MA Advanced 3D Animation

  • Study Mode: Full time
  • Location: High Wycombe / BNU based at Pinewood Studios
  • Duration: One Year
  • Start Date: September 2022

You can also study this course:

If you have an undergraduate degree, some industry experience or a genuine love for Animation, you could take your career to the next level, with this advanced course. Upon graduating you’ll be able to showcase an industry-standard animated short or showreel, which could help you join this ever-growing industry. “Split between our High Wycombe campus and BNU teaching base at Pinewood Studios, you’ll have the opportunity to learn the skills and knowledge you need for your future, all whilst studying right in the heart of the famous creative hub”
Experience of 3D software such as Maya is highly recommended.
student using faceware software for media course
student using faceware software for media course
Woman sat at a table making notes on a bit of paper student writing studying

Application guide

For information on how you can boost your career-prospects and apply for our postgraduate courses, follow our application guide.

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Postgraduate Open Days

Join us for a Postgraduate Open Day where you can discuss your options and chosen course with our course leaders.

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Fees and Funding

There’s a range of ways you can secure funding for your course, including sponsorship, scholarships and loans. And if you recently graduated from BNU, you may be eligible for a fee discount.

Why study this subject?

The UK has created some of the most influential and loved animation, which is recognised globally.

Tax reliefs for animation have made production in the UK more attractive than ever. There were 35 British animations completed in 2019-20 which claimed Animation tax relief (ATR), with UK expenditure of £83 million.

Since the relief was introduced, 305 animations have made claims, accounting for £519 million of UK expenditure.

This new government scheme, the animation industry is able to support growth and employability within its sector. (source)

Why study at Buckinghamshire New University?

This course will offer you the chance to focus on creating high quality animation or animated sequence. During your time with us you will be supported by knowledgeable lecturers and industry professionals while also taking advantage of our excellent resources.

The standard of animation at BNU is very high and this is reflected in the proportion of our students who go on to work successfully in the industry afterwards. We also run small classes which ensures that students gain meaningful access to our tutors.


What facilities can I use?

During your time on this course you’ll spend your time split between our High Wycombe Campus and Pinewood Studio, animation teaching base. On campus you’ll have access to our state-of-the-art library, computer suites and student services.

You’ll also be able to access a range of specialist software and hardware, including;

  • Maya
  • ZBrush
  • Nuke
  • Mari
  • Substance Suite
  • Marvellous Designer
  • Adobe Creative Suite
  • Cinema 4D
  • Redshift Renderer
  • Shotgun
  • Houdini
  • Houdini Engine
  • Unreal Engine
  • Megascans Asset library
  • Advanced Skeleton
  • And Ziva among other useful pieces of software

This can all be accessed online through our virtualised computer system which will provide you with all the necessary hardware power to complete the course no matter where you are based. Our licences can also be accessed and used on your own machines by using our Bucks Anywhere service.


This video was our first experiment with our new Xsens motion capture suits. With the help of dancers from BNU’s BA Dance and Performance course, we motion captured a routine on the concourse running though the university and replaced one of the dancers with a version of the Lonely Robot and comped this back into the footage. We also have state of the art Faceware kits for face motion capture.

What will I study?

On this degree you will cover abroad range of topics, from researching into the field of animation, looking at both historical and contemporary practice, to drafting a short sequence of your own derived from your research findings.

You will also look at the wider production pipeline needed for an animation, covering areas such as;

  • modelling
  • rigging
  • texturing
  • and lighting

Lastly, you’ll enter the preproduction phase before moving on to the production phase for your main project. This may be a continuation of your short sequence or something new and may be done individually or in a group.

How will I be taught and assessed?

We understand that to succeed on a creative course, you must be hands-on with learning. That’s why this degree is 70% practical work and 30% will involve reflective learning journals, presentations and academic reports.

This course will be delivered through lecturers, group sessions and 1:1s with tutors. You’ll also take part in a range of workshops, talks and lecturers with current industry professionals.

We encourage you to enter competitions, which will challenge you to produce your best work, and access feedback on your works in progress. We also run a monthly art challenge and provide additional life drawing classes, including online.

Useful Documents

MA Advanced 3D Animation Programme Specification

What are the course entry requirements?

Graduate entrants to the programme will normally hold an Honours degree or equivalent in a relevant subject.

The University also welcomes applicants who have significant industry experience and no formal qualifications. Applicants with a suitable portfolio can be offered places based on artistic ability and experience.




This provides a guide of the modules that make up your course. You can find more information about how your course is structured on our Academic Advice section.

Year 1 Modules

Research and Experimentation

Production Pipeline

Story Telling and Emotion: Group Project


Production Project

What are the tuition fees


Home, Academic Year 2022 - 2023

£10,000 per year


Overseas/International, Academic Year 2022 - 2023

£14,800 per year

The University is unable to accept any new applications from students who require sponsorship for a student visa to start in September 2022. This is due to the overwhelming popularity of our courses and visa processing timeframes.  Applications are still being taken from students who are already in the UK and hold the right to study.

From September 2022, those students living in the UK or Republic of Ireland, and EU nationals with settled status in the UK, will be considered Home students.

Most courses will involve some additional costs that are not covered by your fees.

You could benefit from financial support through a bursary or scholarship during your time as a student. For more details visit our financial support, bursaries and scholarships section.

Questions about fees?

Contact our Enquiries Team:

0330 123 2023

What are my career prospects?

This course helps you grow and develop your skillset and create an industry-standard showreel. Get to know where your interests and talent lies, ready for the career you desire.

Employers are looking for animators and digital artists to fill their ever-growing art teams. Your MA shows that you are not just an excellent practitioner, but also that you can engage in critical thinking at an advanced level and understand the theory behind the craft. The skills you learn on this MA Advanced 3D Animation course are transferable to any kind of animation.


Course leader

The silhouette of a white head and shoulders of a person against a grey background
Rob Penhaligon
  • Senior Lecturer
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