|2||Vancouver Film School||Canada|
|6||National Film and Television School||UK|
|7||MOPA – Motion Picture in Arles||France|
|8||Vancouver Institute of Media Arts (VanArts)||Canada|
|9||Lost Boys Studios – School of Visual Effects||Canada|
|10||Graduate School of Crafts Art (ESMA)||France|
An introductory note from the editor:
We started publishing US based regional and national lists in 2012 in response to myriad emails from aspiring animators seeking advice regarding the "best" schools in the US. The US-centric lists have been well-received, so much so that we now receive frequent requests to publish rankings of international animation schools. ACR staff writer and Social Media Manager Tom Fronczak managed and authored this year's Top 100 International Animation Schools rankings. In preparing this year’s list, we surveyed over one hundred animation schools across the globe. Our end-goal is to give students access to ample information so they can make an informed decision about the school they choose to attend and the program they pursue.
The criteria for this list includes the following, in no particular order:
- Overall quality of program including technology and facilities available to students.
- Consistency and quality of student and graduate animation works.
- Geographic advantages derived from the school being located near animation employment hotspots.
- Reputation of program within the industry.
- A school can have online classes, but must not be online only. We will publish a separate rankings for online animation schools.
- Tuition and overall cost of attendance, while taken into consideration, are not a major influence in this ranking.
No one school is perfect for everybody, and there is no single opinion that trumps all when it comes to which school is the “best”. Ultimately every student has different needs regarding the type and academic rigor of a program, technology requirements, campus culture, as well as cost, lifestyle, and career focus. Our hope is that as 2017 begins, these comprehensive rankings are a starting point for students to discover the schools that are the best fit for them.
The top twenty five schools are ranked on the last page, but the other schools are listed alphabetically by country. Countries with only one school on the list are in a section before the top twenty five at the end. Please note that schools are only included once on this list. Schools in the top twenty five -- or with locations in several countries -- are only included on the list once. So a school with one location in India could actually be listed in a different country’s section.
Academy of Interactive Entertainment. Australia campus locations: Adelaide, Canberra, Melbourne, Perth, and Sydney.
Founded in 1996, AIE is celebrating its twenty year anniversary! AIE offers three main programs: Game Art & Animation, Game Programming, and Game Design & Production. Each program runs two years and the AIE site has PDFs with the full tuition breakdown costs for each program sorted by campus. They also offer online classes, holiday courses, summer camps, short courses, certificates, master classes, and even an incubator program!
Australian Film, Television, and Radio School. Sydney, Australia.
Also known as AFTRS, this school has a few options. Their relevant 2017 degrees are Advanced Diploma in Editing (two semesters over 32 weeks for $7,000), Advanced Diploma in Visual Effects (two semesters over 32 weeks for $7,000), Diploma in Camera (one semester over sixteen weeks for $3,500), and a Diploma in Editing (one semester over sixteen weeks for $3,500). They also have postgraduate courses for editing and cinematography which are both two semesters over 32 weeks for $12,360.
Australian National University. Canberra, Australia.
The Australian National University (ANU) was founded in 1946 and offers degrees for a wide range of career paths including one for aspiring animators. Their “Animation and Video Major” is a 48 unit degree that teaches students 2D and 3D animation, as well as video editing, compositing, and other production skills. Their School of Art also has a Bachelor of Visual Arts that’s a 144 unit degree that spans three years.
Billy Blue College of Design. Australia campus locations: Brisbane, Melbourne, and Sydney.
Billy Blue has a Diploma of Digital Media Design which can run seven months or one year. They also provide a Bachelor of Digital Media in three different areas for you to choose from: 3D Design & Animation, Interaction Design, and Film & Video Design. The three Bachelor programs can be completed full-time in two or three years, or part-time in four or six years. All four of their programs can be taken at their campuses in Brisbane, Melbourne, or Sydney.
Central TAFE. Australia campus locations in East Perth and Joondalup.
Central Institute of Technology is a Technical and Further Education (TAFE) Institution. Central TAFE has many different programs for animation and gaming: Certificate III in Media, Certificate IV in Digital Media Technologies, Diploma of Screen and Media, Diploma in Digital Media Technologies, Advanced Diploma of Animation, Advanced Diploma of Screen and Media, and Advanced Diploma of Games Development. Students can go through some of these programs – which are each six or twelve months – to achieve one of three degrees: Bachelor of Arts (Games Art & Design), Bachelor of Arts (Digital Design), or Bachelor of Arts Creative Industries.
Deakin University Australia. Australia campuses at Cloud, Geelong Waterfront, Gellong Waurn Ponds, Melbourne, and Warrnambool.
Students seeking a career in animation, filmmaking, special effects, or game design can enter their program for Animation and Motion Capture. One of the perks is their state-of-the-art motion capture facility, Motion.Lab. The Bachelor of Creative Arts (Animation and Motion Capture) program at the Burwood campus is a three year full-time undergraduate degree that costs about $6,381 per year.
Griffith University. South Bank, Australia.
Animators seeking coursing at Griffith University should consider these programs that they offer: Bachelor of Animation (three years, $6,349 per year), Bachelor of Animation with Honours (one year, $6,349 per year), Bachelor of Creative and Interactive Media (three years, $6,349 per year), Graduate Certificate in Interactive Media (half year, $10,250 per year), or a Master of Interactive Media (one to two years, $20,500 per year).
Raffles College of Design and Commerce. North Sydney, Australia.
Raffles has three appealing programs for animators. Two of them are Visual Communication degrees: Bachelor of Arts in Animation and a Bachelor of Arts in Games Design. The other degree is a Bachelor of Design in Multimedia Design. Their three year programs are usually $55,440 total over six semesters.
RMIT University. Melbourne, Australia.
RMIT offers three animation programs in Melbourne. Two of them are undergraduate degrees: Bachelor of Design (Animation and Interactive Media) and a Bachelor of Media and Communication (Honours). They also have a postgraduate degree that’s a Master of Animation, Games and Interactivity. In addition to these, they offer a one year Diploma of Interactive Digital Media as well.
SAE Institute Australia (SAE Sydney was formerly Qantm College). Including campuses from: SAE Brisbane, SAE Byron Bay, SAE Melbourne, SAE Perth, and SAE Sydney.
