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BA (Hons) Computer Generated Imagery

Hone your CGI skills on one of the UK's only dedicated degree courses

Enquire: 023 8201 5066

Computer-generated imagery has become a staple feature of many professional media productions, contributing to record-breaking revenues in its related industries (VFX, games, visualisation, advertising and more). Southampton Solent University’s computer-generated imagery programme can help you to take your first step into this exciting industry, learning the essential technical skills required to work on architectural visualisation, game development, 3D animation, VFX and post-production projects.

  • After learning the general principles of CGI in the first year, students spend the second and third year developing a specialism.
  • Specialisms can include visualisation and photo-realism, film VFX, digital character design, 3D animation, video game art, feature animation and much more.
  • Teaching staff recognise the importance of a professional show reel, encouraging students to continuously adapt and improve the way they showcase their work.
  • CGI students come from a variety of backgrounds, catering to those who are new to CGI as well as those who already have a grounding in CG skills.
  • Solent’s media academy is home to a range of high-spec computers that are dedicated to CGI creation and rendering. These machines provide access to the latest professional software packages as used in industry.
  • The media academy also offers a comprehensive media loans scheme, giving students free access to high-definition video cameras, DSLR full-frame cameras and other media equipment.
  • Students will have access to green screen facilities and professional motion capture technology.
  • Teaching is delivered by a team of industry professionals with experience in film and television, video games and architectural visualisation.
  • Traditional art units offered on the course help students hone their observational and aesthetic skills.

The industry

The UK has an established reputation for world-leading VFX, games and other CG-related industries – a point that was well demonstrated in 2014, when four out of the ten projects considered for a VFX Oscar were based in the UK (Guardian, 2014).

Demand for this type of work is likely to increase as media projects become more and more dependent on the services that CG-specialists can provide. VFX is no longer solely found in action epics and sci-fi blockbusters, but can be found seamlessly supporting a range of games, advertising and broadcast productions.

CG-skills are also sought after in a number of industries outside of the media including architecture, interior design, design visualisation and simulation.

The programme

Southampton Solent University’s computer generated imagery programme starts by ensuring that students have a solid foundation in both the technology that powers CGI and the traditional artistic skills that underpin it.

During this time students learn a diverse range of digital skills, becoming proficient in industry software such as 3DS Max, Maya, V-Ray, Z-Brush, Adobe Creative Suite and many others. Solent also provides students with access to green-screen, video and sound recording, and motion capture facilities.

The second and third year of study encourage students to start developing specialisms and working towards the CGI career that they would like to pursue after graduation. During this time, students will also develop a range of transferable industry and freelancing skills.

Throughout the course, students are encouraged and supported as they seek out work experience placements. Aided by the course team, past students have found work placements at a variety of relevant VFX, visualisation and animation businesses.

The course team’s industry links also provide students with access to industry professionals. Opportunities have previously included industry tutoring, show reel critiques and guest seminars. 

Next steps

Think you’ve got what it takes to succeed as a CGI professional? With guidance from an expert course team, access to the latest industry technology and a holistic approach to CGI training, Southampton Solent University’s computer-generated imagery programme is the perfect springboard for a career in this creative industry.

Have you got a question about applying?


UCAS codes


  • 3 Years Standard entry I710

Typical entry requirements

2016 entry
260 UCAS Tariff points

2017 entry - New UCAS Tariff
104 UCAS Tariff points

Year one:


Core units

  • Principles
  • CGI 1
  • CGI 2
  • Drawing 1
  • Drawing 2
  • CGI Environment Design
  • Art and Environment Theory.


  • Animation
  • Graphics Technology.

Year two:


Core units

  • Digital Character
  • VFX/Simulation
  • CGI Production
  • Critical Discourse 1.


  • Life Drawing 1
  • Life Drawing 2
  • Lock Down
  • Freelancing at Solent Creatives
  • Model Your Business
  • Curriculum Plus.

Year three:


Core units

  • Critical Discourse 2
  • CGI Pre-Production
  • CGI Major Production.

Teaching, learning and assessment

Classes typically consist of tutor-led tutorials, demonstrating techniques which students then apply to individual projects as part of a collaborative, studio-based knowledge community.

Work experience
You’ll be encouraged to seek placements within the industry wherever possible, and the course team will offer support and advice in finding a suitable placement. Recent placements include AVR London, one of the country’s leading visualisation studios.

A mix of portfolios, essays, coursework, 3D projects, literature reviews and digital projects.

Our facilities

The course makes use of computer labs equipped with dedicated, high-spec PCs and all the most up-to-date and industry-relevant software, such as 3DS Max, Maya, V-Ray, Z-Brush, Adobe Creative Suite and many more.

We also have access to green-screen, video and sound recording, motion capture and 3D printing facilities.

Web-based learning

Solent’s virtual learning environment provides online access to assignments, lecture notes, suggested reading and other course information.

UCAS codes


  • 3 Years Standard entry I710

What do we offer?

From a vibrant city centre campus to our first class facilities, this is where you can find out why you should choose Solent.

The UK is a leading global competitor in this high-tech, knowledge-intensive sector, with a robust job market and sustained demand for a specialist workforce.

