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.
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.
While developing a unique visual style, you’ll also focus on the core foundations: studying the world around you, refining your drawing skills and learning to tell stories through moving images.
You’ll go on group reportage drawing trips, with opportunities to visit museums, galleries and animation festivals in the UK and overseas. You’ll find lots of visual inspiration in Cambridge – from the Botanic Gardens to the art collection in the Fitzwilliam Museum, to the city’s architectural beauty and vibrant cultural and student life.
On campus, you’ll have access to our dedicated animation production suites, which feature high-end 3D CGI and camera, lighting and sound recording equipment. They're full of the tools you need for traditional hand-drawn and stop-motion animation, experimental and industry-focused digital animation. As well as this, all our Illustration and Animation students have access to printmaking facilities and life drawing studios.
As a student at ARU you’ll receive ongoing support to find placements and work experience and you can also take an optional placement year. You'll develop a professional showreel, present your work at festivals and fairs, as well as on our Instagram page, and attend guest lectures from some of the top animation studios in London, such as Passion Pictures, The Mill, FrameStore and Studio Aka. You can also take advantage of our relationships with animators, illustrators and production studios such as Curveball Media and Allia Future Business Centre, to build a strong body of work ready for a professional career in the creative industry.
Illustration and Animation student Beeny talks about the highlights of her course.
OLENA KALININA AND KARINA ALIMOVA
OLENA KALININA AND KARINA ALIMOVA
WILL ROCHIRA AND THOMAS LINGARD
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As well as our dedicated animation base rooms with workstations for stop motion and digital animation, you’ll have use of the following facilities:
All our Illustration and Animation students have access to:
Our team of technical officers will be on hand to offer training and support.
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.
Course Leader, BA (Hons) Illustration & Animation
Lecturer, Illustration and Animation
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 studentsFind out more about our students' work with Curveball Media
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