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MA Animation Production Welcome Guide

Preparing for your course

We're delighted that you've chosen to join our creative community at Arts University Bournemouth. We can't wait to see what you'll create.

Welcome to the MA Animation Production course

This welcome pack is designed to give you an idea of what to expect during the first weeks of your course. Please take the time to read it carefully and take particular note of the pre-course preparation. We hope that you'll enjoy a happy and productive time with us.

A message from your Course Leader

Congratulations on securing a place on the MA Animation Production course at Arts University Bournemouth. The advanced study of Animation, linking your practice with theory, history and a developed understanding of what it means to be a professional in the field, is our ultimate aim.

Through lectures, screenings, seminars, group discussions and readings you'll explore animation and what it means to you.

Your practical specialist interests are what drive the course forward and you should see your specialism as ‘framing’ your intellectual activity on the MA. Some of you may be interested in particular types of animation production – 2D drawn, CG, stop motion – or you might be more interested in pre-production such as concept work, storyboarding or character design. Whatever your specific interests or specialism, the idea is to explore it through the intellectual and practical structure of the MA.

We're proud of our community of Animation students at AUB and as an MA student you'll engage with and work alongside our vibrant BA (Hons) Animation Production students in the exciting studio context.

- Paul Ward, Course Leader

Before you join us

The Library here at AUB is extremely well-resourced and includes all key texts that you'll need, but it's important to come prepared. In preparation for your period of Postgraduate study and as a means to introducing you to approaches for research at this level, we suggest that you read the following general introductions to research methodology and qualitative research:

  • Kumar, R. (2005). (Second edition) Research Methodology: A Step-By-Step Guide for Beginners. Sage Publications [ISBN 978-1412911948]
  • Silverman, D. (2009). (Third edition) Doing Qualitative Research: A Practical Handbook. Sage Publications. [ISBN 978-1848600348]

More specifically on Animation, the following volumes offer an overview of important aspects of the scholarship in the field:

  • Buchan, S., Surman, D., & Ward, P. (eds) (2006). Animated ‘Worlds’. John Libbey. [ISBN 0-86196-661-9]
  • Buchan, S. (2013). Pervasive Animation. Routledge. [ISBN 978-0-415-80724-1]
  • Crafton, D (2013). Shadow of a Mouse: Performance, Belief, and World-Making in Animation. University of California Press. [ISBN 978-0-520-26104—4]
  • Dobson, N. et al. (2018). The Animation Studies Reader. Bloomsbury. [ISBN 978-1501332609]
  • Furniss, M. (2008). The Animation Bible. Lawrence King [ISBN 978-1-85669-550-3] (See also Art in Motion by Furniss)
  • Gehman, C., & Reinke, S. (eds) (2005). The Sharpest Point: Animation at the End of Cinema. YYZ Books. [ISBN 978-0-920-39732-9]
  • Harris, M., Husbands, L., & Taberham, P. (2019). Experimental Animation: From Analogue to Digital. Routledge. [ISBN 978-1-138-70296-7]

More generally about media production culture (i.e. not specifically about animation, but still invaluable):

  • Caldwell, J (2008) Production Culture. Duke University Press. [ISBN 978-0-8223-4111-6]

There are many more excellent books on animation in all its forms, and your specific reading will depend on your own specialism. It's worth looking at two notable series of books:

During the MA you'll be directed to engage with specific readings, and your research specialism will lead you to others. The best way to discover what research is already out there is to look at the journals in the field. The main ones are:

  • Animation: an Interdisciplinary Journal (published by Sage). Published since July 2006, you can access this journal either via the AUB library hard copies, or by going to the journal’s website; if you access this website from within the AUB domain, you'll get automatic access, as AUB has an electronic institutional subscription (and the website will ‘recognise’ you as a subscriber). If you need off-campus access, this can be provided by the Library. You can read articles online and/or print them by saving them as PDFs.
  • Animation Journal (US-based publication). Published from 1991-2017, and for 15 years the only peer reviewed scholarly journal devoted to Animation. A full set of back issues are in the library. Hard copies only.
  • Animation Practice, Process & Production (published by Intellect). Published since 2011, this is available as hard and electronic copy, both via the AUB Library.
  • Animation Studies (official journal of the Society for Animation Studies). Online only – []. This journal is currently building an archive of scholarly essays, based on papers presented at the SAS conferences. Access is free. [For any of these journals, please check with library staff].

What to bring on your first day

A notepad and pen and your enthusiasm!

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We’re delighted for you to join us at AUB – we can’t wait to see what you’ll create.

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Next Steps

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