Student wearing VR headset using motion capture sword
UCAS Code
I700
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 2020

Overview

If you're excited by a future filled with Virtual and Augmented Reality technology, this BSc (Hons) Virtual and Augmented Reality degree course is for you.

Designed to reflect the skills and discipline required to excel in the Virtual and Augmented Reality industries, this course lets you get your hands on the latest VR and AR technology and software, and build your knowledge, skills and portfolio at the same time.

The teaching on this course is closely aligned with the latest academic and industry research and discoveries too – so as Virtual and Augmented Reality technology evolves, we'll ensure that what you're learning is the always the latest and most relevant information.

And when you graduate, you'll have highly sought-after skills and provable experience in the field, and you'll be all set to take your first steps towards a fulfilling career in AR, VR or a related industry.

What you'll experience

On this course, you'll:

  • Learn using industry-standard software, including game engines and source development kits, ensuring that you have the ideal skillset to work in the industry
  • Get the chance to contribute towards real research and development in the field of virtual and augmented reality in a variety of group projects
  • Have the opportunity to enhance your learning through a salaried placement year
  • Get your hands on the latest commercial peripherals, including the Oculus Rift and HTC Vive, as well as hardware such Electroencephalograms (brainwave interfaces), heart monitor and facial recognition systems that are commonly used in VR/AR research
  • Make use of our Virtual Reality Laboratory and Motion Capture Suite, as well as our open-access computer suites
More about BSc (Hons) Virtual and Augmented Reality

Careers and opportunities

When you finish the course, our Careers and Employability service can help you find a job that puts your skills to work in the industry.

The course is primarily intended to foster graduates with the unique skillset required to become developers in virtual and augmented reality. The University can also offer students significant ties to the industry.

What jobs can you do with a Virtual and Augmented Reality degree?

The skillset that this course will develop will enable our graduates to pursue various roles, including:

  • virtual/augmented reality developer
  • computer vision architect/engineer
  • unity/unreal engine developer
  • C++/C# developer
  • javaScript developer mixed reality
  • interaction engineer
  • VR/AR designer
  • 3D artist
  • 3D modeller
  • AR/VR writer
  • game developer/designer/programmer
  • rendering software engineer
  • sound designer

Other graduates have continued their studies at postgraduate level or set up successful businesses with help and support from the University.

After you leave the University, you can get help, advice and support for up to 5 years from our Careers and Employability service as you advance in your career.

What you'll study on this BSc (Hons) Virtual and Augmented Reality 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 do

You'll learn how to analyse a task cooperatively, prioritise and assign work units, and follow iterative methods such as Scrum to successfully achieve your aims, as well as effective team working methods for use in later modules in your degree, and in your future career. Iterative process is key to Agile, so you'll give multiple presentations, as well as undertake and provide peer review assessment.

What you'll learn

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

  • Work effectively as part of a team
  • Apply an agile development method (such as Scrum) to a project
  • Interpret and implement problem–solving techniques to create achievable tasks
  • Monitor the execution of these tasks to ensure successful implementation
  • Use an iterative process to improve outcomes
  • Resolve potential problems in the development process
  • Use your expertise with software tools to help the agile process
Teaching activities

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

Independent study time

We recommend you spend at least 155 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 15-minute group presentation (60% of final mark)
  • a 1,500-word portfolio (40% 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

Learning to program includes an understanding of modern high-level programming language syntax, object orientated programming, software design, use of libraries/modules, debugging, use of data structures and optimisation. No prior programming experience is required.

What you'll learn

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

  • Understand abstract programming concepts such as recursion, data structures and object orientation
  • Understand and use the syntax of a chosen programming language for assessments
  • Develop, debug and optimise programs
  • Recognise, identify and select appropriate design methods, tools and skills to creatively solve problems
  • Interpret structures correctly to make maximum use of code reuse, paying attention to code efficiency
  • Identify and use appropriate software tools to work effectively
Teaching activities

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

Independent study time

We recommend you spend at least 155 hours studying independently. This is around 9 hours a week over the duration of the module.

Assessment

On this module, you'll be assessed through 2 x coursework projects (50% of final mark, each).

