BSc (Hons)

Computer Animation

Choose to focus on the more creative or technical the aspects

G451UCAS code 3yrsfull time 1yrplacement option

Star Course Overview

Why take this course?

This course will give you the chance to focus on either the more artistic graphical aspects of computer animation or the more technical side, including programming and scripting. Both pathways will enable you to learn about the practical and theoretical aspects of the animation industry, from traditional animation to modern 3D animation.

What will I experience?

On this course you can:

  • Win prizes for your final-year projects awarded by our industry sponsors including Autodesk, Avid and Sony
  • Use our cutting-edge, industry-standard software and benefit from access to extra curricular workshops in support of your skills, such as software and drawing skills
  • Opt to do a salaried placement year either in the UK or overseas

What opportunities might it lead to?

This course mirrors many industrial processes and creative practices, equipping you for some of the most exciting jobs in today’s media industries. Potential employers include the animated film, TV, computer games and visualisation industries.

This is one of the few institutions in the UK that is NUKE accredited by the Foundry. NUKE is a compositing software package used throughout production in the computer animation industry to mix computer graphics with live action film.

Here are some routes our graduates have pursued:

  • visual effects, games, 3D animation and visualisation
  • 3D modelling and digital sculpturing
  • 3D graphics for simulation
  • motion capture
  • virtual reality
Sam Hoffman, BSc (Hons) Computer Animation student 2013

I like the fact that it’s a BSc, unlike most courses which are BAs. I just like the fact that this was the computer side and not just the drawing side – though Portsmouth offers the BA as well.

Sam Hoffman, BSc (Hons) Computer Animation student 2013

Apply for September 2016

Our entry requirements may be different during Clearing, so please contact us on 023 9284 8000 to discuss your options.

Key Facts

UCAS Course Code:
3 years full time, 4 years sandwich with work placement
280 points to include a minimum of 2 A levels or equivalent. See full entry requirements
We accept UCAS points from other qualifications. See full details and English Language qualifications
The UCAS tariff for 2017 entry has changed. See how this affects your tariff score A LEVELS
112 points to include a minimum of 2 A levels or equivalent. See full entry requirements

We accept UCAS points from other qualifications. See full details and English Language qualifications

UK/EU/Channel Islands and Isle of Man students
2016/17 entry: full time: £9,000 p/a*
2017/18 entry: full time: £9,250 p/a*

International students
2016/17 entry: full time: £12,700 p/a**
2017/18 entry: full time: £13,300 p/a**

*Tuition fee may be subject to annual increase.
**Tuition fee is subject to annual increase.

View tuition fee terms and conditions
View additional course costs

+44 (0)23 9284 2421
School of Creative Technologies
Programme specification
Accreditations & Endorsements


Computing and Creative Technologies

Find out what our students say about studying at Portsmouth, including:

  • Hands-on, practical work and real-life learning, which is transferable to future careers
  • Modern facilities and access to the latest technology including numerous computer labs, TV studios and a motion capture suite
  • Approachable lecturers who have experience and contacts in the industry

Browse all courses in Computing and Creative Technologies

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Light bulb Structure & Teaching

Year one

The content of the course mirrors many industrial processes and creative practices that we have discussed with our industrial partners both in film and games industries. You will begin the course by getting to grips with the software tools and editing packages which you will use throughout the course. You will also begin to build your own portfolio of work while examining the issues of copyright, piracy, hacking, social engineering and codes of conduct.

Core units in this year include:        

  • Foundation in 3D Modelling
  • Foundations in Graphics
  • Skills and Principles for Animation
  • Tools for Animation
  • Visual Communication
  • EPortfolio

Year two

In this year you continue to develop your animation skills including rigging, environment modelling, character modelling and animating characters for games or film. There is also a range of options which allow you to choose whether you would like to pursue a more artistic or technical study route.

Core units in this year include:

  • Ancilliary Animation and Software Skills Project
  • Commercial Asset Production for Real Time
  • CGI Lighting and Look Development

Options to choose from in this year include:

  • Animation Programming and Scripting
  • Creative Music and Effects for Film and TV
  • Design and Visual Research for Cinema and Game
  • Designing for Animation
  • Designing Interactive Content
  • Mathematical Elements for Games and Animation
  • Visualisation and User Interaction
  • Professional Experience
  • Student Enterprise

Year three*

There’s a wide range of options in your final year allowing for specialisation in the areas that interest you the most. You’ll also complete an individual project on a topic of your choice as well as a year-long group project, chosen from a pool of real-life projects proposed by a range of clients.

Core units in this year include:

  • Creative Media
  • Creative Professional Portfolio
  • Final Year Project

Options to choose from in this year include:

  • Animation and Setup for Computer Animation
  • Interdisciplinary Group Project
  • Motion Capture Applications
  • Real Time Interactive Group Project
  • Advanced Graphics Techniques
  • Advanced Visual Effects and Environments

*This course is also available as a 4-year sandwich (work placement)

Placement year

Between the second and third years of study you will have the option to undertake a work placement year. There are two exciting options for the placement year:

  • Professional/industrial placements – work for a company or organisation on a professional placement year

We offer a range of salaried professional placements as part of your degree.  You can gain invaluable work experience to help you prepare for your graduate employment.  The University can provide you with advice on how to secure a work placement that matches both the needs of your degree and your future career plans, as well as giving you useful links and contacts.

