Master of Arts in Animation


Read more about this program on the school's website

Program Description

Would you like to deepen your knowledge of animation, create visually engaging worlds and breathe life into characters? The Animation programme explores both the theory and practice of this most imaginative and joyous form of art. The demand for animated content has expanded rapidly and it is not anymore limited to one particular field in the entertainment industry. In this multidisciplinary programme, you will learn workflows and various applications from leading professionals in project-based teaching, according to your personal study plan. If you're open for new ways of learning, well rounded with great artistic skills, we're looking for you! The course supports progression to research at the doctoral level as well as to advanced self-directed practice.

Study objectives

MA Animation explores both the theory and practice of animation. The students will deepen their knowledge of animation and its various applications, and they become professionals who are able to work as experts and creative innovators in the animation field. They will be able to design, create and head animation productions and act as a member of a team. The aim of the studies is to support the development of a student's own strengths and artistic vision, as well as critical thinking. Students will become familiar with the traditions and the current trends of animation and they are encouraged to experiment for new and fresh approaches. Ability to work in a team is central to the course, furthermore, it is important to understand the different roles and disciplines in a filmmaking process (screenwriting cinematography, sound design, visual effects, production design etc.) We are looking for open-minded students with solid general and artistic knowledge from their previous BA level studies. The course supports progression to research at PhD level as well as to advanced self-directed practice.


The study program focuses on storytelling and visualization, character design, character animation and directing, covering almost any 2D and 3D animation techniques (from CGI to cartoon and stop-frame). The students will explore a range of both technical and conceptual approaches to animation. They have the opportunity to produce short-form animation across 2D & 3D to set briefs. They will also engage in theoretical seminars and analysis of animation art. The curriculum consists of workshops, masterclasses, projects and MA dissertation.

Career opportunities

Today you see animation everywhere from the Internet and mobile phones to movies,

commercials, special effects, VR and games. The animation is a progressive career option with many opportunities to excel. You can produce animated films both collaboratively and as solo ventures. You can work as an animator, animation director, supervisor, producer, layout artist, storyboard artist, concept artist etc. depending on your study choices. You may also be employed in applied professional tasks in the animation field such as festivals, financing and distribution.

Programme-specific Admission Procedure and Evaluation Criteria

What we look for in an applicant?

We seek candidates who already possess advanced skills in animation and have a passion to both deepen and broaden their knowledge.

Animation Major applicants should be able to demonstrate

  • a high level of past achievement (in education, in professional experience or in other creative practice)
  • strong professional interest and capacity to achieve the Masters’ standard

Evaluation criteria

The criteria we use to evaluate the applications in the first stage are

  • personal portfolio/creative work
  • professional documentation (academic or professionally related reference)

In the second stage, the evaluation criteria consists of

  • feasibility of the applicant’s aims as based on the portfolio and written application
  • motivation
  • communication skills

First stage and required application documents

In the first stage of the evaluation, the selection committee evaluates the applications based on the application documents. Study Option’s requirements for the application documents are listed below. Please also note requirements for the application documents presented in the general application instructions. Attach each application document to the electronic application form in PDF form.


Your portfolio should include a demo reel of creative animation work samples. The portfolio demonstrates your understanding of storytelling through animated images. It should contain work related to your artistic expression, and showcase your prior professional and/or artistic activity on a broad scale. Include a brief account of how the productions were carried out and specify your roles in them, the names of the production companies and/or commissioners, the production dates, the main artistic contributors and where the works have been publicly screened or published. Submit your demo reel either as a downloadable password-protected Vimeo link or a QuickTime or MP4 file and ensure the video files work in the common Mac or PC user interfaces. Animation tests, storyboarding and concept artwork will also be approved as a part of the portfolio.


Applications must include the applicant’s CV (single PDF file) indicating personal data, educational background, work experience, animation productions and your work in them, screenings, exhibitions, awards, grants, study trips and positions of trust.

Motivation letter

Applicants must write up a motivation letter of a maximum of 4000 characters in length, explaining why they wish to apply to the degree programme in question, what their particular interests are in the field, and what their hopes and expectations are regarding studies at the School of Arts, Design and Architecture. The plan should explain the applicant’s personal strengths, areas of interest, artistic and design visions and artistic objectives.

Language of application documents

The application documents must be submitted in English.

Second stage

Part of the applicants is invited to the second stage. The invitation to the second stage is sent to the applicants at the latest 7 days in advance.

Last updated Nov 2019

About the School

At Aalto University, we believe in curiosity and we encourage our students to explore the unknown and do things in a totally new way. We offer the highest level of education in business, art and desig ... Read More

At Aalto University, we believe in curiosity and we encourage our students to explore the unknown and do things in a totally new way. We offer the highest level of education in business, art and design, architecture, and technology in Finland. Read less
Espoo , Helsinki , Pori , Mikkeli + 3 More Less