Skills from this course are also ideal if you’re hoping to find a route into the entertainment industries.

Employment can lead into a number of wider industries, such as architecture, interior design, creative design, publishing or simulation production.

Suitable roles for graduates include:

  • 3D visualiser (architectural, design, photo-realism and more)
  • 3D modeller
  • Lighting and rendering artist
  • VFX artist (simulation, particle)
  • Texture artist
  • 3D animator
  • Commercial 3D artist (print, web, broadcast)
  • Digital cinematic artist
  • Video games artist
  • 3D illustrator and CGI photographer
  • Compositor
  • Concept artist.

Links with industry

You will receive an extensive grounding in the modern industry, drawing on the course team’s industry ties to provide:

  • Regular contact with industry professionals, including tutoring, feedback and seminars
  • Live projects from real-life clients, run in an industry studio environment
  • Regular participation in competitions and industry events.

Transferable skills

Creative thinking, presentation, research, project management, visual communication, evaluation and problem-solving.


Key facts


Location of study: East Park Terrace

Study mode: Full-time

Entry requirements


UCAS have updated their tariff points for 2017 entry. Please click here for more information.

260 points (for 2016 entry) or 104 points (for 2017 entry) from:

  • A Levels, a BTEC Extended Diploma at DMM or BTEC Diploma at D*D or equivalent.
  • UK applicants will be invited to a phone interview.
  • Direct entry into the second or third years may be considered for this course.
  • Applicants over the age of 21 may be considered based on relevant experience, without having the required tariff points.
We welcome applicants from a diverse range of backgrounds. Applicants who are not in possession of the minimum entry requirements but are able to demonstrate aptitude, enthusiasm and motivation will be considered on an individual basis and may be admitted subject to satisfactory interview and/or portfolio. Please contact us for further details.

English language requirements

Applicants who do not have English as their first language will be required to demonstrate an approved level of proficiency in the use of the English language. The agreed minimum requirements for this course are:

  • IELTS minimum 6.0 overall with a minimum of 5.5 in each individual component
  • TOEFL IBT minimum 80 with a minimum of 19 in each individual component- TOEFL is only valid for EU students
  • or equivalent.

Qualifications are checked before enrolment, and international students must bring their original certificates or certified copies when coming to study at the University.

The University also offers a pre-sessional English programme for international students who wish to improve their level of English before starting a degree course.

Note to all international students requiring a visa:

All international applicants need to be aware that the English language requirements to attend Southampton Solent University, and the English language requirements to obtain a visa from the Home Office, may be different. This means that if you meet the Southampton Solent University language requirement to gain a place on the course, you may still have to meet additional requirements to be granted with a visa by the Home Office.

We strongly advise all applicants to visit the Home Office website which outlines all the requirements for a successful visa application and to take a look at this PDF document which outlines both Solent University and Home Office requirements for a number of language tests.  

Non-standard entry

If you do not have these qualifications or are unsure of your eligibility please contact the University using the contact details found at the top of this page.

Costs involved


Tuition fees

The tuition fees for the 2016/2017 academic year are:

UK and EU full-time fees: £9,000 per year

International full-time fees: £11,000 per year

Graduation costs 

Graduation is the ceremony to celebrate the achievements of your studies. For graduates in 2015, there is no charge to attend graduation, but you will be required to pay for the rental of your academic gown (approximately £42 per graduate, depending on your award). You may also wish to purchase official photography packages, which range in price from £15 to £200+. Graduation is not compulsory, so if you prefer to have your award sent to you, there is no cost.

For more details, please visit:

Bursaries and scholarships

Southampton Solent University offers a range of scholarships that provide financial assistance or waive fees for tuition or accommodation. Each scholarship has specific eligibility criteria. Check out our scholarships page to find out more.

How to apply


Any student applying for the first year of a full-time/sandwich undergraduate course must apply through UCAS (University and Colleges Admissions Service). This includes mature, overseas and EU students.

Nearly all schools and colleges offer their students the facility of applying electronically through the UCAS website using 'Apply'; it may also be used by those applying independently in the UK and overseas. This facility and all course information can be found on the UCAS website:

Your application should reach UCAS by January if you hope to enter a course the following autumn. Early application is advised for the most popular subject areas. Late applications may be made until June. The UCAS Code for the University is S30, code name SOLNT.

Student support and services


Student welfare

Southampton Solent University is committed to giving you the best possible educational experience during your time with us. As such we have a number of support services and policies set up covering funding, careers and employability, chaplaincy, counselling, international advice, student affairs, key academic skills, disability support and general student advice. Find out more about our approach to student welfare.

University facilities

You will have access to a modern, comfortable and efficient environment in which to study, following our extensive refurbishment and modernisation over recent years. Some key facilities include Mountbatten library, a wide variety of sports and watersports facilities, plus superb IT and media facilities. Find out more about our first-class facilities here.

Living in Southampton

Southampton is a vibrant student city and studying at Solent means that you will be at the very heart of the action. Find out more about being a student in Southampton.

Solent Students’ Union

Run by students for students, Solent Students’ Union is a key part of any student’s time at Solent. Visit the Students’ Union website for more information.

UCAS codes


  • 3 Years Standard entry I710


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