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University of Sunderland

100% online MDes Design with Animation

Set your design career in motion with an MDes Design with Animation from a global university

Apply By 20 August 2024
To Start 3 September 2024
  • 180 credits
  • Complete within 24 months
  • £6,780 total fees
  • 5 star QS Teaching Rating (2023)

Why Sunderland?

  1. 100% online MDes within 24 months
  2. 5 star rating for teaching, inclusiveness, employability and facilities*
  3. Top 50 UK University**
  4. 70% of university research rated as ‘world-leading’ or ‘internationally excellent’***
  5. 7th in the UK for social inclusion****
  6. £6,780 total fees, option to pay £565 per module
*QS World University Rankings 2023
**Guardian University Guide 2024
***Research Excellence Framework 2021
****The Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide 2024

Bring graphics and images to life using the power of motion

Animators use the power of motion to inspire audiences and breathe life into a wide variety of design projects. Help businesses take their creative outputs to the next level and realise your own imaginative ambitions with the University of Sunderland’s 100% online MDes Design with Animation.

This course has been developed to nurture highly skilled and ethically conscious designers who understand the transformative power of design in shaping society and the world.

It aims to immerse students in the critical aspects of animation design through a dynamic curriculum that blends theoretical frameworks, historical contexts, practical exercises, and case studies, so students develop their capacity to evaluate and creatively tackle design challenges.

Underscoring the fusion of design theory and practice and bolstered by specialised online tutors dedicated to supporting students the course is designed for adaptability and global applicability.

You will learn the spectrum of media, materials, techniques, and processes, tailoring your learning journey to your specific passions and professional aspirations. Overall, you will develop the technical mastery and creative prowess, career-oriented mindset, and understanding of the creative industries landscape needed to excel in the dynamic realm of animation design.

Tailor your learning to your life with 100% online learning

Our courses set out to help working professionals maintain their existing commitments while pursuing their own professional development, with 100% online teaching and learning and no on-campus requirements.

Your studies will take place in a purpose-built digital learning environment, so you can access your course materials anywhere and anytime around your day to day activities and commitments including work, family and social.

The course is offered as asynchronous learning on both full-time and part-time tracks so you can study at a pace that suits you.

With six starts per year you can also kickstart your professional design journey outside the traditional academic calendar and within weeks of admission.

What will you study?

Students of this course develop a systemic understanding of design knowledge and awareness of the existing challenges and new insights of design practice today

They may graduate as skilled ethical designers with an understanding of how design can positively impact society and the world.

Importantly, you will learn how to position and promote your creative projects, recognising possible career paths and potential demand for your work, within the creative industries using a keenly developed understanding of the sector.

Key knowledge and skills taught on this course:

  • How to generate creative ideas and apply them to design concepts
  • Develop creative brand awareness concepts using research
  • Ethical design issues including sustainability, inclusive design and social responsibility
  • A body of work showcasing original ideas, skills and knowledge application
  • Producing creative and technically advanced materials to generate paid work
  • Strategic design thinking and design leadership and management
  • Concept development, rigging and setup of a 2D animated character
  • Design, rigging and animation of a 3D character

Globally-focused and experts in teaching a community of online learners

The University of Sunderland has been teaching international students for more than 40 years and our global connections span the globe with campus locations in Hong Kong, Sunderland and London, as well as partnerships in the Caribbean, Greece, Kenya, Malaysia, Lanka, Oman, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Tashkent and Vietnam. These connections mean our students collaborate and learn with through a diversity of perspectives and build truly global networks throughout their studies.

International students comprise a high percentage of our student population and our distance learning students can be found in all corners of the globe. We also have an excellent reputation in UK widening participation and have been awarded 7th in the UK for social inclusion (The Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide 2024).

Our expertise, our cutting-edge technology and our vast experience delivering excellent online learning experiences to global students is key to what sets the University of Sunderland and our online MDes Design with Animation apart.

Admission requirements

Applicants must be of age 19 and above and should have or be about to complete:
And have
  • At least a UK 2.2 honours undergraduate degree in a design or related subject (or international equivalent)
  • A third-class honours degree or an ordinary degree (without honours) in a design or related subject (or the UK equivalent) together with a minimum of 2 years appropriate work experience
  • The work experience must be at a graduate level, in a relevant field of design, which may include voluntary work, placements, internships, project management etc
  • Applicants who do not hold a recognised degree will be asked to provide evidence which demonstrates a minimum of three years’ relevant organisational experience
Software requirements for studying this course
    Students will need their own access to some software licenses. (The University could provide guidance with the students pricing)

  • Adobe Creative Cloud
  • Microsoft 365
  • Clo3d (MDes Design with Fashion Design)
  • ToonBoom Essentials, Advanced or Premium (MDes Design with Animation Design)
  • Maya (MDes Design with Animation Design)
  • 3D Studio Max (MDes Design with Animation Design)
  • Maxon One Student (Cinema 4D, ZBrush, Red Giant, Red Shift, Capsules, Training, etc) (MDes Design with Graphic Design)


Total course fees
Per 15-credit module fee

If you are based in the UK, you may be eligible for a government-backed postgraduate loan to cover the full costs of the course.

In addition, if you have successfully completed an undergraduate degree at the University of Sunderland, you are eligible for a 10% tuition fees reduction on our postgraduate programmes.

You pay tuition fees for each module taken, either module-by-module or in full at the start of your course.

If you pay module-by-module, you will pay in instalments of £565.