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MA 3D Animation

Course details


London campus or live online

Start date

23rd September 2024


1 year

Mode of study

Full time (5 days per week)

2024 fees

London campus (UK students): £18,995

London campus (international students): £19,995

Live online: £15,995

Entry requirements

An undergraduate honours degree in a field related to animation

Degree awarded by

Transparent black Coventry University logo
Third place Rookies award icon for animation careers review school rankingsTop 10 Rookies award for creative schools in the UK

Course Overview

Take your animations to the next level by unlocking your creative potential. 

Advancements in technology and the boom of the VFX industry have made computer animation one of the fastest growing industries, with an estimated value of £1.6bn in the UK only (source Creative UK).

This postgraduate qualification is designed for students who want to take their computer animation skills to the highest level. 

During the first 18 weeks, common with our popular Advanced Animation course, you’ll learn your craft and master advanced practices, such as creature interaction, dialogue and lipsync. We'll then take you to the next level and put your skills to test with two major industry-standard projects, including a collaborative group project just like in a studio. You’ll create high-quality animations to use in your showreel. 

At the end of the degree, you’ll have earned a postgraduate qualification, have a showreel of cool animation work and a deep understanding of the animation and visual effects industries. 

Our industry connections, experienced tutors, who boast credits including The Lion King, Godzilla and Doctor Strange, Talent Development Team and Aftercare programme will help you build your network to kick-start your creative career. 

See also 3D Animation (12 weeks) or Advanced 3D Animation (18 weeks)

See More Student Work

Why choose this course

  • Ranked 3rd in the UK - and 8th in Europe in the Animation Career Review’s school ranking 

  • Ranked 3rd in the UK - and 27th in the world for 3D Animation by The Rookies 

  • Based in London - home to some of the best animation studios in the world  

  • Industry feedback - receive industry-standard critique from an expert in their field. Previous studio partners for our animation course have included Blue Zoo, Passion Animation Studios and Framestore 

  • Industry briefs - work on industry-standard briefs and experience real-life scenarios, just like in a professional studio  

  • Professional input - our advisory board of experts, from the likes of DNEG (Avengers: Endgame and Oscar-winning Dune) and Cinesite (Iwájú and Thor: Love and Thunder), help develop and keep this degree relevant

  • Successful alumni - you'll join our community of thousands of Escapees, many of whom have gone on to work at some of the world’s top studios. 31 Escapees worked on Thor: Love and Thunder, 28 on Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore and 16 on Stranger Things

  • Aftercare package - we'll help you polish your showreel and find the right job, with access to our studios and showreel clinics for 12 months

  • Industry-standard facilities - study in a studio environment that mirrors current industry practice, using professional software such as Maya 

  • Flexibility - choose to study live online if you can’t travel or need a visa to study in the UK. The final 24 weeks are project based and can be organised around a part-time job or personal schedule 

  • Recognised degree - graduate with a postgraduate MA qualification from Coventry University which will boost your employability around the world. 

Course modules

This programme is a one-year course including 18 weeks of direct teaching time, a 12-week collaborative project and a 12-week final project. 

The first 12 weeks are common with our 12-week 3D Animation course and the first 18 weeks are common with our 18-week Advanced 3D Animation course. 

  • General introduction to Maya 

    • Basic modelling 

    • Texturing

    • Lighting 

    • Rigging 

  • General principles of animation 

  • Locomotion 

    • Introduction

    • Runs 

    • Hops 

    • Jumps 

    • Skips 

  • Character animation 

    • Introduction 

    • Building and blocking a shot 

    • Parenting 

    • Constraints 

  • Weight and flexibility, physics and adding characterisation 

  • Animal locomotion: trots, walks and runs 

  • Animal locomotion continued 

  • Acting, dialogue and lip sync 

  • Final exercise 

  • Project 

  • Advanced character animation: dialogue and lip sync 

  • Advanced character animation: acting and performance 

  • Advanced motion capture and facial performance

  • Advanced creature animation: creature performance and acting 

  • Advanced character and creature interactions 

  • Project and polish 

For this module, you will work on a project as a group, to demonstrate your ability to choose correct techniques and approaches, and to apply them to a specified professional brief. 

For this module, you will work on a final major project with feedback and guidance from your tutors and industry professionals. It will allow you to showcase your in-depth knowledge of your specialism area, ready for use in a portfolio. 

For more details about modules, see the programme and module specifications.

More Information

  • Maya

To apply, complete an online application form which includes a link to submit your portfolio. Our Admissions Team will get in touch to take you through the next steps.

If you have any questions about your application, your portfolio or our entry requirements, get in touch!

