Computer Animation and Visual Effects BSc (Hons)

computer animation and visual effects demo
UCAS Code
II15
Mode of Study
Full-time, Full-time sandwich with work placement
Duration
3 years full-time, 4 years sandwich with work placement
Start Date
September 2019, September 2020
Accredited
Yes

Apply through Clearing

To start this course in 2019 call us on +44 (0)23 9284 8090 or go to our Clearing section to chat with us online.

Entry requirements for this course may be more flexible during Clearing.

Our Clearing hotline is open until 7.00pm on Friday 16 August, 9.00am–3.00pm on Saturday 17 August and 8.30am–5.15pm from Monday 19 August.

Overview

Ready to make your mark on the computer animation and visual effects industry and get stuck into a career packed with creative potential?

On this professionally accredited BSc (Hons) Computer Animation and Visual Effects degree course, you'll use our fantastic animation and VFX facilities to unleash your ideas. You’ll build a portfolio of work to showcase your abilities and learn how to get it in front of potential employers.

The course sets you up for an exciting career in areas such as 3D animation, visual effects (VFX) for film and TV, and the computer games industry.

Accredited by

This course is professionally accredited by JAMES (Joint Audio Media Education Support).

JAMES is a group of industry professionals and employers. The JAMES accreditation lets potential employers know that this course gives you the relevant skills and abilities you need to work in the industry when you graduate. JAMES reviews our accreditation every 3 years to make sure the course content remains up-to-date with industry trends and developments. So you’ll always be learning the most relevant skills.

We also work with VFX studios, game developers and professional bodies such as TIGA to make sure the course stays up-to-date with industry trends.

94.7% Graduates in work or further study (DLHE, 2017)

100% Overall student satisfaction (NSS, 2018)

What you'll experience

On this Computer Animation and Visual Effects degree course you’ll:

  • Learn from professionals who are currently working in the animation and visual effects (VFX) industry
  • Build your skills in key areas such as concept drawing, 3D animation, physics-based simulation and compositing
  • Get your hands on professional software that’s used in the industry, including NUKEX, Maya, 3DS Max, ZBrush, Houdini, Katana and Mari
  • Put our motion capture facilities to use and learn in our virtual reality lab
  • Get the chance to be involved with the University’s computer-generated imagery (CGI) film, Stina and the Wolf
  • Develop games and get involved in the annual Game Jam Portsmouth with fellow students
  • Make the most of our industry links, including guest speakers, work placements and sponsored prizes for your final year project
  • Tailor your studies to match your interests and ambitions

Careers and opportunities

This course mirrors many industrial processes and creative practices, setting you up for some of the most exciting jobs in today’s media industries.

Potential employers include computer animation and visual effects companies for film and TV, computer games and visualisation industries.

University has provided me with so many opportunities to grow as an individual and as an artist, in particular the self-employed placement year I took with a group of other students where we created our own video game. We showcased our game at some of the biggest gaming conventions in the UK, including Insomnia and EGX.

Lucy Earp, Alumna – BSc (Hons) Computer Animation and Visual Effects

What you'll study on this BSc (Hons) Computer Animation and Visual Effects degree

Each module on this course is worth a certain number of credits.

In each year, you need to study modules worth a total of 120 credits. For example, 4 modules worth 20 credits and 1 module worth 40 credits.

Modules currently being studied

Core modules in this year include:

  • Foundation in 3D Modelling
  • Foundations in Graphics
  • Skills and Principles for Animation
  • Tools for Animation
  • Visual Communication
  • EPortfolio

There are no optional modules in this year.

Core modules in this year include:

  • CGI Lighting and Look Development
  • Project Initiation and Career Management

Optional modules in this year currently include:

  • Animation Programming And Scripting
  • Commercial Asset Production For Real Time
  • Creative Technologies Study Exchange
  • Design And Visual Research For Cinema And Game
  • Designing For Animation
  • Engaged Citizenship Through Interdisciplinary Practice
  • Image Preparation For Vfx
  • Introduction To Visual Effects
  • Matchmoving For Vfx
  • Previsualisation And Motion Capture
  • Professional Experience
  • Sculpting And Rigging For Film
  • Student Enterprise

On this course, you can do an optional work placement year between your 2nd and 3rd years to get valuable experience working in industry.

