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BA (Hons) Visual Effects (with Foundation Year option)

If you want to work in the feature film visual effects industry or associated areas, this is the perfect course. You'll embrace the complete visual effects post-production pipeline and focus on theory, principles and production of assets and shots.

  • Clearing
  • UCAS Code:
    W614
  • Institution:
    B50
  • Delivery:
    Sandwich (Thick) out of college.

Places still available to study this September with flexibility in our entry requirements.

Call us on +44 (0)1202 966777 or apply online.

Why study BA (Hons) Visual Effects at BU?

  • Produce a high-quality demonstrative portfolio of work related to the knowledge and production of professional quality feature film visual effects
  • Tailor your studies to either a more technical or artistic flavour depending on your desired career aspirations
  • Benefit from supportive tutors who provide tailored and personal reviews of your work
  • Access specialist facilities including a new green screen and motion capture studio, as well as animation laboratories, equipped with industry-standard software
  • Mirror industry practice by working collaboratively with other National Centre for Computer Animation (NCCA) students on our courses in Art & Design and Technical Arts to create visual effects work
  • Make invaluable contacts before you graduate through regular industry guest speakers and BU’s BFX Festival, featuring a fantastic line-up of speakers, masterclasses, exhibitions, screenings and networking events.

Find out more about the content of this course.

For September 2022 entry: We are currently developing a foundation year option for UK students who do not meet the entry requirements for the degree course. This additional year of study will give you a grounding in the skills required for this course, building your confidence, knowledge and skills for further study. After successful completion of the foundation year, you will progress to the full degree. This page will be updated with more information in October 2021. Please register your interest and we will email you when the foundation year option is open for applications 

Study at the National Centre for Computer Animation

The NCCA is one of the most established and highly regarded centres for computer graphics and animation education and research. As one of very few research-intensive animation centres in the UK, our expertise not only ensures our courses remain at the forefront of education, but also helps to define new industry practices. 

The NCCA is ranked as the UK’s top animation school, second in Europe and third internationally (Animation Career Review, 2021).

Some short clips from the 2019 Bournemouth University animation undergraduate degree show.

Key information

Next start date:

September 2021, September 2022

Location:

Bournemouth University, Talbot Campus

Duration:

3 years with an optional 8 week placement (or 4 years with a-30 week placement) full-time

Required subjects:

An art, design, mathematics or technology subject including Art, Computing, Fine Art, Graphic Design, Mathematics, Media Design, Photography, Physics, Product Design

Entry requirements:

Places still available to study this September with flexibility in our entry requirements.

Call us on +44 (0)1202 966777 or apply online.

International entry requirements:

For September 2021 and September 2022 entry: If English is not your first language you'll need IELTS (Academic) 6.0 with a minimum of 5.5 in each component, or equivalent. For more information, check out our international entry requirements.

Course details

This course will use tools and design work created by students on our Computer Animation courses in Art & Design and Technical Arts to create visual effects work, just like it happens in the feature film visual effects industry. As such, the course doesn’t cover the technical aspects of mathematics and programming or the more creative aspects of character design and story generation.

On this course you will usually be taught by a range of staff with relevant expertise and knowledge appropriate to the content of the unit. This will include senior academic staff, qualified professional practitioners and research students. You will also benefit from regular guest lectures from industry.

Contact hours and assessment

Details of the assessment methods and contact hours for each unit of the course can be found in the programme specification. 

Download the programme specification (pdf 528kb)

Placements

At BU, we recognise that placements are extremely valuable and can give you a head start when it comes to your future career. That’s why we offer every new student the opportunity to undertake a work placement as part of their course.

You could even choose to undertake your placement abroad, giving you the opportunity to develop yourself personally, academically, and professionally and gain skills to help you stand out in the job market.

Find out about BU students’ experiences on placementsAll you need to know about placements

Entry requirements

This course requires 112–128 UCAS tariff points including a minimum of 2 A-levels or equivalent. A portfolio will also be required in support of your application. We are happy to consider a combination of qualifications and grades to meet the overall tariff, for example A-levels A*BC, ABB, BBC or ACC, BTECs DDM or DMM. You can use the UCAS calculator to see how your qualifications equate to UCAS tariff points.

If you do not meet these you may want to consider our foundation year, a one-year course that will prepare you for degree-level study.

