From the Outback to the Great Barrier Reef, Australia is home to incredible natural wonders and striking landscapes that attract millions of visitors each year. In fact, a record 7.8 million visitors traveled to Australia in 2015/16 alone. With a resident population of more than 24.4 million, Australia isn’t just about spectacular scenery either. The continent is home to many modern, vibrant cities that offer access to thriving arts and culture scenes, lively entertainment, renowned colleges and universities, mixed with extraordinary opportunities to enjoy the great outdoors. The continent also has a healthy economy with notable growth in industries such as education, information media and telecommunications, and the arts, of course!
A healthy economy and growth in education, the arts, and information media make Australia a fine place to earn an animation degree or start a career in the field. The Australian Government’s Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade reports that the number of international students was more than 441,000 in May 2016 and some of the region’s top animation schools and studios are located in those vibrant cities we talked about earlier. A few include Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Perth, and Adelaide.
Some well-known animation studios include Animal Logic (Sydney), Kapow Pictures (Sydney), Iloura (Melbourne and Sydney), Liquid Interactive (Melbourne), Flux Animation Studios (Brisbane), Toucan Creative (Perth), and Rising Sun Pictures (Adelaide). Some of Australia’s top animation schools include The Victorian College of the Arts at University of Melbourne, the University of Technology Sydney, and SAE Institute – Australia. Let’s take a look at these and other animation school options in Australia and what they have to offer.
Edith Cowan University, Perth
Established in 1991, Edith Cowan University (ECU) is home to 27,500 students enrolled in more than 300 undergraduate and postgraduate programs. Options for animators include a Major in Animation. The Animation major covers Drawing, Design, 2D and 3D Animation, Scriptwriting, Visual Effects and Advanced Animation Techniques. The program prepares students for positions such as 2D and 3D Animator, Visual Effects Artist, Visual Effects Supervisor, Motion Graphics Artist, 3D Model Builder, Director, Writer, and Film Critic.
A Games and Interactivity Major is also available and it is designed to complement the Animation Major, Film and Video, and others. Both programs provide the opportunity to gain experience by working with real-world clients to develop a creative project in an industry environment.
Academy of Interactive Entertainment, Canberra, Sydney, Melbourne
The Academy of Interactive Entertainment (AIE) was established in 1996. The school has seven campuses in the U.S. and Australia including Canberra, Sydney, Melbourne, and Adelaide, Australia and Seattle, Washington and Lafayette, Louisiana. Programs for aspiring animators include an Advanced Diploma of Game Development (Game Art & Animation) and an Advanced Diploma of Screen and Media (3D Animation & VFX for Film).
The Screen and Media Diploma prepares students for positions such as Character Animator, Modeler, 3D Tracker/Match Mover, Technical Director, and others. Graduates of the Game Development program go on to become 3D Animators, Character Animators, 2D Artists, Environmental Modelers, Texture Artists, Riggers, and others.
Swinburne University of Technology, Hawthorne, Victoria
Swinburne University of Technology was founded in 1908 as Eastern Technical College. The school is home to more than 20,800 students enrolled in hundreds of programs from art and design to science and technology. Programs for animators include a Bachelor of Animation that covers 2D and 3D Animation, Film and Television, Stop-Motion Animation, Visual Effects and Games, and Motion Graphics.
Students may choose a co-major, minor or advanced minor to complement the degree. Just a few options include Digital and Interactive Games, Film and Screen Production, Games Development, Screen and Media, Games and Interactivity, Cinema and Screen Studies, Digital Advertising Technology, and Digital Media Technologies.
Queensland University of Technology (QUT), Brisbane
Queensland University of Technology (QUT) traces its roots back to 1849, when Brisbane School of Arts was established. The school underwent nearly a dozen name changes before it became Queensland University of Technology. QUT is home to more than 47,000 students enrolled in hundreds of programs across more than a dozen study areas. Program options for animators include a BFA Animation, a Bachelor of Games and Interactive Environments (Animation), a BFA in Interactive and Visual Design, and an MFA (Screen and Animation Research Area).
