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CGI and Visual Effects

BSc (Hons)

Outstanding facilities

Including our Motion Capture Stage, Television Studio and Specialist Workstations

100% employability

Destinations of Leavers from Higher Education 2018

Innovative software

Specialist labs with Maya, Houdini, Nuke, PFtrack, Substance, Mari and more

UCAS code:
W614
Location:
Stoke-on-Trent campus
Study option:
Full-time
Choose another study option
Duration:
3 Years
Start date:
21 September 2020
Book onto an Open Day Enquire about this course Apply now

Want to gain the technical skills to create awe-inspiring effects for film, television, games and advertising? Try our CGI and Visual Effects degree.

The UK visual effects industry is amongst the most highly regarded in the world – and this is your chance to become a part of it. Our Computer-Generated Imagery (CGI) and Visual Effects degree is optimised for students wishing to learn the creative and technical skills required to produce awe-inspiring special effects for film, television, games and advertising.

Combining visual effects, 3D modelling, animation and digital technology, this course teaches you to produce the sort of mind-blowing results that you see in Hollywood blockbusters. Whether you’re keen to create explosions and chaos, or master the technology required to bring a motion capture character to life, we can prepare you for an exciting career in the visual effects industry.

On successful completion of study, we will issue the following award: BSc (Hons) CGI and Visual Effects

On successful completion of study, we will issue the following award: BSc (Hons) CGI and Visual Effects

On successful completion of study, we will issue the following award: BSc (Hons) CGI and Visual Effects

Course content

Your first year will see you get to grips with the foundations of CGI and VFX. You’ll be introduced to software such as Maya, Nuke and the Substance suite of tools. You will learn how to build 3D models and apply textures and lighting to your results. You will learn about Compositing including fundamental skills of rotoscoping, plate cleanup, green screen removal, digital makeup and 3D integration with filmed footage. You will learn about the film making process, what to think about on set, how to record data during a shoot for later use. You will learn technical photography, how to capture HDRI panoramic images and how to track footage to allow the integration with CG objects.

In your second year you are introduced to the concept of 'Technical Art', and all the areas of CG and VFX that benefit from a deeper technical understanding. We introduce you to Houdini, which we are one of only a few schools in the UK certified for teaching this software. We will develop your 3D skills by introducing you to terrain generation and populating environments with details such as plants and rocks. You will learn to create tools that generate 3D models automatically. You will learn about dynamics and simulation - how to create CG fire, water and destruction effects and then moving on to abstract effects and motion graphics. We show you how to script in Python, allowing you to automate processes and create small tools for the programs you used in your first year. We also teach you 'rigging' the process of creating control structures for CG creatures and vehicles. After all the other modules have completed you will take your new skills and work together as a group on a project brief.

In your final year, you’ll complete an individual research-based project and portfolio piece that will become the cornerstone of the showreel that you’ll take out to industry. You also take part in another group project, to show employers that you are familiar with the requirements of working in a team. Finally we will teach you about becoming more employable in the games and VFX industries and give you guidance on developing your CV, career network, interview skills and portfolio presentation.

After the second year of study, students on our placement year will complete 12 months of relevant work experience.

Your first year will see you get to grips with the foundations of CGI and VFX. You’ll be introduced to software such as Maya, Nuke and the Substance suite of tools. You will learn how to build 3D models and apply textures and lighting to your results. You will learn about Compositing including fundamental skills of rotoscoping, plate cleanup, green screen removal, digital makeup and 3D integration with filmed footage. You will learn about the film making process, what to think about on set, how to record data during a shoot for later use. You will learn technical photography, how to capture HDRI panoramic images and how to track footage to allow the integration with CG objects.

