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Undergraduate study
Animation (with Foundation Year)

Animation (with Foundation Year) BA (Hons)

If you would like a creative career as an animator in film, television or games then this is the course for you.


I157 BA/AnimFY

Course routes:


Course overview

Accredited Work placement

Animation student showreel

BA (Hons) Animation student work showreel

You develop the skills and knowledge to enter the fast moving world of animation and develop into an industry professional. You work alongside games students to produce a fully-functional game, or work with visual effects students to create an action-packed feature film sequence or short film.

This course includes a foundation year - ideal if you need additional preparation or if you don't have sufficient grades to join Year 1 of a degree.

Top reasons to study animation at Teesside

  • International acclaim: 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). (
  • Industry links: take part in Animex, our annual international animation and games festival featuring experts from Rockstar, Pixar, Disney and Sony.
  • Graduate Success: our graduates have worked on many movies and AAA games including Spiderman Far From Home, Star Wars: The Last Jedi and Red Dead Redemption II.

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Course details

Course structure

Foundation year core modules

2D Digital Art

You are introduced to the creative possibilities of image-making using digital tools. Study the fundamental principles of design and composition, and explore a range of image creation techniques. Use appropriate graphics software to improve your technical skills incorporating layers, composition, colour, linework and lighting.

This is a 30-credit module.

Case Studies

Focusing on computer games, animation and film, you gain an introductory level of understanding in the context of your chosen field of study. As well as looking at the historical and context of these, you observe how we interpret these types of media historically and materially. Choose a text within your area of interest, undertaking an analytical review in the form of a case study.

This is a 30-credit module.

Drawing, Creativity and Design

Learn to create imagery using traditional and digital drawing tools. Develop your drawing techniques and creative interpretations of themes including figure drawing, still life, perspective and character, creature and environment design. You are supported to produce images that effectively communicate visual ideas.

This is a 30-credit module.

Foundation Project

You produce an individual project with guidance from your tutor. Gain independent working and project management skills, developing original ideas and concepts in your chosen field. This could be in the form of a piece of concept art, animation or another appropriate form related to creative industries.

This is a 30-credit module.


Year 1 core modules

Animation Principles

The principles of animation are the foundation stone for any animator. Originally created by Disney animators, they have been used by generations of 2D and 3D animators to create movies, TV series, games, and commercials. You are introduced to the principles in both 2D and 3D, before applying them to your chosen area of specialism.

This is a 30-credit module.

CG Essentials 

You are introduced to computer generated asset production and look at development pipelines. You learn how to model, unwrap, texture, light and render 3D assets that are production-ready. Hone your observational skills by analysing real-world objects and materials, then apply them to create digital models using a variety of tools and techniques.

This is a 30-credit module.

Technical Animation 

You are introduced to the technical areas of animation and VFX production. Gain an understanding of the practical skills you need to create animation-ready rigs. As an animation student, you explore the motion capture pipeline and working in a real-time environment. As a VFX and motion graphics student, you learn how to augment character-based animations by adding cloth, hair and fur.

This is a 30-credit module.

Visual Development for the Moving Image

When planning and visualising sequences for animation and live action, you need to understand the pre-production process, and the tools and techniques you can use. You are introduced to the art of cinematography, focusing on film language, shot composition, camera moves and lighting. You develop your own visual interpretation of a script or narrative, then produce a moving storyboard, known as an animatic.

This is a 30-credit module.


Year 2 core modules

3D and VFX Techniques 

If you are studying animation you learn how to plan, rehearse and direct actors on a motion capture stage, using both full body and facial capture performances, and a combination of hardware and software.

If you’re studying visual effects and motion graphics, you explore VFX and digital compositing pipeline in a range of contexts, from initial planning and acquisition to the final output of a finished shot.

You cover the fundamental techniques you need to produce exciting visual imagery using industry-standard software. And you develop skills in creating seamlessly composited motion sequences, integrating live action, computer generated content and photographed elements.

This is a 30-credit module.

Animated Effects 

Develop your animation skills in line with your chosen field of study across two parts. In part one, animation students explore creature and character animation techniques, while visual effects and motion graphics students explore effects animation.

The second part introduces you to motion graphics and motion design tools and techniques, enabling you to apply them to an industry brief.

This is a 30-credit module.


You work in a team to produce an animation or visual effects sequence based on an industry style brief. Experience working in a production environment with industry input and feedback, and target specific production skills in your chosen field of study.

This is a 30-credit module.

Professional Research and Development

You get the opportunity to experiment in a specialist area of your choice in animation, games and visual effects. Develop your independent learning skills and take ownership of your chosen direction through the assessment. You also research professional roles related to your specialism, identifying the graduate skills you need and developing an online presence.

This is a 30-credit module.


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

AVFX Project

Work alongside your project supervisor to develop a large-scale piece of individual work relating to your chosen specialism and career aims.

This is a 60-credit module.

Beta Arcade 

Experience working as a member of a games development team, in a setup that is as close to industrial practice as possible. You work in groups to construct a working game demo in a current game engine. You consider standard industry practices that consider multiplayer gaming threats, user safety, cheating and data security.

