Reasons to choose the programme

Our students and alumni have made this programme one of the most successful in the UK in terms of festival and competition wins.
We offer a unique synthesis of digital and analogue techniques; we will teach you how to use our facilities including CGI labs, stop frame studios and rostrum cameras.
Our teaching and technical staff are a team with diverse and extensive commercial experience across the broadcast, film and interactive animation industries.
Uniquely, our final year students have the opportunity to make films on their own or as part of a team.
Each year we invite internationally renowned animators to visit the department and deliver a lecture series for our students and staff.

"If you want to create worlds, characters to populate them, and show the events and consequences of living within those worlds in film, then we want to talk to you."


At ECA we will encourage you to challenge your preconceptions of what animation is, and to deepen your understanding of how to use animation to communicate with others. In simple terms, you will be taught how to bring drawings, paintings, objects, models, puppets and text to life, whether they are generated physically, by hand, or virtually, by computer. You won’t just make things move, you will imbue them with heart and soul. Your work will not only engage audiences: it will encourage them to willingly suspend their disbelief.

If you want to create worlds, characters to populate them, and show the events and consequences of living within those worlds in film, then we want to talk to you.

How you will be taught

The programme is small, which allows us to teach in ways that are unique within the UK, but its scope is great and the success of our graduates is even greater. Our philosophy is non-prescriptive about technique: you will learn many different ways to animate, rather than focusing on one particular method. We are also non-prescriptive about what your final projects will be. Most of our students make films, some make games or apps, or make music videos. We value teamwork almost as much as employers do, but you will also get many opportunities to work solo. We are one of the few courses in the UK that will give you the opportunity to make a film that’s entirely your own, and allow you to develop a voice that is uniquely yours.


Our animators have gone on to work for studios including Aardman, for directors such as Tim Burton, for video games companies including Rockstar North, post-production houses such as Rushes, Framestore and MPC, to set up their own studios, or to work as independent filmmakers winning multiple awards at a local, national and international level.

How to apply and entrance requirements

If you'd like to study on an undergraduate programme at Edinburgh College of Art, you must apply through UCAS, the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service. You can find out how to do this on the University of Edinburgh Degree Finder, where you'll also be able to

  • see the structure of the programme and what you will study each year
  • see detailed entrance requirements for each programme on the Degree Finder
  • get information on what to expect after you apply
  • find out about fees
  • find out where to go for further advice and guidance

Take me to University of Edinburgh Degree Finder


If you have any questions about the application process, your qualifications or deadlines, our Undergraduate Admissions Office will be happy to help you.

Email the Undergraduate Admissions Office:


Application process

For application to the BA (Hons) Animation programme at Edinburgh College of Art a portfolio should demonstrate the following essential, and preferably at least some of the desirable elements. Please be aware that the inclusion of these elements will not guarantee the offer of a place, this is entirely dependent upon the quality of the portfolio, and the applicant’s qualifications.

 Essential portfolio assets 

  • Demonstration of life drawing ability 
  • Confident use of a variety of drawing media and techniques 
  • Confident use of colour 
  • Evidence of sequencing or pattern in folio (Drawings/prints of objects changing state, or drawings/prints of repeating pattern, for example) 
  • Evidence of narrative or storytelling (Written evidence or storyboarding or comic strips, for example)
  • Confident use of IT 


Desirable portfolio assets 

  • Familiarity with a 3D modelling & animation package (Such as Maya or 3D Studio Max, for example) 
  • Familiarity with 2D painting or photo manipulation packages (Photoshop or Painter, for example) 
  • Familiarity with compositing software (Premiere or After Effects, for example) 
  • Any form of animation 


Things to consider 

  • Candidates should be able to express an awareness of the medium in its different form 
  • Candidates should be able to confidently express their reasons for wanting to be an animator 
  • Candidates should be able to clearly express their career ambitions 
  • Candidates should be able to identify a role model from within the medium of animation. 


What happens next?

We will contact you with our decision by mid-May. If you are made an offer, you will be invited to attend an Offer Holder Day.

Offer Holder Days typically take place in April and are opportunities for successful applicants to learn more about their subject areas and life as a student at Edinburgh College of Art and the University of Edinburgh. Whether you visit us in person or attend a virtual Offer Holder Day, you will have the opportunity to meet with academic staff and current students from your programme, tour the studios and other facilities and attend general information sessions.

Alumni profiles


Jared Taylor

Programme Director, Animation


Tel: +44 (0)7734 565 391

Facilities and resources

The animation studios and workspaces at Edinburgh College of Art allow Animation students to work on all aspects of producing their own films. You will have your own desk space to develop your ideas through drawing and using the available light-boxes, and then the studios and editing suite will help you bring your stories to life.

The Film and TV studio is a large flexible space used for technical workshops, as well as for small set builds and studio productions.

Students at the University of Edinburgh have access to a range of library resources across the campus and online.


College of Arts, Humanities & Social Sciences Undergraduate Admissions Office

Tel: +44 (0)131 650 3565