Our credits tell the story.

Why study Directing Animation at the NFTS? We are rated as the No.1 International Film School by The Hollywood Reporter.
  • A Creative Skillset-Accredited Directing Animation MA course.
  • The MA course in Directing Animation offers extensive facilities for digital and traditional 2D and 3D techniques.
  • Storytelling skills developed alongside technical expertise.
  • Animators work with full filmmaking team.
  • Studios and workspaces to make your own short graduation film.
  • Unlike other schools, all production costs are met by the School.

We welcome EU/EEA Students. Those accepted onto courses starting in 2017 and for the following intake in 2018 will have their fees guaranteed at the UK rate for both years of the course. Postgraduate students can apply for a loan to help with their studies via the Student Loans Company Loans. A £ 10,000 loan is available to contribute to course and living costs. The Post Graduate Loan is only open to EU/EEA and UK Students who normally live in England.  It is not currently available to Scottish, Welsh or Northern Ireland Students. Find out more here.

Course Overview

Over 400 animation awards have been won by NFTS students including 6 Oscar Nominations- two of these in the last three years! , the first animation to win student Oscar, 7 BAFTAs, 8 RTS Awards, 7 official Cannes Selections and the first ever Student Annie Award.

It is the ONLY Animation course located in dedicated film studios.

Students have their own work space and equipment and uniquely  are supported by the other disciplines of cinematography, sound design, visual effects, production design, screenwriting and others!

Students work in state of the art sound stages and post production facilities.

There is a packed first year of projects, workshops and masterclasses taught by industry professionals and animation legends.

In the second year students direct a crew of 10 of their peers from all the major filmmaking disciplines located in the School.

Our Animation course covers a broad range of techniques and media and technology continues to advance while the importance of good storytelling remains paramount.

This two year course begins in January each year.  It emphasises the importance of story alongside design and visualisation.   Our definition of animation is broad, covering almost any treated or stop frame technique.  Many students work in a combination of techniques.  Students are encouraged to push the boundaries to find a new look, a fresh approach or a different angle within the narrative structure.

Learning to build and work with a team is central to the course.  Collaborative workshops with other filmmaking disciplines help animation directors understand the roles of each crew member and the skills they bring to the filmmaking process.

Our aim is to educate and prepare our graduates to go out into the Industry with a wide range of practical skills, experience and industry contacts.  To achieve this in two years we have a curriculum of workshops, masterclasses, set projects and an MA dissertation.

Animation Department's website

The Animation department regularly arranges open days. Please email The Registry if you would like to visit.


Students develop their animation and storytelling skills by exploring relationships between animation, narrative and film language.  Through experimenting with different techniques they will broaden and enhance their personal style.

The MA Animation course includes:

  • Storyboarding
  • Creating Character
  • Animation performance
  • Directing actors
  • Pixillation workshop
  • Industry project – working to a brief, developing and pitching
  • Visual/animated interpretation of a soundtrack
  • Dissertation
  • Research and script development for the graduation film
  • Graduation film – produced and post produced with students from other departments


Nick Park (Creator of Wallace & Gromit), Mark Baker (Peppa Pig, Ben and Holly's Little Kingdom), Tony Collingwood (The Secret Show) and Emmy award-winning Benjamin Sanders (Nickelodeon’s Peter Rabbit, Rock Dog featuring the voices of Luke Wilson, JK Simmons and Eddie Izzard). studied at the NFTS.

Entry Requirements

We’re looking for people with a desire to tell stories, a strong visual sense and an enthusiasm for film and television culture and history. Applicants may have industry experience and now want to develop their own work. Successful applicants will certainly have a relevant degree, such as animation, graphics, illustration or fine arts.

Apply With

  • A DVD with a maximum total running time of 20 minutes.  This should include more than just simple exercises.
    Your submission must include an animated film created by you. It should also contain a narrative or a sequence of information (eg animatic). It may also include commissioned work.  
    Up to five minutes of other materials may be included at the end of the disc, provided the total running time of the DVD does not exceed 20 minutes. 
    If  dialogue is not in English, please send a dialogue transcript in English via email
    DVD must be a DVD-R.  Do not send Data DVDs or Data CDs
  • proposal for a one minute animation project, which is not on the DVD, to include concept and synopsis.
  • portfolio of illustrations and drawings showing your range of graphic ability, preferably including life drawing
    and an optional collection of up to 10 still photographs of models and sets used in a 3D animation project.

How to Apply

The application deadline has now passed, however there may still be a chance to apply. Please contact registry via email stating your name, course of interest and contact details: info@nfts.co.uk
  • 2 Year Course
  • Full-time
  • Course runs Jan-Dec each year
  • Next intake: January 2017
  • NFTS Scholarships available for UK Students