Salford School of Arts, Media and Creative Technology
In a nutshell
Advancements within the digital industry have led to a huge revival in animation techniques. This course enables you to explore and understand the creative potential of digital animation, while developing industry relevant skills in a specialised field.
Designed to inspire and enhance your creative abilities, this course provides a structured pathway in digital animation practice as well as a selection of elective modules focusing on areas such as drawing for animation, digital narrative technology, compositing, and pre-production elements.
Take a look at the work some of our final year students have produced on this course.
Find out more by signing up to our upcoming Open Day.
We also have a new master's programme: MA Animation.
- Develop the skills you need to pursue a career in digital animation, TV and digital media
- Understand how to develop creative and digital technology abilities
- Learn which attributes are required by animation organisations
This is for you if...
You possess creative flare and imagination
You have the ability to understand 3D form and scale
You want to explore the creative potential of digital and traditional forms of animation
All about the course
You will produce a strong body of work that will enable you to develop your career in the animation industry. You will learn how to tell visual stories through performance and character developing industry-leading skills in a specialised field.
Designed to boost your creative thinking and technical abilities, this course provides a structured pathway in digital animation practice. From the start, you will be hands-on and will learn traditional stop-frame animation techniques as you are introduced to the principles of animation and the laws of motion. You'll also learn industry-leading 3D animation software.
This course allows you to identify and define your own career prospects with dedicated portfolio modules, which will help you in your preparation for employment.
Animation is one of the fastest-growing areas within the UK creative industries providing multiple opportunities for graduates. Based in MediaCityUK, you'll be right in the heart of this growing creative sector which is focused on developing adaptive, highly-skilled, industry-ready creatives.
In this module, you will learn the fundamental principles of animation. Including Newton’s laws and the physics of bodies in motion and the effects of gravity. You will use the stop motion studio and 3D software to complete basic animation exercises that become progressively more challenging. You will learn the art of timing and spacing to convey belief and weight. These exercises are the core building blocks of the craft of animation and will form the bedrock for all further development.
Introduction to Creative Play
This module will allow you to explore the context of risk taking and innovation in your digital design process. It will build a foundation to assess the pros and cons within a project's design and production journey, developing a culture of experimentation, innovation and collaboration.
This module provides you with the opportunity to develop a reflective practice and an awareness of contemporary animation with the ability to link theory and practice. You will undertake research within an area of animation which focuses on your interests and professional development. You will investigate contemporary practitioners, documenting this process and present your findings in a high quality document.
In this module you will build on the learning and skills developed in Animation 101 to introduce skills in character animation and performance. The use of arcs, easing and timing previously developed will be applied to 3D character rigs and physical stop motion puppets. You will learn how to emote and animate pose to pose before moving on to character walks, sneak, and acrobatics. This module will be underpinned by translating and animating based on reference material. In addition to enhancing your technical skills, you will learn to incorporate professional workflows and production practices whilst developing your individual creativity within a series of 3D CG character based exercises.
Storytelling: Script to Screen
Storytelling encourages you to develop an understanding of narrative exploration for animation production. It will introduce playful approaches to idea development and experimentation. This module will emphasise the importance of story within animation production. You will be introduced to key storytelling conventions and methodologies in order to develop skills in creative writing and story formation. Drawing techniques will develop key skills in visual communication to allow for translation of story from script to screen.
Introduction to the 'Making of'
This module encourages you to recognise the importance of documenting their creative practice in design and animation. It will introduce you to methods of reflective practice allowing them to consider process as an integral part of their creative output, to observe and analyse the making phases of production.
Performance and Character
In this module you will build on the skills developed in Animation 102 to express moods, emotions and personality in a believable animated character performance. You will study character performance, body language, acting and general stagecraft and apply this new knowledge to a range of challenging character animations. The final portfolio will celebrate the personal level of creativity and expression.
Games and Virtual Worlds
On this module, you will learn about gamification and the design of virtual interfaces for multiple design contexts, such as advertising, education and training.
