Teesside, Bournemouth or Escape?

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  02 February 2011
Teesside, Bournemouth or Escape?

Hello guys,

I've read a lot of threads in and out of this forum about these schools/universities. I just want a specific suggestion for my case. Here's my situation.

I graduated from Visual Communication Design, in 2010. I'm living in Istanbul, Turkey. Right now I'm working as a part-time graphic designer. I want to become a character animator in the future. I've been thinking about going into a masters programme in UK.

I applied for Bournemouth University, 3D Computer Animation programme in the first case. I've got a conditional offer, but I had to make two interviews with their programme leader. First we had an interview on the phone. They rejected me. Afterwards they offered me a second chance. It went well. But probably this year they have a lot of application coming down to the course. So my chances on Bournemouth is not a piece of cake.

After my first interview with Bournemouth, I applied for Teesside University, Digital Character Animation programme. I heard and read a lot of about Animex Festival, facilities and etc. They offered me a conditional, which I have to pay the deposit and obtain an unconditional. Here's the big part fellas. After I sent my application, few days past and without evaluating my portfolio they sent the conditional offer. No portfolio assessment, even though it was needed. I insisted to send my portfolio to them. They looked into my portfolio and in a couple of hours, they confirmed that the offer still remains.

I was really disturbed and curious about what what I was doing. You know, one looks into your portfolio and wants to make an interview with you and it's really difficult to get in.
The other one just looks into your qualification and tells you "Yeah just pay the deposit and get the unconditional".

Besides, I met a lot of people from forums, googled the master programmes and found a lot of people. Some of them are graduates, some of them working in the industry, and the rest are students at the moment. Some people, who went both Bournemouth and Teesside, told me to go to Animation Mentor if I really want to learn animation. I have no doubts about Animation Mentor. Because it seems a lot of graduates from Bournemouth and Teesside took the online course in AM, although they graduated from these universities.

Animation Mentor is an option for me. But honestly, I don't want to sit in front of my computer and try to learn animation for 18 months. Because that's what I've been doing for the last 3 years from tutorials and books. I just want go to an actual campus not an online thing right now. To be honest, we don't have a lot of major/minor animation studios here. Most of them are VFX studios and film studios. But the industry in Europe and US is just where I want to be in a couple of years. I really don't believe if I stay in my home and take an online course and get a job in UK/US afterwards. Also I want to develop my demoreel when I'm working as a junior animator. It's really important me to develop and use my skills when I'm working in a studio.

So in the final case, I'm thinking about going to Escape Studios. But for the Character Animation course in Escape, 12 weeks is a very small amount of time if you consider it for learning and practicing character animation. The course is really expensive on the other hand. I think the Escape is very well known for placing students into entry level jobs who took Compositing and VFX courses.

VFX and Character Animation are totally different. But right now with this kind of different thoughts I'm really stucked and even thinking about switching into VFX career and thinking about going to VFX course in Escape. It may sound stupid but my mind is really messed up with a lot of thoughts. I can't decide which path to go. I don't know in which path I can find a job easily even though it all depends on demoreel.

So can anyone help me and give some advices who has any experience with these schools/universities/programmes, or working in the industry?

  03 March 2011
Hi. well I can comment on Escape Studios, I finnished the games course there end of last year, and I can honestly say it was very intense (but expensive), the school is production focused, so you wont have to study material that is not directly relevant to production as you would if you commited to a degree course at one of the uni's. What I will say is that on my course there were two graduates (one of those was from Bournmouth) and they said they learend more at Escape in three months than they did in three years at Uni...

If you have the cash, you cant go wrong with Escape, its worth attending one of the open days.
  03 March 2011
Well, I'm currently studying at Bournemouth (Although I'm doing the Digital Effects course)
I'm not sure about the places for next year, but I think the course is surely worth the trying again.
I have friends who done the animation course in previous years, and a whole batch doing it this year, and we really feel during masterclasses (where industry professionals come to visit) that our school has quite a good reputation in the industry.
Offcourse, as with any master level course, there is a lot of self study involved, but the teachings are very thorough and given by people who know what they are saying.

Btw, be aware that tuition fees in the UK are going up a considerable amount next year, because of the (quite huge) cuts the government is making.
Escape is offcourse very well known and respected, but I'm not really sure if the level you get in their shorter courses (which in comparison are far more expensive than Bournemouth) is higher then here
  03 March 2011
Srry, double clicked, double posted.

Last edited by Feedbacker : 03 March 2011 at 09:15 AM. Reason: double post
  03 March 2011
You can also consider University of Hertfordshire. Just look at the stuff we make and think about it .

Here's our vimeo channel: http://vimeo.com/uhanimation/videos
Available for work.
  03 March 2011
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