Animation and VFX - BA (Hons), HND, HNC
Bringing amazing visions roaring to life!
If your dreams are filled with vivid visions of gleaming broadswords, flaming demons, fantasy worlds, legendary heroes and beasts - then you have an animation home at Swansea College of Art. We will fuel your creative passion, keep it alive and thriving, to make you industry-ready.
Inside our award-winning studios lies the beating heart of an industrial animation production facility, with cutting edge tech, and radical ideas for the screen. Imagine, as a student, working on fantasy creatures and shots for a television series, whilst still at University! Networking and visiting studios and companies and clients as part of your studies.
We boast Motion Capture facilities and a Virtual Production Studio where animators can use real-time technology in a fully immersive narrative. You’re able to walk around and interact with your own creations and environments, learning key animation and VFX skills. This experience is invaluable and our graduates go on to feature on some of the latest Academy Award-winning movies!
Whether through amazing concept design work, heart-wrenching animated tales or beautifully crafted digital sculptures and animations, you will make an impact on your fans (because you will have them) and we help you get your vision to them. We help you to get your voice heard.
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PATHWAY OPTIONS AND HOW TO APPLY
Computer Animation (BA)
BA UCAS Code: AVF1
Apply via UCAS
HND UCAS Code: AVF8
Apply via UCAS
HNC UCAS Code: AVF9
Apply via UCAS
How to apply
All applications to study for a full-time undergraduate degree programme are made through UCAS.
All our courses come under the institution code T80
Visit the University's How to apply section to find out more.
Tuition Fees 2021/22:
Home (Full-time): £9,000 per year
Overseas (Full-time): £13,500 per year
5 reasons to study this course
- We have the only simulated production environment in the UK that connects Animation to Film and Music Tech and Performing Arts – all under a singular studio pipeline, replicating animation productions made in Hollywood! .
- We task you to you create for your industry - and for your audience, with live briefs for film, television and beyond. Animation students recently worked on VR experiences on DragonFiAR, Ben10 and Abbaand animated content for the stage (The Little Mermaid).
- A connected, collaborative creative environment. Industry-facing projects, all stemming from some twenty year relationships with a community of artists, animators and digital artists.
- Industry experienced lecturers, as story artists and animators on film and games titles, with BFI, BAFTA, ComicCons credentials. Our animation conference SAND (Swansea Animation Days) features colleagues from DNeg, MPC, Blizzard, EA, Framestore and more.
- Your Vision. Your Voice. Our commitment to both.
Take a look at our ratings and rankings page.
What you will learn
- Classic animation techniques
- Technology harnessed designs
- Skills surpassing breakthroughs
We are all about breathing life into your art. You get the opportunity to kindle your imagination or treasured storylines, to see your dreams alive on screen.
We love story. We love production design and conceptual work. We love animating. Whether 2D, stop frame, 3D – it’s all-immersive in digital animation.
It’s rare to have so much class contact time at University these days. Our staff live for art and animation, creating our own work. We provide the best support to make your reels stand out.
This is a course forged to help you. You find what you love– in film, conceptual design, in modelling, in anything animated, in any form – and we help to realise your dreams.
Our dedicated Computer Animation facilities include a large computer lab with hardware featuring all of the software needed to produce models and animations (e.g. MAYA, Z-Brush, Unreal, etc.).
Workshops are regularly held to help to underpin work covered in class, and on a variety of production stages, (e.g. post-production editing and camera work, often via friends on the FILM degree).
Year One – Level 4 (HNC, HND & BA)
- Contemporary Challenges: Making a Difference (20 credits; compulsory; Graduate Attributes Framework module)
- Environment Design (20 credits; compulsory)
- Introduction to Character Animation (20 credits; compulsory)
- Introduction to Virtual Production (20 credits; compulsory)
- Learning in the Digital Era (20 credits; compulsory; Graduate Attributes Framework module)
- Visual Studies (20 credits; compulsory).
Year Two – Level 5 (HND & BA)
- Advanced Character Animation (20 credits; compulsory)
- Body Mechanics and Creature Animation (20 credits; compulsory)
- Changemakers: Building your Personal Brand for Sustainable Employment (20 credits; compulsory; Graduate Attributes Framework module)
- Changemakers: Creativity and Value Creation (20 credits; compulsory; Graduate Attributes Framework module)
- Virtual Production Design (20 credits; compulsory)
- Visual Effects (20 credits; compulsory).
Year Three – Level 6 (BA)
- Advanced Character Performance (20 credits; compulsory)
- Advanced Lighting and Rendering (20 credits; compulsory)
- Emerging Trends (20 credits; compulsory)
- Independent Project (40 credits; compulsory; Graduate Attributes Framework module)
- Personal Portfolio Development (20 credits; compulsory).
A lot of the briefs and coursework and submissions ask you to create something fresh, new, inspiring – and all industry leaning. You have creative input on new worlds and imaginings.