There are lots of SAE Institutes all around the world but this was the very first one to be opened! It launched back in 1976 and the other SAE schools have spread to more than 50 other locations! This school offers three animation programs: Bachelor of Animation (two years, six trimesters), Associate Degree of Animation (four trimesters), and a Diploma of Screen and Media (seven months, two trimesters). They also offer two game degrees: Bachelor of Games Development (two years, six trimesters) and an Associate Degree of Games Development (four trimesters).
Swinburne University of Technology. Hawthorn, Australia.
Swinburne has a three year Bachelor of Animation that covers both 2D and 3D production techniques, and costs roughly $6,349 per year for full-time students. They also offer five diploma programs that are focused on animation or screen media, as well as one certificate course. Those seeking game design degrees have six Bachelor programs to choose from, though most of them are coding intensive and focused on computer science over art.
University of Melbourne. Victoria, Australia.
Founded way back in 1853, The Victorian College of the Arts at University of Melbourne has seen its School of Film and Television graduates enter the entertainment industry from all angles since 1968. Their Animation Major in Bachelor of Fine Arts covers 2D, 3D, stop motion, editing, and sound courses using a variety of software. Australian students who have completed post-secondary study may be eligible for credit towards your studies at this university!
Queensland University of Technology. Brisbane, Australia.
Known by its students as QUT, this school has a virtual production studio for motion capture! Its undergraduate programs focus on game animation, game design, and software technologies. Courses cover animated filmmaking, visual effects, game development, visual arts, and teach skills in motion graphics, 3D graphics, drawing, and real-time modelling for virtual environments. QUT has postgraduate options spanning Graduate Certificates, Honours Degrees, Masters Programs, and Doctoral Degrees. Want something shorter? They have a short course in Character Movement for Animation for just $176!
University of Technology Sydney. Sydney, Australia.
University of Technology Sydney (UTS) has several Bachelor program options for artists! Here are their three year programs: Bachelor of Design in Animation, Bachelor of Science in Games Development, and a Bachelor of Design in Visual Communication. Want more specialization? UTS also offers combined Bachelor programs like Bachelor of Design in Animation Bachelor of Creative Intelligence and Innovation, which is four years, and a Bachelor of Design in Animation Bachelor of Arts in International Studies, which is five years.
Algonquin College. Ottawa, Canada.
This school uses Mac computers and teaches Toonboom’s Harmony, Autodesk’s Maya, Final Cut Pro, Adobe After Effects, and Photoshop. Their three year Animation Diploma has a domestic tuition of $8,380 and an international tuition of $17,906, with books and supplies costing roughly $2,000 per year. Their three year Game Development Diploma is slightly cheaper. Algonquin College also offers a one year Pre-Animation and Illustration program that's $5,804 for domestic students and $15,330 for international students. Want a shorter, cheaper option? They have a five week course in Advanced Harmony Animation Strategies for $3,495.
Capilano University. North Vancouver, Squamish, and Sunshine Coast, Canada.
Their graduate portfolios are pretty impressive, and so is their curriculum! Capilano School of Motion Picture Arts has fourteen different programs to choose from in areas spanning Motion Picture, Cinematography, Visual Effects, Independent Filmmaking, Digital Imaging, 2D Animation, 3D Animation, and Game Design. Their 3D Animation graduates have gone on to work at dozens of large studios in the industry!
Emily Carr University of Art and Design. Vancouver, Canada.
After a first year of Bachelor of Media Arts foundation studies at Emily Carr, students can then apply for the Animation Major in the second year, which boasts 70% studio work time and 30% critical studies time. This school also offers certificate courses in Drawing, Painting, Illustration, Photography, 2D Design Basics, and 3D Design Basics. Younger artists who are between 16 and 18 in age might qualify for their summer courses!
LaSalle College International Vancouver. Vancouver, Canada.
Their 2D/3D Animation Program is three semesters (fifteen weeks per semester) with a commitment of twenty hours per week for a total of 45 weeks and 900 hours. Software training covers Softimage, Photoshop, Mudbox, Nuke, ZBrush, and Premiere. Students can then seek jobs in the following career paths: Production Designer, Animator, 3D Character Builder, 3D Object Modeler, Storyboard Artist, or Production Designer. LaSalle College also has a 825 hour Video Game 3D Modeling program that runs sixteen months.
Ontario College of Art and Design. Toronto, Canada.
The “OCAD University” has two undergraduate Digital Painting and Expanded Animation programs. One is an Integrated Media path and the other is a Drawing & Painting path. They also offer programs for Graphic Design, Illustration, and Advertising.
The Art Institute of Vancouver. Vancouver, Canada.
This Art Institute location has several degrees worth pursuing! All of the following have gainful employment: Diploma in Game Art & Design (90 credit hours over six quarters), Bachelor of Science in Game Programming (180 credit hours over twelve quarters), Diploma in Visual & Game Programming (90 credit hours over six quarters), Diploma in 3D Modeling for Animation & Games (105 credit hours over seven quarters), Diploma in Animation Art & Design (105 credit hours over seven quarters), and a Diploma in VFX for Film & Television (105 credit hours over seven quarters).
Visual College of Art and Design of Vancouver. Vancouver, Canada.
Also known as VCAD, this school began as a branch of the Victoria College of Art and Design. They have the following relevant program paths: Graphic Design, 3D Modeling Animation Art & Design, Game Development & Design, Mobile Game Design & Development, and Visual Effects Art and Design. Their animation program is six terms and currently is offering a $2,500 scholarship! In total across all programs, VCAD plans on giving away up to $150,000 in scholarships in 2017!
ARTFX promises rapid post-graduate placement in some of the largest studios in France and around the world, and they have the success stories to back it up. Graduates have gone on to work on movies such as Thor, Despicable Me 2, Skyfall, and The Lorax. This is one of those schools where interested students should skip checking out the curriculum and pricing lists they offer on their site and first checkout the jaw dropping student gallery section to see what previous students were able to achieve by enrolling here in 3D animation, special effects, and video game programs!
La Poudrière. Valence, France.
La Poudrière provides two year training programs as well as short courses in a variety of animation and film curriculum. Class sizes are very small so make sure to apply as soon as possible! The school specializes in tasking students with long-term projects. 2015 resulted in 63 student short films, three feature films, and two video games!
LISAA L'Institut Supérieur des Arts Appliqués. Campus locations: Paris, France.
