Animation of robot and monkey character in wasteland setting

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
UCAS code
I609/FY38

Course overview

Based in our Games Academy, you’ll learn the principles of game animation and develop a diverse set of creative and technical skills in character animation, rigging, motion capture and games engines to create exceptional digital products.

From day one, you will work in studio-style collaborative teams that mirror industry practice, while designing and building your own games. You’ll gain experience of working to a real-time animation pipeline and graduate with a rich portfolio of work that’s ready to launch your games career.

You will:

  • Develop key animation principles in a game development context
  • Learn how to animate believable and stylised characters
  • Rig and animate characters to be implemented into real-time game technologies such as Unreal Engine or Unity
  • Learn how to use motion and facial capture equipment effectively
  • Work in multi-skilled teams where you keep the Intellectual Property (IP) of any games you produce
  • Study in one of the largest and best-equipped dedicated game-making spaces of any university in the UK

Course details

On this Game Animation degree, you'll have the opportunity to gain a BA(Hons) degree over three years or the option to study Game Animation BA(Hons) with Integrated Foundation Year.

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.

Games Academy showreel 2020

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.

Collaboration

You’ll collaborate with fellow students in the Games Academy to respond to a challenge brief.

You’ll then use this experience to respond to a second project brief set by the Game Animation course teams.

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.

The modules above are those being studied by our students, or proposed new ones. Programme structures and modules can change as part of our curriculum enhancement and review processes. If a certain module is important to you, please discuss it with the Course Leader.

How you'll learn

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.

How you'll spend your time

Year

Timetabled teaching

and learning activity

Guided

independent study

Integrated
Foundation
Year
(optional)

Digitally
enhanced
learning

Digitally
enhanced
learning

1

25%

75%

2

25%

75%

3

25%

75%

 

 How you'll be assessed

Year

Written exams

Practical exams

Coursework

Integrated
Foundation
Year
(optional)

0%

0%

100%

1

0%

0%

100%

2

0%

0%

100%

3

0%

0%

100%

 *These percentages are indicative and may vary

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.

What our student do

See the latest from our Games Academy

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27 March 2020

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Global Jam at the Games Academy

13 February 2020

Students, staff and other 'jammers' took part in the Global Game Jam® 2020 recently. The jam was ho...

Global Jam at the Games Academy
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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.

Some members of staff only teach on specific modules, and your course might not feature every staff member who teaches on the course.

Richard Milligan

Lecturer

Richard is an animator and 3D artist with ten years of professional experience. Children's TV featur...

Richard Milligan

Brian McDonald

Senior Lecturer Digital Games

Brian McDonald is a senior lecturer on the BA(Hons) Game Development and BSc(Hons) Computing fo...

Brian McDonald
Dr Douglas Brown staff picture

Dr Douglas Brown

Head of Games

Formerly employed by international games developer and publisher Square-Enix and credited on several...

Dr Douglas Brown

Phoebe Herring

Senior Lecturer

Phoebe Herring joined Falmouth University as a lecturer in BA(Hons) Game Art after freelancing on a ...

Phoebe Herring

Che Wilbraham

Lecturer: Games

As a self-taught, independent game developer, Ché’s background is in the arts. He sees himself as...

Che Wilbraham

Rory Summerley

Lecturer

Rory is a games studies researcher who has written and lectured on a diverse range of games-related ...

Rory Summerley

Terry Greer

Senior Lecturer in Game Design

After starting out life as a zoo keeper at London Zoo, Terry has worked for over thirty years in the...

Terry Greer
Jeff Howard staff profile

Dr Jeff Howard

Senior Lecturer (Games)

Dr. Jeff Howard is Senior Lecturer in the Games Academy at Falmouth University in Cornwall, whe...

Dr Jeff Howard

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 via Microsoft Imagine

Take a virtual tour

games academy fight

Games Academy Facilities

Our Games Academy offers professional-standard studios, a dedicated craft room, breakout spaces, and...

Games Academy Facilities
Library interior with 'group study' written on large pillar and students reading
Penryn library group study area

Library Facilities

Offering extensive collections, our two libraries provide a wealth of digital resources, magazines, ...

Library Facilities
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Sports Centre - Outside
Sports Centre

Sports Centre

Our Sports Centre, on Penryn Campus, includes a spacious gym with up to 90 of the latest, new statio...

Sports Centre

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

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

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 Integrated Foundation Year 80 – 120 UCAS Tariff points

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 2023

UK applications: 25 January 2023 (for equal consideration)

Applications after the 25 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.

What we're looking for

We want someone who:

  • Is passionate about creating games.
  • Wants to work as a specialist game animator in either the AAA or indie area of the industry.
  • Wants to develop real games in multidisciplinary teams in a studio mirroring the industry.
  • Enthusiastically follows current video game technologies.
  • Shows communication skills and understands their specialism.

Fees, costs & funding

Tuition fees

Annual tuition fee Student
£9,250 per year Full-time UK
£17,460 per year Full-time EU/international
Annual tuition fee Student
£9,250 per year Full-time UK
£17,460 per year Full-time EU/international

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

In order to participate in our digitally enhanced learning approach, you'll need to have a personal laptop/desktop computer. 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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