A degree to get animated about

Alex Williams pictured with a visual effects character created by Bucks animation student, Charlotte Richardson
Alex Williams pictured with a visual effects character created by Bucks animation student, Charlotte Richardson

An animation degree run by a visual effects specialist whose credits include the Lion King and Harry Potter is launching in Buckinghamshire.

The BA (Hons) Animation and Visual Effects course starts at Bucks New University in September under the direction of veteran animator Alex Williams.

He said: “Our course is aimed at anyone who wants to work in the animation, visual effects, games, television or web industries.

“There are lots of courses in the UK that offer animation but very few of them actually teach industry-level skills, at a standard high enough that students can compete with the best international graduates.”

The course at the Wycombe campus was developed in response to research which discovered significant skills gaps in home-grown talent.

Mr Williams added: “It is difficult for many UK graduates to compete with peers from highly-regarded animation schools across Europe and North America. Therefore the employer-focused design of this new course will allow Bucks graduates to compete on an international level.

“Elements of the experience will be based on best practice from top performing animation educators, such as California Institute of the Arts (CalArts) in America.”

He said the degree would also place strong emphasis on character and creature creation.

“In my view this is the most interesting part of the visual effects industry, giving a convincing performance, making characters come to life in a believable way.”

As part of their course fee, each student will receive a laptop and software so that they are equipped with the tools to make a running start in their qualification – and enable them to take on freelance work.