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About the course

Want to bring your artistic skills to life? Solent’s CGI and Visual Effects degree helps to develop artists for a competitive, high-tech industry that offers challenging and creative careers. The degree brings the latest cutting-edge techniques and industry standard software into the curriculum as well as offering you the flexibility to apply your learning in almost any field.

Building upon classical art training, creative problem solving and ideas generation, this course offers an industry-oriented exploration of all the core 2D and 3D disciplines embodied across a range of exciting careers. You may come to us with no 3D or compositing experience, or you may have been producing your own models or animations before, either way we will work with you individually to develop your CGI and visual effects skills to meet industry expectations in your chosen direction.

Being aware of industry practices and in contact with industry artists is vital for developing your future career.  We support you to build an industry network during your degree to help you find that first entry-level position through good social media practice, guest speakers and our weekly forums, annual events such as CGFX, Viz. Arch Viz, and our Graduate Show, as well as a range of trips. Alongside this you will have access to Solent’s many incredible facilities and will attend regular weekly feedback sessions using our industry Rushes pipeline in a recognised course ranked as one of the top schools in the world by The Rookies.

Our course is designed to help you evolve from being a learner to a practitioner with strong creative and technical awareness.  You will explore many different areas of CGI and visual effects to help you build a wide skill base before focusing on a more specialist area with exactly the skills your chosen industry requires.

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If you apply for this course with a placement year, you have the opportunity to undertake a year in industry between your second and third years.
Placement year
As part of your studies you will have the opportunity to undertake a work experience placement.
Built in work experience placement
This course has access to Solent's specialist facilities.
Specialist facilities
After successfully completing your studies, there's an opportunity to continue your studies at Solent.
Further studies

The course has no exams with all assessments primarily coursework driven and with great opportunities to drive learning.

What does this course lead to?

This course can lead to many exciting careers in current or emerging markets. Students build a solid portfolio perfect for a generalist or entry-level position in the film, TV, video games and architectural visualisation sectors. 

With emerging markets, we are increasingly seeing exciting opportunities in simulation, virtual/ augmented reality, visualisation, military and many other industries that we are excited to present to our students. 

Who is this course for?

Solent’s CGI and Visual Effects course is ideally suited to students who want to learn and develop a range of skills for entry into a range of exciting careers. Applicants should have a portfolio of design or technical work to show at interview. 

Although students are not expected to have examples of code, this is a perfectly valid portfolio choice for students choosing to pursue a more technical career path in the visual industries, particularly video games or visual effects.

Facts and figures

Fees icon

Fees and costs

Tuition fees

The tuition fees for the 2021/22 academic year are:
UK, EU and Channel Island full-time fees: £9,250 per year
International full-time fees: £13,800 per year
UK, EU and Channel Island placement year fee: £1,425
International placement year fee: £1,850

Following the UK government's confirmation that EU students will no longer be eligible for home fee status benefits, we've made the decision to keep EU tuition fees the same as UK tuition fees for 2021 entry.

For further information, please visit our tuition fees page.

Bursaries and scholarships

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

Graduation costs

For graduates in 2020, there is no charge to attend graduation, but you will be required to pay for the rental of your academic gown (approximately £45 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. Extra guest tickets will go on sale after results publication and will be sold on a first-come-first-served basis. The cost per ticket was £15 in 2019, but this fee is subject to change for future years. Please note, we do not guarantee there will be any extra tickets available to purchase.
Key entry requirements icon

Key entry requirements

104-120 UCAS tariff points from A-levels or equivalent

  • A minimum of two completed A-levels, a BTEC Extended Diploma at DMM or BTEC Diploma at D*D or equivalent qualification, or a combination of qualifications which comply with the minimum entry requirement of 104 UCAS points.
  • If you are applying from outside the UK, find information about entry requirements, visas and agents for your country here.
  • For further information about UK, EU and international qualifications, please refer to our course entry requirement statement.

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 20 in each individual component
  • Duolingo English Language Test - 100 overall with minimum of 90 in each component
  • 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.

Pre-Sessional English programme

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.

Got a question about this course?

Contact our Solent team:

If you are a UK, EU or EEA applicant please contact 023 8201 5066 If you are an international applicant please contact 023 8201 5066

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 15 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 the end of June. The UCAS Code for the University is S30, code name SOLNT.

