2D Animation Degree

Master the timeless art of 2D animation for film and games

Student work by Bianka Zita Farago


Become a 2D animator with guidance from animation experts

Establish how to breathe life and personality into 2D-drawn characters, props, and environments. Build advanced skills in specialized software, Toon Boom Harmony, and gain a firm grasp of production pipelines and creative workflows. This degree will help you develop in-depth industry-specific skills to prepare you for a thriving creative career.

Why study 2D animation with us:

  • Gain the creative, technical, interpersonal, and conceptual skills and knowledge needed to succeed in the industry
  • Study with more flexibility (100% online)
  • Create industry-level work that recruiters will notice
  • Graduate in less time than a typical degree - 2 years instead of 3
  • Join a global community of 4000+ students, grads, and industry artists

This degree is offered through CG Spectrum Institute. CG Spectrum Institute (Provider ID PRV12023) is registered with the Tertiary Education Quality and Standards Agency (TEQSA), ensuring students receive a high-quality education and graduate with reputable qualifications.



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Comprehensive industry training led by industry artists and academics

Our accredited 2D animation degree will prepare you for a fulfilling career in the film and games industry. Harness your creative potential while building practical job skills studios are looking for.

Specialized Training

Build industry-focused, specialised technical and creative skills through rigorous practical and theoretical training.

Conceptual Learning

Learn the underlying concepts and principles that govern the creative industries and how to apply them as a working artist.

Interpersonal Skills Focus

Gain essential skills for success in the real world, including communication, problem-solving, management, and leadership.

Industry Leadership

Learn from and network with professionals and academic thought leaders within the world of creative technology.

Interactive Training

Engage in hands-on study and assessments that provide a compelling, practical learning experience to prepare you for the industry.

Career-driven Outcomes

Graduate job-ready with a holistic skillset, polished portfolio or showreel, and support from our career services team.

Course Information

By industry. For industry. 

Our film and game degrees and diplomas seamlessly blend academic excellence with practical industry methodologies to help students pave a steadfast pathway to a successful creative career.


Bachelor's Degree

Study duration

2 years


40 hrs weekly


Weekly online classes, feedback and support

Course Fees

$49,992 USD

Start date

Sept 2024
Jan 2025

Finacial Aid

You don't have to put your future on hold

We understand the importance of providing accessible education to aspiring students. There are a range of financing options suited to your situation and country. Please contact our friendly admissions team for more information on how we can support your learning journey.


2D Animation Major

An industry-approved curriculum to help launch your creative career

The Bachelor of Digital Art majoring in 2D animation will teach you advanced digital and cut-out 2D animation techniques along with essential interpersonal skills and both practical and conceptual industry knowledge.

  • Explore the 12 Principles of Animation in Toon Boom Harmony and learn principles of biology, physiology, and anatomy as you bring humans and quadrupeds to life in 2D.
  • Add appeal and stylization to your animated scenes by exploring 2D effects and camera techniques. 
  • Discover industry-standard practices, procedures, and workflows.
  • Build valuable interpersonal skills such as communication, problem-solving, and leadership.
  • Dedicated time to building your professional showreel and getting job-ready.

The below course outline reflects a full-time course load, which comprises three subjects per trimester and three trimesters per year over a two-year duration. Part-time study options are also available.


Course Guide

Download your course guide

Your creative journey begins here! Download our comprehensive course guide and discover the exciting educational opportunities that await you. 


Course Pathways

Choose your future

Develop industry foundations with our 6 month Diploma, or continue into the full Bachelor's Degree to build more comprehensive skills.

Pathway illustration for Diploma/Bachelor Degree


Develop fundamental 2D animation knowledge by exploring the 12 Principles of Animation in ToonBoom Harmony. Starting with drawing fundamentals, you’ll master 'tradigital' animation (a blend of traditional and digital techniques) while exploring animation principles such as timing, spacing, and overlapping action. Infuse personality, emotion, and the illusion of three-dimensional space into your work as you explore essential software features and hone core drawing tools.

