BSc (Hons) Visual Effects for Film and Television

The possibilities of pixels are endless with our Visual Effects for Film and TV degree. Focusing on the specialist skills needed to create computer generated and post-production visual effects, we offer industry-experienced staff and fantastic facilities, along with a proven track record of graduate success with award-winning employers.

BSc (Hons) Visual Effects for Film and Television

Course details

Visual Effects (VFX) is the art of manipulating and enhancing a filmed sequence using the integration of computer generated imagery (CGI) into a film plate. VFX sits at the heart of almost every global blockbuster film in the modern era. Whether it is the creation of hideous monsters, futuristic vehicles, or epic alien landscapes, VFX is the driving force behind the magic that you see on screen.

Our BSc (Hons) Visual Effects for Film and TV course is ideal if you wish to combine design creativity with cutting-edge 2D and 3D computer generated imagery to create visual effects. We offer hands-on experience covering the whole workflow of a digital VFX pipeline – from concept design, pre-production and visualisation, to the production of photorealistic 3D models/environments, and computer generated and composited images.

Our dedicated and experienced team will lead you in an exploration of 3D computer modelling, texturing, lighting, rendering, rigging and animation, as well as the more established areas of compositing, matte paintings and environments.

VFX artists need transferable skills too, including communication, project and time management, team-working and entrepreneurship. We aim to support you to develop these attributes, alongside the imagination, flair and curiosity that will enable you to design and deliver inventive VFX solutions for film, TV and advertising.

  • UCAS points: 104
  • Start date: 23/09/2019
  • Location: The University of Bolton
  • Award: BSc (Hons)
  • Duration: 4.5 years

Course highlights:

  • Each year our final year students are set industry briefs by Oscar-winning VFX studios such as Double Negative. These industry projects help our students form great links with top VFX studios, as well as enable them to receive direct feedback from leading industry artists and professionals.
  • Our Drama, Dance and Cinematics courses, including BSc (Hons) Visual Effects for Film and Television, are ranked top in the North West and top 10 in the UK for student satisfaction by the Complete University Guide 2018.
  • Also, our Film Production and Photography courses are placed in the top 10 in the UK for student-to-staff ratio by the 2018 Guardian University Guide, so you have access to individual tutor support and small group teaching.
  • You’ll have access to our fantastic range of VFX facilities, including our dedicated effects studio with infinity curve green screen, our site-wide renderfarm that uses distributed computing to render high quality, complex photo realistic scenes and environments, and our boutique film studio that includes broadcast standard cameras and lighting equipment.
  • You’ll also use industry-standard software, such as Autodesk Maya for 3D work, The Foundry’s Nuke and Mari for compositing and digital painting, and ZBrush for digital sculpting.
  • We’re committed to helping develop your employability and career network. You’ll be encouraged to attend guest lectures that enhance your learning and help you make contacts in the industry. For instance, Malcolm Watts, a Lead Modeller at Oscar Award-winning visual effects studio Double Negative (and University of Bolton VFX graduate) has recently shared his expertise with students on our SVFX courses.
  • Alongside your visual effects skills and knowledge, we’ll support you to develop a broader understanding of production design, including concepting, cinematography and composition. This will help you appreciate the roles, skills and expectations of other professionals working in the industry.

Key features:

  • The course is designed in collaboration with professional visual effects artists and studio directors. This ensures that the content is industry-relevant and includes the latest techniques and innovations.
  • We’ll help and support you to develop a portfolio of work/show reel that demonstrates your skills in readiness to impress potential employers.
  • Course assignments and projects mimic industry pipelines and standards so your experience is a realistic preparation for a career in visual effects.
  • Our dedicated staff team have a wide range of professional experience, industry knowledge, technical expertise and academic credentials, offering you a variety of perspectives and broadening your horizons.
  • We prefer to keep student numbers relatively small in lecture and practical classes, so that you have plenty of opportunities to ask us questions and get individual help, as well as benefit from the ideas and support offered by your classmates.
  • You’ll benefit from our advanced digital sculpting, make-up and animatronics design expertise and be able to choose a specialist module in one of these areas.
  • We’ll encourage you to research, analyse, design and develop visual effects techniques so that you can take an idea from a brief or script scene and find the most time-efficient, cost-effective and visually impressive way to turn that vision into reality.

Entry requirements

  • UCAS points: 104
  • Start date: 23/09/2019
  • Location: The University of Bolton
  • Award: BSc (Hons)
  • Duration: 4.5 years

Your Level 3 subjects must include at least one creative subject from the fields relating to either computing and/or art and design; for instance, A-level Art & Design or BTEC Extended Diploma in Computing. You should also have five GCSEs at grade C or above or grade 4 to 9 (or equivalent) including English and Mathematics.

You'll be required to attend for interview and provide a portfolio of appropriate work.

The quality of the portfolio/interview is the primary basis on which applicants are selected; therefore special consideration will be given to applicants without the above qualifications who have a strong portfolio.

If English isn't your first language you'll also need IELTS 6.0 with no less than 5.5 in any band (or equivalent). Find out more

Career opportunities

A Visual Effects graduate will be able to demonstrate and combine creative skills with high levels of technical ability. This degree will look at the technical aspects of 3D computer modelling, texturing, lighting, rendering, rigging and animation as well as the more established areas of compositing, matte paintings and environments. A wide range of transferable skills will also be gained including team work, planning and organisation, working to briefs and deadlines, communication both oral and written, presenting work and changes, critical analysis and logical thinking.

