BA (Hons) Illustration and Animation

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Become a skilled and versatile animator, illustrator or interactive comic artist at Cambridge School of Art, and turn your creative ideas into a rewarding career as visual storyteller.

Watch our 2020 showreel


A montage of recent work by Illustration and Animation students at ARU.

Develop your distinctive visual language in our supportive and vibrant studio culture.

Our BA (Hons) Illustration and Animation course explores the connections between illustration and animation, helping you to create sequential narratives using a variety of methods – from observational drawing and traditional handmade image-making, to the latest specialist digital animation software and cutting-edge interactive techniques.

You’ll become an experienced creator of innovative, engaging visual content with training in both traditional processes and the latest digital technologies. Perhaps most importantly, you’ll get time, guidance and support from a team of illustrators, animators and visiting professionals who are dedicated to your creative development.

At Cambridge School of Art, you’ll experiment and discover, make mistakes and find solutions, develop and create. Our Design & Crafts courses ranked 8th in the UK for 'Satisfied with Course' and 3rd for 'Satisfied with Teaching' in The Guardian University Guide 2020, reflecting how our students’ value their experience with us.

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Fees and paying for university

Facilities and showcase

Studios and workshops

As well as our dedicated animation base rooms with workstations for stop motion and digital animation, you’ll have use of the following facilities:

  • Mac and PC suites
  • a dedicated stop motion studio
  • a printmaking workshop including etching, screen printing, lithography and relief presses, and letterpress studios
  • 3D workshops with equipment for woodwork, plastics/vacuum forming, metalwork, plaster, clay, mould making, laser-cutting and 3D printing
  • sound recording studio, green screen and film editing suites
  • a digital photography lab
  • photography and film studios and darkrooms.

Industry-standard equipment

All our Illustration and Animation students have access to:

  • the full Adobe Creative suite
  • up-to-date specialist professional software TVPaint, Autodesk Maya and Dragonframe Stop Motion
  • Apple iMacs with Cintiq drawing tablets
  • wide-format printers and scanners
  • camera, lighting and sound recording kit.

Our team of technical officers will be on hand to offer training and support.

Take a closer look

Our Creative Showcase shines a spotlight on what makes ARU creative and cultural – our spaces, places and people. Find out more about our community, the difference we make, the stories we tell, and the things that inspire us.

Meanwhile, Present is an exhibition that you curate for yourself. Explore the work of our graduating students in this eye-catching virtual degree show.


With an understanding of traditional animation and illustration, combined with expertise in cutting-edge digital design technology, our graduates have found success with leading animation studios and broadcasters, including Channel 4 and the BBC.

As an Illustration and Animation student at ARU, you can be sure you’ll graduate with the knowledge, skills and abilities that industry needs. We work with artists, creative agencies and production studios – and they offer hands-on, practical opportunities to learn through work-based projects, internships or placements.

On our Sequential Practice module, you’ll focus on preparing for life beyond university, creating a showreel, a website and promotional material, as well as hearing guest speakers from some of the top animation studios in London, such as Passion Pictures, The Mill, FrameStore and Studio Aka.

Cambridge is the perfect place to gain experience – a creative hotspot that’s home to thousands of established businesses and start-ups. And, at the end of your final year, you’ll take part in our degree show in London – the perfect launchpad for your career.

Graduation doesn’t need to be the end of your time with us, of course. You might decide to stay at ARU and study for a Masters, such as our renowned MA Children’s Book Illustration. Take advantage of our Alumni Scholarship and get 20% off your fees.


“We asked students to create an animation ident. What amazed us most was the quality of the thinking, and the variety of ideas and execution. We’re very much looking forward to working with them next year."


As Marketing Manager at Curveball Media, Lee helps to set live briefs for our Illustration and Animation students

Find out more about our students' work with Curveball Media

Apply now for BA (Hons) Illustration and Animation

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