination of workshops and practical classes.

Independent study time

We recommend you spend at least 152 hours studying independently. This is around 4.5 hours a week over the duration of the module.

Assessment

On this module, you'll be assessed through coursework (100% of final mark).

We use the best and most current research and professional practice alongside feedback from our students to make sure course content is relevant to your future career or further studies.

Therefore, some course content may change over time to reflect changes in the discipline or industry and some optional modules may not run every year. If a module doesn’t run, we’ll let you know as soon as possible and help you choose an alternative module.

How you're assessed

You’ll be assessed through:

  • animation design projects
  • a showreel and portfolio
  • written coursework (one module per year)
  • a dissertation

You’ll be able to test your skills and knowledge informally before you do assessments that count towards your final mark.

You can get feedback on all practice and formal assessments so you can improve in the future.

The way you're assessed will depend on the modules you select throughout your course. Here's an example from a previous academic year of how students on this course were typically assessed:
  • Year 1 students: 100% by coursework
  • Year 2 students: 17% by practical exams and 83% by coursework
  • Year 3 students: 17% by practical exams and 83% by coursework

Teaching

Teaching methods on this course includes:

  • lectures
  • workshops
  • seminars
  • one-on-one tutorials

There’s an emphasis on production processes such as computer animation, modelling, rigging and rendering.

Teaching staff include experienced experts who have worked for companies such as the BBC, Channel 4, Framestore, Sony Computer Entertainment, Disney, Warner Brothers, Weta and Double Negative.

You can access all teaching resources on Moodle, our virtual learning environment, from anywhere with a Web connection.

For more about the teaching activities for specific modules, see the module list above.

Teaching staff profiles

These are some of the expert staff who’ll teach you on this degree course.

Mat Garey, Course Leader

Mat has 12 years’ experience as an animator and artist, including 7 years at Sony Computer Entertainment.

He’s worked on titles including Looney Tunes, The Getaway 2: Black Monday and Resident Evil, and was part of the BAFTA award-winning team for Wipeout 3.

Paul Charisse, Senior Lecturer

Paul has 14 years' experience in the the feature film and game industries and is a facial animation specialist.

He’s worked as a 3D animator on titles including Prince Caspian and Hellboy. He also animated the character Gollum as part of the Oscar-winning team for Lord of the Rings.

Colin West, Lecturer

Colin specialises in 3D and visuals effects. He’s worked in advertising and film for multiple award-winning visual effects studios.

Colin has worked on motion pictures including The Guardians of The Galaxy, Exodus: Gods and Kings, and Jupiter Ascending. In advertising, he’s worked on projects for brands such as Pepsi, Audi, Galaxy, British Airways and Sony.

Eva Palacios, Senior Lecturer

Eva is a compositing specialist. She’s worked for the BBC and on international award-winning animations for Channel 4.

As the creative director of Toifund Ltd she’s worked with big-name clients including Aardman, Penguin/Warner and Arcadia.

Dr Jackie West, Senior Lecturer

Jackie is a Fine Art practitioner who has exhibited nationally and internationally.

She’s artist in residence at Portsmouth Football Club. She's also Art Director for the University’s feature-length film, Stina and the Wolf, which you can get involved with when you study with us.

Vincent Woodcock, Lecturer

Vincent is an animator, cartoonist and illustrator. He worked at Richard William’s Studio in London.

Among other titles, he co-directed the Disney film Duck Tales: The Movie, and was the character animator and designer at Warner Brothers on Space Jam. He also directed, animated and designed for more than six years at Cartoon Network.

How you'll spend your time

One of the main differences between school or college and university is how much control you have over your learning.

We're planning for most of your learning to be supported by timetabled face-to-face teaching with some elements of online provision. Please be aware, the balance between face-to-face teaching and online provision may change depending on Government restrictions. You'll also do lots of independent study with support from staff and our virtual learning environment, Moodle. Find out more about how our teaching has transformed to best support your learning.

A typical week

We recommend you spend at least 35 hours a week studying for your Animation degree. In your first year, you’ll be in timetabled teaching activities such as lectures, seminars, tutorials, practical classes and workshops for about 12 hours a week. The rest of the time you’ll do independent study such as research, reading, coursework and project work, alone or in a group with others from your course. You'll probably do more independent study and have less scheduled teaching in years 2 and 3, but this depends on which modules you choose.

Most timetabled teaching takes place during the day, Monday to Friday. You may occasionally need to go to University and course events in the evenings and at weekends. There’s usually no teaching on Wednesday afternoons.

Term dates

The academic year runs from September to June. There are breaks at Christmas and Easter.