As part of the application process, you will need to agree to our terms and conditions for your place on the course to be secured.

Minimum requirements

An undergraduate honours degree with a significant component in the field of animation or related discipline. 

Applicants without a degree who have significant industry experience in animation or related creative subjects will be considered. 

Suitable applicants will be asked to submit a postgraduate portfolio.  

English language requirements

All our courses are taught in English. If your first language is not English, you may need to complete an English language test, such as a Pearson English language test (PTE Academic) or International English Language Testing System (IELTS) test, to demonstrate you have the language skills needed to complete your degree.

QualificationScore required
IELTS 6.0 IELTS (with a minimum of 6.0 in Reading and Writing and 5.5 in Speaking and Listening)
PTE 62 including 60 in each subtest
Cambridge English: Advanced & Proficiency176 (with a minimum of 169 in Reading and Writing and 162 in Speaking and Listening)
Internet-based TOEFL90 Overall including at least 22 in Reading, 21 in Writing, 17 in Listening and 20 in Speaking

International students will be required to hold a Secure English Language Test (SELT) at B2 in order to be able to apply for a visa to study at Escape Studios on a student visa. View Qualifications that are accepted by UKVI.

You may be exempt from proving your English level if you are from an English-speaking country listed as recognised for visa purposes or have a degree level qualification obtained in one of these countries. The latest list is available on the UK Government website.

For students who have a SELT at B2 but who do not meet our requirements, we can also consider alternative qualifications. Please contact for more information.

If you’d like to discuss your circumstances before applying, contact us at or +44 (0) 20 4570 5091.

We can provide remote access to our workstations during teaching time. Due to availability restrictions, we highly advise you to have your own set up at home to study in your own time.

More things you’ll need:

  • A strong internet connection

  • An external hard drive (minimum 2TB) to back up your work during the course

  • A three-button mouse (or optionally graphics tablet)

  • A computer microphone (and optionally a webcam)

  • Note-taking materials

If you have any questions about learning online or if you need help with what to buy, get in touch at

Fees for 2024 entry

London campus:

  • UK students: £18,995

  • International students: £19,995

Live online: £15,995

Our postgraduate fees are payable within the first 18 weeks of the course, with a deposit to be paid before the start of the course. Please note, we review our fees every year.

Fees include:

  • Escapee Aftercare and career support, including help and advice on your CV, showreel and job applications for 12 months after the end of your course.

  • Free Autodesk student registration allowing access to educational versions of software such as Maya and Arnold.

  • 18 weeks of classroom study followed by 12 weeks of remotely directed learning and a 12 to 15-week remotely directed final project. All with feedback from your lead tutor and from an industry professional.

Funding for UK students

To be eligible for funding from Student Finance England, you must be studying on an eligible course at a provider registered with the Office for Students (OfS). Escape Studios is registered with the Office for Students and our Master’s programmes are eligible for funding.

Visit for more information.

Payment plans

We offer a range of payment plan options for all courses. Following an initial deposit at registration stage, your chosen payment plan will break down your remaining fees into up to six equal instalments, to be paid over the course length.

Contact our Admissions Team on or +44 (0)204 570 5091 or visit our admissions page for any questions about fees, funding, payment plans and scholarships.

“The UK is home to distinct and highly successful centres of animation production excellence throughout the country, including Belfast, Bristol, Cardiff, Dundee, Edinburgh, London and Manchester.” (source Animation UK)

You’ll graduate with a postgraduate qualification, strong creative, technical and soft skills, including collaboration and communication, and a killer portfolio put together with advice from tutors and industry professionals. Ready to apply to start your career in the industry! 

Animators often start out in junior roles to then rise to mid-level and senior roles such as Lead Animators and Technical Directors, opening the path to becoming an Animation Supervisor.  

Our students have gone to work in many areas of the industry, including 3D animation for films, TV, games and visual effects, at companies including Pixar, Blue Zoo and Framestore. Read some of our animation Escapee success stories.

Check out our Careers Guide for more information about career opportunities and progression routes.

The assessment methods employed in this programme have been developed to mirror industry practice as far as possible. We balance feedback from tutors and industry experts. It is crucial that, as a student, you learn how to accept and work with feedback from your superiors and peers, as this will be the norm when you work in industry. You also need to develop a keen self-critical eye, to be able to step back from your work and see what you could improve, and to have the ability to look at yourself and your working practices and make changes where necessary.  

Formative assessment

This is one of the most important aspects of your work. You will receive regular feedback from your tutor, studio assistants and peers during your modules. This will often be oral feedback on your work, sometimes on a one-to-one basis, sometimes in a group feedback session or daily. All of this should help you build on your strengths and develop your skills as you progress through the course. 