What you'll do
You'll learn how to investigate and think creatively about problems and opportunities, integrate different styles of thinking in a design process, and explore, evaluate and critique the user experience thinking of others. You'll solve complex problems with creative, user-focused solutions, and build a portfolio of design projects; giving you a strong foundation for future study or work.
What you'll learn

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

  • Identify and describe the fundamental stages of user experience design
  • Compare, contrast and use a range of user experience design methods and techniques
  • Recognise, identify and select appropriate design methods, tools and skills to creatively solve problems
  • Describe and discuss the challenges and benefits of the user experience design approach
  • Critically evaluate and use appropriate innovation and creative problem-solving techniques
Teaching activities

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

Independent study time

We recommend you spend at least 155 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 1,500-word set exercise (40% of final mark)
  • a 2,500-word essay (60% 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 do

You'll also explore human perception issues such as immersion, presence, flow and engagement, and the disciplines that utilise VR/AR systems for a variety of applications.

What you'll learn

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

  • Demonstrate contextual awareness and understanding of the VR/AR industry, its applications and its client’s needs
  • Understand the value and utility of research in VR/AR development
  • Apply the core production process for VR/AR development, including asset production, design, implementation and testing
  • Plan, conduct and produce a report on a programme of original research, both individually and in a group
  • Work in flexible, creative and independent ways
  • Demonstrate self-discipline, awareness of relevant ethical considerations, self-direction and reflexivity
  • Work effectively as part of a team
Teaching activities

On this module you'll attend lectures, project supervision meetings and practical classes. 

Independent study time

We recommend you spend at least 163 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

  • a coursework assessment (20% of final mark) – a reflective report, documenting 5 practical VR mini-assignments
  • a 15-minute oral assessment and presentation (30% of final mark) – 10 minutes for speaking, 5 minutes for answering questions
  • a 2,500-word written assignment (50% of final mark) – a literature and technical review

Year 2

Core modules

What you'll do

You'll focus on applications for the learning of practical skills, data visualisations and product prototyping software. You'll also be introduced to the unique nature of AR hardware and its equally unique design principles and applications.

What you'll learn

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

  • Compare and contrast a variety of AR applications
  • Discuss the potential uses and current limitations of AR applications
  • Critically review an area of AR application or research, exploring the main ideas and technologies, and evaluating current approaches and theories
  • Evaluate approaches to the design and planning of AR applications
  • Follow an appropriate methodology for designing an AR application
  • Implement an AR project using appropriate hardware and software, including user documentation
  • Critically evaluate approaches to application testing
  • Perform structured testing as part of an iterative development cycle
Teaching activities

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

Independent study time

We recommend you spend at least 153.5 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:

  • a 1,500-word written assignment including essay (30% of final mark)
  • a coursework project (70% of final mark)

What you’ll do

You'll also learn the practical and theoretical skills to design and conduct academic research.

What you’ll learn

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

  • Understand the nature, uses and limitations of a variety of research methods
  • Identify and evaluate one or more appropriate research methods for a specified piece of independent study
  • Prepare a preliminary review of the literature on a specified topic in line with the principles of good scholarship
  • Identify the qualifications, skill sets, entry points and career opportunities that relate to a specified career path
  • Identify and appraise individual strengths, weaknesses and preferences for a specified career path
Teaching activities
  • 3 x 2-hour tutorials
  • 12 x 1-hour lectures
  • 3 x 2-hour seminars
Independent study time

We recommend you spend at least 176 hours studying independently. This is around 5.5 hours a week over the duration of the module.

Assessment

On this module, you'll be assessed through:

  • a portfolio (20% of final mark)
  • a 2,500-word essay (80% of final mark)

What you'll do

You'll develop creative coding skills and explore topics such as algorithmic art, video, animation, sound, music, lyrics, poems or literature.

What you'll learn

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

  • Generate creative ideas and express them algorithmically
  • Conceive, plan and create an original creative coding artefact
  • Apply programming concepts to creative ideas, demonstrating an understanding of coding principles and practice
  • Demonstrate research-informed practice
  • Critically reflect upon and evaluate the success of your project
Teaching activities

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

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 coursework (100% of final mark).

Optional modules

What you'll do

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:

  • Understand and utilise industrial software and technologies (relevant to 360° film production) and their application domains
  • Communicate effectively through visual, oral and written work
  • Solve production problems relating to a variety of VR/AR contextual scenarios
  • Use and manage appropriate software and hardware to produce designed outcomes
  • Work effectively as part of a team
Teaching activities

On this module you'll attend lectures and tutorials.

Independent study time

We recommend you spend at least 167 hours studying independently. This is around 5.5 hours a week over the duration of the module.

Assessment

On this module, you'll be assessed through:

  • a 15-minute oral assessment and presentation (40% of final mark)
  • a coursework project (60% of final mark)

What you'll do

You'll improve your practical skill with industry standard game engines and digital audio editing software (such as Oculus Audio and Steam Audio) as relevant to VR/AR development.

