This unique two-year MA aims to equip students with the skills to write, direct and animate innovative films. NFTS graduate films have won some of the most prestigious awards in animation including the BAFTA for Short Animation for the last five years in a row.

Graduates include Wallace and Gromit creator Nick Park, whose debut A Grand Day Out was his NFTS graduation film, and Peppa Pig creator Mark Baker.

Students will collaborate with those in other specialisms to make several films, putting into practice the skills they learn during the course. In the second year, students have their own work spaces and equipment to make their graduation film, which are finished in professional sound stages and post-production facilities – with all production costs met by the School.

We are the only UK animation course based in a film studio, so we can cater for ambitious ideas.

All NFTS students can attend the School’s masterclasses programme, with recent animation guests including Travis Knight (Kubo and the Two Strings, The Boxtrolls), David O’Reilly (The External World, Please Say Something) and Dorota Kobiela (Loving Vincent).

Recent credits and successes

Paloma Baeza’s graduation film Poles Apart won the 2018 BAFTA for British Short Animation, the fifth year in a row an NFTS film has won. 

Anushka Naanayakkara’s graduation film A Love Story won the 2017 BAFTA for British Short Animation. 

Graduate Nick Park made the first Wallace and Gromit film, A Grand Day Out, as his NFTS graduation film.

Nina Gantz’s graduation film Edmond won the 2016 BAFTA for British Short Animation. 

Daisy Jacobs’ graduation film The Bigger Picture won the 2015 BAFTA for British Short Animation. 

What you will study

Our aim is to help you create films that will steer the animation industry into new and exciting directions. The first year is packed full of inspiring workshops led by talented filmmakers and industry professionals covering a range of topics, including improving your animation skills, writing better narratives and developing fresh approaches to design and techniques. In the second year, you will direct a full production team to bring your vision to life, using the school's state-of-the-art production facilities.

We encourage all forms of visual storytelling; including drawn and stop-motion animation, life-size pixelation and even puppeteering. Students are inspired to push the boundaries; to find interesting new animated techniques and fresh approaches to storytelling.

Learning to work with a team is central to the course. Collaborative workshops with other filmmaking disciplines, help animation directors understand the role of each crew member and the skills they bring to the filmmaking process.


Download programme specification

Download course outline

Current or recent tutors

Matt Abiss

Matt Abiss

Visiting tutor

Credits include Poor God and Play

Robert Bradbrook

Robert Bradbrook

Head of Animation

Directing credits include Home Road Movies, Dead Air, The Journey

Paul Bush

Paul Bush

Tutor, Animation

Credits include Babeldom, His Comedy, Furniture Poetry

Caroline Leaf

Caroline Leaf

Visiting tutor

Credits include The Street and Two Sisters

Kim Noce

Kim Noce

Senior tutor

Credits include Forget Me Not, The Key and After

Marjut Rimminen

Marjut Rimminen

Visiting tutor

Credits include The Stain and Many Happy Returns

Fees and funding options

Fees for this course are as follows:

Home/EU/EEA £14,300 per year

Overseas £30,000 per year

We also welcome EU/EEA students on the same rate as our UK students – and those enrolling onto a two-year MA in January 2019 will continue to pay home fees for the second year of their MA.

In the last year, 8 in 10 UK MA students received support, with more than £800,000 given out in total.

There is a compulsory, non-refundable £60 application fee for each MA application. A non-refundable deposit of £500 is required against the cost of your fees on confirmation of your place. As a part of our admissions selection process, successful applicants are required to attend a selection workshop for five days, which has a fee of £150. 

All production costs are included in the course fees, including the use of School facilities and equipment. The School also covers the travel costs for curriculum-related off-site visits. Students are expected to provide their own laptops.

The NFTS is committed to ensuring it is open to students of genuine ability, no matter what their background or financial circumstances. We don’t want anybody to be put off applying for a place at the NFTS because of the cost, which is why we award more scholarships and bursaries to British students, relative to the size of our student body, than almost any other educational institution in the UK.

At the NFTS you will get far more time learning directly from tutors, in real production facilities and on real projects, than in the vast majority of film schools or universities – and we won’t charge you extra for the cost of productions or materials. The specialist nature of our courses mean that our students gain the relevant skills and experience they need to go straight into the industry.


Every year, our students direct a number of short films.

Entry requirements

We are looking for people with a desire to tell stories, who have a strong visual sense and the skills to direct a production team. While we take applicants from many varied backgrounds, the course is ideal for someone who works in the animation industry and has reached a stage where they want to develop their own work and become a director.

Successful applicants should have either a degree in a relevant subject, such as animation, graphics, illustration or fine arts; taken an intensive short animation course; or worked in the animation industry. All applicants must show a passion for animation though the work they are developing. 

For international students, more information about our entry requirements, including Visa and English language requirements, can be found here

If you are not sure whether your experience or qualifications are appropriate, please ask the Registry for advice -

How to apply

Application deadline: Contact Registry


The application deadline has now passed, please contact registry via email stating your name, course of interest and email address if you would like to be added to a mailing list:


All applications must be accompanied by the following supporting materials:

  • A Portfolio of Animation/Moving Image with a maximum running time of 20 minutes. Your submission must include a complete film created by you. It can be either a personal or commissioned project, but it should be more than a simple exercises done on a previous course.
  • A Portfolio of Still Images. This can include illustrations, sketchbook work, digital artwork, photography of puppets and sets that you have made or anything you think will suitable for your application.

Because the course focuses on collaboration and team work we have a workshop as a part of the interviewing process. The workshop gives us all the chance to meet in a working environment, and for you to learn about storytelling for short animated films. We provide extensive feedback to your work and candidates find the workshop very useful even if they were unsuccessful with getting on the course.