University of Bolton|

Visual Effects for Film & Television - BSc (Hons) part-time

Why choose this course?

Here we will give you a challenging academic environment that is focused on bringing out the best in you.

  • Cross disciplinary projects
  • Good FX industry links
  • Interaction with working practitioners in the field
  • Industry standard software
  • Award winning employers

Course overview

Together with our sister course, the BDes in Special Effects for Film and TV, we are the only programmes in the UK that deliver the range of skills required for progress into a variety of special and visual effects positions within the film and television industry. The courses cover the complete workflow from pre-production through in-camera effects to digital production and post-production.

The programme boasts a newly created Infinity Curve Green Screen within our dedicated Effects Studio. In addition, the new site wide renderfarm uses industry tools to harness the power of distributed computing, to render high quality, complex photo realistic scenes and environments, together with HD broadcast standard cameras.

About the course

This programme is for students who wish to combine design creativity with cutting edge 2D and 3D computer generated imagery in the creation of a variety of visual effects for film, television and advertising.

It encompasses 3D computer modelling, texturing, lighting, rendering, rigging and animation as well as the more established areas of compositing, matte paintings and environments.

The programme covers the whole workflow of a digital visual effects pipeline from concept design, pre-production and visualisation to the production of photorealistic 3D models/environments and computer generated and composited images. We aim to help students to design and delivery imaginative and inventive visual effects solutions for advertising, film and TV.

Although this programme focuses on the creation and use of digital assets, any modern large scale film or TV production will use both physical and digital effects.

While you will specialise in your chosen area you will work across fields so that you develop an understanding of the overall production workflow and your contribution to it.

You will be taught through lectures, seminars and tutorials and a great deal of the teaching underpins academic theory as applied to real-life practical scenarios.

Special features

  • The programme uses its strong industry links to great effect by bringing in guest speakers from industry, visits to (and from) relevant companies, conference visits and the opportunity to be involved with graduate recruitment events. Visits from past graduates, now working with industry, are encouraged as is contribution and interaction with industry through our online learning environment – the FX hub.
  • Experience can be gained through industry supplied briefs for projects and feedback from “real world” practitioners.
  • You will benefit from our pyrotechnical, make-up and animatronics design expertise and be able to study specialist modules in these areas.

Course overview

Together with our sister course, the BDes in Special Effects for Film and TV, we are the only programmes in the UK that deliver the range of skills required for progress into a variety of special and visual effects positions within the film and television industry. The courses cover the complete workflow from pre-production through in-camera effects to digital production and post-production.

The programme boasts a newly created Infinity Curve Green Screen within our dedicated Effects Studio. In addition, the new site wide renderfarm uses industry tools to harness the power of distributed computing, to render high quality, complex photo realistic scenes and environments, together with HD broadcast standard cameras.

Professional recognition

Elements of the programme are BECTU recognised.

Course overview

Together with our sister course, the BDes in Special Effects for Film and TV, we are the only programmes in the UK that deliver the range of skills required for progress into a variety of special and visual effects positions within the film and television industry. The courses cover the complete workflow from pre-production through in-camera effects to digital production and post-production.

The programme boasts a newly created Infinity Curve Green Screen within our dedicated Effects Studio. In addition, the new site wide renderfarm uses industry tools to harness the power of distributed computing, to render high quality, complex photo realistic scenes and environments, together with HD broadcast standard cameras.

Careers & professional development

At least one graduate from every year of our course has been employed by an Oscar winning visual effects agency (as at 2012/13). Graduates have worked on recent movies such as Thor: The Dark World, Man of Steel and Guardians of the Galaxy.

The programme equips students for business careers in the areas of film, commercials and television visual effects production. Graduates may also find employment in the many creative industries and entertainment industries rapidly developing in the UK. Past students have worked in related areas as diverse as architectural visualisation, games trailers and music video productions.

Students may undertake work placements ranging from one month to 12 months with a regional visual effects studio working on commercial projects.

