You are a creative storyteller with an obsessive passion for animation. You want to develop your technical skills and you love working with the latest technology. If you think this applies to you, then you should apply for this course.
This degree is an amalgamation of animation and illustration. When we created the course we spoke to our contacts in the industry and asked them what the course should cover. As well as both 2D and 3D animation, the industry wants people who can draw… and they seem to be in short supply.
For that reason, in the first year you will gain a solid grounding in illustration for animation. Using light boxes and rostrum cameras you will explore the traditional methods of animation, including the twelve principles of animation that have guided generations of animators. Creative thinking, storyboarding and story structure are all covered and within the first year you will put everything into practise with your own 30 second traditional animation.
In the second and third year, while continuing to develop your illustration skills, you will become proficient into 3D digital animation, covering all the essential skills, including rendering, unwrapping, texturing, digital sculpturing and creating digital 3D worlds.
You will also cover post production techniques including editing, layering, adding music and sound effects. The motion capture module will provide hands on experience of capturing, cleaning and using data captured using the mocap system.
Your third year honours project will become the centrepiece of your portfolio and should reflect the area of animation in which you plan to specialise.
There is also a theory-strand that runs throughout the course covering the historical and contemporary aspects of the subject, culminating in a research dissertation about the animation industry.
By initially focusing on traditional 2D animation skills, the course produces more rounded and proficient 3D digital animators. The illustration aspect to the course makes it stand out from many digital animation degrees and you will enjoy the way we come together as a team to express stories in a fun, creative and exciting way.
As you move on to the digital animation, you will be using the latest versions of industry standard software, like Autodesk Maya, together with the same hardware and workflows that you will find in the real world.
The reason for this is that our tutor team are all industry professionals that either still work within the industry or contribute to current projects on a freelance basis. They feel that it is essential that you understand the way the industry work as soon as you start on the course. This highly experienced team of tutors is augmented with independent animators and professional comic book illustrators who teach specific specialisms and deliver guest lectures.
Finally, all our students really appreciate the smaller class sizes at Futureworks. You can be confident that you will get plenty of one-to-one tutor time when you need it and our students often say that there is a real family feel to the course.
In your final year, we will be focusing on your future career. We will develop your online portfolio and look at ways of marketing yourselves effectively in this predominantly freelance industry. During your time at Futureworks, you will have many opportunities to make career contacts and we will explore ways of exploiting those contacts, finding jobs and interviews and even work on interview technique.
Students who complete this course can expect to find roles as Illustrators, storyboard artists, 2D or 3D animators and other roles within the animation industry. You could end up working freelance, within animation companies, post production facilities or other sectors of the creative industries.
The final qualification for this programme is awarded by the University of Central Lancashire.
As a guide, 20 credits typically represents around 52 hours of tutor contact time (e.g. lectures/workshops/feedback) and 148 hours of self-study time (usually over the course of a semester). These numbers may increase or decrease depending on the nature, length and level of the module, especially towards the end of the course.
We want to do everything we can to prepare you for working within the creative industries, and this is reflected in the way we teach and assess you. The course is mostly coursework based, which means your tutors will be able to give you constant, constructive feedback. Presentation techniques will give you valuable experience of how to present your thoughts and ideas successfully and enthusiastically, so you are better at selling your ideas to prospective employers.
The written work is an important part of assessment and will improve your communication skills. A combination of lectures, tutorials, peer reviews, discussions and observations will ensure that you’re industry ready. External trips will present you with a wider range of topics and the opportunity to expand your portfolio, whilst guest speakers will help you to understand the world of games, how it works and how you can make your mark on it.
Your primary location of study will be at our Riverside Campus, which is located on New Bailey Street in Manchester. As part of your course, some of your lessons will take place at our Futureworks Studios facility located in MediaCityUK, a few miles from the city centre.
Futureworks recognises that the skills, competencies and contribution of its staff are vital to the delivery of high quality Higher Education. All programmes are managed by a dedicated Programme Leader and team of experienced tutors, and our excellent links with industry employers mean you'll have access to exciting guest lectures and fantastic opportunities to gain experience on real-world projects.
Admissions requirements, course content and delivery can be subject to change to enable Futureworks to deliver a better quality of educational experience. Applicants are encouraged to check information on our relevant course pages from time to time, particularly before submitting any application for their academic year of study.
Students on degree courses at Futureworks are required to attend lessons according to the course timetable. Futureworks operates a Student Engagement Policy which has been developed as part of Futureworks' commitment to providing a supportive learning environment which enables all students who have chosen to study with us to achieve their full potential. The full Engagement Policy can be downloaded here.
Students are expected to pay their tuition fees (whether via a student loan and/or direct payment) on-time and in accordance with their Finance Agreement. If you fail to make payments according to the agreed schedule you may be suspended from your course until any outstanding fees are paid.
Students are liable for 25% of the course fees when they enrol in Term 1 (and stay after the 2 week change of mind period). If students attend in Term 2 they are liable for 50% of the course fees, and 100% if they attend in Term 3. Students will have a 2 week period at the beginning of the course where they will not be liable for fees if they leave the University.
If a student needs to retake any modules part-time, there is an additional tuition fee of £1127.50 per 20 credit module.
For it's Higher Education courses, Futureworks operates a robust three-stage complaints procedure which incorporates both the University of Central Lancashire and the Office of the Independent Adjudicator. The Complaints Procedure is intended to provide an accessible, fair and straightforward system which ensures an effective, prompt and appropriate response. The full procedure can be downloaded here.
As a provider of Higher Education, our commitment to you is important and we therefore need regulations, policies and codes of conduct, which are designed to protect and maintain both academic quality and your rights and responsibilities as Futureworks students.
You need to be aware of their existence and their relevance to you and your studies. Alongside this, you may also have other separate arrangements with external organisations, such as the Student Loans Company, which you will need to ensure that you fully understand.
UCLan's academic regulations ensure that all students are treated in a fair way – from the moment you are accepted on to a course, through to assessments and the qualification that you are awarded.
You can find out more about UCLan's general policy documents, which together form the student contract, the basis of the contractual relationship between you, Futureworks and the University, here.
'Unfair means' includes copying the work of others (plagiarism) and passing it off as your own, and other forms of cheating in assessments. The use of unfair means is taken very seriously by Futureworks, and if you are suspected of using unfair means, you could be subject to disciplinary action under the Futureworks disciplinary procedure which may jeopardise your status as a student.
You have the right to cancel and withdraw within 14-days from the date your contract with Futureworks is entered into (the day the you accepted our offer of a place on the course). To cancel your application, complete this form and return it to: Admissions, Futureworks, Riverside, Manchester, M3 5FS.
Below you'll find a few examples of the work produced by our BA (Hons) Digital Animation with Illustration students whilst on the course.
Fees for the 2017/18 academic year are £6,765 per year.
You may be eligible for a student loan to cover most of the cost of your fees. Click here to find out more about tuition fee loans.
Alternatively, call us on 0161 214 4600 and speak to our admissions team to find out more.