Our BA (Hons) Animation is a focussed and intense course aimed at students interested in becoming a professional animator who can work across the creative industries. You will work alongside other committed students who are collectively interested in creative problem solving through animation.

On this engaging course students learn and develop technical skills across a range of traditional and digital media. An investigation of character development, storyboarding and concept art combined with exploration of traditional 2D/3D and digital animation processes will help you to develop an increasingly focused skill set that will help prepare you for the commercial needs of the animation industries. 

Problem solving, idea generation and collaboration are core skills of an animator, so you will develop the ability to generate, propose and pitch ideas using techniques informed by our knowledgeable staff.

This course offers opportunities for peer collaboration. Live projects and competition briefs will help you develop the skills to respond creatively and professionally to a range of real world problems. They will help you identify which specific area of animation you want to focus on, and how this can be used to develop an understanding of the career opportunities available.

Opportunities for work experience, studio visits and attending talks delivered by visiting professionals plays a key role in developing a network of industrial links. Past visiting professionals have included animators, scriptwriters and directors from companies such as CBBC, Aardman Animation, Fettle Animation, Adult Swim and Cartoon Network. Through these you’ll learn to generate your own networking, collaboration and career opportunities, and how to find work and clients when you graduate. 


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course details

What You'll Study

Year One — You’ll explore pre-visualisation, character, narrative and sequential thinking skills plus industry-standard animation processes, software and associated technologies including access to specialist workshops. You’ll consider the practical, conceptual and theoretical concerns of animation and develop an awareness of the opportunities and pathways open to you as an animator.

Year Two — You’ll identify and develop your own specialist practice through briefs and self-identified projects. You will focus on a range of pre-production, animation or post-production techniques in 2D, 3D digital or 3D stop frame animation. Competitions, live briefs and collaboration on industrially relevant projects will help you to learn essential communication, business and professional skills.

Year Three — You’ll focus on your own creative ambitions and your strategy for becoming a professional animator. You’ll negotiate your own project work and take part in competitions, collaborate with others, attend conferences and meet visiting professionals. The focus of year three is on building a portfolio which reflects your individual specialist practice and demonstrates the skills that you have to offer.

Work Experience

Work experience covers a broad range of activities and students are encouraged to undertake work placements during their time at University. As well as guidance from the course team our Careers, Employability and Enterprise team offer support that enhances employability skills and underpins engagement with industry. In the past our students have made links with companies such as Mackinnon and Saunders, Axis Animation, Beryl Productions, Fettle Animation, Matter & Co, Disney Europe, and Skwigly Animation Magazine.


Recent student successes include:

  • Joe Baker - One to Watch at D&AD New Blood 2017
  • Wing Chiu, Daniel Goodman, Greta Narbutaityte and Guy Rathbone selected to represent us at the annual International Animation Competition - Nanyang Polytechnic University, Singapore 2017
  • Tess Bratkowski - commendation for a collaborative response to the YCN brief -Dave 2017
  • Lauren Williams participated in the 36hr Marathon de l’anim’ challenge at FÊTE DE L’ANIM’ held in Lille, France 2017
  • Gavin Rae and Greta Narbutaityte participated in the ‘animated projection mapping challenge’ at FÊTE DE L’ANIM’ held in Lille, France 2017
  • Rey Curley - commendation for a collaborative response to the YCN brief -Roald Dahl Literary Estate 2017

Course Specification

Contact Hours & Teaching/Learning Methods

Undergraduate degree programmes at Leeds Arts University are delivered and supported through a range of teaching and learning strategies. Programmes are made up of modules, these are elements of study that are taught and assessed separately. Each module carries a clearly identified credit value, the accumulation of which will allow you to progress to the next level of the programme. 100 hours of learning are expected for every ten credits of the programme. Each level (year) of the programme is made up of 120 credits and therefore requires 1200 hours of learning. This equates to 40 hours of study per week throughout the academic year.

For every 100 hours of learning, approximately 25 hours are delivered as taught or supported sessions and remaining hours are allocated for studio/workshop access and independent learning. Individual programmes have their own learning cultures based on their specific use of the teaching and learning methods listed here. These methods feature differently depending on the programme, level, aims of module, content of the sessions and progress through an academic year.

For further information see our Undergraduate teaching & learning at Leeds Arts University document.

Destination Careers

Our graduates work as industry professionals within animation companies and across the broader related industries. Graduate jobs include concept artist, character designer, production assistant, storyboard artist, art director, animator, puppet maker, 3D, CG, and visual effects designer.

Entry Requirements

We’re looking for students with the best potential to succeed - irrespective of their background. That’s why we welcome a wide range of qualifications and experience.

