Animation and Illustration - FdA [Full Time]

Level 5 - Foundation Degree or HNCs/HNDs or NVQ Level 5 or Equivalent

Subject Area Art and Design

School Creative and Digital Technologies

Attendance Full-Time

UCAS Code  WW26

UCAS Code  WW26


The FdA Animation & Illustration programme aim is to develop skills and attributes that are essential within the area of contemporary animation and illustration based on the needs of local and national industry. The course prides itself on forward thinking and new approaches to working with narrative visualisation and character design both on screen and in print. The practical techniques that are delivered to students develop both traditional and digital skills with the emphasis on drawing and visualisation techniques as a foundation for studio practice. Students are introduced to alternative methods of working that allow a free flow of creative and experimental work to be produced as well as a clear understanding of industry practice and workflows that will benefit students in future careers within the Creative Industries. The staff are all established practitioners that use their experience of contemporary practice to inform the curriculum.

Students will have access to high specification PC’s and Macs to facilitate the creation of complex composits, digital visualisations, 2D and 3D animations in a host of applications that will enhance the quality of final outputs.

Recent placements have been provided by Arcus Studios, Kuro Dragon and The Live Theatre.
The programme has annual enrichment trips including Pictoplasma character Design Festival in Berlin, which host contemporary international designers through a series of talks, exhibitions and workshops. The Animation and Illustration staff have built solid working relationships with Pictoplasma over the last nine years.


This course runs on the following dates:

Start Date: 17/09/2018 at 09:00
Duration: 2 Years
Venue: Rye Hill Campus

Work Guarantee

As part of our work ready guarantee you will undertake a variety of industry linked projects and live briefs with employers giving you valuable experience of working as a practitioner within the animation & games industry.

Who the course is for

The course is designed for individuals that have a passion for creative arts and want to pursue a career within the sector. We are looking for motivated, interesting and informed applicants who embrace their subject and are willing to commit to a programme of study that will allow progression either into employment or Level 6 study.

Qualification Gained

On successful completion you will be awarded a Foundation Degree in Animation & Illustration.

"When I discovered that Newcastle College offered a course on animation, I knew I had to get on it. It has been a life changing experience."

Setwart Little
FdA Animation (Full Time)

Industry Average Salaries

Below are some of the typical job roles and salaries within the sector:

Junior Level Role

Junior Animator - £12,000-£15,000

Middle Level Role

Senior Animator - £22,000-£25,000

Senior Level Role

Design Manager/Art Director - £35,000-£45,000

How to Apply

Apply for September 2018

If you would like to study a degree at Newcastle College this September you can register your interest here. A member of the team will then be in touch with you to discuss your options.

If you are an international student please visit our international application section for further information about how to apply and entrance requirements. Additional start dates may be available please speak to our International Office on +44 191 226 6323 or email


Click on the "Apply for this course" button at the bottom of this page.

Course Content

Year 1
• Personal Development/ Recognition of Prior Learning
• Work Related Learning
• Practice Enrichment Contextual Studies 1
• Digital Skills Acquisition
• Principles of Animation
• Animation Production.
The first year has a strong focus on developing core skills within animation and illustration with emphasis on developing traditional drawing skills and the acquisition of digital skills in a range of software that outputs 2D and 3D art work.


Year 2
• Professional Development
• Work-Based Learning
• Alternative Techniques
• Contextual Studies 2
• Digital Skills Application
• Character Design
• Compositing
• Commercial Animation Production
The second year facilitates specialisms in either animation or illustration or a combined practice, whichever route is chosen you will have the opportunities to visualise your own narrative concepts as well as industry set briefs.



Learning Methods

You will learn in a variety of ways including via practical project-based learning and e-learning. You will develop relevant practical skills underpinned with theoretical knowledge in order to prepare you for a rapidly evolving industry across a variety of animation settings. Learning takes place in classrooms, and in the digital CAD suite. You will also participate in practical sessions, group work and self-directed study. You will be given opportunities to present group work to your peers developing skills in presentation and increasing self-confidence.
You will learn through a variety of teaching and learning methods including written practical assignments, presentations, peer work and independent study.
You will put together a portfolio of work, evidencing the units of the qualification, which is internally assessed and externally moderated as the course progresses.


Assessment Methods

You will be assessed through the outcomes of the modules you will study. A range of practical and theoretical activities will determine your final grades.

Progression Opportunities

Academic progression is available through one of our one-year BA (Hons) Creative Enterprise (Top-Up) degrees.

Career Opportunities

Successful graduates can progress into a career in animation or working with graphics agencies, film makers, studios and computer games companies.
By working on live briefs set by creative agencies, our students have gone on to secure placements, internships, commissions and employment at some of the leading design agencies in the country.

Entry Requirements

A minimum of 48 UCAS Tariff Points at A-level, BTEC QCF Subsidiary, 90 Credit, National or Extended Diploma; Pass in Diploma in Foundation Studies (Art and Design) .
Applicants are normally expected to have achieved grade C in GCSE Maths & English Language or the Level 2 equivalents.
Mature students (age 21) will be considered only on the basis of relevant industry experience.
Applicants for whom English Language is not their first language are expected to achieve a minimum IELTS Score of 6.0 or the nationally recognised equivalent.


Further Information

If you have a query about this course or would like advice on your study options, contact Student Services, based in Armstrong House at Rye Hill Campus. If you need information in another format (e.g. large print) or another language, please ask.

Student Services
Monday, Tuesday and Thursday: 8.30am - 4.30pm
Wednesday and Friday: 9.30am - 4.30pm

Monday - Friday: 8am - 4.30pm

Telephone Contact Centre
Monday - Thursday: 8.30am - 5pm
Friday: 8.30am - 4.30pm

You can also contact us via the following:

In person: Student Services, Armstrong House, Rye Hill Campus, Scotswood Road, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE4 7SA.
By phone: (0191) 200 4000 By fax: (0191) 200 4517 By minicom: (0191) 272 3304
By e-mail:
By post: Student Services, Newcastle College, FREEPOST NT920, Scotswood Road, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE4 7SA (you do not need a stamp). 

Course Costs

Students will be expected to have off site access to a suitable PC, Mac or laptop that is capable of running Adobe CC and 3D visualisation and animation software.

Additional Course Costs

Higher Education courses

If you are interested in a Foundation Degree, Honours Degree or Postgraduate course you will be pleased to know that Newcastle College has some of the most competitive HE tuition fees in the country. Many people are eligible to apply for a tuition fee loan from Student Finance England to cover fees. For friendly advice please call our Student Services team on 0191 200 4000 for more information.