BA (Hons) coursesAnimation Production

Staff Research

Paul Hilton

Paul’s pedagogic research further enhances his teaching. He has taken part in a number of events and spent time training with industry partners which has enabled him to enhance the current course provision.

Paul Hilton also continues to work as a practising animator and artist within the creative industries. He has worked on television commercials and promotional artwork for several studios. Paul’s current research practice is centred on his MA in Animation where he is producing a short animated film. This is being produced using a variety of media and techniques and will be entered for various animation festivals on completion.

Paul Ward

Paul’s current research interests are concerned with animation and documentary, representations of memories and dreams, and institutional readings of animation’s many communities of practice. Paul’s published work includes articles for the journals animation: an interdisciplinary journal, Animation Journal, and the Historical Journal for Film, Radio and Television, as well as numerous anthology essays. His article ‘Some thoughts on theory-practice relationships in Animation Studies’ (published in animation: an interdisciplinary journal, vol. 1, no. 2, Nov 2006, pp. 229-245) was awarded the McLaren-Lambart Award for Best Scholarly Essay in the field of Animation Studies in 2008. Paul is also the author of Documentary: The Margins of Reality (Wallflower Press, 2005) and TV Genres: Animation (Edinburgh University Press, forthcoming; co-authored with Nichola Dobson). He serves on the Editorial Boards of animation: an interdisciplinary journal and Animation Studies and is a member of the UK Arts and Humanities Research Council Peer Review College with special interest in animation and documentary research proposals. Paul is the current President of the international Society for Animation Studies ( and organised the Society’s 2008 annual conference at AUB.

Peter Symons

Peter’s current research interests – developed as part of his Fine Art MA at Wimbledon College of Art, UAL (2009-11) – include the paper: When is the ‘Artist’s hand’ present in Animation? (and when does it cease to exist?) and his practice-based research concerns an investigation into the relationship between drawing and the moving image. As a starting point, he considers the idea that each drawing captures a static privileged moment, but when read collectively the images have a visual interrelationship that comments on the aesthetic of mark making and constitutes a visual journey.

Previous practical research work can be seen in the publications: Meeting Place (2007, edited by Stephanie James and Les Buckingham) and Peter Symons – Dissonance (2008) .The latter was funded by the Arts Council England and an AUB Research and Scholarship award. Peter has exhibited widely in the UK and abroad and is a member of Group 7 (professional artists based in Dorset). Further details can be found on his website


Richard’s research centres around the history of the renowned Manchester-based British animation studio Cosgrove Hall. Having worked there between 2003 and 2008, he has a long list of contacts, many of which were there from the beginning, who are only too happy to be interviewed. The ultimate aim is to publish a book, documenting the entire legacy from the points of view of the employees, but also with a theoretical context running in parallel. It would be chronological, and would be aimed as inspiration to students, as well as nostalgic people, and even children in order to attract them to these productions for the first time.

Presently, a series of keynote lectures that will feature clips of each and every production are being planned, as well as conference papers that will naturally come out of those. Richard has also recently decided to begin compiling the collected research in the form of a iBook, which will basically be an interactive version of the proposed ‘book’, but in a format that allows the users to view video clips, scroll through text, enlarge pictures etc. This would be made available exclusively to students to begin with, with a view to opening it up to the entire AUB and, ultimately, the public (hopefully) soon afterwards.

Richard’s research is also informing the way he teaches. Many animation students are likely to go on to work in TV animation, and Cosgrove Hall makes for an excellent case study for that. With this in mind, the keynote lectures will be delivered to students as knowledge transfer.