Animation BDes

  • Entry: September
  • Duration: 3 years
  • Study Abroad: Yes
  • Study Mode: Full Time
  • UCAS: W280
TEF Gold - Teaching Excellence Framework

Animation at Dundee

We offer a wide range of opportunities for contemporary animators. These include narrative storytelling, visual effects and visualisation.

Image by Birte Niedermeyer

The BDes (Hons) Animation course is for students who are passionate about becoming animation professionals. Our ethos is to echo current industry studio practices as much as possible. The atmosphere here in the animation studio is vibrant and friendly, buzzing with creative energy and hard work.

Drawing is of utmost importance. All of our students attend weekly life drawing classes and keep observational sketchbooks. What makes our course distinct is how our students develop individually as specialists within the animation industry, while working collaboratively to produce short student-led animated films.

Our final year students have confidence in their own abilities in specialized areas of Preproduction (concept art, character design, etc.), Production (2D and 3D digital character animation, 3D modelling, etc.) and Post production (compositing, VFX, etc.) as well as generalist and transferable animation production skills. They work towards industry-ready showreels that best evidence their two nominated specialist skills.

Cutting-edge facilities

You will have access to our state-of-the-art facilities. These include Maya labs, an animation studio, rostrum camera, and a green screen visual effects studio.

At the end of the course you will be able to:

  • use 2D and 3D animation skills
  • use the latest technology to create narrative stories & visual effects 
  • coherently research, defend and structure your chosen subject
YouTube Poster Image (Cached)

Who should study Animation?

 You are:

  • creative
  • technologically motivated
  • artistic
  • a good communicator
  • an observer
  • a team player

You want to:

  • improve observational and life drawing skills
  • develop 2D & 3D skills
  • learn how to express your creative vision through animation
  • learn the skills required to enter a field with exciting career prospects

Communication Design

Animation is one of three courses that comprise the communication design programme. The full list is animation, graphic design and illustration. As well as studying animation, you will engage with generic communication design issues.

We develop agile and flexible graduate designers.  These professionals have a broad understanding of communication design coupled with expertise in their chosen subject.

More about Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art & Design

For further examples of student work, staff profiles and news visit the Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art & Design website.

YouTube Poster Image (Cached)

Animation Showreel from the students at Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art & Design, University of Dundee.

The following are the minimum, up-to-date entry requirements.

Courses starting 2018 and 2019
Qualification Level 1 Entry Advanced Entry to Level 2
SQA Higher/Advanced Higher Via our Art & Design (General Foundation) BA/Bdes course BB at Advanced Higher, including art and design or a related subject and an appropriate literate subject, plus BB at Higher in different subjects including one other subject outside art and design
GCE A-Level Via our Art & Design (General Foundation) BA/Bdes course ABB including art and design or a related subject, an appropriate literate subject and one other subject outside art and design
BTEC Via our Art & Design (General Foundation) BA/Bdes course A recognised Foundation Course or a relevant BTEC Level 3 Extended Diploma with DDM
International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma Via our Art & Design (General Foundation) BA/Bdes course 34 points including 6, 6, 5 at Higher Level to include art and design or a related subject, an appropriate literate subject and one other subject outside art and design
Irish Leaving Certificate (ILC)
Graduate Entry
SQA Higher National (HNC/HND) Via our Art & Design (General Foundation) BA/Bdes course A recognised Foundation Course or a relevant HND with BB in the Graded Units
Scottish Baccalaureate Via our Art & Design (General Foundation) BA/Bdes course Pass with BB at Advanced Higher
SWAP Access
Advanced Diploma Via our Art & Design (General Foundation) BA/Bdes course Grade B with ASL A-levels in appropriate subjects at AB
Welsh Baccalaureate Via our Art & Design (General Foundation) BA/Bdes course Pass with A-levels in appropriate subjects at AB
European Baccalaureate Via our Art & Design (General Foundation) BA/Bdes course 75% overall with 7.5 in an Art & Design subject and 7.5 in a literate subject
Other Qualifications Foundation course in Art & Design
Notes All applicants must also submit a comprehensive portfolio of art/design/creative work and may be invited to attend a portfolio submission event. In some cases an interview may also be required. All qualifications should include a relevant art & design subject & a literate subject, and will be considered on an individual basis.

 EU and International qualifications

English Language Requirement

For non EU students

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

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

Classical animation exercises in Level 2 supported by acting classes, lectures, workshops and software training for 2D/3D digital animation helps instil the principles of character animation.

Level 3 students study cinematography and visual storytelling, with drawing, software skills and elective modules such as Comic Art, Graphic Novels and VFX. They develop ideas for final year films, and experience animation production through group films.

Projects in Levels 2 and 3 prepare students for the final year through recognition and development of their creative strengths.

Level 4 students refine their specialist skills in group and individual projects, with weekly life drawing classes.

