BA (Hons) Computer Animation

The industry-facing CG content of this Computer Animation course is underpinned by solid artistic and creative practices, enabling you to produce the best results possible. You’ll complete your work using industry- standard software across a range of projects, many of them designed to help you identify what you are good at, and to specialise in it. During major projects, you’ll work with others in a collaborative manner in a work-simulation environment that mirrors industry studio practice. You’ll study the history of animation, as well as marketing, business skills and entrepreneurship, all of which can enhance your employability when you graduate. 

This Skillset-accredited Computer Animation degree is designed with industry professionals to ensure you have the up-to-date skills and specialist training required by the film, TV, commercials, VFX and games industries. Because of this, our graduates are snapped up by companies like Sony Pictures Imageworks and Dreamworks Animation and have gone on to work on productions that include Harry Potter, Beowulf, Spiderman 3, Dinotopia, Walking with Beasts, Walking with Dinosaurs and more.

You’ll begin with an introduction to 3D computer animation and 3D digital art principles, then progress to advanced computer-based animation, 3D digital art and compositing. During years two and three you’ll have the opportunity to specialise in areas such as character animation, animated short film-making and much more. See more student work on our Computer Animation Hiive website

UCAS Code Study Mode
Duration Start Date Campus Campus Code
WW26 Full-time 3 Years September Cardiff (ATRiuM) B
UCAS Code Study Mode
Duration Start Date Campus Campus Code
WW26 Full-time 3 Years September Cardiff (ATRiuM) B

Year one: Computer Animation degree

  • Introduction to Animation Techniques
  • Visual Studies: Animation
  • Contextual Studies: Animation
  • 3D CG Fundamentals
  • Introduction to CG Production Pipeline
  • Character Design, 3D CG Modelling and Animation

Year two: Computer Animation degree

  • Critical Studies: Animation
  • Visual Forms in Animation and Computer Games
  • Narrative Forms in Animation, Comics and Computer Games
  • Visual and Narrative Forms in Animation
  • Minor Project (3D CG)
  • Personal Project (3D CG)
  • Collaborative Project (3D CG)
  • Advanced 3D Computer Art Techniques
  • CCI Work Experience

Year three: Computer Animation degree

  • Major Project Production (3D CG) Running 40 Specified
  • The Animation Business Running 20 Specified
  • Critical Research: Animation Running 20 Optional
  • Advanced CG Production Pipeline Running 20 Specified
  • Major Project Pre-Production (3D CG)


You will complete practical work using industry standard equipment and software, which is given a contextual background through taught modules in culture and history.


You will be assessed primarily through coursework.


This computer animation course is recognised by Creative Skillset, Sector Skills Council and carries the Creative Skillset Tick for the purposes of indicating courses best suited to prepare for a Creative Industries career.

Our computer animation degree is also part of the Skillset Media Academy Wales, a partnership of the leading film and media schools in Wales, offering an exceptionally high standard of education that is endorsed by industry.


Gareth Hutchinson, Computer Animation Course Leader
Pete Hodges, Academic Subject Manager
Philip Duncan, Lecturer
Nick Hood, Lecturer
Brian Fagence, Lecturer
Gerald Emanuel, Lecturer
Lorna Walker, Lecturer
Stan Evens Demonstrator

The entry criteria below shows the qualification range within which the University will make offers. Most offers we make are at the top of the range, but we take all aspects of an application into consideration and applicants receive a personalised offer. Combinations of qualifications are acceptable and other qualifications not listed here may also be acceptable.


You will be asked to take part in a 30-minute interview before we can fully consider your application or make you an offer. You will be also be required to bring a portfolio to support your application. This is because the course requires students to have strong artistic and design abilities. Your portfolio should be a carefully constructed selection of your work, preferably produced during your most recent course of study, and can include any personal work or projects that you feel are relevant to the course. All work should be well organised and presented.

You may wish to demonstrate examples of:

  • Life-drawing and Observational drawing
  • Painting and Mixed-media studies
  • Evidence of design and thought processes
  • Examples of character designs, concept art, etc
  • Technical drawings (if appropriate)
  • Photographs of any physical 3D work that you have produced
  • Sketchbooks showing all preparatory work

You may also wish to bring examples of digital 2D or 3D CG work on a tablet, laptop, or HDD for consideration at the interview. During the interview you should be prepared to discuss your work and the designers, animators and/or artists who have influenced you. The interview will last for approximately 30 minutes.

Typical Welsh BACC Offer

Pass the Advanced Welsh Baccalaureate Diploma with Grade C/D in the Skills Challenge Certificate and BC - CD at A Level with a relevant art and design subject (this is equivalent to 104-80 UCAS tariff points).