What you'll learn

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

  • Understand fundamental acoustic and psychoacoustic theory related to VR and AR audio design and implementation
  • Apply the core production processes for sound design related to VR/AR development (such as asset production, design, implementation and testing)
  • Utilise industrial audio software and technologies for a range of applications
  • Use and manage appropriate software and hardware to produce original VR/AR sound environments
  • Work to industry recommended standards of audio design and implementation
Teaching activities

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

Independent study time

We recommend you spend at least 152 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:

  • a 1-hour exam (30% of final mark)
  • a coursework exercise (70% of final mark)

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 do

You'll examine good and bad designs from a theoretical, methodological and practical perspective. You'll focus on psychologically orientated, user-driven design and see how applying research enhances practical design.

What you'll learn

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

  • Critically evaluate existing interactive content experiences across a range of delivery platforms
  • Examine methods used in interaction design and critically assess the appropriateness of different interaction design methods
  • Recognise how the sensory, cognitive and physical capabilities of users inform the design of interactive experiences
  • Apply findings from research in a practical context
  • Create an interaction design concept for a specific problem and context, using creative design, ideation, prototyping and evaluation techniques
Teaching activities

On this module you'll attend seminars 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:

  • 2 x 2,000-word coursework exercise (50% of final mark, each)

What you'll do

You'll learn how to design interactive algorithms using an objective orient programming (OOP) language. If want to take this module, you should be familiar with at least one of the basic computer programming languages (such as javascript, python, C++ or similar).

What you'll learn

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

  • Recognise and reflect on the changing issues and context of specialist journalism in the digital age
  • Produce a package of specialist journalistic stories to deadline
  • Critically analyse the social and cultural issues surrounding your specialised area
  • Research and produce specialist journalistic copy for digital and/or print media platforms showing an appreciation of the needs of the audience
Teaching activities

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

Independent study time

We recommend you spend at least 165 hours studying independently. This is around 5.5 hours a week over the duration of the module.

Assessment

On this module, you'll be assessed through:

  • a 1,500-word report (30% of final mark)
  • a coursework exercise (70% of final mark)

What you'll do

You'll also explore the necessary mathematical notations and techniques used to understand and solve common abstract and practical mathematical problems.

What you'll learn

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

  • Apply fundamental mathematical concepts to game development scenarios
  • Demonstrate abstract mathematical problem-solving skills
  • Understand when to apply a range of mathematical concepts to game development scenarios
Teaching activities

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

Independent study time

We recommend you spend at least 164 hours studying independently. This is around 5.5 hours a week over the duration of the module.

Assessment

On this module, you'll be assessed through:

  • a written exam (40% of final mark)
  • a coursework exercise (60% of final mark)

What you'll do

You'll study the design and programming process and create a fully working mobile app prototype.

What you'll learn

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

  • Generate mobile application ideas based on original analysis of current mobile application development trends
  • Apply and demonstrate design and programming skills to implement a working prototype of any type of mobile application
  • Engage in critical reflection and evaluate the success of your project
Teaching activities

On this module you'll attend practical classes and supervised 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 coursework (100% 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 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)

What you'll do

You'll choose a VR application area to investigate in depth, and apply the knowledge and skills you learn to a small VR project.

What you'll learn

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

  • Compare and contrast VR applications and discuss their potential uses and limitations
  • Review an area of VR application or research, exploring the main ideas and technologies, and evaluating current approaches and theories
  • Evaluate approaches to designing and planning a VR application
  • Follow an appropriate methodology for designing a VR application
  • Implement a VR project using appropriate hardware and software, including user documentation
  • Evaluate approaches to application testing and perform structured testing as part of an iterative development cycle
Teaching activities

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

Independent study time

We recommend you spend at least 156 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 coursework report (20% of final mark) – a reflective report, documenting 5 practical VR mini-assignments
  • a 2,500-word report (30% of final mark) – a technical/literature review and formal specification, design and planning document
  • an applied virtual reality artefact (50% of final mark) – with supporting documentation

Year 3

Core modules

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)

What you'll do

You'll develop academic research and academic writing, literature and self-expression skills, and develop and demonstrate relevant professional, academic and technical skills.

What you'll learn

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

  • Initiate and manage the preparatory phase of a practice, creative or research project appropriate for your programme of study
  • Conduct a scholarly review of existing work in your selected area together with an account of your own work
  • Critically evaluate and justify the choices you make and approaches you take to plan the solution of the project problem/domain
  • Communicate the outcomes of your preparatory project activities in a professional and scholarly manner
Teaching activities

On this module you'll attend lectures and tutorials.