Please click the links below to apply through UCAS:

Mode of study
Full-time 3 years Apply
Placement Year 4 years Apply

Digital Arts Foundation Year route:

Mode of study
Full-time 4 years Apply
Placement Year 5 years Apply
How to apply

What you'll study

Year one

Core modules
  • Introduction to 3D
  • Intro to VFX
  • Digital Visuals
  • Real-Time CGI
  • Introduction to Animation
  • Architectural Visualisation

Year two

Core modules
  • VFX/Simulation
  • Set Capture
  • Digital Character
  • Compositing
  • CGI/VFX Commentary


  • Advanced Drawing
  • Technical Art

Please note: Not all optional modules are guaranteed to run each year.

Year three

Core modules
  • Production Brief
  • Pre-Production
  • Final Major Project – Art Project/Technical Art Project/Research Project


  • Dissertation
  • Art for CGI/VFX
  • Scripting for Graphics

Please note: Not all optional modules are guaranteed to run each year.


Web-based learning

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

The Student Hub

The Student Hub is a central space where you can access all of the information and support you need during your time at University.

Professional and experienced staff can help resolve any query, and if they cannot answer the question themselves they will find the person who can.

Career support

Meet the course team

Ken Pitts academic profile Ken Pitts Course Leader View profile
Alex Scott academic profile Alex Scott Lecturer View profile
Yulia Gleed academic profile Yulia Gleed Lecturer View profile

The university cannot guarantee any particular members of staff will teach specific aspects of the course in the future, but will endeavour to ensure the teaching team maintains their balance of experience and qualifications.


Throughout your studies you will have access to a wide range of up-to-date industry-standard software and facilities. These include:

  • Green Screen Room with Virtual Production Tracking facilities
  • In-House cinema
  • Media hatch with access to thousands of cameras items.
  • Computer suites with dedicated high-spec PC’s
  • Motion-capture suite
  • Oculus Rift, HTC Vive, Microsoft Hololens, Occulus Go x 5
  • Shotgun for asset management
  • Portable Green Screen and Chrome Balls
  • Portable Faro LIDAR scanner

Students have gone on to work at top production houses across the UK and are in a simulated production environment where they get regular feedback from employers across a range of industries.

Your future

Computer Generated Imagery is an exciting and growing field which covers many of this country’s shortage areas such as modeller, rigger, texture artist, 3D animator, matte painter, 3D supervisor and technical director.

The flexible design of the course means that in addition to the above, you could also go on to work in concept art, 3D character modelling, creature effects (CFX), motion capture, digital set destruction, effects, motion graphics, architectural visualisation, previsualisation, character rigging, environment modelling and many more directions in sectors such as film, tv, games, advertising, or animation.

Specialist careers guidance from the course team means you will receive lots of support in ensuring that your work is relevant to help you secure that first role.

Industry links

Thanks to the course team’s close links with industry, particularly the visual effects and architectural visualisation sectors, you will have the opportunity to benefit from a range of events and guest lectures to gain valuable industry insight.

Solent is proud to be home to the annual events CGFX and Viz. Arch Viz, two large events aimed to raise awareness of these exciting job sectors. CGFX has had speakers from Outpost VFX, Cinesite, Jellyfish Pictures, Centroid Motion Capture, D-Neg, Blue Zoo, Framestore, Love Love Films and others. The CGFX 2020#2 line-up includes Industrial Light and Magic, Framestore, The Mill and the BBC among others. 

Viz. Arch Viz presents to both industry and students, with recent speakers including Foster and Partners, SiNi Software, Uniform, Grain London, Igloo Vision and Line Creative.  The event offers some excellent opportunities for those students that attend and engage with employers. Although these are visualisation specific companies, increasingly students are opting to diversify pipelines in line with those of Visual Effects studios. 

The content of this course is regularly reviewed and in line with industry requirements, which has been affirmed at events such as CGFX 2019 by studios such as Jellyfish Studios, Double Negative, Cinesite and LoveLove films.

Throughout the course there is the opportunity to work on live briefs and industry members are happy to provide feedback and discuss work. Additionally, students receive a great deal of support for employment in these specialist sectors, through the use of external facing portfolios and academics sharing work with industry contacts.

Throughout the course you will also be encouraged to attend BFX in Bournemouth and attend monthly 3Ds meet-ups in London where the hosting team and keenly involved with this course.


Throughout your studies you will be encouraged to do work placements to further develop your learning. You will be responsible for finding your own placements, although will have regular contact with industry professionals through events and forums. The University’s own employability service Solent Futures can also provide support in finding suitable positions.

Get ready to find your place

You can still experience life at Solent at a virtual open day! Hear from course tutors, take virtual campus and accommodation tours, and chat to us live.

Register for a virtual open day