Course details

Study options

Full-time: 3 years

UK fee

£9,250 per year (2022/23)

International fee

£14,045 per year (2022/23)

UCAS points

104-112 (September 2023 entry)

UCAS code


Course level



BA (Hons)

Start date



Markeaton Street, Derby Campus

If you do not achieve the typical entry points required, you may want to consider studying this course with foundation year.

View with foundation year optionView with foundation year option

Course description

On our BA (Hons) Animation programme, you’ll experiment with the latest digital software, learn about the principles of animation, produce distinctive animated films and develop the professional awareness you need to launch your career. Working with experienced teaching staff in our newly refurbished, dedicated production studio, you will gain the knowledge and expertise you need through traditional and digital animation practice.

  • You will experiment with a broad range of methods, materials and processes, from traditional hand-drawn animation to 3D digital techniques.
  • The course will encourage you to select from and combine methods in pursuing your individual interests, developing a distinctive approach to animation production and helping you to realise your own unique vision.
  •  You will explore the use of animation for storytelling, social commentary, personal agenda films, documentary, music videos, live performance, broadcasting and advertising. 
  • Employable Graduates – we’re ranked 15th highest amongst all UK universities and 12th for English institutions with 96% of graduates in work or further study within six months of completing their degree: HESA 2016.

Our varied and exciting curriculum includes drawing, sequential image making, 2D and 3D computer animation, character development, narrative, timing, editing, sound and the historical and contemporary context of animation. Animation plays an increasingly important role in the messages that are part of our daily lives, not only on our film and television screens but also on the internet and mobile devices. The programme provides the ideal preparation for many careers in Animation both as an independent filmmaker or part of a wider creative team.

External live projects, competitions and exhibitions will help you get your work noticed and give you experience of professional practice. In your final year, you will produce a final graduation film to send to a range of national and international animation and film festivals. The course features visits from high-profile industry professionals, with a chance to be inspired by leading practitioners such as BAFTA nominated animation studio Fettle, who have visited the course to talk about their practice and to advise our third year students about how to begin a career in the creative industries.

Student Success

After graduating with First-Class Honours Nathan Addai continued studying at Postgraduate level at Derby and has been working on a multi-faceted media project called Mental Roots which focuses on black men’s mental health. Nathan has been using his skills in animation and podcasting to tell real stories of black people’s mental health journeys and has recently completed production for an animated short film. It was funded and supported by Rural Media's New Creatives scheme, and was premiered through BBC Introducing Arts on BBC Four. Watch ‘Mental Roots’ and stay updated with the Mental Roots brand. 

Illustrated hands are turned with their palms facing up and dark veins are shown along the arms and hands with a background of bright yellow with black smears
Nathan Addai, Mental Roots

Below you will find a selection of student work produced on the BA (Hons) Animation programme. To see more student work please visit the course vimeo page- Animation - University of Derby.

BA (Hons) Animation showreel

View Animation showreel video transcript


All Art and Design, Film, Photography and Music courses are based at our Markeaton Street site where industry-standard, purpose built studios and labs provide a modern and creative space for our students. Markeaton Street encompasses Chandos Pole Street which is home to our Fashion and Textiles courses and Britannia Mill is home to Fine Art, Illustration and Interior Design studio spaces. Our Theatre students learn from professionals at the professional producing and learning Derby Theatre in the heart of Derby city centre. 

Markeaton Street is a 15 minute walk from Kedleston Road, and is serviced by regular site shuttle buses.

Where you will learn

You'll have access to a studio for workshops and independent working, as well as a drawing room and animation/3D studio. You can also use the printmaking facilities, which include mono printing, drypoint, screen printing and solar etching. 

Our animation studio is equipped with professional-standard facilities for the production of digital and drawn animation including:

  • Animation light boxes
  • Kaiser rostrum stands
  • Computer labs installed with a range of animation specific software

You’ll use high-specification iMacs and PCs with the latest versions of software used by the industry and be able to hire a range of hardware from our Media Loan Hub, including Wacom Cintiq tablets, HD cameras, digital sound recorders, lighting rigs and green screen set ups.

Our student gallery

Take a look at our gallery of Animation students' work.

