UCAS code: W615
Duration: 4 years
School: Edinburgh College of Art
College: Arts, Humanities & Social Sciences
Our multiple award-winning programme differs radically from most courses in that we teach the full spectrum of production methods. You will learn about 2D and 3D techniques, including puppet based stop-frame, using both cameras and CGI. You will work individually or in a team to make films, documentaries and installations. Our students have previously won awards at Annecy, RTS and the BAFTAs.
Animation is becoming increasingly ubiquitous and animators are becoming more sought after by employers. From the animated icons on your phone, the visual effects on the latest feature films, and the interactive worlds and characters on games consoles, to multi-million-view viral web animations; all of this is the work of animators.
Here at ECA you will be taught in a uniquely broad way, synthesising classical animation technique with innovative technologies that results in a distinctive digital/analogue hybrid.
Animation is one of the few media that will allow you to create worlds, populate them, and develop consistent systems of cause and effect (moral, ethical and physical). These are the resources that animators use to either inform an audience for social and commercial purpose, or to immerse them in a compelling narrative - often both.
Hand-in-hand with the development of your practical skill base, you will also develop your critical awareness of the medium and its associated industries. You will also be able to contextualise your practice and maximise your chances for employment within a continually diversifying range of opportunities within the field.
The animation studio facilities include a CAT 6 LAN for lossless file transfer between cameras and editing suites, a render farm supporting parallel processing of After Effects, Maya and 3DS Max jobs, three rostrum cameras, and a fully equipped stopframe studio allowing simultaneous production of seven stopframe films.
You will be introduced to the theoretical and contextual aspects of design through a series of lectures and seminars. Studio based projects will introduce you to the fundamentals of animation by way of short sequential projects, longer projects will deal with collaborative work with other disciplines, and you will attend regular life drawing classes to develop skills in research and observation. This year is about moving things.
You will be able to take up to 60 credits of option courses, either from within ECA, or across the wider College, in Year 1. These are subject to availability, but offer the flexibility to construct a suite of courses that reflects your interests and enhances your main study.
This year focuses on taking the basic theories, practices and technical instruction that has informed your learning till now, and expanding them to include character, emotion, fact, narrative and sound. Projects become slightly longer and your animated output will become subtler, and more considered. This year is about moving expressively.
Again, you will be able to choose option courses, subject to availability.
This year has as its emphasis, the role of animation as a provided service, students will be required to participate in a series of live projects working with people outside the usual college environment, be they commercial and business interests, creative professionals, charities, public bodies, or researchers. There is also the option to take an internship for academic credit (where an appropriate position is available), or study abroad. This year is about moving somebody else.
The final year is where you showcase your learning via the devices of an extended project that will be screened to the public, and a research based dissertation. Your final project will be negotiated with course staff, presented to guests from the animation industry for discussion and critique, and will be a sustained and complex production. This year is about moving the masses
Find out more about the compulsory and optional courses in this degree programme.
To give you an idea of what you will study on this programme, we publish the latest available information. However, please note this may not be for your year of entry, but for a different academic year.
Design students benefit from studio-based learning at our Lauriston Place campus, along with the exhibitions and events associated with a vibrant art college. Option courses are usually taught outside the School across the wider university campus. You will also have access to the University's extensive libraries and computer facilities.
The University is investing in the ECA estate and facilities to further develop our flexible, stimulating, supportive and sustainable learning and research environment for students and staff.
Further information is available on the ECA website.
Placement can currently be undertaken as part of Year 3. We also help and advise students undertaking summer placements between teaching semesters.
There are opportunities to study abroad in semester two of Year 3.
The majority of design teaching and learning is through involvement in a range of experiential projects situated in a studio environment. Conceptual, material and technical issues are explored through seminars, workshops, lectures, tutorials and critiques.
Research, critical thinking and study of the visual, intellectual, social and professional contexts that shape creative design practice are regarded as essential to your development. This often involves participation in exhibitions, competitions, collaborations and live industry projects.
Formative assessment is continuous throughout the year, aiming to give you meaningful feedback and to encourage experimentation in the studio and beyond. Formative assessment for compulsory courses is through a mix of verbal and written modes such as portfolio, presentations and essays.
There is a mid-session review, usually at the mid-point of any given course you study. Summative assessment at the end of all the courses you take is informed by your academic and creative progress and performance throughout.
Find out more about this programme's aims, what you will learn, how you will be assessed and what skills and knowledge you will develop.
To give you an idea of what to expect from this programme, we publish the latest available information. However, please note this may not be for your year of entry, but for a different academic year.
Animation students from ECA have gone on to work for Laika, Tim Burton, Aardman, Ko-Lik Films, Cartoon Saloon, Mackinnon & Saunders, Rock Star North, Channel 4, BBC 4, CBBC and CBeebies.
The typical offer is likely to be:
Applicants will be asked to submit a digital mini-portfolio to provide evidence of artistic aptitude and potential, this will form an important part of the selection process. Information on mini-portfolio submission will be available here by early August. (Revised 16/05/2017 to provide more accurate information.)
Pearson BTEC and University of the Arts London Diplomas in Art and Design are accepted for entry on their own and in combination with other qualifications. Further information on accepted combinations and required grades will be made available here shortly, or please contact the Arts, Humanities & Social Sciences Admissions Office.
We welcome applications from students studying a wide range of international qualifications.
If you are an international student and your school qualifications are not accepted for direct entry to the University you may be eligible for admission to this degree programme through our International Foundation Programme.
Entry to the second year is available. Successful completion of a Foundation Diploma (at Merit Grade), a relevant HND or equivalent is required. Applicants will normally be expected to have undertaken these qualifications in addition to having met the minimum entry requirements (Highers, A Levels, IB etc). In some of our less competitive programmes it may be possible to consider applicants presenting ABC (or equivalent) or above at A-level. These grades must have been achieved in a single first sitting.
You must provide evidence that your written and spoken English is at a level that will enable you to succeed in your studies.
If English is not your first language, you must have one of the following qualifications as evidence of your spoken and written English:
For SQA and GCSE students, unless a higher level is specified in the stated entry requirements, a pass is required in English at the following grades or higher:
Key Information Sets (KIS) are part of a government initiative to enhance the information that higher education institutions provide about their degree programmes.
KIS are available for most undergraduate programmes and are intended to make it easier for you to find information about the programmes you are interested in studying. It is one of many sources of information available that will enable you to make an informed decision on what and where to study.
You can also use this website to find more information on our programmes and the learning environment you will experience at the University of Edinburgh.
Please note that some programmes do not have data available and will not display a KIS.
Your materials costs will vary depending on your programme. Some programmes offer study trips and individual field-based projects. You will usually be required to cover accommodation, subsistence and travel costs.
Your contribution will vary based on your chosen programme and courses, and on the nature of each trip.
For more information on how much it will cost to study with us and the financial support available see our fees and funding information.