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

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)

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.

Year 1

Core modules

What you'll learn

When you complete this module successfully, you'll be able to:

  • Demonstrate an understanding of laws, professional codes of conduct and moral philosophical positions that relate to computing and digital media professionals
  • Assess professional, legal, and ethical issues related to current computing and digital media technologies
  • Identify and demonstrate your skills, interests and motivations in the context of career decision making
  • Explore your career options and identify the specific skills and qualities you need in different fields of creative technology industries
  • Identify and research different sources of vacancy information and the recruitment methods that employers, as well as opportunity and course providers, use
  • Evaluate how your skills, personal priorities, and other constraints, can affect your career decisions
  • Identify and select the contents of an effective online portfolio, using appropriate technology
Teaching activities

On this module you'll attend lectures.

Independent study time

We recommend you spend at least 152 hours studying independently. This is around 4.5 hours a week over the duration of the module.

Assessment

On this module, you'll be assessed through a portfolio (100% of final mark).

What you'll do

You'll go to theory-based lectures and do practical experimentation during supervised workshops.

What you'll learn

When you complete this module successfully, you'll be able to:

  • Apply appropriate modelling and animation methods to specific cases
  • Evaluate the underlying principles of traditional 3D modelling
Teaching activities

On this module you'll attend lectures and workshops.

Independent study time

We recommend you spend at least 164 hours studying independently. This is around 10 hours a week over the duration of the module.

Assessment

On this module, you'll be assessed through:

  • a 90-minute exam (30% of final mark)
  • a coursework assessment (70% of final mark)

 

What you'll do

You'll improve your skill in planning and organisation, image creation and composition, using an appropriate range of practical and graphical techniques.

What you'll learn

When you complete this module successfully, you'll be able to:

  • Create and manipulate still and moving images using various image creation and editing software techniques
  • Sequence and edit digital video footage using appropriate cuts, transitions and effects
  • Select and apply the graphics skills you've learnt to a small project
Teaching activities

On this module you'll attend lectures and practical classes.

Independent study time

We recommend you spend at least 164 hours studying independently. This is around 10 hours a week over the duration of the module.

Assessment

On this module, you'll be assessed through coursework (100% of final mark).

What you'll do

You'll focus on areas specific to computer animation, such as weight and timing, and central concepts such as emotion.

What you'll learn

When you complete this module successfully, you'll be able to:

  • Use basic animation skills
  • Demonstrate the basic principles of animation and use a selection of animation and software skills
  • Co-ordinate files used in different applications
  • Demonstrate media and file management processes
  • Apply your understanding of the principles of animation in an original animation
Teaching activities
  • 24 x 2-hour practical classes
Independent study time

We recommend you spend at least 152 hours studying independently. This is around 4.5 hours a week over the duration of the module.

Assessment

On this module, you'll be assessed through:

  • 2 x coursework (each worth 50% of final mark)

What you'll learn

You'll learn underpinning mathematical concepts and explore advanced programming techniques for production of computer animations.

When you complete this module successfully, you'll be able to:

  • Demonstrate understanding of technical programming terminology in appropriate high-level programming environments
  • Use an integrated software development environment to implement simple examples of computer animation assets
  • Select programming constructs appropriately, to enable effective implementation of simple examples of computer animation algorithms and relate to potential computer animation pipelines
  • Identify syntactic and semantic errors in high-level computer programs
Teaching activities

On this module you'll attend lectures and practical classes.

Independent study time

We recommend you spend at least 130 hours studying independently. This is around 4 hours a week over the duration of the module.

Assessment

On this module, you'll be assessed through:

  • a 90-minute practical exercise (40% of final mark)
  • a portfolio (60% of final mark)

Year 2

Core modules

What you'll do

You'll do this by engaging in interdisciplinary work, developing an appreciation of other creative disciplines and understanding how professionals collaborate.

What you'll learn

When you complete this module successfully, you'll be able to:

  • Demonstrate independent, analytical and creative attributes
  • Demonstrate the ability to be an effective team player, able to provide leadership and to support the success of others
  • Communicate clearly and effectively using various methods and to different audiences
Teaching activities

On this module you'll work independently and in groups with regular tutorial support, and also attend some briefings and lectures.

Independent study time

We recommend you spend at least 176 hours studying independently. This is around 10.5 hours a week over the duration of the module.

