What are the top animation schools in the world?
|France, Canada, India
|Media Design School
|Ecole Superieure des Metiers Artistiques (ESMA)
|ChungKang College of Cultural Industries
|Animation Workshop/VIA University College
|University of Technology Sydney
|Emily Carr University of Art + Design
|Beijing Film Academy
|Billy Blue College of Design – Torrens University of Australia
|Royal College of Art
|University of Hertfordshire
|Limkokwing University of Creative Technology
|Escape Studios/Pearson College London
|Swinburne University of Technology
|Yoobee School of Design
Our 2019 rankings of the top international animation colleges in the world, excluding the US. For this ranking we only consider formal degree programs (bachelor's degree or equivalent). For an explanation of our ranking criteria, click here.
1. Sheridan College, Oakville, Ontario, Canada
Referred to as the Harvard of Animation, Sheridan College has been considered one of the best animation schools in the world for 50 years. Offered through the Faculty of Animation, Arts & Design, the schools Honors (Hons) Bachelor of Animation emphasizes classical principles of animation in a variety of forms, including 2D digital, 3D and stop motion. Students in the program gain professional experience during a mandatory three-month work placement, and at the school’s Annual Industry Day, students meet with employers from across North America. Graduates of the program go on to work in television and feature animation at major studios around the world.
2. Rubika, Valenciennes France, Montreal Canada, and Pune India
Since 1988, Rubika has been producing “high-level creatives” that go on to successful careers in the Animation and Digital Visual Effects industries. With 1,800 graduates to date and a 90% employment rate within a year, Rubika offers a Bachelor of Animation with specializations in 3D Animation and FX/VFX Special Effects. The program consists of five Intensives, including Video, Motion Design, Character Creation, Stop Motion, and BD Project, along with five years of apprenticeship leading to the production of a short animated film. The short films of Supinfocom are recognized by industry professionals around the world, including prestigious animation festivals such as MIFA Annecy, SIGGRAPH, ITFS Stuttgart, and many others.
3. MoPA, Arles, France
MoPA, the Computer Graphics Animation School, began as Supinfocom Arles in 1988. Since then, the school says that it has trained hundreds of “top-level professionals” who are now working in all major international studios. MoPA offers a five-year Advanced Diploma as CG filmmaker, Certified Level 1, by the National Committee for Professional Certification (Level 7 Europe). This is the equivalent of a master’s degree. Throughout this upper-level program, students will work on the same equipment and software used in professional studios. A render farm and 200 computers loaded with 3DS Max, Nuke, Substance Painter, Houdini, and more are available. In the final year of the program, students will produce an animated short film, which is presented to a jury made up of industry professionals.
4. Bournemouth University, Poole, England
Bournemouth University (BU) has been in existence since 1992. Though young, the school serves more than 19,000 students and ranks among the top 200 young universities in the world.
Home to the prestigious National Centre for Computer Animation (NCCA), BU offers a BA (Hons) in Computer Animation Art and Design, and a BA (Hons) in Computer Animation Technical Arts. Per the school, the Computer Animation Art and Design program “combines traditional art disciplines like life drawing and cinematography with more technically focused disciplines to produce computer animation using industry-standard tools and software.” Computer Technical Arts is a “50/50 mix of art and science, reflecting practice relevant to the production of computer graphics and animation for a range of industries and applications.” Graduates of the programs have worked on films such as Blade Runner 2049, The Avengers, Solo: A Star Wars Story, Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald, Dunkirk, and many others.
5. Media Design School, Auckland, New Zealand
Media Design School is a member of Laureate International Universities—a network of more than 25 higher education institutions serving more than 875,000 students. The school offers degrees in 3D Animation & Visual Effects, Interactive Design, Motion Graphics, Game Art, Game Programming, Graphic Design, and Creative Advertising. The 3D Animation & Visual Effects program, which leads to a Bachelor of Art and Design, prepares students for career paths such as Animator, 3D Modeler, Compositor, VFX Artist, Effects Designer, Technical Director, and many others. Graduates of the programs have gone on to win short film awards, land positions at major studios, and work on blockbuster films such as Avatar and The Hobbit.
