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Undergraduate study
 

Course overview

Learn how to tell a story and bring your characters to life with our 2D animation and stop motion degree.

You learn essential animation skills including drawing and pre-visualisation, cinematography, hand drawn 2D animation and stop motion techniques.

Gain experience of the animation pre-production and production pipelines by working with other animation students on team projects as specialist 2D animators, stop motion animators, stop motion compositors, prop makers, set builders or character designers. An optional work placement year is included, at no extra cost.

This course includes an integrated masters - you study three years at undergraduate level and one year at postgraduate level.

Top reasons to study 2D animation and stop motion at Teesside

  • International acclaim: ranked 15th in the world in the Animation Career Review International Animation School Rankings 2021. (tees.ac.uk/source).
  • Industry links: take part in Animex, our annual international animation and games festival featuring experts from Rockstar, Pixar, Disney and Sony.
  • Career-ready: our ExpoSeries of events allow you to showcase your skills to industry professionals who are seeking to recruit new and rising talent.

Alongside the optional work placement year, you can gain valuable experience and engagement with the sector through our shorter work placements, internships and work experience opportunities.
Find out more

* Subject to University approval

 

Course details

Course structure

Year 1 core modules

2D Animation

Through a series of animation exercises, you are provided with an opportunity to learn animation principles in a traditional animation studio setting. This takes place in the first six weeks. The application of animation principles to a short character sequence features in the remainder of the module.

Character and Set Design and Layout

You focus on production design for 2D and stop motion animation. The module will introduce the challenges associated with designing for 2D animation and the real-world context of stop motion production, and then follow a developmental process. A brief will be provided to form the basis of research that will lead to a creative solution for stop motion characters and set designs.

Compositing for Stop Motion

Compositing is an essential part of the current stop motion animation production process, and brings together elements such as dynamic action shots, camera moves, characters, crowds and extended sets to make compelling coherent imagery.

This module aims to introduce you to the tools and techniques required to successfully integrate on set stop motion animation, 3D computer generated sets and props, CG backgrounds, lighting and digital 2D matte painted backgrounds.

Drawing for Animation

You focus on 2D visualisation skills that will provide you with an appreciation of traditional and digital drawing. Making the transition from paper sketches to producing digital art is a key skill required in the modern creative industries. Whether designing characters, sketching thumbnails, environments or storyboards this module will equip you with a range of digital drawing skills to help you visualise and design original concepts using traditional drawing techniques for animation. Drawing from observation, anatomy, colour appreciation, composition, adding texture and digital image manipulation will feature using Photoshop and state-of-the-art digital drawing interfaces. Studying this module will also help you communicate visually with your peers and introduce visualisation conventions used in the animation industry.

Introduction to Stop Motion

You are introduced to some of the animation methods, materials and techniques used in stop-motion animation. You are guided through a series of exercises which explore an introductory range of stop-frame techniques for creating stop-motion animation and applying the principles of animation to the animation exercises.

You develop and animate short sequences such as 3D claymation, object animation, basic puppet animation, as well as using substitution or replacement shapes and cut-out shapes for stop-motion filming. In creating the animation sequences, you will also be introduced to using lighting and camera setups for stop-motion and capturing software.

Pre-vis and Cinematography

Pre-vis (short for pre-visualisation) including storyboarding and cinematography is essential when planning and visualising sequences for animation, live action or a combination of both.
In recent years pre-vis has become increasingly used for both animated and live action films. Some larger post-production companies now have dedicated pre-vis departments and a number of companies now exclusively specialise in pre-visualisation.

You are introduced to the context and art of cinematography and learn about basic film language. You learn the techniques for creating a static and moving storyboard (animatic) with sound, developing your drawing and visualisation skills and applying your knowledge of cinematography to your own work. You are also given an introduction to the 3D pre-vis process.

 

Year 2 core modules

2D Character Animation

You develop further the drawing and animation skills developed in year one with particular reference to character animation in a 2D environment.

