On this course you will usually be taught by a range of staff with relevant expertise and knowledge appropriate to the content of the unit. This will include senior academic staff, qualified professional practitioners, demonstrators, technicians and research students. You will also benefit from regular guest lectures from industry.
- Moving Image Theory: Containing the general image theory elements of the programme, this unit incorporates lectures on art, science, technology, digital cinematography, supporting screenings of films and animations, computer animation, digital effects and computer games.
- Group Project: Working with students from all three postgraduate courses (MA3D, MA Digital Effects) you'll present a concept for a short animated piece.
- Computer Animation Techniques: This unit aims to enable you to develop skills and knowledge in computer animation principles and practice. Software tools and best practice are underpinned by the theories introduced in the computer animation principles unit.
- Computer Animation Principles: You'll investigate the underlying theories within computer graphics and animation, in parallel to the development of practical skills.
- Computer Animation Principles & Techniques: You'll develop skills and knowledge in computer animation principles and practice, which will help to improve the quality of your productions. You'll also become conversant in the language, concepts and techniques relating to the course.
- Personal Inquiry: You'll pursue research in areas that interest you. This begins at the start of term two, and is assessed at a research symposium in the middle of term three.
- Master's Project: The focus of the fourth term is on completing the Master's component of your education. This project can be a standalone project or a continuation of the group project unit. In either case you can work alone or with other students. The year ends with a computer animation show, which gives you the opportunity to showcase your work to industry professionals and potential employers. View some of our students work to see what you could be creating on the course.
Programme specifications provide definitive records of the University's taught degrees in line with Quality Assurance Agency requirements. Every taught course leading to a BU Award has a programme specification which describes its aims, structure, content and learning outcomes, plus the teaching, learning and assessment methods used.
Download the programme specification for MA 3D Computer Animation.
Whilst every effort is made to ensure the accuracy of the programme specification, the information is liable to change to take advantage of exciting new approaches to teaching and learning as well as developments in industry. If you have been unable to locate the programme specification for the course you are interested in, it will be available as soon as the latest version is ready. Alternatively please contact us for assistance.
For this course, you will need to provide a digital portfolio of your work with your completed application form.
Your portfolio should contain a full range of visual material which illustrates your talents and working methods. It is not essential to include 3D animated work. Successful candidates may then be called for an interview and expected to bring a full portfolio including both digital and traditional work, overseas students may be interviewed on the phone but must send examples of work.
The course leader has created a short video of student's portfolios who successfully gained entry onto the course. Please note that the 3D work in places is weak, as mentioned previously, this did not concern us. We are more interested in the ideas, observational skills and aesthetic appeal.
Our students come come from a broad background and age group. Applicants in the past have studied or worked in the field of fine art, illustration, painting, sculpture, graphic design, architecture, traditional animation, 3D visualisation, script writing, performance arts and photography. Computer knowledge is not a pre-requisite, neither is having worked in 3D before. We are more concerned with your aesthetic and/or technical abilities.
Full entry requirements
The normal requirements for embarking upon a postgraduate taught degree are:
- A Bachelors Honours degree with 2:2 in any subject, or equivalent
- A professional qualification or diploma recognised to be equivalent to an honours degree
- Industrial experience deemed to be equivalent to an honours degree
- A digital portfolio of your work must accompany your application
- An interview may be required for this course.
If you lack the formal academic qualifications needed to enter a postgraduate or post-experience degree, there are several alternative routes to follow - some based on experience. Contact the Future Students Enquiry Team for more information.
International entry requirements
- IELTS (Academic) 6.5 with a minimum of 6.0 in each component of writing, speaking, listening and reading, or equivalent.
View further information about our English language requirements.
A number of pre-sessional English and preparatory programmes are offered through our partner institution, Bournemouth University International College, and will get you ready for study at BU at the appropriate level.
You can also find further details of the international qualifications we accept, and what level of study they apply to, on our study postgraduate entry requirements page.
Graduates from our computer animation courses are highly sought after within the industry. Our alumni have worked on many high-profile projects, including movies such as Avatar, Star Wars, the Lord of the Rings trilogy, King Kong, Shrek, Guardians of Ga'hoole, the Harry Potter series, Sucker Punch, Happy Feet, Monsters vs Aliens, James Bond and Judge Dredd, among many others*.