Summative assessment

This will be specifically designed to measure how well you meet the learning outcomes of the module. They will usually involve a task to meet a brief set by your tutor and will allow you to demonstrate the knowledge and skills that you have learned during the module. You’ll need to decide exactly how to complete the task, choosing particular techniques and approaches, and making decisions on the aesthetics and style to meet the given requirements. 

Each module will have a practical element (usually a practical project, where you make something) and a written element (usually a journal or blog, where you reflect on what you’ve made). Sometimes you will also have to give a presentation to demonstrate your work. All these elements are essential to your development, by showing that you can deliver to a required level and that you understand why you can and how you could improve.

Summative assessment breakdown

For your pathway modules (locomotion and mechanics, character performance, animals and creatures), you will be assessed as follows: 

  • Practical project – 60% 

  • Production logbook – 30% 

  • Individual presentation – 10% 

For the collaborative module, you will be assessed as follows: 

  • Group project – 80% 

  • Retrospective group presentation – 20% 

For the production project, you will be marked as follows: 

  • Production project – 60% 

  • Written retrospective – 40% 

For more information, see full programme specifications.

Your overall workload will be divided between teaching sessions (5 days per week) and independent learning. 

During your course, you’ll be able to develop your knowledge and skills in a number of ways. Some learning time will be closely directed and supervised by your tutors, at other times you’ll be free to organise your own study with guidance. All your scheduled studio time, except for some information sessions and presentations, will be in smaller groups based on specialism. 

For your team project, you’ll be working with a smaller team, collaborating to meet a shared brief. This will give you ample opportunity to get the support and assistance that you need. 

The first three modules have a high contact time (180 hours for each module), as this is where you will learn the knowledge and skills associated with your chosen subject, directed and informed by your tutors’ expertise and experience. These will normally involve a large part of each day with your tutor and studio assistant, following demonstrations and working on set exercises to help you develop your craft. 

The Studio Project and Production Project modules will have a lower contact time (15 hours and 30 hours respectively), with your tutors taking on the roles of supervisors or studio leads. You’ll meet with them regularly to get feedback and help you stay on the right path, but these modules are much more about you managing the learning experience to meet your objectives. You’ll be free to organise your work either as a team or an individual to best suit your project requirements. 

Each module has its own area on our Online Learning Environment (OLE) where you will find information about the module and the resources that are provided to support your learning. Some of this information will be dedicated to the module, other elements may be shared across different modules and some may be external assets that can help with your further study. There may be links to videos, online journals and e-books, and you should take advantage of these to enhance your development and take it beyond the studio experience. Tutors may highlight some of these during their sessions. 

Students with additional needs or disabilities are supported by our Student Services team

Overall workload 

This programme has two entry points each year. It is divided into two stages. Stage 1 comprises modules to a total of 120 credits and stage 2 comprises a 60-credit Production Project module. You must successfully complete each module in order to be awarded the specified number of credits for that module. One credit corresponds to approximately ten hours of 'learning time' (including all classes and all private study and research). Obtaining 180 credits in an academic year requires 1,800 hours of overall learning time. 

The first three modules are taught in intensive blocks of six weeks each, giving a total of 18 weeks. During each of these modules, you will spend around 30 hours per week studying in tutor-led sessions or practice supported by studio assistants. The final two modules are more self-directed. The Studio Project will take around 12 weeks, during which you will have around 15 hours of feedback sessions with your tutor. Finally, you will spend around 18 weeks on the Production Project, including around 30 hours of feedback sessions with your tutor. 

Each 30-credit module on the course requires you to commit 300 hours of study, with one 60-credit module which requires 600 hours of study. Some of these hours will be formally supervised in the learning environment and others will involve private study.  

For more details about modules, credits and workload, see full programme specifications.

Profile picture of Lee Caller

Meet our industry-experienced tutors

Lee Caller is the lead tutor on this short course. With an IT and comedy writing background, he’s been an Animator since the 1990’s. Our tutors work together to develop our courses. They all have industry experience, at studios such as Walt Disney, DreamWorks and Framestore, and are experts in their fields, including certified trainers for Autodesk Maya.

Meet your tutors

Student Showcase

Escape Studios is a place that puts students in the perfect position to succeed. The most important thing was networking - exposure to the people who have the jobs to give! I met recruiters, artists, producers, just about every person I needed to meet to gain connections. 

Harry Pearson, Animation Escapee
Previs Shot Creator at The Third Floor