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Animation and Motion Design – BA (Hons)

  • Campus: Clare Street, Limerick City

  • years: 3

Course Overview

This programme is a creative mix of Animation & Motion Design disciplines. It is this mix that allows students to blend, develop, and present original visuals and narratives in exciting new ways. The purpose of animation is to entertain and may also inform, while the purpose of motion design is informative but may also entertain. The course nurtures creative individuals with the artistic vision and skills to produce diverse screen content for film, television, streaming platforms, and commercial spaces.

Our course provides students with a platform to develop their ideas, concepts, and skills through challenging creative briefs and exercises. These briefs are structured yet flexible, encouraging a hybrid approach that blends physical and digital art, 2D and 3D elements. Physical art-making is supported, with a focus on creation rather than discovery. Drawing is a fundamental component throughout all years. The course philosophy emphasises developing creative animators and motion designers, focusing on key skills in creativity, ideation, drawing, design, exploration, problem-solving, and collaboration.

Our studios, located in the heart of Limerick City, offer a bespoke working environment for our students. To view the diverse range of work produced by our final-year students for their graduate exhibition, visit us online at For a glimpse of ongoing student projects across our five key areas—Animation, Motion Design, Figure Drawing, Stop-Motion, and Digital – follow us on Instagram @lsadamd.

Contact Details

Mr. David Phelan


What are the entry requirements?

Entry into Animation & Motion Design is by competition and selection during US800 First Year Art & Design (Common Entry).

Mature Applicants

Candidates applying as mature applicants may be required to attend an interview and may be requested to take an aptitude test to prove their suitability for a place on this programme.

International Applicants

International applicants should apply directly to the International Office at TUS, allowing plenty of time for completing the visa process. Applications for September start should be made by 1st June at the latest to ensure visas are processed in time. You should familiarise yourself with visa processing times for your country of origin to ensure you make a timely application. Find out more here.

Course Modules

  • Animation 2.1 – Principles

    Students are introduced to the fundamentals and principles of traditional animation skills, techniques, and processes, through a range of assignments. These assignments are designed to build student confidence in drawing, design skills, technical understanding and application processes used in animating.

  • Animation 2.2 – Skills

    Students continue to develop their animation skills further, bringing believability to their characters through facial expressions, emotion, and dialogue. Planning actions and references for more complex animations are encouraged here, prior to moving into the digital realm.

  • Digital 2.1 – Drawing for Animation

    The presentation of animation and motion design concepts such as characters, layouts and backgrounds must be professionally presented, and to industry standards. This is achieved by excellent digital drawing skills, a comprehensive knowledge of digital painting and rendering techniques, in the making and creation of all aspects of preproduction material.

  • Digital 2.2 – Illustration for Motion

    Illustration in motion promotes the creation of visual language and patterns. Students are encouraged to engage with shape, character & form, and to prepare eye catching content for motion sequences.

  • Figure Drawing 2.1 – Fundamentals

    Students acquire the skill of drawing the human body and mastering its line, shape, and depth. Understanding the basic proportions of the human body i.e., male, female, adult, and child proportions etc., and how all the parts relate to each other. Drawing a live model in 3D form, grasping measurements, center line and line of action etc. Learning to draw the head, torso, legs, arms, hands, and feet accurately, with the correct placing of drawings on the ground plane.

  • Figure Drawing 2.2 – Acting

    Students acquire the skill of drawing the human body in various poses that show, actions, reactions, and gestures, that define a character and/or expresses an anticipated forthcoming event or action without facial features. For example, drawing key poses of characters in pursuit of an objective while overcoming an obstacle. Drawing characters having conflict with their situation. Drawing characters expressing emotion to other characters or to their surroundings or environment etc., such as Love, danger, excitement, anxiety, fear, planning and scheming etc. without the use of facial expressions.

  • Motion Design 2.1 – Principles

    The defining quality of motion design is change that happens over time. Students are provided with the opportunity to play with qualities of rhythm and time. They are introduced to time-based media and the principles of motion design.

  • Motion Design 2.2 – Design

    Students will be taught how to design and create effective compositions and how to translate those into motion sequences.

  • Stop-Motion 2.1 – Basic (2D)

    Students are introduced to Object Motion, Pixilation and Cut-Out animation concepts and techniques. They apply animation principles such as timing, slow in and slow out, follow through and overlapping actions, using various mediums.

  • Stop-Motion 2.2 – Intermediate (2.5D & 3D)

    Students use more sophisticated processes and materials in Cut-Out, Silhouette and Claymation animations. Further principles and techniques of animation and motion design are applied as materials change. These include, staging, appeal, squash and stretch, exaggeration, arcs, timing, lighting, multi-plane, and sound design.