LISAA trains students in 2D animation, 3D animation, video game design, and visual effects. Next year the school will even offer a brand new degree: Master Game Tech and MBA in Video Games Production. Its other degree programs are MBA Video Game Production, Bachelor 2D Animation, Bachelor 3D Animation, Bachelor 2D/3D Video Games, Bachelor Visual Effects, and Master Production Management & Digital Animation Techniques.
SAE Institute Paris. Paris, France.
SAE Institute was established in 1976, and it currently has over 50 campuses in almost 30 countries around the world! Of its numerous SAE locations, SAE Paris is still the best. SAE Paris has a four month Motion & Graphic Design Certificate for learning 2D animation for First Pro and Adobe After Effects. Their Game Art Animation Bachelor Program runs two years and teaches both 2D and 3D animation. Their Visual Effects Animation Bachelor Program is also two years, and offers training in 2D and 3D animation, as well as other VFX art and film editing.
School of Decorative Arts. Paris, France.
Also known as “École Nationale Superieure Des Arts Decoratifs” – or just “ENSAD” – this school began way back in 1927 and played a part in the Art Deco movement in the 1920s, although technically it has roots from the Royal Free School of Art that was founded way back in 1766! Their students enter a five year degree course that starts with one year of foundation courses before they can choose a specialization path in the second year. Mandatory professional internships occur in the fourth year, and in their fifth year students must create a Grand Project diploma project.
School Georges Méliès. Château Georges Méliès, France.
Until 2010, this school was named “EESA - Ecole Europenne Superieur d'Animation” (European Graduate School of Animation) before it changed its name to honor a famous filmmaker in 2010. Last year, they opened a 3,000 m² building that has a movie theater with 150 seats, a film set, a recording studio, anatomy theaters, and other artist delights. Their Artisan of the Animated Image program is four years and trains students in animated cinema, 2D/3D visual and digital effects, architectures, aeronautics, and medical imaging.
Games Academy. Berlin and Frankfurt, Germany. Vancouver, Canada.
Back in 2000, this school was founded in Berlin as Europe’s first college to solely focus on computer and video game production. They’ve come a long way and currently offer four degrees: Game Programming (two years, about 550,00 € per month), Game Production (two years, about 550,00 € per month), Game Design (one year, about 795,00 € per month), and Game Art & Animation (two years, about 795,00 € per month). Want to know more? Try one of their two week full-time trial lessons for 490,00 €! They offer one for Game Development Basics and one for Work in Animation.
SAE Institute Berlin. Other campuses in Germany: SAE Berlin, SAE Bochum, SAE Cologne (SAE Köln), SAE Frankfurt, SAE Hamburg, SAE Hannover, SAE Leipzig, SAE Munich, (SAE München), and SAE Stuttgart.
SAE Berlin offers a variety of different programs for animators and game design artists! Their BA/BSc (Hons) Game Art Animation program can be completed in 24, 30, or 42 months, and specializes in Character Design, 3D Modeling, 3D Animation, and Digital Painting. Their BSc (Hons) Games Programming program runs 24, 30, or 42 months, and specializes in C#, C++, Graphics Programming, and Gameplay Programming. Their Game Art & 3D Animation Diploma is 18 months long and prepares graduates for jobs as 3D Modeler, Texture Artist, 3D Animator, Game Artist, and Character Designer. Their Games Programming Diploma runs 18 months and specializes in C#, C++, Graphics Programming, and Gameplay Programming. If you’re more interested in VFX, they have an eighteen month Visual FX & 3D Animation Diploma, as well as a BA/BSc (Hons) Visual FX & 3D Animation program that runs 24, 30, or 42 months.
Maya Academy of Advanced Cinematics. Various locations in India.
Its courses are split into these categories: 3D Animation, VFX, Graphic Design & Multimedia, Gaming Design, and Media & Entertainment. They also offer short courses (two to eight months) in 3ds Max, Maya, Smoke, Nuke, Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Premiere, Adobe After Effects, Adobe Soundbooth, Eyeon Fusion, and Apple Final Cut Pro.
The Digital Film School. Mumbai, India.
This school is not for 2D animators! Some 3D animators won't prefer this school either; DFS focuses heavily on VFX. Classes take place in a 25,000 square foot post-production facility and offer students a very realistic real world visual effects experience. Courses range from three to nine months, so if you want to fast track your career without being locked in for years, this is a good place to check out.
Toonz Academy. Kerala, India.
This school continues to impress and look better every year! Their alumni have gone on to studios like DreamWorks and Rhythm and Hues. They offer programs for Digital Graphics, Visual Effects, 3D CGI Animation, and 3D Game Development, but their famous certificate course is Animation Filmmaking Advanced (AFMA). That program teaches character modeling, organic character texturing, lighting, character rigging, character animation, particle effects, dynamics, and compositing. After twelve months the top AFMA students take tests and have the opportunity to end with a three month internship at the Toonz Animation Studio in Technopark!
Tokyo Animation College. Tokyo, Japan.
If you want to create art for anime or manga, this is a school you must check out! They have three year programs for Anime Production Course and Complete Comic Course. Tokyo Animation College also offers two year programs for Animator Course, Story Comic Course, and Character Design Course.
Kyoto Seika University. Kyoto, Japan.
Also referred to as SEIKA, this school offers assistance to students from overseas with immigration and Visa issues. Their animation program is four years. In the first year, students focus heavily on drawing and basic principles of animation. Second year students move on to expressions, background art, and sound classes. Third year students start tackling large animation projects and work on graduate projects for their fourth year.
Tokyo School of Anime. Tokyo, Japan.
This might be the best school for anime in existence! They offer the following anime programs: Voice Actor & Vocalist World, Anime Production World, Anime Creator World, Anime Design World, and Anime Business World. The Anime Creator World program is a two year Animation Major and teaches flash animation, game animation, 3D animation, sound design, and CG/VFX for anime. The Anime Design World program is a two year course that focuses more on character design, color theory, and figure drawing classes.
Limkokwing University. Cyberjaya, Malaysia.
Often called LUCT by its students and faculty, Limkokwing offers a three year Diploma in Animation that teaches both 2D animation and computer animation. LUCT also has Diploma and Degree programs for Animation & Multimedia Design, Creative Multimedia, Graphic Design Technology, Interactive & Multimedia Design, and Motion Graphics & Visual Effects.
The One Academy. Bandar Sunway, Malaysia.
