Lighthouse and coast generated by computer visual effects

Computer Animation and Visual Effects BSc (Hons)

Get set for a career in areas such as 3D animation, TV and film visual effects, and the computer games industry with this Computer Animation and Visual Effects degree.

University of Portsmouth Connected Degree - 3 year course with 4th year placement

Key information

UCAS code:



This course is Accredited

Typical offer:

112-120 UCAS points to include a minimum of 2 A levels, or equivalent

See full entry requirements
Study mode and duration
Start date

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The UK's animation and visual effects (VFX) industry leads the world in producing blockbuster visuals for entertainment media, reinventing their technical and creative capabilities. With indie talent also thriving in the South Coast, there’s no better place to start your visual effects career than at Portsmouth.

Our Computer Animation and Visual Effects degree course will help you build skills in key areas such as concept drawing, 3D animation, physics-based simulation, and compositing, with guidance from a team of industry experts from across the entertainment and advertising sectors. Using our spectacular facilities, software and equipment, you'll enhance your artistic and technical expertise and improve your research skills in the technology you'll work with, which is vital to your development as an all-round artist.

You can also specialise and develop your professional portfolio through placement opportunities, client projects and the modules you’ll choose from second year.

Transform yourself into an exceptional VFX artist, producer, animator, and stagecrafter at Portsmouth – ready to take the creative and communication industries by storm.

Course highlights

  • Maximise your creativity and learning by using world-class facilities like our Motion Capture Studio and Centre for Creative and Immersive Extended Reality – housing the most advanced cinematic-standard equipment and virtual production suites of any university
  • Familiarise yourself with professional software used in the industry, including NUKEX, Maya, 3DS Max, ZBrush, Houdini, Katana and Mari
  • Learn from a team of experts who are industry leaders across various entertainment and communication sectors, including film, animation, advertising and computer games
  • Collaborate with other students on other courses by getting involved in our annual University GameJam
  • Gain valuable industry experience by taking an optional placement
  • Take advantage of our strong industry links to build professional contacts, such as attending guest speaker lectures and the chance to win sponsored prizes for your final year project
  • Improve your language skills by studying a foreign language as part of the Institute-Wide Language Programme (IWLP)
TIGA Winner Logo
Joint Audio Media Education Support (JAMES) Accrediting Body


for animation and game design in the UK

(Guardian University Guide, 2024)


This course is professionally accredited by JAMES (Joint Audio Media Education Support) and SideFX as a Houdini Certified School.

We also work with visual effects studios, game developers and professional bodies such as TIGA (The Independent Games Association) to make sure the course stays up-to-date with industry trends.

In 2021, the University of Portsmouth was awarded Best Educational Institution at the TIGA Games Industry Awards.

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 ensure the course content is current and reflects industry developments, so you’ll always be learning the most relevant skills.

Houdini Certified School (SideFX)

The Houdini Certified School accreditation recognises a course's high calibre of instructor knowledge, exemplary student work, and commitment to connecting students to industry. In return, students can access promotional and sponsorship opportunities from commercial studios, as well as support from SideFX to enhance their learning and employability, such as webinars, class presentations and portfolio reviews.

Watch our BSc (Hons) Computer Animation and Visual Effects 2021 showreel

See highlights of the best work from our Computer Animation and Visual Effects 2021 graduates.

Video showing highlights of the best work from our Computer Animation and Visual Effects 2021 graduates. (No dialogue.)

Contact information


+44 (0) 23 9284 5566

Contact Admissions

Entry requirements​

BSc (Hons) Computer Animation and Visual Effects

Typical offers

  • A levels - BBB-BBC
  • UCAS points - 112-120 points to include a minimum of 2 A levels, or equivalent. (calculate your UCAS points)
  • T-levels - Merit
  • BTECs (Extended Diplomas) - DDM-DMM
  • International Baccalaureate - 25

You may need to have studied specific subjects – find full entry requirements and other qualifications we accept.

Selection process

Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) direct entry applicants will need a portfolio of work to support their application.

