A person sat at two screens working on game animations

Game Animation BA(Hons)

Specialise as an animator working on games.

Key details
Location
Penryn Campus
Course duration
3 years / 4 years
Attendance
Full-time / Professional Placement
UCAS code
I609/FY38/PY28

Course overview

Specialise as a games animator, one of the games industry’s most sought-after roles. If you have the passion, we’ll teach you what you need to know – from mastering core animation principles in a game development context to rigging and animating characters in real time to implement into major game engines.

On this Game Animation course, you'll work in studio-style collaborative teams mirroring industry practice as you work through full implementation of the game animation pipeline. You’ll graduate with a rich portfolio of work, ready to launch your games career. 

Why study this course at Falmouth?

  • We’re ranked as the number one university for game design in England (Princeton Review, 2023) and have some of largest and best-equipped dedicated student game-making facilities in the country  
  • You’ll learn from professional game animators, developers and artists who have worked on titles like Hitman, League of Legends, World of Warcraft and Final Fantasy XII 
  • You’ll collaborate in multi-skilled teams to create real games from the outset, keeping the Intellectual Property (IP) of any games you produce 
  • Our graduates have worked in animator roles for Respawn on Apex Legends and at Creative Assembly, Frontier, nDreams and Ubisoft  

Course details

1

FOR GAME DESIGN IN ENGLAND*

Games Academy showreel 2020

You'll build up your core skills as an animator, learning game development processes and the roles of different specialisms within the games industry. You'll then work on team-led projects and collaborate with artists and programmers to create rich characters that are responsive to player controls. You'll rig and animate digital models to bring your ideas to life. 

Course study options  

You can gain your Game Animation BA(Hons) degree in three years or choose to add an Integrated Foundation Year and/or professional placement year. Discover the full course details for each study option, below.   

Course structure

You'll learn what it takes to make an animated game, including asset creation, project management and development pipelines, pitching ideas and considering theories about what games are and how they engage players. Developing your skills in animation, you'll enhance cross-disciplinary groups as you pitch a game and build it as part of a collaborative team.

Modules

Development Foundations

You’ll be introduced to the basic principles of game animation, including key roles, terminology and tools used in the development of digital products and services.  

Working as part of a small team, you’ll practice various prototyping methods and pitch your idea for a future games project.

Digital Creativity

You’ll explore a range of digital media formats, including text, image and sound. You’ll experiment with manipulating digital artefacts and learn how to integrate them with digital game technologies, such as game engines, to make your work interactive.

Game Animation 1

Through regular animation exercises, you’ll deepen your knowledge of key animation principles, including learning about rigging and animation workflows. You’ll then produce a showreel of your work.

Reading Games

To help inform and broaden your own development practice, you’ll study and write about the nature of digital experiences, their markets and the context of their production.

Multidisciplinary Teamwork

Working in multi-skilled teams, you’ll produce a digital product or service in response to a brief. You’ll learn how to manage a software development project and apply your specialist skills in game animation within a development pipeline.

Game Animation 2

Building from the Game Animation 1 module, you will focus entirely on creating believable characters, developing a full motion set for a character that will be set up in a game engine ready for playing.

With greater confidence in your skills, you'll mirror professional game development as you tackle a larger game project in a multi-skilled group. Over the course of the year, you'll research and experiment with various approaches to game animation and create innovative features. You'll investigate strategies to enhance the player experience and learn what drives industry trends and developments from visiting professionals. Throughout the year you'll continue developing your specialist game animation practice.

Modules

Game Form and Player Experience

In this module, you’ll explore the relationship between game design and player experience. You’ll research theories of game play, and analyse the popularity of certain methodologies, including ludic experiences and narrative.

World Building: Pre-production

Working in a multi-skilled team, you’ll design a concept for a digital ‘world creation’ project. You’ll broaden your understanding of key game animation principles, including world-building and exploratory concept work, prototyping, pre-production, and the early phases of production.

Game Animation 3

You'll develop advanced rigging and animation skills, with an emphasis on facial rigging and motion capture. You’ll also create a short cinematic sequence to highlight a game character.

World Building: Production

You’ll continue to design and build your ‘world creation’ project while working in your multi-skilled teams. You’ll deliver content in line with production milestones and prepare to launch and market your product.

Portfolio Development

In this module, you’ll work on a self-devised portfolio piece with a view to submitting it to an industry competition.   

From researching to execution, you’ll hone your skills and gain confidence as you develop your project within your chosen specialism. Experimenting with different techniques, you’ll build your portfolio and create a piece of work that conforms to industry norms. 

You can choose to take an optional professional placement after your second year on a three-year programme, or after your third year if you’re studying for a degree with an Integrated Foundation Year. 

You’ll be responsible for finding your own placement, with support from the Employability team. 

Choosing this option will enhance your industry experience and skills while studying. 

How you’ll study during your professional placement

You’ll spend time working in a professional context, as part of a business or organisation. This can be in one role, or up to three, and must be for a minimum of 24 weeks. 