Independent study time

We recommend you spend at least 185 hours 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 15-minute presentation (20% of final mark)
  • a 3,000-word report (80% of final mark)

What you'll do

You'll develop your academic research and academic writing, literature and self-expression skills, and develop and demonstrate relevant professional, academic and technical skills.

What you'll learn

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

  • Initiate and manage the resolution of a practice, creative or research project appropriate for your programme of study
  • Apply the findings from a scholarly review of existing work in your selected area, together with an account of your own work
  • Critically evaluate and justify the choices you make, and the approaches you take, to plan the solution of the project problem/domain
  • Communicate the outcomes of your project resolution activities in a professional and scholarly manner
Teaching activities

On this module you'll attend lectures and tutorials.

Independent study time

We recommend you spend at least 190 hours studying independently. This is around 11.5 hours a week over the duration of the module.

Assessment

On this module, you'll be assessed through a 5,000-word report (100% of final mark).

What you'll do

This is self-directed unit allowing the widest scope for your investigations and the unit lecturer will help to guide and support you in your project.

What you'll learn

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

  • Analyse current trends and future developments in digital technologies
  • Evaluate the transformative potential and the impacts of new technological developments, including legal and ethical issues
  • Propose and develop solutions to problems using the latest technologies
Teaching activities

On this module you'll attend lectures and seminars. The seminars are based on your participation in discussing the lecture topic or topics that you've researched yourself.

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 coursework project or report (100% of final mark) – a physical project or a report analysing an area of technological development.

Optional modules

What you'll do

You'll learn how to use design principles to develop interfaces for digital artefacts.

What you'll learn

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

  • Analyse, interpret and extend a brief
  • Demonstrate application of universal design rules
  • Apply relevant narrative style to a design
  • Employ typographic and readability rules
Teaching activities

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

Independent study time

We recommend you spend at least 178 hours 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 20-minute presentation (20% of final mark)
  • a portfolio (80% of final mark)

What you'll do

You'll use your skills to prepare an animation piece.

What you'll learn

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

  • Critically analyse and evaluate developments in creative media and their application
  • Critically reflect on the utility and compatibility of different new media applications to support individual specialist understanding
Teaching activities

On this module you'll attend lectures, tutorials and demonstrations.

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:

  • a 1,500-word report (20% of final mark)
  • a presentation (30% of final mark)
  • coursework (50% of final mark)

What you'll do

You'll explore the technical procedures, as well as the design and contextual implications of integrating more advanced and experimental hardware into VR/AR software.

What you'll learn

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

  • Compare and contrast a wide variety of I/O hardware, and discuss their potential uses and current limitations
  • Critically review an area of VR/AR application or research relating to I/O hardware, exploring the main ideas and technologies, and evaluating current approaches and theories
  • Evaluate approaches to design and planning VR/AR applications
  • Follow an appropriate methodology for designing a VR/AR application
  • Implement a VR/AR project using a range of I/O hardware devices
  • Critically evaluate approaches to application testing
  • Perform structured testing as part of an iterative development cycle
Teaching activities

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

Independent study time

We recommend you spend at least 154.5 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:

  • a 1,500-word written assignment including essay (30% of final mark)
  • a coursework project (70% of final mark)

What you’ll do

You'll examine the fundamental IoT design issues, and the current and emerging hardware and software technologies that are used to support a range of IoT applications.

To study this module, you need to take the Introduction to Programming module in year one, or show Java programming knowledge and a basic understanding of communication networking environments, from both a hardware and a software perspective.

What you’ll learn

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

  • Evaluate the design and development of technologies on different layers, for typical IoT systems
  • Evaluate the current and emerging issues in the research and development of IoT that cover current architectures, technologies, applications and trends
  • Develop effective applications or protocols to exploit commercially available sensors and actuators in an IoT architecture
Teaching activities
  • 12 x 2-hour lectures
  • 12 x 2-hour practical classes & workshops
Independent study time

We recommend you spend at least 152 hours studying independently. This is around 9 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 final mark)
  • a 1,500-word portfolio (50% of final mark)

What you'll do

You'll work on an artefact, either in a group or independently, demonstrating your understanding of the fundamental concepts of AI.

What you'll learn

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

  • Demonstrate an understanding of fundamental Artificial Intelligence (AI) concepts
  • Demonstrate the ability to implement AI techniques
  • Critically evaluate different approaches to AI in the wider context of Game AI research
Teaching activities

On this module you'll attend practical classes.

