Model Making for Animation
Duration 1 year
Next intake September 2022
Application deadline 05 May 2022
This unique and exciting one year full-time practical Postgraduate Diploma course aims to equip students with the skills and experience necessary to enhance their career in the field of professional model/prop making within animation or other media industries.
2020 course graduates are now working in the puppet and model departments at leading Animation powerhouses including Aardman Features, Mackinnon and Saunders, Factory Create and Arch Film Studio. Other alumni are working on large scale Marvel films at bigger UK studios.
Our students work in a fully-equipped workshop/studio environment and collaborate with those in other specialisms, such as animation, production design, digital effects and cinematography, to make several films and practical projects – with all production costs met by the School.
All NFTS students can attend Masterclasses. Recent guests include David Fincher (Fight Club), Greta Gerwig (Little Women), Steve McQueen (12 Years A Slave), Edgar Wright (Hot Fuzz), Phoebe Waller-Bridge (Fleabag), Ben Wheatley (Free Fire), Rapman (Blue Story), Louis Theroux, Debra Granik (Winter’s Bone), Denis Villeneuve (Bladerunner 2049), Lynne Ramsay (You Were Never Really Here), Sam Mendes (1917), Asif Kapadia (Senna), Joanna Hogg (The Souvenir), Russell T Davies (Doctor Who) and Travis Knight (Kubo And The Two Strings).
This course is industry recognised by ScreenSkills, the industry-led skills body for the UK's screen-based industries, and carries the ScreenSkills Select quality-mark which indicates courses best suited to prepare students for a career in the screen industries.
The NFTS wants to encourage applications from the brightest and best talent out there, whatever your background. That’s why we have made scholarship funding available for this course – visit our scholarships available for diploma courses page for more information.
Recent credits and successes
Photos from recent student projects
What you will study
This is the only UK-based model making course located in a dedicated film studio environment. We intend to take advantage of that. We will be creating professional models, sets, props and puppets. Successful candidates will work individually, and as part of a team within a course comprising of challenging modules, workshops, and tutorials, some of which will take place online.
Later in the year students will produce work on some of the animation graduation films.
Download programme specification (PDF)
Head of Department
The course is run by Head of Model Making, John Lee. During his career, John has worked in Commercials, Animation, Children’s TV, Promo’s, and Feature Film, as both Modeller, Art Director and Designer. Credits include Star Wars: The Last Jedi, Isle of Dogs, Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, Fantastic Mr Fox and Frankenweenie. He was also Production Designer and supervising model maker with his team of artists on the multi award winning John Lewis Christmas advert The Bear & The Hare.
Current or Recent Tutors
Recent visiting tutors have included Joe Holman (Frankenweenie, Corpse Bride, Fantastic Mr. Fox), 3 times BAFTA-nominated director Osbert Parker, and Josie Corben (Save Ralph, Isle of Dogs, Spitting Image, Frankenweenie, Fantastic Mr. Fox).
Model Making students take part in a range of modules and exercises throughout the year.
There will be no typical candidate for this course. Your background will almost certainly be in the Arts, and you may well be a recent graduate or Industry professional looking to further specialise.
You will most likely have some pre-industry experience of model making or training in your chosen field and have a basic understanding and experience of workshop equipment and machinery. The ideal candidate should have a mixture of creative, technical, communicative, and problem solving skills necessary to work within a highly productive team.
You will be expected to have your own tool kit and to expand on this during the year, at your cost.
Your application should be supported by a brief outline of your interests in modelling, puppet making, sculpture, filmmaking etc, and show photographic examples of a selection of your best work with detailed notations.
While many applicants will have a degree from a British or overseas university, we will consider applicants who do not have a degree if they have an impressive portfolio, a creative track record or an alternative qualification.
If you are an EEA or International citizen, you must already be in possession of UK settled/pre-settled status or another visa which allows you to study for the duration of the course. If you do not already hold a UK status, unfortunately we cannot accept your application as we are currently unable to support a visa on our Diploma courses.
If you have any questions, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
How to apply
Application deadline:05 May 2022
Applicants must supply the following:
- Please provide links to your online portfolio, website or showreel and supply detailed notations of your contribution to the images. State whether the work is collaborative or created by you entirely.
- If you are selected for an interview, you will be expected to show examples of your work in the form of a photographic stills portfolio, as well as digital format on a laptop or tablet and bring to interview some examples of models or puppet making.
Applications open 3rd January 2022. We are happy to receive applications from 3rd January until the midnight of the application deadline date.