Film, Animation and Digital Arts MA - 2024/5

Awarding body

University of Surrey

Teaching institute

University of Surrey


FHEQ Levels 6 and 7

Final award and programme/pathway title

MA Film, Animation and Digital Arts

Subsidiary award(s)

Award Title
PGDip Film, Animation and Digital Arts
PGCert Film, Animation and Digital Arts

Modes of study

Route code Credits and ECTS Credits
Full-time PLG63005 180 credits and 90 ECTS credits

QAA Subject benchmark statement (if applicable)

Other internal and / or external reference points


Faculty and Department / School

Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences - Music and Media

Programme Leader

WEINBREN Jon (Music & Med)

Date of production/revision of spec


Educational aims of the programme

  • To provide a learning and development environment which encourages creativity, diversity, collaborative practice and innovation in critical areas of contemporary moving image media and digital arts production
  • To enable development of students' creative, intellectual and critical potential through practical work and critical theoretical work in their selected areas of specialism within moving image media and digital arts production
  • To develop relevant up-to-date skills development in contemporary moving image media production practices and digital arts development, as well as foster the students' capabilities for continuous professional skills development to enable them to stay abreast of current and future developments in film, animation and digital arts creative techniques and technologies.
  • To enable students to innovate and experiment creatively and technologically in film, animation, digital arts and related areas of contemporary arts and media practices.
  • To foster debates in media arts practices
  • To provide a robust grounding for further research-based practice and practice-based research
  • To prepare students for meaningful engagement with and employment within the creative industries

Programme learning outcomes

Attributes Developed Awards Ref.
Creation, conception and production of film, animation and/or digital arts creative work outputs of increasing quality and ambition KCPT MA
Analytical understanding of and practical fluency in contemporary moving image media practices across film, animation and digital arts. KCPT PGCert, MA
Analytical interpretation of historical and contemporary contexts and practices in film, animation and digital arts. KCPT PGCert, MA
Ability to analyse and predict emerging trends in professional creative media industry practices KCPT PGCert, MA
Ability to create, research and produce engaging works both independently and collaboratively in their specialist areas. KCPT MA
Ability to articulate and communicate ideas, concepts and stories through visual media, verbal articulation and written documentation KCPT MA
Development of a professional portfolio or practice or significant relevant research outputs KCPT MA
Ability to engage constructively and positively with peers, tutors, professional mentors. KCPT MA
Demonstration of creative and technical project leadership. KCPT MA
Demonstration of applied curiosity and analytical interest in areas outside of their fields of study. KCPT PGCert, MA

Attributes Developed

C - Cognitive/analytical

K - Subject knowledge

T - Transferable skills

P - Professional/Practical skills

Programme structure


This Master's Degree programme is studied full-time over one academic year, consisting of 180 credits at FHEQ level 7. All modules are semester based and worth 15 credits with the exception of project, practice based and dissertation modules.
Possible exit awards include:
- Postgraduate Diploma (120 credits)
- Postgraduate Certificate (60 credits)

Programme Adjustments (if applicable)



Opportunities for placements / work related learning / collaborative activity

Associate Tutor(s) / Guest Speakers / Visiting Academics Y
Professional Training Year (PTY) N
Placement(s) (study or work that are not part of PTY) N
Clinical Placement(s) (that are not part of the PTY scheme) N
Study exchange (Level 5) N
Dual degree N

Other information

Embedded alongside the specific knowledge, skills, abilities and experiences facilitated by this programme are more general attributes which the university has identified as an ambition to develop in all students across all subjects and disciplines on offer. These are:-
Resourceful and Resilience
Digital Capabilities
Global Cultural Awareness

The following is an account of how this programme addresses these pillars.

In general, the MA Film, Animation and Digital Arts programme takes on students who are already eminently employable within the creative media industries, as they have most often developed a range of skills, both through previous undergraduate qualifications and through professional practice. The FADA programme boosts employability, raises the level at which students can gain positions and roles within the industry on graduation, and addresses well documented industry skills gaps. This module is delivered by tutors and specialists with significant industry experience and contacts, and the notion of 'professional practice' within a creative studio environment is a core attribute of the whole course and its components. The module developed a range of proficiencies appropriate to live action film, animation, games, and other associated areas of the media industries, by providing up-to-the-minute knowledge and understanding of tools and techniques used every day in these fields at professional level. Equally important for employability within these areas (and often overlooked) is the development of 'personability': so that employers, collaborators, funders and commissioners want to work with you. We develop this by enabling students to work collaboratively and collegiately, in a supportive 'studio-like' environment in which we all work together to realise creative goals. We also facilitate plenty of networking opportunities, so that students get to meet and interact with future potential employers, collaborators, funders and commissioners. We also assist students to enter events and festivals so that their work is promoted and 'seen', widening opportunities and providing valuable peer esteem.

Resourcefulness and Resilience
The MA FADA programme provides students with a number of challenges which reflect the current state of the art. Students need to respond to these with inventiveness and flexibility; and are often required to research their own solutions to given problems. The greatest resource for students on a postgraduate programme such as FADA is each other, and we encourage students to pool their knowledge and work together to come up with innovative methods to achieve a particular creative or technical goal. The studio environment and unfettered access to facilities and software facilitates this.

Digital Capabilities
The FADA programme is built on the very latest techniques and technologies, thus 'digital capabilities' very much comes with the territory. Contemporary Media Production is an inherently digital affair of course, although we include more traditional techniques such as drawn animation, and drawing practice, as part of the offering.

It is incumbent on us all to reduce carbon footprints, and the film, animation and digital arts sector is no different. On all FADA modules, students are made aware of sustainable production practices both on-set and behind the computer. Students are shown best practices such as LED-based lighting, virtual production technologies to minimise crew and talent travel, recycling of sets and other materials, better transport choices, minimising of waste, and awareness of environmental and social effects on local communities and landscapes. These are embedded in various current industry initiatives such as BAFTA Albert, the 'Screen New Deal' production sustainability plan, and others. Furthermore, from a content viewpoint, many of the creative projects developed by students on the programme address environment and sustainability issues as part of their subject matter. We also work closely with the University of Surrey's Institute for Sustainability to explore and promote the United Nation's Sustainable Development Goals.

Global Cultural Awareness
The FADA programme consists of a diverse community of practitioners reflected in both the student cohort and the associates and specialist tutors brought in to assist in the delivery of this and other modules. We promote a convivial atmosphere, and as highly internationalised group, awareness of global cultures and diversities is an inherent part of the offering.

Quality assurance

The Regulations and Codes of Practice for taught programmes can be found at:

Please note that the information detailed within this record is accurate at the time of publishing and may be subject to change. This record contains information for the most up to date version of the programme / module for the 2024/5 academic year.