In your second year you are introduced to the concept of 'Technical Art', and all the areas of CG and VFX that benefit from a deeper technical understanding. We introduce you to Houdini, which we are one of only a few schools in the UK certified for teaching this software. We will develop your 3D skills by introducing you to terrain generation and populating environments with details such as plants and rocks. You will learn to create tools that generate 3D models automatically. You will learn about dynamics and simulation - how to create CG fire, water and destruction effects and then moving on to abstract effects and motion graphics. We show you how to script in Python, allowing you to automate processes and create small tools for the programs you used in your first year. We also teach you 'rigging' the process of creating control structures for CG creatures and vehicles. After all the other modules have completed you will take your new skills and work together as a group on a project brief.

In your final year, you’ll complete an individual research-based project and portfolio piece that will become the cornerstone of the showreel that you’ll take out to industry. You also take part in another group project, to show employers that you are familiar with the requirements of working in a team. Finally we will teach you about becoming more employable in the games and VFX industries and give you guidance on developing your CV, career network, interview skills and portfolio presentation.

After the second year of study, students on our placement year will complete 12 months of relevant work experience.

Your first year will see you get to grips with the foundations of CGI and VFX. You’ll be introduced to software such as Maya, Nuke and the Substance suite of tools. You will learn how to build 3D models and apply textures and lighting to your results. You will learn about Compositing including fundamental skills of rotoscoping, plate cleanup, green screen removal, digital makeup and 3D integration with filmed footage. You will learn about the film making process, what to think about on set, how to record data during a shoot for later use. You will learn technical photography, how to capture HDRI panoramic images and how to track footage to allow the integration with CG objects.

In your second year you are introduced to the concept of 'Technical Art', and all the areas of CG and VFX that benefit from a deeper technical understanding. We introduce you to Houdini, which we are one of only a few schools in the UK certified for teaching this software. We will develop your 3D skills by introducing you to terrain generation and populating environments with details such as plants and rocks. You will learn to create tools that generate 3D models automatically. You will learn about dynamics and simulation - how to create CG fire, water and destruction effects and then moving on to abstract effects and motion graphics. We show you how to script in Python, allowing you to automate processes and create small tools for the programs you used in your first year. We also teach you 'rigging' the process of creating control structures for CG creatures and vehicles. After all the other modules have completed you will take your new skills and work together as a group on a project brief.

In your final year, you’ll complete an individual research-based project and portfolio piece that will become the cornerstone of the showreel that you’ll take out to industry. You also take part in another group project, to show employers that you are familiar with the requirements of working in a team. Finally we will teach you about becoming more employable in the games and VFX industries and give you guidance on developing your CV, career network, interview skills and portfolio presentation.

After the second year of study, students on our placement year will complete 12 months of relevant work experience.

Academic year

The course operates on a modular basis that provides flexibility and choice. Typically the majority of modules are 30 academic credits with a smaller number of 15 credit modules. Each credit taken equates to a total study time of around 10 hours. Total study time includes scheduled teaching, independent study and assessment activity. Full-time students take modules worth 60 credits per semester, with part-time students taking proportionately fewer credits per semester. All students take a total of 120 credits per level and 360 credits for the degree as a whole. Your overall grade for the course and your degree classification are based on the marks obtained for modules taken at levels 5 and 6. The full-time course has one start point in September.

The course operates on a modular basis that provides flexibility and choice. Typically the majority of modules are 30 academic credits with a smaller number of 15 credit modules. Each credit taken equates to a total study time of around 10 hours. Total study time includes scheduled teaching, independent study and assessment activity. Full-time students take modules worth 60 credits per semester, with part-time students taking proportionately fewer credits per semester. All students take a total of 120 credits per level and 360 credits for the degree as a whole. Your overall grade for the course and your degree classification are based on the marks obtained for modules taken at levels 5 and 6. The full-time course has one start point in September.

The course operates on a modular basis that provides flexibility and choice. Typically the majority of modules are 30 academic credits with a smaller number of 15 credit modules. Each credit taken equates to a total study time of around 10 hours. Total study time includes scheduled teaching, independent study and assessment activity. Full-time students take modules worth 60 credits per semester, with part-time students taking proportionately fewer credits per semester. All students take a total of 120 credits per level and 360 credits for the degree as a whole. Your overall grade for the course and your degree classification are based on the marks obtained for modules taken at levels 5 and 6. The full-time course has one start point in September.

