ARTS University Bournemouth (AUB) is the first institution in Britain to win an official designation for its work providing graduates to the animation industry.
The university, whose alumni have worked on Oscar-winning visual effects for films such as Gravity, has been named the country’s first Toon Boom Centre of Excellence.
Toon Boom, a Canadian company specialising in animation and storyboarding software, recognises post-secondary educational institutions that are “powerful incubators” for preparing graduates for the animation market places.
Marie-Eve Chartrand, Toon Boom’s director of customer success, said: “AUB provides a strong foundation in the creative and technical skills needed to succeed in the digital content and animation marketplace.
"They give students direct access to animation experts and industry-leading animation software within a real-world, production-based environment."
AUB has been teaching animation since the 1970s. Its current BA honours course in animation production is rooted in drawing and key principles, with industry participation, collaboration and teamwork central to the programme.
There is also a growing postgraduate community, as well as a new BA honours degree in visual effect design and production due to recruit in September.
Several alumni worked on Gravity via the effects company Framestore, which has an outpost on campus, and others work with the company while finishing their studies. Graduates have found work with Aardman Animations, Nexus Productions, Lupus Films and other UK studios.
Peter Symons, course leader for BA (hons) animation production, said: "Being recognized as a Toon Boom Centre of Excellence demonstrates that the AUB approach to teaching animation directly engages students with an industry model of working – one of the many key strengths of our course.”
The Centre of Excellence programme recognises institutions that are contributing at an exceptional level to the teaching of latest industry techniques and technology in storyboarding and animation.
AUB has been in the top 10 of all UK universities for employability in each of the last 10 years, with 97 per cent of the class of 2013-14 going on to employment or study within six months.
More than 50 graduates of AUB and Bournemouth University worked on the visual effects of this year’s Oscar crop of Oscar-nominated films such as Interstellar, Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, X-Men: Days of Future Past and Guardians of the Galaxy.