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

MSc Animation & VFX

  • Entry: September
  • Duration: 12 months
  • Study Abroad: No
  • Study mode: Full Time
  • UCAS: P044674
TEF Gold - Teaching Excellence Framework

The MSc in Animation & VFX is a blend of creative and technical visual storytelling. We focus on teaching the professional production pipelines that you will utilise in this industry. You will engage with high-end production techniques and values, and you will create a narrative based film, showreel/breakdown reel, as part of your final expo. We also regard research, development and intellectual rigour very highly. You will investigate your practice, and reflect on your own creative journey through the duration of the course.

We have great connections to the animation, film, television, video-games and comics industries, and many of our graduates have gone on to work around the world, for some of the top studios and franchises. Other students have pursued further academic advancement, by continuing on to a PhD or work in education.

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.

YouTube Poster Image (Cached)
YouTube Poster Image (Cached)

Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF)

The University of Dundee has been given a Gold award – the highest possible rating – in the 2017 Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF).

Read more about the Teaching Excellence Framework

TEF Gold - Teaching Excellence Framework

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 taught over three semesters. Core modules and optional modules provide a balanced curriculum. Masters students need to attain 180 credits which comprise seven modules, as follows:

Semester 1

Number of credits: 20

This module will introduce you to methods used in research and develop your skills, including the reflection, communication and critical evaluation of your work. The module should be relevant to you whether your focus and future career aspirations lie within professional creative practice, employment in industry or whether your aim is to pursue an academic career through progressing on to higher research degrees, such as MPhil or PhD.

Number of credits: 40

Self-motivated study supported by tutorial supervision and group critical debate. Each student pursues a personal study path initially defined by their course of study proposal. The focus is on pre-production work, such as script development, conceptual art, storyboarding, animatics and a reflective production blog. Technical workshops on animation and visual effects production pipelines are also covered.

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

Number of credits: 40

This module seeks to establish self-motivated study leading to the production development of a project. The skills required for autonomous learning, such as self-evaluation, analytical and critical awareness and their application to an individual learning plan are essential to achieve this synergy. Advanced elective Masterclasses are offered and the continued development of an individual Programme of Study proposal is supported by tutorial supervision, reflection on practice and group critical debate.

Number of credits: 20

Going Live operates as a ‘live’ project simulation through material provided either by an industrial collaborator or a research brief. Students will work in teams to simulate the professional environment in the production of their own team project. The project will be peer reviewed as well as being presented to a professional audience.

Semester 3

Number of credits: 60

The aim of this module is to facilitate the realisation of an ambitious and resolved body of work. Students are required to plan and execute appropriate modes of presentation of the work and its supporting documentation of research and development, as well as a final film output. Culminating in a public exposition and studio tour, the module enables students to develop their professional and communication skills.

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
YouTube Poster Image (Cached)
YouTube Poster Image (Cached)

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.

Bimpe Alliu

The MSc Animation & 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

United Kingdom

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

Amit Dev

The MSc Animation & VFX course allowed me to further broaden my knowledge within the discipline.

It taught me the right tools that I needed to know and how to utilise them in a professional manner. By using the connections it has with major VFX houses in the UK I was able to land a job and take my first steps into the industry. I honestly don't think I would be where I am today without the help of the course and the tutors.

United Kingdom

Amit Dev
Junior Modeler Industrial Light and Magic (Star Wars: Rogue One)

YouTube Poster Image (Cached)

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

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 2019-20
Scottish and EU students £7,300 per year of study
Rest of UK students £7,300 per year of study
International students (non-EU) £17,275 per year of study
Fee statusFees for students starting 2020-21
Scottish and EU students £7,650 per year of study
See our scholarships for UK/EU applicants
Rest of UK students £7,650 per year of study
See our scholarships for UK/EU applicants
International students (non-EU) £18,150 per year of study
See our scholarships for International applicants

Tuition fees for Overseas (non-EU) students will increase by no more than 5% per year for the length of your course.

Additional costs

You may incur additional costs in the course of your education at the University over and above tuition fees in an academic year.

Examples of additional costs:

One off costOngoing costIncidental cost
Graduation feeStudio feeField trips

*these are examples only and are not exhaustive.

Additional costs:

  • may be mandatory or optional expenses
  • may be one off, ongoing or incidental charges and certain costs may be payable annually for each year of your programme of study
  • vary depending on your programme of study
  • are payable by you and are non-refundable and non-transferable

Unfortunately, failure to pay additional costs may result in limitations on your student experience.

For additional costs specific to your course please speak to our Enquiry Team.

You apply for this course through our Direct Application System, which is free of charge. You can find out more information about making your application when you click Apply Now below

  Degree Course Code
Apply nowAnimation & VFX MScP044674

Course Contact

Mr Phillip Vaughan
Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art and Design
+44 (0)1382 385296

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