A firm grasp of the historical foundations, theories, innovations, and principles shaping contemporary practices is vital for film and game artists. This subject uses case studies and documented evidence to delve into the historical, social, technical, and theoretical factors impacting the creative industries. You will analyze how innovations and technologies from one sector (e.g., games) are applied to the other (e.g., film), driving continuous transformation and progress.

2D animators require a thorough understanding of production pipelines and processes to ensure efficient and timely project development. This subject introduces you to essential terminology, frameworks, and stages of these creative fields, emphasizing their interconnectedness. Examine the entire production journey, from inception to distribution, and delve into workflow frameworks unique to animation, VFX, and game studios, facilitating industry comparisons. 


Examine the art of creating convincing animated characters, exploring biology, physiology, and anatomy to create accurate depictions of human and quadruped figures. You will plan and develop scenes involving pantomime and simple dialogue and analyze renowned animation works and artists to discern what makes their work so captivating. Additionally, you’ll learn the importance of silhouettes and timing, along with how to optimize your workflows with thumbnailing.

Delve into the theories and principles of color, light, and composition and their relevance in art movements, film, and video games. Analyze compositions and artworks, examining the integration of line, shape, space, depth, content, and style, recognizing their significance in creative endeavors. Through collaborative online discussions, you will get to explore and contrast historical and contemporary artworks, shedding light on the evolution of art and design theories and practices.

This subject offers a broad overview of professional, ethical, and culturally sensitive communication in both oral and written contexts. Explore the significance of mode, context, and purpose, and delve into communication theories, models, and frameworks for facilitating interactions, transactions, and critiques. You'll gain insights into paralanguage, responsive listening, active collaboration, and delivering and receiving respectful feedback.

Diploma Exit

Students can choose to exit the bachelor's degree after trimester 02 with a diploma or continue their studies through to trimester 06 and earn their bachelor's degree.

Trimester 03

Study human behavior and gain an understanding of face, lip, body language, and gesture animation to craft diverse 2D characters with compelling designs rooted in the animation principle of solid drawing. Leverage character model sheets to ideate, plan, and delve into character personalities, attributes, and motivations, culminating in multi-character dialogue animations. You will also embrace life drawing practice for humans and quadrupeds and explore effects and camera techniques.

Discover the ways stories are crafted through single, multiple, or moving images. Beginning with the origins of storytelling, you will examine the fundamental concepts and principles that underpin visual storytelling. Literary elements like story arcs, hero's journey, Aristotle's three-act structure, linear and non-linear plots, visual metaphors, motifs, and symbolism are explored, and you'll get to analyze plot structure and character development.

In Identifying and Solving Problems, you will tackle everyday challenges with a foundation in theoretically sound problem-solving. Delve into the principles of creative reasoning, encompassing argument presentation and addressing unconscious bias. You will also explore frameworks for analyzing and reviewing artistic works, along with identifying and resolving creative, technical, and ethical issues in creative projects.

Trimester 04

In Cutout Animation, you will investigate a traditional stop-motion animation technique that has been incorporated into the digital space. Cutout Animation involves creating layered characters that can be used as rigged puppets with skeletons and joint-based manipulation. You will master Toon Boom Harmony techniques using the peg and node animation system and apply these lessons to develop biped and quadruped rigs for animation, including creating functional animation rigs, and seamlessly incorporate these assets into animation cycles and physical shots.

Delve into two essential elements of compelling storytelling in film and games: cinematography and lighting. Cinematography and lighting are used to evoke specific moods or aesthetics; cinematography employs shot framing and camera angles, while lighting uses direction, quality, color, and environment. You will study the theoretical concepts and principles of lighting and cinematography, applying them to visual storytelling and photography in both real-world and digital contexts.

Realizing and delivering a film or game — on time and within budget — requires strategic thinking and strong organizational skills. Build your knowledge in complex management processes, asset pipelines, and project management systems that streamline the delivery of complex creative projects. You'll also study the processes and tools used to pass digital information through the pipeline, including how assets and shot sequences are managed.