We’ll help you secure a work placement that fits your situation and ambitions. You’ll get mentoring and support throughout the year.

Core modules in this year include:

  • Creative Media
  • Creative Professional Development
  • Final Year Project

Options to choose from in this year currently include:

  • Advanced Compositing for VFX
  • Advanced Creature FX and Rigging
  • Advanced Visual Effects and Environments
  • Animation and Setup for Computer Animation
  • Applications of Virtual Reality
  • Motion Capture Applications
  • Real-Time Interactive Group Project

We use the best and most current research and professional practice alongside feedback from our students to make sure course content is relevant to your future career or further studies.

Therefore, some course content may change over time to reflect changes in the discipline or industry and some optional modules may not run every year. If a module doesn’t run, we’ll let you know as soon as possible and help you choose an alternative module.

How you're assessed

You’ll be assessed through:

  • practical projects
  • work portfolios
  • academic and evaluative essays
  • multiple choice tests
  • oral presentations
  • examinations
  • case studies

You’ll be able to test your skills and knowledge informally before you do assessments that count towards your final mark.

You can get feedback on all practice and formal assessments so you can improve in the future.

Placement year

After your second year, you can do an optional work placement year to get valuable longer-term work experience in the computer games and VFX industry.

We’ve got loads of links with the industry. Previous students have taken a placement year in companies such as:

  • Industrial Light and Magic, across all disciplines
  • Framestore, across all disciplines
  • Moving Picture Company (MPC) in compositing, rigging, texturing, modelling

We’ll help you secure a work placement that fits your aspirations. You’ll get mentoring and support throughout the year.

Work experience and career planning

To give you the best chance of securing a great job with your freshly developed skills, our Careers and Employability service can help you find relevant work experience during your course.

We can help you identify placements, internships, voluntary roles and freelancing opportunities that will complement your studies.

Teaching

Teaching methods on this course include:

  • lectures
  • digital lab sessions
  • e-learning
  • projects
  • seminars
  • one-on-one tutorials

You can access all teaching resources on Moodle, our virtual learning environment, from anywhere with a Web connection.

How you'll spend your time

One of the main differences between school or college and university is how much control you have over your learning.

At university, as well as spending time in timetabled teaching activities such as lectures, seminars and tutorials, you’ll do lots of independent study with support from our staff when you need it.

A typical week

We recommend you spend at least 35 hours a week studying for your Computer Animation and Visual Effects degree. In your first year, you’ll be in timetabled teaching activities such as lectures, seminars, practical classes, workshops and supervised studio sessions for about 12 hours a week. The rest of the time you’ll do independent study such as research, reading, coursework and project work, alone or in a group with others from your course. You'll probably do more independent study and have less scheduled teaching in years 2 and 3, but this depends on which modules you choose.

Most timetabled teaching takes place during the day, Monday to Friday. You may occasionally need to go to University and course events in the evenings and at weekends. There’s usually no teaching on Wednesday afternoons.

Term times

The academic year runs from September to early June with breaks at Christmas and Easter. It's divided into 2 teaching blocks and 2 assessment periods:

  • September to December – teaching block 1
  • January – assessment period 1
  • January to May – teaching block 2 (includes Easter break)
  • May to June – assessment period 2

Extra learning support

The amount of timetabled teaching you'll get on your degree might be less than what you're used to at school or college, but you'll also get face-to-face support from teaching and support staff when you need it. These include the following people and services:

Personal tutor

Your personal tutor helps you make the transition to independent study and gives you academic and personal support throughout your time at university.

You’ll have regular contact with your personal tutor in learning activities or scheduled meetings. You can also make an appointment with them if you need extra support.

Student support advisor

In addition to the support you get from your personal tutor, you’ll also have access to a Faculty student support advisor. They can give you confidential, impartial advice on anything to do with your studies and personal wellbeing and refer you to specialist support services.

Academic skills tutors

You'll have help from a team of faculty academic skills tutors. They can help you improve and develop your academic skills and support you in any area of your study.

