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Visual Effects BSc (Hons)

This industry-focused course provides you with the skills needed to gain a leading role in visual effects for video and film.

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Overview

Jim Russell, Head of the Leicester Media School, explains the facilities, teaching and opportunities available to Visual Effects students at DMU as well as DMU Global.

Visual Effects BSc has been developed in consultation with the industry to deliver skills relative to the production of visual effects (VFX) across a range of contemporary media. The use of VFX is commonplace within broadcast productions, film and animation, video games, and in advertising. This is reflected in the scope of this course as it pulls from a number of disciplines including film, special effects, animation and 3D, to complement the interdisciplinarity of the subject.

This course also encourages you to develop your creative flair and understanding of industry-standard software to create your own 3D content for use in film and television projects.

As an integral part of the multibillion-pound film and television industry, studying the creative and technical skills used in VFX can open up extensive career prospects.

Our graduates have gone on to work in roles such as compositors and matte painters, as well as wider media-based roles such as colourists and finishers.

Key features

  • On this course, you will study a range of topics including VFX and compositing basics, 3D modelling and animation, match-moving and MOCAP (motion capture), and tracking rigging and compositing.
  • Benefit from our specialist facilities, featuring audio recording studios, broadcast-standard radio production studios and management systems, standalone film studios equipped with multi-cameras, as well as green screen facilities.
  • Our VFX facilities include high-definition mixed media workstations, using industry-standard software such as 3ds Max, Maya, Nuke, After Effects and DaVinci Resolve.
  • Through block teaching, you will focus on one subject at a time instead of several at once. This means that you will be able to focus closely on each subject and absorb your learning material in more depth, whilst working more closely with your tutors and course mates.
  • Our DMU Global programme offers students the opportunity to have a valuable international experience as part of their studies. During a trip to Berlin, VFX students were able to explore the historical, social and cultural context of animated content, visual effects and film.
  • Gain valuable hands-on experience by joining a range of student societies such as the award-winning Demon Media group, with opportunities to contribute to its magazine, radio station, TV station and website.

News stories

Media expert awarded British Academy funding to examine inequality in TV and film industry

DMU celebrated for contributing to the UK's creative excellence

More courses like this

Animation BA (Hons)

Film Studies BA (Hons)

Media Production BSc (Hons)

  • UK
  • EU/International

Institution code: D26

UCAS course code: W614

Duration: Three years full-time, four years with placement

Fees and funding: 

2022/23 tuition fees for UK students: £9,250

Institution code: D26

UCAS course code: W614

Duration: Three years full-time, four years with placement

Fees and funding: 

2022/23 tuition fees for international students: £15,250

Find out more about available funding for international students.

Entry criteria

  • A typical offer is 104 UCAS points from at least two A-levels, or equivalent or
  • BTEC National Diploma/ Extended Diploma at DMM

Plus five GCSEs at grade 4 or above, including English and Maths or equivalent.

Alternative qualifications include:

  • Pass in the QAA accredited Access to HE. English GCSE required as a separate qualification as equivalency is not accepted within the Access qualification.
  • We will normally require students to have had a break from full-time education before undertaking the Access course or
  • International Baccalaureate: 24+ points

Portfolio Required : No

Interview Required: No

We welcome applications from mature students with non-standard qualifications and recognise all other equivalent and international qualifications.

UCAS tariff information

Students applying for courses starting in September will be made offers based on the latest UCAS Tariff.

English language

If English is not your first language then an IELTS score of 6.0 overall with a minimum of 5.5 in each component (or equivalent) 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

Education 2030

We want to ensure you have the best learning experience possible and a supportive and nurturing learning community. That’s why we’re introducing a new block model for delivering the majority of our courses, known as Education 2030. This means a more simplified timetable where you will study one subject at a time instead of several at once. You will have more time to engage with your learning and get to know the teaching team and course mates. You will receive faster feedback through more regular assessment, and have a better study-life balance to enjoy other important aspects of university life.

Find out more information about Education 2030.

 

Course modules

Teaching and assessments

 

Year one

Block 1: Film and Photography Capture

Block 2: Introduction to VFX

Block 3: 3D Modelling and Animation

Block 4: Commercial Content Production

 

Year two

Block 1: Film and Photography Techniques

Block 2: Compositing and Matte Painting

Block 3: Character Animation and MoCap

Block 4: Creative Enterprise

 

Year three

Block 1: Short Film Production OR Post-production and Editing OR Virtual Production and Immersive Technology 

Block 2: Compositing for Film and Broadcast

Block 3: 3D for Film and Animation

Block 4: Portfolio Project

 

 

Teaching

Students will learn through a combination of lectures, tutorials, seminars, laboratories, workshops, self-directed study, presentations, screenings, demonstrations, and group and individual projects.

 

Assessment

 

Assessments fall into two main types: coursework assessments and formal examinations. The coursework assessments include practical reports, computer-based assessments, short tests, case study reports, critiques and oral presentations.

Students are also assessed by formal examinations, which test the knowledge and skills they have developed over the course of the module. There are a variety of formats for the written examinations, including some or all of the following: short-answer questions, problem-based questions, case-study questions and essay questions. 

 

Facilities and features

Creative Technology Studios

Our multimillion-pound Creative Technology Studios offer a host of industry-standard video, audio and radio production suites, as well as two fully equipped recording studios featuring analogue and digital recording systems and surround sound monitoring.

Use motion-capture studios for the teaching and research of 3D image capture, modelling and display, video and audio production suites, plus television studios with HD video cameras, green screen and virtual-studio capabilities.

VFX students can use recording studios with surround sound monitoring and film studios with multi-camera and green screen facilities.

Library and learning zones

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 Blackboard, 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.

More flexible ways to learn

We offer an equitable and inclusive approach to learning and teaching for all our students. Known as the Universal Design for Learning (UDL), our teaching approach has been recognised as sector leading. UDL means we offer a wide variety of support, facilities and technology to all students, including those with disabilities and specific learning differences.

Just one of the ways we do this is by using ‘DMU Replay’ – a technology providing all students with anytime access to audio and/or visual material of lectures. This means students can revise taught material in a way that suits them best, whether it's replaying a recording of a class or adapting written material shared in class using specialist software.

Opportunities and careers

Find the people who will open doors for you

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

VFX graduates are equipped to pursue roles such as compositors and matte painters, as well as wider media-based careers such as colourists and finishers.

Students can specialise in the field that interests them most, from motion capture or set design, to lighting and grading. Graduates of this course will also have the opportunity to apply for one of our specialist postgraduate courses if they wish to continue studying. 

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#DMUglobal

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 #DMUglobal, 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.

During a trip to Berlin, VFX students explored the historical, social and cultural context of animated content, visual effects and film. Students have also visited Hungary, where they learned about historical techniques and approaches to media production, as well as state-run media production during the Cold War era of Eastern Europe.

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Placements

Work placements are offered as part of this course and can boost your skills and experience while studying, as well as improving your chances of gaining a graduate level job.

We have links with organisations both in the UK and internationally, and the placements team can help you find a placement to suit your interests and aspirations.

Students from the Faculty of Computing, Engineering and Media have taken part in work experience placements at a number of local and national companies, including HBO, Stormburst Studios, Vita Industrial, IBM, 508 Kings Road Gallery, Microsoft, and Intel.

Take your next steps