Friday, 10 July 2020

Online MA in 3D Animation - Latest FAQs

"Flame" by Amedeo Beretta
We often get asked questions about the online MA in 3D Animation from prospective students, seeking to know more about what is actually involved in this unique degree.

This isn't surprising; it's a big committment of time, money and energy to embark on an MA. Below is a list of some of the most common questions, with answers.

Animation by Jeton Lakna
What software will be used for the master's degree?
The main software package we use is Autodesk Maya, which is now the industry standard. You can download a free copy from the Audoesk Education site.  Students should also have access to some editing software, such as Premiere Pro. We recommend getting a student subscription to the Adobe Creative Suite.

Is it possible to finish the MA in less than 18 months?
No, the MA is validated both internally and externally as an 18 month part-time programme. We cannot change the course length.
"School Run" by Lee Caller

If an emergency were to occur while doing the masters, would I be able to pause and continue in a few months?
We treat such matters on a case-by-case basis, and are as flexible and supportive as our formal academic regulations will allow. It may possible to defer until the next year if an emergency arises.

Is the final degree identical to a degree given to a student that attends campus?
The award is a standard Master of the Arts. There is no difference between this award and one that is given for "on-campus" learning.

How much of the course is practical and how much is academic?
Roughly 50/50 overall. There are five modules on the Animation MA, of which the first four are 70% practical, 30% academic in their content and assessment. The 30% academic content involves a researched/written component. The exception is the fifth dissertation module, which is 100% academic in its nature. DA705 runs for the whole 18 month duration of the programme and is entirely research focused. This and all other research-based work is supported by Dr Fil Ieropoulos. The practical content is delivered by Alex Williams (that's me), in part through my online school Animation Apprentice.

Is there a Dissertation?
Yes. The dissertation module DA705 runs for the whole duration of the course but is broken down into smaller sections – starting with a focus on research methods.

How Much Time Should I expect to Spend Working?
We expect students to work about 12-16 hours a week on the MA. Many students have full-time or part-time jobs, and tend to work evenings and some weekends. But, there are breaks for the holidays, especially over th summer.

Are there scholarships available?
We don’t have very many bursaries, but take a look at this blog post about student finance:

What is the deadline to apply for the MA?
There is no deadline to apply for the MA in September, but in practice you should apply as soon as possible. Applying late will delay your application and we may not be able to get you onto the course on time.

Is there a Hardship Fund?
Yes. There is a Hardship Fund page, you can find it here.

Are we getting taught concept art and storytelling? 
A little, but the main focus of the course is on character and creature animation. You would need to apply to a concept art or Storyboarding MA if that is the route you want to travel.

Do We Teach Sculpting and Modelling? 
Only a little. The course focuses mainly on character and creature animation, so as not to lose focus. 

All the student’s work I see at the blog, are they students with prior experience of 3D animation?
Some students have prior experience, others not. Every student is different.

Is the curriculum of the MA is enough to make great work even for someone without experience?
Yes, we take students from zero to hero. However, it helps if you do some preparation in advance, such as learning the basics of Maya.

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