They can help with:

  • improving your academic writing (for example, essays, reports, dissertations)
  • delivering presentations (including observing and filming presentations)
  • understanding and using assignment feedback
  • managing your time and workload
  • revision and exam techniques

Creative skills tutors

If you need support with software and equipment or you want to learn additional skills (including skills not covered on your course), our creative skills tutors provide free workshops, activities and one-on-one tutorials. Skills you can learn include life drawing, film camera operation and video production.

IT and computing support

Computing support staff are always available to give technical support in the Faculty's computer suites during normal working hours. There's also some support available from 5pm to midnight at busy times of the year.

Academic skills support

As well as support from faculty staff and your personal tutor, you can use the University’s Academic Skills Unit (ASK).

ASK provides one-to-one support in areas such as:

  • academic writing
  • note taking
  • time management
  • critical thinking
  • presentation skills
  • referencing
  • working in groups
  • revision, memory and exam techniques

If you have a disability or need extra support, the Additional Support and Disability Centre (ASDAC) will give you help, support and advice.

Library support

Library staff are available in person or by email, phone or online chat to help you make the most of the University’s library resources. You can also request one-to-one appointments and get support from a librarian who specialises in your subject area.

The library is open 24 hours a day, every day, in term time.

Support with English

If English isn't your first language, you can do one of our English language courses to improve your written and spoken English language skills before starting your degree. Once you're here, you can take part in our free English for Academic Purposes programme to improve your English further.

Entry requirements​

Entry requirements for this course may be more flexible during Clearing.

BSc (Hons) Computer Animation and Visual Effects degree entry requirements

Qualifications or experience
  • 112 points to include a minimum of 2 A levels, or equivalent.

See the other qualifications we accept

English language requirements
  • English language proficiency at a minimum of IELTS band 6.0 with no component score below 5.5.

See alternative English language qualifications

Qualifications or experience
  • 112 points to include a minimum of 2 A levels, or equivalent.

See the other qualifications we accept

English language requirements
  • English language proficiency at a minimum of IELTS band 6.0 with no component score below 5.5.

See alternative English language qualifications

​Course costs

Tuition fees (2019 start)

  • UK/EU/Channel Islands and Isle of Man students – £9,250 per year (may be subject to annual increase)
  • International students – £14,700 per year (subject to annual increase)

Additional course costs

These course-related costs aren’t included in the tuition fees. So you’ll need to budget for them when you plan your spending.

Additional costs

Our accommodation section shows your accommodation options and highlights how much it costs to live in Portsmouth.

You’ll study up to 6 modules a year. You may have to read several recommended books or textbooks for each module.

You can borrow most of these from the Library. If you buy these, they may cost up to £60 each.

We recommend that you budget £75 a year for photocopying, memory sticks, DVDs and CDs, printing charges, binding and specialist printing.

If your final year includes a major project, there could be cost for transport or accommodation related to your research activities. The amount will depend on the project you choose.

You may need to spend £20 - £75 per annum on drawing and modelling materials, printing, memory sticks or CDs, and DVDs. (Depending upon option modules selected).

If you take the Student Enterprise Module, you’ll need to pay an additional cost of approximately £20.

You may need to contribute up to £20 towards occasional coach trips.

Apply

How to apply

To start this course in 2019, call our Clearing hotline on +44 (0)23 9284 8090 or go to our Clearing section to chat with us online.

To start in 2020 you need to apply through UCAS. You can start your application now and submit it from 4 September 2019.

In the meantime, sign up to an Open Day to explore our course facilities, tour the campus and have a look around our halls of residence.

If you’re new to the application process, read our guide on applying for an undergraduate course.

When you apply, you'll need:

  • the UCAS course code – II15
  • our institution code – P80

How to apply from outside the UK

If you're from outside of the UK, you can apply for this course through UCAS (see the 'How to apply' section above for details). You can also apply directly to us or you can get an agent to help with your application. Check your country page for details of agents in your region.

To find out what to include in your application, head to the how to apply page of our international students section. 

Admissions terms and conditions

When you accept an offer to study at the University of Portsmouth, you also agree to our terms and conditions as well as the University’s policies, rules and regulations. You should read and consider these before you apply.

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