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Ellie Larkin, BA (Hons) Animation, UCA Farnham

Visual Effects BA (Hons)

Visual Effects BA (Hons)

Farnham

Course overview

On our BA (Hons) Visual Effects degree at UCA Farnham, you'll start your journey into becoming a highly skilled technical artist and innovator for VFX for films and animations.

On this course, you will gain a competent and practical working knowledge of a range of computer graphics techniques and methodologies used in the production of professional computer animation and visual effects production pipelines. We'll teach you how to effectively use industry-relevant software tools that drive the production of film, television, game and creative technology experiences, while also developing a language for criticality and creative expression.

In your first year, you'll learn how to use a range of software tools including powerful 2D, 3D, and visual effects software packages, through creative exercises that introduce visual effects concepts within the production pipeline.

The second year is when you'll gain a deeper creative and technical knowledge, while developing an understanding of broader narrative, world, and character-building processes that include asset and look development, study of movement, FX simulation, lighting, and rendering techniques.

Your third year will introduce you to a nearby powerhouse visual effects studio with a truly global presence. You'll discover how these companies are developing the artists and tools that drive the most innovative visual effects and animation on the big and small screen. And you'll conclude your studies with a final major project that gets you ready to launch your career in the industry.

You have the option to complete a Professional Practice Year as part of this course. This will give you the opportunity to develop your professional, academic and personal potential, equipping you to be confident and engaged in creative workplaces. Employers widely recognise these qualities, and a significant proportion of placement students are offered graduate-level jobs or go onto postgraduate study.

Please note: this course is subject to validation and the 3 year BA (Hons) course and 4 year BA (Hons) course with Professional Practice Year have been suspended for 2022 entry. 

Our standard three year undergraduate degree for those who meet the entry requirements for higher education.

UCAS Code for 3 year/standard: W614

A four year degree programme, including a foundation year to help develop your creativity before you embark on year one of a degree.

UCAS Code for course with Integrated Foundation Year: W61F

A four year course, specifically designed to provide international students with the English language and creative skills before they embark on year one of a degree.

UCAS Code for course with Integrated International Foundation Year: W61H

A four year programme, which sees you spend an entire year gaining valuable industry experience prior to your final year of study.

UCAS Code for course with Professional Practice: W619

A five year course, including a foundation year to help develop your creativity before you embark on year one of a degree, and a year on a professional placement gaining valuable industry experience prior to your final year of study.

UCAS Code for course with Integrated Foundation Year and Professional Practice Year: W61G

A five year course, including an international foundation year concentrating on English language and core creative skills before you embark on year one of a degree, and a year on a professional placement gaining valuable industry experience prior to your final year of study.

UCAS Code for course with International Integrated Foundation Year and Professional Practice Year: W61J

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Course details

Course Details

The content of the course may be subject to change. Curriculum content is provided as a guide.

UCA’s Integrated Foundation Year is designed to give you the skills you’ll need to start your degree in the best possible way – with confidence, solid knowledge of creative practice, study skills and more.

You’ll explore a range of creative techniques and develop your portfolio, with your chosen subject in mind. We’ll work with you throughout the year to ensure you’re on the right track and give you the tools to achieve your highest potential on your degree.

For our students coming from a non-UK educational background, UCA has launched an Integrated International Foundation Year, based at UCA Farnham to bring students from around the world to one hub of creativity.

This year of preparatory study is designed to give you the skills you’ll need to start your degree in the best possible way – with confidence, solid knowledge of creative practice, study skills and the English speaking and writing skills you’ll need to succeed.

You’ll explore a range of creative techniques and develop your portfolio, with your chosen subject in mind. We’ll work with you throughout the year to ensure you’re on the right track and give you the tools to achieve your highest potential on your degree.

In your first year, you'll focus on building your understanding of how visual effects work, and your individual style in the development of professional practice. Alongside this, you will explore the core illustration practices that you'll need in your career, including the use of appropriate software packages. Units include:

  • Exploring Creativity
  • Production Tools 1: Introduction
  • Introduction to Visual Effects
  • Pre-visualisation
  • Animation Techniques 1
  • Textual Practices
  • Asset Integration 1
  • Post-visualisation
  • Storytelling and Narrative Development 2 (elective)
  • Animation Techniques 2 (elective)

You'll deepen your investigation into the illustrative and software skills that you will need to continue your development as a visual effects artist, and also look into client requirements and your role as an emerging creative industries' professional.

