For other NFTS masters courses
- All production costs covered by the school, making NFTS Animation one of the best value courses in the country.
- Being the only animation course situated in a film studio, we can cater for big ideas.
- Students have their own work spaces and equipment to make their graduation film.
- Films are finished in professional sound stages and post-production facilities.
- Production team members become invaluable colleagues when you leave and work on future projects.
- A Creative Skillset-Accredited Directing Animation MA course.
We welcome EU/EEA Students. Those accepted onto the course starting in 2018 and 2019 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 £10,609 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.
Application Deadline: 05 Jul 2018
We offer an exciting two year MA course that helps you direct the film that you have always wanted to make.
The first year is packed full of inspiring workshops led by talented filmmakers and industry professionals. These include, improving your animation skills, writing better narratives and developing fresh approaches to design and techniques.
In the second year, you will direct a full production team to bring your vision to life, using the school's state-of-the-art production facilities.
We encourage all forms of visual storytelling; including drawn and stop-motion animation, life-size pixelation and even puppeteering. Students are inspired to push the boundaries; to find interesting new animated techniques and fresh approaches to storytelling.
Learning to work with a team is central to the course. Collaborative workshops with other filmmaking disciplines, help animation directors understand the role of each crew member and the skills they bring to the filmmaking process.
Our aim is to help you create films that will steer the animation industry into new and exciting directions.
The Animation department regularly arranges open days. Please email The Registry if you would like to visit.
Foundation in Visual Storytelling
Finding stories through sound, staging, characters and documentary interviewing
Animation Practice: Sand Animation
Animating a personal memory with sand and adding emotions with music
Project One: Pre-Production
Developing more dramatic and emotional storytelling with a 3 minute animatic
Animation Practice: Stop Motion
Intensive stop motion character performance workshop
Workshop: Animated Moments
Introduction to animation producing
Workshop: Character of Place
Pixillation production on life size sets
Animation Practice: Drawn Animation
Advance drawn animation skills
Project Two: Character Film
Develop and animate a film that pushes character design, psychology and performance. Project includes drama classes with Complicite, and a directing voice-actors' workshop
Festival d'Animation d’Annecy
The school covers the cost of travel, hotel and accreditation to this renowned festival
Students pitch their ideas for a trailer to advertised the London International Animation Festival. The winning ideas are made in the summer break
Workshop: Sound Design
Changing the meaning of animation through sound
Project Three: Sound + Technique Film
Experimental film based on a given soundtrack. The project helps push animation technique and design
Workshop: Production Design
Designing new worlds that can create stories
Grad Film Development
A series of workshop, trips and events for graduation film inspiration
Grad Film Pre-Production
Turning your film idea into an animatic, testing animation technique and production design
Grad Film Production
Directing your team and optional animators and assistant to make the grad film
Grad Film Post Production
Editing, digital effects, sound mix and final grade.
*Please note we constantly update and improve our course content and so the above outline
can change from to year to year
For the outline programme specification and MA course student agreement, please view the documents available on our entry requirements page for more information.
The Animation department is led by Robert Bradbrook (Home Road Movies) and the senior tutor is Ed Foster (Little Princess). Other regular tutors include, Caroline Leaf (The Street, Two Sisters), Paul Bush (Furniture Poetry, His Comedy), Osbert Parker (Yours Truly, Film Noir), Marjut Rimminen (Many Happy Returns, The Stain), Kim Noce (The Key, After), Matt Abbiss (God, Play), Stuart Hilton (Save Me, Six Weeks In June)
Oscar winning Nick Park (Creator of Wallace & Gromit), BAFTA winning Mark Baker (Peppa Pig, Ben and Holly's Little Kingdom), Emmy award-winning Benjamin Sanders (Nickelodeon’s Peter Rabbit), Oscar nominated Sharon Colman (How to Train Your Dragon), BAFTA winning Daisy Jacobs (Bigger Picture), BAFTA winning Nina Gantz (Edmond), Stephen Warne (Kubo and the Two Strings), Simon Cartwright (Man-O-Man), Joseph Pierce (A Family Portrait) all studied at the NFTS.
We are looking for people with a desire to tell stories, who have a strong visual sense and the skills to direct a production team.
Whilst we take applicants from many varied backgrounds, the course is ideal for someone who works in the animation industry and has reached a stage where they want to develop their own work and become a director.
Successful applicants should have either:
- a degree in a relevant subject, such as animation, graphics, illustration or fine arts
- taken an intensive short animation courses
- or has worked in the animation industry
All applicants must show a passion for animation though the work they are developing.
Part One: Digital Portfolio Submission
All applications must be accompanied by the following supporting materials:
- A Portfolio of Animation/Moving Image with a maximum running time of 20 minutes. Your submission must include a complete film created by you. It can be either a personal or commissioned project, but it should be more than a simple exercises done on a previous course.
- A Portfolio of Still Images. This can include illustrations, sketchbook work, digital artwork, photography of puppets and sets that you have made or anything you think will suitable for your application.
Part Two: Induction Workshop and Interview by invitation only
Because the course focuses on collaboration and team work we have a workshop as a part of the interviewing process.
The workshop gives us all the chance to meet in a working environment, and for you to learn about storytelling for short animated films. We provide extensive feedback to your work and candidates find the workshop very useful even if they were unsuccessful with getting on the course.
How to Apply
You can apply directly to us at the NFTS by clicking on the link below:
- Apply for Directing Animation course
- You can apply online, or download a word document of the application form to submit via email
When selecting your course, please ensure that you have read the entry requirements and details of the supporting materials that should accompany your application.
Timing your application
We are happy to receive applications 24/7 and 365 days a year up until the deadline.
- 2 Year Course
- Course runs Jan-Dec each year
- Next intake: January 2019
- NFTS Scholarships available for UK Students