You’ll develop in-demand workplace skills, deepen your insight into industry and grow your network of contacts, all of which could help you get ahead in your career after graduation. 

Throughout this year, you’ll develop a portfolio of work that includes critical self-reflection on what has been learned from the experience. You’ll be required to evidence your experiences, the skills you’ve learned and your professional growth. 

During the final year of your Game Animation course, you'll produce a complete and potentially publishable game as part of a team. By pitching it to industry professionals, you'll receive reliable and insightful feedback. You'll also research a topic relevant to your project and build an online portfolio with a clear centrepiece, sharpening your real-world insights and building valuable career contacts.

Modules

Experience Design

Broadening your transferable skills, you’ll create a product or service centred around experience design. This could include an animated short film, interactive novel, animation for an app, motion capture sequence or animated assets for a specific media experience.

Future Skills

Focusing on employability, you’ll develop a commercial awareness and entrepreneurial mindset. You’ll explore career options, including researching the skills required to set up your own business, establish yourself as a freelancer, or for use as an employee in a business or organisation.

Professional Portfolio

You’ll broaden your knowledge of employment and enterprise opportunities within the industry, and receive mentoring on how to apply for work, including CV and portfolio advice.

Future of Games

You'll explore the current climate of contemporary games and digital culture, while examining cultural and technological changes that are likely to influence the future of the games industry. In doing this, you’ll confront a range of issues relating to ethical production and sustainability, equality and civil rights, and personal identity and ideology.

Major Collaboration

Leveraging the skills learnt across the three years, you'll deliver a substantial collaborative project. Working in multi-skilled teams, you’ll design and build a digital product or service, such as a mobile app, installation, game, web application, robot, immersive experience or software development tool.

Why study an Integrated Foundation Year route?

If you’re taking on a new subject that you haven’t studied in depth before, have been out of education for a while or have a non-standard educational background then an Integrated Foundation Year degree may be the right choice for you. It is a four-year degree with an Integrated Foundation Year to start, which allows you to explore the primary elements of your subject before progressing on to the remaining three years of the BA(Hons) degree.

What you'll learn

If you choose this pathway, you'll study five core modules in your Foundation year. These are all designed to help you explore the foundational elements of your subject. You'll gain relevant technical skills, learn to experiment and take risks, develop an understanding of professional practice, have opportunities to work across disciplines and collaborate with other students on live project briefs.

Modules

Explore

You'll begin your foundation year by working collaboratively with others to explore themes of the future. You'll take risks, experiment through play and be supported to break through barriers.

Technique

You'll take subject-specific workshops and develop essential technical and practical skills in your area of study. You'll also enhance your analytical and organisational abilities.

Apply

You'll work with your peer group to think beyond discipline by addressing a societal or global issue. You'll then showcase your work to your peers and deliver and accompanying evaluation of your process.

Industry

You'll enhance your creative and practical skills in your subject specialism by responding to typical industry briefs, underpinned by focused research and experiments. You'll also gain industry insights through guest lectures and workshops.

Launch

You'll develop your unique identity in your specialism through the production of a self-initiated body of work. Your final project will be the bridge to your next year, fully supported by evaluative reviews and critical analysis of the work you have created.

After the Foundation year, you progress into Year One of the full three-year degree, equipped with a deeper knowledge of your subject, a clear understanding of your strengths, and develop a practical and technical skillset and the confidence to excel in your chosen subject.

 

If you apply for and enrol onto a degree with an Integrated Foundation Year, you’ll have the option to switch onto a five-year version including a placement year. That means you’ll complete the first three years of your course before completing a placement in industry in your fourth year and returning to Falmouth for the fifth year of your programme. 

As part of our process of continuous improvement, we routinely review course content to ensure that all our students benefit from a high-quality and rewarding academic experience. As such, there may be some changes made to your course which are not immediately reflected in the content displayed on our website. Any students affected will be informed of any changes made directly.

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How you'll learn & be assessed

You'll create original animated games through group work, professional practice and Game Jams. You'll also develop practical skills through practice-based workshops and learn to evaluate and improve your work through group tutorials, crits, and individual tutorials. 

You'll share specialist first-year modules with other Games Academy courses. As the Game Animation course progresses, you'll move from fundamental animation skills to rich, character-driven animation and shift your focus to project teamwork. 

At Falmouth, we use a 'digitally enhanced learning & teaching' approach. Your experience will always be predominantly in-person, including seminars, tutorials and studio teaching, with some, more targeted elements, being online either live (synchronous) or pre-recorded (asynchronous). You can read more here.

100% of your assessment will be coursework.

Assessment methods

  • Teamwork features heavily to reflect the industry
  • Game making is the primary form of assessment
  • Continuous assessment with no formal examinations
  • Visual, verbal and written assignments
  • Portfolio of project work

Foundation year assessments are 100% coursework based.

This course could be for you if...

