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Postgraduate study
2D Animation and Stop Motion

2D Animation and Stop Motion MA

You prepare, write and make your own short animation ready for festival release. You learn how to write and pitch your film script to industry professionals and funding bodies, spend time learning how to deconstruct animation against several theoretical and critical frameworks as well having the opportunity to experiment with animated form.


Course overview

MA 2D Animation and Stop Motion

Arran Bull talks about his experience of studying a master’s in 2D animation and stop motion at Teesside

The course also covers animation techniques and principles of animation and performance, suitable if you are looking to enter the field of animation practice as well as develop and improve your existing animation skills. You are given the space to experiment with a range of techniques and styles before embarking on the creation of your final animated film.

In the first semester you write and pitch your film ideas, alongside developing and designing the production materials. You take a closer look at the anatomy of animation, peeling back the layers of a production to gain greater insight to form. In the second semester you refine your animation skills and you work in a small group to produce a short piece of animation allowing you to experiment with the animated form and techniques as well as get you up to speed on the production processes required to create your final film in the third semester.

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.
Ranked 18th in the world in the Animation Career Review International Animation School Rankings 2023. (Top 50 International Animation Colleges – formal degree. 195 colleges considered.) Find out more at

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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

Students will be expected to develop and demonstrate an understanding of the core broadcast skills, media workflows, studio etiquette, technologies and production methods as used by a contemporary 2D and/or stop motion animation studio together with demonstrating an understanding of intellectual property rights and contracts appropriate to enable career progression.

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 (2 year full-time MA only)


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

Animation is an intensive discipline, you are focused on creating an animated short from the beginning. You are supported by a teaching team who have backgrounds in 2D and stop motion animation as well as fine art installation. In addition, the course is supported by dedicated stop motion and 2D animation spaces as well as well-equipped workshops with specialist technician support to help you in your model, puppet and set making.

How you are assessed

You are assessed on your subject-specific knowledge, cognitive and intellectual skills and transferable skills applicable to the workplace. You are given formative assessment throughout the programme, typically given during lectures and tutorials.


Entry requirements

At least a UK 2.2 honours degree in animation or equivalent.

Other first degree subjects may be accepted when combined with a portfolio of creative work at an acceptable standard.
Get some hints and tips on how to prepare a portfolio

Students with a degree awarded outside the UK must also meet the University's minimum English language requirements.

For general information please see our overview of entry requirements

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



Career opportunities

You have access to the School Students Future programme to develop your graduate employability skills. This involves a series of activities delivered to all students, year groups, subject cohorts or subject groups and includes industry speaker talks, extra-curricular industry challenges and company visits. The programme is co-ordinated by a team of academic staff, representing each subject area, who are actively working with our industry partners and other external organisations to ensure you are equipped with the skills required for the changing needs from industry.


Information for international applicants


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

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Useful information

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

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2024/25 entry

Fee for UK applicants
£7,365 a year

£4,770 a year with advanced practice

More details about our fees

Fee for international applicants
£17,000 a year

£10,000 a year with advanced practice

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)
  • Start date: September or January
  • Semester dates

Apply now (full-time)



2024/25 entry

Fee for UK applicants
£820 for each 20 credits

More details about our fees

  • Length: 2 years (September start) or 3 years (January start)
  • Start date: September or January
  • Semester dates

Apply now (part-time)

Apply now (part-time)


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UK students


Telephone: 01642 738801

Online chat (general enquiries)

International students


Telephone: +44 (0) 1642 738900

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