Visually enriched tutorials, lectures, presentations, overviews and exercises – always with an eye on concept; always thinking on how to extend this work for showreels. Feedback can often be illustrated and/or filled with more visual tips and guides to help with alternative designs, movements, narrative structure, etc, etc.
We ask you to engage with some amazing kit. We harness technology – we control it - via drawing, cintiqs, model-making, 2D and 3D software, production techniques and skillsets.
We provide a lot of the basics, with specific challenges to get you off the ground – and in HE – ask you to fly high.
Graduate Attributes Framework
This Framework aims to develop your professional skills and competence alongside your academic subject knowledge. You’ll study up to 40 credits per level throughout your programme from the Graduate Attributes Framework.
The Graduate Attribute modules are designed to enable you to develop, and evidence, a range of career-focused skills related to your subject area. These skills include digital competency, research and project management, as well as such personal competencies as communication, creativity, self-reflection, resilience and problem-solving.
Our Facilities, Graduates and Industry Links
We are interested in creative people that demonstrate a strong commitment to art and/or design and therefore we welcome applications from individuals from a wide range of backgrounds. To assess student suitability for their chosen course we arrange interviews for all applicants at which your skills, achievements and life experience will be considered as well as your portfolio of work.
Our standard offer for a degree course is 120 UCAS tariff points. We expect applicants to have a grade C or above in English Language (or Welsh) at GCSE level, together with passes in another four subjects. Plus we accept a range of Level 3 qualifications including:
- Foundation Diploma in Art and Design, plus one GCE A-Level in a relevant academic subject
- Three GCE A-Levels or equivalent
- BTEC Extended Diploma in a relevant subject, with minimum grades of Merit
- International Baccalaureate score of 32
- Other relevant qualifications can be considered on an individual basis
Qualifications are important, however, our offers are not solely based on academic results. If you don’t have the required UCAS points then please contact the courses admissions tutor or email email@example.com as we can consider offers to applicants based on individual merit, exceptional work, and/or practical experience.
Stepping stones to industry!
An animation degree under your belt allows you to think about a lot of different industries – and you will have transferable skills to make these moves. Some of our graduates have their own games, visualisation or production companies. Some work as entrepreneurs on their own animation brands. A lot find work on some outstanding projects, feature films and in production houses.
Graduates have gone on to work in Oscar-winning teams and on the feature films
- Captain America
- Chronicles of Narnia
- Fantastic Beasts
- Guardians of the Galaxy
- Hotel Transylvania
- Iron Man 2
- Jungle Book
- Kubo and The Two Strings
- Man of Steel
- World War Z
and many, many more.
Our students have access to a diverse range of equipment and resources, which in most cases are sufficient to complete their programme of study. We provide the basic materials necessary for students to develop their practical work within our extensive workshop and studio facilities.
However, it is likely that art and design students will incur some additional costs to extend their investigation of their personal practice. For example, purchasing their own specialised materials and equipment, joining in optional study trips, and printing.
Students are expected to bring their own personal art and design equipment with them when they commence the course. We can advise on the correct equipment needed for your programme of studies and signpost appropriate suppliers if you wish to purchase essential items before or during your studies.
A basic ‘art and design kit’ will cost approximately £100 but you may well already have much of the equipment required so check with us first. Also, although we have extensive dedicated digital design studios (PC and MAC) for you to undertake your coursework you may wish to bring your own digital devices, again check with us first before making a purchase.
Depending on distance and duration, optional study visits can vary in cost from approximately £10 to visit local galleries and exhibitions to £200+ for overseas visits – these costs cover things like transport, entry to venues and accommodation and are normally at reduced rates for our students.
"I really liked the practical work during lectures and there is always a diversity of examples and freedom to try out things. It's good to observe real-life movement and I like the animation classes; creating characters and story narratives is key to gaining the understanding of animation industry working methods"
"I went from knowing next to absolutely nothing about 3D Computer animation to feeling quite accomplished in the field. The course let me try my hand at a huge variety of skills such as photography and life drawing, as well as the 3D side of modelling and animating. It is a very interesting and stimulating course and I thoroughly enjoyed being a part of it for the past three years."
"Had an awesome experience taking part in some Da Vinci's Demons projects such as set work and motion capture animation - I feel like I learnt a lot during this time and gained an extremely valuable experience."
"The (SAND) event has been fantastic, especially for people like me who haven’t had the chance to speak to people who are in the industry. It’s something that can be really daunting but SAND has given me more confidence. It’s really motivating to know what standard I need to achieve to get to where I want to go. They couldn’t have got a better group of people to come and speak to us. There was someone from every profession. It was a real treat to listen to!"
Bursary / Scholarship Information
You may be eligible for funding to help support your study. To find out about scholarships, bursaries and other funding opportunities that are available please visit our Scholarships and Bursaries section.
Study Abroad Opportunities
Students can also take up the opportunity to study a semester in the USA and Canada.