MSc Research: Digital Media, Culture, Animation

Content: Digital Animation

This is a one-year research-based MSc with a focus on Digital Animation (two years part time). We promote research in a broad sense to include practice-led research. So the programme includes the development of digital animations as a medium for exploring and testing research ideas.

The programme will explore the uses of digital animation in many modes of research. Animation features prominently in the visualisation of built forms, the presentation and analysis of qualitative and quantitative data, and in various simulations. Interaction design that involves computers and communications networks makes increasing uses of animation, from moving icons to full-scale spatial simulations in virtual environments.

The programme admits students with a background in hand-drawn and stop-frame animation, design, fine art, architecture, but is also open to graduates from cultural theory, media studies, philosophy, and other fields in the humanities and social sciences. It welcomes applicants with an interest in human-computer interaction, artificial intelligence, interaction design, composition, and art/design practice. The programme also provides an opportunity for students to enhance business and management skills in the creative industries as they pertain to digital animation.

Students will undertake mandatory courses in research methods, media and culture, and animation and can choose from a range of options. Students will undertake at least 80 credits (out of 180) of self-directed research.

Semester 1

Postgraduate Research Methods

This course provides a general introduction to postgraduate research, its methodologies, its challenges and its organisation, including in creative practice. You will be introduced to a range of research tools and will be equipped to plan and organise your research, as well as to communicate your findings. The course involves participants from several disciplines and concludes with a lively conference organised by students.

  • Course description

Media and Culture

This is an introduction to the issues that surround the emergence of digital design. Seminar and lecture sessions cover topics that enable students to discuss the impact of digital technology from its immediate practical application to the long term redefinition of the creative professions.

Introduction to Digital Modelling and Animation in Design

This is a practical course introducing techniques of 3D digital modelling, visualisation and animation. You will work on a staged project leading to the production of a digital animation sequence.

Semester 2

Advanced Visualization and Animation

This is a project-based course enabling students to investigate 2D and 3D animation, character animation, storyboarding and narrative. The approach is experimental, looking beyond high-profile animation as seen in contemporary entertainment media, and provides an opportunity to explore innovative techniques and new contexts of application, including in interaction design.

Research Reading Course B

This is a supervised research project.

1 course from Option List


Advanced Visualization and Animation (described above)

Research Review

This is a supervised research project.

Final project

Digital Studio Project: Final Project

Option List

  • Dynamic Web Design
  • The Digital Marketplace
  • Interactive Sound Environments
  • Sound and Fixed Media

Other courses

Other postgraduate courses offered by Edinburgh College of Art, subject to approval from the Programme Director.

Other courses offered by other parts of the University subject to the approval of the relevant School or Department and with the approval of the Programme Director.


Written by Richard Coyne

September 10, 2011 at 12:00 pm

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