What is an MDes?
This is a four-year studio practice based course, incorporating undergraduate study and leading to a Masters qualification.
It is a good opportunity to achieve a postgraduate qualification making you one-step ahead in the graduate jobs market. On successful completion of the undergraduate modules of the programme you will be guaranteed progression to study at Masters level, as one learning journey, rather than having to apply. You will be eligible for a UG student loan for fees and maintenance for all four years of study.
If you change your mind during the first three years of the programme you can transfer back to the relevant BA and complete with a BA qualification. Masters depth of study provides more focused specialist knowledge, which is highly respected by employers. The later stages of the four-year course include professional engagement opportunities, helping you to establish your graduate career whilst you are still a student.
The first 2.5 years are taught alongside the BA undergraduates in your specialist discipline of Animation and then for the final 1.5 years you will study Masters level modules in your subject discipline.
The integrated learning journey through undergraduate to postgraduate encourages you to be committed from the early stages, identifying yourself as an ambitious deep thinker, risk taker and innovative practitioner. The four-year course will give you more time and opportunity for in-depth practice as well as academic research and study.
About the course
You'll explore sequential and interactive image making, 2D and 3D animation, narrative, timing, creative storytelling, character design, the web, scripting, sound, and the historical and contemporary context of your work. You will gain professional knowledge and skills in the creative application of digital software for animation, experimenting with state of the art equipment and resources that are constantly updated.
During your final year you'll produce in depth, challenging and original creative ideas through a final major project. You will consider the ethical impact of your practice and individuality as a designer, by questioning and challenging what the subject can be and pushing boundaries.
All art and design courses are based at our Markeaton Street site where modern, purpose built studios and labs provide a modern creative space for our arts students. Markeaton Street encompasses Chandos Pole Street (home to our Fashion and Textiles courses) and Britannia Mill (home to Fine Arts and our print-making facilities). Students on any of our theatre related courses also get to study at Derby Theatre, and Dance students study at Deda.
Markeaton Street is a 15 minute walk from Kedleston Road, and is serviced by regular free site shuttle buses.
Explore our facilities through our Virtual Tour:
Art and Design creative spaces
You will study modules such as:
Studio briefs and workshops will encourage you to define your creativity, animation approach, software knowledge and critical analysis, while your lectures and seminars will focus on the culture, history and context of your subject.
- The Principles of Animation
- Pre-Production and Visual Development
- Animation Production
- Critical Approaches to Animation and Visual Effects
You'll focus on your skills in a project based environment, exploring ways of thinking to excel in animation. You'll become increasingly confident with professional approaches and terminology, engaging with animation practitioners, global and national competitions and agencies.
- Advanced Animation Production
- Animation Applications and Contexts
- Professional Practice
- Researching Animation and Visual Effects: Principles and Practices
From September until January, the focus of your third year will be on building original, distinctive animation outcomes based on strong ideas and technical skill, through developing a range of projects and exploring the professional context of your work.
- Independent Research Project in Animation and Visual Effects
- Negotiated Studies in Animation
- Specialist Practice in Animation
You’ll start the masters level modules in January. They begin with an exploration of contemporary debates and experimentation and appraisal of your practice strengths and potential.
- Personal Practice and Methodologies
- Visual Culture: Debates
This final stage of the course is focused on the realisation, testing and evaluation of your Masters Practice project.
- Visual Culture: Dissertation
- Final Project Phase 1 - Concept
- Final Project Phase 2 - Realisation
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.
- Real world learning is incorporated into this course, through ‘live’ projects, field trips and working with employers. We also have guest lectures throughout the programme.
- Our students regularly work in association with many high profile national and local design agencies.
- We've also run live projects with: Southern Derbyshire Health Trust, Derby Museum and Art Gallery, Derby City Council, Derby Literature Development and the University of Derby Marketing Department.
How you are assessed
Assessment of all of your modules is by 100% coursework reflecting the practical nature of this creative, practice-based discipline. The coursework will focus on and around the range of projects and assignments you undertake throughout the programme, including studio work, industrial liaison, presentations, written and oral reports, seminar reports and your dissertation.
September 2019 typical entry requirements
|UCAS points||120 (up to 16 from AS-levels)|
|Specific requirements at A-level|
No specific subject requirements
|Specific requirements at GCSE||GCSE Maths and English Grade C/Grade 4 (or above) or equivalent qualification|
|IELTS||6.0 (with 5.5 in each skills area)|
|Interview / Audition||N/A|
Yes - Digital portfolio
Alternative entry qualifications:
- BTEC - DDM
- Access to HE Diploma - 60 credits: 45 at level 3 with a minimum of Dist: 15 Merit: 24 Pass: 6
We usually consider an A-level in General Studies as a supplementary qualification. A good application/performance will be taken into account if you do not meet the criteria/offer conditions.
Our entry requirements for this course should be read together with the University's general entry requirements, which details subjects we accept, alternative qualifications and what we're looking for at Derby.
After you've graduated from this distinctive course, you'll be one step ahead of others in the graduate jobs market. You will achieve a Masters award at the end of four years study without needing to change universities or find postgraduate funding. And you'll already have a highly professional and innovative showreel of creative animation work.
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.
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.
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
† Additional information about your studies
Download programme specification
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, state-of-the-art 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.
Included in your fees
- Access to all resources in Animation studio areas and related Arts facilities including equipment loan store and other facilities, such as digital print workshops
- Basic materials such as paper, pens and other mark making materials are provided for set coursework tasks in Year 1 and 2
- Compulsory UK Study Visits to course related projects or visits to museums and galleries - due to the nature of these events these change annually
- Participation in University Degree Show and a London Graduate Show
- Here at Derby, we provide excellent learning resources, libraries and specialist laboratories and studios
Mandatory costs not included in your fees
- Additional materials (printing, stationary, portfolio sleeves, folders, USBs/hard drives etc.) Approx. costs – Year 1= £150, Year 2 = £200, Year 3 = £300, Year 4 = £300
- Production of a A2/A3 Portfolio /show reel/website (approx. £125)
Optional costs not included in your fees
- Specialist software/hardware (costs up to £1500)
- Travel for work placement opportunities (costs will vary dependant on location)
- Field trips (approx. cost £200-£400)
- Additional course related publications (approx. costs £100)
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.