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About the course

Rapid advances in the accessibility and quality of VR products has seen the technology find its way into the hands of more people than ever before. From gaming and entertainment to training and simulation; it seems there isn’t an industry on earth that isn’t thinking about how VR and augmented reality could drive innovation. Specialist software developers sit at the heart of this change, making it an exciting and lucrative area of study.

Our BSc (Hons) Virtual and Augmented Reality (Software Development) programme will provide you with all the skills needed to take advantage of these new opportunities. You’ll graduate with a portfolio of creative and technical work that has been completed to a professional standard. Employability sits at the heart of our teaching, and your portfolio of work will be your most important tool for securing employment.

You’ll study a curriculum that is focused on programming and software development skills. You will be required to write computer programmes and scripts; study maths and physics; and undertake academic written work. All units are designed to help you create better VR/AR products. Outcomes could include simulations and environments; VR/AR games and visualisations; wearable AR technologies; or location based AR applications.

You will collaborate with designers, musicians and creatives from a range of other courses. This helps to mirror the production pipeline of real commercial products and will get you used to working in small multidisciplinary teams. It will also help to develop your project management, teamwork and communication skills.

Throughout your degree, you will be provided with access to the latest VR and AR technologies. These include VR headsets (Gear, Oculus, HTC Vice and PSVR), VR/AR specific software development kits (Vuforia, ARKit, EasyAR, ARToolkit, ARCore, SteamVR, PS4 and Oculus), and other relevant pieces of creative software (Visual Studio, Adobe Creative Suite, Nvidia SDK, Sony PS4 SDK, Unreal Engine, Unity, GitHub Desktop, Android SDK, iOS SDK, SQL Server, Python and Xamarin). You may also want to make use of our media facilities. These include motion capture, green screen and photogrammetry studios.

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

Master core VR/AR technologies, 3D graphics and the fundamentals of programming.

What does this course lead to?

Specialised VR and AR developers are in high demand. As more and more markets begin to invest in this technology, even more employment opportunities will emerge.

VR and AR now reach far beyond their origins in gaming. The technology is finding use in animation, film, interior design, engineering, marketing, medicine, transport, maritime, forensics and archaeology. 

Who is this course for?

As well as meeting the entry requirements (112 UCAS points), it would be beneficial for you to have a background in computing, mathematics or physics. There is a creative element to this course, so being familiar with design principles would also be beneficial.

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, EU and Channel Island full-time fees: £9,250 per year
International full-time fees: £12,500 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 student.funding@solent.ac.uk.

The 2019/20 other costs are not yet available. For guidance the 2018/19 costs were:

Optional costs

An optional trip to a UK or European destination will be arranged each year. This will be an affordable educational trip to an established exhibition. European exhibitions could include the Augmented World Expo in Germany or UKie events.

The overall cost of the trip will not exceed £500 per student. This is inclusive of flights, accommodation and exhibition entry.  It is envisioned that the trip will be no more than two or three days in length.

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* or equivalent qualifications.
  • Although not necessarily a pre-requisite, computing, mathematics and physics would be beneficial.
  • 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:

admissions@solent.ac.uk 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: 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.

Please click the links below to apply through UCAS:

Mode of study
Duration
Apply
Full-time 3 years Apply
Placement Year 4 years Apply

Digital Arts Foundation Year route:

Mode of study
Duration
Apply
Full-time 4 years Apply
Placement Year 5 years Apply
How to apply

What you'll study

Year one

Core units
  • Programming Fundamentals
  • Scripting for Game Engines
  • Mathematics For Games and VR/AR
  • Object-Orientated Development
  • Introduction to Digital Arts and Technology
  • Introduction to Computer Art

Year two

Core units
  • Computer Games Programming
  • Console VR/AR Development
  • VR/AR Production
  • Developing Artificial Intelligence Solutions
  • Mobile Game Fundamentals
  • Virtual and Augmented Reality Prototyping

Year three

Core units
  • Project Research and Preparation
  • VR/AR Development Project
  • Professional Development

Options

  • VR/AR Professional Practice
  • Computer Vision
  • Artificial Intelligence for Games
  • Mobile Applications
  • Advanced Games Programming
  • Languages

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

Meet the course team

Neil Brewis academic profile Neil Brewis Senior Lecturer View profile
James TerKeurst academic profile James TerKeurst Senior Lecturer View profile
Adam Barton academic profile Adam Barton Senior Lecturer View profile
Arran Langmead academic profile Arran Langmead Senior Lecturer View profile
Nick Hampton academic profile Nick Hampton 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.

Facilities

Throughout your degree, you will be provided with access to the latest VR and AR technologies. These include VR headsets (Gear, Oculus, HTC Vice and PSVR), VR/AR specific software development kits (Vuforia, ARKit, EasyAR, ARToolkit, ARCore, SteamVR, PS4 and Oculus), and other relevant pieces of software (Visual Studio, Adobe Creative Suite, Nvidia, Sony PS4 SDK, Unreal Engine, Unity, GitHub Desktop, Android SDK, iOS SDK, SQL Server, Python and Xamarin). You may also want to make use of our media facilities. These include motion capture, green screen and photogrammetry studios.

Learn how professional digital experiences are produced. Work in agile and multidisciplinary teams.

 

Your future

Much like videogames, VR/AR experiences are created by a large team of individuals. As a member of this team, you will contribute to the finished product while ensuring that it is given to the next specialist in a way that enables them to work efficiently.

The VR/AR industries are expanding rapidly and are now engaged with a host of other business areas. These include:

  • games,
  • robotics,
  • animation,
  • film,
  • interior design,
  • engineering,
  • marketing,
  • medicine,
  • military,
  • transport,
  • maritime,
  • forensics,
  • and archaeology.

Industry links

Staff have established links with several UK and International VR/AR bodies. These include Sony VR, Google and Microsoft. There are also links to UK regulatory bodies like the Chamber of Commerce and Department of International Trade.

UK-based VR and AR businesses have been approached to provide advice and potential work placements for students.  Businesses include Emmerse Studios, The Moment, MuseoTechniki and Infinite Wisdom Media. PTC have offered support and guidance in the establishment of the AR elements of the course and have suggested several routes to collaboration. 

Staff teaching on the course have a well-established professional network. This includes likes to the likes of Sega, Rockstar Games, Weta FX and MPC. 

Placements

Work experience placements are optional, but will be actively encouraged throughout the course. Optional units will provide opportunities to incorporate live design work into your degree. 

Students must find their own work experience and placements but will be provided with assistance by the course teaching team.  A number of VR/AR companies (both in the local region and nationally) have already expressed interest in contributing to this degree programme.

Students can undertake a placement year, or take part in a “self-employed placement in enterprise year” (SPEY).

Further study

Enhance your career prospects by continuing your study at Solent.

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