6. Ecole Superieure des Metiers Artistiques (ESMA) Montpellier, Montpellier, France
Graduates of the CG Animation & FX program at Ecole Superieure des Metiers Artistiques (ESMA) Montpellier enjoy a 100% employment rate within just nine months after graduation. Per the school, the program, which leads to a master’s degree, focuses on “both artistic and technical knowledge,” while teaching students to master 3D software used by animation studios, production companies and video game firms. In addition to the Montpellier campus, the 4-year CG Animation & FX program is offered at the Lyon, Montreal, Nantes, and Toulouse, France campuses.
Note: ESMA launched a Certificate of Collegial Studies (CCS/ACS/AEC) in 3D Animated Cinema and Visual Effects in September 2018. The program is offered at the Montreal, France campus.
7. ChungKang College of Cultural Industries, School of Animation, Icheon, South Korea
The School of Animation at ChungKang College of Cultural Industries has two options for aspiring animators—a three-year program leading to a bachelor’s degree, and a one-year intensive program, also leading to a bachelor’s degree. The three-year program is designed for students with no prior college experience. Per the school, the program’s project based curriculum encompasses “all aspects of animation, including planning, directing, production, and post-production.” Designed for students who have already completed three years of college coursework, the one-year program consists of multidisciplinary subjects in cartoons, animation, and games. The program culminates in a presentation of a project—the BA thesis.
8. Griffith University, Brisbane, Australia
Founded in 1971, Griffith University (Griffith U) serves around 50,000 students across six campuses. Housed within Griffith U is Australia's largest film school by enrollment, the Griffith Film School. Here, students can earn a Bachelor of Animation (240 credit points) or a Bachelor of Animation (Hons), consisting of 80 credit points. The Bachelor of Animation offers majors in Character Animating, Art Direction, and Technical Direction. Students in this program will have the opportunity to work alongside film and screen media production and game design students to collaborate on and complete projects. The program takes three years to complete, full-time. The Honors program is designed for exceptional visual arts students looking to further develop their practical expertise and theoretical understanding to a more advanced level. The program takes one year, full-time or two years, part-time to complete.
9. The Animation Workshop/VIA University College, Viborg, Denmark
VIA University College is home to the School of Business, Technology and Creative Industries, which houses The Animation Workshop (TAW). Founded in 1988, TAW consists of seven departments, 650 students, staff and professionals, and the biggest animation festival in Denmark—Viborg Animation Festival (VAF). The program, which leads to a BA in Animation (with an optional specialization in Computer Graphic Arts), offers access to an Animated Learning Lab, Visual Talent Center, Business Development, and internship opportunities. Students also have opportunities to learn and network via Arsenalet—a creative business cluster of more than 30 companies, freelancers and start-ups in the animation, new media and the games industry.
Note: The Animation Workshop launched a Bachelor in Graphic Storytelling in 2013. The school celebrated its first graduating class in the summer of 2017.
10. RMIT University, Melbourne, Australia
Serving more than 83,000 students, RMIT is Australia’s largest university. The school (est. 1887) offers programs of study in 17 schools across three academic colleges. The College of Design and Social Context (DSC) consists of seven schools, including the School of Design, which offers a Bachelor of Design in Animation and Interactive Media and a Master of Animation, Games, and Interactivity. Program highlights include courses taught by practicing artist, designer, and industry practitioners, multi-disciplined design study, access to brand new animation and game design studios, and industry partnerships with ANZ, the National Gallery of Victoria (NGV), the Australian Centre for The Moving Image (ACMI) and the Australia Post. Students also have the opportunity to exhibit in festivals and conferences such as Siggraph, MIAF, LIAF, MILIA and Annecy. Graduates of the programs have landed positions at Viskatoons, Iloura, and many others.
