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Professional Doctorate in MSc Animation & VFX

About This Professional Doctorate

Course Description

Are you interested in exploring new ways of communicating through visual storytelling? Do you want to extend your creative skills in the digital domain?

The MSc Animation & VFX at DJCAD is an exciting Masters course which allows a much broader interpretation of traditional animation. Digital animation techniques have allowed us to visualise the world around us from the farthest reaches of space to the darkest depths of the oceans.

Why study Animation and Visualisation at Dundee?

Digital animation techniques have allowed us to visualise the world around us from the farthest reaches of space to the darkest depths of the oceans. With the increasing appetite for fantastic stories and images there has never been a better opportunity for animators, artists and designers to develop new ways of communicating different stories. Using 2D and 3D computer animation, practitioners are shaping our knowledge and understanding in areas as diverse as digital visual effects, medical imaging, architecture, environmental design, product design and film making.

What's great about Animation and Visualisation at Dundee?

This course represents an opportunity for animators, artists, designers and those with associated experience to extend their skills and discourse within both animation and visualisation. We offer dedicated 2D, 3D and visual effects facilities providing you with a unique opportunity to develop your own visual practice. Our new Visual FX studio is one of only two within a UK university.

Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art and Design (DJCAD) has been rated as the top institution in Scotland for research in art and design, and one of the best in the whole of the UK (RAE 2008).

What you will study

The Masters is a one-year programme, taught over three semesters. Core modules and optional modules provide a balanced curriculum. Masters students are required to attain 180 credits which comprise seven modules, as follows.

Semester 1 (20 credit modules):
Exploring Practice - enhances understanding of the process and skills associated with 2D and 3D animation production, problem solving and creative practice.
Context & Review - contextualises conceptual and theoretical skills in relation to contemporary and emerging technologies and cultures.
Research Skills & Methods - refine your personal programme of research and development, to inform the planning and execution of your personal project.

One week at the beginning of the first semester is dedicated to induction and diagnostic testing to establish where support is required, especially for international students.

DJCAD operates a Reading Week during week 6 of the first semester. Reading Week is designated as five days where there are no timetabled taught classes. However, all students are expected to carry out either assigned work or self-directed work during this period. All University facilities are open during Reading Week with students expected to attend the University as usual.

Semester 2 (20 credit modules):
Advanced Production - extend your existing skills in 2D and 3D digital computer animation. This module will help you to apply these skills to your personal project.
Reflection on Practice - guided independent learning in which you will focus on a project report.
Going Live - you will work on a live industry initiated project called Going Live. This experience will replicate the studio experience with a professional brief set by an external production studio. Industry partners have included The Mill and Axis Animation.

Semester 3 (60 credits)

A&V - Realisation, final 60 credit semester will result in you creating a substantial body of work and taking part in a public exposition.
You can choose to leave with a postgraduate diploma with 120 credits, or a postgraduate certificate with 60 credits.

How you will be assessed

Students are assessed by course work, including team project work, exploratory and finalised practical work, and written work


Prospects for graduates exist in research and within the vfx, 3D and 2D animation and visualisation industries. Specific roles include 3D Vfx Artists, Compositor, Character Designer, Technical Director, Environments Designer, Character Animator, Self-employment and entrepreneurship will also offer potential career opportunities. Academia careers including Research Assistant on funded projects and PhD study.

"I was given freedom to develop my potential. DJCAD also provided an amazing teacher team and advanced facilities that gave me a great study environment." - Huaijin Cao from China graduated in 2011 and is now employed at Sony Computer Entertainment Europe as a Motion Graphic Designer.

"The reason I choose to study the MSc Animation & Visualisation was to explore various vfx techniques in my work and gain ties with industry professionals. I had a great experience during my time at DJCAD and found the programme to be an ideal springboard into the vfx industry." - Graeme Turnbull works for The Mill London as a 3D artist, he graduated in 2009.

Visit the MSc Animation & VFX page on the University of Dundee website for more details!