  • You're passionate about games and want to learn to create them
  • You're aiming to become a game animator in either the AAA or indie area of the industry
  • You're looking for a course which mirrors industry with multidisciplinary teams in a studio setting
  • You love keeping up-to-date with the latest games and platforms

Facilities

  • Large studio equipped with regularly updated, state-of-the-art game development machines, crash mats and soft animation props
  • XSens MVN Awinda motion capture suits
  • Life drawing studio for artists and weekly life drawing sessions
  • Specialised computing hardware for game development, deep learning projects, motion capture and immersive experiences
  • Standard packages used in software development for the games and visual effects industries, including Adobe and Autodesk suites
  • Attached lab committed to staying at the cutting edge - featuring augmented reality, virtual reality AR/VR/MR (XR) equipment including HoloLens, HoloLens 2 and Oculus Quest 2
  • Attached lab with access to PS4 development and testing kits
  • Access to a variety of game engines including Unity and Unreal
  • Access to voice over and video recording facilities
  • Studios open late during term time
  • Access to free software
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Staff

You'll be taught by professional game animators, developers and artists coming from companies like Square-Enix, Octopus 8 Studios and Disney as well as indie studios. Together, they have worked on titles like Hitman, League of Legends, World of Warcraft and Final Fantasy XII.

Richard Milligan

Lecturer

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Brian McDonald

Senior Lecturer Digital Games

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Senior Lecturer

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Careers

As a Game Animation graduate, you could become a:

  • Cinematic Artist
  • Animator
  • Junior Animator for VR
  • Games Animator
  • Creature Animator
  • Gameplay Animator
  • Character Animator
  • Trainee motion capture technician

How to apply

Ready to join us? You can apply for September 2024 through UCAS. You'll need to reference the course and University code (F33).

Apply via UCAS

Course route UCAS code
Game Animation BA(Hons) three year degree I609
Game Animation BA(Hons) with Integrated Foundation Year FY38
Game Animation BA(Hons) with professional placement PY28

We consider all applications on their own individual merit and potential. We invite all applicants to an interview day or audition to give them the opportunity to demonstrate this along with what inspires and motivates them in their field. Applicants will also be able to show their portfolio or give a performance depending on the course. We welcome applications from all subject backgrounds, whether you’ve specialised in STEM, the arts or humanities.  

Course route Entry requirements
BA/BSc(Hons) three year degree 104 – 120 UCAS Tariff points
BA/BSc(Hons) four year degree with professional placement 104 – 120 UCAS Tariff points
BA/BSc(Hons) four year degree with Integrated Foundation Year 80 – 120 UCAS Tariff points

Check the title of your course to see if it's a BA or BSc award. UCAS Tariff points will primarily be from Level 3 qualifications such as but not limited to A-levels, T Levels, a BTEC/UAL Extended Diploma or a Foundation Diploma. 

Check how many points your qualifications are worth

For applicants whose first language is English we require you to have or be working towards GCSE English Language Grade 4 (C), or equivalent. 

If English is not your first language you will need to meet the same standard which is equivalent to the IELTS Academic 6.0 overall score, with at least 5.5 in Reading, Writing, Speaking and Listening. We accept a range of in country equivalencies and approved tests.  

If you need a student visa to study in the UK, you may need to take a recognised language test. You can read our English Language Requirements for more information.

For starting your studies in 2024

UK applications: 31 January 2024 (for equal consideration)

Applications after the 31 January will be considered on a first-come, first-served as long as there are places available. Apply for this course now.

International fee payers

International fee payers can apply throughout the year. But we recommend applying as early as possible, to make time for visa and travel arrangements.

Fees, costs & funding

Tuition fees for September 2024 entry

Annual tuition fee Student
£9,250 per year Full-time UK
£17,950 per year Full-time EU/international
£1,850 per professional placement year Full-Time UK and EU/international

Tuition fees for September 2025 will be confirmed in summer 2024.

Tuition fees are set annually and are subject to review each year. The University may therefore raise tuition fees in the second or subsequent years of a course, in line with inflation and/or the maximum permitted by law or Government policy. Students will be notified of any changes as soon as possible. 

The figures above don't include accommodation and living costs

Typical course costs

  • £1500 - Laptop or desktop capable of running 3D modelling software
  • £150 - Recommended reading
  • £30-£150 - Headset with microphone
  • £25-£100 - Webcam

If you need to bring equipment or materials with you, these will be outlined in your Welcome Letter

Additional typical course costs for Integrated Foundation Year pathway

  • £250 for materials
  • A laptop/desktop computer
  • Adobe Creative Suite

To engage in the digital learning activity, although you will be able to access IT suites on campus, you will benefit from a laptop to access the platforms and tools we use. Depending on your subject, you may need a specific type of computer. If you're unsure about what you might need, please contact our course advisors.

Ask a student

What better way to find out about life at Falmouth University than by asking our current students?

From course details and academic support, to the social scene and settling in, our students are ready and available to answer any questions you might have. Simply set up your account, send them a question and they'll get back to you within 24 hours.

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