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About the course

Want to bring your artistic skills to life on the screen? Solent’s film visual effects degree helps to develop artists for a competitive, high-tech industry that offers challenging and creative careers. Whether you want to be generating 'post-apocalyptic destruction’ on the latest blockbuster, working with creature development or VFX, or supervising a live-action shoot, this course will equip you with a deep understanding of the VFX pipeline and its integration.

Building upon classical art training, creative problem solving and ideas generation, this course offers an industry-oriented exploration of all the core VFX disciplines. You’ll work in a variety of media, experiencing 2D and 3D tools, as well as live-action film equipment and green screen to help realise your concepts and products to industry formats and standards.

The course has close links with our existing computer generated imagery programmes, and during your first year you’ll work alongside other students within this group as you learn key skills in digital tools, critical theory and observation, alongside core specialised VFX units, such as advanced 3D techniques.

In keeping with the portfolio-focus of the VFX-industry, you’ll gain a broad foundation in VFX which will become more individualised and specialised as you progress through the course, finishing with the opportunity to demonstrate your professional skills by designing and producing an extensive self-directed VFX project.

To aid employability, you’ll also be coached and prepared as an active freelance artist, enabling you to begin engaging with clients and other industry professionals before graduation.

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
You have the opportunity to study abroad in one of our partner universities for a semester on this course.
Study abroad
If you're not quite ready for a full undergraduate degree, there's alternative entry through one of our foundation years.
Foundation year available
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 School of Media Arts and Technology has a visiting fellowship programme which includes three Oscar-winning editors, one of whom is visual effects editor, Paul Franklin (Inception).

What does this course lead to?

This course aims to produce highly versatile, technical creative artists, allowing students the opportunity to build a strong, specialised and industry relevant skill-set and portfolio.

The UK VFX industry has an ever increasing need for multi-skilled, well rounded and highly creative graduates who can quickly adapt in this fast-paced industry in roles such as concept artist, 3D modeller, digital sculptor or VFX supervisor.

Who is this course for?

This course will suit creative individuals who are looking to build on their artistic skills and branch out into the fields of visual effects and computer generated imagery. Candidates must be prepared to learn highly technical processes and techniques to prepare for a career in this technology-intensive industry.

Facts and figures

Fees icon

Fees and costs

Tuition fees

The 2019/20 fees are not yet available. For guidance, the 2018/19 fees were:
UK and EU full-time fees: £9,250 per year
International full-time fees: £11,000 per year 

For further information, please visit our tuition fees page.

Other costs

While most course costs are covered by your tuition fees, some essential resources and optional extras may need to be paid for separately. These additional costs are listed below. For advice on budgeting and managing your money, please contact

Optional costs: 

Visits to exhibitions etc. Paid directly by students.

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

Graduation is the ceremony to celebrate the achievements of your studies. For graduates in 2018, 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.
Key entry requirements icon

Key entry requirements

112 UCAS tariff points from A-levels or equivalent

  • A-levels, a BTEC Extended Diploma at DMM or BTEC Diploma at D*D* in a relevant subject or equivalent qualifications.
  • Applicants over the age of 21 may be considered based on relevant experience, without having the required tariff points.
  • Alternative entry to this course is available through the Foundation Year in Digital Arts

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
  • 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.

Study location

East Park Terrace

Got a question about this course?

Contact our Ask Solent team: 023 8201 3039

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.

Please click the links below to apply through UCAS:

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

Foundation Year in Digital Arts route:

Mode of study
Placement year  5 years  Apply 
How to apply

What you'll study

Year one

Core units
  • Visual research
  • Introduction to 3D
  • Drawing
  • Introduction to VFX
  • Animation
  • Digital Pipelines

Year two

Core units
  • Matchmoving
  • VFX Project
  • Compositing
  • VFX and simulation


  • Cinematography for VFX
  • Digital Character
  • Curriculum +
  • Advanced Drawing

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

Year three

Core units
  • Production Planning
  • VFX Pre-Production
  • VFX Major Project


  • Producing and Managing Web Content for Clients at Solent Productions


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


Students have full access to Solent’s high-end industry tools, including a fully equipped digital art studio with professional software, such as Autodesk suite (Maya, Mudbox), Adobe Creative suite (Photoshop, After Effects), Z Brush and many more.

You’ll also have the opportunity to experience live action shoots and make use of green-screen facilities.

“We are exposed to the UK’s VFX talent every day, from the films in the cinema to commercials, idents and promos on TV. VFX is no longer the icing or gloss on a film or television production, it is often integral to both story and style.” – Skillset, The Core Skills of VFX

Your future

VFX is created by a large team of individuals. As a member of the team, you will apply your specialised skill to assets while ensuring it is passed on to the next person to a standard that enables them to work efficiently, meaning a single shot may pass through 10 creatives’ hands before completion. Just some of the specialised niches that are involved in this process include:

  • Compositor
  • Concept artist
  • Digital preparation artist
  • Digital sculptor
  • Layout artist
  • Lighting artist
  • Match move artist
  • Matte painter
  • 3D modeller
  • Producer (VFX)
  • Roto artist
  • Runner (VFX)
  • Technical director
  • Texture artist
  • VFX supervisor
  • VR/AR

Industry links

This course offers students industry experience in VFX design and creation by utilising the School of Media Arts and Technology’s industry links and industry-experienced staff, and offering engagement such as live-briefs and industry critique and guest speakers.

Solent’s continued commitment to industry engagement, and sourcing of real-world briefs and clients, will help you graduate with not only a solid theoretical understanding of the field, but also with practical, tested experience in the industry.


The course can also be taken over four years to include an industry placement year, allowing you to gain valuable work experience to add to your portfolio.

Further study

Enhance your career prospects by continuing your study at Solent.

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