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About the course

The UK’s Visual Effects (VFX) industry generated over £1bn in 2018 and is renowned across the world with UK companies taking the lead in each of the VFX Oscar winners for the last six years (2014-2019). It is a growing industry that is hungry for suitable graduates. Our degree gets you up to speed on the latest technological advances using industry standard software and equipment.

You may have explored VFX before using software such as After Effects, or you may just be starting out.  There is a lot to learn and becoming good requires an artistic eye for detail and technological know-how, we will support you to build on your experience level and get the best out of you. 

Once you get into VFX you will realise there is a hugely diverse set of opportunities ranging from motion capture to matte painting, from compositing to creature effects (CFX), and our degree will give you the opportunity to forge your own career path from a good foundation based on industry practice.

We also work closely with you to help you network with industry and make that important first move into a VFX company.  Through good social media practice, guest speakers and our weekly forums, annual events such as CGFX and our Grad Show, and trips, you can get your work viewed and critiqued by industry and get yourself known. 

Employers love team players.  Based in the film department, this degree gives you great opportunities to collaborate with other students from film, CGI, performance, animation, audio, music and many more to produce fully complete pieces that could be entered for film festivals or other competitions.

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
If you have an appropriate Level 5 qualification, you can top it up to a degree in just a year.
Top-up option

There is 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?

There are plenty of opportunities in the UK to work in VFX.  A typical career path would be to start as a junior with a particular specialism (e.g. Junior Matchmover) or as an intern with one of the big VFX companies.  Progression can be quick for graduates with passion and motivation and there is also a strong freelancing community if you want to be your own boss.

With the flexibility this course offers, you can build your skills in a particular specialism whether that is artistic (such as matte painting) or technical (such as character rigging) and produce a good portfolio of work to show your best skills.

Who is this course for?

It doesn’t matter if you are technically minded and love the idea of using the most powerful computers to produce the coolest visual content, or if you are creative and want to produce beautiful effects to really make a film pop - if you are enthusiastic and passionate, this course will help you build your career starting where you are right now.

Facts and figures

UCAS codes icon

UCAS codes

Full Time

  • 4 Years Digital Arts Foundation Year 61WW
  • 3 Years Standard Entry WW65

Placement (480 credit course)

  • 5 Years Digital Arts Foundation Year VIE4
  • 4 Years Standard Entry WW64
Fees icon

Fees and costs

Tuition fees

The 2021/22 fees are not yet available. For guidance, the 2020/21 fees were:
UK, EU and Channel Island full-time fees: £9,250 per year
International full-time fees: £13,260 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

The 2021/22 other costs are not yet available. For guidance, previous other costs have been:

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.

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.
  • Direct entry into year two or three may be considered for this course.
  • Applicants will be required to attend an interview.
  • 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
  • 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 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 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 

Foundation Year in Digital Arts route:

Mode of study
Full-time 4 years Apply
Placement year 5 years Apply
Top-up route:

We welcome applications from students currently studying a Foundation Degree, DipHE, HNC, HND or modules of an undergraduate degree course at another university, who wish to enter directly into Years 2 or 3 of one of our undergraduate degree courses. Please contact our admissions team for more information: contact us

How to apply

What you'll study

Year one

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

Year two

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


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

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

Year three

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


  • Producing and Managing Web Content for Clients at Solent Productions

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.


Students have full access to Solent’s high-end industry tools, including a fully equipped digital art studio with professional software, such as NukeX, Nuke Studio, 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.

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