This unique two year course is designed to equip you with the skills to write, direct and animate award winning films.
  • 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.

Course Overview

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.

To discover more about NFTS animations visit the Department's Website

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


Year One:

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

LIAF Trailer
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

Year Two:

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 (Nickelodeons 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.

Entry Requirements

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. 

Apply With

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

The application deadline has now passed, please contact registry via email stating your name, course of interest and email address if you would like to be added to a mailing list:
  • 2 Year Course
  • Full-time
  • Course runs Jan-Dec each year
  • Next intake: January 2019
  • NFTS Scholarships available for UK Students