For more information on how to put together a portfolio, read our BSc (Hons) Computer Animation with Visual Effects portfolio guide.

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.

We also accept other standard English tests and qualifications, as long as they meet the minimum requirements of your course.

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.

Typical offers

  • A levels - BBB-BBC
  • UCAS points - 112-120 points to include a minimum of 2 A levels, or equivalent. (calculate your UCAS points)
  • T-levels - Merit
  • BTECs (Extended Diplomas) - DDM-DMM
  • International Baccalaureate - 25

You may need to have studied specific subjects or GCSEs - see full entry requirements and other qualifications we accept.

Selection process

Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) direct entry applicants will need a portfolio of work to support their application.

For more information on how to put together a portfolio, read our BSc (Hons) Computer Animation with Visual Effects portfolio guide.

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.

We also accept other standard English tests and qualifications, as long as they meet the minimum requirements of your course.

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.

We look at more than just your grades

While we consider your grades when making an offer, we also carefully look at your circumstances and other factors to assess your potential. These include whether you live and work in the region and your personal and family circumstances which we assess using established data.

Explore more about how we make your offer

How to prepare for this Computer Animation and Visual Effects degree

Our course lets you explore the technical and artistic aspects of computer animation and visual effects, so you can prepare for the diverse work you’ll be creating in a variety of ways. Here are a few key ones.

Try out 3D

Try out 3D

Play around with 3D production to familiarise yourself with the interfaces and workflows you'll encounter during the course, since you'll be working with 3D rendering software and equipment a lot. Free software like Blender will get you started working with 3D.

Be observational

Be observational

Being able to observe shape, form and texture is a boost to your creativity. Drawing abilities are optional but desirable, especially if you want to become an animator. Take up drawing opportunities, like life drawing, to study the human form and other objects.

Explore composition

Explore composition

Having an eye for composition is also an asset, particularly if you plan to work in film.  You can develop this ability by experimenting with photography, videomaking, or other activities requiring you to set the scene or compose optimal imagery through a lens.

Facilities and specialist kit

Centre for Creative and Immersive Extended Reality (CCIXR)

Create stunning works for film, TV, music, gaming and immersive reality in the UK's first integrated facility of its kind.

AED - Feb 23
Discover the Centre

Motion Capture Studio

Learn how to use the same professional motion capture equipment used in the VR, game design, and film industries.

Images capturing CCIXR facility
Explore Studio

Virtual Reality Lab

Our VR lab boasts the latest immersive and interactive technologies used by the ever-evolving VR industry.

Student wearing a VR headset as the CCIXR centre
Explore VR Lab

Wacom Studio

Design eye-catching illustrations, animations, and layouts in our 20-seat PC studio with industry-leading Wacom Cintiq widescreen graphics tablets.

Helen Yates - B roll Day 3
Explore Studio
A hand holding a camera with viewfinder on

Equipment loan stores

Whatever your work, you can borrow computers and professional-standard film, photography, lighting, and performance equipment from our loan stores in the Faculty of Creative and Cultural Industries. 


Careers and opportunities

The computer animation and VFX industry continues to grow as volume demand increases and increasingly complex effects require innovations in technologies and workflows. The sector’s unique fusion of art (in its traditional and modern forms and techniques) and science (via the advanced hardware and software used) offers fascinating career, research, and education enhancement opportunities for graduates.

London is home to six of the world's largest award-winning visual effects companies, many of whom we have strong industry connections with, and independent effects studios are emerging in the southeast of England. Our Master's degrees in Creative Technologies and Computer Animation are natural progressions for graduates who wish to research more into the science behind their skills.

