Entry requirements

You should have a strong desire to tell unique stories and can embrace alternative and imaginative approaches to visualisation and narrative construction. The ability to clearly articulate your ideas and work well as part of a team is a must due to the collaborative nature of the course and the animation industry.

All applicants must show a passion for visual storytelling through their portfolio of work. While a background in animation is desirable, successful applicants have come from many creative environments such model-making, comic books and dance.

While many applicants will have a degree from a British or overseas university, in a relevant subject, we will consider applicants who do not have a degree if they have an impressive portfolio, a creative track record or an alternative qualification.

Months of entry


Course content

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

The NFTS Directing Animation MA is world-renowned for being one of the most dynamic and creative animation courses. If you have a passion for storytelling, creating characters and the art of animation, the course will give you the skills to bring these passions to life on screen and help you develop into the filmmaker you aspire to be.

Our students learn both the art and craft. All forms of visual storytelling are encouraged and nurtured; giving you the opportunity to work across traditional and digital media including drawn 2D, 3D, stop-motion and life-size pixelation. You will feel empowered to push boundaries; confident in finding your own unique voice, while exploring traditional and cutting edge animation techniques and fresh approaches to storytelling.

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 create your projects within a workshop environment that inspires experimentation and creativity. You will gain the skills required to write, direct and animate films, graduating with a portfolio of outstanding work that will provide a showcase for the techniques and knowledge required for a successful career.

Course Facilities

Each animation director, in their first year, is offered their own desk area with computer in a shared studio space. In the second year, students have their own small rooms to use as a production base. Workstations are fully equipped with the latest design and animation software.

What You Will Study

Collaboration is the key to succeeding in the world of animation and it is also central to the ethos of the course and the NFTS. Collaborative workshops with many other filmmaking disciplines across the School fosters a strong team spirit and are an essential tool, enabling you to better understand the role of each crew member and develop expertise across the whole of the production process.

The first year builds a solid foundation across all aspects of animation. It is filled with inspiring workshops, including improving your animation skills, writing better narratives and developing fresh approaches to design and techniques.

In the second year, you will develop, produce and direct your graduation film, leading a fully crewed team who will enable you to bring your vision to life.

The professional pipeline of making films at the NFTS will prepare you to be ‘job ready’ upon entering the highly competitive field of animation while the creative freedom the course gives will help you steer an industry that thrives on innovation in new and pioneering directions.

At the NFTS you will get far more time learning directly from tutors, in industry standard production facilities and on real projects, than in the vast majority of film schools or universities.

The specialist nature of our courses mean that you’ll gain the relevant skills and experience you need to go straight into the industry.

Information for international students

This course is open to UK/EU/International students.

Fees and funding

Please visit our website for fees information. All production costs are included in the course fees, including the use of School facilities and equipment.

The NFTS is committed to ensuring it is open to students of genuine ability, no matter what their background or financial circumstances, 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.

Qualification, course duration and attendance options

  • MA
    full time
    24 months
    • Campus-based learningis available for this qualification

Course contact details

Course Enquiries