Assessment

On this module, you'll be assessed through:

  • a group presentation (40% of final mark)
  • an individual portfolio (40% of final mark)
  • a 1,000-word report (20% of final mark)

What you'll learn

When you complete this module successfully, you'll be able to:

  • Demonstrate an understanding of the nature, uses and limitations of various research methods appropriate to your studies
  • Identify and evaluate appropriate research methods for a specified piece of independent study
  • Prepare a project initiation/proposal document on a specified topic that covers deliverables, scope, feasibility, risk analysis, resource requirements, planning schedule and any foreseeable legal/ethical/health and safety issues
  • Write a preliminary review of literature on a specified topic in accordance with the principles of good scholarship
  • Investigate and identify the qualifications, skillset, entry points and career opportunities in relation to a specific career
  • Identify your strengths, weaknesses and preferences in relation to a specific career 
Teaching activities

On this module you'll attend lectures and tutorials.

Independent study time

We recommend you spend at least 162 hours studying independently. This is around 10 hours a week over the duration of the module.

Assessment

On this module, you'll be assessed through:

  • a 1-hour exam (25% of final mark)
  • a 3,000-word portfolio (75% of final mark)

Optional modules

You'll take this optional module as part of the second year of your course.

What you'll learn

When you complete this module successfully, you'll be able to:

 

  • Manage and complete tasks in an overseas study environment relevant to your course, with an appropriate level of skill, independence and performance
  • Reflect on your personal development and how your employability prospects have been enhanced by the exchange
Teaching activities

N/A

Independent study time

N/A

Assessment

On this module, you'll be assessed through a 2,000-word report (100% of final mark).

What you’ll learn

When you complete this module successfully, you'll be able to:

  • Work independently with less need for supervision and direction
  • Communicate a detailed knowledge of the contexts of business and industry-specific practices relevant to your chosen field
  • Demonstrate awareness of ideas, contexts and frameworks within self-employment, freelancing or business start-ups
  • Develop professional working relationships within industry/business disciplines
  • Proactively evaluate your strengths and weaknesses, and develop your own criteria and judgement relating to your business practice, future learning and future employability goals
Teaching activities

N/A

Independent study time

N/A

Assessment

On this module, you'll be assessed through a portfolio (100% of final mark).

What you’ll learn

When you complete this module successfully, you'll be able to:

  • Work independently with less need for supervision and direction
  • Communicate a detailed knowledge of the contexts of business and industry-specific practices relevant to your chosen field
  • Demonstrate awareness of ideas, contexts and frameworks within your chosen area of employment
  • Develop professional working relationships within industry/business disciplines
  • Proactively evaluate your strengths and weaknesses, and develop your own criteria and judgement relating to your business practice, future learning and future employability goals
Teaching activities

N/A

Independent study time

N/A

Assessment

On this module, you'll be assessed through a portfolio (100% of final mark).

What you'll learn

When you complete this module successfully, you'll be able to:

  • Research, design and develop a character and environment for use in real-time based on an industry-standard specification
  • Demonstrate the ability to develop character and environment model reference sheets and mood boards
  • Produce a 3D computer animation, presenting the character and environment using commercially appropriate real-time techniques based on an industry-appropriate specification
Teaching activities

On this module you'll attend lectures and practical classes.

Independent study time

We recommend you spend at least 154 hours studying independently. This is around 4.5 hours a week over the duration of the module.

Assessment

On this module, you'll be assessed through coursework (100% of final mark).

What you'll learn

When you complete this module successfully, you'll be able to:

  • Apply drawing to record structure, texture, shape, proportion of animal forms
  • Understand the relationship between visual research methodologies and the design process
  • Implement industry-relevant work at a threshold-industry level
  • Operate successfully in an industry production environment
Teaching activities

On this module you'll attend practical classes.

Independent study time

We recommend you spend at least 152 hours studying independently. This is around 4.5 hours a week over the duration of the module

Assessment

On this module, you'll be assessed through:

On this module, you'll be assessed through:

  • a portfolio (50% of final mark)
  • coursework (50% of final mark)

What you'll learn

When you complete this module successfully, you'll be able to:

  • Apply and assess ideas relevant to a design brief
  • Articulate an idea or narrative visually
  • Apply computer-based visualisation to develop skills in composition, organisation, observation and interpretation
  • Apply the software skills necessary to produce a computer animation
Teaching activities

On this module you'll attend practical classes.

Independent study time

We recommend you spend at least 152 hours studying independently. This is around 4.5 hours a week over the duration of the module.