Graduate roles

Many of our graduates have worked in roles such as:

  • Serial riggers
  • Animators
  • Motion capture technicians
  • Stagecrafter
  • Freelance artists

Graduate destinations

Many of our graduates have worked at either the University of Portsmouth or multi-award-winning special effects companies behind some of the biggest film and television franchises in the world. These include:

  • Industrial Light & Magic (The Mandalorian, The Irishman, Black Panther)
  • Moving Picture Company (1917, The Lion King) 
  • Double Negative (DNEG) (Tenet, Chernobyl, Blade Runner 2049, Black Mirror, Ex Machina)
  • Milk VFX (Ex Machina, Doctor Who, Sherlock)
  • Framestore (Blade Runner 2049, The Midnight Sky, Guardians of the Galaxy 2: Marvel)

Alumni profile: Emily Bisset, Freelance 3D Artist

Find out about Emily's life and success after university

Emily Bisset graduated in 2020 with a Computer Animation and Visual Effects degree from the University of Portsmouth. She's now a Freelance 3D Artist. Find out what Emily's role entails and how she’s applying the skills she learnt during her time at Portsmouth.

 My name is Emily Bissett.

I'm currently freelancing as a 3D artist.

I specialise in materials and textures.

What made the University of Portsmouth stand out to me is that I saw they had their motion capture facilities there, and so I thought that would be a really cool place to go and study Computer Animation and Visual Effects.

It is also by the sea and I enjoyed sailing, and it really helped me get into more sailing at the time when I was at university.

The University of Portsmouth Sailing Club is really, really cool.

I really like the people in there.

The skills I've learnt sailing I still use every day and so things like teamwork and working in small teams when you're yacht sailing or racing and so communication is really key there.

Having that and transferring it into my working life has been really helpful for me.

I had a placement with Gillette after I finished at Portsmouth.

I was really lucky I got to work on some consumer facing projects, as well as internal projects.

To be an intern and to be able to be working on things that the public are going to see, that was a really crazy thing for me to experience.

When I was working at Gillette, I was actually working in the evenings on personal projects as well.

These projects were in a software called Substance Designer, which is owned by Adobe, and it's basically visual scripting in order to make a one by one tile of material.

I obviously always post my work on things like ArtStation and Instagram and LinkedIn and stuff like that, and that got picked up by a company called The Rookies.

I ended up writing an article for that which then got picked up by Substance and so I got to put my article on their magazine.

I could see it on their launch page as well so every time you go and launch the software, you could see it, which was really awesome, and that's actually allowed me to get more contract work in.

If you know you want to do something and you need a degree to do it, definitely go.

Portsmouth has all the facilities and all the kind of societies and stuff in order to do that.

Placement year (optional)

After your second or third year, you can complete an optional work placement to gain professional experience and enhance your skills. It's also a great incentive for employers once you graduate.

You can work for a company, organisation or agency, or you can go self-employed and start your own business with fellow students or by yourself.

Whatever you decide – or even if you just want some employability advice – our exclusive Creative Careers team can support you every step of the way. 

A woman with blue hair standing in front of artwork

Creative Careers

Our in-faculty Creative Careers team has extensive recruitment experience and knows the creative sector well, making it easier for students to find placements within the creative industries.

They can guide you through every step of the application process, including:

  • Searching for the ideal job through their database of vacancies
  • Giving tips on how to write an interesting CV that will catch employers' attention, no matter the role
  • Organising mock interviews, so you can hone your technique and familiarise yourself with the recruitment environment
  • Writing your startup business proposal – if you're going down the self-employment route

The team will continue to give you support throughout your placement year.

Learn more about the Creative Careers team

Placement experiences

Our previous placement students have worked in a wide range of technical roles, including compositing, rigging, texturing, and modeling.

Many of them have gained their industry experience in our leading facilities at the University, including CCIXR. Others have completed their placements at a number of renowned companies, including:

  • Industrial Light & Magic
  • Framestore
  • Moving Picture Company (MPC)
  • Procter & Gamble
Krit Singhania at work at PG Gillette

Featured placement

Krit Singhania – Procter & Gamble

Krit, working as a Research and Development intern, reveals the highlights of his placement experience – including some of the fascinating programming and VR projects he's working on.

Read about Krit's placement


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, four modules worth 20 credits and one module worth 40 credits.

What you’ll study

Core modules

All modules in the year are core.

Through industry research you’ll analyse technology shifts alongside socio-cultural currents and gain foresight into macro and micro trends.

You’ll have the invaluable opportunity to advance niche technical knowledge and communicate findings with verbal and written skill.