Your units will be as follows:

  • Making and Exploring
  • Critical Analysis with English for Academic Purposes 1 (Year 2 direct entry only)
  • Worlds and Landscapes 1
  • Creatures and Character Development
  • Exploring Visual Culture
  • Critical Analysis with English for Academic Purposes 2 (Year 2 direct entry only)
  • Asset Integration
  • Modelling and Textures
  • Lighting and Rendering (elective)
  • Technical Effects (elective)
  • Real-Time Graphics Systems (elective)
  • Motion Capture and Visual Effects (elective)
  • Image Processing for Visual Effects (elective)
  • Scripting for DCC (elective)

You'll also complete a professional placement if you are not undertaking the Professional Practice Year pathway.

Students undertaking the Professional Practice Year will also complete the following:

  • Creative Innovation
  • Industry Lecture Series

If you opt to complete a professional practice year, this will take place in year three. You will undertake a placement within the creative industries to further develop your skills and CV.

While on your Professional Practice Year, you will be required to pay a reduced tuition fee for that year. This fee will be determined using government funding regulations. Based on current regulations, we expect this to be a maximum of 20% of the tuition fee rate that you are charged for your second year of study. You will also incur additional travel and accommodation costs during this year. The University will provide you with further advice and guidance about this as you approach your Professional Practice Year.

Please note: If you are an international applicant, you will need to enrol onto the course ‘with Professional Practice Year’. It will not be possible to transfer onto the Professional Practice Year after enrolment

Your final year will see you channel your newfound experience and knowledge into an exciting final project, and undertake trips to major international centres of Visual Effects in order to prepare for your career in the industry.

  • Creating Community 1
  • Global Creative Industries
  • Professional Practice
  • Creating Community 2
  • Pre-production for Visual Effects
  • Degree Project

This course offers the opportunity to study abroad for part of your second year. To find out more about studying abroad as part of your course please see the Study Abroad section:

Tuition fees
2022 course fees for Year 1 entry and Integrated Foundation Year:

  • UK students - £9,250 
  • EU students - £9,250 (see fee discount information)
  • International students - £16,950

If you opt to study the Professional Practice Year, for 2022 you will be required to pay a reduced tuition fee of £1,850 (UK students) and £3,390 (International students). You will also incur additional travel and accommodation costs during your Professional Practice year. The University will provide you with further advice and guidance about this.

Additional course costs
In addition to the tuition fees there may be other costs for your course. The things that you are likely to need to budget for to get the most out of a creative arts education will include books, printing costs, occasional or optional study trips and/or project materials. These costs will vary according to the nature of your project work and the individual choices that you make. Details for these will be available here in due course.

Further information
For more detailed information about our course fees and any financial support you may be entitled to please see our fees and finance pages.

The fees listed here are correct for the stated academic year only. Costs may increase each year during a student’s period of continued registration on course in line with inflation (subject to any maximum regulated tuition fee limit). Any adjustment for continuing students will be at or below the RPI-X forecast rate.

Industry placement
offer

Preparing graduates for successful careers underpins everything we do, and all students on this course will be offered an industry placement anywhere between two weeks and a year in length, depending on their individual needs. We’ll draw on our wide range of contacts within the creative industries to ensure you’re offered opportunities that align with your interests and future career aspirations.

Course specifications

 

Please note, syllabus content indicated is provided as a guide. The content of the course may be subject to change in line with our Student Terms and Conditions for example, as required by external professional bodies or to improve the quality of the course.

Facilities

Animation facilities include stop a motion studio with Dragonframe capture software, Canon DSLRs and professional camera stands, and stages pre-rigged with grips, stands and lights. Studios feature individual workstations, lightboxes, Wacom tablets, line testers and batch scanners. Macs are equipped with the full Adobe Creative Suite, as well as Toon Boom and Maya CG software, while there are also sound and editing suites on campus.

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Animation studio, UCA Farnham

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Sound studios, UCA Farnham

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Animation studio, UCA Farnham

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Library, UCA Farnham

Course connections

Course connections

We’ve built an extensive network of industry connections in animation and film to give us access to high-profile visiting lecturers, and to commissions, competitions and exciting work placement opportunities. For example, our industry links in animation include:

  • Aardman Animation
  • Studio AKA
  • Cinesite
  • The Mill
  • Create and Make
  • Agile Films
  • Blackdog Films Limited
  • HSI Film
  • Blink Productions
  • The Film Club
  • National Film and TV School
  • Passion Pictures (one of the leading studios in Europe)
  • Nexus
  • Moth Collective
  • UsTwo
  • Beakus
  • Fudge Animation
  • Animade

You may also like to consider further study at postgraduate level.