Griffith University, Nathan, Queensland
Griffith University was established in 1971. The school is home to 50,000 students enrolled in more than 200 degree programs across five campuses. Programs for animators are offered through the Department of Visual and Creative Arts. Options include a Bachelor of Animation with majors in Character Animating, Art Direction, and Technical Direction. Visualization Design, Games Design, Creative and Interactive Media, 3D Production and Design, Film and Screen Media, and Graphic and Communication Design are also available.
The Victorian College of the Arts at University of Melbourne, Melbourne
Founded in 1972, The Victorian College of the Arts (VCA) at University of Melbourne is home to more than 300 students enrolled in dozens of music, dance, film and television, theater, visual arts, and writing degree programs. Offerings for aspiring animators include a BFA in Animation, and a BFA (Honours) in Animation. MFA and PhD degrees in Film and Television are also available.
University of Technology Sydney, Sydney
University of Technology Sydney (UTS) was established in 1964 as The New South Wales Institute of Technology. Home to more than 40,000 students, UTS is one of the largest universities in Australia. The school offers more than 130 undergraduate and 210 postgraduate programs. Options for animators include a Bachelor of Design in Animation, a Bachelor of Design (Honours) in Animation, and a Master of Animation and Visualisation.
SAE Institute – Australia, Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Perth, Adelaide, Byron Bay
SAE Institute – Australia was established in 1976 as the world’s first audio engineering institute. it is part of the SAE family, which has 53 campuses in 27 countries. In Australia, SAE provides programs to more than 3,000 students across six campuses. The school offers certificates, diplomas, associate degrees and bachelor degrees in the areas of Animation, Audio, Design, Film, Games, and Web & Mobile. Specific programs for animators include a Bachelor of Animation, an Associate Degree of Animation, and a Diploma of 3D Animation.
Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology (RMIT), Melbourne City
Established in 1887 as the Working Men’s College, Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology (RMIT) is a now a “global university of technology, design, and enterprise,” that offers undergraduate, postgraduate, and vocational programs to more than 60,000 students from over 100 countries. Animation options include a Bachelor of Design (Animation and Interactive Media) and a Master of Animation, Games and Interactivity. Short courses such as Maya for Animation and Adobe After Effects – Beginning Motion Graphics are also available.
Central Institute of Technology TAFE, Perth
Founded in 1900, Central Institute of Technology is now part of North Metropolitan TAFE—a State Government provider of vocational education and training for the northern Perth region. The school is home to more than 24,450 students enrolled in over 400 programs ranging from Certificate I to Graduate Certificates, and customized training programs. Options for animators include a Diploma of Screen and Media (Animation and Games) and an Advanced Diploma of Animation.
Australian National University, Canberra
Founded in 1946, Australian National University (ANU) is home to more than 26,650 students enrolled in more than 100 programs across seven academic colleges. The College of Arts and Social Sciences is home to the Animation program, which leads to a Bachelor of Visual Arts with an Animation and Video Major. The program covers 2D and 3D Animation, Video, Compositing, Editing, and Production. A Master of Digital Arts is also available and covers 3D Computer Animation, Digital Compositing, Digital Video, Interactivity, Sound, and Hybrid Media. Students may add a Visual Effects Specialization to this degree program.
Holmesglen Institute, Waverley
Founded in 1982, Holmesglen Institute has grown from a school offering 90 programs to 7,000 students to a school that offers more than 600 programs to more than 50,000 students. The school’s four major campuses include Waverley, Chadstone, City, and Moorabbin. Programs for animators are available at the Waverley campus and include a Certificate in Animation and Digital Media, a Diploma in Screen and Media (Animation), and a Bachelor of Screen Production with a Major in Animation.