  • Animation 3.1 – Technique & Process

    Students explore 2D digital animation techniques and processes, by combining animations with background elements, special effects, and camera movements, thus allowing for a wide range of complex visuals, within a digital, multi-plane environment.

  • Digital 3.1 – Design 2D / 3D

    Using multi-disciplinary techniques result in infinite communicational possibilities in both storytelling and narratives. Students are introduced to new digital techniques and processes

    Illustration and animation tools allow sketching, drawing, and painting in both bitmap and vector formats, using colour palettes, deformers, frame-by-frame animation, and visual effects applications.  Including the creating of animations and motion designs from otherwise static objects thus creating visually appealing imagery that integrates into any medium to enhance a presentation, story, image, or mood. There is also an emphasis on Laying out animation, background, and props, with consideration to correct staging, arrangement, and positioning, within the digital environment.

  • Digital 3.2 – Design 2D / 3D

    Creativity in animation and motion design is paramount, so animating characters or objects with believability, attitude and emotion is necessary. To do this effectively the animator and motion designer must make each motion memorable and each environment appropriate to the narrative or story being told, commencing in the pre-visualisation process. In achieving this, an in-depth understanding and attention to detail in behaviour, locomotion, and the built environment is essential.

  • Figure Drawing 3.1 – Motion

    Drawing body movements and body language that show: – The notion of shifting power centres i.e., when we stand and walk with ease, our power centre is in our chest leading us forward etc. Psychological gestures – a broken heart in mine can be expressed by breaking sticks. The Effects of Alcohol and drugs etc. Think Pantomime, think Emotions such as empathy – Charlie Chaplin the Tramp. This is a combination of body poses with facial expression, used in long to medium shot types

  • Motion Design 3.1 – Concept

    Motion designers’ value lies in their ability to bridge design disciplines and tell stories that are not bound to traditional formats or narratives. Students will be challenged to respond to creative problem solving in the form of a motion design project brief(s).

  • Placement / Practice / Exchange 3.1 – Research & Preparation

  • Practice / Placement / Exchange 3.2 – Planning & Enquiry

    Placement (6-8 weeks) March/April.

    Practice – Industry / Collaborative Project (6-8 weeks) March/April.

    Exchange – Erasmus opportunity for the full 15-week semester (25/30 credits)

  • Stop-Motion 3.1– Advanced (3D)

    Students develop their 3D skills in the making of puppets and sets. Design, camera, and lighting for stop motion is now paramount. The objective here is to bring not only motion, but life and believability to puppets and rigs. This is achieved using principles such as staging, anticipation, follow through & overlapping action, straight-ahead & pose to pose, exaggeration, arcs, and timing.

  • Stop-Motion 3.2 – Advanced (3D)

    Students develop their 3D skills further in the making of puppets and sets. Design, camera, and lighting for stop motion is now paramount. The objective here is to bring not only motion, but life and believability to their creations and capture for compositing. Including sound design, dialogue, and lip sync, all combined with a well-crafted skillset in stop motion production.

  • Animation & Motion Design 4.1

    Year 4 of the programme sees an intersection of animation & motion design. Students begin to research ideas and themes in an early-stage pre-production / pre-visualisation of their final year project. To further clarify their theme and to begin shaping their idea, students are provided the opportunity to visually explore and experiment. Originality and design certainty is derived through a series of self-initiated visual & motion studies. Students begin to refine and further develop their style, technique, approach, and to make creative decisions as to the platform and context of their final animation & motion design project. Students are also challenged to create an animation to enter the prestigious RSA student design awards, moving pictures category.

  • Animation & Motion Design 4.2

    The final year project provides each student the opportunity to realise their visual themes and motion studies into a self-initiated project. The substantial body of work is carried through all stages in a professional and independent manner. – pre-production, production, post production. Students are supported by staff in the areas of – Story, Narrative & Script – Style, Visuals & Aesthetic – Technique, Context & Approach. While creating a piece of work that demonstrates technical knowledge and creative abilities as an independent thinker, students are encouraged to work to their strengths with a focus towards a future career in animation & motion design. The final outcomes are displayed at the end of year graduate exhibition in LSAD.

What can you do after this programme?

Job categories include:

  • 2D Traditional Animator
  • Motion Designer
  • Character Animator
  • Storyboard Artist
  • Stop-Motion Animator
  • Compositing Designer
  • Concept Designer
  • Digital Media Designer
  • 2D Background Artist
  • 3D Animator
  • Scene Prep Artist

Graduates are eligible to apply to Level 9 and 10 postgraduate programmes within LSAD and elsewhere.