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Do you have creativity in abundance? Is your artistic talent eager to tell a story through animation? Do you think you can work well under pressure? If so, animation is a world of opportunity and might just be what you’re looking for. 

What is animation?

Animation is the manipulation of figures in order to make them appear as moving images. Animation can be created through hand drawings or paintings and in more recent years with the introduction of technology, images are created electronically. 

What third level courses are available?

Universities and colleges in Ireland are offering courses in the following subject areas:

  • Animation 
  • Animation and Illustration
  • Animation, Visual Effects and Motion Design
  • Visual Effects for Film, TV and Animation 
  • Animation and Digital Movie (PLC)
  • Animation Drawing Studies (PLC)
  • Art with Animation Studies (PLC)
  • Cartoon Animation and Film Studies (PLC)
  • Gaming, Animation and Motion Pictures (PLC)
  • Multimedia, Animation and Games Design (PLC)

Studying animation in college

There are both PLC courses and undergraduate courses in studying animation. PLC courses will typically be 1 year in length while undergraduate courses will range from 3-4 years. PLC courses will act as foundation courses to give you an idea of the area by covering the basics and help you to move forward into an undergraduate course in the area, should you want to progress to undergraduate level. 

Your first year in an undergraduate course is typically seen as the foundation year. You will cover the basics of animation and gain an idea as to what direction you will be moving in throughout your course. While specific content will differ from course to course, areas covered in your first year may include Animation Basics, Photography Basics, Art and Design History as well as delving into the creative process and exercising your creative mind. 

Your second and third year will introduce you to more in depth and complex areas. Some courses may only be three years in length meaning third year will be your final year. Others may be four years in length. Second year modules may include areas such as Drawing and Design, Animation Production Skills, Animation Practice and Animation History to name a few possibilities. 

Third year may include areas such as Animation and Contemporary Culture, Animation and Visual Effects as well as learning about animation as a business. In your final year in almost all courses you will carry out your final Animation Project. 

Career options

Studying animation is the  perfect gateway into one of the most creative and exciting fields of work in the world. The rise in use and demand for technology and games lends itself to animators in Ireland and worldwide as a product in demand. 

The main employers in the animation world are animation companies, the games industry, advertising and marketing as well as the world of live action and special effects. There is also the option of continuing on your study at postgraduate level in order to specialise in a particular area. 

Important skills and qualities to have in this area include creativity, excellent communication skills, ability to work with others, ability to take and give direction, time management skills, organisation skills, ability to use technology, attention to detail, artistic ability, a skill for storytelling and the ability to work under pressure and meet tight deadlines

Related Jobs

  • Animator 
  • Games developer
  • Graphic designer
  • Illustrator
  • Web designer

Further Study

Visit for more information.


Different courses and different colleges will have different entry requirements. It’s always safest to check with the individual higher education institution which is available on their websites. As a general rule Leaving Cert students should have a minimum of six subjects which should

include: Two H5 (Higher Level) grades and Four O6 (Ordinary Level) grades or four H7 (Higher Level) grades. Subjects must include Mathematics, Irish or another language, and English.

The highest points required for a course in Animation was 920 points last year in the Institute of Art, Design and Technology Dun Laoghaire and included an entrance interview/portfolio. The lowest points required was 198 points to study Animation in Letterkenny Institute of Technology. 

Where can I study?

For other courses in the area you would like to explore, you can do so here.

Did you know?

  • Walt Disney had just two animators working for him when Steamboat Willie was created in 1928.
  • The first ever American animated feature film was Snow White which cost $1.4 million in 1937.
  • The first animated feature generated completely on computers was Toy Story. 


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