You’ll practice manipulating still and moving images. During this, you’ll gain crucial technical skills to create realistic shots through hands-on experience.

In the studio setting, you’ll develop your own artistic style, ensuring it meets professional quality standards. This will prepare you to produce high-quality visual effects.

You'll develop pipelines connecting CGI tools to build responsive, rendered environments. Through animation and asset creation tailored for real-time engines, you’ll gain indispensable skills for crafting immersive worlds.

Reflecting on your work, you’ll evaluate technical and artistic approaches, learning to fluidly translate between the languages of creativity and computation.

This module provides hands-on experience establishing robust foundations in real-time 3D tools and techniques for a future in interactive media and emerging technologies.

Practise using industry-standard techniques and learn to create models for different production types.

By studying outstanding examples in the field, you’ll understand what’s expected in professional workflows, helping you to confidently meet creative briefs.

You’ll finish this module with enhanced technical skills and knowledge of the latest tools. Get ready to take your models from the initial concept right through to their integration into the final scene.

The module builds the visualisation abilities and technical knowledge you need to communicate visually. You’ll draw inspiration from the world around you and use computer animation tools to bring your visions to the screen.

You'll sharpen your artistic eye through practical workshops that teach fundamental skills like observational drawing. Generating original ideas and concepts will spark your creativity.

Acquire basic 3D modelling, texturing, and animation techniques to translate imagination into virtual worlds and by researching and designing an animated narrative, you’ll put new software skills into practice.

The projects you’ll do in this module provide valuable practical experience—from taking the seed of an idea to growing it into a fully realised animated short.

Core modules

You’ll combine creativity and technique to explore the key VFX skills of a Lighting Technical Director. Study how to film scenes and train your artistic eye to make realistic CG images. Improve your technical skills by developing efficient pipelines between applications. You’ll show your aesthetic style by balancing texturing, shading, lighting, and rendering.

This module helps you to light CGI with imagination and precision, getting you ready for different jobs in the global VFX industry. You’ll talk about your work using both creative and technical languages.

In the end, you’ll have the experience and confidence to shine with your CGI lighting talents.

You'll discuss research approaches and gain skills to strategise methods for independent study.

You'll formulate plans tailored to your goals, create research proposals and hone your scholarly writing. Investigating your chosen career path, you'll identify opportunities, appraising your skills and interests. This experience provides a robust foundation to initiate an impactful creative project aligned with your aspirations

You’ll use virtual production tools to quickly create assets that meet professional benchmarks, ranging from creatures to environments. This joint effort will involve elements of staging, cinematography, and VFX compositing, pushing you to intuitively combine these aspects within strict deadlines.

This module also introduces you to technologies that improve efficiency. From this, you’ll gain a deeper industry understanding and enhance the quality of your project work.

Optional modules

You’ll research, design, and develop a character and environment following an industry-standard brief. Create model sheets and mood boards to guide your 3D workflow and visualise your concepts as you take your asset from concept to finish. Finally, you will use professional real-time techniques to create a demo reel that shows your technical excellence.

This module will equip you with practical experience and key skills in creating triple-A game assets, VR/AR content, and other real-time 3D applications.

You’ll get to spend a semester at one of our global partner universities, giving you a unique international spin on your learning. This experience is perfect for building professional skills and a global outlook, preparing you for work anywhere in the world. You’ll also get the chance to study and work on your own in a new setting, which will boost your personal growth and relate to your degree.

When you come back, you’ll be full of fresh ideas to energise your work.

This module gives you the chance to explore different approaches and build international networks in creative technologies.

It will help develop your practical knowledge and collaborative abilities to thrive in the film and games industries.

You’ll use drawing to capture animal forms, structure, texture, and proportions. Relating visual research to the design process, you’ll develop industry-standard workflows, put your skills into practice through industry-led briefs and create professional-quality concepts and assets.

You can immerse yourself in the production pace and pipelines of entertainment studios through collaboration in a simulated studio environment.

You’ll finish this module with real-world creative experience and a portfolio of your design talents.