Typical A-Level Offer

BCC - CDD to include a relevant art and design subject (this is equivalent to 104-80 UCAS tariff points).

Typical BTEC Offer

BTEC Extended Diploma Distinction Merit Merit - Merit Merit Pass in a relevant subject (this is equivalent to 112-80 UCAS tariff points).

Typical IB Offer

Pass the International Baccalaureate Diploma with higher grades of between 655-445 to include a relevant higher subject (this is equivalent to 112-80 UCAS tariff points)

Typical Access to HE Offer

Pass the Access to HE Diploma with 60 credits overall – the credits should equate to between 106-80 UCAS tariff points (examples below)

45 Level 3 credits equating to 15 Distinctions, 24 Merits and 6 Passes in a relevant subject (106 UCAS Tariff Points)

45 Level 3 credits equating to 12 Distinctions, 6 Merits and 27 Passes in a relevant subject (80 UCAS Tariff Points)

Additional Requirements

GCSEs: The University normally requires a minimum 5 GCSEs including Mathematics and English at Grade C or above, or their equivalent but consideration is given to individual circumstances

International Entry Requirements

We also welcome international applications with equivalent qualifications. Please visit the country specific pages on our international website for exact details.

English Requirements

In general, international applicants will need to have achieved an overall IELTS grade of 6.0 with a minimum score of 5.5 in each component.

However, if you have previously studied through the medium of English IELTS might not be required, but please visit the country specific page on our international website for exact details. If your country is not featured please contact us.

All fees are per year. Once you have started your course, your fee will remain the same for each year of study.

August 2017 - July 2018 Fees

  • Full-time UK and EU:  £9000 
  • Full-time International:  £11900 

August 2018 - July 2019 Fees

  • Full-time UK and EU: TBC
  • Full-time International: TBC

Additional Costs

Students have access to a wide range of resources including textbooks, publications, and computers in the University’s library and via online resources. In most cases they are more than sufficient to complete a course of study. Where there are additional costs, either obligatory or optional, these are detailed below. Of course students may choose to purchase their own additional personal resources/tools over and above those listed to support their studies at their own expense. All stationery and printing costs are at a student’s own expense.

* Obligatory

Item Cost
Kit (Uniform and Equipment) £40 - £80
External Hard Drive (£40-£80 required all academic years).
Kit (Uniform and Equipment) £50 - £400
Wacom Tablet (required all academic years)
Kit (Uniform and Equipment) £150 - £200
Sketchbook / Drawing materials (required all academic years)
Kit (Uniform and Equipment) £200
Books/ Magazines (£200 required all academic years).
Field Trips £500
FMX Festival Trip (Year 2 & 3)
Other: Misc. travel/ entry costs for visits * £50 - £100
All academic years

UK and EU students

Apply via UCAS if you are a UK/EU residing applicant, applying for year one of a full-time undergraduate degree, Foundation Year, Foundation Degree or HND and you have not applied through UCAS before. If you are applying to study part-time, to top up your Foundation Degree or HND, or to transfer to USW from another institution, please apply directly

International students

Apply directly to the University if you live outside the UK/EU. 

Admissions statement

Computer Animation Graduates have gone on to work at prestigious studios including:

  • Sony Pictures Imageworks (USA)
  • Pdi/ Dreamworks (USA)
  • Animal Logic (Australia)
  • Core (Canada)
  • Framestore CFC (UK)
  • Double Negative (UK)
  • Cinesite (UK)
  • Aardman CG (UK).

Students from the Computer Animtion course have worked on the impressive animated VFX sequences in films such as:

  • Alice Through the Looking Glass
  • Guardians of the Galaxy
  • Ant Man
  • Gravity
  • Thor: The Dark World
  • Maleficent
  • The Dark Knight & Dark Knight Rises
  • Les Miserables
  • The Harry Potter Films
  • Inception
  • I Am Legend
  • Happy Feet

Our Careers and Employability Service

As a USW student, you will have access to advice from the Careers and Employability Service throughout your studies and after you graduate.

This includes: one-to-one appointments from faculty based Career Advisers, in person, over the phone or even on Skype and through email via the "Ask a Question" service. We also have extensive online resources for help with considering your career options and presenting yourself well to employers. Resources include psychometric tests, career assessments, a CV builder, interview simulator and application help. Our employer database has over 2,000 registered employers targeting USW students, you can receive weekly email alerts for jobs.

Our Careers service has dedicated teams: A central work experience team to help you find relevant placements; an employability development team which includes an employability programme called Grad Edge; and an Enterprise team focused on new business ideas and entrepreneurship.