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Animation BA (Hons)

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.

UCAS course code
York St John University
Course fees
2019 - 2020: Home & EU students: £9,250 per annum, International (non EU) students: £12,750 per annum
3 years full-time | Part-time options available on request
Study Abroad
Yes - see our study abroad web pages for more information
Start date
September 2019
Art, Design and Computer Science

Course Overview

BA Animation gives you the experience of real world animation practice. We will help you prepare yourself for a career in Animation and shape your body of work towards animation for film, television, commercial or the games industry. We equip you with the ability to apply your skills across a broad range of animation techniques so you can discover the field of animation you wish to explore, and ultimately decide which area of the animation industry you want to work in.

You will learn the fundamental principles of animation that are required to unlock any technique, and give you the confidence to become a well-rounded practitioner ready to work in the animation industry. You will follow the animation pipeline from story and concept to the animatic, animation production and compositing/post-production. The animation programme also explores the principles of cinematography and direction to allow you tell your own stories as an animation director.

The animation programme is delivered by tutors with years of industry experience who continue to be connected to the industry through their own practice. We have close connections with animation studios and regularly invite experts in to run talks and masterclasses. 

We will help you develop your skills to become a versatile, employable animator with a diverse show reel of work relevant to industry practice.

89% of Graduates from our Design courses were in employment or further study within six months.

DLHE 2017

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

Level 2 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

Level 3 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.

Modules include:

  • 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.

Further information

What resources will I have access to?

You will have access to: Workshops, IT studios with PCs and Macs, design studios, material processing areas, smart making labs etc., all these facilities are there to support your studies. You also have access to the newly re-furbished facilities in the University library and learning support centres.

AutodeskAutodesk Maya accreditation

We offer accreditation in Autodesk Maya, demonstrating your skill and knowledge in using computer animation software to future employers.

Programme specification

Further information on this course is available in the programme specification. Please note that the programme specification relates to course content that is currently being studied by students at the University. For new programmes, the programme specification will be made available online prior to the start of the course.

Disability Advice

York St John University works hard to create an inclusive environment for all our students. We offer a range of disability advice services to assist students throughout their studies.

Teaching & Assessment

The programme has been designed to meet the needs of those of you who wish to undertake a degree in a broad range of design related activities and those of you returning to education. Programme delivery will utilise a blended approach incorporating tutor led sessions, group work and individual tutorials, technical support and learning reinforced by virtual learning environments (VLEs).


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 - 112 UCAS Tariff points

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

Calculate your tariff points.

Personal statement

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.

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Discover life as a York St John student by visiting us. You’ll be able to explore our beautiful city-centre campus, meet our friendly staff and find out more about your chosen course.

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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 will depend on whether you're a UK & EU student or an international (non-EU) student. Tuition fees are charged for each year of your course.

Find out more about funding for Foundation Year and/or Placement Year by visiting the Funding Advice pages of our website.

York St John offer special reductions to students graduating from York St John University Undergraduate degrees in 2019 and continuing directly onto Postgraduate study. Find out more about discounts and scholarships.

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


Tuition fees

UK & EU 2019 / 20

The York St John University tuition fee for the 2019 entry to Foundation Degree, BA and BSc, PGCE Primary and Secondary and UG Health Programme degrees is £9,250 per year for UK/EU, Jersey, Guernsey and Isle of Man students.

Tuition fees may be subject to inflation in future years.

Fees & Funding

Overseas 2019 / 20

The York St John University tuition fee for the 2019 entry to Foundation Degree, BA and BSc, PGCE degrees is £12,750 per year for international students.

Tuition fees may be subject to inflation in future years.

International Fees & Funding

Additional costs and financial support

Course-related costs

Whilst 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.

Accommodation and living costs

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

Study abroad

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

Financial help and support

Help and advice on funding your studies at York St John is available through our Money Advice service.

International students

We welcome international students from all over the world at York St John University and have a vibrant international community. You can find out more on our International Pages about how you can study with us and what it’s like to live and learn in York, one of the UK’s most historic cities.

Unistats data for this course

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Do you have a question about this course? Fill out our form to send a question to our Admissions team. Alternatively, you can call us on 01904 876598.

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