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Animation Master of Fine Art, MA (eca)

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Application deadlines apply.

MFA Animation - 21 Months (Full-time)
MA (eca) Animation - 1 Year (Full-time)

Fees & costs information

Where available, individual programme fees are linked above. For details information on fee status, policies and payment see:

Contact information
Edinburgh College of Art Postgraduate Admissions
Phone: +44 (0)131 650 4086
Jared Taylor (Programme Director)
Phone: +44 (0)131 651 5964
Address: Edinburgh College of Art Postgraduate Admissions
College of Humanities and Social Science Postgraduate Office, The University of Edinburgh
David Hume Tower, George Square
Central Campus

Animation is a fantastically diverse medium, and its possibilities are expanding continually. Animators are dealing with new platforms for delivery, new technologies for production, and new audiences as the theories and contexts of animation are being developed and understood.

Animation has become an integral element of most feature production through VFX pipelines, documentary production through the use of data visualisation and improved compositing techniques, and a vital part of any interactive production.

Entry requirements

A UK 2:1 honours degree, or its international equivalent. Any appropriate professional experience will also be considered.

International qualifications

Check whether your international qualifications meet our general entry requirements:

English language requirements

If English is not your first language, you must have one of the following qualifications as evidence of your spoken and written English:

  • IELTS: total 6.5 (at least 6.0 in each module)
  • TOEFL-iBT: total 92 (at least 20 in each module)
  • PTE(A): total 61 (at least 56 in each of the "Communicative Skills" sections)
  • CAE and CPE: total 176 (at least 169 in each module)

If you completed a CAE or CPE before January 2015 please contact the Admissions Office for the accepted grades.

Find out more about our language requirements:

How to apply

You must submit a reference with your application.

We encourage you to apply at least one month prior to entry so that we have enough time to process your application. If you are also applying for funding or will require a visa then we strongly recommend you apply as early as possible. We may consider late applications if we have places available, but you should contact the relevant Admissions Office for advice first.

In addition to the supporting documents requested on the online application form, you should also submit a portfolio that:

  • demonstrates your life drawing ability
  • demonstrates a confident use of a variety of drawing media, techniques and use of colour
  • demonstrates a competent use of video codecs, and animation and compositing software
  • includes evidence of sequencing or pattern in folio (drawings/prints of objects changing state or drawings/prints of repeating pattern, for example)
  • includes evidence of narrative or story telling (written evidence or story boarding or comic strips, for example)
  • includes examples of animated films, loops, cycles or tests

Please upload your videos to a web site of your choice (eg YouTube, Vimeo etc) and add the link to the portfolio upload section of your online application.

Find out more about the general application process for postgraduate programmes:

Programme description

In order to address the wide range of potential interests within the discipline of animation the postgraduate animation courses at ECA are non-prescriptive in terms of methodology, and of output, and a large part of your research work on the course will relate to both your chosen way of working and how to position yourself in the wider milieu of animation.

The courses are not a substitute for previous animation experience or education; animation is a discipline in which there are no shortcuts. What they are designed to do is to enhance and supplement a previous specialisation, whether that was in animation, or not, with an awareness of how to affect dynamic transformation and movement, whether it’s upon a product, an environment, a data set or a narrative, and in order to achieve the above, you will be required to be resourceful, critical, and above all independent.

We are not analogue, we are not digital, we are not practice, we are not theory. We are all those and more, we are a synthesis, we are a hybrid, we are animation.

Programme structure

The main focus of your programme will be the production of a short animated film. Although there is no set limit, most students produce a piece of between five and 12 minutes in length. This will be part of a substantive body of practical and written work that will also be submitted for assessment.

While the MA can be completed as a standalone degree in one year, the MA and MFA programme streams are interlocking and continuation to the MFA is possible.

Both programmes include a combination of practical studio work, theory, written studies, professional practice preparation, and a lecture/seminar series, which explores the wider context of your discipline.

Career opportunities

Our graduates have an increasing set of opportunities to consider upon leaving us. Our graduates find work in four main arenas:

  • Animation for cinema, broadcast and web platforms
  • Interactive animation
  • Compositing and visual effects
  • Data visualisation

These areas of employment are all expanding, the entertainment sector usually expands in times of recession, and as people feel the need to analyse and understand what is happening in that recession then the opportunities for data visualisation similarly increase.

There is a strong tendency towards independence in our graduates, many of whom have gone on to careers as award winning independent filmmakers. Those who have followed the studio route have ended up working at a variety of commercially important companies such as the BBC, Channel 4, Rushes, Aardman, Laika, Passion Pictures, KoLik, and Nexus Productions, or with directors such as Tim Burton and Sylvain Chomet.

Further information

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