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Undergraduate study
 

Course overview

If you would like a creative career as an animator in film, television or games then this is the course for you. As well as giving you professional skills in key areas including 3D character animation, modelling, rigging, motion graphics and look development, this course allows you to explore your own specialism through working as part of a team on industry led briefs and short films.

Character Animation showreel

Character Animation student work showreel

As well as dedicated 3D animation studios, you have access to dedicated life drawing spaces, recording and motion-capture studios, and a fully equipped sound stage including green screen facilities and motion-control cameras.

Graduates can be found in the world’s top studios working on block buster movies, television series and games.

Ranked 4th in the UK in the Animation Career Review College Rankings 2021. (178 colleges considered. Find out more at tees.ac.uk/source).

Ranked 15th in the world in the Animation Career Review International Animation School Rankings 2021. (178 colleges considered. Find out more at tees.ac.uk/source).

Image credit: David Rig By Gabriel Salas

An optional work placement year is included, 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.
Find out more

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.

 
 

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.

3D Animation

You learn how the basic laws of physics are described through the 12 principles of animation and how they are applied to create convincing movement in 3D.

You are introduced to industry standard 3D software tools and techniques and use supplied character rigs to create a number of short animated sequences.
You complete a series of exercises that are assessed in order to demonstrate your understanding of the principles of animation as applied in 3D.

Asset Design and Modelling

You develop your abilities to design and create 3D Models, focusing on hard-surface modelling. You consider creative design and development processes for complex objects before evaluating the practicality and deployability of your designs within appropriate 3D scenarios.

You develop the skills to create your designs effectively and efficiently, considering their fitness for purpose as props, animated objects, or supports for other activities such as matte painting. This consideration includes topology, polygon resolution and the object’s general aesthetic.

Imaging Techniques for VFX

The fundamental techniques of 2D image acquisition, manipulation and digital compositing to produce manipulated but believable 2D imagery are introduced in this module. You will also work with specialist resources such as the soundstage, colour-grading suite and digital cameras.

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.

Technical Animation

Nearly all modern blockbuster films are full of fantastic eye-catching visual effects and mind-boggling animation.
Using industry-standard software packed with incredible technical tools, you learn how to create believable and dynamic fluid, liquid and particle simulations, as well as technical character-based techniques such as character rigs, cloth, hair and fur.

 

Year 2 core modules

3D Character Animation

Develop your skills acquired from the 3D Animation module. There is a reference to character animation in a 3D environment.
You gain a thorough understanding of animated performance using tools that are widely used in the film, television and gaming industries. You use professional animation workflow, acting theory, anatomical study and observation through video reference to get the best performance from your characters.
You continuously practice animating characters in different situations to develop and improve your skills throughout the module.

Creature Animation for Real Time

The skills required to produce creature animation for use in a real-time environment are the main focus in this module. Emphasis will be placed on further developing core animation skills and applying these to non-human animation in a game engine context. You gain the creative and technical skills required to produce non-bipedal animation for use in a real-time environment and the tools available. You are encouraged to practice your observational skills and select appropriate references to develop believable animation.

Digital Sculpting

This module extends your sculpting experience developed at Level four to include significant consideration of organic modelling. You explore the creation of anatomically aware characters and creatures. Consideration is made of the different scenarios, including the creation and sculpting of clothing and props, for which models are created from high end VFX through to matte painting visual aids. You also focus on techniques only deployable in non real-time development such as dynamic subdivision for displacement.

Kino

You work in teams to produce an animated short film to a given brief. This module is designed to give you the experience of working within a production environment and provides an opportunity to target specific production skills within your chosen field of study.

Lighting and Look Development

You develop your skills in general CG lighting practice and art direction for VFX and Animation. The module outlines strategies for fast, flexible asset management that will allow models, lighting and camera rigs etc to be deployed efficiently in different lighting, visual style and environment scenarios. You are expected to use this good practice and asset management strategies throughout your university career and beyond. You develop work using a lighting and look development strategy recognisable to the industry.

 

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

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.

 

Modules offered may vary.

 

How you learn

You study through a mix of lectures, studio sessions and video tutorials which allow you to learn at your own pace. You also benefit from regular guest lectures from industry professionals.

As an artist working in the industry, you are expected to have an understanding of what it takes to create a finished film. To prepare you for this, in year one we have modules covering a range of animation and visual effects disciplines to give you the chance to find out which areas you love and what you are best at.

In year two you begin to specialise in your chosen area through core character animation modules as well as working in your chosen role as part of a multi-disciplinary team to create a sequence of film shots.

In your final year you are encouraged to think about your employment goals and tailor your learning to give you the best possible chance of achieving your ambitions. You do this through working in a team to create a short film in semester one followed by your final project where you work to create your final showreel.

How you are assessed

We believe that is essential for you to learn through the experience of doing. Assessment for all modules is in the form of practical projects, which you work on throughout the semester. You develop a portfolio of animation work throughout the course. In Year 2, the Kino module provides 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

96-112 UCAS 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.

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

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

Career opportunities

You develop your professional skills and links with industry through our Expo Series, Animex and Student Futures activities.

Graduates from this course can be found in studios around the world working on film, television and games content such as blockbuster movies and AAA games. They work in a range of areas including, character animation, modelling, rigging, production, previs and visual development. Companies include Framestore, Double Negative, Industrial Light and Magic, Cinesite, Weta Digital Rock Star, Cubic Motion, One of Us, The Mill, Moving Picture Company, Passion Pictures and many more.

 

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 2022/23 academic year

Fee for UK applicants
£9,250 a year

More details about our fees

Fee for international applicants
£14,000 a year

More details about our fees for international applicants


What is included in your tuition fee?

  • Length: 3 years (or 4 with a work placement)
  • UCAS code: G455 BA/CCA
  • Start date: September
  • Semester dates
  • Typical offer: 96-112 tariff points and portfolio

Apply online (full-time) through UCAS

 

Part-time

2022/23 entry

Fee for UK applicants
£4,500 (120 credits)

More details about our fees

  • Length: Up to 6 years
  • Attendance: Daytime
  • Start date: September
  • Semester dates

Apply online (part-time)

 

Choose Teesside

 
 
 

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.

 

Get in touch

UK students

Email: scedtadmissions@tees.ac.uk

Telephone: 01642 738801


Online chat

International students

Email: internationalenquiries@tees.ac.uk

Telephone: +44 (0) 1642 738900


More international contacts

 

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