Entry requirements

Entry requirements

BA (Hons) course
BA (Hons) course with Professional Practice Year

The standard entry requirements* for these courses are one of the following:

  • 112 new UCAS tariff points, see accepted qualifications
  • Pass at Foundation Diploma in Art & Design (Level 3 or 4)
  • Distinction, Merit, Merit at BTEC Extended Diploma / BTEC National Extended Diploma
  • Merit at UAL Extended Diploma
  • 112 new UCAS tariff points from an accredited Access to Higher Education Diploma in appropriate subject
  • 27-30 total points in the International Baccalaureate Diploma with at least 15 IB points at Higher level, see more information about IB entry requirements.

And four GCSE passes at grade A*-C and/or grade 4-9 including English (or Functional Skills English/Key Skills Communication Level 2).

Other relevant and equivalent Level 3 UK and international qualifications are considered on an individual basis, and we encourage students from diverse educational backgrounds to apply.  

 


 

BA (Hons) course with Integrated Foundation Year
BA (Hons) course with Integrated Foundation Year and Professional Practice Year

The standard entry requirements for these courses are one of the following:

  • 64 new UCAS tariff points, see accepted qualifications
  • Pass at Foundation Diploma in Art & Design (Level 3 or 4)
  • Merit, Pass, Pass at BTEC Extended Diploma / BTEC National Extended Diploma
  • Pass at UAL Extended Diploma
  • 64 new UCAS tariff points from an accredited Access to Higher Education Diploma in appropriate subject
  • 24 points from the International Baccalaureate, see more information about IB entry requirements.

And four GCSE passes at grade A*-C and/or grade 4-9 including English (or Functional Skills English/Key Skills Communication Level 2).

Other relevant and equivalent Level 3 UK and international qualifications are considered on an individual basis, and we encourage students from diverse educational backgrounds to apply. 

 


 

BA (Hons) course with Integrated International Foundation Year
BA (Hons) course with Integrated International Foundation Year and Professional Practice Year

For these courses you need to have completed 12 years* of schooling (with good grades) and show strong evidence of your ability to successfully complete the programme and progress onto your chosen degree.

 


 

*We occasionally make offers which are lower than the standard entry criteria, to students who have faced difficulties that have affected their performance and who were expected to achieve higher results. We consider the strength of our applicants’ portfolios, as well as their grades -  in these cases, a strong portfolio is especially important.

Don't meet the international entry requirements or English language requirements?

You may be able to enter the course through the following entry pathways:

Pre-sessional English courses

UCA International Foundation courses

The UCA International College

BA (Hons) course
BA (Hons) course with Professional Practice Year

For these courses, we’ll need to see your portfolio for review. We’ll invite you to attend an Applicant Day so you can have your portfolio review in person, meet the course team and learn more about your course. If you would prefer to upload a portfolio digitally, there is also the option to submit it online via your UCA Applicant Portal. Further information will be provided once you have applied.

 


  

BA (Hons) course with Integrated Foundation Year
BA (Hons) course with Integrated Foundation Year and Professional Practice Year

These courses don't require a portfolio. If you receive an offer, you’ll be invited to attend an Applicant Day where you can meet the course team and learn more about the course.

 


 

BA (Hons) course with Integrated International Foundation Year
BA (Hons) course with Integrated International Foundation Year and Professional Practice Year

These courses don't require a portfolio. If you receive an offer, you’ll be invited to attend an Applicant Day where you can meet the course team and learn more about the course.

 


 

More portfolio advice

Apply Now

Please use the following fields to help select the right application link for you:
  • UCAS Institution

    C93

  • UCAS Code for 3 year/standard

    W614

  • UCAS Code for course with Professional Practice

    W619

  • UCAS Code for course with Integrated Foundation Year

    W61F

  • UCAS Code for course with Integrated International Foundation Year

    W61H

  • UCAS Code for course with Integrated Foundation Year and Professional Practice Year

    W61G

  • UCAS Code for course with Integrated International Foundation Year and Professional Practice Year

    W61J

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