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Visual Effects and Virtual Production MSc

This progressive post-production course combines visual effects with game engine technology to produce hyper-realistic blockbuster effects, elevating students to be the future of the film industry.

Overview

UK students enrolled on this course will receive a professional visual effects package worth over £1,500, giving you the tools to go further with postgraduate study at DMU. Learn more about the brand new equipment package and see terms and conditions.

Listen to Thom Wilson, Lecturer in VFX discuss the facilities, teaching, and opportunities available to our students.

 

With generous investment into a suite of virtual production and visual effects equipment, our Visual Effects and Virtual Productions MSc is the only course of its kind in the UK.

Virtual production is an innovative, modern post-production technique that uses real-time game engines to create photorealistic sets, then display them on large LED walls behind physical sets using the real-time rendering capabilities of game engines. Virtual production has recently emerged as a transformative technology that is revolutionizing the way films, television shows, and other visual media are created. Big productions, such as The Mandalorian, The Batman and multiple Marvel projects have all used virtual production techniques as a staple in their development.

With increasingly demanding audiences, quicker turnarounds and technological advances, organisations are looking for employees with skills and knowledge in both visual effects and virtual production to help streamline the process of pre-production and post-production. Our Visual Effects and Virtual Production MSc programme is at the cutting-edge of media technology, aimed at upskilling media specialists in the future of film and TV.

Using Leicester Media School’s bespoke virtual production studio – which includes a six-metre-wide industry leading LED video wall – and 12k resolution cameras, you will be able to shoot cinema-quality scenes and take your cinematic skills, filmmaking and post-production knowledge to the next level. Not only will you gain experience in the digital side of the subject, with the creation, refinement and implementation of artefacts, but also the practical studio skills that are required on set to ensure streamlined productions and visually ground-breaking content.

Designed in collaboration with industry professionals, and taught by experts in the field, this programme will ensure you learn the most up-to-date tools and techniques used in the industry. Upon graduation, you will be equipped with the skills needed to meet the demands of the fast-paced and ever-evolving world of virtual production and visual effects content.

Key features

  • Elevate your production game with our multi-million-pound specialist facilities, including an all-new virtual production suite, audio recording studios, online broadcast-standard radio production studios, multi-camera TV studios and full green screen capabilities.
  • Supercharge your career with a valuable work placement. Leicester Media School students have worked on live filming projects for Channel 4 right here on campus, as well as securing placements with top industry leaders and many local businesses offering paid opportunities. 
  • Join our dynamic student societies. As a member of our award-winning Demon Media group, you'll have the opportunity to contribute to its radio station, TV channel and website, and learn from industry experts.
  • As a Leicester Media School student, you'll have the opportunity to take part in DMU Global. Past students have explored Berlin's fascinating media history, produced a documentary film in Bali, and gone behind the scenes at New York's NBC Studios. 
  • Benefit from block teaching, where most students study one subject at a time. A simple timetable will allow you to really engage with your learning, receive regular feedback and assessments, get to know your course mates and enjoy a better study-life balance.

 

Scholarships:

DMU offers a range of undergraduate and postgraduate scholarships and bursaries to help you realise your academic ambitions.

International Scholarships

Find out about available scholarships and country specific fee discounts for international students. 

 

DMU has been shortlisted for the Postgraduate Award in the 2024 Whatuni Student Choice Awards (WUSCAs), as voted for by students.

  • UK
  • International

Course code: W70076

Duration: One year full-time

Start date: September

Fees and funding:

2024/25 full-time tuition fees UK students: £9,500

Find out more about course fees and available funding.

For any enquiries and further information on the course, or if you wish to speak to the programme leader,  please email ma.mti@dmu.ac.uk

To apply for this programme, please email admissions@dmu.ac.uk in order to receive an electronic application form.

Course code: W70076

Duration: One year full-time

Start date: September

Fees and funding:

2024/25 full-time fees for EU and international students: £17,600.

For any enquiries and further information on the course, or if you wish to speak to the programme leader, please email ma.mti@dmu.ac.uk

To apply for this programme, please email admissions@dmu.ac.uk in order to receive an electronic application form.

Entry criteria

You should have the equivalent of a British Honours degree (2:2 minimum) in a relevant subject.

Applications are welcome from candidates whose primary study or professional practice has been in media, technology or a related discipline.  In all cases, the candidate will demonstrate the potential to engage with the practical, creative, critical or aesthetic dimensions of the application of technology to film and post-production.

Equivalent qualifications from other international systems will receive the same consideration.

As part of your application you will be required to:

  • provide a 500-word statement explaining why you want to study the programme
  • provide a portfolio including a sample of original creative work

English language requirements

If English is not your first language an IELTS score of 6.5 overall is essential.

