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 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.

Application Deadline: 06 Jul 2017

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


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’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

  • 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 simple exercises done on a previous course. 
  • 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.
  • Select one item from your submission and write an evaluation of the strengths and weaknesses including that of your own creative contribution.

How to Apply

You can apply directly to us at the NFTS by clicking on the link below:

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
  • Full-time
  • Course runs Jan-Dec each year
  • Next intake: January 2018
  • NFTS Scholarships available for UK Students