Trimester 05

Synthesize the technical and theoretical skills you have accumulated during your studies to produce advanced cutout animation shots. This process will involve creating single-character animations, as well as two-character dialogues, using digital stop-motion techniques as a way of matching audio to character motion and face animation. You will apply your animation skills to design briefs that reflect professional feature/episodic projects, which will require mastery of Harmony FX and compositing tools to enhance the quality of visuals.

This subject delves into self-assessment, team dynamics, conflict management, performance optimization, and effective leadership. With a creative business emphasis, examine ethical, inclusive practices and their impact on the performance of a business. You will also analyze case studies, hypothetical scenarios, and leadership strengths and weaknesses, learning from others' experiences to define success for individuals and companies.

Gain valuable insights into the financial and legal obligations and responsibilities associated with running creative businesses and projects. Examine case studies and simulated scenarios representative of sole trading enterprises, partnerships, and large studios. You will also learn about budgeting and finance, taxation, superannuation, cashflows, profit and loss, bidding, IP, trademarking processes, and how to quantify your creative value.

Trimester 06

Throughout your degree, you will have built a comprehensive body of theoretical, technical, creative, and cognitive disciplinary knowledge and skills relating to 2D animation for film and games. You’ll get to reflect critically on and review your catalog of work to plan, edit, and curate your best pieces into a cohesive portfolio/showreel that showcases your professional, artistic, and technical abilities and helps you confidently prepare to apply for roles in the industry.

Adaptability and openness to new technologies are crucial in the dynamic industry of film and games. In Stepping Into Industry, you will employ a PESTLE (political, economic, social, technological, legal, and environmental) analysis to explore current and future trends in the creative sector and identify potential career paths. You are encouraged to reflect on their strengths, values, and adaptability, helping shape your future career choices.

Learn essential marketing concepts and how to shape a personal brand that aligns with your beliefs and values in order to stand out in a global digital market, whether working as a freelancer or at a studio. Acquire an understanding of target markets, customer needs, integrated marketing, handling challenges, and exploring motivations for success. You will also gain insights into managing the diverse, cross-cultural landscape of film and games.


Training and support from film and game industry experts

Study with a professional 2D animator as your guide. These experienced artists have the skills, knowledge, and industry insights to prepare you for a career in 2D animation.

Studios that have hired our graduates

Our commitment to job outcomes and focus on career development has helped our students and graduates find work at studios all over the world.

Frequently asked questions

Questions? We have answers.

Below are the entry requirements for domestic and international applicants:

Australian Citizens & Residents (Domestic Students)

To study our diplomas or degrees, you must be a minimum of 17 years old (please note that applicants may apply prior to turning 17 but must turn 17 during their first trimester of studies at CGSI).

Applicants must satisfy one of the following requirements:

  1. Completion of a Year 12 Australian Senior Secondary Certificate of Education (for example, VCE, QCE, WACE, HSC, SACE, etc.) or equivalent; OR

  2. Completion of a certificate III level qualification, or higher, issued under the Australian Qualifications Framework (AQF); OR 

  3. Completion of a certificate IV level qualification (for example, a TAFE Diploma) issued under the Australian Qualifications Framework (AQF); OR

  4. Completion of a diploma-level qualification issued under the Australian Qualifications Framework (AQF); OR 

  5. Experience-based entry – for applicants who do not meet any of the requirements above (see section below for more information).

International Students

To study our diplomas or degrees, you must be a minimum of 17 years old (please note that applicants may apply prior to turning 17 but will not be able to commence studies until they are 17 years or older). 

