• For Entry: September
  • Duration: 12 months
  • School: Art & Design
  • Study Mode: Full Time

This course gives animators, artists, designers and those with associated experience an opportunity to apply and extend their skills and discourse within both animation and VFX

Are you interested in exploring new ways of communicating through visual storytelling? Do you want to extend your creative skills in the digital domain?

The MSc Animation & VFX at Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art & Design is an exciting Masters course which allows a much broader interpretation of traditional animation. Digital animation techniques have allowed us to visualise the world around us from the farthest reaches of space to the darkest depths of the oceans.

With the increasing appetite for fantastic stories and images there has never been a better opportunity for animators, artists and designers to develop new ways of communicating different stories. Using 2D and 3D computer animation, practitioners are shaping our knowledge and understanding in areas as diverse as digital visual effects, medical imaging, architecture, environmental design, product design and film making.

A unique opportunity to develop your own visual practice

This course offers dedicated 2D, 3D and visual effects facilities providing you with a unique opportunity to develop your own visual practice. Our new Visual FX studio is one of only two within a UK university.

Animation & VFX MSc

How you will be taught

This course relies strongly on the idea of self-managed study, with students working autonomously. However, help and support is provided by our expert staff throughout your studies.

Throughout the programme and on completion students enter their work in national and international competitions and animation festivals in the UK and overseas. Developing the research potential and impact of our postgraduate students is integral to our vision for research. Research focused students are encouraged to participate in research conferences, presentations, colloquia and networks. Guidance is given for those who wish to continue to PhD.

How you will be assessed

  • course work
  • team project work
  • exploratory practical work
  • finalised practical work
  • written work

What you will study

The Masters is a one-year programme, taught over three semesters. Core modules and optional modules provide a balanced curriculum.  Masters students are required to attain 180 credits which comprise seven modules, as follows:

Semester 1 (1 x 40 credit module  1 x 20 credit module)

  • Exploring Practice - enhances understanding of the process and skills associated with 2D and 3D animation production, problem solving and creative practice. (40 Credits)
  • Research Skills & Methods - refine your personal programme of research and development, to inform the planning and execution of your personal project. (20 Credits)

One week at the beginning of the first semester is dedicated to induction and diagnostic testing to establish where support is required, especially for international students.

Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art & Design operates a Reading Week during week 6 of the first semester. Reading Week is designated as five days where there are no timetabled taught classes. However, all students are expected to carry out either assigned work or self-directed work during this period. All University facilities are open during Reading Week with students expected to attend the University as usual.

Semester 2 (1 x 40 credit module 1 x 20 credit module)

  • Advanced Production - extend your existing skills in 2D and 3D digital computer animation. This module will help you to apply these skills to your personal project.
  • Going Live - you will work on a live industry initiated project called Going Live. This experience will replicate the studio experience with a professional brief set by an external production studio. Industry partners have included The Mill and Axis Animation.

Semester 3 (60 credits)

  • A&V - Realisation, final 60 credit semester will result in you creating a substantial body of work and taking part in a public exposition

You can choose to leave with a postgraduate diploma with 120 credits, or a postgraduate certificate with 60 credits.

"I was searching for a course which would help me create original work as well as developing skills required by the industry. From teaching me industry standard compositing tools such as Nuke, to providing support in the developing, filming and post-producing of my short films, the Animation & VFX course gave me all the support I needed. "

Matt Cameron,
Paint & Roto at Industrial Light & Magic and Director at Flyboy Creative

Animation & VFX MSc

Mitigating Circumstances by Kieran Duncan, Tom Paxton & Stephanie Flynn - Nominated for the BAFTA New Talent Awards 2015

Bouy directed by Olly Blake - Winner Best Combined Animation Dingle 2016

Prospects for graduates exist in research and within the VFX, 3D and 2D animation and visualisation industries. Specific roles include 3D VFX artists, compositor, character designer, technical director, environments designer, character animator, self-employment and entrepreneurship will also offer potential career opportunities. Academia careers including research assistant on funded projects and PhD study.