This is a 30-credit module.

Creative Industry Briefs

You choose from a selection of briefs which reflect specialist industry roles, such as realistic creature animation, effects simulation or puppet making. Explore your specialism and develop your professional skills such as pitching ideas, costing and scheduling, working to a tight brief and responding to client changes.

This is a 30-credit module.


You work in a team to produce a short film or visual effects sequence in a style of your choice. It could be a high-end visual effects sequence, a motion graphics title sequence or a short film. Each member takes on a production role to mimic the industry pipeline. You gain experience of teamwork, and a showpiece for your portfolio.

This is a 30-credit module.


Modules offered may vary.


How you learn

You learn in our dedicated animation studios equipped with industry-standard software, as well as our onsite performance-capture studio, soundstage with motion control, and recording studio.

You spend time in lectures and tutorials – lecturers cover the theory while tutorials focus on developing your practical skills. You are expected to manage your time to complete work outside of tutorials.

Team working is featured throughout the course, preparing you for the formal group assessment in years 2 and 3. External guest speakers, seminars and workshops on current research and emerging topics are also a course feature.

How you are assessed

We believe it is essential for you to learn through the experience of doing. Assessment for all modules is through practical projects, which you work on throughout the year. In Year 2, the Journeyman and Kino modules provide you with essential teamwork skills ready for industry. The project in the final year allows you the freedom to set your own project based on your skills, interests and career aspirations.

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

Any combination of level 3 qualifications. Each application is considered on a case-by-case basis.

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

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



Career opportunities

Our graduates are working in major studios around the world including Rockstar Games, The Imaginarium Studios and Industrial Light & Magic. They have worked on feature films including Spiderman Far From Home, Star Wars: The Last Jedi and Jurassic World 3, and on AAA games including Red Dead Redemption II, Spiderman: Hidden Agenda and Horizon Zero Dawn.

You are encouraged to think about your future career from the outset. We have a number of events that develop your employability: our ExpoSeries is integral to your course and is an opportunity for you to interact with employers through ExpoTential at the end of the first year, ExpoTalent at the end of the second year and ExpoTees at the end of the third year. Each event is open to the public and has invited industry guests, ensuring that you have the opportunity to showcase your work to peers, the public and potential future placements or employers at regular intervals throughout each level of your studies.


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.

Talk to us

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Professional accreditation

ScreenSkills This course is industry recognised by ScreenSkills, the industry-led skills body for the UK's screen-based industries, and carries the ScreenSkills Select quality-mark which indicates courses best suited to prepare students for a career in the screen industries.

Other course routes

Work placement

Study this course with an optional work placement year, at no extra cost. Alongside this, you can gain valuable experience and engagement with the sector through our shorter work placements, internships and work experience opportunities.

Work placements


Entry to 2023/24 academic year

Fee for UK applicants
£9,250 a year

More details about our fees

Fee for international applicants
£15,000 a year

More details about our fees for international applicants

What is included in your tuition fee?

  • Length: 4 years (or 5 with a work placement)
  • UCAS code: I157 BA/AnimFY
  • Start date: September
  • Semester dates
  • Typical offer: Offers tailored to individual circumstances

Apply now (full-time)

Apply now

Please choose the relevant option below:

2023 entry

UK applicants

Complete this enquiry form only if you have already obtained your qualifications and achieved grades. If you do not have these at this time, we will be unable to progress your enquiry - please re-visit and complete the form after you have received your results.

Apply now (UK applicant)

International applicants

Our undergraduate courses are available through Clearing to international applicants. Please only complete this application form if you have already obtained your qualifications and achieved your grades. You must upload all requested documents including a copy of your passport, academic qualifications and English language qualification, and copies of any sponsor letters or maintenance documents to meet the requirements. If you have previously applied through UCAS for 2023-24 entry, please include your UCAS personal ID number in the course details box.

Apply now (International applicant)

2024 entry

Apply online (full-time) through UCAS



  • Not available part-time

Choose Teesside

  • On video

    BA (Hons) Animation

    Hear what some of our students have to say about our BA (Hons) Animation course.

    Animex 2022

    Animex 2022 round-up, our international festival of animation, VFX and games

  • News

    Bianca Iancu, who created this year's Animex character mascot. Link to View the pictures. Talented animator retains links with Teesside through Animex
    An animation graduate who works across games, children’s television shows, short films and commercials, is continuing her links with Teesside University by designing the character mascot for this year’s Animex Festival.

    Read the full story

    Link to View the pictures. New scholarship will help break down barriers to the animation and games industries
    Teesside University’s internationally renowned Animex festival is supporting a new scholarship to help students from under-represented groups to achieve a career in the animation or games industries.

    Read the full story


ExpoTees 2021 animation, visual effects and computer games showreel

Our ExpoSeries of events allow you to showcase your skills to industry professionals who are seeking to recruit new and rising talent.


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International students


Telephone: +44 (0) 1642 738900

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