Related Student ProfilesStudent Profiles

SAAS Postgraduate Students Allowances Scheme (PSAS) - 20+ Awards

SAAS Postgraduate Students Allowances Scheme (PSAS) provides some funding for some Scots-domiciled and non-UK EU postgraduate students studying in Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art & Design.

Value of Scholarship(s)

Tuition fees of up to £3,400


Home/EU students studying in Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art & DesignSAAS eligibility guidelines can be found here:http://www.student-support-saas.gov.uk/student_support/special_circumstances/postgrad_eligibility.htm

Application Procedure

You can apply from April of the year that you want to study. You should always apply as early as possible.

If the course you are applying for is funded and you meet the SAAS eligibility conditions, you should contact your course leader to find out if they will nominate you for a funded place. If they are willing to nominate you, you will be sent an Application Form to complete and return to SAAS.

Contact SAAS directly on 0300 300 3135

Closing date 31st March 2012

Further Information



DJCAD Outstanding International Postgraduate Student Scholarship - 20+ Awards

The closing date for Scholarship applications for courses starting September 2012 is 8th July 2012.If you are being sponsored or are receiving a discount on your fees due to an articulation agreement, then you cannot apply for a University of Dundee Academic School scholarship.You can apply for several scholarships but only one Scholarship towards tuition fees will be awarded.

Value of Scholarship(s)

£1,500 Scholarship towards tuition fees or as a stipend for one year only


For international fee paying students who are starting a masters course in DJCAD in 2012. You will also need to demonstrate academic excellence and / or significant achievement in your chosen field of study.

Application Procedure

Once you have been given an offer to study in DJCAD at the University of Dundee, we will send you an email telling you how to apply for a Scholarship.

You must complete the form, as soon as possible, and return it as per the instructions provided.

We will notify you after the closing date, to let you know whether you have been successful in being awarded a Scholarship or not.

Further Information



DJCAD Alumni Award - 5 Awards

We offer a small number of awards which offer a discount on tuition fees (or maintenance allowances) for applicants who have successfully completed an undergraduate degree at Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art & Design. This discount is also available to those who have completed a postgraduate taught programme at DJCAD, and who now wish to progress to a different taught postgraduate degree. In order to apply for the available discount, you will need to have been accepted on to your intended programme of study and to have satisfied all the normal academic admission criteria as well as all the conditions of enrolment and registration set down by the University of Dundee.

Value of Scholarship(s)

£2,000 maintenance/tuition fee award


September 2012 entrants to the Master of Design, Master of Fine Art, Master of Science in Animation and Visualisation, Master of Science in Product Design and Master of Science in Design Ethnography are eligible to apply for one of the following discounts:Home/EU alumni
£2,000 maintenance awardInternational alumni
£2,000 towards tuition fees or a £2,000 maintenance award

Application Procedure

Applications are available from Fiona Fyffe in the Postgraduate Office. Upon completion application forms should be submitted to Fiona Fyffe, [email protected] The submission deadline is 17 August 2012.

Further Information



William Sangster Phillips' Awards - 5 Awards

DJCAD interprets Art and Design in their widest sense, to include both traditional and innovative approaches to the disciplines.

Value of Scholarship(s)

£5000 + tuition for one year


The Trustees of the William S. Phillips Fund have awarded funding to assist students who wish to undertake a full-time Masters degree within the areas of Art and Design during academic session 2012/13. Successful candidates will receive a tax free stipend of £5,000 and have their tuition fees paid for one year. Applications are invited from graduates with a minimum 2.1 degree. In all cases, preference will be given to applicants with a Dundee connection.

Application Procedure

Closing date: 29th June 2012

Contact: Fiona Fyffe, [email protected] DJCAD Postgraduate Office for application form and further details.

Further Information


Entry Requirements

A first or second class honours degree in an appropriate discipline, although applicants with other qualifications or relevant professional experience will also be considered. You will need to submit a showreel of your work. This will need to be around 1-2 minutes in duration and uploaded to YouTube or Vimeo. You will also need to upload a portfolio of up to 20 images. IELTS of 6.0 (or equivalent), if your first language is not English.

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