Assessment

On this module, you'll be assessed through:

  • a portfolio (100% of final mark)

What you'll learn

When you complete this module successfully, you'll be able to:

  • Demonstrate entry-level skills in rotoscoping, paint, wire/rig removal and restoration for visual effects
  • Judge which techniques to use to get a satisfactory high-quality result using the least amount of time and resources, and know when to use 2D or 2.5 techniques in situations that merit it
  • Articulate, analyse and reflect upon your work using technical terms used in the VFX industry
Teaching activities

On this module you'll attend practical classes and workshops.

Independent study time

We recommend you spend at least 160 hours studying independently. This is around 10 hours a week over the duration of the module.

Assessment

On this module, you'll be assessed through:

  • a 30-minute presentation (30% of final mark)
  • a portfolio (70% of final mark)

What you'll do

You'll gain an appreciation of working practice and learn how to analyse appropriate use of simulations and effects.

What you'll learn

When you complete this module successfully, you'll be able to:

  • Demonstrate practical solutions to real problems using appropriate visual effect techniques
  • Apply different kinds of physics simulations and procedural-based effects
  • Analyse and reflect upon a library of reference works and observations, articulating how their research has informed and progressed the development of flexible pipelines and software interoperability
Teaching activities

On this module you'll attend practical classes.

Independent study time

We recommend you spend at least 152 hours studying independently. This is around 4.5 hours a week over the duration of the module.

Assessment

On this module, you'll be assessed through a portfolio (100% of final mark).

What you'll learn

When you complete this module successfully, you'll be able to:

  • Extract motion data professionally across various film/digital image sequences
  • Generate successful renders of test geometry that conform to motion within a shot
  • Articulate, analyse and reflect on your work using technical terms used in the VFX industry
  • Design, plan and execute a VFX shoot that successfully captures all the required data to reconstruct a live action image sequence in a 3D virtual environment
  • Demonstrate proficiency using industry-standard 3D tracking software
Teaching activities

On this module you'll attend lectures, practical classes and workshops, and supervised time in the studio/workshop.

Independent study time

We recommend you spend at least 162 hours studying independently. This is around 5 hours a week over the duration of the module.

Assessment

On this module, you'll be assessed through:

  • coursework (60% of final mark)
  • a 15-minute presentation (40% of final mark)

What you'll do

You'll cover planning, producing and delivering concise materials, addressing the specific creative needs of a studio client using the CCI Motion Capture Suite, and industry-standard software.

What you'll learn

When you complete this module successfully, you'll be able to:

  • Apply the fundamentals of staging and cinematography to successfully convey the visual requirements that support story in film
  • Quickly create assets that meet professional pre-visualisation standards and solve creative issues efficiently in industry-standard software
  • Appraise the theoretical and practical aspects of virtual production technology to improve the previs production process
  • Demonstrate understanding of the technical aspects of breaking down a script into a practical and functional previs
  • Apply the professional tools and techniques involved in a virtual production
Teaching activities

On this module you'll attend lectures and practical classes.

Independent study time

We recommend you spend at least 158 hours studying independently. This is around 9.5 hours a week over the duration of the module.

Assessment

On this module, you'll be assessed through:

  • a 1,500-word report (20% of final mark)
  • a 10-minute presentation (20% of final mark)
  • a portfolio (60% of final mark)

What you'll learn

When you complete this module successfully, you'll be able to:

  • Identify future career goals and reflect on these to develop a personal development plan (programme of learning), which includes suitable work experience and skills/knowledge development opportunities
  • Arrange suitable work experience, engage with personal development opportunities and analyse relevant literature relating to enhancing your employment opportunities
  • Critically evaluate and articulate your learning (knowledge, skills and attributes) in relation to your future career goals
Teaching activities

On this module you'll take part in work-based learning and attend lectures.

Independent study time

We recommend you spend at least 188 hours doing work-based learning or studying independently. This is around 11 hours a week over the duration of the module.

Assessment

On this module, you'll be assessed through:

  • a 1,000-word report (20% of final mark)
  • a 3,000-word report (80% of final mark)

What you'll do

You'll also have an opportunity to develop an understanding of how to run a computer animation project.

What you'll learn

When you complete this module successfully, you'll be able to:

  • Demonstrate a fundamental understanding of character modelling, with an emphasis on topology in relation to the animation requirements
  • Model complex organic characters with attention to shape and form using industry-standard 3D sculpting packages
  • Create varied character rigs that meet the artistic and technical requirements of a project
  • Explain the steps and procedures involved in building models and rigs within the context of professional studio pipeline
  • Develop custom techniques and procedures to meet the creative needs of a client whilst maintaining technical integrity
Teaching activities

On this module you'll attend a lecture and practical classes.

