Directing Animation

Scholarships available

2 Years Full-time

Main Campus In person

Application deadline 4 Jul 2024

Apply now for Beaconsfield

Directing Animation

Course Overview

This is the only two-year specialist Directing Animation MA. 

The Directing Animation MA at NFTS is a globally acclaimed course that offers an unparalleled creative and dynamic learning experience in animation. If you have a flair for visual storytelling, this course equips you with the necessary skills to bring your creative passions to life on the big screen and enables you to evolve as a filmmaker, achieving your aspirations. 

Renee Zhan working in animation studio
Renaldho working on animation in studio
Ciara Kerr Profile Picture

"Collaboration with other departments gave me a much deeper understanding of filmmaking. This has been invaluable when working in the animation industry."

Renee Zhan
2020 Graduate, Director of BAA award-winning and Annie Award-nominated graduation film O Black Hole!

"There is a great environment of experimentation and play, which really allowed me to push ideas and become more confident in my creativity."

Renaldho Pelle
2019 Graduate, BAFTA and Sundance nominated director of The Fire Next Time

"The course helps students find their creative voice, which is why the NFTS Animations are so special - they reflect the unique individuality of the filmmakers."

Ciara Kerr
2023 Graduate, director of Homemaker, recently selected and screened at the Zagreb Animation Festival

Content Tabs

Our program encompasses both the artistic and commercial worlds of animation - our grad films have won some of the most prestigious festival awards or been developed into world-renowned TV series.

All forms of visual storytelling are nurtured across traditional and digital media, including drawn 2D, CGI, stop-motion and life-size pixelation. You will feel empowered to push your creative boundaries and discover your unique voice while exploring new animation techniques and storytelling approaches.

Led by some of the most talented artists from across the animation industry, the course combines art school philosophy with state-of-the-art film school facilities. You'll work on projects within a workshop environment that encourages experimentation and innovation and will give you the skills needed to write, direct, and animate films. 
WATCH: Sam Gainsborough explains the creative process of his graduation film Facing It. (YouTube).

During your time at the school, you will collaborate with all the other key departments, including Screenwriting, Editing, Composing, Sound Design, Production Design, Cinematographer and Producing, giving you insight into their practice and how they can take your creative vision to new heights. Upon completing the program, you will have led a complete production team and amassed an impressive portfolio that exemplifies your skills and prepares you for a successful animation career.
WATCH: Micky Wozny explains the collaboration process in his graduation film Something Borrowed. (YouTube).

COURSE FACILITIES

Creative Space - As an artist, you'll have access to our facilities that help you grow and develop. During your first year, you'll work in our first-year base equipped with all the necessary art materials to explore visual storytelling with your classmates. Each student gets their own desk area complete with a computer, Cintiq, camera rostrum set up, and all the software you need to get started.

In your second year, you'll have your own office to use as a production base to lead your team, as well as the use of the school’s shooting spaces if needed. 

Funding Available

The NFTS awards more scholarships and bursaries to British students, relative to the size of our student body, than almost any other educational institution in the UK. If you’re successful at gaining a place on the course, you will be contacted by our funding team with details on how to apply for one of these scholarships.

Upcoming Events

Tutors

Student Showcase

A Film About A Pudding - publicity still
A Film About A Pudding
2021 graduation film
Annie Awards - Best Student Film Nominee

Director - Roel Van Beek
Producer - Jack Pollington

After Ronin neglects to clear up her dropped groceries, they start to mix and bubble, transforming into a small pudding that slowly grows into the size of a city.

Watch it on our NFTS YouTube Channel
A Love Story publicity still
A Love Story
2016 graduation film
BAFTA Winner

Director - Anushka Naanayakkara
Producer - Khaled Gad

Two creatures fall in love, weaving a colourful world together. but when darkness threatens to consume one of them, the other must fight to stay together or risk being torn apart.

Watch it on our NFTS YouTube Channel
Facing It publicity still
Facing It
2018 graduation film
Animafest Zagreb - Best Student Film Award

Director - Sam Gainsborough
Producer - Jimmy Campbell-Smith

As a man anxiously awaits a meeting in the local pub, he is forced to explore his own difficult memories and relationships in an evening that will leave him changed forever.

Watch it on our NFTS YouTube Channel
Hill Farm publicity still
Hill Farm
1989 graduation film
BAFTA Winner and Oscar Nominee

Director - Mark Baker

A country couple and their shepherd endure drought, flood, a monstrous bear, hunters and tourists during a somewhat odd few days in their normally quiet life. 

Watch it on Mark Baker Films' official YouTube channel

Graduate Success

NFTS animation graduates have a wide range of career opportunities available to them. It's great to see the diverse activities that our students engage in, such as starting their own animation companies, forming collectives, directing for both terrestrial and streaming television, creating personal short films, directing music videos, commercials, and even animation feature films!

Graduate credits include...

Scale

Director Joseph Pierce. His new animation, funded by Melocoton and BFI, is an adaptation of Will Self’s short story and is screening at festivals worldwide. Discover More… https://josephpierce.co.uk/

Scale poster artwork

Graduate Success

NFTS animation graduates have a wide range of career opportunities available to them. It's great to see the diverse activities that our students engage in, such as starting their own animation companies, forming collectives, directing for both terrestrial and streaming television, creating personal short films, directing music videos, commercials, and even animation feature films!

Graduate credits include...

The House (Part 3)

Writer/Director Paloma Baeza.

the house tv poster

Graduate Success

NFTS animation graduates have a wide range of career opportunities available to them. It's great to see the diverse activities that our students engage in, such as starting their own animation companies, forming collectives, directing for both terrestrial and streaming television, creating personal short films, directing music videos, commercials, and even animation feature films!

Graduate credits include...

Farmageddon

Director Richard Phelan - who also works at Aardman as a lead story artist.

film poster showing animated sheep and aliens in space

Graduate Success

NFTS animation graduates have a wide range of career opportunities available to them. It's great to see the diverse activities that our students engage in, such as starting their own animation companies, forming collectives, directing for both terrestrial and streaming television, creating personal short films, directing music videos, commercials, and even animation feature films!

Recent graduates include...

Sam Gainsborough - Director for Blinkink

Sam has worked on various projects, including a recent B&Q advert. Discover More… https://blinkink.co.uk/directors/sam-gainsborough

B&Q advert - man leaning on sofa chair surrounded by lights and electricity

Graduate Success

NFTS animation graduates have a wide range of career opportunities available to them. It's great to see the diverse activities that our students engage in, such as starting their own animation companies, forming collectives, directing for both terrestrial and streaming television, creating personal short films, directing music videos, commercials, and even animation feature films!

Graduate credits include...

The Rubbish World of Dave Spud

Creator/Writer/Director Ed Foster. Ed turned his NFTS grad animation into an award-winning children's TV series. Now in its third series with over a hundred episodes! Discover More… https://www.davespud.com/

The Rubbish World of Dave Spud publicity poster