This school has a three year Digital Animation program and enrollment periods are January, April, and August. Course material covers perspective, typography, life drawing, 2D animation, character design, concept art, 3D modeling basics, 3D animation basics, 3D character animation, advanced 3D animation, compositing & editing, and even helps students create a demo reel by graduation!
HKU University of the Arts Utrecht. Utrecht, Netherlands.
HKU has over 3,900 students spread throughout all its programs, but all of the classes are taught in Dutch. Their Animation program teaches both 2D and 3D animation. Artists seeking other careers can consider their programs for Graphic Design, Fashion Design, Illustration, Image and Media Technology, Photography, and Product Design.
SAE Institute Amsterdam. Amsterdam, Netherlands.
SAE Amsterdam has three programs for animators: Game Art Animation Diploma (one year full-time), BA/BSc (Hons) Game Art Animation (two years full-time), and MA/MSC Professional Practice (Creative Media Industries) which is an online course that lasts one year full-time or two years part-time and costs 7.800€.
New Zealand Schools:
Massey University. Wellington, New Zealand.
The College of Creative Arts at Massey has several design programs but the one that looks most enticing is its full-time three year Bachelor of Creative Media Production. In the first year alone, students take classes in Web & Mobile Media, Media Production, Computer Animation, VFX & Motion Graphics, Digital Video Production, Game Technologies & Mechanics, Audio Production & Sound Design, and Animatronics & Modelling.
Yoobee School of Design. Auckland, Christchurch, and Wellington, New Zealand.
Yoobee is almost two decades old and it's already boasting lots of quality curriculum and graduate success. Their site oozes personality and student appreciation, so if you're at all interested in this school you owe it to yourself to take a tour! They have nine different Animation programs that span anywhere from fifteen to 43 weeks in length, as well as three Game Art Development programs that span twenty four weeks to two years! This is a school that continues to improve every year!
Idefagskolen AS. Nøtterøy, Norway.
This school has five different programs to choose from: Media Design, 3D Design, 3D Animation, Interior Design, and Retail Designer. The 3D Design and 3D Animation paths are both one year long spread over two semesters that each cost about 54,500 Krone. Check out their student galleries to see all of the impressive projects that have come out of their programs!
Noroff Instituttet. Kristiansand, Norway.
Noroff's University College has a three year Bachelor program for game design and one for animation as well. Students who want more specific training over a shorter period can choose from 3D Film Production and 3D Game Design, which are both two year programs, or a one year 3D Design and Animation course. All of these choices are available online!
9Zeros. Barcelona, Spain.
9Zeros continues to grow! They still have a three year Diploma in Animation and these three Masters programs: Master in CGAnimation, Master in CG Animation, Master in Animation and Stop-Motion, and Master in Animation and 2D Realization. They've also added a 3D Animation Initiation Course, a Stop-Motion Animation Initiation Course, and an Initiation Course to 2D Animation.
CICE, La Escuela Profesional de Nuevas. Madrid, Spain.
Whereas most schools have programs that cover a long list of software, this school instead has programs that each focus heavily on one main piece of software. They have courses, degrees, and Master's programs for the following software: Autodesk 3ds Max, Autodesk Maya, Unity, ZBrush, and FX Houdini. Most courses span hundreds of hours!
Escola Superior de Cinema. Barcelona, Spain.
Also known as ESCAC, this school has an Animation & Visual Effects Master's program that spans 800 hours full-time from September to June and is only open to twelve to eighteen students each year! This program costs £10,100 and the school's alumni have worked on several movies and television shows.
Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art & Design. Dundee, Scotland.
Also known as DJCAD, this school has a BDes (Hons) Animation course that's three years full-time and costs £1,820 per year for Scottish and EU students, £9,250 per year for students from the rest of UK, and £14,950 per year for international students. They also have a one year full-time MSc Animation & VFX course that costs £5,950 per year for Scottish, UK, and EU students, and £14,950 per year for international students.
Escape Studios, Pearson College London. London, United Kingdom.
Want to start your career as soon as possible, and not have to wait through years of studying to reach your goals? This school has you covered! They have five week courses for Houdini, and short courses for the following: Storyboarding (eight weeks), Animation (twelve weeks), Video Games Art Production (twelve weeks), Video Games Art and Effects Production (eighteen weeks), 2D VFX courses that span from four weeks to twenty weeks, and 3D VFX courses that span four weeks to thirty weeks. Still not fast enough? Try one of their one day taster courses for just £25!
Ravensbourne. London, United Kingdom.
The School of Media at Ravensbourne offers a three year BA (Hons) Animation program that has no up-front fees! Tuition is paid by a government loan and loan repayments only have to be made once you have left the university and are earning over £21,000 a year! As for what the fees actually are, students should currently expect to be charged about £9,000 per year.
SAE Institute London. Other campuses in United Kingdom: SAE Liverpool, SAE Oxford, and SAE Glasgow in Scotland.
Sometimes called SAE Institute UK, SAE London two BA/BSc (Hons) programs. The first is Game Art & Animation, which is a two year full-time degree that prepares students for careers as Character Designers, 3D Modelers, Environment Builders, and Lead Artists. The second is Visual Effects & Animation, which is also two years full-time and prepares students to work on VFX in the movie industry. They also have a BSc (Hons) Games Programming degree that's two years full-time for students who want to program video games.
Southampton Solent University. Southampton, United Kingdom.
Solent has over 49,000 students worldwide! Want an animation career? This school has two different three year programs to choose from: BA (Hons) Animation and BA (Hons) Digital Animation. Each of these programs is £9,250 per year for UK and EU students and £11,000 per year for international students. Game designers have three different three year programs to choose from: BSc (Hons) Computer Games (Software Development), BSc (Hons) Computer Games (Indie), and BA (Hons) Computer Games (Art).
University of Hertfordshire. Hertfordshire, United Kingdom.
Aspiring animators and game designers should check out these three undergraduate programs: 2D Animation and Character for Digital Media (BA Hons), 3D Computer Animation and Modelling (BA Hons), and 3D Games Art & Design Study Abroad (BA Hons). Each of those programs are three years full-time, or four years if you choose to study abroad!
University of Portsmouth. Portsmouth, England.