There is also the opportunity to be involved with graduate recruitment events during the final year of your studies.

Award(s)BSc (Hons)
Admissions (MCR) codeW621-P
Mode of attendance Part-time
Duration(s) 4.5 years
Start date(s) September
Entry requirements 260 UCAS points from at least two A2-levels (or equivalent) in any subjects.

You should also have five GCSEs at grade C or above (or equivalent) including English and mathematics.

You will be invited to attend an interview at which you will need to present a portfolio of your recent image-related or project-based work.

The portfolio/interview is one factor on which applicants are selected; special consideration will be given to applicants without the above qualifications who have a strong portfolio.

If English is not your first language you will also normally need IELTS 6.0 (or equivalent).

Awarding bodyUniversity of Bolton
Location(s) University of Bolton:
Deane Campus,  Deane Road,  Bolton,  BL3 5AB

What you will learn

The programme is made up of modules covering various aspects of designing and making models/environments and the use of digital compositing, animation and CG to create visual effects to be used in scenes within film, TV and commercials.

Most of the coursework is project-based, and structured to simulate professional situations as much as possible. Starting with more directed, skills-based work, the student progresses to have increasing control over their own studies, ultimately proposing creative work which reflects their own strengths and interests.

The software used is the same used in the industry from Autodesk Maya for 3D work to The Foundry’s Nuke and Mari (for compositing and digital paint) as well as ZBrush for digital sculpting.

As well as developing visual ideas and practical skills, visual effects artists have to be able to communicate verbally and be able to analyse and synthesise ideas in words. They have to be able to take an idea from a brief or script scene and analyse the most efficient way to execute the process in turning this vision into reality whether using live action practical effects or digital visual effects (or the combination of both). Consequently, the programme includes an element of research, discussion, verbal presentation and written work.

Examples of recent graduate work can be seen on our website at www.bolton.ac.uk/vfx

What you will study

Level 1:

Scholarship; 3D Physical Processes; Introduction to Visual Effects; Introduction to FX Modelmaking; Introduction to 3D CG; Introduction to CGI for Film and TV.

Level 2:

Employability and Entrepreneurial Skills; CG for Film and TV; Multi Year Group FX Project; Portfolio Project; Visual Effects and Colour Correction and one of: History of Visual/Special Effects with Animatronics; History of Visual/Special Effects with Make-up for Effects; History of Visual/Special Effects with Pyrotechnics.

Level 3:

Research; Advanced CG for Film and TV; Multi Year Group FX Project 2; Compositing; Major Project.

Careers & professional development

At least one graduate from every year of our course has been employed by an Oscar winning visual effects agency (as at 2012/13). Graduates have worked on recent movies such as Thor: The Dark World, Man of Steel and Guardians of the Galaxy.

The programme equips students for business careers in the areas of film, commercials and television visual effects production. Graduates may also find employment in the many creative industries and entertainment industries rapidly developing in the UK. Past students have worked in related areas as diverse as architectural visualisation, games trailers and music video productions.

Students may undertake work placements ranging from one month to 12 months with a regional visual effects studio working on commercial projects.

There is also the opportunity to be involved with graduate recruitment events during the final year of your studies.

Professional recognition

Elements of the programme are BECTU recognised.

Fees, funding and finance information

There are no fees to display for this academic year. Call +44 (0)1204 903951 for more information.

There are no fees to display for the next academic year. Call +44 (0)1204 903951 for more information.

Additional costs

Additional cost for some materials, dependent on project work being undertaken; conferences and trade events also incur costs.

Contact us

For an informal discussion and further details about the course please contact:

Damien Markey (Programme Leader)
Tel: +44 (0)1204 903434

For further information and details of how to apply please contact:

Enquiry Team (University of Bolton)
Tel: +44 (0)1204 903903

Web: http://www.bolton.ac.uk

How to Apply

You can now apply for many of our courses using our online application process. To see if you can apply online or for more information as to how to proceed with your application click on one of the links below.

You can also download an application form and guidance notes here.

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