Sunday, 18 January 2015

Missed the UCAS Deadline? Is It Too Late to Apply To Study Animation at Bucks?

UCAS - still enough time left - but hurry!
OK, so you missed the January 15th deadline to get your application in to UCAS. Fear not! It's not too late! We are still welcoming applications for our fast-growing new course. Below are some good reasons why we believe we are building one of the best animation courses in the country, and how you can get started on your new career as a digital animator. Why wait? Apply now!

Gateway - our modern media hub
When Should you apply?
Now!  The sooner the better.  We're always on the look-out for the top talent, and even if you apply late we will still consider you.

Where should you apply?
Apply at the official Bucks New University site here.

Why choose Bucks?
Because we are very good at animation and visual effects. Co-course leader and animation tutor Alex Williams (that's me) has worked on over 25 animated feature films from Who Framed Roger Rabbit? to the last three Harry Potter pictures, to Paddington - released at the end of last year.

Our tutors have extensive industry experience

Dave Creighton, our other course leader, is an excellent 3D generalist with a wealth of experience - you can read an interview with him here.  Nick Brown is also a very experienced digital artist, and Rob Kelly has a fantastic record as a director of motion graphics and commercials. Check out Rob's awesome demo reel here.

Is there a video which explains all about the course?
There are several! Watch our official course video here. It's only a few minutes long, and it explains what we're trying to do here at Bucks. Basically, we want to be the best course in the country for animation & vfx.

What kind of facilities do we have at Bucks?
We have world-class equipment for our students. Our new Gateway building is stuffed with state-of-the-art kit. We have facilities for green screen, audio recording, sound mixing, sound design, virtual sets, film & TV, live action - in short all the equipment needed to make almost any kind of modern media production.

But aren't those separate courses?
Yes, but we strongly encourage collaborations between departments. For example, the sound design students are especially keen on collaborations with  animation. We have amazing sound design equipment and super-talented students - you can read more about what they do here.

A sound designer at work at Bucks
Animators are film-makers and we want the animators to benefit from the expertise that other departments can bring to collaborating on making great films.

Framestore, one of London's leading VFX houses, helped us design our course

What about partnerships with Industry?
We are forging partnerships with industry, especially the with the visual effects industry in Soho, London. Kevin Spruce, head of animation at Framestore, one of the UK's leading VFX houses, was the external assessor on our course, helping to make sure that we train animators who are up to the job of doing the kind of high-end animal and creature work that Framestore specialises in.

We also have informal connections to Cinesite, MPC and other visual effects houses in London and many studios overseas, and we bring in visiting lecturers on a regular basis to inspire our students and make sure they have the latest skills.

Free laptops for all our freshmen!

Do we really give away free laptops?
Yes we do! We give away free laptops to all out freshmen students. We want our students to become well rounded 3D artists, capable of working from home and making their own films. That way you are prepared to work in a studio or even set up your own mini studio, working from home and taking on freelance work. You can read all about why we give away free laptops here. We also give all our students free access to tutorials at, and free external hard drives so you don't have to worry about storage.

Free for our students

Where can you see the past work done by Bucks students?
Our students have done plenty of excellent work. Take a look at past blog posts showcasing some of the work done by students such as Monika Dzikowicz, Krzysztof Michalski, Lydon Fleisig, Jens Kopke, Mike Swan and Clare Hunt.
Check out our students work at our YouTube channel

Also, take a look at our page at YouTube and have a look at some of the videos. Check out our showcase of student work. Your job at Bucks will be to study hard, learn your craft and do even better!

Is it necessary to come for interview and do applicants need a portfolio?
Yes. We interview all our candidates, largely because we want to make sure that you are a good fit for our course, and vice versa - we don't want anyone to sign up at Bucks and be disappointed.

And yes, you will need a portfolio - check out our post here on the kind of portfolio we are looking for. If you can't make it in for interview - we can Skype!

Commercial work like this helps our students to develop their skills

Do you help your graduates find work?
We do! We make strenuous efforts to help our students find work.  One way we are doing this is to do short film projects for commercial clients. Check out the most recent one we did here.

There are others in the works, bringing in professional experience and paid work for our recent graduates.

Education is expensive - be prepared!
How much does it all cost and are there loans available?
Right now a degree at Bucks costs around £9,000 a year. There is a well-funded system of government loans in place, and in addition some scholarships and bursaries are available here at Bucks. You can read our handy guide to the system here. 

Animator's Survival Kit - top of your reading list

How applicants get ready for the course?
Start reading the right books! Here is a list of useful books to get you started. Number one is The Animator's Survival Kit - every student should have a copy. Also, check out the week 1 videos at Animation Apprentice, which are a great introduction to the art of animation. They are all free.

If you want to know more about what we do, feel free to browse the blog, and don't hesitate to email me at

Better yet, come and visit us at one of our Open Days - and see for yourself. Our next Open Day is on Saturday 21 February. Don't be shy! We're here to help advise you, and we even offer free coffee and muffins.


For more on the experience of studying at Bucks New University, come and visit us at one of our Open Days,  take a virtual tour of one of our animation studios, check out what our students think of our course, and see why we're ranked in the top 12 creative universities in the UK. Find out why we're giving free laptops to all our students, and why we give all our students free access to videos at Also, see what financial assistance might be available to you. Learn which is better for animation, a PC or a Mac? Get hold of a copy of a map so you can find your way around campus, and learn about motion capture at Bucks.  

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