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The award

How long you will study
1 year

Domestic course fees
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How you will study

Course starts

International course fees
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All study options

About Animation at Nottingham Trent University

The aims of the MA Animation course, are to build on your existing skills and to provide you with the opportunity through research and focused study, to develop specialist skills and knowledge to enhance your understanding of the subject area and support your employment goals.

In the early part of the course, there is an exploration of animation production, concepts and context. Through a process of evaluation and reflection of your strengths, you will identify a specific area for further study and development. The main emphasis of the course is on a focused exploration and refinement of your skills. There is flexibility in the content of seminars and lectures, with the opportunity to develop content specific to your research area and in the selection of visiting artists and professional.

Within animation production, there are many career paths. Your primary areas of study as an MA Animation student, include; storyboard artists, character designers, environment and prop designers, pre-visualisation artists, 2D animator, 3D animator, stop motion animator or experimental animator. The final project is as a synthesis of your learning and development.

Throughout the course, you will also research and develop a Professional Online Journal, which explores and explains current thought and practice in your specialist subject area.

You'll benefit from learning alongside other Visual Communication master's students.

Our Animation Staff team, have expertise across a wide range of specialist animation practices and will support you with flexible and responsive teaching.

Key features

  • Develop a project tailored to your own personal interests and career aspirations.
  • Benefit from lectures from industry professionals from leading animation studios
  • Have the opportunity to visit both a UK and European animation festival in Manchester, London and Annecy, France.
  • Take advantage of our extensive links with industry.
  • Have the opportunity to exhibit your work at New Designers in London.
  • Opt for a 20 credit point research module if you're thinking of progressing to PhD or Professional Doctorate study.
  • Work with fellow students, practitioners and academic staff from different cultures and backgrounds.
  • Opt for an additional advanced research module if you're thinking of progressing to PhD or Professional Doctorate study.

How you're taught

Teaching and learning experiences will include:

  • lectures
  • tutorials
  • seminars
  • inductions
  • workshops
  • study visits
  • e-learning
  • self-directed research; and
  • independent studio practice.


Assessment is 100% by coursework and involves:

  • a verbal presentation that articulates and summarizes your project
  • a completed Project Proposal
  • outcomes from experimentation and self-directed study
  • a research and practice informed reflective journal
  • a professionally produced portfolio
  • professional development materials  (e.g. an edited reel, CV, cover letter)
  • an employability report
  • the outcome from your personal project.

Careers and employability

The course promotes industry research and networking to establish relationships with relevant animation companies. Students will leave with a body of work that reflects their skills and currency to potential employers.

This course leads to a wide range of potential careers including; storyboard artist, character designer, environment and prop designer, pre-visualisation artist, CG modeller, 2D animator, 3D animator, stop motion animator or experimental animator.

You also have the opportunity to enter into a diverse industry including feature and televisual production, advertising, games production and independent production, through to more peripheral digital media industries such as architectural previsualization.

Some graduates also use this course to support careers in teaching, lecturing, journalism and progression to MPhil or PhD study.

Professional practice

You will be encouraged and supported to undertake internships and attend events held by the School's Employability team and other organisations.  You will also be encouraged to undertake research into animation production companies and associated industries.

You will benefit from talks given by visiting professionals, which will cover a wide range of creative and professional practice. Additionally, you will have the opportunity to network with industry professionals at trips to both national and international animation festivals.

In the second and third term there will be advice and support for you to prepare career materials including editing the strongest visual work into a reel, compiling a C.V. and cover letter, interview practice and producing an online portfolio resource, such as website.

You will keep a professional journal, which you will develop throughout the course to become an in-depth examination of current professional theory and practice.

We will invite you to submit your work to be considered for exhibition at London's New Designers, a prestigious graduate design show, and other subject and student-run initiatives at the University and across the city.

YouFirst – working with our Employability Team

Our friendly, experienced careers consultants will work closely with you at every stage of your career planning, providing personal support and advice you won't find in a book or on the internet. You can benefit from this at any time during your studies and up to three years after completing your course.

Get inspired

Take a look at a recent zine produced by our graduating Masters students to get a flavour of the innovation and creativity that goes on within the School of Art & Design.


Our MA Animation students are based in the Waverly building, a dedicated centre for Art and Design. Facilities and equipment include:

  • A dedicated postgraduate studio, where you will have space to work alongside other Animation students.
  • A PC suite with industry-standard WACOM Cintiq drawing screens.
  • Industry standard software, including TV Paint, Maya, ZBrush, Dragon Frame, CelAction 2D, and the Adobe suite.
  • Film, green screen and motion capture studios.

You will also have access to the School of Art and Design's resources, which include camera and lighting stores, film studios, photographic studios and 3D printing.

Study options for this course

Entry requirements

What are we looking for?

Other requirements:

If you hold international qualifications, take a look at the alternative qualifications we accept for this course.

English language requirements

If English isn't your first language, you need to show us that your language skills are strong enough for intensive academic study. You can check our language requirements and list of accepted English language tests. Your British Council office can tell you where you can take an International English Language Testing System (IELTS) test locally. Applicants who have taken a higher degree at a UK university don't usually have to meet this requirement.

Pre-masters courses

Are you an international student whose qualifications don't meet the entry requirements? You can do a pre-masters course at Nottingham Trent International College (NTIC). The college is on our City Campus and NTIC students can use all of the University's facilities.

Next steps

Please also take a look at our International students page and our application guide for international students, which are full of advice and information about the University.

If you need any more help or information, please contact our International team or call on +44 (0)115 848 4200. Alternatively, you can get in touch with our staff at the International Development Office, who are always happy to help. Or speak to one of our official NTU representatives for your country.

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