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About the course

Are you fascinated with special effects for the film, television and leisure industries? Solent University’s special effects degree will allow you to bring your own unique artistic vision to the screen and perfect your skills in model work, prosthetics and special effects.

This industry focused degree allows you to specialise in either animatronics and visual effects, and focuses on building a well-rounded portfolio of skills to complement each specialism.

You’ll also gain knowledge of the industry, ensuring you’re up-to-date with the latest specialist tools, principles and production processes that employers in the industry are looking for. 

This course aims to provide students with the essential knowledge and specialist skills that employers in these industries will require.

Students have access to a variety of industry-standard software and hardware relating to the specialist skills pathway chosen.

Students specialising in animatronics have access to CAD, control and signal-writing and 3D-modelling software such as SolidWorks, as well as hardware such as CNC and laser cutters.

Students choosing to specialise in visual effects will have access to a variety of 3D software applications, together with digital compositing and photo-editing suites, including the full Adobe Creative Suite, with Photoshop, Premier and Aftereffects.

Study abroad Built in work experience placement Specialist facilities Further studies

Students have access to dedicated art and design studios and specialist tools and facilities. The course places a strong emphasis on real-world experience, and students are encouraged to undertake a work placement.

What does this course lead to?

The range of industries using special effects has grown rapidly over the last decade, ensuring that your broad knowledge and skills base will open up wide-ranging opportunities for employment. You’ll be able to find work in film, television or advertising, bringing your own unique artistic vision to the screen or providing the perfect final touch to model work, prosthetics or special effects.

Who is this course for?

Solent’s special effects programme is ideal for students who aspire to careers in animation, VFX, animatronics, prosthetics/model making or live staging.

Students come from a wide range of academic and creative backgrounds, but are required to submit a portfolio that demonstrates adequate life drawing, model-making, computer modelling and animation skills.

Facts & figures

UCAS Codes icon

UCAS Codes

Full Time

  • 3 Years Standard Entry W614
Fees icon

Fees and Costs

Tuition fees

The tuition fees for the 2017/2018 academic year are:
UK and EU full-time fees: £9,250 per year

Whilst these inflationary fee increases in tuition fees and student support loans have been announced by the Minister, they are still subject to formal parliamentary approval.

The international tuition fees for the 2017/18 academic year are:
International full-time fees: £11,000 per year 

Other costs

The 2017/18 other costs are not yet available, but for guidance the 2016/17 costs were:

Compulsory soft/hard materials, animatronics actuators, prosthetics in year two: £400-£500.
Compulsory animatronics, prosthetics and make-up effects for major projects in year three: £400-£500.

Bursaries and scholarships

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

 


Key entry requirements icon

Key entry requirements

104 UCAS tariff points from A-levels or equivalent

  • A-levels, a BTEC Extended Diploma at DMM or BTEC Diploma at D*D or equivalent.
  • Direct entry into the second or third years may be considered for this course.
  • Applicants over the age of 21 may be considered based on relevant experience, without having the required tariff points.

Portfolio interview requirements

Before attending your interview or sending us your portfolio, please read the following: portfolio interview information.

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-TOEFL is only valid for EU students
  • 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.


100%

of students feel the library resources are good enough for their needs

Study location

East Park Terrace

Got a question about this course?
Contact our Ask Solent team:

Email

ask@solent.ac.uk

Call

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: www.ucas.com.

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.

How to apply

What you'll study

Year One

Core units

  • Character Design for SFX
  • SFX Props and Model-Making
  • Life Drawing
  • Computer Modelling
  • History of Special Effects

Options

  • Introduction to Animatronics
  • Stop-Motion

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

Year Two

Core units

  • Digital Character
  • Analysing Special Effects Film and TV.

Options

  • Computer-Aided Design
  • Digital Animation
  • Control and Signal Writing
  • Screenwriting Techniques
  • Prosthetics and Make-Up Effects
  • Visual Effects Cinematography
  • Animatronics Design
  • Video Technologies

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

Year Three

Core units

  • Special Effects Pre-Production
  • Special Effects Professional Practice and Management
  • Dissertation
  • Special Effects Major Project

Options

  • Digital Portfolio
  • Freelancing at Solent Creatives
  • Creative Entrepreneurial Freelance Practice
  • Curriculum Plus

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

Support

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

Key figures

96%

Assessment by coursework

4%

Practical exams

Meet the course team

Johnny Issapour academic profile Johnny Issapour Course Leader View profile
Peter Jones academic profile Peter Jones Senior Lecturer View profile
Christian Brindley academic profile Christian Brindley Associate Lecturer View profile
Kevin Dean academic profile Kevin Dean Associate Lecturer View profile

Facilities

You’ll have access to a variety of industry-standard software and hardware, depending on which skills pathway you choose:

The animatronics pathway includes CAD, control and signal-writing and 3D-modelling software such as SolidWorks, as well as hardware such as CNC and laser cutters.

On the visual effects pathway you’ll have access to a variety of 3D software applications, together with digital compositing and photo-editing suites. This includes the full Adobe Creative suite, with Photoshop, Premier and Aftereffects.

The course places a strong emphasis on real-world experience, and students are encouraged to undertake a work placement.

Your future

Suitable roles for graduates include: :

  • Animation and VFX studios
  • Animatronics
  • Prosthetics/model-making 
  • Film and TV companies 
  • Robotics
  • Signal writers
  • Programming.

89%

of students go on to work and/or study six months after finishing the course

Industry connections

Close links with industry provide you with extensive opportunities for networking and work experience in UK special effects companies, including Neal Scanlon Studios, Cinesite, Double Negative, Competent Crew FX, Dr Frames FX, Artem, Pew36, BBC Special Effects, Creature Shop, Shepperton Studios, Pinewood Studios, LCI and the Movieum of London.

Placements

Solent places a strong emphasis on real-world experience, so you’ll be encouraged to undertake a work placement via the Curriculum Plus unit or Special Effects Major Project, drawing on the course team’s support and strong ties to the industry in order to find a suitable placement.

Further study

After studying this course you may have the opportunity to study further on the following courses:

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