You further develop your 2D character animation skills and learn how to animate creatures and non-character based objects. You also create special effects animation such as fire and water. All of this work reference real world observation, but you are also encouraged to develop your own visual style.
The assessment requires you to complete a portfolio of polished 2D animated exercises plus a final short animated piece.

Moviola

You work in teams to produce an animated short film to a given brief using either 2D animation or stop motion techniques. You gain experience of working within a production environment and provides you with an opportunity to target specific production skills within your chosen field of study.

Within the team you take on a specific role relevant to your subject speciality and in keeping with the production process usually found within industry .Each team will be allocated a member of staff as a project manager and will be scheduled to have regular compulsory team meetings.

Stop Motion

This module develops the animation methods, materials, techniques and principles used in stop-motion animation productions. Working to a creative brief and using suitable materials, objects, animate-able puppets or models and sets, you create a short animation sequence using a stop-motion technique of your choice.

You develop a stop-motion method such as 3D claymation, object animation, puppet animation, model animation, substitution or replacement shapes, cut-outs, pixilation and so on. In creating the animation sequence, the objects or characters used for the sequence may be animated within a physical set or green screen for combining with a 2D or 3D virtual set.

Storytelling, Acting and Performance

You gain a deep understanding of the role of acting, storytelling and performance in the creation of believable characters in animation. You also research storytelling, acting theory and principles; and develop confidence in performance through team based acting and improvisation sessions.

Toward Experimentation

You experiment in a chosen specialist area within the context of animation. These could include; lighting effects for stop-motion, VFX compositing for 2D and/or stop motion, animation theory, technical aspects of prop/puppet making or any other area of animation as agreed with the module tutors.

 

Year 3 core modules

Final Year Project

The Final Year Project is a large-scale piece of work, undertaken under the supervision of a member of academic staff. The project involves the production of a substantial artefact related to your subject area.

You develop an appropriate sense of work-discipline coupled with a professional outlook and are expected to take responsibility for the planning and execution of an extended piece of work including the consideration of associated legal, social, ethical and professional issues. You explore a chosen subject area in depth and are required to demonstrate the ability to analyse, synthesise, and creatively apply what has already been studied on the programme whilst demonstrating critical and evaluative skills and professional awareness.

Professional Industry Practice

You work with students from a range of courses and build on your learning from years one and two and develop your chosen specialist skills through individual work as part of the production of the short film team project.
You engage with a range of advanced topics specific to areas covered on the course.

Short Film Production

You build on your learning and team work to produce a short film as group work and expand your professional development through individual research.
You produce a short film in the media of your choice, such as 3D animation, live action and visual effects, or 2D animation and stop motion. You work in individual production roles within small teams to create an original short film.

 

Optional work placement year

Work placement

You have the option to spend one year in industry learning and developing your skills. We encourage and support you with applying for a placement, job hunting and networking.

You gain experience favoured by graduate recruiters and develop your technical skillset. You also obtain the transferable skills required in any professional environment, including communication, negotiation, teamwork, leadership, organisation, confidence, self-reliance, problem-solving, being able to work under pressure, and commercial awareness.

Many employers view a placement as a year-long interview, therefore placements are increasingly becoming an essential part of an organisation's pre-selection strategy in their graduate recruitment process. Benefits include:

· improved job prospects
· enhanced employment skills and improved career progression opportunities
· a higher starting salary than your full-time counterparts
· a better degree classification
· a richer CV
· a year's salary before completing your degree
· experience of workplace culture
· the opportunity to design and base your final-year project within a working environment.

If you are unable to secure a work placement with an employer, then you simply continue on a course without the work placement.

 

Optional work placement year

Work placement

You have the option to spend one year in industry learning and developing your skills. We encourage and support you with applying for a placement, job hunting and networking.

You gain experience favoured by graduate recruiters and develop your technical skillset. You also obtain the transferable skills required in any professional environment, including communication, negotiation, teamwork, leadership, organisation, confidence, self-reliance, problem-solving, being able to work under pressure, and commercial awareness.