Independent study time

We recommend you spend at least 166 hours studying independently. This is around 5 hours a week over the duration of the module.

Assessment

On this module, you'll be assessed through 3 x practical exercises.

You'll form a small group (typically with 4 other students) and work through areas such as designing, manufacturing and pitching ideas. The knowledge and skill you will get through this module will help you to run your own business, but are also transferable skills you can use in many other careers.

What you'll learn

When you complete this module successfully, you'll be able to:

  • Critically reflect on your effectiveness at tasks that use employability skills such as project planning, communication, time management, leadership and teamwork
  • Evaluate the theory and complete the practice of establishing and running a business enterprise
  • Understand the systems commonly used to plan, record and monitor business decisions and company transactions
  • Critically reflect on the factors that contribute towards the success or failure of business start ups
Teaching activities

On this module you'll attend lectures.

Independent study time

We recommend you spend at least 176 hours studying independently (including group work). This is around 10.5 hours a week over the duration of the module.

Assessment

On this module, you'll be assessed through: 

  • a 2,000 word report (50% of your final mark)
  • an oral assessment and presentation (50% of your final mark)

Year 3

Core modules

What you'll learn

When you complete this module successfully, you'll be able to:

  • Demonstrate an understanding of laws, professional codes of conduct and moral philosophical positions that relate to computing and digital media professionals
  • Assess professional, legal, and ethical issues related to current computing and digital media technologies
  • Identify and demonstrate your skills, interests and motivations in the context of career decision making
  • Explore your career options and identify the specific skills and qualities you need in different fields of creative technology industries
  • Identify and research different sources of vacancy information and the recruitment methods that employers, as well as opportunity and course providers, use
  • Evaluate how your skills, personal priorities, and other constraints, can affect your career decisions
  • Identify and select the contents of an effective online portfolio, using appropriate technology
Teaching activities

On this module you'll attend lectures.

Independent study time

We recommend you spend at least 152 hours studying independently. This is around 4.5 hours a week over the duration of the module.

Assessment

On this module, you'll be assessed through a portfolio (100% of final mark).

What you'll do

You'll go to theory-based lectures and do practical experimentation during supervised workshops.

What you'll learn

When you complete this module successfully, you'll be able to:

  • Apply appropriate modelling and animation methods to specific cases
  • Evaluate the underlying principles of traditional 3D modelling
Teaching activities

On this module you'll attend lectures and workshops.

Independent study time

We recommend you spend at least 164 hours studying independently. This is around 10 hours a week over the duration of the module.

Assessment

On this module, you'll be assessed through:

  • a 90-minute exam (30% of final mark)
  • a coursework assessment (70% of final mark)

 

What you'll do

You'll improve your skill in planning and organisation, image creation and composition, using an appropriate range of practical and graphical techniques.

What you'll learn

When you complete this module successfully, you'll be able to:

  • Create and manipulate still and moving images using various image creation and editing software techniques
  • Sequence and edit digital video footage using appropriate cuts, transitions and effects
  • Select and apply the graphics skills you've learnt to a small project
Teaching activities

On this module you'll attend lectures and practical classes.

Independent study time

We recommend you spend at least 164 hours studying independently. This is around 10 hours a week over the duration of the module.

Assessment

On this module, you'll be assessed through coursework (100% of final mark).

What you'll do

You'll focus on areas specific to computer animation, such as weight and timing, and central concepts such as emotion.

What you'll learn

When you complete this module successfully, you'll be able to:

  • Use basic animation skills
  • Demonstrate the basic principles of animation and use a selection of animation and software skills
  • Co-ordinate files used in different applications
  • Demonstrate media and file management processes
  • Apply your understanding of the principles of animation in an original animation
Teaching activities
  • 24 x 2-hour practical classes
Independent study time

We recommend you spend at least 152 hours studying independently. This is around 4.5 hours a week over the duration of the module.

Assessment

On this module, you'll be assessed through:

  • 2 x coursework (each worth 50% of final mark)

What you'll learn

You'll learn underpinning mathematical concepts and explore advanced programming techniques for production of computer animations.

When you complete this module successfully, you'll be able to:

  • Demonstrate understanding of technical programming terminology in appropriate high-level programming environments
  • Use an integrated software development environment to implement simple examples of computer animation assets
  • Select programming constructs appropriately, to enable effective implementation of simple examples of computer animation algorithms and relate to potential computer animation pipelines
  • Identify syntactic and semantic errors in high-level computer programs
Teaching activities

On this module you'll attend lectures and practical classes.