Charles Sturt University, Sydney
Established in 1989, Charles Sturt University (CSU) is home to more than 36,000 students and over 20,000 online students. The school offers a flexible, three-year Bachelor of Creative Arts and Design (Animation and Visual Effects). The program first bachelor degree in Australia dedicated to the art of animation and visual effects. Per the school, the degree program prepares students to work in Australia and overseas in 3D graphics animation, motion design, visual effects, digital compositing, interactive media, computer games, film and television production, multimedia authoring, and design, and more.
Deakin University, Melbourne Burwood Campus
Deakin University was founded in 1974. The school is home to more than 37,000 students, total, with around 26,000 enrolled at the Burwood Campus. The school offers hundreds of programs in all interest areas. Programs for aspiring animators include a Bachelor of Creative Arts (Animation and Motion Capture). Per the school, the program prepares students to “work as Animators in the arts and digital content industries, including the animation, film, television and games design sectors and as independent professional creative practitioners.”
Raffles College of Design and Commerce, Sydney (Parramatta)
Raffles College of Design and Commerce has been established for more than 25 years. The school is home to more than 700 students enrolled in vocational and higher education programs from Certificates to Bachelor Degrees. Options for animators include a Bachelor of Arts (Visual Communication) Animation and a Bachelor of Arts (Visual Communication) Games Design.
Murdoch University, Perth (Murdoch)
Murdoch University accepted its first undergraduate students in 1975. Today, the school is home to more than 15,000 students enrolled in over 200 undergraduate and postgraduate programs. Options for animators include a BA in Games Art and Design. The BA program explores “games art and design production concepts and processes,” the use industry-standard tools and techniques, and the study of animation, 3D modeling and how to design mobile apps. Per the school, students will graduate as highly trained Games Designers, Concept Artists or Production Artists working in 3D modeling and animation.
University of Canberra, Canberra
Established in 1967, University of Canberra (UC) was named one of the world’s top 100 youngest universities by Times Higher Education. The school is home to more than 17,000 students enrolled in 300 undergraduate, postgraduate, and research degrees spanning 28 areas of study. The school offers a Bachelor of Media Arts and Production that covers 2D and 3D Animation, Motion Graphics, Networked and Interactive Media, Cinematography, Digital Film and Video Production, and Sound. Per the school, graduates will be prepared to create high-end 3D animation, produce content for websites and apps, make movies, and more.
Bond University, Robina, Queensland
Established in 1987, Bond University is home to more than 3,500 students enrolled in dozens of programs from Biomedical Science to Film and Television. Programs for animators include a Bachelor of Interactive Media Design. Specializations within the degree program include Computer Games, Digital Media, Advertising, Communications, and Film & Television. Subjects are available that focus on developing skills is 3D modeling and animation, computer games and interactive experience creation, visual communication, and virtual and augmented reality. Per the school, graduates could expect to find employment as a 2D and 3D Animator, Arts Director/Visual Designer, Interface Designer, Multimedia Developer, Storywriter, and others.
Monash University, Melbourne
Founded in 1958, Monash University began with just 347 students. Today, this research university has grown into a network of campuses, education centers, and partnerships “spanning the globe.” With approximately 60,000 students from over 170 countries, Monash is Australia's largest university. The school offers a Master of Design that covers Text, Image, Sound, Animation, Interactivity, and Video. The program consolidates the Master of Design, Master of Interaction Design, and Master of Multimedia Design courses offered in 2016.
Central Queensland University, Rockhampton
Central Queensland University (CQ University) was originally founded in 1967 as the Queensland Institute of Technology (QIT) Capricornia. The school is home to more than 30,000 students spread across 25 campuses and locations across Australia. Just a few locations include Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Perth, Adelaide, and Cairns. The school offers several programs that include animation coursework. Options include a Diploma, Associate, and Bachelor of Digital Media, a Bachelor of Multimedia Studies, and Certificates I, II, and III in Information, Digital Media and Technology.
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