An interest in the moving image, creating short films or animation sequences, a basic grasp of scripting and automation, illustration and life drawing will all put you in good stead for a career in visual effects.

What can I do with this qualification?

The programme equips students for careers in the areas of film, commercials, television, visual effects production and business management. Some of the key job roles exist within modelling, 3D imagery, animation, matte painting, motion graphics, production, lighting, concept and match move artistry. Also more job roles are emerging with technology in new areas of the business, such as Groom Technical Directors that work with animated hair, and Stereographers that work with 3D imagery for cinema and virtual reality.

Our course targets the top level film and TV industries. Every year the course has existed, our graduates have consistently gained employment at Oscar-winning VFX studios. This has seen our graduates work on films such as Fantastic Beasts, The Jungle Book, Interstellar, and Star Wars, as well as TV shows such as Doctor Who. The skills developed in VFX have also seen our graduates forge successful careers in adjacent areas, such as the AAA games industry, game cinematics, high-end advertising and architectural visualisation.

Alternative career options

  • Advertising and marketing communications
  • Animation
  • Fashion and textiles
  • Games
  • Photo imaging
  • Publishing
  • Teaching
  • Arts management
  • Research and development

Professional recognition

Fees & funding

No fee information is currently available, please contact Student Data Management on 01204 903059 or for more information

The fees for a student’s course of study will be set for the normal duration of that course subject only to inflationary increases – measured by the Consumer Price Index (CPI) recorded in March each year to take effect for subsequent start dates.

The University is currently awaiting Government guidelines as to EU fee charges for students commencing study in 2019/20.

UK undergraduate tuition fees are subject to UK government approval and are subject to the outcome of the Teaching Excellence Framework.

How to apply



Teaching & assessment


Modules listed below are a mixture of compulsory and optional. You may not have the opportunity to study all the modules as part of the course.

  • Scholarship
  • Introduction to FX Modelmaking
  • Introduction to 3D CG
  • Introduction to CGI for Film and TV
  • 3D Physical Processes
  • Concepting and Composition of the Shot
  • Employability and Entrepreneurial Skills
  • Computer Graphics for Film and TV
  • Multi Year Group FX Project 1
  • Portfolio Project
  • Visual Effects and Colour Correction
  • History of Effects with Animatronics
  • History of Effects with Effects Make-up
  • History of Effects with Pyrotechnics
  • History of Effects with Advanced Digital Sculpting
  • Research
  • Advanced CG for Film and TV
  • Major Project
  • Multi Year Group FX Project 2
  • Compositing

Teaching, learning and assessment

We use a wide variety of teaching and learning methods to help you achieve your potential, and you can expect our blended style to include lectures, seminars, tutorials and critiques, self-directed learning, e-learning and laboratory/workshop sessions, as well as online learning.

Lectures are used to introduce the core course content, while seminars allow you to explore subjects in greater detail. Practical skills and techniques are gained through technical introduction and support, workshop sessions, demonstrations and activity-based assignments. Tutorials allow you to ask any questions you have, ensuring you understand the topics covered in lectures and workshop sessions.

Guest lectures and visits give you opportunities to engage with and learn from respected professionals working in the visual effects arena. Our highly practical and project-based approach promotes active learning, and our specialist facilities create realistic industry-like learning environments. Our project modules encourage you to interact and collaborate with students specialising in both your own and other areas of special and visual effects, helping to give you a taste of working on group and multidisciplinary projects.

Personal and independent study is essential and you should expect to devote a significant amount of time to activities such as project work, background reading, preparation for seminars and tutorials, research, design and creative thought.

In terms of assessment, you can expect assignments, projects, practical exams, case studies, quizzes, interviews and presentations. As far as possible, we set project-based coursework that simulates professional situations. These pieces contribute to your final mark and allow you to demonstrate that you’ve met the learning outcomes.


The university will use all reasonable endeavours to deliver your course as described in its published material and the programme specification for the academic year in which you begin your course. Please be aware that our courses are subject to review on an ongoing basis. The content of course modules and mode of associated assessments may be updated on an annual basis. This is to ensure that all modules are up to date and responsive to employment and sector needs. The published course material and the programme specification contain indicative ‘optional modules’ that may be subject to change due to circumstances outside of our control. For this reason we cannot guarantee to run any specific optional module.

Assessment methods

Level Assessment method
Level One Coursework (95%), Practical exams (5%), Written exams (0%)
Level Two Coursework (74%), Practical exams (26%), Written exams (0%)
Level Three Coursework (93%), Practical exams (7%), Written exams (0%)

Learning activities

Level Learning activity
Level One Guided independent study (61%), Scheduled learning and teaching activities (39%)
Level Two Guided independent study (61%), Scheduled learning and teaching activities (39%)
Level Three Guided independent study (69%), Scheduled learning and teaching activities (31%)

Contact The University

Key facts

  • Course type:
  • Start date:
  • Location:
    The University of Bolton
  • Award:
    BSc (Hons)
  • UCAS points:
  • Duration:
    4.5 years

Contact us

Richard Jones
Programme Leader
Telephone: +44 (0)1204 903487

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