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MSc Computer Animation & Visual Effects

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  • Delivery:
    Full time according to Funding Council definitions

Technical directors within the animation and games industries often have to work alongside computer animators and resolve technical problems either by configuring existing software tools or designing new tools.

During your year-long study, you will develop your programming and scripting skills, and become familiar with special techniques and tools associated with computer animation. These skills are assessed in a variety of projects you will undertake during the year. Emphasis is placed on the use of industry standard hardware and software in the development of these techniques. Typical examples include the development of C++ programs to test new algorithms, the writing of shaders to support rendering, and the developing of scripts and tools to create new effects. 

The academic aspects will provide you with a strong theoretical underpinning for the principal areas of study, including lecture series on computer graphics techniques, animation software development, principles of computer graphics, the fusion of art and technology, and personal research projects. You will also have the opportunity to collaborate with students on the other two Master’s courses in the Group Project. This format provides a realistic setting to discover what it’s like working with other creative people and working to a strict timescale.

Some short clips from the 2018 Bournemouth University animation postgraduate degree show.

The course attracts students from all over the world, giving it a strong interdisciplinary, international feel. We enjoy very strong links with industry, due largely to the ubiquity of NCCA graduates in the film, game and television industries. Our graduates have worked on films such as Blade Runner 2049, The Avengers, Solo: A Star Wars Story, Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald and Dunkirk. 

MSc Computer Animation & Visual Effects is one of three Master's degree pathways created by the National Centre for Computer Animation NCCA. All pathways share a great deal of core teaching, but also have specific pathway teaching. If your primary area of interest is mostly digital effects and moving image theory, then our Digital Effects programme may be a better choice for you. If your skills are mostly illustration or figurative character-based, then our 3D Computer Animation programme may be the better choice.

Key information

Next start date:

September 2019, September 2020

Location:

Bournemouth University, Talbot Campus

Duration:

1 year full-time

Accreditations:

ScreenSkills

Entry requirements:

A Bachelors Honours degree with 2:2 in any subject. For more information see our full entry requirements

International entry requirements:

IELTS (Academic) 6.5 or above with a minimum of 6.0 in each component of writing, speaking, listening and reading. For more information see our full entry requirements

Course details

On this course you will 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, demonstrators, technicians and research students. You will also benefit from regular guest lectures from industry.

The course is split into four terms, each lasting ten weeks. The first three terms are the Postgraduate Diploma (PGDip), and the final term is the Master’s term.​

Download the programme specification (pdf 760kb)

Your application

This course will be suited to graduates from a technical background wishing to expand their knowledge into the fields of Computer Animation, Visual Effects or Games. It will take the existing programming, mathematics and engineering knowledge and apply it to different areas of computer animation and effects.

Entry requirements

Careers

Our computer animation courses are well regarded within the industry and based on previous years, the employment prospects for postgraduates are excellent.

A number of our courses have the ScreenSkills Tick, which indicates the quality of our computer animation degrees and shows that we offer training that prepares you for a career in the sector. The ScreenSkills Tick is awarded by ScreenSkills, the sector skills council for the creative industries. We’ve worked very closely with ScreenSkills to develop a range of ground-breaking short courses aimed at media professionals.

All of our accredited courses have undergone a rigorous assessment process conducted by experts working in the creative media industries and our strong industry links have played an important role in gaining us this accreditation. 

Costs and fees

You can find full information about the deposits required and how to pay your fees in our postgraduate fees and funding section, including details of the Postgraduate Loan (subject to fee status).

All fees are quoted in pounds sterling and are per annum. Fees quoted are for tuition only unless stated otherwise. Your tuition fees will be the same for each year of your course.

Find out more about living expenses for postgraduate students

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