  • Self-employed placement year – set up and run a business on your own or as a group

Interested in running your own business instead? We also offer students the chance to start-up and run their own company for a year as an alternative to the traditional work-based placement. Students who choose this option often start-up their companies with fellow, like-minded students, working together, as a bona fide operation, in an attempt to build a successful venture. The Faculty and University provide mentoring and support throughout the year.

To find out more visit our Employability and Enterprise page.

Teaching and Assessment

You will experience a variety of teaching through lectures, seminars, tutorials, laboratory sessions, online lessons and project work.

We constantly work with game developers and professional bodies such as TIGA to ensure that the course stays up-to-date, guaranteeing that you learn the skills valued by today’s games industry.

How are you assessed?

Due to the practical nature of this course, assessment is extremely varied and includes:

  • practical projects
  • work portfolios
  • academic and evaluative essays
  • multiple choice tests
  • oral presentations
  • examinations
  • case studies

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Monitor Facilities & Features

Specialist Software and Equipment

A full range of industry software will be available for you to use in the computer labs. You’ll have excellent resources at your fingertips including:

  • the Virtual Reality Lab
  • motion capture facilities
  • Half Life 2 (source game engine)
  • Unreal game engine
  • XNA (Dreamspark) Xbox 360 development environment
  • Maya
  • Macromedia software

The Games Lab

This is home to all the latest consoles for our game students. You’ll have access to Playstation 3 development kits, PSP development kits, Playstation 2 Linux development kits (available to borrow) and a range of other consoles and games.

University Library

Modern, comfortable and a great learning environment, our library offers a wealth of information including 400,000 books, DVDs, maps and thousands of online ejournals and newspapers. Many electronic resources are available anywhere, 24/7 and our friendly staff are always on hand to help.

Budgeting for your studies

There are extra costs associated with studying, which you will need to consider when planning your expenditure.

Recommended texts:
If you wish to purchase recommended texts, rather than borrow from the University Library, the average price is £50-£60. You may be studying up to 6 units a year, each with a standard recommended text.

General costs:
We recommend that you budget £75 a year for costs of photocopying, memory sticks, DVDs and CDs, printing charges, binding and specialist printing.

Final year project:
If your final year includes a major project, there could be cost for transport or accommodation related to your research activities. The amount will depend on the project you choose to develop.

Other costs to consider


You may need to spend £50 - £100 per annum on drawing and modelling materials, CDs, and DVDs.

For the optional Student Enterprise Unit there is a cost of approximately £20.

For the optional diving skills units: The Underwater Filming and Media unit is available if you have not dived before. It includes a PADI Open Water course, combined with the Underwater Filming and Media course, and costs around £800. The Underwater Filming and Media B unit is available if you already hold a PADI Open Water certificate (or equivalent). It includes a further diving course (e.g. PADI Advanced Open Water), combined with the Underwater Filming and Media Course, and costs around £700 to cover tuition, transport and diving costs.

For one of the optional units you will need access to a digital camera.


You may need to spend £50 - £100 per annum on drawing and modelling materials, CDs, and DVDs.

For the optional Student Enterprise Unit there is a cost of approximately £20.

Occasional coach trips may require a contribution of up to £20.

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Mortarboard Careers & Opportunities

Career prospects

Where next?
Where next?

The South East is the entertainment and IT centre in England so you’ll have lots of opportunities on the doorstep. On completing this course, you’ll possess the full package of professional skills for use in the media industry, as well as other areas such as business, commerce and education. With an emphasis on graphics and animation, this course produces creative technical artists specialising in 2D or 3D animation.

Graduates from this course have been successful in finding work with these big names:

  • Visual effects and animation: Cinesite, Double Negative, Moving Picture Company (MPC), Massive, Frame Store, Industrial Light and Magic (ILM), Weta
  • Motion Capture: Lionhead Games, Centroid, Imaginarium
  • Games: Black Rock, Climax, Codemasters, Electronic Arts, Exient, Jagex, Kuju (Zoe Mode and Nik Nak Games), Pivotal Games, Rebellion, Sony, Travellers Tales

Work experience

Employment boosting opportunities
Employment boosting opportunities

Here at the CCI’s Creative Careers Centre we are committed to improving your employability. Whether it’s placements, self-employed placements, internships, short-term work experiences, freelancing opportunities and volunteering, we will help you find valuable and relevant work experience to complement your degree. The experienced team is always on hand to offer advice on everything from producing high-quality applications through to preparation for a company assessment day.

Career planning

Career planning
Career planning
6.04 minutes

To make sure you take the right steps on your career path, we’re here to give you help, support and advice throughout your study. Even after you’ve graduated, we continue to give you support for up to five years.

Employers tell us that they want graduates to be able to demonstrate certain skills when they come out of university. Our courses take account of this. We make sure we prepare you for employment through work-related learning, projects, placements and working in simulated environments that are designed to prepare you for the working world.

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