Applicants must satisfy one of the following requirements:

  1. Successful completion of secondary school studies (which CGSI recognizes as equivalent to the Australian Year 12 Senior Secondary Certificate of Education); OR 

  2. Completion of a certificate III level qualification, or equivalent; OR 

  3. A certificate IV or higher qualification (for example, a TAFE Diploma), or equivalent; OR

  4. Completion of a diploma-level qualification, or equivalent

English Language Proficiency standards

Applicants for admission to all courses at the Institute are required to demonstrate and meet one of the following minimum English Language Proficiency standards:

EITHER Successful completion of secondary education, or an Australian Qualification Framework (AQF) award at Level 4 or above, in which English was the medium of instruction and assessment, and the final year of study was undertaken during the five (5) years immediately prior to commencement of study with CGSI; 

OR achieving the minimum requirements of an approved English Language test (as per the bullet points below) within two (2) years prior to the commencement of study. The minimum requirements for each respective test are as follows:

  • IELTS Academic (International English Language Testing System): Overall Band Score 6.0 with a minimum sub-score of 5.5 in writing, reading, speaking and listening.
  • TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) Internet-Based Test (iBT): 75 or better overall and no score less than 17.
  • PTE Academic (Pearson Test of English Academic): Overall score of 54 with no sub-score less than 46.

Applicants to any of the CGSI courses must provide documentary evidence that they meet English Language Proficiency requirements.

Domestic applicants whose qualifications were completed in programs where English was not the language of instruction must also meet CGSI’s IELTS (or equivalent) entry requirements specified in the English Language Proficiency Assessment Policy (see bullet points under the next heading below).

Special/alternative entry

Special and/or alternative entry articulation pathway admissions arrangements are being explored with a number of providers for students who meet the entry requirements for CGSI’s courses. These arrangements cover a pathway from AQF level 5 diploma qualifications.

Click HERE for all CGSI Policies and Procedures.

CG Spectrum Institute is registered with the Tertiary Education Quality and Standards Agency (TEQSA).

All CGSI degrees and diplomas are accredited, providing students with credible and recognized qualifications.

About TEQSA:

TEQSA stands for the Tertiary Education Quality and Standards Agency. It is an independent regulatory body in Australia responsible for assuring the quality and standards of higher education institutions. 

TEQSA-accredited qualifications are widely recognized, allowing students to pursue further studies or employment opportunities around the world.


Your studies will require you to download and get acquainted with a variety of software. 

Core Subjects:

2D Animation Major:

We recommend a minimum of 32GB RAM. See below for more info on hardware specifications.

Core Subjects:

2D Animation Major:

Please note: As the software we use is regularly updated, please check the specs against the latest available version at the time of enrollment.

CG Spectrum Institute ensures that individuals can access high-quality education and professional development without significant financial barriers, empowering them to achieve their goals and excel in their chosen fields.

Australian Students:

All higher education AQF Award Courses offered at CGSI are supported by the Australian Government’s FEE-HELP program.

Domestic students who meet specific eligibility criteria can access FEE-HELP, which allows them to borrow money for all or part of their tuition fees and repay the loan through the tax system once their income reaches a certain threshold.

For more information, please head to the Financial Aid on our website.

International students:

There is a range of financing options suited to your situation and country. Please contact our friendly admissions team for more information on how we can support your learning journey.

On completion of the Bachelor of Digital Art (2D Animation Major), you will have greater confidence in your abilities and a portfolio to show employers. 

You will also have personalized career services with our Career Development Manager, which can help when applying for junior concept art jobs such as:

Discover more about these jobs, tips, and salary expectations on our careers page:

While our past CGS students have a high job success rate, we cannot offer guaranteed employment as the film and game industry is competitive, and there is no way of knowing what the market will demand.

The students who experience the greatest success are those who take responsibility for their career, put in the hard work to get their skills and portfolio up to industry standard, leverage their mentor's invaluable expertise and the networking opportunities provided through the CG Spectrum community, and take advantage of every opportunity to excel.

To help students find employment, we have a range of career services and a dedicated Career Development Manager who regularly hosts exclusive career-focused webinars, Q&As, artist interviews, and workshops for students and alumns and is available to answer career-related questions.

Degree students receive additional 1-on-1 career support, CV/portfolio reviews, and help with application/interview preparation. 

If you have any questions about our career services as they relate to your personal career goals, please don't hesitate to get in touch

Ready to take the next step toward your future? Head to our application page to get started. Whether you're looking to learn something new, build on your existing skillset, or nurture your creative side, begin your application today to start your creative journey with us!