Degree level: Undergraduate
Awarded by: University of Central Lancashire

Digital Animation with Illustration

Course options

Make sure you check on the university, college or conservatoire website for any updates about course changes as a result of COVID-19.

Course summary

TEF Silver

Futureworks has opted into the TEF and received a Silver award.

Find out more about the TEF.

You are a creative storyteller with an obsessive passion for animation. You want to develop your technical skills and you love working with the latest technology. If you think this applies to you, then you should apply for this course. This degree is an amalgamation of animation and illustration. When we created the course we spoke to our contacts in the industry and asked them what the course should cover. As well as both 2D and 3D animation, the industry wants people who can draw and they seem to be in short supply. For that reason, in the first year you will gain a solid grounding in illustration for animation. The drawing skills developed in this year will lay a strong foundation for the digital work to come. Using light boxes and rostrum cameras you will explore the traditional methods of animation, including the twelve principles of animation that have guided generations of animators. Creative thinking, storyboarding and story structure are all covered and within the first year you will put everything into practise with your own 30 second traditional animation. In the second year you will transfer your animation skills into 3D. Using the industry standard software package Maya, you will learn how to recreate the 12 principles in 3D space and create your first short film in 3D. You will learn 3D modelling, including how to make props and characters from scratch, as well as video edition and motion graphics. An industry-set brief is introduced in the second year to give you real world experience working for a client. You will also continue to illustrate, producing a set of creative responses to briefs and, in the second semester, a graphic novel or illustrated story book. In the third year your teaching will become more self-directed, allowing every student to pursue their own creative path. You will create a short film, made in the medium of your choice, and an honours project which could be anything from modelling to illustration, animation to concept art. Your learning journey will be guided throughout by tutors who have worked in the industry so that your projects, as well as being personally rewarding, will also provide you with a professional portfolio and showreel for the time you graduate. Motion capture is also taught on third year, as are interview skills, networking and how to land your first job in the industry. Students leave the programme being highly employable, and our course stats reflect this.

Course details


HE Level 4 (Year 1): Fundamentals of 2D Animation (20 credits), Year 1 Animation Project (20 credits), History of Animation and Illustration (20 credits), Fundamentals of Illustration (40 credits), Pre-production (20 credits). HE Level 5 (Year 2): Fundamentals of 3D Animation (20 credits), Year 2 Animation Project (20 credits), Post-Production and Motion Graphics (20 credits), Contemporary Animation and Illustration(20 credits), 3D Modelling (20 credits), Applied Illustration (20 credits). HE Level 6 (Year 3): Motion Capture (20 credits), Personal Portfolio Development (20 credits), Honours Project (40 credits), Year 3 Animation Project (40 credits).

Assessment method

We want to do everything we can to prepare you for working within the creative industries, and this is reflected in the way we teach and assess you. The course is mostly coursework based, which means your tutors will be able to give you constant, constructive feedback. Presentation techniques will give you valuable experience of how to present your thoughts and ideas successfully and enthusiastically, so you are better at selling your ideas to prospective employers. The written work is an important part of assessment and will improve your communication skills. A combination of lectures, tutorials, peer reviews, discussions and observations will ensure that you’re industry ready. External trips will present you with a wider range of topics and the opportunity to expand your portfolio, whilst guest speakers will help you to understand the world of animation and illustration, how it works and how you can make your mark on it.

How to apply

This course is not accepting applications at this time. Please contact the provider to find out more.

Application deadlines

If your application is completed by the following date, it’s guaranteed to be considered:

15 January

*If you apply after this deadline, universities or colleges don’t have to consider your application if they’ve filled their spaces, so the sooner you apply, the better!

Application codes

You will need these codes when you add a choice to your application.

Course codeW216
Institution code F98
Campus nameFutureworks (Manchester Media School)
Campus code-

Points of entry

The following entry points are available for this course:

  • Year 1
  • Year 2
  • Year 3

International applicants

We are unable to accept applications from EU & International students.

Entry requirements

Qualification requirements

QualificationOfferFurther information
UCAS Tariff 104 points
A level BCC
Pearson BTEC Level 3 National Extended Diploma (first teaching from September 2016) DMM

As part of the selection process you may be required to declare any unspent criminal convictions. Please see https://futureworks.ac.uk/how-to-apply/degree-course/making-an-application/ for further details.

Please click the following link to find out more about qualification requirements for this course


Additional entry requirements


Interviewer: Joe Darlington (Programme Leader)


For your portfolio we recommend including some observational drawing, ideally life drawings. Experience in digital working and animation is not necessary prior to starting the degree, but if you have explored any of these avenues already then we'd love to see them. Other than that, bring in any work you are particularly proud of, between 8 and 10 pieces in total, and be prepared to talk through your working process in the interview.

English language requirements

GCSE level 4 & above or equivalent

Fees and funding

Tuition fees

England £9250 Year 1
Northern Ireland £9250 Year 1
Scotland £9250 Year 1
Wales £9250 Year 1
Channel Islands £9250 Year 1

Additional fee information

We are unable to accept applications from EU & International students.
Digital Animation with Illustration at Futureworks - UCAS