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Animation (with placement year)

BSc (Hons)
Entry 2018: BBC / 112 UCAS points
Duration: 4 years
Attendance mode: Full-time
Award: BSc (Hons)
UCAS code: W616
Placement: Placement year available
Suitable for international students
Faculty of Engineering & Informatics
Apply Prospectus downloads


Animation is a key part of the UK's £84 billion creative industry. Throughout this course you will develop the skills and understanding to make a successful career in this exciting and dynamic field.

In addition to using state-of-the-art processes and technologies to create digital animations, you will gain a solid grounding in classical animation techniques, drawing, cinematography, story telling and the conceptual understanding to ensure that you become a creative, competent and confident professional.

Our industry-experienced team will help you become an accomplished animator through a combination of practical and theoretical work. Our emphasis is on creating as many animations as possible while still placing it in a cultural and industrial context.

You will do more than simply learn how to use software, you will develop the crucial critical thinking skills that will enable you to produce work of the highest quality – something that the industry desperately wants.

Why Bradford?

We are one of the leading providers of animation education in the UK with a long track record of producing world class graduates.

Our passionate, highly experienced staff are amongst the best in the industry, and focus on building strong personal connections with students and alumina. All our staff are research active, pushing the boundaries of the discipline and incorporating these new techniques and insight into their teaching.

Our equipment is world leading - with the very latest gear and software at your disposal you can be assured that you will have experience of industry-standard tools.

The world’s first UNESCO City of Film, Bradford is at the heart of British film making.

The UNESCO City of Film offices are based on campus, at the School of Media, Design and Technology. This gives our students unique opportunities to get involved in their events and initiatives, and to produce content for City of Film.

Bradford is the home of the National Science and Media Museum. We have a long-established partnership with the museum, giving you privileged access to the museum’s collections, exhibitions, industry events, film programmes and festivals. Just five minutes’ walk away from the University, it’s the perfect place to immerse yourself in film and animation.

You’ll be surrounded by some of the most beautiful countryside the UK has to offer, including Bronte country, the Lake District and the Peak District. This means plenty of amazing locations to photograph, practice time lapses or just gain inspiration and reflect – all a quick bus or train journey away.

Entry requirements

Typical offer: BBC / 112 UCAS points

BTEC Extended Diploma:

DMM — there are no specific subject requirements.

Applicants on Access Programmes:

Meet UCAS tariff of 112. There are no specific subject requirements.

Plus minimum of:

GCSE English and Mathematics at grade C or 4 (equivalents accepted).

Additional entry requirements:

If you are an international student and you do not meet the entry requirements for direct entry onto this course you may be interested in our International Certificate of Foundation Studies.

English language requirements:

Minimum IELTS at 6.0 or the equivalent.

If you do not meet the IELTS requirement, you can take a University of Bradford pre-sessional English course. See the Language Centre for more details.


The modules for this course can be found in the latest programme specification.

The programme is intended to equip students who wish to develop expertise in the creative, aesthetic and technical aspects of computer-generated animation, supported by a range of relevant audio-visual media disciplines.

Year 1

  • Introduction to 3D Computer Animation (20 credits) – core
    Provides professional industry approaches to learning the basics of the theory and practice of 3D computer modelling animation and rendering.
  • Observational Drawing (20 credits) – core
    Provides a broad knowledge base of the practice, application and formal elements of drawing skills, for the development of key animation skills.
  • Creativity and Imagination (20 credits) – core
    Develops students' ability to create new and exciting ideas, and to cultivate creative strategies for making artefacts, media production or self-expression.
  • Creative Industries – Foundations (20 credits) – core
    Equips students with a range of foundational skills required for successful advancement in the creative industries.
  • Conventions of Animation (20 credits) – core
    Develops an understanding of the '12 animation principles' for a solid grounding in animation mechanics.
  • 3D Character Modelling and Animation (20 credits) – core
    Provides practical knowledge of 3D computer animation production processes in a project-based environment, with particular reference to character animation.

At the end of Year 1, students will be eligible to exit with the award of Certificate of Higher Education if they have successfully completed at least 120 credits and achieved the award learning outcomes.

Year 2

  • Advanced Character Animation (20 credits) – core
    Provides a deep understanding of the issues involved in creating considered, well-researched animated characters.
  • Classical Animation (20 credits) – core
    Introduces traditional animation techniques whilst encouraging investigation and collaborative working.
  • Script Programming and Technical Animation (20 credits) – core
    Provides the fundamentals and the concepts of a 3D embedded scripting language for beginners.
  • Facial Modelling / Animation (20 credits) – core
    Introduces the key elements in the production of an animation centred upon dialogue, including research skills, modelling, rigging and animation.
  • 3D Character Creation (20 credits) – core
    Introduces digital sculpting for the creation of ultra-high detail 3D character models used in animation, visual effects and detail maps for real-time rendering.
  • CGI Lighting, Rendering and Look Development (20 credits) – optional
    Provides a broad foundation in all aspects of the field of Look Development, to the level that students can start building informed but simple pipelines.
  • VFX, Compositing and Post Production (20 credits) – optional
    Provides practical experience of creating high-quality post-production and visual effects sequences.
  • Motion Capture (20 credits) – optional
    Develops a broad understanding of the processes of the motion capture sequence.

At the end of Year 2, students will be eligible to exit with the award of Diploma of Higher Education if they have successfully completed at least 240 credits and achieved the award learning outcomes.

