Undergraduate BA (Hons)

Animation With Foundation Year

Salford School of Arts, Media and Creative Technology




Four year

Next enrolment

September 2024


In a nutshell

The world of arts and media is changing at a phenomenal rate, and there has never been a better time to explore your creativity and the ways in which you can apply it to the world around you.

This Foundation Year provides the perfect opportunity for you to explore the key principles of art, design and media. The course is designed to help you develop your creative skills, it gives you a chance to build a larger portfolio, and provides a good transition period to familiarise yourself with the School of Arts, Media and Creative Technology and life as a student at Salford. You will then be in a strong position to progress onto your chosen degree pathway. 

This is a shared Foundation Year across Art, Design and Media disciplines, and will give you a collaborative environment to explore ideas, take creative risks and become confident independent learners. You will be joining a thriving and creative community. 

The Foundation Year of this four-year programme aims to provide you with an understanding of the subject to allow you to progress on to the BA (Hons) Animation course.

Find out more by signing up to our upcoming Open Day, or if you have any general questions please contact course enquiries.  

You can also find helpful FAQs, learn more about student life at Salford or explore all our Creative Digital Media courses. Continue reading to understand more about this BA (Hons) Animation with Foundation Year course. 

You will:

  • prepare to progress on to your chosen Art, Design and Media degree
  • familiarise yourself with student life
  • develop your creative skills and academic confidence

This is for you if...


You have good visual communication skills


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

Course details

All about the course

The Foundation Year will provide you with a dynamic, exciting and collaborative environment in which you will become a confident self-learner, with the underpinning skills and knowledge to apply in your studies. You will be taught with students interested in progressing to different art, design and media programmes, and study modules that will help you increase your knowledge and understanding of basic art and design as well as other aspects of creative thinking.

Our strong connections within Greater Manchester’s thriving creative sector mean you will also hear from practitioners working in the industry right now about their practice, journey into the world or art and design. 

In the first term you will study modules that introduce the key concepts, skills and knowledge of art and design. Modules will help you to develop your study skills such as note-taking and structuring reports. In the second semester, you will further develop your creative practice and be introduced to the creative industries.

The assignments are flexible enough to allow you to interpret and tailor your submissions to your preferred area of study. Tutors will help and support you, in creating a portfolio of work to progress onto the BA (Hons) Animation here at the University of Salford. You will be integrated slowly into the degree course with opportunities to meet tutors from the BA and by using our shared collaborative facilities within our vibrant New Adelphi building.

This programme prepares you to study on the three-year University undergraduate programme, meaning the duration of your degree is four years in total. The foundation year is not a standalone qualification.

Following the Foundation Year, the three years of BA (Hons) Animation

Once you have progressed onto the Animation degree, 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 MediaCity, you'll be right in the heart of this growing creative sector which is focused on developing adaptive, highly skilled, industry ready creatives.

Foundation year

Digital Media Applications

This module helps you to become more familiar and confident with technology. As well as learning the creative software and photography skills, it will allow you to explore a creative subject of your choice and give you essential time management and research skills.

Creative Methods

This module will enable you to examine the creative and professional practice of others as a way of reflecting on your own practice. You’ll create a range of outcomes to help you build a dedicated portfolio as well as learning about major influences in art and design.

Introduction to the Creative Industries

This module enables you explore the creative industries and its career opportunities, You’ll learn about a range of subjects including responsible design and future trends within your chosen area of art and design. It will allow you to build on the technical skills that you have gained in the first semester to produce a creative publication.

Creative Practice Major Project

This module is designed to allow you to bring together all your prior learning from the previous modules. It gives you the opportunity to propose and create your own brief based on a theme, topic, or issue that you are passionate about. Within this module you’ll be supported by tutors who will guide you in creating in a meaningful body of work that demonstrates confidence in your chosen area. Your work will be exhibited in school of Arts and Media end of year show.

You can choose between the following modules:

Introduction to Creative Coding

This module will provide you with a foundation in computer coding within the context of digital art creation. 

Creative Risk Taking

This module is all about challenging your creative thought and highlighting the importance of creative risk taking. The briefs allow you to produce a range of outcomes that underpin all of the main art and design disciplines as well as giving you the flexibility to interpret the brief to your area of interest.

Year one

Animation 101

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.

Animation Context

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.

Animation 102

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.

Year two

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.

Engagement Challenge

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.

Year three

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.

Research Project

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 lectures, practical workshops or skills sessions, one-to-one tutorials, group seminars and design studio practice.

  • Lectures
  • 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 assessments but the majority will be project based assessment work. 


All our Creative Digital Media and Gaming courses are delivered by the Salford School of Arts, Media and Creative Technology.   

Our School and University have strong and long-lasting relationships with local and national industry.   

Once you graduate with us, you’ll join a thriving alumni community in Greater Manchester and beyond.


Our MediaCity facilities are industry-standard, so much so that they are used by our industry partners themselves.

When you study with us on this marketing and video production 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.

Employment and stats

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

A taste of what you could become

An animator

A storyboard artist

A graphic designer

An illustrator

A web designer

And more...

Career Links

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

This course isn’t suitable for international students. If you are an international student and interested in studying a foundation year, please visit our International Foundation Year course page.

By applying to this Foundation Year you are applying to a four year programme - the shared Foundation Year, followed by a three year art, design or media degree here at University of Salford. The Foundation Year is not a standalone qualification. 


As part of the selection process, you may be invited to submit an online portfolio of your work. You may then be invited for an interview with our tutors. If you are called for interview we will send you further guidance well in advance.

Standard entry requirements


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

64 tariff points from A-levels (or equivalent) to include an Art & Design qualification preferred 

A level

64 tariff points from A-levels (or equivalent) to include an Arts & Design qualification preferred 

T Level

Pass: D or E in core subject. 


BTEC National Diploma

MPP including Art & Design

Access to HE

Pass Level 3 Acess to HE Diploma with 64 points, including Art & Design

Scottish Highers

64 points including Art & Design

Irish Leaving Certificate

64 points including Art & Design 

International Baccalaureate

24 points including Art & Design 

European Baccalaureate

Pass Diploma with 60% overall (relevant subject)

Alternative entry requirements

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.

How much?

Type of study Year Fees
Full-time home 2024/25 £8,250.00 for Foundation Year and £9,250.00 for subsequent years.

Additional costs

You should also consider further costs which may include books, stationery, printing, binding and general subsistence on trips and visits.

Apply now

All set? Let's apply

Enrolment dates

September 2024

September 2025

UCAS information

Course ID W617

Institution S03