Modules

The tables provide an indicative list of the modules that make up the course for the current academic year. Each module is worth a specified number of credits. Our teaching is informed by research, and modules change periodically to reflect developments in the discipline. We aim to ensure that all modules run as scheduled. If for any reason a module cannot be run we will advise you as soon as possible and will provide guidance on selecting an appropriate alternative module.

Standard route

Year 2 compulsory modules
3D Modelling For Vfx 30 credits
Digital Compositing 2 30 credits
Dynamics And Simulation For Visual Effects 15 credits
Junior Vfx Project 15 credits
Scripting Concepts For Vfx 15 credits
Visualisations 15 credits

We use UCAS points in our offer making and welcome a wide range of qualifications.

  • Typical UCAS offer: 112 points
  • A levels: BBC
  • BTEC: DMM

We use UCAS points in our offer making and welcome a wide range of qualifications.

  • Typical UCAS offer: 112 points
  • A levels: BBC
  • BTEC: DMM

We use UCAS points in our offer making and welcome a wide range of qualifications.

  • Typical UCAS offer: 112 points
  • A levels: BBC
  • BTEC: DMM

Facilities

Careers

Our graduates have seen incredible industry success, with former students having worked on major films like Avengers: End Game, The Lion King and Maleficent: Mistress of Evil.

Staffordshire University alumni can be found working for some of the best CGI and VFX houses in the world, including MPC, Double Negative, Framestore, Outpost, Random42, Pennant International and many more.

Teaching

You will be taught through a combination of lectures, seminars, workshops and laboratory practicals. Seminars enable you to discuss and develop your understanding of topics covered in lectures in smaller groups of around 16-18 students. In addition, you will have timetabled meetings with your personal tutor at least twice a year. You will be taught in first-class learning spaces throughout your course. Many of our courses are accredited or recognised by professional, statutory or regulatory bodies.

You will be taught through a combination of lectures, seminars, workshops and laboratory practicals. Seminars enable you to discuss and develop your understanding of topics covered in lectures in smaller groups of around 16-18 students. In addition, you will have timetabled meetings with your personal tutor at least twice a year. You will be taught in first-class learning spaces throughout your course. Many of our courses are accredited or recognised by professional, statutory or regulatory bodies.

You will be taught through a combination of lectures, seminars, workshops and laboratory practicals. Seminars enable you to discuss and develop your understanding of topics covered in lectures in smaller groups of around 16-18 students. In addition, you will have timetabled meetings with your personal tutor at least twice a year. You will be taught in first-class learning spaces throughout your course. Many of our courses are accredited or recognised by professional, statutory or regulatory bodies.

Assessment

Your course will provide you with opportunities to test your understanding of your subject informally before you complete the formal assessments that count towards your final mark. Each module normally includes practice or ‘formative’ assessments, for which you receive feedback from your tutor. Practice assessments are developmental and any grades you receive for them do not count towards your module mark. There is a formal or ‘summative’ assessment at the end of each module. This includes a range of coursework assessments, such as essays, reports, portfolios, performance, presentations, final year, independent project and written examinations. The grades from formal assessments count towards your module mark.

Your course will provide you with opportunities to test your understanding of your subject informally before you complete the formal assessments that count towards your final mark. Each module normally includes practice or ‘formative’ assessments, for which you receive feedback from your tutor. Practice assessments are developmental and any grades you receive for them do not count towards your module mark. There is a formal or ‘summative’ assessment at the end of each module. This includes a range of coursework assessments, such as essays, reports, portfolios, performance, presentations, final year, independent project and written examinations. The grades from formal assessments count towards your module mark.