Many employers view a placement as a year-long interview, therefore placements are increasingly becoming an essential part of an organisation's pre-selection strategy in their graduate recruitment process. Benefits include:

· improved job prospects
· enhanced employment skills and improved career progression opportunities
· a higher starting salary than your full-time counterparts
· a better degree classification
· a richer CV
· a year's salary before completing your degree
· experience of workplace culture
· the opportunity to design and base your final-year project within a working environment.

If you are unable to secure a work placement with an employer, then you simply continue on a course without the work placement.

 

Final-year core modules

Anatomy of Film

Final Film

You undertake a major, in-depth, individual study in an aspect of animation, using a commercial, industrial, artistic or research-based problem area. You produce a short-animated film from scratch, or from work produced in previous modules.

Production Design

You explore the visual aspects of the scripts and narratives you develop in the accompanying Script and Pitch module, such as storyboards and concept art.

Script and Pitch

You develop a script and accompanying pitch documentation ready to pitch to professional funding bodies such as the British Film Institute. Through simulated pitch’s you receive feedback from external partners and take part in a live pitch once you enter the professional film making environment.

 

Modules offered may vary.

 

How you learn

You use industry-standard software including Toon Boom Harmony to design and animate characters and backgrounds for 2D, and Dragonframe to make stop motion. You graduate with an excellent and unique showreel of animated work.


Our Disability Services team provide an inclusive and empowering learning environment and have specialist staff to support disabled students access any additional tailored resources needed. If you have a specific learning difficulty, mental health condition, autism, sensory impairment, chronic health condition or any other disability please contact a Disability Services as early as possible.
Find out more about our disability services

Find out more about financial support
Find out more about our course related costs

 
 

Entry requirements

Entry requirements

Typical offer
112-128 points and portfolio

Find out how many points your qualifications are worth using the UCAS tariff calculator. If your qualifications are not listed, contact our admissions team as we may accept alternatives.

We may also be able to help you meet the entry requirements through our Summer University modules.

Portfolio
Your portfolio should demonstrate basic skills in drawing and visual invention. Get some advice on how to develop a portfolio.

Maths and English
Acceptable qualifications in maths and English include:
• GCSE grade 4 (or higher)
• Level 2 Key Skills (Communication and Application of Number)
• Level 2 Functional Skills.

We also accept alternative UK and International equivalent or higher level qualifications.

For general information please see our overview of entry requirements

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


You can gain considerable knowledge from work, volunteering and life. Under recognition of prior learning (RPL) you may be awarded credit for this which can be credited towards the course you want to study.
Find out more about RPL

 

Employability

Work placement

Including work experience on your CV makes you a much more attractive applicant. You have a higher chance of improving your degree classification and the boost in confidence gives you the edge in job interviews.

Placements are not compulsory but are assessed and contribute to your final degree award.

Our placements team gives you help and support, including guidance on applications and interviews, to help you get a placement that suits you.

Career opportunities

Our graduates find roles as 2D animators, assistant animators and production designers for animation.

Our ExpoSeries of events are an opportunity for you to interact with employers. Each event is open to the public and industry guests, allowing you to showcase your work to peers and potential future placements or employers.

 

Information for international applicants

Qualifications

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 enrolment adviser

 
 

Full-time

Entry to 2021/22 academic year

Fee for UK applicants
£9,250 a year

The final year is discounted from £9,250 to £6,695

More details about our fees

Fee for international applicants
£13,000 a year

The final year is £12,045

More details about our fees for international applicants


What is included in your tuition fee?

  • Length: 4 years (or 5 with a work placement)
  • Start date: September
  • Semester dates
  • Typical offer: 112-128 tariff points

Apply online (full-time)

 

Part-time

  • Not available part-time
 
 
 
 

Facilities

ExpoTalent is a unique opportunity to meet businesses to secure placements, internships and future employment opportunities.

 

Choose Teesside

iPad

Are you eligible for an iPad, keyboard and up to £300 credit for learning resources?

 

Accommodation

Live in affordable accommodation right on-campus

 

Campus

Study in our town-centre campus with over £270m of recent investment

 

Industry ready

Benefit from work placements, live projects, accredited courses

 

Get in touch

 

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