What you will study

    Please note that our modules are subject to change - we review the content of our courses regularly, making changes where necessary to improve your experience and graduate prospects.

    Kedleston Road, Derby Campus entrance

    Undergraduate Open Days

    The best way to find out if studying at Derby is right for you is to experience an Open Day. Get a feel for the city and campus, tour our first-class facilities and see where you could be living.

    Book your Undergraduate Open DayBook your Undergraduate Open Day

    How you will learn

    The emphasis throughout the programme is on practical project work which integrates technical, analytical, intellectual and organisational aspects of professional practice. You’ll also enjoy an exciting variety of other teaching and learning methods, including workshop practice, demonstrations, group critiques, field studies, cultural visits, lectures, seminars, individual tutorials, work checks, reports and assignments.  

    As a full-time student, you’ll be expected to attend on a daily basis, according to the schedule of sessions provided by each module leader, with specific periods of time allocated to self-directed study.  As the course progresses, you’ll take more responsibility for independent study as you prepare for and complete your final project. 

    • We offer an Art School experience which involves mixed media approaches and a wide range of visual experiences and workshops. 
    • You’ll be taught in a professional studio environment supported by the latest online teaching and learning facilities. It is the ideal setting for you to experiment with state-of-the-art equipment and resources that are constantly updated to reflect industry standards. 
    • We encourage your independent thinking as you learn all aspects of the production of animation – including sound, lighting and editing. You’ll also have access to our sound and film studios which feature professional level video and sound recording resources, including green screen equipment, to help you develop your personal way of making animation. 
    • You’ll explore not only how to create animations but also how to develop a unique aesthetic and personal voice, building a designer’s approach to animation. Workshops in 3D, drawing, printing and design will challenge your visual approach and feed into your technical understanding. 

    How you will be assessed

    Assessment is based 100% on coursework, which can include a showreel and promotional materials to launch yourself as a professional animator.

    A male sits at a lightbox sketching
    A female with long brown straight hair in a bright blue and pink patterned hoodie sits in a studio space working intently on some animation at a computer with a tablet linked to it
    A male in a black hoodie wearing headphones sits looking down sketching at a desk with colourful work on display on a wall in the background

    People you will meet

    You'll be taught by the following members of our teaching team who each have their own individual specialisms and research interests:  

    Degree Show

    Every year students from the School of Arts celebrate their time at University by showcasing their work at an end of year Degree Show at Markeaton Street and across the City of Derby. The Show usually runs throughout June. It is a fantastic opportunity for potential employers, friends, family, industry and members of the public to see exciting creations by the next generation of artists, designers, creators and makers from Derby. The Show takes the form of:

    • An exhibition at Markeaton Street
    • A Fashion and Textiles catwalk (usually at Derby Theatre)
    • A Film Premiere (usually at QUAD)
    • Theatre Performances (usually at Derby Theatre)
    • A Music show at a variety of venues

    Take a look at highlights from the 2019 Degree Show.

    Personal academic tutoring

    Your personal academic tutor will work with you to help you get the most out of your time at university. Having someone to talk to about your academic progress, your university experience and your professional aspirations is hugely valuable. We want you to feel challenged in your studies, stretched but confident to achieve your academic and professional goals.

    Find out more about personal academic tutoring

    Who will teach you

    Stuart Poynton

    Stuart Poynton
    Programme leader

    Stuart is Programme Leader and Senior Lecturer in Design with specialisms in Motion Graphics, Animation and Moving Image.

    View full staff profileView full staff profile

    Entry requirements

    2023 entry

    These are the typical qualification requirements for September 2023 entry.

    RequirementWhat we're looking for
    UCAS points104-112
    A LevelBBC-BCC
    T LevelMerit
    GCSEGCSE Maths and English Grade 4/Grade C (or above) or equivalent qualification
    Access to HEPass Access to HE Diploma with 60 credits: 45 at Level 3 with a minimum of Distinction: 15, Merit: 24, Pass: 6

    Offers will be made initially based on your application, including predicted grades and/or grades you have already achieved. You may be given the opportunity, within your offer letter, to submit a portfolio. If you submit a strong portfolio we will make you an unconditional offer, to reflect the quality of your work and your potential.

