diploma in digital animation

Gain a strong foundation in the history of animation, principles of animation, colour theory, art direction, storytelling and pre-production, production and post-production.

Course Description

The aim of the Diploma in Digital Animation is to prepare students for a successful career in the animation industry by equipping them with the knowledge, skills, technological training and professionalism required to make a smooth transition into the workplace or the opportunity to further their studies.

Students will gain a strong theoretical foundation in the history of animation, the principles of animation, colour theory, art direction, storytelling and pre-production, production, and post-production. They will also develop detailed knowledge of the field of animation and how that knowledge relates to film and media studies, history, art, and design. Students will be assessed on their ability to critically analyse these principles and theories and apply them when solving complex problems within 2D and 3D animation.

Graduates of the programme are complemented by employers for their ability to deliver excellent work from the first day of employment because of the industry-relevant experience gained in their third year. This includes the production of a short film as a member of a team, completion of a 2-week placement within an animation studio, and preparation of a personal demo reel, all of which are underpinned by the knowledge and skills gained in the first and second years of the programme.

First year
  • Introduction to Context and Story
  • Introduction to Visual Development
  • Introduction to Technical Artistry
  • Introduction to Animation
Second year
  • Story and Context
  • Visual Development
  • Technical Artistry
  • Animation
Third year
  • Pre-Production
  • Production Specialization
  • Animated Short Film
  • Professional Development
Programme Details

SAQA ID: 71756
NQF Level: 6
Total Credits: 360
Campus: Cape Town and Johannesburg
Start Date: 10 February 2025
Duration: 3 Years, Full-Time
Registration: Registered with the Department of Higher Education and Training until 31 December 2024 as a private higher education institution under the Higher Education Act, 1997. Registration certificate no. 2009/HE07/013

Why You Should Apply

Applicants from around the world who are passionate about developing strong drawing skills, are inquisitive about the people and world around them, have a passion for visual storytelling and are willing to put in long hours to bring characters and stories to life are invited to apply for the Diploma in Digital Animation.

Experience in art and drama will support the more creative aspects of animation while mathematical and logical thinking skills will benefit those looking to focus on the technical side of animation.

Applicants must meet the minimum admission criteria specified in the prospectus (on the right).

What Careers are Available to Graduates?

Graduates will be qualified to pursue a career in animation, film, TV, gaming, advertising, or VFX as a generalist, concept artist, storyboarder, character designer, animator, technical artist (rigging and/or rendering), lighting artist, compositor, surfacing/texturing artist, among numerous others.

Alternatively, graduates may explore a career in animation for other sectors such as health and medical (simulated medical procedures), architecture (virtual tours of buildings), engineering (simulated engineering processes or 3D models), forensics (recreating crime scenes), or virtual reality (VR).

80 – 90% of our graduates’ secure employment in the animation in the local animation industry and several have gone on to work in the US, Canada, and Europe.

What are the Fees?

Please download the prospectus above for information on fees.

What Financial Assistance is Available?
  • If you require funding, we recommend you contact Student Hero. Student Hero is a funding originator who acts as an intermediary between you and funding providers. For more information please contact them on hello@studenthero.co.za or 0615853490. Visit the Student Hero website to apply for a student loan online, calculate affordability and increase affordability.
  • The National Film and Video Foundation (NFVF) offer bursaries to talented South African students from disadvantaged backgrounds who require financial assistance, for more information please visit the NFVF website for more details on how to apply. Applications open for a 2 month window period from July, so visit the NFVF website today!
  • Oasis Group Holdings (Pty) Ltd. is responsible for the innovative development and management of several investment products that have won numerous awards from highly acclaimed rating agencies. Information on the Oasis bursary can be found here https://www.zabursaries.co.za/ general-bursaries-south-africa/oasis-bursary/
  • The Multichoice Talent Factory Bursary Programme will consider students from qualifying institutions who meet the academic and the financial need qualifying criteria for a full 1 year tuition for 2nd year or higher. View Programme
  • Nestlé is the world’s leading food and beverage company. Through our purpose of unlocking the power of food to enhance qualify for everyone, today and for generations to come, we are committed to upskilling young talent by proving bursary opportunities. Please find more information on their website.
  • The TAS Scholarship may, at the discretion of The Animation School, be awarded to 2nd and 3rd year students with exceptional skills and an exemplary work ethic
How To Apply

Step 1: Prepare Your Portfolio

The following pieces must be included in the portfolio:

  • 1 x Comic strip (6 panels) showing how to apply to study at The Animation School (download the template)
  • 6 – 12 Additional artwork pieces which you have personally produced in the past 3 years made up of any medium; illustrations, paintings, graphic design, portrait drawing, figure drawing, sculptures, digital artwork, animations or any other medium the applicant believes will motivate their application.
Step 2: Compile Your Portfolio

Compile a single PDF document that includes the following:

  • Scanned or photographed artwork
  • Comic strip
  • Links to any short films or animations created by the applicant can be added to the portfolio but this is not a requirement.
Step 3: Write a Motivation Letter

Write a one-page (A4) motivation that addresses the following question:

  • Why do you want to study at The Animation School?
Step 4: Complete the Application
  • Once you have compiled your portfolio, start completing the online form. You can save the form for later use.
  • Complete all personal details in the online application form
  • Upload the motivation letter
  • Upload the comic strip
  • Upload the portfolio
  • Upload national senior certificate/ statement of results/ other qualification
  • ID photo

Download prospectus

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