Bournemouth University’s National Centre for Computer Animation (NCCA) has been ranked the top university for animation according to the Animation Career Review 2021 School Rankings.
Animation Career Review, which was set up in 2011 to provide an online resource for aspiring animators and digital artists, has ranked BU as the number 1 UK Animation School in its ninth annual international rankings for animation. The university has also been ranked second in Europe, and named third internationally among those included in the rankings, according to the US-based magazine.
BU’s NCCA was set up in 1989 to promote science in the service of the arts and to embed a theoretical underpinning within a contemporary professional setting, allowing graduates to leave BU with highly sought-after skills in the computer animation, visual effects and computer games industries. The NCCA is one of just a few research-intensive animation centers in the UK.
Students at the NCCA benefit from the centres close links with many of the UK’s, and the world’s, most prominent organisations including its partnership with Epic Games and ScreenSkills accreditation, recognising the NCCA’s commitment to providing high-quality educational opportunities.
In addition, BU is one of a small number of institutions from around the world who have been granted Houdini Certified School status by Side Effects Software. Houdini is an Award Winning Industry Standard VFX and Computer Animation Software taught across the NCCA framework of undergraduate and postgraduate courses.
BU’s Head of the NCCA, Richard Southern, said: "What a year for awards! Many thanks to the crew at Animation Career Review for this recognition, which is certainly motivational to staff and students at the NCCA. We've also had multiple alumni at the Oscars and the VES awards this year and I want to take this opportunity to congratulate them for their continued exceptional work: it is humbling to play a small part in their success, and a tribute to the dedication and hard work of the teaching team."
NCCA graduates have gone on to work on some of the world’s largest box office hits, including Blade Runner 2049, The Avengers, Solo: A Star Wars Story, Dunkirk and many others. BU graduates have also gone on to win industry awards, with Andrew Lockley wining three Oscars for his visual effects work on Tenet in 2021, Inception in 2015 and Interstellar in 2012, and Mark Ardington, who studied Computer Animation & Visualisation at BU in 1997, winning an Oscar for his work on Ex Machina in 2016.
To celebrate 30 years of the NCCA, visit the Once Upon a Time in Animation exhibition, supported by the Arts Council England and the Heritage Lottery Fund. The interactive exhibition provides insights into animation techniques, and features work by staff and recent students, with a range of online talks and workshops available to attend.