How you will be taught

The programme of study involves projects and workshops designed to help you, through experiential learning, to understand the fundamental skills of animation. Different approaches of teaching and learning are used including:

  • Regular seminars
  • Practical lectures
  • Studio demonstrations
  • Individual tutorials
  • Group critiques
  • Peer review

How you will be assessed

Your progress is monitored with structured formal reviews and assessments. At Level 4 a team of internal and external examiners conduct the final degree examination.

What you will study

Level 1 

Students can enter Animation after successfully completing our Art and Design (General Foundation) course (apply for course WW12) or on successful completion of a recognised Foundation Course or equivalent (apply or course W210). This is normal for many art and design courses.

In the Art and Design (General Foundation) course you will learn the core values which will enrich and expand your personal visual language, preparing you nicely for a further 3 years in Animation.

Level 2

  • Introduction to Fundamental Animation Skills
  • Introduction to 2D and 3D Computer Animation
  • Introduction to Production Equipment
  • Creative Research Methodology
  • Contextual Studies

Level 2 of the programme is structured to provide a broad foundation of knowledge and experience. You will be introduced to relevant equipment and varied media used in the production process for your choice of specialism. Projects and assignments help you develop the relevant learning, research and technical skills, exploring creativity and individual aptitude through each process.

Level 3

  • Personal Programme of Study
  • Research and Development
  • Professional Production Practice
  • Professional Production Practice
  • Professional Production Practice
  • Professional Production Practice

Level 3 is designed to encourage experimentation, cross course projects, exploring ideas and making use of appropriate technical methods. All students prepare and present a programme of personal project work that reflects the research and development of ideas. During this year you will undertake a series of assignments designed to develop good professional practice necessary to succeed in your chosen career.

Level 4

  • Personal Programme of Research
  • Dissertation
  • Degree Show Exposition

In the final year - Level 4 - you will organise and present a personal programme of study that will form the major part of your submission for the Honours degree examination. You will be encouraged to integrate all aspects of your research with a written thesis and the production of your final outcomes. You will produce a body of work that will demonstrate a mature visual understanding of materials, methods and processes required to transform ideas into reality.

Our graduates are known for their professional team working skills, creativity and technical proficiency.

They have been employed all over the world in a variety of specialist positions such as concept artists, animators, storyboard artists, directors, VFX artists, modellers, riggers, lighting artists, etc, in the animation, games and VFX sectors, and have credits on such films as: The Lego Movie; The Amazing Spiderman; Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2; Inception; The Illusionist; Guardians of the Galaxy;  such games as:  Assassin’s Creed;  The Last of Us; Grand Theft Auto; and animated TV shows for the Disney Channel, Nickelodeon and CBeebies. 

Carolo Kasongo, Freelance Junior Character Artist for Axis Animation

"Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art & Design introduced and pointed out the tools I needed to get into the art industry and also taught me how hard I needed to work to get there. Additionally Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art & Design trained me in the importance of being able to work on a team and alongside others on a regular basis. The animation course was a good transition from student to professional work ethics, and I’m still benefiting from learning that early on in my career."

Meg Park, Freelance Character Designer and Visual Development Artist

"Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art & Design's Animation course gave me a great opportunity to try out each area of animation production and helped me figure out exactly which role I wanted to pursue as a career. It also provided me with a great amount of freedom to develop my own ideas and skills. I'm currently working as a freelance Character Designer and Visual Development Artist. Some of the studios I've collaborated with include Paramount Pictures, Disney and Nickelodeon. I also illustrate children's books.See more of Meg's work."

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

Fees for students starting 2019-20

Fee categoryFees for students starting 2019-20
Scottish and EU students £1,820 per year of study
Rest of UK students £9,250 per year, for a maximum of 3 years, even if you are studying a four year degree. See our scholarships for rest of UK applicants.
Overseas students (non-EU) £17,275 per year of study

Scottish and EU students can apply to the Students Award Agency for Scotland (SAAS) to have tuition fees paid by the Scottish Government.

Rest of the UK students can apply for financial assistance, including a loan to cover the full cost of the tuition fees, from the Student Loans Company.

Tuition fees for Overseas (non-EU) students are guaranteed not to increase by more than 3% 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.

Students applying for Animation must successfully complete our 1 year Art and Design (General Foundation) course. In this instance you should apply using the UCAS code WW12.

Alternatively, if you have already completed a recognised foundation course or equivalent elsewhere then apply directly to Animation.

Application Process

You will be prompted by our Admissions Team to submit your digital portfolio (and answer a few questions in respect of your interest in studying art & design at Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art & Design), via the University of Dundee Applicant Portal, thereafter, if required, we may contact you to arrange an interview in person or via Skype.

We have more information on your portfolio in our How to Apply section.

If you require further information on any aspect of the application consideration process or the undergraduate programme in general, please do not hesitate to contact us.

Unistats data set (formerly the Key Information Set (KIS) Unistats data set - formerly the Key Information Set (KIS)

  Degree UCAS Code Unistats Data
Apply NowAnimation BDesW280