Computer Animation and Visual Effects BSc (Hons)
BSc Hons Computer Animation and Visual Effects
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.
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 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 games jams 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.
What you'll study
Each unit on this course is worth a certain number of credits.
In each year, you need to study units worth a total of 120 credits. For example, 4 units worth 20 credits and 1 unit worth 40 credits.
Core units in this year include:
- Foundation in 3D Modelling
- Foundations in Graphics
- Skills and Principles for Animation
- Tools for Animation
- Visual Communication
There are no optional units in this year.
Core units in this year include:
- CGI Lighting and Look Development
- Project Initiation and Career Management
Optional units in this year currently include:
- Computer-generated imagery (CGI)
- Previsualisation and Motion Capture
- Sculpting and Rigging for Film
- Visual effects (VFX)
- Matchmoving for VFX
- Image Preparation for VFX
Further options to choose this year currently include:
- Animation Programming and Scripting
- Commercial Asset Production for Real Time
- Design and Visual Research for Cinema and Game
- Designing for Animation
- Designing Interactive Content
- Visualisation and User Interaction
- Professional Experience
- 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 units in this year include:
- Creative Media
- Creative Professional Development
- Final Year Project
Options to choose from in this year currently include:
- Advanced Graphics Techniques
- Advanced Visual Effects and Environments
- Animation and Setup for Computer Animation
- Applications of Virtual Reality
- Interdisciplinary Group Project
- 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 units may not run every year. If a unit doesn’t run, we’ll let you know as soon as possible and help you choose an alternative unit.
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.
As well as support by faculty teaching 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
- working in groups
- revision, memory and exam techniques
If you have a mental or physical disability, the Additional Support and Disability Centre (ASDAC) can give you help, support and advice so you can reach your potential.
Teaching methods on this course include:
- digital lab sessions
- one-on-one tutorials
How you'll spend your time
Each academic year is divided into 2 teaching blocks and 2 assessment periods:
- September to December – teaching block 1
- January – assessment period 1
- January to mid-May – teaching block 2 (includes Easter break)
- Mid-May to early June – assessment period 2
Most 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.
How you're assessed
You’ll be assessed through:
- practical projects
- work portfolios
- academic and evaluative essays
- multiple choice tests
- oral presentations
- 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.
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.
Our accommodation section shows your accommodation options and highlights how much it costs to live in Portsmouth.
You’ll study up to 6 units a year. You may have to read several recommended books or textbooks for each unit.
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 £50–£100 a year on drawing and modelling materials, CDs and DVDs.
If you take the Student Enterprise Unit, you’ll need to pay an additional cost of approximately £20.
You may need to contribute up to £20 towards occasional coach trips.
To start in 2019 you need to 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.
Not quite ready to apply?
Come 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.
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.
- Subject area
- Computer games and animation