Final year

  • Major Project Pre-Production (20 credits) - core
    Working in interdisciplinary production teams, students research clients, briefs and projects to develop a true-to-industry professional production pitch.
  • Individual Project (40 credits) - core
    Integrate material from other modules into a major digital media project.
  • Major Project Production (40 credits) – core
    A team exercise to produce, present and reflect on a project from an industry/commercial brief.
  • Motion Capture and Digital Scanning (20 credits) – optional
    Develops a broad understanding of the processes of the motion capture sequence.
  • Facial Modelling / Animation (20 credits) – optional
    Introduces the key elements in the production of an animation centred upon dialogue, including research skills, modelling, rigging and animation.
  • AI for Games (20 credits) – optional
    Introduces real-time AI and the games industry.
  • Effects Animation and Dynamics for VFX (20 credits) – optional
    Introduces advanced topics and concepts in the field of technical animation.
  • Application Programming & Development (20 credits) – optional
    Develops an understanding and skills in multimedia production techniques, to create an application, plug-in or interactive game.

Reading lists

All reading lists can be found here.

Learning activities and assessment

Learning takes place in a wide variety of formats. Some days you will be in lectures and seminars, others you will be having personal tutorials, having a casual chat in a group project, or even having a transatlantic discussion with an industry professional.

All modules require you to undertake independent study, supported through distance learning technologies such as our Virtual Learning Environment.

Reading lists and suggested resources for independent study provide further direction, and regular contact hours and informal feedback throughout the course provides you with ongoing guidance and support. Assessments for modules mostly take the form of practical coursework, lab tests and written exams.


This course offers you the opportunity to take up a placement year working in industry between your second and final year.

During the second year of your study we organise a number of activities to help students find placements. These include sessions on CVs, interviews etc. from the Careers service at the University and presentations by both employers and previous year's students on their placements.

Students who endeavour to, and take up the placement year will have support and guidance from a placements tutor throughout to monitor and support your progress.

After completing the year, students return to study the third academic year of their course, and we often find students return with a drive to continue their studies.

Many students continue their relationship with their placement employers working for them part-time, developing Final Year Projects with them or going back to them into graduate positions.

Study Abroad

All of our courses offer the opportunity to study abroad, with two semesters in an international partner institution. Last year two of our Animation students studied in Japan.

Career support and prospects

Career support

The programme has been designed to meet the needs of industry.

We have regular industry student engagement, and as many of our staff still work on their own projects and commercial work they are best placed to offer advice on the best way to approach industry to secure employment.

The University is committed to helping students develop and enhance employability and this is an integral part of many programmes.

Specialist support is available throughout the course from Career and Employability Services including help to find part-time work while studying, placements, vacation work and graduate vacancies. Students are encouraged to access this support at an early stage and to use the extensive resources on the Careers website. Discussing options with specialist advisers helps to clarify plans through exploring options and refining skills of job-hunting.

In most of our programmes there is direct input by Career Development Advisers into the curriculum or through specially arranged workshops.

Employment statistics

77% of our 2016 graduates in Animation, Games and Visual Effects found employment or went on to further study within six months of graduating.*

*These DLHE statistics are derived from annually published data by the Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA), based on those UK domiciled graduates who are available for employment or further study and whose destinations are known.

Career prospects

This course will prepare you for a successful career in computer animation. We are very proud of our graduates: they have gone on to work in the UK and overseas for organisations including the BBC, Warner Brothers, Vicon, MGM, Industrial Light and Magic, Disney, Universal, Weta Digital, Pixamundo, Dreamworks, Andy Serkis’ Imaginarium and many others.

Our graduates have worked on blockbuster movies including Avatar, Hugo, Gravity, Inception, Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, Warhorse, The Dark Knight trilogy and all of the Harry Potter films as well as numerous games. Over the last five years our post-graduate employment and study rates have been significantly better than the national average for animation courses in the UK.

Study Support

A comprehensive support network is here for you to ensure you reach your academic potential and go on to further success in the future.

You’ll benefit from a range of support services, including:

Our academic team is friendly and easy to access. We always answer communication promptly and all have regular office hours to provide advice and support.


All our staff are research active, and are pushing the boundaries of their disciplines.

The University of Bradford has a strong pedigree of world-leading research, and our aim is to ensure that students benefit from our staff’s insight into the future of their subject.

The integration of new and innovative research findings into our curriculum, known as Research Informed Teaching, is a core value and one of the key principles driving the design of our programmes and our modules.


Our production facilities include:

  • 16 camera Vicon optical motion capture system
  • animation labs with state of the art workstations and the latest industry standard software such as Maya, ZBrush, Houdini and Nuke
  • stop-motion lab with Dragonframe software
  • dedicated Chroma Key Studio
  • drawing studio
  • render farm
  • extensive range of cameras, including 4 and 6k cinema cameras and ENG cameras
  • audio recording studio, and professional editing systems

Equipment is free for students to use and small budgets are provided for project work. All course books, journals and online resources are provided in the library.

Fees, Finance and Scholarships

Tuition fees


  • Home/EU: £9,250*
  • Home/EU, sandwich placement year fee: 10% of the applicable full-time fee
  • International: £17,800
  • International, sandwich placement year fee: £1,780

* Fees going forward have been capped by the Government at £9,250 in October 2017..

See our Fees and Financial Support website for more details.

Financial support

See our Fees and Financial Support website.

How do I find out more?

Got a question?

Fill in our form and our Enquiries team will answer it for you.

Enquiry form

This is the current course information. Modules and course details may change, subject to the University's programme approval, monitoring and review procedures. The University reserves the right to alter or withdraw courses, services and facilities as described on our website without notice and to amend Ordinances, Regulations, fees and charges at any time. Students should enquire as to the up-to-date position when applying for their course of study.