In this module, you'll generate and evaluate ideas that bring narrative concepts to life.

In the design process, you'll express your vision through composition, observation, and interpretation. Experiment with software to advance your surfacing, lighting, and rendering techniques, then use your new technical and creative skills to craft an animated short through performance and visual storytelling.

With this module, you can transform a story from page to screen using 3D animation and visualisation abilities. By the end, you'll have valuable experience in creating captivating characters and animated worlds.

Join a team of creative students and do a project together. Try new things and see how they can help you.

You’ll also grasp how to use your skills with others. Sometimes you’ll be a leader, sometimes a helper. Talk about your ideas and learn from them. You’ll make something to show what you learned and share it with others.

This module helps you gain new skills and understand other fields. You’ll be a smart and creative person, ready to solve real-world problems.

You’ll choose learning tasks that add up to 60 hours, like internships, volunteering, research, or remote study that match your career plans. Workshops will help you make meaningful goals and think about what you’ve accomplished. Through this, you’ll grow the knowledge, skills, and qualities you need to thrive in the workplace.

By looking at your growth through active participation and reading, you’ll become a perceptive, eager job-seeker who stands out.

You’ll master digitally sculpting detailed models, observing their form, shape, and structure for animation. Use industry methods to rig characters that are creatively and technically sound. Come up with your own solutions that fit creative ideas while keeping in line with the workflow.

By working on your own projects, you’ll use what you’ve learned to make sculpts and rigs for your portfolio. Understand your work in the broader context of animation as you lay the groundwork for a career in film VFX.

By the end of this module, you’ll have the essential skills to model and rig any kind of character: human, creature, or alien. Unleash your creativity as you get ready to be part of the new wave of 3D animation artists.

As a team, you will embark on a journey of entrepreneurship, starting with ideation and ending with the launch of your product or service. You will analyse complex factors influencing a successful launch, conduct thorough research to assess feasibility and gain valuable insights into marketing, manufacturing, and sales strategies.

Working together on pitch presentations, you will discover your strengths as an entrepreneur or team member. This module provides transferable skills essential to thrive in creative industries, whether you plan to launch your own company or seek employment with top organisations. You will develop the mindset and abilities to spot opportunities and act on them, which will benefit your career.

You’ll experiment with simulations and procedural methods to tackle typical production issues. The aim of this will be to improve shot flow and deepen audience engagement.

You can study exemplary professional work by developing inventive approaches based on industry research. This analysis will inform your technical choices as you skillfully blend various elements to create cohesive scenes.

Core modules

You’ll study examples from animation and visual effects in the industry, giving you the chance to choose techniques that will really connect with your audience.

Working together on this project, you’ll share specialist knowledge with others. You’ll improve your technical skills and creative abilities.

You’ll find opportunities that match your interests, and look into different areas and specialities. By learning from professionals, you’ll get how to showcase your talents and past work. The highlight of this module is that it helps you explain your own style and what you want to achieve.

With the right preparation, you’ll be able to confidently show the value you’ll bring to future employers or clients.

Demonstrating project management and problem-solving skills, through critical analysis and experimentation, you'll produce a body of work that advances knowledge in your discipline.

Communicating scholarly outcomes with impact, you'll demonstrate your knowledge and abilities, drawing together your learning into a compelling self-directed showcase.

This is the culmination of your degree journey - proving your readiness for professional and academic challenges ahead.

Dig into anatomy to rig complex models, meeting animation needs as you master FX techniques like muscles, skin, cloth. You'll work in teams, collaborating with modelers and animators, and learn to develop custom solutions, scripts and tools to achieve professional effects. You'll build an impressive portfolio including characters, vehicles, props and more, and use industry terminology to analyse and critique rigs. When you finish this module you'll have advanced expertise in rigging, FX and technical art sought after in film VFX. Let your creativity and problem-solving shine through imaginative rigging and simulations.

You'll implement programming concepts underpinning techniques like character rigging, particles, and simulations. Scripting modelling and animation functions within industry-standard software, you’ll structure efficient programs tailored to animation demands.