Specialist Animation Studies
You will select and explore a specific area of study within the field of animation production and develop an identity - skills required in your chosen specialism. You will produce a substantial body of work that demonstrates independent thought and innovation. Areas of study may include: script writing, concept work, model making, environment and character design, story board, VFX, performance, animation, sound design.
You will be encouraged to produce a high quality prototype animation for a client. You may also respond to a live brief such as those set by the RSA. You will produce work in a simulated employment relationship.
‘Making of’ Integrated Practice
This module is the second in a series of three focusing on reflective practice and the art of the ‘making of’. You will implement and build on previous experience by applying reflective practice to your individual creative outputs produced in other modules. Emphasis is placed on analysis of how you make work and the processes involved. You will incorporate basic design principles and editing techniques in this work to extend your storytelling and communication skill set.
Negotiated Project - Phase One
Phase One acts as the planning phase of the Negotiated Project, the final opportunity for you to produce an industry facing professional standard project. You will work in a group and follow a process of exploration and interpretation to generate multiple ideas and develop an appropriate project. Core planning of story and first phase assets will be developed and signed off at this stage to allow for production in Phase Two.
Core aims of this module include refining your ability to develop clear visual concepts for a proposed artefact as well as providing you with experience in producing production plans and schedules. By working on a practice based project to a professional standard, you will build up advanced competencies within at least one specialist area e.g. storyboarding, narrative, 2D/3D graphics, programming or animation. As a result of your studies, you will enhance your ability to work effectively in teams and communicate fluently and accurately in relation to digital media production.
Negotiated Project - Phase Two
This module will form the final portion of the negotiated project. Using the research, experimentation and pre-production planning from Phase One you will move into a production phase where you will work in a studio environment to deliver your final project. You will be supported throughout by a panel of staff and you could also invite experts from industry to act as ‘external producers’ who provide guidance for delivering the final animated film.
‘Making Of’ - Negotiated Project
This module is the final in a series of three focusing on reflective practice and the art of the ‘making of’. The module continues to encourage you to recognise the importance of documenting and analysing creative practice in design and animation. In this final stage, you will continue to implement and build on your previous experience by applying reflective practice to creative production developed within previous modules. Through the application of basic design, storytelling and film editing principles and techniques you will communicate the journey of your final project. The ‘Making of’ acts as a supporting document to the Negotiated Project; reflecting the importance, scale and quality of work produced during year three of the course.
Showreel and Professional Engagement
In this module you will develop a digital portfolio of work that will demonstrate your expertise in one or more specialist areas. The portfolio can either be traditional, digital, or a combination of both forms. This module will also prepare you for work by enhancing your presentation and communications skills as well as your talents and abilities.
Please note that it may not be possible to deliver the full list of options every year as this will depend on factors such as how many students choose a particular option. Exact modules may also vary in order to keep content current. When accepting your offer of a place to study on this programme, you should be aware that not all optional modules will be running each year. Your tutor will be able to advise you as to the available options on or before the start of the programme. Whilst the University tries to ensure that you are able to undertake your preferred options, it cannot guarantee this.
What will I be doing?
Whilst there are a variety of teaching and learning methods on this course, the design project forms the basis for the majority of activities. Most modules include:
- Practical workshops or skills sessions
- One-to-one tutorials
- Group seminars
- Design studio practice
Teaching facilities include lecture theatres, computer rooms, the workshop (wood metal, laser cutter), the animation studio and a stop motion studio.
There will be different types of assessment methods used but the majority will be project based assessment work.
BE A PART OF A CREATIVE, SUPPORTIVE COMMUNITY
All our Creative Digital Media and Gaming courses are delivered by the Salford School of Arts, Media, and Creative Technology. Our focus is to ensure that you have the skills you need to pursue your dreams, and we encourage our students, past and present, to collaborate with each other and achieve great things.
Each year - through the Create Student Awards – our School rewards the incredible achievements and successes of our final year and postgraduate students.
Whatever you choose to study with us, you’ll be mentored and supported by experts. And once you graduate, it won’t end there. You’ll join a thriving alumni network across Greater Manchester and beyond, meaning you’ll be supported professionally and personally whenever you need it.
