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The award

How long you will study
1 year

Domestic course fees
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How you will study

Course starts

International course fees
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All study options

About Animation at Nottingham Trent University

The aims of the MA Animation course, are to build on your existing skills and to provide you with the opportunity through research and focused study, to develop specialist skills and knowledge to enhance your understanding of the subject area and support your employment goals.

In the early part of the course, there is an exploration of animation production, concepts and context. Through a process of evaluation and reflection of your strengths, you will identify a specific area for further study and development. The main emphasis of the course is on a focused exploration and refinement of your skills. There is flexibility in the content of seminars and lectures, with the opportunity to develop content specific to your research area and in the selection of visiting artists and professional.

Within animation production, there are many career paths. Your primary areas of study as an MA Animation student, include; storyboard artists, character designers, environment and prop designers, pre-visualisation artists, 2D animator, 3D animator, stop motion animator or experimental animator. The final project is as a synthesis of your learning and development.

Throughout the course, you will also research and develop a Professional Online Journal, which explores and explains current thought and practice in your specialist subject area.

You'll benefit from learning alongside other Visual Communication master's students.

Our Animation Staff team, have expertise across a wide range of specialist animation practices and will support you with flexible and responsive teaching.

Key features

  • Develop a project tailored to your own personal interests and career aspirations.
  • Benefit from lectures from industry professionals from leading animation studios
  • Have the opportunity to visit both a UK and European animation festival in Manchester, London and Annecy, France.
  • Take advantage of our extensive links with industry.
  • Have the opportunity to exhibit your work at New Designers in London.
  • Opt for a 20 credit point research module if you're thinking of progressing to PhD or Professional Doctorate study.
  • Work with fellow students, practitioners and academic staff from different cultures and backgrounds.
  • Opt for an additional advanced research module if you're thinking of progressing to PhD or Professional Doctorate study.

How you're taught

Teaching and learning experiences will include:

  • lectures
  • tutorials
  • seminars
  • inductions
  • workshops
  • study visits
  • e-learning
  • self-directed research; and
  • independent studio practice.


Assessment is 100% by coursework and involves:

  • a verbal presentation that articulates and summarizes your project
  • a completed Project Proposal
  • outcomes from experimentation and self-directed study
  • a research and practice informed reflective journal
  • a professionally produced portfolio
  • professional development materials  (e.g. an edited reel, CV, cover letter)
  • an employability report
  • the outcome from your personal project.

Careers and employability

The course promotes industry research and networking to establish relationships with relevant animation companies. Students will leave with a body of work that reflects their skills and currency to potential employers.

This course leads to a wide range of potential careers including; storyboard artist, character designer, environment and prop designer, pre-visualisation artist, CG modeller, 2D animator, 3D animator, stop motion animator or experimental animator.

You also have the opportunity to enter into a diverse industry including feature and televisual production, advertising, games production and independent production, through to more peripheral digital media industries such as architectural previsualization.

Some graduates also use this course to support careers in teaching, lecturing, journalism and progression to MPhil or PhD study.

Professional practice

You will be encouraged and supported to undertake internships and attend events held by the School's Employability team and other organisations.  You will also be encouraged to undertake research into animation production companies and associated industries.

You will benefit from talks given by visiting professionals, which will cover a wide range of creative and professional practice. Additionally, you will have the opportunity to network with industry professionals at trips to both national and international animation festivals.

In the second and third term there will be advice and support for you to prepare career materials including editing the strongest visual work into a reel, compiling a C.V. and cover letter, interview practice and producing an online portfolio resource, such as website.

You will keep a professional journal, which you will develop throughout the course to become an in-depth examination of current professional theory and practice.

We will invite you to submit your work to be considered for exhibition at London's New Designers, a prestigious graduate design show, and other subject and student-run initiatives at the University and across the city.

YouFirst – working with our Employability Team

Our friendly, experienced careers consultants will work closely with you at every stage of your career planning, providing personal support and advice you won't find in a book or on the internet. You can benefit from this at any time during your studies and up to three years after completing your course.

Get inspired

Take a look at a recent zine produced by our graduating Masters students to get a flavour of the innovation and creativity that goes on within the School of Art & Design.


Our MA Animation students are based in the Waverly building, a dedicated centre for Art and Design. Facilities and equipment include:

  • A dedicated postgraduate studio, where you will have space to work alongside other Animation students.
  • A PC suite with industry-standard WACOM Cintiq drawing screens.
  • Industry standard software, including TV Paint, Maya, ZBrush, Dragon Frame, CelAction 2D, and the Adobe suite.
  • Film, green screen and motion capture studios.

