BlogUniversityWhat It’s Like Studying a Bachelor of Design in Animation at UTS

What It’s Like Studying a Bachelor of Design in Animation at UTS

UTS Animation - Fact Sheet

So, you’ve watched every animation film out there, have dreamt of working on the latest Marvel film and can’t imagine studying anything other than a Bachelor of Design in Animation at UTS?!

Well, you’ve come to the right spot! We’ll take you through everything you need to know about the course, assessments, uni culture and more! 

So, what are you waiting for? Let’s get started! 

What is a Bachelor of Design in Animation at UTS?
Core Units for this Degree
How to Get into a Bachelor of Design in Animation at UTS
What’s the Teaching Format?
What’s the Faculty and Culture Like?

What is a Bachelor of Design in Animation at UTS?

A Bachelor of Design in Animation at UTS teaches you the principles of animation and provides you with the specific design skills you need while encouraging you to think creatively and become your own artist. It’s about storytelling, creating characters and gaining inspiration from the world around you. 

There’s a big focus on the design process and constantly looking at how you can improve the quality of your work. The degree is very practical with studio styled classes where you’re creating animations based on briefs and working to a deadline. 

You’ll learn how to use the different computer programs to create 2D and 3D animations, sketch your design ideas, give your character facial expressions, create an environment and way more! You’ll spend a lot of your own time working in the computer labs developing your story, characters and animation. 

Most of the tutors are working in the industry and they’re all there to guide you along the way and provide constructive feedback. 

Career Paths

There are lots of exciting job opportunities if you study a Bachelor of Design in Animation — and it’s not limited to Animation alone. Since you learn and refine a range of different design skills throughout the degree, these skills can be transferred to a range of jobs!

You could find yourself working as an:

    • Animator
    • Storyboard Artist 
    • Character Designer 
    • Graphics Designer
    • Games Developer
    • Illustrator 
    • Film Director 

…and so on!


You can take your degree to the next step by completing an Honours year! To be considered for the Honours program, you will have needed to achieve an overall WAM of at least 65 and provide a proposal with concepts for your animation that you plan to complete during the year. 

UTS Animation - Student Quote

Core Units for this Degree

Core Animation Units

You’ll have a Studio and Context subject every semester and in the Studios you work on developing your animation according to a brief. You’ll start with research followed by design iteration, character design and the environment, colour palettes, storyboarding and animation tests. 

The Studios and Context subjects usually go hand in hand with each other, so you’ll learn the skills in the Context subject that you need to complete the assessments in the Studios. For example, the Animation Studio: Foundations in Animation Language teaches students about drawing and observational techniques, story and narrative and how to use the 2D animation skills that they would have developed in their Context: 2D Animation Introduction subject. 

Although you will learn how to do both 2D and 3D animation, in your third year, you get to choose which one you would prefer to go into more detail about — either Context 2D or Context 3D

In the final semester, you complete your Animation Industry Project which you can show to future employers (it’s like your capstone) — you get to show all the skills you’ve learnt during the degree and create a short animation alongside a classmate.

You and your classmate take two characters that you’ve already worked on and combine them in a new and interesting story. So, there’s a fair bit of teamwork involved and ideally, the skills of the person you’re working with would complement yours.

If you want to see more info about the other core animation units, have a look here

Core Design Units 

There are four core design units which every design student has to do:

    • Researching Design Histories – teaches you about the design history and principles of design. 
    • Thinking Through Design – teaches you about the design process and how to think like an innovative designer. 
    • Design Futuring – encourages students to think outside the box and about alternatives to the design of various products that we know today.   
    • Social Media Cultures – looks at the role the internet plays within the design world and how we can create more effective interaction designs. 

You can check them out in more detail here


While you don’t have to do an internship as part of the degree, there are quite a few internship opportunities and these look awesome on your resume! Your tutors work in the industry and that means, they have contact with local studios.

So, if you’re lucky, you might be able to help out a little bit with what they’re currently working on. It’s always a good idea to check the Career Hub where any jobs and internship opportunities are posted. 


How to Get into a Bachelor of Design in Animation at UTS

You’ll need an ATAR of 87.15 to secure your spot for a Bachelor of Design in Animation at UTS. You’re also able to get some extra bonus points for HSC subjects that you excel in — so make sure you check out the Year 12 Adjustment Factors scheme for Animation. 

Pathway Programs 

Now, don’t worry if you don’t get the required ATAR because you can still get into a Bachelor of Design in Animation at UTS — there’s another way! 

By successfully completing a Diploma of Design and Architecture with UTS Insearch, you have guaranteed entry into the first year of the degree (as long as you meet the required GPA). The Diplomas can be completed in a year (standard) or even just 8 months (accelerated). 