English language tuition, delivered by our British Council-accredited Centre for English Language Learning, is available both before and throughout the course if you need it.

 

Structure and assessment

 

Course modules

Academic expertise

Teaching and assessment 

 

 

  • Block 1: Virtual Environment Design
  • Block 2: Virtual Production Pipelines
  • Block 3: Virtual Asset Development
  • Block 4: Virtual Studio Production
  • Block 5: Main Portfolio Project

See more detailed module descriptions


The programme is led by an experienced Visual Effects artist, Thom Wilson. Thom has worked in well-renown VFX studios within London, as a VFX supervisor for feature film & TV broadcast projects, as well as a post-graduate level subject specialism. Thom is able to use his professional expertise to enhance the curriculum, for example by demonstrating the software and hardware that is used within the Visual Effects or Virtual Production industry.

 

Our approach to your learning experience is shaped by the aim to develop original ideas through engagement with a broad spectrum of artistic practices and reading widely in your field, while developing a high level of communication skills through written argument and discussion. 

  • Lectures by MTI2 staff and visiting scholars/practitioners
  • Seminars guided by specialist staff in research skills and the use of IT resources
  • Symposia and concert presentations by MTI2 staff and visiting artists
  • Individual tutorials with staff
  • Small group workshops enabling peer-led learning with scope for co-creation of study content
  • Peer-centred collaborative production of performances and events
  • Self-directed study in the form of independent reading, reviewing and creative practice

Assessments are varied and reflect the aim of developing independent learning and the ability to develop critical insight through questioning of received ideas, through: 

  • Practical creative work
  • Written work in the form of essays, analyses and case studies
  • Practice-based papers reflecting on the student's own creative work
  • Performances and design of environments

Facilities and features

Creative Technology Studios

Our multimillion-pound Creative Technology Studios feature industry-standard television, radio, music and audio recording studios, all supported by a team of Technical Instructors with a wide-range of industry experience. 

Our television studio is equipped with Sony broadcast-standard television cameras, Vinten pedestals and Autocue heads; a studio floor and infinity green screen; a full LED lighting rig with projection mapping and Production and Sound galleries. The multi-camera facility enables you to develop industry-standard techniques and practices covering all areas of television production, from camera work, directing and vision mixing, to presenting, sound and live streaming. 

The Creative Technology Studios are equipped with radio studios, broadcasting live to a 24-hour global audience. You will have access to industry-standard facilities built around an audio over IP infrastructure and our offline radio studios that enable pre-production of show content. In the studios, you’ll use software for audio playout, news gathering and listener interaction through social media and telecommunications. 

Our newly refurbished audio recording studios are equipped with a variety of digital and analogue mixing consoles and outboard hardware by SSL, Neve, Lexicon and Universal Audio. When it comes to software, you’ll be spoilt for choice with our range of cutting-edge post-production applications and plugins. Two live spaces are fully equipped with a range of professional microphones, instruments and amplifiers, supplying everything needed to bring your audio productions to the next level.  

Library

On campus, the main Kimberlin Library offers a space where you can work, study and access a vast range of print materials, with computer stations, laptops, plasma screens and assistive technology also available. 

As well as providing a physical space in which to work, we offer online tools to support your studies, and our extensive online collection of resources accessible from our Library website, e-books, specialised databases and electronic journals and films which can be remotely accessed from anywhere you choose. 

We will support you to confidently use a huge range of learning technologies, including Learning Zone, Collaborate Ultra, DMU Replay, MS Teams, Turnitin and more. Alongside this, you can access LinkedIn Learning and learn how to use Microsoft 365, and study support software such as mind mapping and note-taking through our new Digital Student Skills Hub. 

The library staff offer additional support to students, including help with academic writing, research strategies, literature searching, reference management and assistive technology. There is also a ‘Just Ask’ service for help and advice, live LibChat, online workshops, tutorials and drop-ins available from our Learning Services, and weekly library live chat sessions that give you the chance to ask the library teams for help.

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Opportunities and careers

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DMU's award-winning careers service provides guaranteed work experience opportunities DMU Careers Team
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Graduate careers

The demand for virtual production professionals is growing rapidly, and a postgraduate degree in virtual production can open up a wide range of career opportunities.

Graduates may find work in film and television production, video game development and advertising in roles such as virtual production supervisor, virtual cinematographer, virtual art director or virtual reality developer.

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DMU Global

This is our innovative international experience programme which aims to enrich your studies and expand your cultural horizons – helping you to become a global graduate, equipped to meet the needs of employers across the world.

Through DMU Global, we offer a wide range of opportunities including on-campus and UK activities, overseas study, internships, faculty-led field trips and volunteering, as well as Erasmus+ and international exchanges.

Students on Audio and Music courses have benefitted from the DMU Global programme through visits to musical institutions in Japan, Germany and the USA.

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