Make sure you check on the university, college or conservatoire website for any updates about course changes as a result of COVID-19.

Course summary

Using the latest techniques in 3D computer graphics you’ll learn how to create stunning objects and character, and how to put these into real life footage to make believable scenes that will wow audiences around the world. Split between our High Wycombe campus and BNU teaching base at Pinewood Studios, you’ll have the opportunity to learn the skills and knowledge you need for your future, all whilst studying right in the heart of the famous creative hub. Why study at Buckinghamshire New University? At Buckinghamshire New University we focus on preparing you for work in the industry, helping you to stand out to employers when you graduate. With the right teaching and learning opportunities, it’s possible to turn your passion for visual effects into a rewarding and successful career. Led by our enthusiastic and dedicated team of industry-savvy practitioners and experienced visual effects, you will have the freedom to explore all areas of visual effects. During your time with us you may also get direct access to guest lectures and can benefit from live project briefs, master classes, and plenty of networking opportunities. You could also find yourself working at our BNU teaching base at Pinewood Studios. Here you’ll have the opportunity to learn the skills and knowledge you need for your future, all whilst studying right in the heart of the famous creative hub. What facilities can I use? We’ve made sure you have access to industry-standard equipment. Our labs give you access to;

  • Maya
  • Nuke
  • Adobe Creative Cloud
  • Substance
  • Renderman
  • ZBrush.
Most of our 3D animation is currently done in Maya. To combine live TV with computer graphics you will use VizRT. For modelling you’ll use ZBrush, Marvellous Designer and a range of other pieces of software commonly used in industry. We review the list every year. We have the latest equipment used in many films, TV shows and commercials. A motion capture studio, renderfarm, and even VR facilities for this increasingly important area in delivery and development. You’ll have access to a stop motion studio and up-to-date camera equipment. What will I study? This course is offered as a four-year programme, including an initial Foundation Year. The Foundation Year will allow you to develop your academic study skills and build confidence in your abilities, identifying your own strengths and development needs for progression onto an undergraduate degree. Starting with the fundamentals, you’ll learn the basics of CGI skills and the basics of animation.You’ll get to grips with tools and techniques early on. We start with the fundamentals, where you’ll learn the basics of CGI and animation skills. Covering everything you’ll need to create realistic scenes and believable, engaging characters. You’ll use 3D modelling to create objects and characters and learn about the pipeline of a professional project. Throughout your degree, you’ll learn how to integrate your objects and characters into existing footage to create stunning scenes, which could even include destruction simulation You’ll also learn how to build an organic character using industry standard sculpting and character FX techniques. By your final year, you’ll have found the specialism you want to focus on in the industry. Your projects will give you the opportunity to hone your skills, work in realistic industry scenarios and have opportunities to collaborate with students on other creative courses at the University. How will I be taught and assessed? Because exams are not very useful in assessing the artistic capability of a Visual Effects Artist, we focus on portfolio-based coursework instead. You’ll keep a reflective journal and learn to give presentations like the professionals. From groom and clothing, to bringing a character to life you’ll be hands-on in gaining the skills you need.


Year one Preparing for Success Knowledge and Creativity Preparing for Success Self-development and Responsibility Inquiry and Research Skills Digital Media Computing Essentials Year two 3D Modelling and Pipeline Texturing and Look Development Lighting and Rendering Animation Principles and The Moving Figure Visual Narrative Rigging Year three Compositing 1 Compositing 2 Modelling and Look Development Digital Sculpting and Organic Modelling Destruction Simulation Character FX Year four Industry Production Project Portfolio Piece Creative Production Project Showreel

Assessment method

Our lecturers, tutors and mentors offer an industry-experienced approach to the course and modules you will complete. Many of our staff have worked on major productions and have great track records at training talented new digital artists. You’ll also have the opportunity to work with guest lecturers, take part in a range of workshops and work on a load of live briefs. With the busy nature of the studios, and London being so close, there will be a constant flow of talented animators for you to learn from. Because exams are not very useful in assessing the artistic capability of a Visual Effects Artist, we focus on portfolio-based coursework instead. To be well prepared for the demanding professional world, you will need to work really hard on your skills throughout the course. You'll be assessed through individual and group projects which put what you’ve learnt into practice. We work with the Visual Effects industry to ensure what you learn during your time on this course is all relevant and up-to-date with what employers are looking for.

How to apply

This course has limited vacancies, and is no longer accepting applications from some students. See the list below for where you normally live, to check if you’re eligible to apply.






Northern Ireland

Republic of Ireland

Application codes

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Campus name:
Buckinghamshire New University
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Points of entry

The following entry points are available for this course:

  • Foundation

International applicants

For information about applying to Buckinghamshire New University as an International applicant, please visit

Entry requirements

Qualification requirements

Applicants who do not meet the minimum requirements for the 3-year undergraduate programme, or those who do not feel fully prepared for a Level 4 course, will be considered for the 4-year programme including a Foundation Year.

Unistats information

Operated by the Office for Students
Student satisfaction
Employment after 15 months (Most common jobs)
Go onto work and study

The student satisfaction data is from students surveyed during the Covid-19 pandemic. The number of student respondents and response rates can be important in interpreting the data – it is important to note your experience may be different from theirs. This data will be based on the subject area rather than the specific course. Read more about this data on the Discover Uni website.

Fees and funding

Tuition fees

England £9250 Year 1
Northern Ireland £9250 Year 1
Scotland £9250 Year 1
Wales £9250 Year 1
Channel Islands £9250 Year 1
Republic of Ireland £9250 Year 1
EU £14250 Year 1
International £14250 Year 1

Additional fee information

No additional fees or cost information has been supplied for this course, please contact the provider directly.

Sponsorship information

Buckinghamshire New University offers a range of bursaries and scholarships. For more information, please visit

Visual Effects with Foundation Year at Buckinghamshire New University - UCAS