They have also been involved with the animation for a range of computer games, such as Grand Theft Auto, Crysis 2 and Fable II. Our graduates have worked for a number of the world's top VFX and computer games studios, including Pixar, DreamWorks, EA Games and Sony Picture Image Works*.
In 2016, we had two graduates collect awards for their work:
In February 2011 and 2015, NCCA graduate Andy Lockley was awarded an Oscar for his role as Visual Effects Supervisor on the Christopher Nolan film 'Inception' and ‘Interstellar’ respectfully; whilst a number of our graduates who also worked on the film shared in the celebrations.
This course is accredited by Creative Skillset and carries the Creative Skillset Tick. In achieving the Creative Skillset Tick this course joins the ranks of the top creative training and education this country has to offer, you can be sure that it has undergone a rigorous assessment process conducted by experts working in the creative industries. The Tick is only given to those courses that have the strongest links with industry giving you the best possible chance of a successful career.
You will be ready for various roles within the 3D computer animation sector when you complete your course. Some of our 3D Computer Animation graduates are undertaking roles such as:
- 3D artist
- Software developer
- Character animator
- Technical animator
Industries worked in:
Studios graduates have worked at:
- Double Negative
- Outpost VFX
- Blue-Zoo Animation
- The Foundry
- Creative Assembly
- Union VFX
- Jellyfish Pictures
- Playground Games
- Weta Digital
- Rock Paper Film
- Fortune Fish
- TT Games/Travellers Tales
- Random 42
- Animal Logic
- Frontier Developments
- Darkside Studio
- Axis Animation
- Illumination MacGuff
- Free Radical Design
- Aardman Animations
- Lionhead Studios
- The Mill
- Industrial Industrial and Magic
- Pixar and DreamWorks
- Illoura VFX
- Ninja Theory
- Sony Cambridge
- Sony Liverpool
- Rock Star North
- Criterion Games
Survey on Bournemouth University Alumni Facebook Page (2016).
If you want to continue your studies after achieving your Master's, you can look into our range of doctoral programmes.
*All information shown has been taken from Destination of Leavers from Higher Education (DLHE) or BU institutional data unless otherwise stated.
Our staff are actively engaged in research and professional practice in the 3D computer animation sector which is integrated into the teaching of this course. Find out more about some of the staff and their research activities who will be teaching on this course below.
Adam runs the National Centre for Computer Animation’s (NCCA) MA programme in 3D computer animation where he teaches fundamentals of design, modelling techniques for production, human anatomy, Maya and ZBrush. Specialising as a 3D modeller, Adam’s production credits include the Xbox 360 game Disneyland Adventures and the Games Workshop graphic novel Macragge’s Honour.
He is part of the team behind the BFX Festival and is currently researching the development of British comics. Adam has been interviewed for various news outlets discussing animated films, UK film and television production, education in animation, tax breaks for the games industry, and the BFX Festival.
Before becoming Joint Programme Leader of the MA in 3D Computer Animation, Sofronis worked in the Film and Games industry for Animal Logic (based in Sydney, Australia) and Microsoft’s Lionhead Studios (UK) on projects such as "Happy Feet", "300" and "Fable 2", training artists and production staff on projects that would go on to win an Oscar, a BAFTA and a Games BAFTA.
Sofronis (aka Saf) teaches fundamental of design, rigging, advanced animation processes and toolsets, shaders, lighting; a variety of 2D and 3D tools such as Autodesk’s Maya and a host of professional third-party tools.
Sofronis has worked with Sony Computer Entertainment Europe whilst also designing a 2D Animation curriculum with twofour 54 tadreeb and Turner Broadcast Systems, for the rollout of a course in Abu Dhabi that closely mirrors the Cartoon Networks production pipeline. Having proposed and developed a new Bournemouth festival and VFX/Animation competition with colleagues at Bournemouth University, Sofronis is now the BFX Festival Director, an event that attracts some of the world’s very best film, VFX, computer games and animation studios - http://www.bfxfestival.com/
Adam graduated from the National Centre for Computer Animation in 2006 with a Master of Arts degree in Digital Effects. He then went on to work in the feature film visual effects industry in London for six years, during which time he worked on a number of successful and award winning films including Gravity, Harry Potter, Narnia, Prince of Persia, John Carter, Clash of the Titans, Wrath of the Titans, and Sweeny Todd amongst others. He is now leading the BA (Hons) Visual Effects undergraduate degree at the National Centre for Computer Animation.