11. University of Technology Sydney, Sydney, Australia
Serving nearly 46,000 students, University of Technology Sydney (UTS) is Sydney’s largest technology university. Established in 1988, the school offers hundreds of programs through nine faculties and schools, including The Faculty of Design, Architecture and Building. Here, students can earn a Bachelor of Design in Animation, Bachelor of Design in Animation (Hons), or a Master of Animation and Visualization. All programs consist of animation studio courses, elective options, and internship opportunities. The UTS Master of Animation and Visualization was developed in partnership with Animal Logic, and is offered through the UTS Animal Logic Academy. Career options for graduates include Animator, Director, Modeler, Rigger, VFX Artist, Scriptwriter, Concept Artist, Producer, Character Designer, Editor, Storyboard Artist, Compositor, and Producer.
12. ArtFX, Montpellier, France
In 2004, professionals from the film, animation, video game and visual effects industries created ArtFX. With around 470 students, 70 graduates annually and 510 alumni working abroad, ArtFX is one of the few European schools that specializes in both filming techniques and compositing. Degree pathways include a Bachelor of 2D Animation or Stop-Motion, and a Master of 3D Animation, CGI & Visual Effects or Video Games. A Professional Certificate in Programming for Video Games & VFX are also available. The Bachelor’s degree programs take three years to complete and the Master’s programs take five years. All programs include workshops, internships, presentation in front of a jury of professional artists, meetings with professional artists, and completion of a short 2D or Stop Motion animated film. Master’s program students will also create a demo reel, and develop and direct a short animated film.
13. Emily Carr University of Art + Design, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
Emily Carr University of Art and Design (ECU) is one of Canada’s top Art and Design universities. Serving 2,000 students, ECU has four distinct faculties including the Faculty of Culture + Community, Ian Gillespie Faculty of Design + Dynamic Media, Jake Kerr Faculty of Graduate Studies, and Audain Faculty of Art. Ian Gillespie Faculty of Design + Dynamic Media offers Bachelor of Media Arts degrees in 2D & Experimental Animation and 3D Computer Animation. Students in both programs engage in in-depth study of animation principles, design, character development, story and production techniques that expose them to every aspect of animation production. Students will create several major film projects that will help prepare them for employment in various animation, visual effects, and cultural industries.
14. Image Campus, Buenos Aires, Argentina
Image Campus offers vocational programs that were developed in collaboration with leading companies, creative professionals, and the audiovisual industries. Per the school, the programs “are the most recognized in the areas of Design, Animation 2D and 3D, Video Games, Robotics, Programming and Development.” The school offers four- to nine-month Digital 2D, Professional 3D, Manga and Advanced Manga Workshops and a three-year Production and Animation 3D program. Students in the three-year program will graduate with work experience gained through a professional internship and a demo reel. All students will leave the Image Campus with a professional portfolio. A Certificate of Approval is awarded upon completion of the shorter programs and a post-secondary degree is awarded upon completion of the three-year program. Graduates are prepared to seek positions such as Animator, Rigger, Modeler, Simulation Creator, Post-Production VFX, and many others.
15. Beijing Film Academy, Beijing, China
Established in 1950, Beijing Film Academy (BFA) is China’s only professional film school and the largest film academy in Asia. Serving more than 2,300 students, the school offers a BA in Film Production with a Major in Visual Effects, Directing or Cinematography. Course highlights include Advanced CGI, Digital Image Technique, Advanced Screenwriting, Experimental Image, Photography, and Visual Narrative. In the final year of the program, students may participate in an exchange workshop with the Netherland Film Academy (NFA) or the Korean Academy of Film Art (KAFA). A thesis film is also part of the program as well as the opportunity to compete for the Cinerent Award. Presented by Cinerent Beijing Ltd., the goal of the award is to support and encourage high-quality film projects.
