School of Design - Edinburgh College of Art


School of Design - Edinburgh College of Art
In Edinburgh

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Important information

Typology Bachelor's degree
Location Edinburgh (Scotland)
Duration 4 Years
  • Bachelor's degree
  • Edinburgh (Scotland)
  • Duration:
    4 Years

Students studying Animation at Edinburgh College of Art have access to most of what they need to realise their animated ambitions. The academic and technical staff will supply the encouragement, expertise and technical facilities, if students contribute the imagination, curiosity and commitment. Students develop specific and transferable skills which are introduced through studio and workshop practice, lectures, seminars, critiques and study visits.

Facilities (1)
Where and when



Edinburgh (Midlothian/Edinburghshire)
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Lauriston Place, EH3 9DF


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· Requirements

* SQA Highers at BBBB (normally including English and Art and Design or revised Higher Craft and Design) equating to 240 points under the UCAS tariff system; or, * GCE A Levels at AA or CCC (normally including Art or a relevant technical subject), plus GCSEs (including English) at CCC; or, * Qualifications equivalent to the above e.g. SQA, BTEC, GSVQ, GNVQ. An SQA National Certificate in Art and Design or Diploma in Art and Design together with Higher Grade English is also acceptable. We are delighted to welcome international applicants.

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Course programme

This course is about Animation - the original multimedia discipline - what it is, what it's for, how you do it, and why. There is no limit to the variety of materials and methods that can be used to make animated films, and, although producing animation can be a lengthy process, its creative possibilities must make it the ideal vehicle for anyone who wants to see their ideas come vividly to life.

Animation appears in a multitude of forms - cartoons, advertisements, music videos, computer games, multi-media material, special effects and as experimental and sponsored art films.

Work by Edinburgh College of Art students frequently wins national and international prizes and is regularly screened at film festivals around the world.

Programme Content


Students in First Year Studies progress through three phases of study, namely Exploratory Study, Elective Study and Specialist Study. These are designed to enable initial exploration and experimentation, building experience within a selected range of specialist subjects and moving towards the confirmation of specialism for Year 2 and onwards.


Year 2 deals with some of the fundamentals that are necessary for a proper understanding of how and why animation works. It's the foundation on which students will build a personal approach to animation and animating. The concepts that underlie all animation are introduced. Basic principles and working practices, involving 2D and 3D work, are covered in set projects and short exercises. Students are given technical instruction on the equipment needed for each project. There are regular drawing classes throughout all levels of the programme, as well as workshop sessions dealing with specific topics, such as recording and manipulating sound.


This is a year for experimenting and exploring the potential of animated picture and sound, using familiar methods and new approaches. Through a program of set projects and self-initiated work, students develop their ideas and work with a range of techniques, thereby establishing an individual approach to animation. We encourage our students to work with external collaborators, such as sound designers, and to take part in appropriate competitions and 'live' projects, so that they start to view their work in a broadening context.

Electives may include:

  • Visual Narratives
  • Contemporary Art
  • Home Truths
  • Expanded Cinema
  • Shopping for Cultural
  • Cultural Threads


By the final year, we expect our students to feel confident about their ability to express ideas, opinions and concerns through their animation. By now, they will have built up a range of skills, experience and understanding relating to animation, its production and their own approach to it. They will have started to think about who their audience is and what effect that should have on their work. Most of the time in final year will be devoted to the planning and production of a major piece of animation, either in the form of a single project or a series of shorter pieces. The choice of subject matter and working methods will be based on each student's experience gained in preceding years.

Professional Practice

Professional Practice is also embedded throughout all programmes and at all levels at the College to ensure that you develop the necessary range of intellectual, professional and contextual skills in order to maximise the opportunity for success in your chosen career after graduation.

The Professional Practice course provides an introduction to aspects of working in the visual communication industries and starts our students on the process of researching and planning their careers.

Additional information

Career opportunities: The careers open to graduates in Animation include working in film, television, advertising and computer game design. Past students have gone on to work in well-known companies such as Aardman Animation, while others have set up their own companies.

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