You will also have access to the School of Art and Design's resources, which include camera and lighting stores, film studios, photographic studios and 3D printing.

Study options for this course

  • The award How you will study How long you will study Course starts Domestic course fees International course fees
  • The awardMAHow you will studyFull-timeHow long you will study1 year
    Course startsSeptemberDomestic course fees find outInternational course fees find out

Entry requirements

What are we looking for?

  • 2.2 honours degree in a related subject.
  • Applicants with non-standard entry qualifications and / or relevant work experience will be considered on an individual basis.

Other requirements:

If you hold international qualifications, take a look at the alternative qualifications we accept for this course.

English language requirements

If English isn't your first language, you need to show us that your language skills are strong enough for intensive academic study. You can check our language requirements and list of accepted English language tests. Your British Council office can tell you where you can take an International English Language Testing System (IELTS) test locally. Applicants who have taken a higher degree at a UK university don't usually have to meet this requirement.

Pre-masters courses

Are you an international student whose qualifications don't meet the entry requirements? You can do a pre-masters course at Nottingham Trent International College (NTIC). The college is on our City Campus and NTIC students can use all of the University's facilities.

Next steps

Please also take a look at our International students page and our application guide for international students, which are full of advice and information about the University.

If you need any more help or information, please contact our International team or call on +44 (0)115 848 4200. Alternatively, you can get in touch with our staff at the International Development Office, who are always happy to help. Or speak to one of our official NTU representatives for your country.

What students think about Nottingham Trent University

    Claudia Agyemang-Yeboah, Human Rights and Justice – LLM, (Ghana)

    Testimonial from Claudia Agyemang-Yeboah, Human Rights and Justice – LLM, (Ghana), student at Nottingham Trent University

    “The city is ideal. I’ve been to London a couple of times and frankly it is too busy and too big for me. Nottingham has a city vibe but it’s smaller and as I am based on City Campus there are so many places that you can go without having to even use transportation which economically is very good as well!”

    “There are so many opportunities when you are at NTU. Take advantage of every opportunity that you have. Sign up and do something, it builds up your experience and confidence. NTU is such a relaxing, comfortable environment with so many friendly people.  I’ve met most of my friends from my classes and have met people from so many places. It was a goal of mine to make friends not only from Africa, but from all over the world. The Global Lounge is a great place to meet new people, have a cup of coffee and hang out.

    “It’s a good decision coming here. I’d do it over and over again. I’ve learnt a lot in so many ways. If you have the opportunity, you should really consider here. The experience has been wonderful and I’m enjoying every second of it.”

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    Makayla Martinez, BA (Hons) Fashion Communication and Promotion, (United States of America)

    Testimonial from Makayla Martinez, BA (Hons) Fashion Communication and Promotion, (United States of America), student at Nottingham Trent University

    "I am 21 and have changed my plans but I think it is the best decision I have made in my life. Fashion has always been my dream and since being here last year, I had never felt such a sense of belonging.

    "I chose NTU because of the social side and the sense of community. This seemed so prevalent here; I have made so many friends from all over the world. There is so much to do in the city. It is so friendly and unified!"

    “My main piece of advice would be to do research about the city before you arrive. Make sure you know where your accommodation is in relation to the rest of the city and where you will be studying, that is really important. I had no idea how big the city was so at the beginning it took time to find out what grocery stores there were and where was good to eat out. Research will help with this as well as not being afraid to explore and find new things. You can ask anyone for help too as it is a really friendly city."

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    Kamakshi Marwah, MSc Applied Child Psychology, (India)

    Testimonial from Kamakshi Marwah, MSc Applied Child Psychology, (India), student at Nottingham Trent University

    “While applying I considered other university courses but NTU had better facilities to offer and the course offered a proper melange of theories and real world applications. I was very particular about module structure, programme-based ranking and university rankings. NTU has a prestigious reputation and the quality of learning they provide is something I considered while applying to this University.”

    “Location was one of the key features of this University as you will find everything conveniently located. Another important aspect is that it is very student friendly. Nottingham has been like living a dream - it has given me a once in a life time opportunity to explore and live independently.”

    “Every day has become a new learning chapter. I believe that my learning as a postgraduate student has significantly enhanced my capabilities and skills set which will help me for my future career. Postgraduate study has given me a new dimension to my career plans as I have discovered new career opportunities where I can work and give back to society. I plan to work as a counsellor or child psychologist in a school or charitable organisation and, after gaining few years of professional experience, I would also consider pursuing a PhD.”

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