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Postgraduate study

Course overview

This course guides you through the concept and realisation of a short animation or TV pilot, which you prepare for festival submission at the end of the course – you can choose to focus on traditional 2D animation skills or stop motion animation.

With support from tutors who work in the industry, industry professionals, and your peers, you learn how to write a script and pitch your idea, and design and co-ordinate your animation.

The course offers a variety of technical and creative modules designed to support you to enter the industry. You have the chance to visit animation festivals, take part in workshops and hear from industry guest speakers. There are three routes you can choose from to gain an MA 2D Animation and Stop Motion:

  • full-time - 2 years with advanced practice (September and January start)
  • full-time - 1 year (September start) or 16 months (January start)
  • part-time - 2 years.


Course details

Course structure

Core modules

Anatomy of a Film

You deconstruct and analyse all aspects of films and animations that make up the visual language used to influence the audiences understanding. You will be expected to analyse and critically discuss many genres and formats including short film, feature film, and both live action and animation. This module also introduces you to other relevant concepts and associated theories such as psychoanalytical theory, film theory, as well as establishing a social, cultural and intellectual context for production work.

Creative Animation

Working as a group you explore and produce a short animation sequence or set of sequences, either using 2D, stop-motion, or an appropriate animation technique (or combination). You are introduced to the principles of performance for animation, using dialogue, sound creation and synchronisation techniques. This is your opportunity to experiment with technical and visual aspects of your final films.

Final Film

Using the pre-production materials already produced throughout the course, you create your final short film animation or TV pilot.

Industry Practice

You look at core broadcast skills, media workflows, studio etiquette, technologies and production methods as used by a contemporary 2D and/or stop motion animation. You produce an animation bible that explores your ideas for your final film.

Production Design

You study and develop an original visual style for your animation. You look at case studies of contemporary directors and gain an understanding of the art department’s role within the production process.

Script and Pitch

You write and develop a screenplay for a film/animation or TV series pilot. You will learn how to write and present a script idea in a competitive environment.


Advanced practice


The internship options are:

Vocational: spend one semester working full-time in industry or on placement in the University. We have close links with a range of national and international companies who could offer you the chance to develop your knowledge and professional skills in the workplace through an internship. Although we cannot guarantee internships, we will provide you with practical support and advice on how to find and secure your own internship position. A vocational internship is a great way to gain work experience and give your CV a competitive edge.

Research: develop your research and academic skills by undertaking a research internship within the University. Experience working as part of a research team in an academic setting. Ideal for those who are interested in a career in research or academia.


Modules offered may vary.


How you learn

Lectures and small seminar groups in semester 1, with input from industry professionals.

Small group projects with a mentor, project sharing and peer support bolstered with practical technical sessions led by area specialists.

Continuous feedback during the final semester and mentoring from a specialist animator.

How you are assessed

You are required to present as part of your assessment, as well as produce written work at the appropriate academic standard and generate visual support materials. Your final film forms 60% of your mark. Assessments are both summative and formative, you are advised throughout your modules on the final assessment procedure.


Entry requirements

You will have a BA (Hons) at 2.2 or above in animation, fine art or illustration. Other BA degrees will be considered through a portfolio of work. Your portfolio should evidence that you have creative and storytelling capacity either through your BA work or through relevant industry work or self-guided study.

For additional information please see our entry requirements

International applicants can find out what qualifications they need by visiting Your Country



Career opportunities

You leave the course with a showreel of work and a final film which will be festival ready. You are prepared to enter a position at an animation house or work as a freelance animator.


Information for international applicants


International applicants - find out what qualifications you need by selecting your country below.

Select your country:


Useful information

Visit our international pages for useful information for non-UK students and applicants.

Talk to us

Talk to an international student adviser



2019 entry

Fee for UK/EU applicants
£6,500 a year

£4,335 a year with advanced practice

More details about our fees

More details about our fees for international applicants

  • Length: within 1 year (September start), 16 months (January start) or 2 years with advanced practice (September or January start)
  • Enrolment date: September and January
  • Semester dates

Apply online (full-time)

Apply online (fast-track) for current students



2019 entry

Fee for UK/EU applicants
£722 for each 20 credits

More details about our fees

  • Length: 2 years
  • Enrolment date: September and January
  • Semester dates

Apply online (part-time)

Apply online (fast-track) for current students


Choose Teesside


Stand out from other job applicants with your higher level qualification, specialist knowledge and expanded networks.



Improve your project management, critical thinking, research skills, time management, presentation skills and teamwork.



The median salary for working-age (16-64) postgraduates in 2018 was £6,000 more than graduates
(DoE Graduate Labour Market Statistics 2018,



Study in our friendly town-centre campus with over £270m recently invested and another £300m over the next 10 years.


Get in touch


Open days

16 November 2019
Postgraduate open day

Book now