The MSc Animation and VFX course allowed me to gain an extensive understanding of the industry and the tools and skills needed to embark on a career in CG and concept art. I was encouraged to extend my learning beyond the classroom and explore the art of film making, music and various other art and design practices to broaden my knowledge. But more importantly, the course allowed me to work with a group of very talented people from various artistic backgrounds – all of whom I was able to learn from and embark on various projects with.

Thank you DJCAD! #VeryHappyPostgrad

Bimpe Alliu
Art Assistant – Industrial Light & Magic (London)

The reason I choose to study [MSc Animation & VFX] was to explore various VFX techniques in my work and gain ties with industry professionals. I had a great experience and found the programme to be an ideal springboard into the VFX industry. Upon graduating from the masters programme at Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art & Design I successfully gained employment at The Mill London as a 3D artist.
View Graeme's website.

Graeme Turnbull
3D artist, The Mill London

We have enjoyed establishing a working relationship with Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art & Design over the the last 2 years, and have found great graduate talent via the mentoring scheme and Going Live module. Axis hope to continue to build on this and more, in the future.

Jill Wallace
Producer, Axis Animation

Year of Entry: 2016

A first or second class honours degree in an appropriate discipline, although applicants with other qualifications or relevant professional experience will also be considered.
You will need to submit a showreel of your work. This will need to be around 1-2 minutes in duration and uploaded to YouTube or Vimeo. You will also need to upload a portfolio of up to 15 images.

 EU and International qualifications

English Language Requirement

IELTS Overall 6.0
Listening 5.5
Reading 5.5
Writing 6.0
Speaking 5.5

 Equivalent grades from other test providers


English Language Programmes

We offer Pre-Sessional and Foundation Programme(s) throughout the year. These are designed to prepare you for university study in the UK when you have not yet met the language requirements for direct entry onto a degree programme.

 Discover our English Language Programmes

The fees you pay will depend on your fee status. Your fee status is determined by us using the information you provide on your application.

 Find out more about fee status

Fee statusFees for students starting 2016/17
Scottish and EU students £4,500 per year of study
See our scholarships for UK/EU applicants
Rest of UK students £4,500 per year of study
See our scholarships for UK/EU applicants
Overseas students (non-EU) £12,950 per year of study
See our scholarships for international applicants
Fee statusFees for students starting 2017/18
Scottish and EU students £5,950 per year of study
See our scholarships for UK/EU applicants
Rest of UK students £5,950 per year of study
See our scholarships for UK/EU applicants
Overseas students (non-EU) £14,950 per year of study
See our scholarships for international applicants

Scottish Funding Council (SFC) Funding

This is an initiative from the Scottish Funding Council (SFC) designed to support key sectors in the Scottish economy to develop a high-level skills base, the University of Dundee is pleased to offer 60 fully-funded places to eligible students across ten taught postgraduate programmes.


Only those UK/EU students who have been resident in Scotland or the EU for the preceding three years and not for the purposes of study are eligible for this funding.


This funding covers the full tuition fee cost for your chosen programme of study.  You can study one year full time or two years part time on selected programmes.

How to apply

There is no formal application to complete, when you apply for your chosen programme please indicate on the UKPASS application form that you would like to be considered for the SFC funded places.   If you have not indicated this scholarship on your UKPASS application if you meet the eligibility criteria your application will automatically be assessed for this funded place.

Funded places will be awarded competitively to applicants with the strongest applications in the judgement of the programme leaders. This will principally be based on a student's prior academic performance, but equivalent work experience may also be taken into account. 

Postgraduate Students Allowances Scheme (PSAS)

Scottish and EU applicants for this course may be eligible for a PSAS tuition fee loan

You apply for this course via the UCAS Postgraduate (UKPASS) website which is free of charge. You can check the progress of your application online and you can also make multiple applications.

You'll need to upload relevant documents as part of your application. Please read the How to Apply page before you apply to find out about what you'll need.

  Degree Course Code
Apply NowAnimation & VFX MScP044674

Course Contact

Mr Phillip Vaughan
Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art and Design
+44 (0)1382 388070/85296

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