Calculate your UCAS tariff points

2021 and 2022 entry

Required subjects An art, design, mathematics or technology subject including Art, Computing, Fine Art, Graphic Design, Mathematics, Media Design, Photography, Physics, Product Design.
Numeracy and literacy requirements (e.g. GCSEs) GCSE English Language or English Literature and Mathematics grade 4 (or grade C in the old grading system). We also accept iGCSEs, Key Skills and Functional Skills and other qualifications at Level 2 of the National Qualifications Framework. See all of the equivalencies.
A-level and AS levels 112–128 UCAS tariff points from a minimum of two A-levels or equivalent, including 32 points in one required subject.
Advanced Welsh Baccalaureate – Skills Challenge Certificate We accept this qualification, but it must be accompanied by an A-level sized qualification to meet the overall UCAS tariff.
Access to HE Diploma 112–128 UCAS tariff points with any combination of Distinction, Merit, Pass grades.
BTEC National
  • Extended Diploma: Distinction, Merit, Merit (112 UCAS tariff points)
  • Diploma: Distinction*, Distinction* (112 UCAS tariff points)
  • Foundation Diploma/ 90-credit Diploma: We accept this qualification, but it must be accompanied by an A-level sized qualification to meet the overall UCAS tariff
  • Extended Certificate/ Subsidiary Diploma: We accept this qualification as part of the overall tariff.
Cambridge International Pre-U Diploma 104–120 UCAS tariff points from a minimum of two principal subjects.
Cambridge Technical
  • Extended Diploma: Distinction, Merit, Merit (112 UCAS tariff points) in a required subject
  • Diploma: Accepted as part of the overall tariff
  • Subsidiary Diploma: We accept this qualification, but it must be accompanied by an A-level sized qualification to meet the overall UCAS tariff
  • Introductory Diploma: We accept this qualification, but it must be accompanied by an A-level sized qualification to meet the overall UCAS tariff.
Extended Project Qualification We accept this qualification, but it must be accompanied by two A-level sized qualifications to meet the overall UCAS tariff.
International Baccalaureate Certificates 112–128 UCAS tariff points from a minimum of two Higher Level certificates.
International Baccalaureate (Diploma) An overall score of 30–32 points including grade H5 in a required subject.
Scottish Highers 112–128 UCAS tariff points from a minimum of four Scottish Highers.
Scottish Advanced Highers 112–128 UCAS tariff points from a minimum of two Scottish Advanced Highers including 32 points in a required subject.
T Levels We will recognise T Level qualifications at a suitable level (and in a suitable subject, if applicable). 

Foundation year entry requirements

Numeracy and literacy requirements There are no GCSE requirements. The foundation year will cover these skills in preparation for degree study.
For September 2021 and September 2022 entry 48–72 UCAS tariff points.

International entry requirements

You can find details of the international qualifications we accept, and what level of study they apply to, on our entry requirements for non-UK students' page.

Please see below some examples of the qualifications for entry onto Year 1 for September 2021 and September 2022 entry:

  • Chinese Senior High School Graduation Certificate (Huikao) average 80%, or Gaokao 66-76%. Grade depends on the course
  • Hong Kong HKDSE Diploma (4,4,3 to 4,4,4 from three subjects). Grade depends on the course
  • All India Senior School Certificate Examination (Standard XII) 65-75%
  • Italian Esame di Stato with 65-75%. Grade depends on the course
  • Titulo de Bachillerato with 6.5 or 7.5. Grade depends on course

We offer a number of preparatory programmes through Bournemouth University International College. These courses offer you progression from High School in your home country to a Bachelor’s degree at BU.

English language requirements

If English is not your first language, you will need to provide evidence that you can understand English to a satisfactory level. English language requirements for this course are normally:

For September 2021and September 2022 entry: If English is not your first language you'll need IELTS (Academic) 6.0 with a minimum of 5.5 in each component, or equivalent. For more information, check out our international entry requirements.

View further information about our English language requirements.

If you do not meet the English language requirement for your degree then why not join our Pre-Sessional English course? Successful completion of our Pre-Sessional English course will meet your English language requirement.

Your application

We are looking for applicants who can:

  • Demonstrate both intellectual and creative abilities
  • Have a passion for the discipline of visual effects
  • Show an understanding of the animation, visual effects or games industry
  • Have a strong creative or technical background 
  • Demonstrate good written and oral communication skills.

You must possess either good mathematical or artistic ability, demonstrated in your portfolio and show a keen interest in the world of animation, visual effects and/or computer games production. You should have an understanding of how the industry works and the job roles within it. Most of all you must be a passionate, creative innovator with a strong imagination. You should also have an understanding of computers; some students may already have basic programming skills, however this is not an essential requirement.

How to apply

Careers

Our computer animation courses are exceptionally well regarded within the industry, and as a result our graduates rarely struggle to find work once they finish their course.

During your degree you will have the opportunity to work with some of the UK’s leading computer animation organisations, through the National Centre for Computer Animation (NCCA), and can make valuable contacts before you graduate.

Our NCCA graduates have gone on to work on some of the most successful films of recent times, including Avatar, Lord of the Rings, Harry Potter, Interstellar, Gravity and Alice in Wonderland, to name just a few. Our graduates work all over the world, and many are employed by the industry’s leading animation and production houses, software houses, and computer game and digital media companies.

Within 15 months of completing their course, 85% of our computer animation and games students were employed in a professional or managerial position.

Careers advice, resources, events and job opportunities

Costs and fees

All fees are quoted in pounds sterling and are per year. Your tuition fees will be the same for each year of your course. You can find full information about funding your studies and paying your fees in our undergraduate fees and funding section. That’s also where you’ll find information about the scholarships and bursaries on offer.

Fees quoted are for tuition only unless stated otherwise, and we’re committed to ensuring there are no hidden extra costs while you’re at university – that’s why we’re clear about what you can expect us to cover, and what your cost of living will be.

Find out more about budgeting and living expenses

Our staff

On this course you will be taught by staff with relevant expertise and knowledge appropriate to the content of the unit. This could include senior academic staff, qualified professional practitioners and research students, many of whom are actively engaged in research and/or professional practice which is integrated into the teaching of this course. Please note that staff can change.

Course changes

Statistics shown throughout this page are taken from Unistats and BU institutional data unless otherwise stated.