Independent study time

We recommend you spend at least 130 hours studying independently. This is around 4 hours a week over the duration of the module.

Assessment

On this module, you'll be assessed through:

  • a 90-minute practical exercise (40% of final mark)
  • a portfolio (60% of final mark)

Optional modules

What you'll learn

When you complete this module successfully, you'll be able to:

  • Layer and combine composited elements into a cohesive whole
  • Create seemingly photo-realistic or seamless images using a variety of VFX industry methodologies
  • Articulate, analyse and reflect on your work using VFX industry technical terms
Teaching activities

On this module you'll attend tutorials and practical classes.

Independent study time

We recommend you spend at least 164 hours studying independently. This is around 13.5 hours a week over the duration of the module.

Assessment

On this module, you'll be assessed through:

  • a 30-minute oral assessment and presentation (30% of final mark)
  • a portfolio (70% of final mark)

What you'll learn

When you complete this module successfully, you'll be able to:

  • Construct a series of varied rigs including characters, vehicle, cloth and prop set-ups that meet professional standards and solve creative issues efficiently
  • Confidently and successfully collaborate as a team member with other disciplines such as modelling and animation
  • Design various procedures using industry-standard software to replicate effects such as muscles, skin and rigid bodies
  • Explain the fundamentals of functional anatomy (joints, bones, skeletons) through an analytical exploration of the inner mechanics of articulated forms
  • Critically evaluate rigging systems and processes, and articulate, analyse and reflect upon your work using technical terms from the VFX industry
Teaching activities

On this module you'll attend a lecture and practical classes.

Independent study time

We recommend you spend at least 166 hours studying independently. This is around 10 hours a week over the duration of the module.

Assessment

On this module, you'll be assessed through:

  • coursework (80% of final mark)
  • a 10-minute oral presentation (20% of final mark)

What you'll do

The tasks you'll cover relate to the role of an effects animator or effects technical director in the VFX industry.

What you'll learn

When you complete this module successfully, you'll be able to:

  • Demonstrate practical solutions to real problems using appropriate visual effect techniques
  • Apply different types of physics simulations, and procedural dynamic effects
  • Analyse and reflect on a library of reference works and observations, articulating how their research has informed and progressed the development of flexible pipelines and software interoperability
Teaching activities

On this module you'll attend tutorials and workshops.

Independent study time

We recommend you spend at least 167 hours studying independently. This is around 10 hours a week over the duration of the module.

Assessment

On this module, you'll be assessed through a portfolio (70% of final mark).

You'll explore this through the use of the CCI Motion Capture Suite and industry-standard software.

What you'll learn

When you complete this module successfully, you'll be able to:

  • Appraise theoretical and practical aspects of performance capture technology to understand the character animation production process
  • Demonstrate an understanding of the technical aspects of 3D character animation and performance capture technology
  • Demonstrate the ability to apply the appropriate judgement and techniques needed to ensure that the fidelity of an actor's performance is preserved, from capture to data delivery as effectively as possible
Teaching activities

On this module you'll attend a combination of workshops and practical classes.

Independent study time

We recommend you spend at least 152 hours studying independently. This is around 4.5 hours a week over the duration of the module.

Assessment

On this module, you'll be assessed through coursework (100% of final mark).

What you'll learn

When you complete this module successfully, you'll be able to:

  • Critically assess the trade offs made to optimise the performance of your product, and the specialised techniques and software you use to achieve them
  • Design, develop and critically assess a real-time interactive digital media project
  • Design, develop, analyse and evaluate a user interface or the application of sound (and/or music) in the context of a real-time interactive digital media project
  • Analyse, develop, evaluate and critically reflect upon your personal development throughout the project
  • Develop and analyse an awareness and understanding of team dynamics, including the practical application of project management and production methods
Teaching activities

On this module you'll attend lectures and project supervision.

Independent study time

We recommend you spend at least 380 hours studying independently (by yourself or in your group). This is around 11.5 hours a week over the duration of the module.

Assessment

On this module, you'll be assessed through:

  • a 3,000-word report (40% of final mark)
  • 2 x group coursework exercises (60% of final mark)

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​

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 this course in 2020, apply through UCAS. You’ll need:

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

You can start your application now and submit it later if you want.

You can also sign up to an Open Day to:

  • tour our campus, facilities and halls of residence
  • speak with lecturers and chat with our students 
  • get information about where to live, how to fund your studies and which clubs and societies to join

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

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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