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Narrative Animation

Narrative Animation is one of three pathways, alongside Documentary Animation and Experimental Animation, that applicants choose from within the Animation programme. Built on the fundamental skills delivered by the core Animation MA, this pathway focusses on experimentation with forms of storytelling. This is not intended as a trade-school training in conventional ways to tell a story, but a serious exploration of narratology in the moving image. The pathway builds upon both the track record of award-winning short films that the Animation programme has produced and good practice in the School of Communication.

Unlike a film school-orientated approach, which teaches orthodox and conventional methodologies, the critical interrogation and practice-led experimentation of an art school environment aims to foster innovative practice through the creation of animated stories for cross-platform delivery. The pathway benefits from interdisciplinary connections with the Experimental Animation and Documentary Animation pathways, as well as other programmes in the School of Communication.

Potential candidates are expected to come from a range of backgrounds including animation, illustration, fine art, graphics and literature. They will have a deep interest in developing their existing understanding of narrative strategies and a desire to experiment with applying this to different forms of animation and expanded practice.

First Year

The pathway shares the first term with other programmes across the School, which all provide subject-led electives. Students choose one of these electives and, in parallel, participate in series of animation workshops that are designed to develop new ways of working. Additionally, the workshops serve to introduce students to the programme and College facilities, to enable independent working and to introduce a broad range of academic and technical staff. Students are introduced to new areas or interests and new ways of thinking about their work.

The second term is dedicated to the production of a personal project, which is completed by the third term, and alongside elective work from the first term, forms the basis of work for examination.  In this third term, students undertake research and the initial writing of a dissertation as well as the development of their graduation projects. Specific workshops aimed to support the graduation project development also take place.

Second Year

The second year is dedicated to the development and production of one or more personal graduation projects. Students will build on the experience of the first year, expanding on their practical skills and critical thinking. Preparation and the initial stages of production of the MA project/s occur during the first term of the second year. Idea/script developments are supported through tutorials and workshops, and contact and collaboration with contributors such as musicians, composers, actors, scriptwriters, etc. are encouraged. The spring term is spent in production, concentrating on creating the core content, with the final term focusing on post-production preparation and plans for installations and exhibition for the Show.