Assumed Knowledge

You will need to have completed any two units of English in the HSC — but that’s okay because English is compulsory anyway! If you took Design and Technology or Visual Arts (and if you love Animation, then we’re sure you would have), that’s going to be very helpful! 


UTS have loads of great scholarships out there for different faculties so make sure you check them out here!

What’s the Teaching Format?

A Bachelor of Design in Animation at UTS combines lectures, tutorials, studios and labs. You’ll complete the degree through semesters (sweet!). 

UTS Animation - Class Structure


Each subject has a lecture where readings are discussed, you learn the content and write lots of notes! You can expect to have between 90 to 160 people there (give or take a few). 


The studios are the hands-on and practical part where you’ll work on developing your animation and you can expect to have around 20 to 25 students in your class. You’re given a brief and then work on that project for the semester under the guidance of your tutor. 

During these studios, you’re constantly trying to improve the design process and quality of your work. There will be various exercises and presentations that you have to complete and you’ll even have a few excursions around Sydney to gain inspiration and learn how to create in reference to life.  


You’ll have a whole lot of Context classes which are taught in the computer labs. These usually go for around three hours and have about 20 to 25 people in them. 

In the labs, you’ll learn about the principles of animation, develop the skills you need to create an animation and how to use the different computer programs to do so. 


You’ll have a two-hour tutorial for all the core design subjects and you can expect to have 20 to 30 people in them. The tutorials are very interactive and discussion based where you’ll talk about the readings and content from the lecture. 

“Because you’re working like crazy at uni, when you get to a studio, you’re already going to impress them with the speed you’re working at.” – Jeremy Cox

How much time do you spend at university?

When you study UTS Animation, you’ll take three subjects a semester. So, you’re looking at around 12-16 hours of classes a week (depending on the year you’re in and which subjects you’re doing). 

However, there is a lot of time involved with animation which means you’ll easily spend the same amount of time in class as you will working in the labs during your own time — it’s hard work but it definitely pays off! And yes, you’ll have late nights in the labs working on your animation to get it done in time but hey, every animation student is in the same boat. 

What are the assessments like? 

For the Design core units, you can expect a combination of design proposals, research projects, essays and presentations. The studio assessments are usually broken down into smaller progress tasks with the final assessment being the completed animation.

For example, you will be given a brief and have to create a 30 second animation in relation to it. You’ll be assessed along the way on your character, environment and story design process and you’ll also have to write a couple of essays. 

For the Context classes, the assessments are very specific in regards to the skills you’re learning. So, you might have to create a short animation of how a character walks in 2D and 3D — the assessments build on the skills you learn and become more challenging! 

“You will spend a lot of time with this course but you see a lot of very fast improvements with your work. Animation in general is not the sort of thing you can finish the night before.” – Jeremy Cox

Skills That You Refine and Learn 

UTS Animation - Skills

Well, of course you’ll learn the principles of animation and how to use the computer programs which allow you to create your animation. There’s a lot to think about like how will the character move, what is the environment they’re in, what colours are involved and what actually happens. 

That’s where you have to get creative because you’re not just creating a moving character but also have to come up with the design concept and story too!

Each week, you’ll have to talk about your work and process in front of the class — this may sound a little scary but it’ll actually help you in the long run. If you end up working for a studio, you’ll also have to explain your design choices — you develop your communication skills and get a lot of public speaking practice. 

Now, as we’ve already said, UTS Animation is a full on degree and you’ve got to put everything into it — an animation isn’t something you can leave to the last minute because you’ve got to be constantly working on it and it takes time! So, you’ll definitely get used to managing your time and working to a deadline.

Some of the studios involve group work which means you’ll get to know how to delegate, compromise and work effectively in a team. 

What’s the Faculty and Culture Like?

First things first, everyone doing this degree is very passionate about Animation — surprise! So, you all have a common interest and you’re practically bound to find friends for life. 

In class, you’ll bounce off each other’s ideas and also give and receive constructive feedback — everyone is very connected because you spend a lot of time in the computer labs working on your film. You’ll definitely work late nights at uni and that calls for either grabbing a coffee together to stay awake or a drink at the Loft after a successful night of hard work.

During the degree, you’ll get to know a lot of creative and talented people who you might end up working with in the future! So, you’ve already got a great network by the time you finish the degree. 

You can also join the UTS Design Society where you can meet people from other Design degrees like fashion and textiles, visual communication and architecture — there are lots of exciting events you can take part in like the Welcome Event, various design workshops, game/movies night and more! You might also want to check out the UTS Anime Club which has regular animation screenings! 

Interested in the pros and cons of this degree? Check out our article here!

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.


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