So, you pretty much know all the details and info on studying a Bachelor of Design in Animation at UTS — take a quick look here if you don’t!
But you want to know how people really feel about this degree?
Well, we’ve had a chat with Jeremy Cox, a UTS graduate of a Bachelor of Design in Animation! We ask him those questions you really want to know the answers to.
Let’s dive on in!
Why should you study an Animation degree at UTS?
You’re encouraged to follow your own creative journey as not just an animator, but also as a designer. Of course, you’ll learn all the techniques and theories behind how to make an animation but you’ll also learn about the importance of the design process which influence your creative choices.
Top 3 Pros of an Animation degree
#1: Degree flexibility
Jeremy told us that his favourite part about the degree was “the openness of it — it allows you to cover a lot of different sections of design which can be quite hard at university, where you have to have certain outcomes for every assessment,” Jeremy said.
He added, “It’s the best way to sort of build up creative designers who can go on and tackle a lot more things and have much more breadth to their designs than they would have coming into the course.”
#2: Focus on story-telling
“I remember one of my tutors saying this isn’t a course about animation exactly or how to make an animation — it’s a course about how to tell a story,” Jeremy said.
That’s why UTS focuses on the design process behind the animation — that means there’s a lot of research, workshopping ideas and trial and error. Every degree out there will teach you how to make an animation but at the end of the day, the story you tell is just as important as the animation itself, if not more important!
#3: The faculty
Jeremy told us that from day one, when he first attended the UTS Open Day, it was clear that the tutors and lecturers were so passionate about animation.
“I could feel their passion as they were speaking about the course and where a lot of people sort of ask ‘What ATAR/ marks do I need to get in?’, ‘Will I get a job afterwards?’, you could tell that these tutors were focused on creating designers and artists that could be functional and leave this degree and have their own creative journey as much as becoming successful and finding a job place,” he said.
He added, “Because of how it’s been set up and all of the tutors are professionals — they’ve been working for a long time, really understand the industry and they have a general love for animation — you find the most quality work comes out of UTS.”
Top 3 Cons of an Animation degree
#1: Marking guidelines
Jeremy told us that his least favourite thing about the degree is “the difficulty with our assignments”.
“They’re supposed to be creative but there are some issues along the line — how do you have a creative assessment but still set boundaries? I think the course still has a little bit of trouble in creating assessment guidelines that are marked against but still allow creativity,” he said.
#2: Last minute doesn’t work
We’re sorry but we have to break it you! “Animation in general is not the sort of thing you can finish the night before,” Jeremy said.
“My suggestion to other people would be always put in work from the beginning — the hardest work is in the beginning — so that you have less work later,” he said.
You’ve got to be working on your assessments continuously throughout the semester if you want to get those marks and not end up completely stressed out because you left it to the last minute.
#3: Hard to not compare yourself to others
Any artist/designer/animator/creative person knows that it can be hard not to compare yourself and your work to others. Everyone has different perspectives and ideas which is great because there is so much creative variety out there — that’s what makes it interesting!
“I think it’s something that a lot of artists have to get through at the beginning and it can take some time to sort of put your ego to the side, but it’s well worth it very early,” Jeremy said.
He added, “It’s as much as looking at someone’s work and rather than comparing it to your own work, thinking how great it is as its own individual piece — it can be tough but as a working professional it’s something you have to get over quite quickly.”
“I would say my regrets regarding this degree is not always putting the most time in the early stages to create a very creative and imaginative assessment,” Jeremy told us.
So, make sure you commit to the assessment from the get-go! Your future self will thank you for it.
What do you wish you had known before starting UTS Animation?
#1: Start assessments early
Surprise — this is a really important one and that’s why it’s being mentioned here again! Creating an animation takes time and commitment.
Jeremy really stressed starting your assessments early so you have enough time to deal with any problems that arise throughout the design process.
“I think sometimes you get quite relaxed at the early stages of assessments and most people do with most courses. With this kind of degree though, if you’re relaxing in the early stage of the assessment, that means later on, when you’re putting the hard work into the product, it never turns out quite as good as you want it to,” he said.
#2: Put less pressure on yourself
“I wish I had known or at least put less pressure on trying to be as good as everyone else,” Jeremy said.
“There are a lot of designers who have been working a lot longer than you and additionally everyone is on their own artistic journey and no-one is going down the same path,” he told us.
#3: Speak with your tutors
Sometimes it’s hard to know whether an idea you have will work well or perhaps you have a few questions about the marking guidelines. You can always discuss these questions with your tutor!
“It’s as much as going and talking to someone and explaining the idea and seeing whether or not it will fit with the criteria — whether or not there will be some problems with it,” Jeremy said.
What makes this degree different from the ones offered at other universities?
#1: UTS focuses on your journey as a designer
Jeremy told us that what makes this degree different from other ones is: “It teaches us how to be storytellers and how to be functional artists no matter what we’re doing.”
Just because you’re doing a Bachelor of Design in Animation doesn’t necessarily mean you have to end up in Animation.
“A lot of people will end up becoming tattoo artists or becoming book artists or any sort of range of artists — they won’t just necessarily be animators and I think it’s a course that’s focused on not just being good at animation, but design which I think is a huge difference to other courses,” he said.
#2: Everyone is passionate
“They [UTS] focus on a personal connection with you and your process — I think it’s what a lot of people value,” said Jeremy.
He mentioned how from the beginning of the degree, when he first attended the UTS Open Day and saw portfolios of student’s work, it was very clear that: “This course had no lack of soul, every story, every design had this real passion behind it and got you excited and you’re looking around and going, how can people possibly produce this?”
There’s no doubt about it, everyone doing Animation is very passionate about it.
What inspired you to choose UTS Animation?
Jeremy knew he always wanted to do animation — but he didn’t know exactly where he wanted to do it. After attending the UTS Open Day and seeing the student’s work, he was pretty much sold!
He couldn’t believe how “everything put out was just such high quality work” at UTS. “I know that universities always put their best work forward but there was such a variety to the designs that were shown that I couldn’t help being so fascinated.”
He added, “It was obvious that this course had soul to it, it was obvious that there was a passion to this degree which other courses didn’t have.”
So there you go — it’s definitely worth checking out the UTS Open Day!
What are the possible career paths?
As there is a focus on the design process and different design skills, you don’t just have to go into Animation! You could find yourself in a number of exciting creative job opportunities!
These are just some of the possibilities:
- Tattoo artist
- Graphic designer
- Multimedia artist
- Character rigger
- 3D Modeler
- Film director
Tanna Nankivell is a Content Writer at Art of Smart Education and is currently in Germany completing a year of study for her double degree in Communications (Journalism) and Bachelor of Arts (International Studies). She has had articles published on Central News – the UTS Journalism Lab and wrote a feature piece for Time Out Sydney during her internship. Tanna has a love for travel and the great outdoors, you’ll either find her on the snowfields or in the ocean, teaching aqua aerobics or creating short films.