Royal College of Art

24 months
28400 GBP/year
9500 GBP/year
Tuition fee
Apply date
Start date


With over 30 years of being on the cutting edge of animation, the Animation Programme has an international status as a subject leader. During this time, the discipline of animation has undergone many changes with developments not only in production methods, but also in how it is conceptualised, distributed and positioned. 


The RCA Animation Programme is world-renowned for artistic, director-led creative practice and innovative risk-taking, and works of our award-winning alumni span the shift from analogue materials to digital technologies. Our students find their own meaningful fit or stance within a continuum – between mimetic narrative to playful abstraction  – of techniques, concepts and canons to contribute to a greater collective intellectual and creative capital. 

The Programme philosophy has at its core that animation is central to contemporary debates in visual culture and communication. It is a moving image form that extends across a global landscape of technologies, screen platforms, and human/nonhuman relationships. This is impacting and influencing intellectual, artistic, political and cultural agendas that, in turn, affect people in their daily lives. Whether films, installations, projection mapping, theatre environments, sci-tech visualisation tools, the spatial politics of citizen science games or apps, we engage with animation’s increasing pervasiveness and influence of our understanding of how we see the world.

Structured around practice, experimentation and constructive critique, the curriculum has a particular emphasis on developing creative content informed by collaboration, contextual research and verbal and textual articulation. Enduring historical relations with the material-based media of painting, drawing, illustration and sculpture – the ‘stuff’ of animation practice – are enhanced by contemporary innovation and the paradigm shifts of digital and information revolutions. We support outstanding aspiring practitioners to gain the critical tools, specialist knowledge and the confidence to take the authorial lead and be game changers and innovators in their respective fields. 

Programme Structure

Our three distinct pathways, one of which students select as part of their application:

Documentary Animation: This is a new pathway that addresses the fast-growing documentary practices involving animation and other forms of image fabrication. The Documentary Animation pathway is about fusing animation practices with documentary approaches, and questions how we represent and apply the real. 

Experimental Animation: Built on the well-established auteur/director basis of directing, production and narrative, Experimental Animation takes a more exploratory and innovative approach to Animation, extending beyond conventional models to post-screen, post-digital and installation/live environments.

Narrative Animation: This pathway focusses on experimentation with forms of storytelling. This is not intended as a film-school training in conventional ways to tell a story, but as a serious exploration of narratology in the moving image.

Key information


  • Full-time
    • 24 months

Start dates & application deadlines




240 alternative credits


On Campus

Academic requirements

We are not aware of any academic requirements for this programme.

English requirements

IELTS admission requirements IELTS The International English Language Test System (IELTS) tests your English-language proficiency on a scale of 1 – 9. The score refers to the combined average score of 4 subjects (writing, listening, speaking, and reading).

Other requirements

General requirements

  •  Applicants are normally expected to have a degree in art and design or equivalent experience. In recent years, the profile of successful applicants to the Programme has diversified to include those with a background in science, humanities and architecture, as well as those from moving image, communications and fine art.
  • Applicants must submit a showreel of animated/moving image work, no longer than 15 minutes, demonstrating an aptitude for sequential thinking. Their particular role on any collaborative projects should be clearly indicated. Applications without a showreel of moving-image work cannot be considered.

Tuition Fee

  • International

    28400 GBP/year
    Tuition Fee
    Based on the original amount of 28400 GBP per year and a duration of 24 months.
  • EU/EEA

    9500 GBP/year
    Tuition Fee
    Based on the original amount of 9500 GBP per year and a duration of 24 months.


UK and EU students receive a subsidy from the British Government and pay a reduced fee. To qualify for the home or EU rate of tuition fees you will need to meet certain strict conditions related to your nationality, visa status and residency. 

To find out more about how fee status is assessed, visit the UK Council for International Student Affairs (UKCISA).

Studyportals Tip: Students can search online for independent or external scholarships that can help fund their studies. Check the scholarships to see whether you are eligible to apply. Many scholarships are either merit-based or needs-based.

Due for update

Updated over a year ago

Check the official programme website for potential updates.

Our partners

Royal College of Art