This school has three game design programs and four animation programs. BA (Hons) Animation is perhaps their most popular course, and it runs three years full-time with a one year placement option that helps artists launch their careers! The 2017/2018 tuition fees for this program are £9,250 for domestic students and £13,300 for international students. While enrolled, students will enjoy being able to use the school's motion capture studio and other impressive facilities!
University of West England. Bristol, United Kingdom.
UWE Bristol has two animation programs: a BA (Hons) undergraduate degree (three years full-time at £9,250 a year for domestic students and £11,750 a year for international students), and a MA/Postgraduate Diploma/Postgraduate Certificate that’s fifteen months full-time. UWE also has a BSc (Hons) Games Technology degree that's three years full-time and £9,250 a year for domestic students and £12,250 for international students.
South African Schools:
SAE Institute South Africa. Cape Town, South Africa.
Also known as SAE Cape Town, this school has a Bachelor of Arts in Motion Design and Animation (three years full-time, specializes in character design, character animation, environment art, concept art, and storyboard art) and a Higher Certificate in Animation and Visual Effects (one year full-time, specializes in 3D animation, 3D rigging, 3D modelling, storyboarding, and graphic illustrations).
University of the Witwatersrand. Johannesburg, South Africa.
The Wits School of Arts at the University of the Witwatersrand has several undergraduate and postgraduate programs that will interest aspiring animators and game designers. Their MA in Digital Animation requires students to have taken some of the school’s other programs prior to enrolling. They teach advanced Maya features in the first semester, and in the second semester students get to team up to make an animated short film!
Schools in Other Regions:
Anomalia. Litomyšl, Czech Republic.
You've probably seen some of this school's student animations go viral on the Web in the past year or two! Whereas most schools on this list have fought to follow in their footsteps, Anomalia has already expanded onto the next big thing: animating in VR! They currently offer ten day £726 Animation Labs for Attitude & Style (2D/3D), Details & Quality (3D), and Animating in VR. They also have an Animation Story Lab (Mythology, Story, and Storyboard) and an Animation Art Lab (Characters, Concept Art, and Development) that are both £605 for ten days of training. Lastly, they offer a ten day course in Character Sculpting in ZBrush that's £826. Cheap, fast, and awesome! Just be warned: this is not a school for beginners!
Ballyfermot College of Further Education. Dublin, Ireland.
The Irish School of Animation at Ballyfermot College has three animation programs: Animation Drawing Studies (one year), Higher National Diploma in Classical and Computer Animation (two years), and BA (Hons) Visual Media in Animation / Game Design (two years).
Beijing Film Academy. Beijing, China.
The Animation School of Beijing Film Academy (BFA) began in 2000, and in 2013 they launched the Beijing Film Academy's International Program as premiere film program taught in English to teach students three or four year Majors in Directing, Cinematography, and Visual Effects. Enrollment for this school can sometimes be fiercely limited, so apply as soon as possible!
Cadritech Computacao Grafica. São Paulo, Brazil.
Founded back in 1995, Cadritech doesn't offer comprehensive degrees spanning large curriculum areas. Instead, this school lets students focus entirely on a single piece of software so they can become a master at it. Their training courses cover the following software: 3ds Max, Maya, After Effects, Premiere Pro + Encore, AutoCAD, Rhino 3D, Illustrator, Revit Architecture, Inventor, Revit Map, Sketchup, Photoshop, V-Ray, and ZBrush.
Haute École Albert Jacquard. Namur, Belgium.
Often called simply HEAJ, this school has 180 credit Bachelor programs in 2D Animation & Digital Illustration, 3D Section, Computer Graphics, Video Games, and a 60 credit Honors program for Video Games.
Image Campus. Buenos Aires, Argentina.
This school offers great short-term and long-term options! Students can either take short courses based on individual software or instead take traditional degrees that last for a year or longer. They have three animation degrees that are each three years long: Higher Education in Integral Cartoons, Higher Education in Art and Animation for Video Games, and Superior Technique in Production of 3D Design and Animation for Cinema. They also have a three year Higher Education in Games Development program for those who want to program games!
Kaywon School of Art and Design. Euiwang-shi, Gyeonggi-do, South Korea.
This South Korean school has four areas of study: Game Media (for students who want to program games), Digital Media Design (for students who want to be visual web/mobile designers), Moving Image Design (for students who want to work in video production, video editing, and VFX), and Anime (for students who want to work in 2D or 3D animation careers).
Moholy-Nagy University of Art and Design. Budapest, Hungary.
Founded way back in 1870, the Hungarian University of Arts and Design changed its name to its current one in 2006, and its students often call it MOME. The MOME Animation Department offers many BA and MA educational programs and is even involved with several incubator programs! They also organize the KISKAKAS Animation Film Festival and several film premieres and exhibitions.
Nanyang Polytechnic. Singapore.
Nanyang Polytechnic has several art degrees: Digital Visual Effects, Interaction Design, Digital Game Art & Design, Motion Graphics & Broadcast Design, Animation, Game Development & Technology. Students in their final year at the School of Interactive & Digital Media can take advantage of their Internship Program!
Nayzak Animation School. Cairo, Egypt.
This school has changed its diplomas from last year a bit! They offer Concept Art Diploma, Motion Graphics Diploma, 2D Character Animation Diploma, 3D Character Animation, 3D Environment Creation Diploma, and 3D Character Creation Diploma.
Odd School. Lisboa, Portugal.
Odd Digital Entertainment School offers foundation courses for the following software and training: 3ds Max, After Effects, Cinema 4D, Drawing, Sculpting, Animation, Maya, Photoshop, Business Pitches, Rigging, Storyboards, Toonboom Studio & Animation, V-Ray, and ZBrush. They also have three full programs: 3D Modeling & Texturing (€8,640), 2D Animation (€8640), and Concept Art (€17,280).
Playground Squad. Falun, Sweden.
This is the school who trained the group of artists that created the famous game, Angry Birds! These days they offer three course paths: Artist, Designer, or Programmer. Each path is two years of studies followed by six months of internship. Be warned though: this school is highly sought after but only accepts 40 artists, designers, and programmers each year!
SAE Institute Belgrade. Belgrade, Serbia.
SAE Belgrade has an eight week training course in Adobe After Effects that has two classes a week. They also have a two month Games Development program that costs €420 total and teaches students how to use Unity 3D. Want more? They have a BA/BSc (Hons) Animation program for Visual Effects and Game Art where in three years students can learn Adobe and Autodesk software, as well as Unreal Engine 4.
