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University of Central Lancashire
Preston, PR1 2HE, UK.

Tel: +44 (0)1772 892400
Email: cenquiries@uclan.ac.uk

  • Duration:

    Full-time: One year, Part-time: Two years

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    Campus, Full-time and Part-time

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Why study this programme?

MA Animation allows practitioners in animation to explore opportunities that cross established boundaries or develop in-depth aspects of practice beyond usual levels. This postgraduate course aims to develop the student's personal philosophies on design with a view to developing a personal area of specialism.

Our Postgraduate Animation degree is an exciting course, which offers students a chance to fine tune their animation skills under the supervision of industry professionals. This can range from creating brilliant character animation to creating an award winning animated film or developing amazing sound design skills. A 'statement of intent' is drawn up during the beginning of your studies which forms the backbone of the postgraduate activity and provides a term of reference for assessable outcomes. 

See MA Animation Student, Charlotte Backer's project: 'Mandy and Monty' and more at UCLan Animation's YouTube Channel.

View the MA Animation Portfolio 

Find out more about our online events Find out more about our online events

Entry Requirements

A recognised British honours degree to a good standard, or its equivalent. Applications from all candidates will be considered on their merits and in the light of the nature and scope of the programme or work proposed.

Informal enquiries are welcomed.

Applicants must demonstrate achievement of any one of the following:

  • Receipt of a 2.2 degree, or higher from a British university
  • A high level of achievement in undergraduate studies at a university elsewhere (e.g. for North American students a minimum overall GPA of 3.3 on a 4.0 scale)
  • Professional experience in the field or a related field in their home country

International Students are required to show competence in written and spoken English in addition to meeting the course entry requirements: International English Language Testing Service (IELTS) - minimum 6.5.

All applicants are requested to submit digital supporting material and where possible, will be invited to attend an interview with a portfolio of recent work.

Programme at a Glance

Year 1

Successful applicants to this course will find themselves part of a larger postgraduate community, which will reflect and include a wide variety of interest’s right across the Art and Design spectrum. Furthermore, students should be able to demonstrate an ability to critically examine, analyse and evaluate contextual and philosophical issues relating to their intended programme of study. Students from Animation MA have gone on to work in the industry as both animators and directors.

Course Content

  • Animation Practice 1 (Double Module)
  • Animation Practice 2 (Double Module)
  • Animation Practice 3 (Triple Module)
  • Research One (Single Module)
  • Research Two (Single Model)

More information about the course content can be downloaded here (.pdf, 11.1MB)

Further Information

Design at UCLan has an established heritage and creative thinking is embedded into everything we do and everything we teach for design postgraduate students they express their mastery of this philosophy through their practice and research with the MA show as the hallmark of their excellence.

Students are supported by staff input through a series of design activities, and tutorials during the initial modules that are designed to identify an area of interest that can then be fully explored. The formal presentation of this initial research activity and the conclusions drawn, form the basis of the 'statement of intent' document. Both the practical and theoretical elements will be assessed both during, and at the end of, each module.

Students work on individual projects and there is also the opportunity to work in groups on ‘live’ projects for real companies. In industry animation is essentially a group activity and this group work prepares students for their future career.

UCLan Animation presents is part of the Great Northern Festival. Uclan Animation presents invites speakers and industry professionals in to come and chat to the students about their work.  Watch our YouTube playlist to check out this event.  Uclan Animation presents ensures that Uclan Animation students are up to date with industry.

MA Showreel 2019

cJAM: Media

Final year undergraduate and postgraduate media students have the opportunity to get involved in our annual cJAM employability event. cJAM shakes-up the traditional career fair format and gives UCLan students face-to-face time with up to 30 successful industry professionals all of whom have come to the event with the offer of valuable work placement opportunities. The cJAM event format consists of four main components:

  • Students hear from keynote industry speakers who share their personal career journey and how they got to where they are now.
  • The industry Q&A session allows students to ask questions to gain further advice and insight.
  • Informal networking opportunities during the breaks and lunch.

The key element of cJAM is the giant speed pitching session. The students have eight minutes one-to-one time to pitch to selected industry guests to try and win a placement. Students can choose to pitch an idea, their reasons for wanting a placement with that particular company or to showcase their enthusiasm, skills and talent. Immediately following the pitching session, placements are decided on and the event closes with all the winning students being presented with their placement awards.

How to Apply

Our Postgraduate section has more information around applying including visiting UCLan and the support available.

If you want to continue and apply now, you can apply for many of the postgraduate UCLan courses using our Online Application System.

For other postgraduate courses you can apply directly to UCLan by downloading a Postgraduate Application Form (.pdf 190KB) please also see our Postgraduate Application Guidance Notes (.pdf 158KB).


For detailed information about studying this course at UCLan, please see the course handbook for your year of entry:

For information on possible changes to course information, see our Important Information.


Apply now or see further information about postgraduate study and research. International students should visit our international pages.

Contact Us

Tel: +44 (0)1772 892400

Email: cenquiries@uclan.ac.uk

Fees 2020/21

Full-time: £6,900 per year (UK/EU)
Part-time: £765 per 20 credits (UK/EU)

Further information:

For 2019/20 fees please refer to our fees page.

UK Government Postgraduate Loans Scheme

If you're thinking of studying a master's or doctoral degree you could be eligible for a loan from the Government to help you study.

For additional help with financing your studies, UCLan offers a range of Postgraduate scholarships, studentships, bursaries and the Alumni loyalty discount.

View further information

Learning Environment and Assessment

The course is supported by extensive computer, studio and workshop facilities located within the Department and the University as a whole. The studios are open five days a week and students are welcome to use the facilities anytime. Full time study programme over three semesters, or a part time programme, usually over five semesters. 

Students will undertake a total of five modules, which vary in size (see course content for more information). The full time programme will require one and half days attendance, the part time route will require one day attendance. The course offers optional workshops four days a week, students are expected to conduct independent learning whilst on the course. 

There are broad outlines to the nature of the deliverable aspects for assessment, but the final form of the assessment strategy and criteria is the result of collaboration between student and staff.


The MA will help further career opportunities within commercial design practice - giving recognition to each student's individual practical and intellectual abilities. Graduates will improve their chance of employment in the animation industry with their demonstrated enhanced specialism and understanding developed on the course.

View an example of a live student brief

View full playlist of MA Live Briefs

Animation Team

The MA course has a dedicated animation team who have worked extensively in industry to advise and guide students.

The course leader Sarah Ann Kennedy is also the voice of Miss Rabbit in Peppa Pig and Nanny Plum in Ben and Holly’s Little Kingdom. Mark Mason is an experienced 2D animation director who has worked in the industry for over twenty years.

There are also other professional animators and model makers on hand to give advice and support.

Student wins prestigious Royal Television Society Award

A mature student from the University of Central Lancashire (UCLan) has scooped a regional Royal Television Society (RTS) Student Award for his animation work.

David Lambie won the prize at a ceremony at MediaCityUK which recognises the best in student talent from across the North West. Awards were spread across four categories; Animation, Factual, Comedy and Entertainment and Drama.

The 48-year-old dad of three and part-time school cleaner from Thornton, Cleveleys, was part of an Animation shortlist made up entirely of UCLan students. He won for his silent comedy film in the style of the early 20th Century cinema that sees Dr Frankenstein create a daughter before sending her on a series of disastrous blind dates.

Read the full story