What are the top international animation schools?
|3||Rubika||France, Canada, India|
|5||Ecole Superieure des Metiers Artistiques (ESMA)||France|
|7||Animation Workshop/VIA University College||Denmark|
|9||Media Design School||New Zealand|
|11||Emily Carr University of Art + Design||British Columbia|
|12||University of Technology Sydney||Australia|
|13||Royal College of Art||England|
|16||ChungKang College of Cultural Industries||South Korea|
|19||University of Hertfordshire||England|
|21||Beijing Film Academy||China|
|22||University of Melbourne||Australia|
|23||School of Digital Arts||Canada|
|24||Bezalel Academy of Arts and Design||Israel|
|25||University of the West of England||England|
Our 2020 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.
Correction: Gobelins was mistakenly omitted from these rankings when we first published in early April. The school should have been ranked #2. We corrected the mistake on April 20, 2020. Prior to this date, schools currently ranked 3 through 25 would have been ranked one spot higher. We apologize for the error and any confusion it may have caused.
Established in 1967, Sheridan College has grown from 400 students and a single campus to 43,000 students and three campuses. One of Canada's premier polytechnic institutes and one of Ontario's leading postsecondary institutions, Sheridan College is known as the “Harvard of Animation.”
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.
Founded in 1975, Gobelins, The School of Image, offers Photography, Animated Filmmaking, 3D Animation, Motion Design, and Video Gaming programs. The school’s offerings cater to needs of professionals, businesses, international students, other schools, festivals and even cultural services of embassies. Program options for animators include a BA in Animated Filmmaking (four years, full-time), an MA in Character Animation and Animated Filmmaking (two years, full-time) and one-year Diplomas in 3D Character Animation and Motion Design. The Character Animation Program includes a two-month internship with a studio, in France or abroad. Gobelins alumni have landed positions at studios such as DreamWorks Animation, and have worked on productions such as Despicable Me, Shark Tale, and A Monster in Paris.
Since 1988, Rubika has been producing “high-level creatives” that go on to successful careers in the Animation and Digital Visual Effects (VFX) industries. The school serves more than 1,200 students annually across four campuses in Valenciennes (France), Montreal (Canada), Pune (India) and Nairobi (Kenya).
With 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.
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 enjoy a 93.6% employment rate (or further study) within six months of graduation and many 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.
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. The program, which leads to a master’s degree, focuses on “both artistic and technical knowledge,” says the school, while teaching students to master 3D software used by animation studios, production companies, and video game firms. In addition to the Montpellier campus, the four-year CG Animation & FX Program is offered at the Lyon, Montreal, Nantes, and Toulouse, France campuses.
For students who aren’t quite ready for a master’s program, ESMA offers a Certificate of Collegial Studies (CCS/ACS/AEC) in 3D Animated Cinema and Visual Effects. Launched in September 2018, the program is offered at the Montreal, France campus.
MoPA, the Computer Graphics Animation School, began as Supinfocom Arles in 1988. Since then, the school 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.
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, has an optional specialization in Computer Graphic Arts. Students in the program have 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.
In addition to the BA, the Animation Workshop offers a four-year Bachelor in Graphic Storytelling. Launched in 2013, the program celebrated its first graduating class in the summer of 2017.
Serving nearly 87,000 students, RMIT University is Australia’s largest university. Established in 1887, this global university of technology, design and enterprise offers programs of study across 17 schools in 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.
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 AI, Cloud Computing, 3D Animation and Visual Effects, Interactive Design, Motion Graphics, Game Art, Game Programming, Graphic Design, and Creative Advertising. The 3D Animation and 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.
Founded in 1971, Griffith University (Griffith U) serves around 50,000 students across six campuses in South East Queensland, Australia. Housed within Griffith U is one of Australia's longest-running art and design colleges-Queensland College of Art (QCA). 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 and classes are primarily on-campus, with some mixed-mode online delivery and off-campus work placements or internships.
Emily Carr University of Art and Design (ECU) is one of Canada’s top Art and Design universities. Serving nearly 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.
Serving nearly 46,200 students, including 15,450 international 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.
In existence since 1837, London’s Royal College of Art (RCA) consists of four schools serving more than 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.
Founded as Constantine Technical College in 1930, Teesside University serves around 18,400 students enrolled in dozens of programs through five schools. The School of Computing, Engineering & Digital Technologies offers a number of undergraduate programs for aspiring animators including the BA (Hons) in 2D Animation and Stop Motion, Computer Animation, Computer Character Animation, and Visual Effects. At postgraduate level, an MComp (Hons) in VFX is available. 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.
In 2004, professionals from the film, animation, video game and visual effects industries created ArtFX, School of Digital Arts. 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.
The School of Animation at ChungKang College of Cultural Industries serves around 180 students enrolled in 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. The program’s project based curriculum encompasses “all aspects of animation, including planning, directing, production, and post-production,” says the school. 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.
Students in both programs have access to a computer lab, tutoring program and excellent facilities, including the largest animation studio in Korea, a render farm, and a sound recording studio.