SAE Institute Dubai. Dubai, United Arab Emirates. Similar campuses in the Middle East: SAE Jeddah in Saudi Arabia and SAE Amman in Jordan.
SAE Institute Jakarta. Jakarta, Indonesia.
SAE Jakarta has a one year full-time Bachelor VFX Animation program and also a one year Animation Bachelor (that can be taken in sixteen to twenty months as an Australia Pathway Program). They also offer a 3D Animation Short Course and a three year full-time Diploma in 3D Animation & VFX.
SAE Institute Vienna. Vienna, Austria.
SAE Vienna is often called SAE Institute Wien, and it has five different paths for artists interested in game design and animation: BA/BSc (Hons) Game Art Animation (42 months), Game Art & 3D Animation Diploma (two years), MA/MSc Professional Practice (Creative Industries) (one year full-time, online classes), BSc (Hons) Games Programming (42 months), and Games Programming Diploma (two years).
SAE Institute Zürich. Zürich, Switzerland.
SAE Zürich has a 42 month BA/BSc (Hons) Game Art Animation program and a two year Game Art & 3D Animation Diploma; both are twenty to twenty five hours a week. They also offer a 3D Production program that's four months (every Saturday for five hours) of training and one month of working on a project. Lastly, they have a one year full-time online class for MA/MSc Professional Practice (Creative Media Industries).
TRUEMAX Academy School of CGI & Animation. Copenhagen, Denmark.
Truemax offers three main courses. The first is a six month 3D Fundamentals online course that costs 20.200 DKK and teaches the basics of 3D modelling, lighting, texturing, unwrapping, rendering, and animation. They do have discount options for some courses though! They also have a twelve week Classic Drawing course that costs 24.000 DKK and covers the basics of drawing, figure drawing, perspective, and anatomy. Lastly, Truemax has a twelve week Modelling for Games course that teaches the basics of 3D character design.
Universidad Veritas. San José, Costa Rica.
They offer a Technician in 2D Animation program that's five semesters, and their more ambitious program is the License in Digital Animation. That one is eleven quarters and comes with nine different animation classes as well as a multitude of classes in drawing, design, storyboards, and even marketing! In the final quarter students are tasked with creating their own short film!
Top 25 International Animation Schools:
25. Ecole Emile Cohl. Lyon, France.
This school requires artists pass three different admissions steps before becoming enrolled. Students can then take a French Preparatory Class that costs €6,620 and runs nine months training in both drawing and the French language. They also have a three year CG Drawing program that trains in 3D animation and costs €6,720 for the first year that spans 1,400 hours, €6,960 for the second year that spans 1,150 hours, and €7,260 for the last year that spans 1,100 hours. Not good enough to pass the admissions process? They also offer five years of additional art training!
24. Seneca College. Toronto, Canada.
Check out these statistics of success that Seneca College boasts: 92% employer satisfaction rate, about 8,000 graduates every year, 28,000 full-time students, 70,000 continuing education registrants annually, and approximately 5,500 international students from 140 countries! Their Seneca@York Campus in Toronto has four programs for aspiring artists. The Animation program is six semesters spread over three years with a tuition cost of $9,103. The 3D Animation program spans two semesters in eight months with a tuition cost of $11,498, as do their programs for Game Art and Animation, and Visual Effects for Film and Television. Books and supplies cost roughly an additional $2,000.
23. Royal College of Art. London, United Kingdom.
Royal College of Art (RCA) has seen its graduates go on to be nominated or even win several Academy Awards, BAFTA Awards, and Jerwood Moving Image Awards. Whereas many schools have a student gallery of graduate work, RCA believes so much in its graduates that it even links directly to their personal art portfolio pages! Most schools have an admissions process that wants to see an art portfolio before training you to become an animator. Not RCA. They prefer students to submit a completed animated short film just to be invited for an admissions interview. Students should estimate the cost of living in London at £12,000–£15,000 per year, but some RCA students may be eligible for the new Postgraduate Student Loan of up to £10,000 per course of study. Their MA Program is two years and tuition fees for 2017 are £9,500 per year for domestic UK/EU students, and £28,400 per year for international students. They also have two year programs for Documentary Animation and Experimental Animation.
22. Melies - Escola de Cinema 3D e Animação. São Paulo, Brazil.
Melies has programs for Classical Animation, Digital Sculpture, 3D Lighting and Texturing, Animation of Characters, 3D Modeling, Short Films, V-Ray Training, Video Editing, Motion Graphics, Digital Games, 2D Animation, Graphic Design, and more! Many of their programs run a short six months or less, and they even have several programs available as online courses! Check out their diverse student gallery to see all of the artists they've accommodated and improved in the past.
21. Créapole. Paris, France.
This school continues to bring out the best in talented artists. Regardless of what specialty students enroll in, they can expect to visit several studios or museums, as well as be trained on various industry case studies to display what's successful in the industry and why. Their Cinema Animation and Video Game program can be three or five years. Three year students can seek careers such as 3D Artist, 2D Animator, Storyboarder, 3D Modeler, 2D Illustrator, Game Designer, Editor, Texture Artist, Level Designer, Pixel Artist, Character Designer, or Matte Painter. Those who complete the five year program can instead apply for Lead Artist or Lead Designer careers for all of the above skills.
20. Max the Mutt College of Animation, Art & Design. Toronto, Canada.
This school began after Maxine Schacker and a few other teachers at Sheridan College began helping students outside of the classroom and eventually decided to launch a school of their own! Their four year programs are Animation Diploma (which focuses on classical and computer animation) and Concept Art Diploma (which focuses on animation and video games), and both cost a total of $46,400. Their three year program is a Sequential Arts Diploma (which focuses on comic books and graphic novels) and it costs a total of $34,550. International students don't pay much more than the above prices. Max the Mutt has one of the best student art galleries of the year, so check them out!
19. Teesside University. Middlesbrough and Darlington, England, United Kingdom.
Teesside has life drawing spaces, a recording studio, motion capture studio, and even a sound stage with green screen facilities and motion control cameras! Their Computer Animation & Visual Effects undergraduate programs include: Computer Animation and Visual Effects BA (Hons), Computer Character Animation BA (Hons), Games and Animation (Art Foundation Year), Technical Direction for Visual Effects Bsc (Hons), Visual Effects MComp (Hons), and Concept Art BA (Hons). Students who want a postgraduate degree have three Computer Games programs to choose from and two Computer Animation programs to choose from. They also have ten different Computer Games degrees, as well as a BA (Hons) for Comics, Graphics Novels and Sequential Art! With over £270m invested in their campus, their students enjoy high quality services.