See term dates

Supporting your learning

The amount of timetabled teaching you'll get on your degree might be less than what you're used to at school or college, but you'll also get support via video, phone and face-to-face from teaching and support staff when you need it. These include the following people and services:

Types of support

Your personal tutor helps you make the transition to independent study and gives you academic and personal support throughout your time at university.

You'll have regular contact with your personal tutor in learning activities or scheduled meetings. You can also make an appointment with them if you need extra support.

In addition to the support you get from your personal tutor, you’ll also have access to a Faculty student support advisor. They can give you confidential, impartial advice on anything to do with your studies and personal wellbeing and refer you to specialist support services.

You'll have help from a team of faculty academic skills tutors. They can help you improve and develop your academic skills and support you in any area of your study.

They can help with:

  • improving your academic writing (for example, essays, reports, dissertations)
  • delivering presentations (including observing and filming presentations)
  • understanding and using assignment feedback
  • managing your time and workload
  • revision and exam techniques

If you need support with software and equipment or you want to learn additional skills (including skills not covered on your course), our creative skills tutors provide free workshops, activities and one-on-one tutorials. Skills you can learn include life drawing, film camera operation and video production.

Computing support staff are always available to give technical support in the Faculty's computer suites during normal working hours. There's also some support available from 5pm to midnight at busy times of the year.

As well as support from faculty staff and your personal tutor, you can use the University’s Academic Skills Unit (ASK).

ASK provides one-to-one support in areas such as:

  • academic writing
  • note taking
  • time management
  • critical thinking
  • presentation skills
  • referencing
  • working in groups
  • revision, memory and exam techniques

If you require extra support because of a disability or additional learning need our specialist team can help you.

They'll help you to:

  • discuss and agree on reasonable adjustments
  • liaise with other University services and facilities, such as the library
  • access specialist study skills and strategies tutors, and assistive technology tutors, on a 1-to-1 basis or in groups
  • liaise with external services

Library staff are available in person or by email, phone or online chat to help you make the most of the University’s library resources. You can also request one-to-one appointments and get support from a librarian who specialises in your subject area.

The library is open 24 hours a day, every day, in term time.

If English isn't your first language, you can do one of our English language courses to improve your written and spoken English language skills before starting your degree. Once you're here, you can take part in our free In-Sessional English (ISE) programme to improve your English further.

​Course costs and funding

Tuition fees (2022 start)

  • UK, Channel Islands and Isle of Man students – £9,250 a year (may be subject to annual increase)
  • EU students – £9,250 a year (including Transition Scholarship – may be subject to annual increase)
  • International students – £17,000 a year (subject to annual increase)

Funding your studies

Find out how to fund your studies, including the scholarships and bursaries you could get. You can also find more about tuition fees and living costs, including what your tuition fees cover.

Applying from outside the UK? Find out about funding options for international students.

Additional course costs

These course-related costs aren’t included in the tuition fees. So you’ll need to budget for them when you plan your spending.

Costs breakdown

Our accommodation section shows your accommodation options and highlights how much it costs to live in Portsmouth.

You’ll study up to 6 modules a year. You may have to read several recommended books or textbooks for each module.

You can borrow most of these from the Library. If you buy these, they may cost up to £60 each.

We recommend that you budget £75 a year for photocopying, memory sticks, DVDs and CDs, printing charges, binding and specialist printing.

If your final year includes a major project, there could be cost for transport or accommodation related to your research activities. The amount will depend on the project you choose.

You may need to spend £20 - £75 per annum on drawing and modelling materials, printing, memory sticks or CDs, and DVDs. (Depending upon option modules selected).

If you take the Student Enterprise Module, you’ll need to pay an additional cost of approximately £20.

You may need to contribute up to £20 towards occasional coach trips.

Apply

How to apply

To start this course in 2022, apply through UCAS. You'll need:

  • the UCAS course code – W615
  • our institution code – P80

If you'd prefer to apply directly, use our online application form.

You can also sign up to an Open Day to:

  • Tour our campus, facilities and halls of residence
  • Speak with lecturers and chat with our students 
  • Get information about where to live, how to fund your studies and which clubs and societies to join

If you're new to the application process, read our guide on applying for an undergraduate course.

How to apply from outside the UK

See the 'How to apply' section above for details of how to apply. You can also get an agent to help with your application. Check your country page for details of agents in your region.

To find out what to include in your application, head to the how to apply page of our international students section. 

If you don't meet the English language requirements for this course yet, you can achieve the level you need by successfully completing a pre-sessional English programme before you start your course.

Admissions terms and conditions

When you accept an offer to study at the University of Portsmouth, you also agree to abide by our Student Contract (which includes the University's relevant policies, rules and regulations). You should read and consider these before you apply.

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