BA (Hons)/MArt The Art of Computer Animation (2D)
Bring pen strokes and colours to life to tell a story and create emotions.
In recent years, 2D animation has experienced a significant revival, as studios including Blue Zoo, Aardman Animation and Brown Bag Films are creating wonderful films and experiences using the latest tools. The industry demand for more 2D Animators has recently gone through the roof.
This degree has been developed in collaboration with top Animators to give you the technical, creative and soft skills that the industry is looking for. You’ll also start building your experience and professional network and will graduate with a killer showreel to help open the doors to your dream studio.
Our experienced tutors who’ve worked on the likes of The Lion King, Who Framed Roger Rabbit, Godzilla and Doctor Strange, will teach you a range of animation techniques through intensive hands-on tutorials in our London industry-standard studios.
- UCAS code: I704 (BA) - I705 (MArt)
- Institution code: P34
- Location: London campus
- Start date: September
- Fees: (See Fees and Funding section)
£9,250 per year for 2023/2024 entry
- Mode of study: Full time
- Programme duration: BA 3 years, MArt 4 years
- Entry requirements: Portfolio and creative workshop, plus predicted two passes at A Level or equivalent
Why choose this course
- Ranked 2nd in the UK – and 10th in the world for Animation Excellence by The Rookies
- Ranked 3rd in the UK – and 8th in Europe in the Animation Career Review’s school ranking
- Based in London – home to some of the best animation studios in the world
- Industry briefs – work on industry-standard briefs and experience real-life scenarios, just like in a professional studio
- Successful alumni – you'll join our community of thousands of Escapees, many of whom have gone on to work at some of the world’s top studios. 47 Escapees worked on Avengers: Endgame, 28 on Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore and 16 on Stranger Things
- Industry-standard studios – study in a studio environment that mirrors current industry practice, using professional software such as Maya, ToonBoom Harmony and Blender
- Professional input – our advisory board of experts, from the likes of DNEG (Avengers: Endgame and Oscar-winning Dune), Cinesite (Iwájú and Thor: Love and Thunder) and Netflix, help keep this degree up to date. You will also receive feedback on some of your work from industry professionals
- All-round creative skills – study common modules in your first year to gain an understanding of animation, visual effects and game art and and how the pipelines cross over
- Soft skills – learn soft skills such as teamwork, organisation and giving and receiving feedback to prepare you to the real world of work
- 2D specialism – follow 2D specialist modules, focusing more on traditional drawing skills and how to leverage them with new digital tools. With modules including sketch-visualisation, backgrounds, lighting and shading, concept Art
- Our student short films have been nominated and won several international awards over the years, including Jerich0 being shortlisted for the Student BAFTA Awards
- Our Storyboarding Tutor Iliana Franklin was appointed Toon Boom Ambassador for 2022.
All undergraduate students study common modules in their first year. This will give you the all-round skills needed to become a professional, and a chance to choose a different specialism between VFX, animation and game art if you change your mind before your second year.
First year (level 4)
All undergraduate students on creative art degrees (BA/MArt) study common modules in their first year. This will give you the all-round skills needed to become a professional, and a chance to choose a different specialism between animation, game art and VFX if you change your mind before your second year.
- Creative foundations - craft (30 credits)
- Creative foundations - project (30 credits)
- Computer animation - core (15 credits)
- Video game art - core (15 credits)
- Compositing for VFX - core (15 credits)
- 3D for VFX - core (15 credits)
Second year (level 5)
From your second year, you’ll start to specialise in 2D computer animation and work in teams on industry-style projects.
- Computer animation (2D) - pro (30 credits)
- Computer animation (2D) - ddvanced (30 credits)
- Specialism (15 credits) - options include:
- Lighting and shading
- Concept art
- Industry studio project (45 credits)
Third year (level 6)
By your third year, you’ll be working in a team just like a fully-functioning independent studio, alongside developing an in-depth knowledge of your chosen specialisation.
