International Programmes 2023/2024

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
Application deadline

More information:

Tuition fees per semester in EUR
1,500 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 MA 3D Animation for Film & Games is a part-time study programme. During the lecture period students will attend 12 hours of seminars, lectures and mentoring sessions per week. These will 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 for or follow up on classes.

Students are explicitly encouraged to pursue their career in the media industry while taking part in the programme. Based on experience the working hours should, however, 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
1,500 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

Approx. 330 EUR per semester

Costs of living

Approx. 934 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's, 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's, 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.

Support for international students and doctoral candidates
  • Tutors
General services and support for international students and doctoral candidates

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 a full study and professional training institution with an artistic-scientific focus serving aspiring media professionals. On 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 being 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, including a Student Academy Award.

The ifs portfolio covers Bachelor’s programmes in Creative Producing, Directing, Director of Photography, Editing Picture & Sound, Production Design, Screenwriting, and VFX & Animation, as well as Master’s programmes in 3D Animation for Film & Games, Digital Narratives, Entertainment Producing, Film and Serial Storytelling. The study programmes are carried out in cooperation with the TH Köln – University of Applied Sciences.

In addition, there are several professional training programmes for media professionals, ranging from the Non-Fiction Masterclass and the Entertainment Masterclass to the hitherto unique European Showrunner Programme.

For this reason, the organisational framework is structured on small numbers of students and a two-year admissions cycle to the programmes. The education and training is focused on combining a foundation of scientific-theoretical and technical skills with artistic hands-on project work. The film studies programme is thereby aligned with the principles of narrative film and storytelling. The combination of professional specialisation and interdisciplinary cooperation is characteristic for the education at the ifs. Early on, students work together with all the crafts involved in the filmmaking process, thereby generating important contacts in the industry already during their studies. Close collaboration with national and international teachers from both the industry and academia guarantees the students a first-class education, comparable to international standards.

The courage and will to promote ongoing development and change is what distinguishes the ifs. The school enjoys a constant flow of impulses and inspiration through its close collaborations in all the fields of the audiovisual landscape as well as through an ongoing critical evaluation of its study and professional training 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 filmmaking, thereby integrating new technological developments as well as promoting and conveying aesthetic and dramaturgical potential.

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

University location

Cologne (Germany), a city with a 2,000 year heritage, is a buzzing media hub. A third of Germany’s TV programmes are produced in Cologne. Key TV and radio stations, numerous renowned film and TV production companies, and more than 70 print and digital publishing companies are based in the city, drawing a creative and artistic crowd. In addition, a large and still growing number of exciting international productions are made in Cologne and North Rhine-Westphalia.

The ifs is located in Schanzenstraße in Cologne-Mülheim, which is the creative and media quarter – next door to TV production companies, studio facilities, publishing houses, a radio station and the municipal theatre.

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