Animation and Illustration Level 3

Do you want to create exciting worlds full of amazing stories and characters? Animation and illustration are two constantly developing and exciting areas of the creative industries; animators and illustrators are employed to create characters, animations and visuals for films and television, social media, advertising, games concepts and many other areas.

The Animation and Illustration UAL Diploma / Extended Diploma Level 3 course is designed for students with an art and design or graphics background who have a real enthusiasm for drawing and making. Applicants should enjoy learning about illustration and animation and have an interest in visual culture.

***Applications for full-time courses to start in September 2022 are open now!***

We want to make sure you have the best chance of securing a place with us. All full-time applications received by 31st of January 2022 will be guaranteed a place at Colchester Institute, subject to you satisfying the published entry requirements. We still accept applications after this date but may not be able to guarantee you a place on your chosen programme.

Application for this course are made by the ‘Apply Online’ buttons located in the menu further down the page.

If you are looking to start, or are a parent/guardian of a learner looking to start in September 2022, then bookings for our popular January Open Events are also open.

January Open Events

What Will I Learn?

This exciting programme has been developed to introduce a range of animation and illustration techniques. Through inventive projects you will develop digital and traditional skills that are highly desirable and recognised in the industry. You’ll also learn about research and analysis and get the chance to find out what’s going on in the world of animation through visiting festivals and exhibitions.

During the diploma programme you will complete eight core units helping you to develop research and evaluative skills alongside practical and technical competencies.

You will explore sequence and simple narrative through alternative approaches to drawing and mixed media experimentation. The programme will introduce art and design contexts and research methods, enabling you to start to make connections with the work of other artists, illustrators and animators.

Projects are varied and wide ranging enabling you to identify and develop personal interests whether they be in Illustration, 2D Character design, 3D Modelling & Design, Stop motion, frame animation , Cut Out Animation, Critical Thinking Skills, Concept Art, Comic book art, Sequential and Narrative Art. You will produce a variety of work suitable for developing the right portfolio to progress onto a variety of Higher Education Courses in moving images and the sequential arts. Depending on your grades on entry you will also engage in activities to develop your English and maths as well as GAP activities to develop your employability skills.

The course supports learners to develop presentation and communication skills through group discussion tasks and exhibition opportunities. Learners are also given the opportunity to develop employability skills and industry knowledge through ‘live’ projects with community groups and organisations.

Course Content

Animation and Illustration UAL Diploma / Extended Diploma Level 3 modules may include;

  • Introduction to visual language in art and design
  • Introduction to research skills in art and design
  • Introduction to critical and contextual awareness in art and design
  • Introduction to materials, processes and technical skills in art and design
  • An integrated approach to 2D problem solving in art and design
  • An integrated approach to 3D problem solving in art and design
  • An integrated approach to time-based problem solving in art and design
  • Developing an art and design project
  • Opportunities for progression in art and design

Sessions will involve practical demonstrations, workshop activities, group work, seminars and individual tutorials. You’ll work in a variety of art and design workshops and digital studios.

Entry Requirements
  • 5 GCSEs (9-4), including English and Maths plus an Art and Design subject, or satisfactory results (Merit/Distinction) in a relevant Level 2 qualification
  • An interview with a portfolio of artwork
Career Opportunities

This is a growth area and there are varied opportunities and career possibilities include working within the 2D or 3D animation industries, film, illustration and visual effects. Animation skills are widely utilised in advertising, music, TV and film promotions.

Course Progression

After completion of the Level 3 Diploma qualification learners can progress to a second year and work towards an Extended Diploma qualification.

On successful completion of the Diploma 1st year programme you can continue your study of Animation and Illustration on a one year Extended Diploma Level 3. Its also possible for learners to progress onto other Extended Diploma qualifications in art and design including photography and graphic arts. The Extended Diploma qualification prepares students for degree level study in a related area.

Alternatively students can choose to study on the Art and Design Foundation Diploma, or Creative and Digital Media Apprenticeship. Students can also progress to Higher Apprenticeship qualifications. Depending on your age and prior attainment, some learners may also progress directly to Higher Education, for example to a BA (Hons) Graphic Design programme.

After completing their Extended Diploma qualification a high proportion of our learners progress to higher education programmes in areas such as Graphic Design, Illustration, Animation, Advertising and Games Design.

How to make an Application – Watch our video guide!

We have also prepared a step-by-step video guide – please view this video which will guide you through the application process.

Animation and Illustration Level 3
Qualification: One Year: UAL Level 3 Diploma in Art and Design | Two Years: UAL Level 3 Extended Diploma in Art and Design
LevelLevel 3
DurationOne or Two Years:
Year 1: Diploma |
Year 2: Extended Diploma
Study ModeFull-Time
CampusColchester Campus
Start DateSeptember 2022 - Applications open on 1st October 2021
Fee(s)16-18 year olds: Free
19+: £8,583 (This fee covers the full two-year course)


All Fees and prices shown on this page are for courses starting in the 2021-22 academic year unless stated otherwise, and are correct at the time of entering/printing information, however these may be subject to change. The College cannot accept legal or financial liability as a result of any such changes.

The course information describes programmes offered by Colchester Institute. The College takes all reasonable steps to provide courses as described, but cannot guarantee provision. The information is for guidance and does not form any part of a contract.

The College reserves the right to update and amend information as and when necessary. Colchester Institute will do its best to provide the courses shown, but may have to modify or withdraw a course depending on customer demand and other factors.