By making savvy use of plugins and libraries, you’ll generate stand-alone applications, whether for animation tool building or research. With Python proficiency, you'll gain technical prowess allowing you to breathe life into 3D visuals.

You’ll experiment with various digital design and compositing techniques, learning to blend elements seamlessly into scenes. This will enhance how viewers perceive each scene, thanks to improved visual continuity.

You’ll also look at industry terminology to effectively discuss the aesthetic and procedural aspects of complicated projects.

This module offers thorough training for working in professional environments where creative problem-solving is key to producing visually convincing effects.

Learn essential animation skills like rigging, modelling, and lighting through theory and practice. Use data to understand computer animation's history, current state, and future. Improve your art skills by studying ideas such as size and method, helping you make better designs for 3D assets.

After finishing this module, you’ll have an impressive showreel that shows off your technical and creative abilities.

As part of your games industry training, you will work on a project that aligns with your career aspirations. This could involve creating 3D characters and worlds, designing original artwork or animating game levels. You will have the freedom to unleash your creativity and showcase your skills by incorporating real-world elements into your game designs.

In addition, you will learn to make informed design decisions through independent study and proactive feedback, rather than relying solely on classroom instruction. By analysing professional works, you will be able to evaluate your own creations and ensure they meet industry standards.

By the end of this module, you will have built a portfolio that demonstrates your readiness to embark on a career in game development, with projects that reflect your ambitions.

You’ll experiment with physics simulations and procedural methods to significantly improve shot flow and audience engagement.

As you tackle the usual production challenges, you’ll have the chance to study examples from the industry. This research will help guide your artistic and technical choices.

Armed with a deeper industry understanding and digital expertise, you’ll be capable of seamlessly blending unique elements into coherent stories.

In this fascinating module, you’ll delve into this enthralling next-gen realm. Explore the latest techniques for digitally capturing human motion and seamlessly applying it to 3D character animation.

Join us in our futuristic mocap studio and master the entire process — from capturing data to animating it using industry software. Experts will guide you as you critically assess different technologies and develop skills to preserve the authenticity and nuance of performances.

By the end, you’ll have firsthand experience with this powerful storytelling tool, widely used to create captivating virtual characters in films, games, and beyond. Your creativity will soar as you explore the boundless possibilities of bringing digital worlds to life.

You'll prototype concepts while negotiating roles and self-managing workflows. You'll evaluate and bring ideas to life using professional project management approaches.

This module empowers you to translate concepts into tangible prototypes, and put technical and artistic skills into practice — preparing you for the creative challenges of real-world production.

Collaborating in a group, you'll refine and optimise a real-time interactive experience based on the brief from an external client. Through analysis and critical reflection, you'll assess the processes undertaken and trade-offs made between project stages.

The module cements both technical and teamwork skills. You'll gain hands-on practice applying project management methodologies in a professional manner.

Completing this module will provide experience negotiating the realities and demands of commercial production, allowing you to emerge industry-ready.

Optional modules

During this module, you'll spend 6 months working on your own business venture, then 3 months gaining industry experience. This opportunity allows you to apply what you've learned in a practical setting while exploring different career options. You'll also have the chance to develop professional relationships and expand your network.

Assess your personal strengths and weaknesses to set goals for the future. Throughout the module, you'll demonstrate increasing independence while still valuing the support of others. Gain a broader understanding of the world through real-world experiences and insights. Additionally, you'll earn valuable credits for your CV and enhance your skill set.

By the end of this module, you'll graduate with the practical experience that employers are seeking.

This experience lets you learn firsthand how to set up and run a small business. You’ll absorb professional practices and business situations that matter to your entrepreneurial goals. Make important connections while working independently within set rules. Think deeply about your strengths, weaknesses, criteria for success, and future plans.

This opportunity is useful for your career. It lets you use what you’ve learnt in your degree in the real world and helps you understand your capabilities.

After finishing this placement and the related assessments, you’ll get more credits for your sandwich degree. This practical experience is a valuable step in developing an entrepreneurial way of thinking.