Paul brings over a decade of experience as a professional CG trainer and digital artist to the role of NCCA and BFX competition demonstrator.
Tasked with helping budding digital artists improve their skills and efficiency he recognises and values the importance of inspiring and motivating students to challenge themselves when learning. Versed in a wide range of software and techniques used in production pipelines he harnesses that knowledge to guide, mentor, help and inspire students to overcome technical barriers, develop their ideas and strive to create their best work within deadline.
In a rapidly developing industry Paul keeps his knowledge base current by trialing new software features as they become available and is also part of the Autodesk Maya Beta testing Program.
Paula Callus is a senior lecturer at the National Centre of Computer Animation at Bournemouth University. She holds a PHD in "Sub-Saharan African Animation" from The School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London, and has published on animation from this region. Previous experience includes educational consultancy and training for UNESCO's “Africa Animated” projects and compiling animation programs for various festivals such as Africa in Motion (Edinburgh), Cambridge African Film Festival, Meknes Animation Festival (Morroco), Africa at the Pictures (London).
24/7 access to your studio including a dedicated studio space with a highend workstation
Their own Cintiq 13” HD
2 x 24” Cintiqs in the studio
Access to Green Screen facility
Access to Mocap facility
Programme-specific Software: Maya, Mari, Z-Brush, Nuke, Adobe Creative Suite, Substance Painter, Marvellous Designer, Unreal Game Engine, Unity Game Engine, Advanced Skeleton, Ziva, Mudbox, Motionbuilder, V-Ray, Maxwell Renderer, Shotgun, RealFlow, Houdini Engine plus a host of plugins to aid production.
Cameras, lenses, tripods, sound recording devices and other resources associated with production.
Departmental Software: RC++, OpenGL, Qt, Maya, Houdini, Renderman plus many more
Over the past five years we have attracted some of the best Visual Effects, Animation and Games studios from around the world to present to our students, including:
- Disney Animation Studios - Moana, Big Hero Six, Frozen
- Pixar - Monsters University, Toy Story
- Framestore - Gravity, Guardians of the Galaxy 2
- MPC - Alien: Covenant, Maleficent, The Jungle Book
- Iloura - Mad Max: Fury Road
- Animal Logic - The Lego Movie, Ninjango
- Double Negative - Ex-Machina, Interstellar, Inception, Godzilla
- The Mill - Chemical Brothers/Beck Music video, Cif advert
- Illumination Mac Guff - Despicable Me, Minions
- Frontier Development - Elite: Dangerous
- Foundry 42/Cloud Imperium Games
- Creative Assembly
- Random 42
- Blue Zoo
- Playground Games - Forza Horizons
- Next Limit,
- Epic Games - Creators of the Unreal Game Engine
- Chaos Group - V-Ray
- Realise Studios
- Sony Computer Entertainment Europe
- Blue Sky Studios
- Karrot Entertainment
- Dave McKean - illustrator for Batman: Arkham Asylum: A Serious House on Serious Earth
- The Foundry
- Media Molecule
- Super Super Films
- Axis Animation
- Industrial Light & Magic - Star Wars: The Force Awakens.
The table below indicates the latest changes to this course.
||Changes to this course
||Where the change was made
Change to: A Bachelors Honours degree with 2:2 in any subject, or equivalent.
A Bachelors Honours degree with 2:2 in any subject, or equivalent. An art portfolio or collection of creative work, a show reel and an interview will be required.
Change to: Successful candidates may then be called for an interview and expected to bring a full portfolio including both digital and traditional work, overseas students may be interviewed on the phone but must send examples of work.
Successful candidates will then be called for an interview and expected to bring a full portfolio including both digital and traditional work, overseas students may be interviewed on the phone but must send examples of work.
An interview may be required for this course.
|Full entry requirements.
||An interview is required for this course.