18. The Animation School. Cape Town & Johannesburg, South Africa.
Unsurprisingly, this school only trains artists in animation! The Animation School is on a roll lately, with a stunning student gallery section to prove it. Their three year Diploma in Digital Animation has led to over 40 awards won by students in the past. Have you heard of the animated film Khumba that's on Netflix right now? It was made by the Triggerfish Animation Studios in Cape Town which is home to many alumni from this school!
17. Trazos School of Arts. Madrid, Spain.
Trazos has seen its graduates go on to work at over 400 companies around the world! They have two educational facilities in Madrid that span more than 750 meters squared, as well as official recognition as a training center for Adobe, Autodesk, Maxon, Pixologic, and The Foundry. On top of all of this, they even offer art camps for children and BYOB (Bring Your Own Beer) painting lessons for adults! Their five video game programs span anywhere from 40 hours to 1,200 hours, and they have seven VFX programs and eight Motion Graphic programs to choose from! Trazos has four animation programs as well: Career in Animation (900 hours), Professional Master in Animation (600 hours), Master in 3D Image (300 hours), and Master in Animation (300 hours).
16. The Animation Workshop/VIA University College. Jutland, Denmark.
Weekend drawing courses? Check. Semester drawing courses? Check. Professional courses in 3D Character Animation, VFX, Drawing & Visualization, Animation Sans Frontières, AniDox:Lab, and Master Classes? Check. Four year degree programs for Character Animation, Computer Graphic Arts, and Graphic Storytelling? Check! The teachers often come straight from the animation industry, and the students often graduate straight into the animation industry.
15. Media Design School. Auckland, New Zealand. Other campuses: Bangkok, TH, and Australia locations at Brisbane, Melbourne, and Sydney.
Arguably the best school in New Zealand for animators and game designers, they offer the following powerful programs to kickstart your career. For the game industry, they have: Game Art (three years, $10,565 NZD), Game Programming (three years, $10,520 NZD), and Digital Creativity (one year, $11,158 NZD). For the Animation and VFX industry they have: 3D Animation & Visual Effects (three years, $8,556 NZD), Graduate Diploma in Creative Technologies (one year, $8,945 NZD), and Digital Creativity (one year, $11,158 NZD). All prices listed here are the domestic fees; the international fees will be more, and are available on their site. Be sure to check out the many scholarships that they offer!
14. Aula Tematica. Madrid & Valencia, Spain.
Aula Tematica is an animation powerhouse in Spain! Not only do they have one of the best looking sites on this list, here are some of the projects their graduates have worked on: The Angry Birds Movie, Paddington, Guardians of the Galaxy, Transformers: Dark of the Moon, Captain America: The Winter Soldier, Man of Steel, and even Star Wars: The Force Awakens! They offer five programs in video game design (two of which are Master's programs) and two programs in 3D animation.
13. Bournemouth University. Bournemouth, United Kingdom.
This school is the complete package! With a nice campus, £2,000 scholarships, dining accommodations, a variety of living arrangement options, and more, Bournemouth takes care of its students every hour of the day. Its undergraduate programs for animators and game designers are three or four years at a cost of £9,250 for domestic tuition and £13,500 for international students. These programs include: BA (Hons) Computer Animation Arts, BA (Hons) Computer Visualization and Animation, Bsc (Hons) Software Development for Animation Games and Effects, Bsc (Hons) Games Programming, and Bsc (Hons) Games Technology. Its postgraduate options are typically one year and cost £8,000 (or less) for domestic tuition and £15,000 (or less) for international students. These programs include: MA 3D Computer Animation, MA Computer Games Art, MA Digital Effects, MSc Computer Animation and Visual Effects, and Msc Mobile App Development.
12. Think Tank Training Centre. North Vancouver, Canada.
Not only is this one of the highest quality schools on the list, but Think Tank might be the most imaginative school on the planet. Its facility is modeled after Jules Verne’s 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, and its student gallery oozes in creativity. With twenty five instructors, and only 36 full-time students, Think Tank graduates receive the one-on-one training that most artists dream of receiving one day. This school only accepts twelve new students per semester, with their one year program lasting three semesters and costing $36,400 CAD ($48,250 CAD for international students). They also offer a four month mentorship. To ensure they maintain their full attention on each student, they hand pick the best applications by interviewing some applicants up to two hours! That’s the winning formula that has led them to a graduate placement rate that’s over 92%, with some of the most imaginative student showreels on this list!
11. The University for Creative Careers | SCAD. Hong Kong, China.
Students from all SCAD locations are allowed to study abroad at SCAD Hong Kong with the same tuition for study abroad coursework at all locations! The SCAD alumni network includes artists who went on to work at famous studios like Disney, Pixar, 20th Century Fox, Cartoon Network, and Nickelodeon. The Hong Kong location offers a BFA in Animation that runs 180 hours. As an added bonus, the housing options for SCAD Hong Kong students are pretty impressive!
10. Graduate School of Crafts Art (ESMA). Nantes, Toulouse, and Montpellier, France.
In France, it goes by “ESMA - École Supérieur des Métiers Artistiques” and each year over 90% of ESMA's students find employment within six months of graduation! Their 3D Animation program covers 3D Maya (modeling, texturing, and animation), Houdini (3D special effects), Marvelous (fabric effects), Arnold and Renderman (renderers), Yeti (dynamic engine for fur, feather, and hair effects), and more. Their alumni have gone on to grace film festivals, Oscar nominations, and even audiences in major blockbuster releases, such as Gravity!
9. Lost Boys Studios – School of Visual Effects. Vancouver, Canada.
Whereas most schools on this list offer degrees in various specialties like 3D Modeling, 3D Animation, Game Design, or VFX, this school instead focuses solely on VFX, and it does it damn well. Their NUKE Training is certified by The Foundry and their student portfolios of environmental effects, destruction effects, and crowd animations are all jaw dropping. The Advanced Visual Effects Compositing program is one year and focuses heavily on NUKE training. Their Effects Technical Director program is an accelerated one year program that trains students in advanced Houdini workflows. That program, so far, has seen 96% placement at junior, mid-level, and senior FX positions within the industry, including prestigious studios like ILM, Digital Domain, Sony Image Engine, Method, Double Negative, Hydraulux, and MPC!
