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About the course

Push the limits of your creative boundaries on this dynamic prosthetics and special effects degree. With a hands-on approach to design for a range of contexts, you’ll be supported to develop the skills and experience to enter a range of careers in the creative industries after graduation.

You will be encouraged to take an explorative and technical approach to prosthetics application, use of materials and creative development processes to produce innovative and contemporary special effects design work. This will include sculpting, moulding and casting for character and creature effects, refined application of make-up and hair effects and designing with 2D and 3D modelling.

While the emphasis is on problem solving and critical thinking, you will be encouraged to embrace the breadth of the potential within and beyond the discipline of special effects for TV, theatrical performance and film.

You will be taught by an academic team with excellent reputations as practicing professional designers or researchers, as well as an extensive range of visiting lecturers and international visits to gain vital industry insight.

You will study in our well-equipped studios and workshops, ranging from make-up, hair and special effects studios to photography studios, IT suites and a comprehensive Virtual Learning Environment (VLE) to support your learning.

Situated within the School of Art Design and Fashion, the course also provides you with the opportunity for cross-programme collaborations to help you contextualise your place within the prosthetics and special effects industry, offering you a rich and stimulating education and preparing you for future employment.

In your final year there is the opportunity to work with our professional SFX team at the Prosthetics Event, across a range of national theatre productions or at IMATS in London.  

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
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

Critical debate surrounding design is central to the teaching programme, which involves all students in wider debates about making and thinking about design practice for the creative industries.

What does this course lead to?

This course will transform your understanding of prosthetics and special effects practice within the TV, theatrical performance and film industries. It will provide you with a wide range of career options after graduation, such as special effects make-up designer, prosthetics artist, prosthetics sculptor, mould maker, creature concept and character designer, casualty simulator, project management, event management, digital sculpting designer, special effects technician and multi-media artist. 

Who is this course for?

Solent’s prosthetic and special effects programme is ideally suited to students who want to explore and design conceptual ideas through a wide-ranging and hands-on approach to drawing, digital conceptualisation and research.

Applicants should have previously studied a creative subject and will be required to present a portfolio of design work at interview. Previous experience in prosthetics and special effects is not required.

Facts and figures

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:

Compulsory costs:

You will be required to purchase the following equipment during your studies:

Year 1:
Special effects and make-up kit £850

Year 2:
The SFX morgue £110 (Option two, module of study)
Extending the body £170
Deviant Narratives £160 (Option one, module of study)

Year 3:
Creature and Concept Design £210 (Option one, module of study)

Optional costs:

Optional trip to Paris: the cost is based on current air fares and hotel prices (£276)
Optional trip to New York: the cost is based on current air fares and hotel prices (£864)
Optional trip to Shanghai: the cost is based on current air fares and hotel prices (£1,130)

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

96 - 112 UCAS tariff points from A-levels or equivalent

  • A minimum of two completed A-levels, a BTEC Extended Diploma at MMM or BTEC Diploma at DM or equivalent qualification, or a combination of qualifications which comply with the minimum entry requirement of 96 UCAS points.
  • Direct entry into the second or third years may be considered for this course.
  • Alternative entry to this course is available through the Design Foundation Year.
  • Applicants will be required to submit a digital mini portfolio providing evidence of artistic aptitude and potential; this will form an important part of the selection process. Further information can be obtained from our admissions team, email
  • 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 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

Design Foundation Year route:

Mode of study
Full-time 4 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
  • Design Practice
  • Professional Application
  • Image Construction
  • Character Design
  • Visual Narrative
  • Culture and Context

Year two

Core modules
  • Extending the Body
  • Visual Cultures
  • Horror, Film and Media
  • Digital Bodies
  • Professional Practice for the Creative Economy


  • Digital Bodies
  • The SFX Morgue

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

Year three

Core modules
  • Creative Research Project – Proposal
  • Work Based Learning for the Creative Industries
  • Dissertation
  • Creative Research Project - Development


  • Speculative Design
  • Creature and Concept Design

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

Students' work

Meet the course team

Sharon Lloyd academic profile Sharon Lloyd Course Leader View profile
Dr Sebastiane Hegarty academic profile Sebastiane Hegarty Lecturer View profile
Kat Vogart academic profile Kat Vogart Lecturer View profile
Dr Flavia Loscialpo academic profile Flavia Loscialpo Lecturer View profile
Paul Watts academic profile Paul Watts Associate 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.


Our specialist studios and workshops include industry-focused special effects studios, fibre glass lab, plaster room, 3D printing labs, make-up and hair design studios, photography studios including an infinity cove and a range of well-equipped IT suites.

Students learn from a team with a broad range of academic and industry experience, who are have a desire to advance the industry and academic expectations of what prosthetics and special effects design can be.

Your future

Solent’s Prosthetics and Special Effects Design degree will prepare you for a wide range of graduate level employment opportunities.

Suitable roles for graduates include:

  • Special effects make-up designer
  • Prosthetics artist
  • Prosthetics sculptor
  • Mould maker
  • Creature concept and character designer
  • Casualty simulator
  • Project management
  • Studio assistant
  • Digital sculpting designer
  • Special effects technician
  • Multi-media artist

Industry links

The academic team maintain close links with industry professionals, and recent guest speakers and workshops have included: Francesco Fabiani, Neill Gorton Studio, Dave Elsey (Academy and Saturn Award-winning SFX artist), Verity Filipow (SFX artist), Michael Burton and Michiko Nitta (Burton Nitta art and design studio) and Andrew Macallum.

Students also have the opportunity to attend The Prosthetics Event, IMATS (Make-up Artists, Exhibitors and Enthusiasts Trade Show) and Terror Island scare experiences.


Work based learning is an essential component in the final year of study. In this unit, you will be required to work in a field relevant to your course, bridging the gap between academic study and vocational experience through practical and professional work experience.

It is your responsibility to secure work experience, however, support and resources can be found through the University’s career, employability and enterprise service Solent Futures and the course team.

Further study

Enhance your career prospects by continuing your study at Solent.

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