Image Campus offers vocational programs that were developed in collaboration with leading companies, creative professionals, and the audiovisual industries. The schools says that the programs “are the most recognized in the areas of Design, Animation 2D and 3D, Video Games, Robotics, Programming and Development.” Image Campus offers four- to nine-month Digital 2D, Professional 3D, Manga and Advanced Manga Workshops and three-year Video Art and Animation and Production and Animation 3D programs. Students in the three-year programs 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 programs. Graduates are prepared to seek positions such as Animator, Rigger, Modeler, Simulation Creator, Post-Production VFX, and many others.
Escape Studios is part of Pearson College London, which is part of Pearson plc—the only FTSE 100 company in the UK to design and deliver degrees. The Studio, which has more than 4,000 alumni, 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.
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. The program helps students develop their “creative curiosity by putting the latest technology at (their) fingertips,” says the school. 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.” University of Hertfordshire graduates enjoy an excellent 96.5% employment rate.
Established in 2008, Framebox 2.0 is the only national training studio owned and run by Industry professionals. This animation and visual effects school offers a skill-based curriculum to help students launch a career in Animation, VFX, Game Asset Design, Photography, Graphic Design, Web Design & Development, Multimedia, Broadcast Design, Filmmaking and other related creative and technical careers.
Frameboxx students learn to make films, animate, and design in a user-friendly working environment, where they have the opportunity to work on live projects. Students have worked on Hollywood and Bollywood feature film projects in studios such as DNEG, Technicolor, Prime Focus, Framestore, Pixel Digital Studios, Rockstar, Red Chillies VFX, Weta Digital, Accenture, Dreamworks, Legend, Makuta Visual Effects, MPC, Viacom 18 , Golden Robot, NY VFXWAALA, Tata Elxsi, Deluxe, Tau Films, Vistaprint, Bubble Creations, After, Labyrinth, and philmCGI to name a few.
The Animation programs at Frameboxx lead to a B.Sc. in Animation & Multimedia or Animation & VFX.
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 established the Animation School of Beijing Film Academy in 2000. Here, students can earn 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.
Founded in 1853, University of Melbourne serves 52,745 students enrolled in hundreds of programs across eight campuses and dozens of faculties, departments, and schools. Victoria College of the Arts (VCA) houses the Animation Program, which leads to a BFA. The program involves “the practical exploration, innovation and development of animated screen production,” says the school. Students will research and develop ideas, while taking courses covering screenwriting, storyboarding, and character design as well craft and technical production methods and styles. Other program highlights include the access to professional facilities and resources, including animation and stop-motion studios; rushes viewing rooms; editing, sound recording and mixing suites; and HD digital vision and audio post-production facilities, and the opportunity to write, develop and produce an animated production. Finished productions will be exhibited for public viewing.
Founded in 1992 and located in Montreal, the School of Digital Arts, Animation and Design at the University of Québec at Chicoutimi (NAD – UQAC) is a university campus offering academic programs and research in 3D Animation, Visual Effects, Design and Digital Arts. One of the oldest 3D Animation and VFX school’s in Quebec, the school has more than 2,000 alumni to date working in studios around the world. For aspiring animators, 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, an MA in Art with a Focus in 3D Animation and Digital Design, and a Certificate in 3D Animation and Design. 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 graduates are working in the field.
Professor Boris Schatz, one of the founders of the Royal Academy of Art in Sofia, Bulgari, came up with the idea to establish an arts and crafts school in Israel in 1903. The Bezalel School was officially established in 1906. Today, as the Bezalel Academy of Arts and Design, the school serves 2,300 students, (Bezalel’s largest cohort yet) enrolled in a variety of art and design programs in 14 Departments.
The Screen-Based Arts Department houses the Animation BFA Program, which combines the disciplines of filmmaking, video, and animation. Course highlights include 3D Animation: Directing, 3D Animation: Body Mechanics, Advanced 3D Animation, Aftereffect Animation, Animative Thought, Classic Animation, Character Design & Storyboard, Art Direction for Classic Animation, Art Direction for Stop Motion, Sound Design – Animation, Stop Motion, Toon Boom, Scriptwriting, Illustration, Maya: 3D Shading, Lighting, and Rendering, Experimental Video, Experimental Animation, and Drawing in Motion. Students in the program will also take a number of workshops including “A Workshop for Developing Ideas.”
In 2019, both students and graduates of the Animation BFA Program won more than a dozen awards.
University of the West of England (UWE) dates back to 1595, when the Bristol Society of Merchant Venturers’ Navigation School was established. One of the largest providers of higher education in South West England, the school serves around 30,730 students enrolled in more than 600 programs at all degree levels. Programs are offered in 14 different departments spread across three campuses in and around Bristol, along with campuses at Gloucester and Hartpury College. Programs are also offered through local study partners and global partner institutions.
The Department of Film and Journalism offers a BA (Hons) in Animation that takes just three years to complete, full-time. The program is based at Bower Ashton Studios, which is part of UEW’s City Campus. the school’s new animation studio spaces and facilities include digital media studios, production studios and fabrication workshops, offering both traditional tools and the latest technology. This practice-based production degree highlights live briefs, work-based placements, and “strong” ties to major UK animation companies such as Aardman Animation. Students in the program will have the opportunity to showcase their work through UWE’s online presence, regular networking events, and the final year Creative Industries Degree Show.