8. Vancouver Institute of Media Arts (VanArts). Vancouver, Canada.
VanArts keeps getting better and better! For over 20 years, VanArts has provided its students with the foundation and mentorship necessary to launch a successful career. They offer specialized one-year diploma programs in 2D/3D Character Animation, Game Art & Design and Visual Effects, as well as Photography, Acting, Broadcasting and Web Design. Benefits to studying at VanArts include a world-class faculty of industry professionals, small class sizes, and being located in Vancouver, a world center for film & media, animation and VFX production. Tuition ranges from $23,750CAD to $37,750CAD for one full year of study, and degree pathway options are available for those who wish to pursue further education. VanArts graduates are working on feature films, TV series, and video games in studios all over the world, with credits on everything from Assassin’s Creed, Far Cry, and Halo to Star Wars, Game of Thrones, and Zootopia.
7. MOPA – Motion Picture in Arles. Arles, France.
Founded in 2000 as Supinfocom Arles, last year it split from the Supinfocom family to become Motion Picture in Arles, or MOPA. Their awards page boasts 93 graduation films, 611 festival selections, and 52 prizes or awards, including the Best Animated Short at Siggraph 2014! Despite few, if any, other schools on this list comparing with their award history, their tuition is very competitive! First year students pay €6,550, second year pay €7,250, third year €7,250, fourth year €7,900, and fifth year pay €7,900.
6. National Film and Television School. Beaconsfield, United Kingdom.
12 graduates worked on Star Wars: The Force Awakens. Half of all the Oscar nominations for Short Film from 2010 to 2015 were for its students. Check back next year for an even better statistic; this school always raises the bar each and every year. Their degree program paths are too numerous to list, and cover literally every career of the television, film, and game industries. Their MA Masters Courses are two years, their Diploma courses are twelve to eighteen months, they have dozens of short courses, and their Certificate in Character Animation is a three month course that is taught at the Aardman Animations studio by Loyd Price, the Head of Animation at Aardman! Want to join one of their prestigious MA programs? NFTS awards more than £700,000 each year to MA students from the United Kingdom!
5. Filmakademie Baden-Wuerttemberg. Ludwigsburg, Germany.
This school continues to help its students create hundreds of new films each year, much to the envy of schools around the world. Year after year, if animation students could attend any school for free, this is one of the schools listed the most! Filmakademie Baden-Wuerttemberg established its own Institute of Animation (Animationsinstitut der Filmakademie Baden-Württemberg) in 2002, and they currently offer tracks for the following two year disciplines: Animation/Effects Directing, Character Animation, Concept Artist, Effects Artist, Animation/Effects Producing, and Technical Directing. Their 2016 student showreel looks almost as impressive as the 2016 Hollywood showreel!
4. Supinfocom Rubika. Valenciennes, France. Pune, India. Montreal, Canada.
Not to be confused with Motion Picture in Arles (MOPA), which split off from the Supinfocom family last year. This is the original school that was founded in 1988 and has been an art industry training leader ever since. The Bachelor Rubika cycle is their broad three year program that lets students spend 50% of their time training in industrial design, animation, or video game design. Supinfocom Rubika's Expert Animation cycle program offers three specializations: Animation of Characters, Preproduction Realization, and VFX Images. They also have a Supinfocom Rubika Expert Video Game cycle program that comes with three specializations: Game Design, Game Art, and Game Programming. Some of their newest graduate animations and video games look more jaw dropping than some of the best titles that are currently out in stores!
3. Sheridan College. Ontario, Canada.
This is one of the most respected schools in the world by students and other schools alike! Businesses approve of Sheridan, too; 93% of Sheridan's graduates satisfy their employers after receiving a degree here. No matter which career path you take courses on, Sheridan is a college with a lot of clout in the industry. They offer a four year Honours Bachelor of Animation ($9,903 a year for domestic students and $26,166 for international students) and a four year Honours Bachelor of Game Design ($9,649 a year for domestic students and $18,172 for international students). They also have one year programs for Computer Animation, Digital Character Animation, Digital Creature Animation, Game Level Design, and Visual Effects.
2. Vancouver Film School (VFS). Vancouver, Canada.
VFS opened its doors in 1987 to twelve students and is now one of the best animation schools on the planet. Their about page has a timeline with a milestone for nearly every year since it launched, and it even has a “student life” service that helps students find their perfect roommate. While students in many other schools are up all night rendering projects on their own computers, VFS students instead get to use the school's Qube! render farm to save time and relieve stress. Their programs include Game Design, Foundation Visual Arts & Design, Film Production, Programming for Games, Web & Mobile, Classical Animation, Digital Design, Animation Concept Art, and 3D Animation & Visual Effects. Canadian students should expect to pay anywhere from $20,000 to $35,000 for the programs listed above, but each of those VFS programs are only one year long! VFS offers in one year of training what most schools can't accomplish in four years. After a year of training, some of its graduates have gone on to be the most successful and influential artists in the entertainment industry. If you saw Disney's Moana or Rogue One: A Star Wars Story in theaters, then you've already seen some of their alumna's world renowned artwork!
1. GOBELINS, The School of Visual Communication. Paris and Noisy-le-Grand, France.
Perhaps the most famous animation school of all time, GOBELINS has launched countless careers in both 2D and 3D arts since it launched an animation program in 1975. Each year it's part of the Animation Sans Frontières, which enables small teams of animators to collaborate on high skill projects over several weeks with help and guidance from several top schools! GOBELINS has also been granted the Erasmus University Charter in Europe for 2014-2020.
They offer a one year full-time 3D Character Animator program (8,500 € for European students, 12,600 € for international students) that comes with a two month internship at a company. GOBELINS also offers a Master of Arts program in Character Animation and Animated Filmmaking (7,800 € a year for EU citizens, 12,600 € a year for international students) that's two years full-time. Want something more in-depth? GOBELINS offers Masters classes for these areas of specialty: Character Animation, 2D Animation, 3D Animation, Visual Development, Drawing for Animators, Storytelling, Acting for Animators, Motion Capture, Animation and Audio-Visual Production, and Training for Trainers. Want something short? They even offer summer school courses!