Our MediaCityUK facilities are industry-standard, so much so that they are used by our industry partners themselves.
When you study with us on this Animation degree, you’ll learn from our experienced tutors and demonstrators, who’ll teach you how to use our facilities. These include:
TV studios - our TV studios have been used by the BBC for a variety of broadcasts, such as the Olympics and Christmas music concerts, and they’re equipped with the same audio-visual systems used by the ITV and Sky too.
The studios have green screen facilities as well as basic props so you can design and build sets for a range of projects.
Green screen facilities - these allow you to create effects such as those you see on weather reports and incorporates a camera system and 3D graphics software.
Audio production - we’ve got all the hardware and software you need to make sure you’ll know just how to create, edit, mix and master audio for film and television. Our main studios feature Avid S6 consoles – a similar set up to those at our MediaCityUK neighbours, such as Dock10 and ITV.
MakerSpace - bring your designs to life using 3D scanners and printers, power tools and a range of art and craft materials.
Stop-frame studio – we have animation booths equipped with industry standard lighting, grip, software and cameras and learn just what it takes to make your ideas and storyboards a reality.
Computer Suites and Editing Studios – our computer suites are equipped with the latest industry-standard software. You’ll learn from our experienced demonstrators, who’ll teach you the skills needed to turn your concepts into a reality.
Equipment stores - cameras, lighting kits and mics – they’re all essential to media production. But don’t worry, you won’t need to spend thousands of pounds to get the set-up you need – we have a fully equipped equipment store available for you to use and take out industry-standard kit.
Explore our Creative Digital Media and Gaming facilities at the University of Salford.
What about after uni?
When you graduate you will be equipped for a range of careers in the animation industry as well as TV and film.
Recent graduates have started their careers in a variety of areas including animation at local studios, freelance animation for industry and art organisations, storyboarding and pre-production/conceptual art, animation for games, visuals for music videos and independent film companies.
Graduates from this course could go on to study on our MA Media Production courses, including:
MA Media Production: Animation
MA Media Production: Children's TV Production
Our students have worked with the BBC, ITV, Studio Distract and Manchester International Festival and have visited specialists such as Mackinnon and Saunders, an animation production company and puppet makers.
What you need to know
As part of your application, we will need to see a portfolio of work to provide the opportunity for you to share your creative practice with us.
Any offers will be conditional upon our subject team having the opportunity to review your portfolio, and we look forward to viewing your work.
Once you’ve made your application to study with us, we’ll contact you and let you know the next steps.
English Language and Maths at grade C/level 4 or above (or equivalent).
You must fulfil our GCSE entry requirements as well as one of the requirements listed below.
UCAS tariff points
96 - 112 points
96 - 112 points
BTEC National Diploma
Access to HE
Pass level 3 QAA approved Access Diploma (to include Art)
96 - 112 points
Irish Leaving Certificate
96 - 112 points
Pass in Diploma of at least 73-78% overall in relevant subject
We accept qualifications from all around the world. Find your country to see a full list of entry requirements.
If you are an international student and not from a majority English speaking country, you will need IELTS 6.0 with no element below 5.5.
We also accept a range of other English language qualifications. If you do not have the English language requirements, you could take our Pre-Sessional English course. Or if you have finished high school in your country but don’t have the qualifications to gain entry to this course, you can take our International Foundation Year as a pathway to this degree.
Salford Alternative Entry Scheme (SAES)
We welcome applications from students who may not meet the stated entry criteria but who can demonstrate their ability to pursue the course successfully. Once we have received your application we will assess it and recommend it for SAES if you are an eligible candidate.
There are two different routes through the Salford Alternative Entry Scheme and applicants will be directed to the one appropriate for their course. Assessment will either be through a review of prior learning or through a formal test.
|Type of study||Year||Fees|
|Full-time home||2023/24||£9,250per year|
|Full-time international||2023/24||£16,380per year|
You should also consider further costs which may include books, stationery, printing, binding and general subsistence on trips and visits.
Scholarships for International Students
If you are a high-achieving international student, you may be eligible for one of our scholarships. Explore our international scholarships.
All set? Let's apply
Course ID W615