- Advanced specialism (30 credits)
- Professional practice (30 credits)
- Professional studio project (60 credits)
Fourth year (level 7 - integrated masters students only)
If you’re doing the four-year MArt programme, in this final year you’ll develop entrepreneurship skills needed to manage your fledgling studio as a real business. You will be asked to organise yourself to work as a digital studio, working on projects that are viable and to a commercial standard. The four modules of this final year will cover the crucial aspects that will define your studio's success.
- Art and design (30 credits)
- Craft (30 credits)
- Process (30 credits)
- Business (30 credits)
For more details about modules, see the full module specifications.
- ToonBoom Harmony
- Adobe Animate
You’ll graduate with a degree and a killer portfolio put together with advice from tutors and industry professionals. Ready to apply to your first job in the industry!
Some of the opportunities you can consider once you’ve finished your studies include:
- Junior 2D Animator
- Concept Artist
- Storyboard Artist
- Editorial Assistant for Animation
- Production Assistant
Our students have gone to work as both specialist and generalist artists in the animation industry, including 2D animation for films, TV shows, games and commercials.
Check out our Careers Guide for more information about career opportunities and progression routes.
The majority of modules contain at least one piece of practice or ‘formative’ assessment for which you receive feedback. Formative assessments are developmental and do not count towards your overall module mark.
Summative assessment breakdown
Level 4 and 5
For level 4 and 5 modules, your assessment will be split into two parts:
- 75% product - you will be required to create a product (short computer animation, rendered image of a 3D object composited shot, etc) to a specified brief, then present it in front of a panel and demonstrate how you have met the learning outcomes in your work
- 25% retrospective - you will be required to write a reflective analysis and present it for moderation and assessment.
The professional studio project module will be assessed just like level 4 and 5 modules; for the two other modules (advanced specialism, professional practice), 100% of your mark will be based on a self-evaluative portfolio.
If you’re doing the four-year MArt programme, you will be required to complete level 7 modules. The assessment of these modules will be split into four parts corresponding to four stages of the project - explore, ideate, accelerate, and incubate. Each stage will be equal to 25% of your final mark.
In order to progress to the next stage (from first to second year, and from second to third year), you will have to achieve 120 credits at the end of the academic year.
For further information, please see the student handbook.
Your overall workload will be divided between teaching sessions and independent learning.
During your course, you’ll be able to develop your knowledge and skills in a number of ways. Some learning time will be closely directed and supervised by your tutors, at other times you’ll be free to organise your own study with guidance. All your scheduled studio time, except for some information sessions and presentations, will be in smaller groups based on specialism.
For many of your projects, you’ll work in smaller teams, collaborating to meet a shared brief, with the support and assistance that you need. The craft modules have a higher contact time, as this is where you will learn the knowledge and skills associated with your chosen subject, directed and informed by your tutors’ expertise and experience. These will normally involve a large part of each day in the studio with your tutor and studio assistant, following demonstrations and working on set exercises to help you develop your craft.
The project modules will have a lower contact time, with your tutors taking on the roles of supervisors or studio leads. You’ll meet with them regularly (usually every working day) to get feedback and help you stay on the right path, but these modules are much more about you managing the learning experience to meet your objectives. The majority of projects will be team-based, and you’ll have the opportunity to take on different roles in several teams during your studies. Again, you’ll be expected to work in the studios for a significant part of each day, and attendance will be recorded, but outside those times, you’ll be free to organise your work as a team to best suit your project requirements.
Each module has its own area on our Online Learning Environment (OLE) where you will find information about the module and the resources that are provided to support your learning. Some of this information will be dedicated to the module, other elements may be shared across different modules and some may be external assets that can help with your further study. There may be links to videos, online journals and e-books, and you should take advantage of these to enhance your development and take it beyond the studio experience. Tutors may highlight some of these during their sessions. The OLE and our online library also include resources to help you improve your study skills.
