International Programmes 2021/2022

MA 3D Animation for Film & Games MA 3D Animation for Film & Games

ifs internationale filmschule köln • Köln

Master of Arts (MA)
In cooperation with

Cologne Game Lab (CGL) of the TH Köln (University of Applied Sciences)

Teaching language
  • English

The lectures will be held in English, which prepares students for the international working environment of the animation industry. Additionally, the international composition of the programme enhances and promotes the students' intercultural competence.

Programme duration
4 semesters
Winter semester
More information on beginning of studies

A new cohort starts in September every year. For more information:

Application deadline

More information:

Tuition fees per semester in EUR
Additional information on tuition fees

Tuition fee for EU students: 1,500 EUR per semester

Tuition fee for non-EU students: 2,500 EUR per semester

One-time registration fee: 200 EUR

Combined Master's degree / PhD programme
Joint degree / double degree programme

The Master of Arts in 3D Animation for Film & Games is a project-oriented cooperative study programme of the Cologne Game Lab of the TH Köln (University of Applied Sciences) and the ifs internationale filmschule köln. It allows students to pursue their career in the media industry, while at the same time expanding their expertise in 3D animation areas in such as design, technology, and dramaturgy within an academic context.

The course of study covers animated movies, digital games, and immersive technologies, such as virtual reality and augmented reality, consequently granting students the opportunity to discover unique forms of creative expression and fresh professional perspectives. In the age of converging media, animated imageries as well as their production gain complexity, therefore creating new challenges for 3D artists.

The MA 3D Animation for Film & Games prepares students for this dynamic working environment through a clear hands-on approach, cooperation with the industry and a wide portfolio of media theory, ultimately enabling them to shape the evolving field between linear and non-linear productions.

Course organisation

Key aspects of the two-year curriculum are as follows: 

  • Projects: work on personal and group projects supervised by professors and tutors
  • Animation: character creation, story & performance, immersive animation (virtual reality and augmented reality)
  • Media & Game Studies: media-theoretical knowledge of the transformative aspects of digitalisation and its consequences for art, research, and society
  • Animation History: the development of animation from its analogue origins to a computer-generated art form
  • Methods & Tools: project-oriented skills in programming languages and game engines

The lectures will be held in English, which prepares students for the international working environment of the animation industry. Additionally, the international composition of the programme enhances and promotes the students’ intercultural competence.

The MA 3D Animation for Film & Games course of study is a part-time study programme with 120 ECTS. During the lecture period, students will attend 12 hours of seminars, lectures, and mentoring sessions per week on average. These will normally take place on Mondays (all day) and Wednesday evenings. The self-study time varies, but students should plan for at least 12 hours per week to do their project work and to prepare or follow up on classes.

Students are explicitly encouraged to pursue their career in the media industry while taking part in the programme. However, based on experience, the working hours should not exceed 24 hours per week.

A Diploma supplement will be issued
International elements
  • International guest lecturers
Course-specific, integrated German language courses
Course-specific, integrated English language courses
Tuition fees per semester in EUR
Additional information on tuition fees

Tuition fee for EU students: 1,500 EUR per semester

Tuition fee for non-EU students: 2,500 EUR per semester

One-time registration fee: 200 EUR

Semester contribution

285.40 EUR per semester

Costs of living

Approx. 853 EUR per month

Funding opportunities within the university
Academic admission requirements

The programme is aimed at talented and dedicated media professionals in the fields of film, games, design, architecture and similar areas who have gained relevant experience in creating and producing 3D animation.

The entry requirements for the programme are as follows:

  • First higher education degree (e.g., Bachelor, Diploma) in Film, Games, Design, Architecture or the equivalent
  • 12 months of relevant working experience in the media and creative industries

Applicants should submit the following documents:

  • Portfolio of previous work (link to website)
  • Project idea that may be pursued during the course of study
  • Analysis of self-chosen 3D or animation project (possible aspects: design, storytelling potential, technical realisation or else) and its implications for the future of this art form; you may choose a project from film, games, or immersive media (1,500-2,000 characters)
  • Motivation letter
  • School diploma
  • University degree (e.g., Bachelor, Diploma) in Film, Games, Design, Architecture or equivalent
  • CV (including software skills)
  • Photo
  • Proof of 12 months of professional-practical experience in a media-related area
  • For international students only: validation of the applicant's school as well validation of a university degree by uni-assist (separate process)

Based on these documents, a group of applicants will be selected for a personal interview. During these interviews, the artistic qualifications and the English language proficiency of the applicants will be examined.

Special information for international students:
International applicants have to validate their formal entrance qualification to the MA 3D Animation for Film & Games through uni-assist in a separate process.
As the processing time for this is approximately four weeks, applicants are highly encouraged to hand in their certificates to uni-assist in early February. Without a positive evaluation through uni-assist, applicants cannot be admitted to the MA programme.

Language requirements

Applicants have to demonstrate the appropriate level of English during the selection process.

Application deadline

More information:

Submit application to

Applicants should submit their application documents to:
Laura Frings (Programme Management), E-mail:

International applicants have to validate their formal entrance qualification through uni-assist in a separate process:

Possibility of finding part-time employment

Students are explicitly encouraged to pursue a career in the media industry while taking part in the programme. However, based on experience, the working hours should not exceed 24 hours per week.