Independent study time

We recommend you spend at least 178 hours studying independently. This is around 6 hours a week over the duration of the module.

Assessment

On this module, you'll be assessed through:

  • coursework (100% 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

Due to the practical nature of this course, assessment is varied. It includes:

  • 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 industry.

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 when you graduate, 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 and build your portfolio.

Teaching

Teaching methods on this course include:

  • lectures
  • seminars
  • tutorials
  • laboratory sessions
  • online lessons
  • project work

We work with external collaborators and clients across many industries including healthcare, defence and cultural heritage. This ensures course content stays up-to-date and relevant, helping you develop the most valued skills.

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 Virtual and Augmented Reality degree. In your first year, you’ll be in timetabled teaching activities such as lectures, seminars, practical classes, workshops, project supervision and supervised studio sessions for about 11 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) Virtual and Augmented Reality 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

If you don't meet the English language requirements yet, you can achieve the level you need by successfully completing a pre-sessional English programme before you start your course.

What skills and qualities do I need for this VR and AR degree course?

VR/AR needs a specific knowledge base and practical skillset. Therefore, we don't expect you to have lots of knowledge or experience about VR and AR when you start the course.

Experience in 3D modelling, game design (including modding) and basic coding/scripting is helpful, but the most important thing is that you're willing to develop a technical and critical mindset.

How can I prepare for a virtual and augmented reality degree?

Getting to grips with the fundamentals of game engines will put you in a strong position when starting the course. You can do this through Moodle, our virtual learning environment, once you register as a student at the University in the weeks before you arrive.

Moodle has links to various free-to-use software (including Unreal Engine 4, Unity and Blender 3D), which you'll use throughout the course. It also has a selection of web links to online tutorials. Most of these are free.

We also recommend you experience as much VR/AR software as possible while considering what defines good VR/AR.

​Course costs

Tuition fees (2020 start)

  • UK/EU/Channel Islands and Isle of Man students – £9,250 per year (may be subject to annual increase)
  • International students – £15,100 (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 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.

Common questions about this subject

Can't find the answer to your questions about this course or anything else about undergraduate life? Contact us

Common questions about virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR)

The following are important skills for VR/AR development. You'll build these skills throughout this course:

  • C++/C# programming
  • Java/Python scripting
  • Unity/Unreal Engine 4 development
  • Web design (HTML, CSS, PHP)
  • 3D modelling and animation (Blender, 3DS Max, Maya)
  • User experience design
  • User-interface design
  • Agile project management
  • Mobile application development
  • 2D image creation (Photoshop, Substance Designer)

Virtual reality (VR)

VR generally describes technology or software that 'transports' the user to another world. Typically, a VR world is 3D and fully immersive, which means it physically surrounds the user in terms of audio and visuals.

VR technology includes the Oculus Rift, HTC Vive and Google Daydream.

Augmented reality (AR)

AR is different to VR in that it describes overlaying digital information (graphics, text, speech, sound effects, music and so on) onto our perception of the physical world.

The most common form of AR puts computer graphics over the camera feed on smartphones and tablets (such as on the game, Pokemon GO!). Projection headsets, such as Microsoft’s HoloLens, are also considered AR.

Mixed reality (MR)

'Mixed reality' (MR) is similar to VR and AR but not so easy to define as it can cover many technologies and interactions.

Fundamentally, it's about us experiencing a world where real/physical and virtual content interacts with us and with each other.

There are already many employment opportunities in VR/AR. But it's still an emerging technology, so there's likely to be expansion of VR/AR technologies over the coming years.

This expansion is likely to be far greater than the increase in graduates entering the industry, making anyone with a VR/AR skillset more employable year on year.

The skills associated with VR and AR are in demand all over the world and job vacancies are increasing year on year.

You can also apply the core technical and creative skills you learn on this degree course to other roles and industries. This includes roles such as user researcher, user experience designer, developer, modeller and agile project manager.

A persistent myth of VR/AR is that it is primarily for games. However, VR and AR technology is common across many industries.

For example, the NHS, military, automotive, retail, aerospace, film and theatre industries use VR/AR technologies for many purposes.

This means working in VR and AR offers you significant opportunities to work in technical and creative roles across almost any industry. 

Apply

How to apply

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

  • the UCAS course code – I700
  • our institution code – P80

If you’d prefer to apply directly, use our online application form.

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 or apply directly to us (see the 'How to apply' section above for details). You can also 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. 

If you don't meet the English language requirements for this course yet, you can achieve the level you need by successfully completing a pre-sessional English programme before you start your course.

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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