16. Billy Blue College of Design – Torrens University of Australia, Sydney, Australia
Billy Blue College of Design opened in 1987. In 2015, the school teamed up with Torrens University of Australia, which provides the opportunity for students to earn a University degree and connect with more than 80 Laureate International Universities. Aspiring animators can earn a Bachelor of Digital Media (3D Design & Animation) that may be completed in a part-time or full-time blended format (online and on campus). Per the school, students in the 240-credit point program receive “broad and flexible hands-on skills in modeling, rigging, animation, texturing, lighting and compositing.” Students may also take electives in Motion Design, Interaction Design or Communication Design to tailor their degree goals. An internship at a professional 3D design and animation studio is also part of the program. Graduates go on to become 3D Animators, Animation Directors, Game Artists, Creative Directors, 3D visualization artists, VFX Artists, and more.
17. NAD, School of Digital Arts, Animation and Design, Montreal, Quebec, Canada
NAD, School of Digital Arts, Animation and Design has been around since 1991, but it is one of the oldest 3D Animation and VFX school’s in Quebec, with more than 2,000 alumni to date, working in studios around the world. The school offers a 90 credit hour, three-year BA in 3D Animation and Digital Design with two concentrations: Visual Effects for Film and Video and Video Games. Program highlights include access to the latest animation software and technology, Visual Effects Society and SIGGRAPH chapter activities, MHUG (Montreal Houdini User Group), weekly conferences and reviews by key talent from local companies, industry-leading instructors, and collaborative workspaces that encourage creativity and teamwork. NAD also has a noteworthy job placement rate. Within a few months after graduation, 80% of NAD graduates are working in the field.
18. Royal College of Art, London, England
In existence since 1837, London’s Royal College of Art (RCA) consists of four schools serving nearly 2,000 students across three sites in Kensington, Battersea, and White City. The School of Communication has been teaching animation for more than 30 years. The school offers an MA in Animation with three specialist pathways: Documentary Animation, Experimental Animation, and Narrative Animation. The program consists of 240 UK credits and it takes two-years to complete, full-time. Program highlights include workshops, multi-disciplinary electives, visiting artists and professionals, and experiential learning opportunities such as field trips to animation studios, exhibitions, museums, and archives. At the end of the program, students will present a final Graduation Project (animated film) to the Examination Board.
19. Teesside University, Middlesbrough, England
Founded as Constantine Technical College in 1930, Teesside University serves close to 18,400 students enrolled in dozens of programs through five schools. The School of Computing, Media & the Arts offers three programs for aspiring animators including a BA (Hons) in 2D Animation, Computer Animation, and Computer Character Animation. Students in all programs have access to dedicated life drawing spaces, recording and motion-capture studios, and a fully equipped soundstage including green screen facilities and motion-control cameras. Other program highlights include access to industry recruiters that routinely visit the Teesside campus, speakers from Disney, Pixar, DreamWorks and Industrial Light & Magic, and the opportunity to participate in Animex, the UK’s largest animation festival, which takes place on campus.
20. University of Hertfordshire, Hatfield – Hertfordshire, England
University of Hertfordshire (UH) dates back to 1952, when the school was known as Hatfield Technical College. When it began, the school served 1,738 students. Today, UH serves more than 25,000 students. A large number of students are enrolled in the School of Creative Arts, which offers a BA (Hons) in 3D Computer Animation and Modeling. Per the school, the program helps students develop their “creative curiosity by putting the latest technology at (their) fingertips.” This includes 3D printers, a motion capture studio, a construction and carving workshop, jewelry benches, sound control rooms, darkrooms and post-production suites. Other program highlights include courses led by “talented artists, experienced lecturers, and industry experts,” hands-on experience, live projects and collaborations, and access to an “extensive network of industry contacts and graduates.”
