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Solent Unviersity Southampton logo

BA (Hons)CGI and Visual Effects

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UCAS code: CGV4
Institution code: S30
Campus: Southampton City CentreView on Google Maps

Why study CGI and visual effects with foundation and placement years

Ranked top 5 in the UK with the Rookies, this course can prepare you for the thriving and ever-expanding industries of visual effects and gaming.

  • 0th
    in the UK with the Rookies (2021)
  • Top0
    schools in the world with the Rookies (2021)
  • If you’re looking to study BA (Hons) CGI and Visual Effects, but don’t have the relevant qualifications or experience, our digital arts foundation year will help you develop the core skills and knowledge to progress onto the full CGI and visual effects degree.
  • Gain valuable first-hand work experience with a year-long full-time work placement between the second and third years of your degree.
  • Access to industry-standard software and facilities, including a green screen room with virtual production tracking facilities, in-house cinema, motion-capture suite and Oculus Rift, HTC Vive, Microsoft Hololens, Occulus Go x 5.
  • A creative, multi-disciplinary environment for world-leading research in media, culture and the arts – you will learn from experts in their field.
  • This course has no official exams and is primarily focused on practical work, with great opportunities to develop your learning.
  • Annual guest speaker event for CGI, VFX, Games and Animation attended by some of the industry’s top experts in the field.
  • Showcase your work through our annual graduate show.
Video transcript, with a description of visuals available.

Course overview

During the foundation year, you’ll cover key subject areas such as game art, game design, animation, CGI, VFX and code, and work on exciting practical projects designed to help you learn key digital design skills. You’ll also be supported to develop key transferable skills in preparation for your degree level studies.

The 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 industry-relevant digital skills, 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 at 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 annual guest speaker event, CGFX, draws in some of the industry's top experts, allowing students to network and ask questions during the Q&A. Previous companies that have attended the event include Rockstar, Aardman, Glowmade, Outpost VFX, Funko Animation, and Framestore.

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.

The placement year will allow you to put what what you've learned in your first and second years into practice in the workplace, while gaining valuable real-world work experience before you graduate.

This course is part of the South Coast Institute of Technology (IoT), a partnership of colleges, universities and industry-leading employers to create new career opportunities in the technology sector. IoT courses like this one are precisely tailored to the needs of employers in the maritime, engineering and digital industries – industries which are hungry for talented new engineers, technologists, technicians and creatives like you.

Any questions?

Contact UK admissions

Email: 023 8201 5066

Contact international admissions

Email: +44 (0)23 8201 5066

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Student work

Our creative degrees allow our students to develop a critical eye for design with a knowledge of different design approaches and problem solving techniques. Take a look at some of the great work they produce.

Course features

  • Placement year

    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

  • Specialist facilities

    This course has access to specialist facilities

  • Further studies

    After successfully completing your studies, there's an opportunity to continue your studies at Solent

  • Foundation year available

    If you're not quite ready for a full undergraduate degree, there's alternative entry through one of our foundation years

Who is this course for?

Solent’s Foundation Year in Digital Arts is intended for students without the required UCAS points for direct entry. This could be mature students returning to education, students without the required qualifications, or students looking to change career path after completing further education qualifications.

What does this course lead to?

This foundation year will help you build the relevant skills and knowledge to enter onto the BA (Hons) CGI and Visual Effects. This can lead to a career in the multi-billion pound games industry in areas such as video game studios and art production, to film and animation studios.

Solent stories

Hear from Solent alumni about where their careers have taken them and how studying at Solent prepared them for their future.

Read more stories
The course is just tailor-made to learn about the foundations of multiple disciplines within these industries

Picture shows Solent Alumnus, Harrison Evans.

Harrison Evans

Quality Assurance Tester

Meet the team

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.

Virtual Production Studio with green screen and Mo-Sys tracking facilities; in-house Dolby Atmos cinema; specialist media production store with access to thousands of cameras and other items; computer suites with dedicated high-spec PCs and industry-standard software; motion capture suite; Oculus Rift, Oculus Go, HTC Vive and Microsoft HoloLens VR/AR equipment; Shotgun for asset management; Portable green screen; HDRI chrome/grey balls; portable Faro LIDAR scanner, Insta 360 Cameras; and 3D printing.

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