Your course will provide you with opportunities to test your understanding of your subject informally before you complete the formal assessments that count towards your final mark. Each module normally includes practice or ‘formative’ assessments, for which you receive feedback from your tutor. Practice assessments are developmental and any grades you receive for them do not count towards your module mark. There is a formal or ‘summative’ assessment at the end of each module. This includes a range of coursework assessments, such as essays, reports, portfolios, performance, presentations, final year, independent project and written examinations. The grades from formal assessments count towards your module mark.

Learning support

In addition to the excellent support you will receive from your course teaching team, our central Academic Skills team provides group and one-to-one help to support your learning in a number of areas. These include study skills (including reading, note-taking and presentation skills); written English (including punctuation and grammatical accuracy); academic writing (including how to reference); research skills; critical thinking and understanding arguments; and revision, assessment and examination skills (including time management). Our Student Enabling Centre supports students with additional needs such as sensory impairment, or learning difficulties such as dyslexia.

Additional support

Our AccessAbility Services support students with additional needs such as sensory impairment, or learning difficulties such as dyslexia.

Feedback

Examination feedback may take a variety of formats. However, as a minimum, generic feedback will be made available to all students who take written examinations.

Examination feedback may take a variety of formats. However, as a minimum, generic feedback will be made available to all students who take written examinations.

Examination feedback may take a variety of formats. However, as a minimum, generic feedback will be made available to all students who take written examinations.

Staff

You will be taught by an expert teaching team whose expertise and knowledge are closely matched to the content of the modules on the course. The team includes senior academics and professional practitioners with industry experience. Postgraduate research students who have undertaken teaching training may also contribute to the teaching of seminars under the supervision of the module leader.

Dan McCarthy
Dan McCarthyCourse Leader

Dan has extensive knowledge of software and techniques used in visual effects, particularly Maya, PFtrack and Nuke. His research interests are around the meeting of art and technology, especially when it comes to simulation and computational geometry.

Read full profile

For the course starting on 21 September 2020 the tuition fees are:

Study option
Full-time
UK / EU / Channel Islands
£9,250 per year of study
International (Non-EU)
£14,000 per year of study

For the course starting on 21 September 2020 the tuition fees are:

Study option
Part-time
UK / EU / Channel Islands
£4,620 per year of study

For the course starting on 21 September 2020 the tuition fees are:

Study option
Full-time
UK / EU / Channel Islands
£9,250 per year of study
International (Non-EU)
£14,000 per year of study

UK, EU and Channel Island students: This tuition fee is agreed subject to UK government policy and parliamentary regulation. If the UK government passes appropriate legislation, the fee for subsequent years of study may increase in each academic year. But this increase will not exceed the rate of inflation as measured by RPIX**. Any change in fees will apply to both new and continuing students. The University will notify students of any change as early as possible. Further information about fee changes would be posted on the University’s website once this becomes available.

**RPIX is a measure of inflation equivalent to all the items in the Retail Price Index (RPI) excluding mortgage interest payments.

International (Non-EU) students: Tuition fees will remain the same for each year of your course, as long as you complete it in the normal time-frame (i.e. no repeat years or breaks in study).

Apply

Stoke-on-Trent campus
BSc (Hons)
Full-time
21 September 2020

Rules and regulations

If you are offered a place at Staffordshire University, your offer will be subject to our rules, regulations and enrolment conditions, which may vary from time to time.

Students of Staffordshire University enter into a contract with us and are bound by these rules and regulations, which are subject to change. For more information, please see: University Policies and Regulations.

13/12/2019 02:38:44 / CGI and Visual Effects / Full-time / 30.0 / 36.0 / SSTK-10695 / Direct link

13/12/2019 02:38:44 / CGI and Visual Effects / Part-time / 5.0 / 36.0 / SSTK-10712 / Direct link

13/12/2019 02:38:44 / CGI and Visual Effects / Full-time, with a placement year / 3.0 / 36.0 / SSTK-10713 / Direct link