Students with additional needs or disabilities are supported by our Student Services Team.
The academic year consists of three terms: Autumn, Spring and Summer. Students on a typical three-year degree attend classes during the Autumn and Spring term, for a total of 30 weeks, and will normally not attend during the Summer term, unless they have to re-attempt assessments.
Per week, your overall workload will be approximately 40 hours. Each week, you will spend 15 hours in workshops and practical classes and 20-25 hours on self-study learning and working on your projects.
For more details about modules, credits and workload, see the full course specifications.
You're expected to have GCSE English at grade C/4 or equivalent and have or be predicted to pass two A Levels or equivalent. For our BSc/MSci courses, you're also expected to have GCSE Maths at grade C/4 or equivalent.
If you are still studying, we base conditions of offer around your predicted grades. If you don't have traditional qualifications, please contact our Admissions Team by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or calling +44 (0) 207 190 4013.
Once we've received your UCAS application, you’ll be invited to attend a creative workshop. You'll take part in fun team exercises, as we want to find out more about you and your motivation for your chosen subject.
- BA/MArt applicants will take part in a review of your creative portfolio with some of our tutors. Check out some guidance for putting your portfolio together in our Creative Portfolio Guide.
- BSc/MSci applicants will take part in a "10-minute technical breakdown" exercise, a short group discussion based around the effects or animation in your favourite film/video game/TV series.
- All applicants will work in small teams on a creative brief; coming up with ideas, bringing them to life, responding to feedback and working together to present the team's ideas.
We’re currently unable to accept international students who would require a student visa onto our undergraduate courses. This may change in the future.
English Language requirements
All our courses are taught in English. If your first language is not English, you may need to complete an English language test, such as a Pearson English language test (PTE Academic) or International English Language Testing System (IELTS) test, to demonstrate you have the language skills needed to complete your degree.
6.5 IELTS (with a minimum of 6.0 in Reading and Writing and 5.5 in Speaking and Listening)
62 including 60 in each subtest
Cambridge English: Advanced & Proficiency
176 (with a minimum of 169 in Reading and Writing and 162 in Speaking and Listening)
90 Overall including at least 22 in Reading,
21 in Writing, 17 in Listening and 20 in Speaking
You should submit your application via UCAS. Our institution code is P34 and our institution name Escape Studios.
If we make you an offer for a place on the programme, you will need to agree to our terms and conditions for your place on the course to be secured.
Take a look at our application and admission process.
£9,250 per year for 2023/2024 academic year entry
In addition to your tuition fee, you will need to budget for your living costs and some other costs associated with your studies.
An additional re-attendance fee of £750 per 15 credit module is charged if you need to repeat a module.
Computers are available for you to work on your projects and coursework during opening hours on campus. It is not, therefore, essential for you to purchase your own computer and software. However, many students prefer to have a computer at home as well, so we have prepared some guidance on the specifications to choose.
At our London campus, you will have access to free printing and photocopying facilities. However, you will have to purchase notebooks and other ordinary stationery items. You may wish to purchase your own copies of recommended textbooks, but please note that all textbooks are available to students in electronic editions.
If you will not be living at home, you will need to pay for accommodation. For more information about accommodation options, go to our Accommodation page. You will need to budget for transport costs travelling to your classes and to events, such as industry workshops, which may take place elsewhere in central London. Details of public transport costs are available from Transport for London's website. There may be occasional and optional opportunities for you to attend an event outside central London, for which you would need to pay the transport costs.
We offer financial assistance including a travel bursary, hardship bursary and laptop loan to ensure that all students can access our learning, no matter their background.
Our industry-sponsored scholarships offer a unique opportunity to be hand-picked by some of the biggest names in the industry, from the likes of DNEG, Cinesite and PlayStation London Studio.
Visit our finance page for more information on fees, funding and scholarships.
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