Using the latest techniques in 3D computer graphics you’ll learn how to create stunning objects and character, and how to put these into real life footage to make believable scenes that will wow audiences around the world.
Split between our High Wycombe campus and BNU teaching base at Pinewood Studios, you’ll have the opportunity to learn the skills and knowledge you need for your future, all whilst studying right in the heart of the famous creative hub.
"My favourite part of the course was that I could tailor it to my interests and goals. It gave me the opportunity to see the pipeline on creating 3D models. The support and vision that I got from all tutors was incredible. Now I feel confident about my new roles in the industry as an artist."Tiago Laureano
We understand that when it comes to deciding where you’d like to study, there are a lot of things to consider. Come along to our Open Day and discover why BNU could be the place for you. You can find out more about your course, meet the course team, and get all your questions answered.
For everything you need to know about applying, check out our Application Guide. You can find useful information for each stage of your application journey – from before you even apply to what to do if you receive an offer, and everything in between.
Why study this subject?
Whether it is 3D, FX techniques or digital sculpting, a skilled Visual Effects artist can create the illusion of real life. In this industry all roles call for high levels of creativity and passion for storytelling. Your skills will be valuable in any Visual Effects role, including but not limited too;
- Architectural Visualisation
Why study at Buckinghamshire New University?
At Buckinghamshire New University we focus on preparing you for work in the industry, helping you to stand out to employers when you graduate. With the right teaching and learning opportunities, it’s possible to turn your passion for visual effects into a rewarding and successful career.
Led by our enthusiastic and dedicated team of industry-savvy practitioners and experienced visual effects, you will have the freedom to explore all areas of visual effects. During your time with us you may also get direct access to guest lectures and can benefit from live project briefs, master classes, and plenty of networking opportunities.
On this dynamic course you’ll have access to all the industry-standard equipment you need to bring your ideas to life, such as a VR lab, motion capture studio and state or the art face capture kit and Xsens suits.
You could also find yourself working at our BNU teaching base at Pinewood Studios. Here you’ll have the opportunity to learn the skills and knowledge you need for your future, all whilst studying right in the heart of the famous creative hub.
Our Small group sizes enable staff and students to work together as a friendly and collaborative community of learners. It also means you’ll benefit from more one to one support with your lecturer.
With London only a short journey away, you can take the opportunity to visit some of the world’s best exhibitions, galleries, museums and conventions for inspiration.
What facilities can I use?
We’ve made sure you have access to industry-standard equipment. Our labs give you access to;
- Adobe Creative Cloud
Most of our 3D animation is currently done in Maya. To combine live TV with computer graphics you will use VizRT. For modelling you’ll use ZBrush, Marvellous Designer and a range of other pieces of software commonly used in industry. We review the list every year.
We have the latest equipment used in many films, TV shows and commercials. A motion capture studio, renderfarm, and even VR facilities for this increasingly important area in delivery and development. You’ll have access to a stop motion studio and up-to-date camera equipment.
Whilst studying with us you will also use our AppsAnywhere web service, which provides access to many of the software applications you use for learning and studying. AppsAnywhere can be used from your own device or from a University owned PC or laptop, from any location.
This video was our first experiment with our new Xsens motion capture suits. With the help of dancers from BNU’s BA Dance and Performance course, we motion captured a routine on the concourse running though the university and replaced one of the dancers with a version of the Lonely Robot and comped this back into the footage. We also have state of the art Faceware kits for face motion capture.
What will I study?
This course is offered as a four-year programme, including an initial Foundation Year. The Foundation Year will allow you to develop your academic study skills and build confidence in your abilities, identifying your own strengths and development needs for progression onto an undergraduate degree.
We’ve structured the course to build up your skills during your time with us and you’ll learn everything you need to know to be career-ready upon graduation. Starting with the fundamentals, you’ll learn the basics of CGI skills and the basics of animation.
