• Study mode: Full Time
  • Location: High Wycombe
  • Duration: Three Years
  • Start Date: September 2020

Course Overview

A skilled animator can create the illusion of real life. Explore acting, expressiveness, and have fun bringing a character to life in a physical space. Soon you’ll be captivating audiences with your characters. This course has been designed in collaboration with Creative Media Skills who are based at Pinewood Studios, which is where you will spend time studying as part of your degree.

Because Creative Media Skills are housed within the world famous Pinewood Studios they are in the thick of the film making industry. They are on top of the latest developments and have many links to current professionals, so they’ll make sure you learn the skills employers are looking for. Your lecturers at the University will also be experienced industry professionals and experts in their fields, bringing you access to both deep and current understanding of the industry as it stands today.

On this course you’ll have access to the right tools to kick-start your career in animation.  We have purpose bought, up-to-date hardware and use industry standard software. Our creative briefs will give you opportunities to make your portfolio shine and stand out from the crowd.

  • Get the best of university and industry with classes on our High Wycombe Campus and in the CMS facilities at Pinewood Studios
  • Study on a completely practical course – we focus on what you need to know for a career in animation; you’ll keep a reflective journal, and give presentations like the professionals
  • Small class sizes mean plenty of contact with your tutors
  • The industry is all about teamwork; you will learn about industry pipelines and where animators can fit in
  • Use our industry standard equipment, including a VR lab, renderfarm, and motion capture studio

Top choice for Animation and VFX award badge

Bucks New University was named one of Full Rotation's top UK universities to kickstart a career in Animation or VFX.

More placements, more choices

Bucks is a Placements Plus university. So, whatever degree you do, you can be sure there’ll be plenty of industry-relevant opportunities on offer, to help you get into your chosen field.

We’ll also prepare you for work beforehand, with special skills for work training, further boosting your CV, and building skills employers will value. In recognition of the value we place on these skills we have incorporated this experience into your study time.

Placements Plus is all about helping you get some valuable experience under your belt while you’re a student. To increase your choices later, and help you get the graduate-level job you want.

Course Details


You’ll begin the course learning the fundamentals of the animation and visual effects industry. You will learn to animate in a believable manner and get a feel for pre-visualisatin and layout. You will also learn how to create detailed models from scratch through to lighting and rendering. You’ll start off on campus, and spend a number of days visiting our connections at CMS, based Pinewood Studios. These will both inspire you and help you understand what the industry of today is really up to.

In year two, you’ll focus entirely on animation, learning about 3D character acting, stopmotion and developing your own experimental style. You’ll visit the studios for masterclasses and feedback on projects. By year three, you’ll be there more frequently, working with industry professionals and developing your network.

We’ve structured the course to build up your skills during your three years here. If you have no experience of animating, you’ll get to grips with tools and techniques in your first year, learning to develop great models for yourself. We cover everything you’ll need to create realistic scenes and believable, engaging characters.

Throughout the course you’ll explore different aspects of the animator’s role. You’ll create stop motion sequences and experiment with different styles of animation. By your final year, you’ll be working on a production with your classmates, specialising in a role that interests you.

Experienced lecturers and industry experts

Our Bucks teaching team have years of experience working in the industry and training future generations of animators.

But on this course, you won’t just have one teaching team – you’ll have a whole other set of experts to learn from at Creative Media Skills, based at Pinewood Studios.

We’ll arrange guest lectures and put you to work on live projects. With the busy nature of the studios, and London being so close, there will be a constant flow of talented animators for you to learn from.

A practical course for creative people

The animation industry needs strong creative people with good team working skills. So we focus on the quality of your work and, along with our own detailed feedback, we will encourage you to learn to self-evaluate and self-improve through the use of reflective journals.

Because exams are not very useful in assessing the artistic capability of an animator, we focus on portfolio-based coursework instead. To be well prepared for the demanding professional world, you will need to work really hard on your skills throughout the course.

The latest and greatest tools

We’ve made sure you have access to industry-standard equipment. Most of our 3D animation is currently done in Maya. For modelling you’ll also have access to ZBrush, Marvellous Designer and a range of other pieces of sofware commonly used in industry. We review the list every year.

We have the latest equipment used in many films, TV shows and commercials. A motion capture studio, renderfarm, and even VR facilities for this increasingly important area in delivery and development. You’ll have access to a stop motion studio and up-to-date camera equipment.

What are the course entry requirements?

A typical offer will include GCSE Maths and English at grade C/4 or above and a UCAS Tariff score of 80-96. A minimum of two full A-levels (or equivalent) is required. Every application is considered on an individual basis.

You are also required to attend an interview.

For further details of our international English entry requirements, please visit our international pages.

Applicants who do not meet the minimum requirements for the three-year undergraduate programme, or those who do not feel fully prepared for a degree course, can apply for a four-year programme including a Foundation Year; find out more.

Course Modules

Module Map

This module map provides a list of the modules that make up your course. You can find more information about how your course is structured on our Academic Advice section.

The modules available on this course are as follows:

Year One Modules

  • 3D Modelling & Pipeline
  • Texturing & Look Development
  • Lighting & Rendering
  • Animation Principles & The Moving Figure
  • Previz & Layout
  • Rigging

Year Two Modules

  • Character Animation & Performance
  • Creature Animation
  • Muscle Rigging
  • Stop Motion
  • Motion Capture
  • Animation Styles

Year Three Modules

  • Industry Production Project
  • Portfolio Piece
  • Creative Production Project
  • Showreel


How much does it cost

Full Time Home and EU, Academic Year 2020-2021: £9,250 per year

Full Time International, Academic Year 2020-2021: £12,500 per year

Most courses will involve some additional costs that are not covered by your fees.

You could benefit from financial support through a bursary or scholarship during your time as a student. For more details visit our financial support, bursaries and scholarships section.

Questions about fees?

Contact our Enquiries Team:
0330 123 2023

How do I apply?

For application details please visit bucks.ac.uk/applying-to-bucks


What are my career prospects

Because we put such an emphasis on real-world skills, you’ll be working on your career from day one. The course is based around the film and TV industry, but don’t let that limit your ambitions. Your skills will be valuable in any animation role, including comercials, games, web design, or any other situation that requries an animator.

Past animation and visual effects Bucks New University students have gone on to careers with small independents and big name studios, including:

  • DNeg
  • Framestore
  • TT Games. (Warner Bros)
  • Mediatonic Games
  • FST.

The Big Deal

At Bucks, we believe in putting our students first. That’s why our Students’ Union have developed our exclusive ‘Big Deal’ package. We’re the only university in the UK to offer free access to such a diverse and exciting range of activities – all to enrich the university experience.

We offer FREE events and entertainment, additional skills workshops, sports, recreational activities, societies and paid student rep schemes. All at one of the top 10 Students’ Unions in the UK.  It’s a big deal!

We are proud that our exciting and dynamic students’ union is ranked in the top three in the UK for representing student’s academic interests (NSS 2020). It’s a big deal!

Want to find out more? Visit our Students’ Union page or watch our video.