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Undergraduate course

Animation BA (Hons)

Learn how to bring your ideas and animations to life and engage audiences around the world.

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If you’re a visual artist with a love of storytelling and communication then an Animation degree is your gateway to a diverse and exciting range of careers. With the skills you’ll gain from our Animation course you could turn your hand to games development, illustration, web design, visual effects work, advertising or film direction.

York campus

  • UCAS Code – WW65
  • Duration – 3 years full-time | part-time options available on request
  • Start date – September 2021
  • School – School of the Arts

Minimum Entry Requirements

    96 UCAS Tariff points

    3 GCSEs at grade C/4 (or equivalent) including English Language

Tuition Fees

    UK and EU 2021 entry £9,250 per year full time

    International 2021 entry £12,750 per year full time

Discover why York St John is The One

Course overview

Animation is a versatile form of visual communication, blending the use of cutting-edge digital technologies with the analogue craft of art, illustration and design. On this course you will learn how to work with a variety of media, including stop motion, computer animation and hand-drawn techniques, allowing you to develop a dynamic skillset as a versatile and imaginative artist.

We will equip you with the ability to work across a range of platforms and with a range of animation techniques so that you can discover your own passion and pursue the form of animation that excites you most. With us you can become a resourceful and highly-employable animator with a diverse show reel, a depth of understanding and the broader communication and interpersonal skills needed to share your work with the world.

Our Animation programme is built around an exploration of real-world animation practice and will introduce you to the current animation methods used in the film, television, commercial and games industries. You’ll learn the fundamental principles of animation before following the animation pipeline from conception and story to the animatic and production and on to compositing and post-production. You’ll also explore the principles of cinematography and direction – crucial to being able to tell your own stories as an animation director. On this Animation course at York St John University you will become a career-ready animator with specialised skills and a unique portfolio shaped to your interests and ambitions.

Course structure

Level 1

Your first year of studying Animation BA (Hons) provides you with opportunities to develop a broad range of subject knowledge and understanding. Level 1 enables you to develop your creative ideas through a range of different medium and technical practices. You will learn approaches to animation and explore the fundamental principles that unite all animation techniques.


Modules include:

  • Analytical Drawing: Learn perspective techniques, shape and colour theory, and other drawing basics that will help you quickly demonstrate your design ideas to a team or client.
  • Understanding the Animation Pipeline: Understanding the different phases of production is vital to becoming a proficient animator. This module will give you an overview of the pipeline from paper concept to animation production and final cut.
  • Approaches to animation: Learn how to dissect movement and plan an action using keys, breakdowns and in-betweens.
  • Animation Principles: How do the laws of physics inform motion? We explore the detail of how objects behave with proactive or reactive movement.

Level 2

This level allows you to expand and explore on your developing skills as an animator. You will have the opportunity to apply your knowledge and understanding of animation and production planning to create an exciting array of short animations responding to a variety of project briefs. Your skill base will expand as you begin to explore in detail the animation techniques of your choosing.



Modules include:

  • Advanced animation: Dig in to the fine detail that makes the difference between good animation and a convincing emotional performance. Learn how to interpret the work of actors in to your own animated characters.
  • Storytelling & Narrative: An overview of common story structures and how to adapt and expand these in to your own animation concepts.
  • Cinematography and Animation Direction: How can shot composition and montage contribute toward storytelling? We will introduce you to the tools and techniques used by the Animation Director.
  • Collaborative Projects (with Graphic/Games Designers): Learn how to schedule your project and tasks in a team-based environment from a client brief.
  • Work related learning: An opportunity to work on a live brief or in an animation studio: Utilise our industry and studio contacts to secure placements or client briefs to gain core experience and skills for your portfolio.

Level 3

This level provides opportunities for you to research and produce innovative proposals to produce a unique piece that is oriented towards your chosen area of animation. It is an opportunity for you to evolve your own personal development, whilst working with key industry partnerships for graduate success.


  • Major Project for Animation- Personal Project Development: Focus on the specific skills you would like to display within your portfolio in this solo or team based yearlong animation project, with access to publishing opportunities across platforms.
  • Client Project – working on an industry live brief for real world scenarios: Utilise our industry and studio contacts to secure a brief that will allow development of your personal chosen skillset.
  • Working with key industry partnerships: Utilise our industry contacts to secure a partnership or placement that will allow development of your personal chosen skillset.

Teaching & assessment


The programme is concerned with ensuring that you have the opportunity to experience a variety of teaching and learning strategies across the modules offered. These are structured to facilitate successful achievement of the learning outcomes of each module.

You will be provided with a range of teaching and learning strategies across the modules, including:

  • Reflective learning
  • Independent learning
  • Collaborative learning
  • Facilitated learning

Teaching methods

Students will be taught using a wide and varied range of teaching methods, including:

  • Lectures
  • Demonstrations
  • Seminars
  • Individual and group tutorials
  • Group and individual presentations
  • Visiting speakers / lectures
  • Use of audio-visual material
  • Use of e-learning
  • Use of appropriate IT
  • Workshops
  • Technical support


The programme recognises that, as a higher education student, you need to gain and develop a range of graduate attributes which is why the programme places a significant emphasis on your independent learning. The programme thus aims to provide an environment in which you are encouraged to take responsibility for your role in managing your learning and outcomes.