If you have no experience of Visual Effects, don’t worry. You’ll get to grips with tools and techniques early on. We start with the fundamentals, where you’ll learn the basics of CGI and animation skills. Covering everything you’ll need to create realistic scenes and believable, engaging characters.
You’ll use 3D modelling to create objects and characters and learn about the pipeline of a professional project. Throughout your degree, you’ll learn how to integrate your objects and characters into existing footage to create stunning scenes, which could even include destruction simulation You’ll also learn how to build an organic character using industry standard sculpting and character FX techniques.
By your final year, you’ll have found the specialism you want to focus on in the industry. Your projects will give you the opportunity to hone your skills, work in realistic industry scenarios and have opportunities to collaborate with students on other creative courses at the University.
How will I be taught and assessed?
Our BNU teaching team are industry-professionals, with years of experience working in the sector and training future generations of talented digital artists. Through their support and the course, you’ll gain the skills and knowledge you need within the industry.
You’ll also have the opportunity to work with guest lecturers, take part in a range of workshops and work on a load of live briefs. With the busy nature of the studios, and London being so close, there will be a constant flow of talented animators for you to learn from.
Because exams are not very useful in assessing the artistic capability of a Visual Effects Artist, we focus on portfolio-based coursework instead. You’ll keep a reflective journal and learn to give presentations like the professionals. From groom and clothing, to bringing a character to life you’ll be hands-on in gaining the skills you need.
You'll be assessed through individual and group projects which put what you’ve learnt into practice. We work with the Visual Effects industry to ensure what you learn during your time on this course is all relevant and up to date with what employers are looking for.
BNU is a Placements Plus university. So, whatever degree you do, you can be sure there’ll be plenty of industry-relevant opportunities on offer, to help you get into your chosen field.
We’ll also prepare you for work beforehand, with special skills for work training, further boosting your CV, and building skills employers will value. In recognition of the value we place on these skills we have incorporated this experience into your study time.
Placements Plus is all about helping you get some valuable experience under your belt while you’re a student, to increase your choices later, and help you get the graduate-level job you want.
What are the course entry requirements?
A typical offer will require a UCAS tariff score of: 32 - 56
Applicants who do not meet the minimum requirements for the 3-year undergraduate programme, or those who do not feel fully prepared for a Level 4 course, will be considered for the 4-year programme including a Foundation Year. If you wish to enquire further, please send your query along with any academic evidence or references to firstname.lastname@example.org
Find out more about our General Entry Requirements.
This provides a guide of the modules that make up your course. You can find more information about how your course is structured on our Academic Advice section.
Year 1 Modules
Preparing for Success Knowledge and Creativity
Preparing for Success Self-development and Responsibility
Inquiry and Research Skills
Year 2 Modules
3D Modelling and Pipeline
Texturing and Look Development
Lighting and Rendering
Animation Principles and The Moving Figure
Year 3 Modules
Modelling and Look Development
Digital Sculpting and Organic Modelling
Year 4 Modules
Industry Production Project
Creative Production Project
What are the tuition fees
Home, Academic Year 2022 - 2023
£9,250 per year
Overseas/International, Academic Year 2022 - 2023
£14,250 per year
What are my career prospects?
Throughout your time with us we’ll support you on your journey to your chosen career. We’ll help you to develop crucial skills, encouraging you to become enterprising, employable and good leaders. We also help you find employment after graduation. Have a look at our Careers and Employability pages to find out more.
Our BA (Hons) Visual Effects course will help prepare you for a range of career possibilities in any sector which requires a VFX artist. Our recent alumni have gone onto work for:
- TT Games. (Warner Bros)
- Mediatonic Games
- Airship Studios
Graduates can also choose to study for a postgraduate course.
In 2022 we held our first end of year show at the John Barry Theatre at Pinewood Studios. Professionals from the industry were invited to see students' work from their final year on the BA (Hons) Visual Effects course, providing exciting networking opportunities. These industry experts were very impressed with the quality of students' work.