21. Limkokwing University of Creative Technology, Cyberjaya Selangor, Malaysia
Serving more than 30,000 students, Limkokwing University of Creative Technology (est. 1991) offers hundreds of accredited diploma, degree, and postgraduate programs through seven faculties, one academy and the Postgraduate Centre. The Faculty of Multimedia Creativity offers a BA (Hons) in Animation as well as Diplomas in Animation and Animation and Multimedia Design. per the school, animation students will focus on “all stages of the production process, similar to the workflow practiced by professionals from related industries.” Scriptwriting, narrative and storytelling, digital animation techniques using 3D vector graphics software, and video and special effects are explored. Graduates of the programs go on to careers such as 3D Animator, Character Animator, Digital Matter Artist, Texture Artist, Animation Supervisor, and many others.
22. Escape Studios/Pearson College London, Holborn, London
Escape Studios is part of Pearson College London. The Studio offers undergraduate, postgraduate, and short programs in Animation, Game Art, Motion Graphics, and Visual Effects. Courses for all programs are designed by industry partners such as MPC, Cinesite, Framestore, The Mill, Jellyfish, Milk and BlueBolt, to name just a few. Degree options for aspiring animators include a BA/MArt in The Art of Computer Animation (Integrated Masters), and an MA in 3D Animation. The school also offers 17 short programs ranging from four weeks to 18 weeks. Just a few options include Animation Technical Direction with Maya and Houdini, 2D Animation with Toon Boom Harmony, 2D Character Design and Animation Production. Graduates (known as Escapees) have gone on to work on projects such as The Jungle Book, Thor: Ragnarok, Star Wars: The Force Awakens, Ex Machina, The Revenant, Interstellar, Gravity, Harry Potter, and many others.
23. Swinburne University of Technology, Melbourne, Australia
Swinburne University of Technology (est. 1908), serves more than 42,000 degree-seeking students and nearly 16,400 vocational students enrolled in hundreds of Arts, Business, Health, Science, Design, Engineering, Law, and Technology programs through three faculties. The Faculty of Health, Arts and Design houses the School of Arts, Social Sciences and Humanities’ Department of Film and Animation. Here, students can earn a Bachelor of Animation that focuses on career placement from day one. A major component of the curriculum is the Work Integrated Learning Program, which allows students to gain invaluable skills and credit towards their degree through six- or 12-month professional placements, professional internships, industry-linked projects, industry study tours, and accreditation placements. Graduates go on to establish successful careers the Animation, Film, and Television industries as well as Games, Web Broadcasting, Education and Digital Media.
24. Yoobee School of Design, Auckland, New Zealand
Founded in 1997, Yoobee School of Design is part of New Education Group and Animation College NZ. The school serves around 400 students at its flagship campus in Auckland. Thanks to New Zealand’s growing animation and film industry, the Animation and Film offerings at Yoobee are considered the “superstars” of the school’s program lineup. Options include a Bachelor of Animation with optional Honors and a Diploma in Digital Design – Animation and Film Production. A 3-day Introductory 3D Character Animation Program is also available. Upon completion the longer programs, a degree or diploma will be issued by Animation College NZ, a Category 1 Provider, which is the highest rating a school can be awarded by the Government. Career pathways for Yoobee Animation graduates include Animator, Visual Effects Artist, Director, Post-Production Supervisor, Wrangler, Creative Director, and Technical Director, to name a few.
25. Animation College, Auckland, New Zealand
Established in 1989 by former Disney Animator John Ewing, Animation College is the only college in New Zealand to offer degree and diploma level programs specializing in both 2D and 3D Character Animation. Options include Diplomas in Animation, Digital Design – Animation and Film Production, Specialized Animation, and Digital Media, and a Bachelor of Animation with optional Honors. A Certificate in Creative Media is also available. Program highlights include a practical and project-based curriculum, the option to complete the Bachelor program at Yoobee School of Design facilities in Wellington, and access to The Graduate Platform—a job-pairing website specifically for Animation College graduates designed to provide a platform to connect industry professionals with alumni. Graduates of the program have