    Additional entry requirements

    English language requirements

    IELTS: 6.0 (with at least 5.5 in each skills area)

    Fees and funding

    2022/23 Fees (August 2022 - July 2023)


    £9,250 per year



    £14,045 per year


    Further information about our fees and support you may be entitled to.

    Additional costs and optional extras

    How to apply

    Please look at our application deadlines before you apply.

    UK students

    Full-time students applying to start in September should apply for this course through UCAS.

    Apply through UCASApply directly to the University
    International students

    On-campus courses starting in September 2022 and January 2023 are now closed to new applications from international students due to unprecedented demand. Applications for September 2023 will open in October. If you have any questions, please email

    Apply through UCASApply directly to the University


    Our graduates have gone on to establish successful animation studios or to work for major TV production companies. There are wide-ranging career opportunities for animators in advertising, film, television, games design, web design, creative studios, education and the freelance world.   

    The course offers you the ideal preparation for careers in this ever-changing market where you can challenge the use and production of animation. Because we take a contemporary view of animation and its applications, you will showcase your work to potential employers through a variety of platforms, advertising and mobile devices.   

    You could also consider our MA/MDes Design if you would like to take your studies to postgraduate level.

    A close up of a mill building with a sign that says Banks Mill Studios

    Banks Mill Studios

    We also provide support for graduates starting out in the creative industries in the form of Banks Mill, an innovative space for creative and digital industries located in a landmark building within the heart of Derby city centre.

    Find out more about support servicesFind out more about support services

    Contact us

    If you need any more information from us, eg on courses, accommodation, applying, car parking, fees or funding, please contact us and we will do everything we can to help you.

    Contact us Contact us

    Additional information about your studies

    Teaching hours

    Like most universities, we operate extended teaching hours at the University of Derby, so contact time with your lecturers and tutors could be anytime between 9am and 9pm. Your timetable will usually be available on the website 24 hours after enrolment on to your course.

    Additional costs and optional extras

    We’re committed to providing you with an outstanding learning experience. Our expert teaching, excellent facilities and great employability prepare you for your future career. As part of our commitment to you we aim to keep any additional study costs to a minimum. However, there are occasions where students may incur some additional costs.

    Please also note that due to the current Covid-19 situation, if your course offers fieldtrips, the location of these may change or be cancelled. If this happens, you will be communicated to in advance and we will do our very best to seek out other practical opportunities to ensure your experience is not affected.

    The information provided on this page is correct at the time of publication but course content, costs and other individual course details do change from time to time and are updated as often as possible, so please do check these pages again when making your final decision to apply for a course. Any updated course details will also be confirmed to you at application, enrolment and in your offer letter.

    Included in your fees
    • All software used on the course is available on the University computers in the dedicated studio spaces 
    • The programme uses Adobe Creative Suite, which is installed on all Macs in MS102 and MS012
    • Materials (for drawing and group work related activities) are provided for set coursework tasks
    • Access to all resources in Visual Communication studio and related workshop areas (printmaking, digital print)
    • Compulsory study visits, participation in University Degree Show and a London Graduate Show
    • Additional access to wider University Arts’ facilities including equipment loan store and other facilities, such as digital print workshops
    Mandatory costs not included in your fees
    • Students should purchase a practice folder and an outcomes folder (Approx. £50 each)
    • USB Flash Drive (approx. £10 - £15 depending on brand and storage capacity)
    • A2/A3 Portfolio (£5 - £50)
    • A4 Sketchbook (approx. £10 each)
    • Printing of design work - print bureau prices range from £0.65 - £55 depending on size and paper quality. However, a minimum expectation would be approx. £25 - £50 for printing these materials.
    Optional costs not included in your fees
    • Individual student accounts for the Adobe Creative Cloud run on a subscription. Prices available on the Adobe website
    • No none-curricular trips are currently included. If future events are of specific interest to Animation then we would publish these as extracurricular, none compulsory trips. UK Based from approx. £10 - £100 depending on event and distance and from Derby; International (European) approx. £250 - £600 depending on event location

    Please note: Our courses are refreshed and updated on a regular basis. If you are thinking about transferring onto this course (into the second year for example), you should contact the programme leader for the relevant course information as modules may vary from those shown on this page.

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