Specific specialist or non-specialist support for international students and doctoral candidates
  • Tutors
Support programmes for international students

The students are professionally supervised by two professors, numerous guest lecturers and members of the faculty. Tutors assist them in their study projects. In addition, students also receive support from the administration.

ifs internationale filmschule köln

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ifs internationale filmschule köln © ifs

The ifs ("internationale filmschule köln") is an institution that includes both initial training and continuing education with an artistic-scientific focus serving aspiring media professionals.

As a result of the initiative of the NRW state government and the Film- und Medienstiftung NRW, the school was founded in 2000 as a non-profit company. The Film- und Medienstiftung is the sole principal partner of the ifs. The ifs is consistently ranked as one of the best film schools in Germany, based on its outstanding student support, excellent teaching and project work, and active festival participation. It even won the Student Academy Award in 2012.

The ifs’ portfolio covers Bachelor’s programmes in Screenwriting, Directing, Creative Producing, Director of Photography, Editing Picture & Sound, VFX & Animation, and Production Design, as well as international Master’s programmes in Serial Storytelling, Digital Narratives, 3D Animation for Film & Games and Entertainment Producing and Film. The study programmes are carried out in cooperation with the TH Köln - University of Applied Sciences. In addition, there are several further education programmes for media professionals ranging from Acting to Masterclass Non-Fiction.

Individual and intensive supervision is the core focus of the initial training and continuing education programmes at the ifs. For this reason, the organisational framework is structured on a small number of students. The education and training is focused on combining a foundation of scientific-theoretical and technical skills with artistic hands-on project work. The combination of professional specialisation and interdisciplinary cooperation is characteristic of the education at the ifs. Close collaboration with national and international teachers from both the industry and academia guarantees the students a first-class education.

The courage and resolve to promote ongoing development and change is what distinguishes the ifs from other schools. The school enjoys a constant flow of impulses and inspiration through its close collaborations in all of the fields of the audiovisual landscape and through its ongoing critical evaluation of its initial training and continuing education programmes. The primary focus lies on the media developments and innovations of the future. The ifs offers its students an innovative media education that imparts the artistic and technical skills and foundation for professional film making. Thereby, it integrates new technological developments. It also thus promotes and conveys aesthetic and potential for dramatisation.

The school is a member of CILECT and the International Association of Film and Television Schools. It cultivates partnerships with a global network of film schools and universities.

University location


Germany is one of the most popular destinations for international students. It is not only an attractive place to study; a German university degree is also highly valued by employers worldwide. Students in Germany benefit from a world-class education system.

Germany is the largest economy in Europe and the fifth largest in the world. Science and research have a long tradition in Germany and are highly valued.

Germany has been an immigration country since the 1960s – we are open-minded and tolerant. Over 80 million people live here – more than in any other country in the European Union (EU).

Germany is one of the founding states of the EU and supports the growing integration and closer union between the European states.

Germany is a safe country, also by international standards. It can also look back on a long and famous tradition of higher education. Compared with other countries, the tuition fees at German universities are not very high, and the cost of living is at the EU average. Students also enjoy a lot of reduced prices, for example at theatres, museums, opera houses, cinemas, swimming pools and other facilities.

Germany is located in the heart of Europe. From here, you can also easily explore its European neighbours.

German is one of the ten most widely spoken languages in the world, and there are many ways to learn German, be it through a course or with German flatmates.


Its metropolitan vibe, diverse student scene and a cityscape abound with cultural and historical treasures make Cologne one of Europe’s prime university cities.

Cologne’s origins date back to the heyday of the Roman Empire more than 2,000 years ago. The former settlement of Colonia Claudia Ara Agrippinensium soon flourished into a major trading hub.

Today, Cologne is Germany’s fourth largest city with a population of slightly more than one million and has evolved as a main economic and cultural centre at the heart of Europe.

The city’s characteristic landmark and source of pride for every Colognian is without a doubt the magnificent Cologne Cathedral, locally known as the Kölner Dom. Towering over the quaint Old Town of Cologne at 156 meters, this masterpiece of Gothic architecture is the world’s third-highest cathedral and boasts around six million visitors a year, making it Germany’s most popular tourist attraction.

However, Cologne is by no means all about its Cathedral and has plenty more charms to offer - more than 40 world-famous museums, 120 art galleries, the Cologne Opera, a vibrant theatre scene, a plethora of concerts and musicals as well as a city-wide passion for sports all testify to Cologne’s reputation as an international art and cultural metropolis. Visitors from all over the world are bound to feel at home immediately, as Cologne is a true melting pot of cultures. Close to one-fifth of its inhabitants have an international background!

Cologne’s economy is characterised by its amalgamation of different industries and trades. Home to the country’s most influential television and radio stations, Cologne is unquestionably Germany’s media capital and plays host to some of the continent’s biggest trade fairs. Quite a few of the world’s most renowned enterprises call the metropolitan region their home, in particular corporations operating in the automotive industry, biotechnology and life sciences, chemicals and pharmaceuticals as well as commerce and banking.