You’ll spend 24–48 weeks at a chosen company, learning from professionals and helping out with actual projects. Gain confidence, knowledge, and skills by taking on more responsibility with gradually less help. As you progress, you’ll make professional connections and think about how you’re doing. Take in what you learn about how industries and businesses work.

This placement is an ideal chance to grow in your career. By using what you’ve learnt in a workplace, you’ll understand more about your own strengths, what you need to work on, and your plans after you graduate.

After this placement and the related assessments, you’ll get extra credits for your sandwich degree. This practical experience is a valuable part of your education.

Showcase specialised abilities by completing relevant assignments abroad. Then examine your global experience critically: how has immersion in foreign creative culture expanded your perspective? Identify new cross-cultural transferable skills to empower your continued educational and professional journey.

Evaluating international contexts, you'll critically connect on-site activities to your disciplinary knowledge, gaining global insights. Working independently abroad, you'll complete relevant assignments, honing skills transferable to your future career.

Upon returning, thoughtful reflection will reveal your personal growth as you process new worldviews and cross-cultural competencies.

Changes to course content

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. 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.


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.

For more about the teaching activities for specific modules, see the module list above.

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.

We use a blended learning approach to teaching, which means you’ll take part in both face-to-face and online activities during your studies.  As well as attending your timetabled classes you'll study independently in your free time, supported by staff and our virtual learning environment, Moodle.

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 dates

The academic year runs from September to June. There are breaks at Christmas and Easter.

See term dates

Supporting you

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 support via video, phone and face-to-face from teaching and support staff to enhance your learning experience and help you succeed. You can build your personalised network of support from the following people and services:

Types of support

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.

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.

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

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.

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 5.00pm to midnight at busy times of the year.

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.

Our online Learning Well mini-course will help you plan for managing the challenges of learning and student life, so you can fulfil your potential and have a great student experience.

You can get personal, emotional and mental health support from our Student Wellbeing Service, in person and online. This includes 1–2–1 support as well as courses and workshops that help you better manage stress, anxiety or depression.

If you require extra support because of a disability or additional learning need our specialist team can help you.

They'll help you to

  • discuss and agree on reasonable adjustments
  • liaise with other University services and facilities, such as the library
  • access specialist study skills and strategies tutors, and assistive technology tutors, on a 1-to-1 basis or in groups
  • liaise with external services

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.

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 In-Sessional English (ISE) programme to improve your English further.

​Course costs and funding

Tuition fees

  • UK/Channel Islands and Isle of Man students – £9,250 per year (may be subject to annual increase)
  • EU students – £9,250 a year (including Transition Scholarship – may be subject to annual increase)
  • International students – £17,900 per year (subject to annual increase)

  • UK/Channel Islands and Isle of Man students – £9,250 per year (may be subject to annual increase)
  • EU students – £9,250 a year (including Transition Scholarship – may be subject to annual increase)
  • International students – £17,900 per year (subject to annual increase)

Funding your studies

Find out how to fund your studies, including the scholarships and bursaries you could get. You can also find more about tuition fees and living costs, including what your tuition fees cover.

Applying from outside the UK? Find out about funding options for international students.

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.

Costs breakdown

Our accommodation section show your accommodation options and highlight 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.

If you take a placement year or study abroad year, tuition fees for that year are as follows:

  • UK/Channel Islands and Isle of Man students – £1,385 a year (may be subject to annual increase)
  • EU students – £1,385 a year, including Transition Scholarship (may be subject to annual increase)
  • International students – £2,875  a year (subject to annual increase)


How to apply

To start this course in 2024, apply through UCAS. You'll need:

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

 Apply now through UCAS


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

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.

To start this course in 2025, apply through UCAS. You'll need:

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

 Apply now through UCAS


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

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.

Applying from outside the UK

As an international student you'll apply using the same process as UK students, but you’ll need to consider a few extra things. 

You can get an agent to help with your application. Check your country page for details of agents in your region.

Find out what additional information you need in 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 abide by our Student Contract (which includes the University's relevant policies, rules and regulations). You should read and consider these before you apply.