Click here to view our entry requirements

Portfolio Guide

A well-considered portfolio says a lot about an applicant and their work. Our guidance is not meant to limit your creative statement. In general terms however we would expect to see examples of the following:

  • A range of approaches to drawing and image making exploring a breadth of media

  • Sketchbooks, notebooks and development sheets demonstrating the visual development of ideas and concepts

  • Examples of design/idea development/storyboards which may include animatics, character development, sequential drawing, time based media, 2D or 3D animation

  • Critical journals, notebooks, essay or blogs etc. demonstrating an interest in narrative, drawing, image making and contemporary animation

If you have digital animation or video work to show, please provide it on a USB pen drive that which must be left with programme staff. Alternatively, YouTube or Vimeo links to your work would also be acceptable.

At this stage in your education we are much more interested in ideas development, work in progress and drawing skills rather than completed polished projects. As a rough guide we would expect to see at interview around a dozen pieces of work and two or three sketchbooks.

We also run a range of daytime and evening portfolio development courses specialising in preparation for further and higher art and design education. For more information on current courses please click here.

Interview Guide

When you arrive at reception you will be met by a member of the programme team who will take you to the studio where you will leave your portfolio.

You will be shown around the department and have the opportunity to ask questions. You will then be given a brief exercise (it is not a test) that you can do in the library or café.

Whilst you have been doing this the programme staff will have been looking at your work. You will be interviewed by one member of the programme team.

Since we book in several students in one half day session, you should be prepared to be in the University for up to three hours. If you have had to travel long distances and have a train pre-booked, please let us know in advance and we will try to arrange the timing of your interview so you can get away in time.


This is evidenced from one or more of the following:

Good use of drawing, image making and visual skills to inform the development work.

  • Portfolio
  • Sketchbooks
  • Development sheets
  • Samples of work

The ability to generate, explore and develop a range of creative ideas in response to set problems and visual research.

  • Portfolio
  • Sketchbooks
  • Development sheets
  • Samples of work

Skills and inventiveness in the use of a variety of media and techniques appropriate to Illustration.

  • Portfolio
  • Sketchbooks
  • Development sheets
  • Samples of work

An awareness of the concerns, trends, and contexts of contemporary illustration and visual culture.

  • Portfolio
  • Sketchbooks
  • Samples of work
  • Personal statement
  • Interview

An active interest in the subject and ambition to succeed.

  • Portfolio
  • Sketchbooks
  • Samples of work
  • Personal statement
  • Interview

Tuition Fees and Other Costs

Tuition Fees

Our current fees are listed here

Other Costs

Further costs of study are related largely to the costs of materials and depend very much on how individual students choose to respond to University briefs. The costs below are the result of asking our students to state how much they spend during the year and creating an average, as such they are indicative only.

Equipment & Materials

  • Level 4 (First Year) Equipment and printing approximately £100
  • Level 5 (Second Year) Equipment and printing approximately £300
  • Level 6 (Third Year) Equipment and printing approximately £250-500

Desirable but not essential

  • Wacom drawing tablet £70 - £300
  • Mac or PC £500 - £1800


We organise trips to important animation festivals such as the Manchester Animation Festival. We expect all students to go and prices for the festivals are around £125 -£150. We also encourage you to go to the animation sections of the Leeds International Film Festival too, expect this to cost around £20. If there is student demand we try to organise a trip to a European destination (approximately £450) and/or one international trip (around £1,000). Depending on numbers of students wanting to go, costs for this will vary. These trips will be enhancing your student experience and as such are optional.


Terms & Conditions and Key Information

Our Terms & Conditions are here.

If you would like to download the Key Information on this course click here.

International Opportunities / Visiting and exchange students

We are delighted to welcome undergraduate visiting and exchange students from Europe and around the world who would like to spend a semester or a full academic year taking credits from our exciting range of courses. You will be fully integrated into the academic and social life of the University during a period of full-time supervised study and your credits transferred back to your home institution.

You can join us through programmes such as Erasmus+, individual university partnerships or as an independent applicant. Please see here for more information and how to apply.

Leeds Arts University students interested in spending some time overseas can find information on the international opportunities available during your course here.

Questions? Contact international@leeds-art.ac.uk

3 Years
Study Mode
Full Time
Institution Name
Leeds Arts University
Institution Code
Awarded by
Leeds Arts University


BA (Hons) Animation

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Programme Leader for BA (Hons) Animation.

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“Our students learn to entertain, educate, inspire, inform, problem solve and communicate through animation.”
Mike Smith, Course Leader
BA (Hons) Animation