Reflection is central to learning on this degree. It encourages you to relate new material you may encounter to your existing knowledge and expertise. In addition to being a part of good quality knowledge transfer, reflection supports learning by enhancing the whole experience. The new programme will offer you the time to reflect in a variety of ways; such as learning journals, formative feedback, the use of portfolios, reflection on work related learning and internships, tutorial interaction, peer and self-assessment, assignments and a review of your own continual professional development (CPD) plan. It will also facilitate an understanding of your own learning processes and their relationship with and to other creative industries.

You will be encouraged to recognise your learning is not confined to formal teaching situations and encouraged to undertake independent preparation as a follow up to your formal teaching sessions. The programme seeks to offer a range of technical support and independent study that might include both theory and practical sessions. The Technology Enhanced Learning (TEL) team support staff in using some of the core online student services, such as Moodle (VLE) and Mahara (e-portfolio), which you can openly access as part of your online learning experience.

Assessment & feedback

Project feedback will be undertaken at timely points to enable effective progression into the next project, usually at the same time as a portfolio review to enable ongoing holistic assessment. A personal design and learning portfolio is key to the reflective CPD process and the programme will offer a system for developing a professional design portfolio which will record both the process and outcomes of your design projects, and also enable you to record other professionally relevant achievements and competences. This portfolio will be reviewed regularly, usually three or four times per semester, to track progress and aid with setting objectives for future projects. This will be timed to coincide with appropriate stages in projects and modules. This will also particularly be used to provide context for your specialism decisions at the end of level four and also to guide the independent project choices for level six. The portfolio review will be integrated into the academic tutorial system to provide coherent personal learning support for all design students. Summative feedback, reflecting the formative feedback stages and portfolio reviews, will be communicated within 3 weeks of the final submission at the end of a module.

You will not be expected to undertake any examinations whilst on the degree.

Entry Requirements


The minimum entry requirements for this course are:

96 UCAS Tariff points

3 GCSEs at grade C/4 or above (or equivalent) including English Language

Calculate your tariff points.

International Students

If you are an international student you will need to show that your qualifications match our entry requirements. Information about international qualifications and entry requirements can be found on our international pages.

If your first language is not English you must show evidence of English language competence at IELTS level 6.0 (with no skill below 5.5) or equivalent.

International entry requirements

Personal statements

Essential criteria

As well as a strong standard of written English, we also look for the ability to demonstrate knowledge and interest in the subject. This can be done in a variety of ways, for example, visits to design exhibitions, museums or collections. Applicants will also show an ability to 'think outside the box' and have relevant experience of group work.

Valued criteria

Candidates can demonstrate a real enthusiasm for the subject that goes beyond achieving good grades in exams. Examples of this include further study, career plans and transferrable skills such as time management.

Terms and conditions

Our terms and conditions, policies and procedures contain important information about studying at York St John University. These can be accessed through our Admissions webpages.

Fees and funding

To study for an undergraduate degree with us, you will need to pay tuition fees for your course. How much you pay depends on whether you live inside the UK or EU, or internationally (outside the UK/EU). Tuition fees may be subject to inflation in future years.

UK and EU 2021 entry

The tuition fee for 202 entry onto this course is

  • £9,250 per year for full time study
  • £6,935 per year for the first 4 years if you study part time.

These prices apply to all UK/EU, Jersey, Guernsey and Isle of Man students.

You can find out more about funding your degree by visiting our funding opportunities page.

Funding Opportunities

Placement year funding

If you choose to take a placement year, and your course offers it, you can apply for the Tuition Fee and Maintenance Loan for your placement year. How much you are awarded is based on the type of placement being undertaken and whether it is a paid or unpaid placement. The tuition fee for your placement year will be reduced.

International 2021 entry

The tuition fee for 2021 entry to this course is £12,750 per year for full time study.

This price applies to all students living outside the UK/EU.

Due to immigration laws, if you are an international student on a student visa, you must study full time. For more information about visa requirements and short-term study visas, please visit the International Visa and Immigration pages.

Find out more about funding your degree.

International Fees and Funding

Additional costs and financial support

There may also be some additional costs to take into account throughout your studies, including the cost of accommodation.

Course-related costs

While studying for your degree, there may be additional costs related to your course. This may include purchasing personal equipment and stationery, books and optional field trips.

Study Abroad

For more information on tuition fee reductions and additional costs for studying abroad, please visit our study abroad pages.

Accommodation and living costs

View our accommodation pages for detailed information on accommodation and living costs.

Financial help and support

Our Funding Advice team are here to help you with your finances throughout your degree. They offer a personal service that can help you with funding your studies and budgeting for living expenses. 

All undergraduates receive financial support through the York St John Aspire card. Find out more about the Aspire scheme and how it can be used to help you purchase equipment you need for your course. 

Aspire Card

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