BTEC Higher National Diploma in The Animation Industry
WHAT ARE THE HIGHER NATIONALS IN ANIMATION?
From Cartoon Saloon to Brown Bag Films, from Boulder Media to Giant Animation, Irish studios have made Ireland a go-to
destination for animation on an international stage. Irish animators not only boast box-office success, but also multiple
nominations and wins at the Academy Awards.
According to Screen Ireland, the animation sector has nearly quadrupled in size in the past decade and accounts for a
significant proportion of the €500 million spent in the Irish screen industry in 2021.
If there is one thing that is certain, this sector is calling for new home-grown talent to help support Irelands continuing
success on the global stage.
This qualification has been designed for the Irish and global animation sector.
Through guest lectures and masterclasses, you will have a unique opportunity to learn from the leading Irish animation
studios that have produced award-winning TV shows, films, games and visual effects for millions of viewers worldwide. You
will gain hands-on experience with the latest tools and techniques, work on real projects with industry mentors, and network
with the best talent in the Irish animation sector.
Whether you want to create your own stories, characters and worlds, or work on existing franchises and properties, this
course will prepare you for a successful career in animation.
WHY STUDY HIGHER NATIONALS IN ANIMATION AT DCFE?
The Higher National in the Animation Industry is designed to help you
These qualifications will help you to:
• Gain the skills, knowledge and understanding you need to excel in the international animation environment, whether you
want to work for an established studio or start your own business.
• Develop your critical thinking, problem-solving and leadership skills and learn how to work effectively across different
animation functions and manage change and complexity.
• Acquire the core skills required for a range of animation careers, such as, management, operations, production and design.
• Balance your employability skills with the academic knowledge that will enable you to pursue further studies or
entrepreneurial ventures in animation.
• Understand the impact of new digital technologies on the animation industry and how to leverage them for innovation and
• Gain insight into the global animation market and the opportunities and challenges it presents, as well as, the cultural
diversity and values of different animation organisations and audiences.
• Choose from various flexible study options that suit your local and specialist needs and interests.
YEAR 1 DESCRIPTION
In the first year of our course, you will learn the principles
of 2D animation, such as, timing, spacing, squash and
stretch, anticipation and exaggeration. You will practice
character animation, using both digital and traditional tools
and develop your own style and personality. You will also
improve your drawing skills, with a focus on life drawing
for animation and learn how to use anatomy, gesture and
expression to convey emotion and movement.
You will also learn how to design and model your own
characters and environments for animation, using industry
standard software. You will learn how to create layouts and
storyboards that communicate your vision and narrative
eff ectively. You will also learn how to write scripts for
animation, using dialogue, action and structure to craft
compelling stories. Finally, you will learn about the history
and styles of animation, from the pioneers of the medium to
the current industry leaders and discover how animation has
evolved over time and across cultures.
By the end of the first year of our course, you will have a
solid foundation in 2D animation, a portfolio of your own
work and a passion for the art form. You will be ready to
take on more advanced modules in the second year of our
course, where you will explore 3D animation, visual effects,
game design and more.
YEAR 1 MODULES
The following modules will be offered subject to availability
or demand and are subject to change:
• Principles of 2D Animation
• Character Animation
• Life Drawing for Animation
• Design and Modelling for Animation
• Layout and Storyboarding
• Script Writing for Animation
• History and Styles of Animation
YEAR 2 DESCRIPTION
In the second year of our course, you will build on the
foundation you acquired in the first year and learn
advanced skills and techniques in 2D and 3D animation.
You will enhance your character animation skills, using
industry standard software and learn how to create
realistic and expressive movements and emotions. You
will also improve your life drawing skills, with a focus on
anatomy, perspective and composition and learn how to
apply them to your animation work.
You will also learn how to create advanced 2D and 3D
models for animation. You will learn how to create
detailed and realistic textures, lighting and shading for
your models. You will also learn how to create advanced
layouts and designs for animation. You will learn how to
edit, composite and render your animation projects.
You will also gain production practice in animation,
working on group projects that simulate real-world
scenarios. You will learn how to plan, manage and execute
your animation projects, from pre-production to postproduction. You will also learn how to pitch, present
and market your animation work. Finally, you will learn
how to develop your own concept design for animation
using industry-standard software. You will learn how to
generate ideas, research and develop your own style and
vision for animation.
By the end of the second year of our course, you will
have advanced skills in 2D and 3D animation, a portfolio
of professional-quality work and a creative identity as an
animator. You will be ready to take on more challenging
modules in the third year of our course, where you will
specialise in your chosen area of animation.
YEAR 2 MODULES
• The following modules will be offered subject to
availability or demand and are subject to change:
• Advanced character Animation
• Advanced Life Drawing for Animation
• Advanced 2D and 3D Modelling for Animation
• Advanced Layout and Design
• Production Practice
• Concept Design for Animation
• Storyboarding and Editing for Animation
The Higher National Diploma’s more extensive coursework
and advanced skillset make its graduates more competitive
in the job market and better prepared for various creative
media roles. The two-year duration and deep focus of the
Higher National Diploma at DCFE often leads to stronger
connections with industry professionals and organisations,
providing students with valuable networking opportunities
and a better understanding of the media production
In addition, students will build an extensive portfolio
of work to secure employment. Such is the practical
nature of our course, it can lead directly to a range of
job opportunities in the animation and creative media
industry. Possible career paths include animator, script
writer, technical artist, art director, layout artist and media
EXAMPLES OF HIGHER EDUCATION
CDCFE: BA in Animation
(Level 8, 1-year top-up from HND)
BCFE: BA in Animation
(Level 8, 1-year top-up from HND)
IADT: DL832 Animation
(Level 8, 4 Years, advanced entry possible)
IADT: DL847 3D Animation
(Level 8, 4 Years, advanced entry possible)
TUS Athlone: US802 Animation and Illustration
layout artist and media engineer.
At least one of the following:
• Leaving Certificate or Leaving Certificate Applied or;
• QQI level 5 major award;
• Mature Students or;
• Other equivalent qualifications
Additional entry requirements may apply.
All applicants will be interviewed regardless of
Apply directly at www.dunboynecollege.ie