A new range of animation degrees have been endorsed under the ScreenSkills Select process designed to identify courses that develop industry-ready students, work closely with industry and have high-quality course content. This means there are now 18 endorsed animation courses in the UK.
Nottingham Trent University’s (NTU) animation degree has a cohort consisting of 70% female students which supports broadening the range of talent, whilst Bournemouth University succeeded in endorsing all five of its animation and VFX degree courses at the same time.
ScreenSkills Select is focused on endorsing all high quality screen courses and even more so where there are skills shortages such as in animation and where there are opportunities to broaden diversity. This is why the student demographics on the NTU animation degree course stand out as animation is a field traditionally dominated by male students.
With five endorsed courses, Bournemouth University now has further opportunity to promote itself as a centre of excellence in the field of animation and VFX. This in turn will also help student recruitment, further deepen links with industry and benefit the professional reputations of the course leaders and lecturers. The newly endorsed courses are:
- BA (Hons) Computer Animation Technical Arts
- BA (Hons) Computer Animation Art and Design
- MSc Computer Animation and Visual Effects
- MA 3D Computer Animation
- MA Digital Effects
ScreenSkills Select was developed by ScreenSkills, supported by the BFI, awarding National Lottery funds as part of the Future Film Skills strategy.
To be endorsed, screen courses are all successfully evaluated as developing industry-ready students, having well-established links with local industry employers and for delivering excellent course content. During 2021, there have been 10 courses that have been endorsed so far.
Alongside signposting prospective students (and their parents) to the courses that will provide industry-relevant skills, and assuring employers that students on the courses have the levels of knowledge and skills, there are also a number of exclusive benefits to being endorsed. These include access to employability training events and industry insight sessions. Educators can also benefit from attending an Annual Congress and industry networking.
Tim Weiss, Director of Vocational Skills, ScreenSkills, said: “In many parts of the screen industries, there are a range of challenges including skills shortages and a narrow talent pool which we all know needs to be addressed. It is why we are particularly pleased to endorse these excellent animation degrees from NTU and Bournemouth University above and beyond the quality of their teaching and how they develop industry-ready students.
“We would like to receive more applications from universities and colleges who are giving students an excellent education and opening doors for future careers. This is even more so in areas where we need more talent and from more broader backgrounds. This includes animation, but there are other areas too such as gaming, VFX and TV production roles alongside related roles including from make-up, costume and set design.
“Our excellent ScreenSkills Select team are ready to discuss and support course leaders with becoming endorsed and therefore help them stand out from the crowd of courses that students can choose from.”
Quotes from the universities
Jeremy Moorshead, Principal Lecturer in Animation and Filmmaking, Nottingham Trent University, said: “We are delighted to add our BA (Hons) Animation course to the other ScreenSkills Select endorsed courses taught at NTU. We value our partnership with ScreenSkills Select, supporting students to gain their foothold in one of the UK’s most exciting creative industries.
“Animation skills offer fabulous career opportunities, and being a ScreenSkills Select endorsed course allows graduates to showcase the quality of their education maximising their chances of starting a successful career. Ensuring there is a diversity of talent entering this field is really important too, and the fact that we have so many brilliant female students is testament to our commitment to this.”
Zhidong Xiao, Deputy Head of Department in the National Centre for Computer Animation, Bournemouth University, said “We are very proud to have secured ScreenSkills Select endorsement for all of our animation and VFX courses at the same time. As well as giving confidence to students about the quality of our courses and our ability to support them in starting a career, it showcases our overall commitment to the future of the animation and VFX industries in the UK.
“Our course leaders and lecturers are second to none and this level of endorsement provides a high level of professional and personal satisfaction too.”
Quotes from their employer referees
Jon Turner, Managing Director of Kilogramme Animation Studio, who gave an employer reference to the NTU BA (Hons) Animation course, said: “I have worked with many university courses across the UK, Ireland and France and I have always held this course up to be one that others should look to.
“Its strength is the quality of the teaching which comes from decades of experience, in both industry and academia. Alongside this the course leaders have a commitment to constantly assessing what will work best for the students.
“There are many animation courses in this country, which are run to varying levels, with course leaders from varying backgrounds. NTU is one of those courses run by leaders who have a true understanding of the industry. That was why I was happy to endorse this course.”
Paulene Hamilton, Head of People and Talent at Blue Zoo, who gave an employer reference to Bournemouth University’s application, said: “We've had a strong working relationship with Bournemouth University for 21 years and it's one of the key UK education institutions that we look to hire graduates from. They are also the first place we look to for our hard to fill junior roles such as rigging. In fact, we have recently promoted one of our junior riggers from Bournemouth who joined us in 2019 to a mid-level position in our rigging department.
“A key reason we work closely with Bournemouth is they recognise how important it is that when they graduate, their students are equipped and prepared to start a career in our industry. We are active members of their employer steering group and we welcome the opportunity for us to deliver industry support directly to their students, such as mentoring, recruitment events and masterclasses.”
Further information about ScreenSkills Select can be found at www.screenskills.com/select and contact Emelia Danso, Partnerships Manager (Accreditation) at firstname.lastname@example.org for application enquiries.
For press inquiries, please contact Louise Jury, director of communications and marketing, on 020 7713 9883/07841 496636 or email@example.com
Notes to editors
About ScreenSkills Select
ScreenSkills Select endorses and enhances screen courses that develop industry-ready students.
This means students (and their guardians and teachers) can select courses that will provide:
- relevant skills and strong links with professionals and potential employers
- industry with the opportunity to select the best new talent
- colleges and universities with the opportunity to gain a Select reputation for their courses. Read more.
The aims of ScreenSkills Select endorsement are to:
- Signpost prospective students (and their parents) to the courses that will provide industry-relevant skills, and strong links with industry professionals and potential employers
- Assure employers that students have the levels of knowledge and skills they want in new employees and can perform to a high standard, helping them to prioritise recruitment and engagement activities with courses identified as having a strong industry-facing ethos
- Help enhance the quality of endorsed courses through the application process and annual monitoring. Each course is reviewed and discussed annually with one of our world-class pool of industry evaluators
- Bring university and college courses closer to industry – setting up new connections, new understanding and new opportunities
- Give educators additional industry insight and connections, rewarding their courses with a distinct value in a crowded marketplace
Further information about becoming endorsed can be found on the ScreenSkills website which also costs and discounts for multiple applications: www.screenskills.com/select