• Study mode: Full Time
  • Location: High Wycombe Campus
  • Duration: Three Years
  • Start Date: September 2018

Course Overview

We are looking for applicants with a passion for digital visual arts and in particular those which make use of 3D. Your background may be in traditional art, animation, interactive media or even computer science. You will have a digital or traditional portfolio that reflects your interests. This is a course where you will learn a broad range of digital techniques commonly used in the visual effects, animation and games industries amongst others. Most of the work you will do will be in 3D, some 2D work is used to underpin the creative process and broaden your capabilities.

Understanding digital techniques

You will receive a grounding in 3D digital graphics, character and creature animation, visual effects and compositing. As you progress through the levels of study we will expect you to specialise your skills, taking into consideration the field in which you would like to begin your professional career. Specialist areas are animation, digital FX and the creation of 3D art / assets. You will graduating with a broad range of underpinning creative and technical skills with a specific focus on one of the areas above.

Perfecting your craft

The 1st year will introduce you to all aspects of the course. In the 2nd year you will choose a specialist pathway. Your 3rd year will focus on project work where you will be able to work with students who have different specialisms,  with the aim of building a portfolio and demo reel that effectively supports you to take the next step in your chosen career.

Course Details

UCAS CODE: W990

Using our own extensive industry experience, our wide range of contacts and our academic expertise we have developed a course that delivers a balance of creativity, technical skills and contextual knowledge. This is all designed to position you for the next step in your career. At Bucks you will be taught by a talented lecturing team comprised of practicing experts and academics. You will be able to take advantage of our modern facilities based in the Gateway building with access to leading hardware and software.

Cutting edge facilities

We have sophisticated computer labs, a state-of-the art motion-capture facility, which was developed with leading motion capture company Centroid. We were the first University in England to have VizRT, a virtual studio system which uniquely enables us to combine live TV with computer generated graphics. Working with these tools provides a solid grounding in the skills sought after by major employers such as Sky.

You will be taught and have access to a range of mainstream software, including Maya, Nuke, Adobe Creative Cloud, Substance, Renderman and ZBrush. If you can combine the learning we offer with passion, hard work and determination you will have a fantastic opportunity to develop a demo reel that will enable you to break into one of the most fascinating and current industries the UK has to offer.

Collaboration Opportunities

You'll have opportunity to work with students from other production courses on briefs. This could involve working with students from a range of courses including film makers, sound designers, actors and dancers. You will have the opportunity to build lasting and potentially valuable relationships with other graduates who will also go on to work in the media industry.

A Global Industry… On Our Doorstep

Many of the world's animation and visual effects powerhouses are located in Central London, which is only half an hour by train from High Wycombe. Many of the leading studios are based in Soho along with a plethora of smaller companies and start-ups. In addition Pinewood Studios is less than fifteen miles from the campus. We also have local connections in High Wycombe and the surrounding towns. The UK has one of the most important games industries in the world and VR is expected to fuel the demand for 3D content. We provide opportunities for visits and trips and you will be able to meet animators, modellers, riggers and visual effects artists who deliver guest lectures and seminars.

Teaching and Learning

Your course consists of a combination of structured learning and teaching activities and independent learning.

Structured learning activities include lectures, seminars, tutorials and other time-tabled sessions. The amount of time set aside for each activity (‘contact hours’) is set out in individual module descriptors and so will vary depending on the modules you take. When you are not attending structured learning and teaching activities you will be expected to continue learning independently through self-study. Typically this will involve reading journal articles and books, working on individual and group projects, using the library, preparing for seminars, and completing coursework assignments.

The programme specification will provide more information on the specific learning and teaching activities on this course.

Overall workload

Your overall workload will include your learning and teaching activities and independent learning with total study time of around 10 hours being worth 1 credit. While your actual contact hours will depend on any option modules you choose.

Year 1: 30 percent of your time is spent in timetabled teaching and learning activity

Teaching, learning and assessment: 360 hours
Independent learning: 840 hours

Year 2: 32 percent of your time is spent in timetabled teaching and learning activity

Teaching, learning and assessment: 380 hours
Independent learning: 820 hours

Year 3: 28 percent of your time is spent in timetabled teaching and learning activity

Teaching, learning and assessment: 338 hours
Independent learning: 862 hours

Assessment

You will be given opportunities to test your understanding of the subject informally before you complete the formal assessments that count towards your final mark. This may take the form of practice or ‘formative’ assessments for which you will receive feedback from your tutor. Formative assessments are developmental and any marks you receive do not count towards your overall module mark. There is at least one formal or ‘summative’ assessment towards the end of each module. The marks from summative assessments do count towards your overall module mark.

Assessment methods vary, but your programme specification will provide more information on the specific methods used on this course. You can find out more about the assessment methods used across the University in the assessment guide on the Academic Advice pages.

Balance of assessment

The balance of assessment will vary depending on any option modules you choose.

Please note: The percentages below do not include any pass/fail elements as these do not contribute to the overall degree classification. All modules must be successfully completed for credit to be awarded.

Year 1

100 percent coursework 0 percent written exams 0 percent practical

Year 2

100 percent coursework 0 percent written exams 0 percent practical

Year 3

55 percent coursework 0 percent written exams 45 percent practical

Feedback

You will receive feedback on all assessed coursework and practical assignments and we aim to provide this within three weeks. Feedback on examinations is also available on request.

Assessment feedback is intended to help you learn and you are encouraged to discuss it with your module leader.

What are the course entry requirements?

A typical offer will include GCSE Maths and English at grade C or above and a UCAS Tariff score of 80-96. A minimum of two full A-levels (or equivalent) is required. Every application is considered on an individual basis.

You are also required to attend an interview and portfolio review.

For further details of our international English entry requirements, please visit our international pages.

Course Modules

Module Map

This module map provides a list of the modules that make up your course.

Each module is worth a specified number of credits (typically either 15 or 30 credits for undergraduate courses). Compulsory (or ‘core’) modules cover key subject knowledge, while ‘option’ modules enable you to develop your own interests. For a full-time course you must take modules worth a total of 120 credits at each level of the course. The number of option modules you can take depends on the number of compulsory modules at each level. You can find more information about how your course is structured via the Academic Advice pages.

Our teaching is informed by research and employer requirements, and modules change periodically to reflect developments in the subject area. In addition, where we have insufficient numbers of students interested in an option module, this may not be offered. If an option module does not run, we will advise you as soon as possible and help you choose an alternative module.

The modules available on this course are as follows:

Year 1 Modules

  • Animation Principles and the Moving Figure
  • Art in 3D
  • Digital Tools
  • Dynamic Systems
  • Introduction to Digital Compositing
  • Visual Narrative

Year 2 Animation Pathway

  • Production Project
  • Character Animation and Performance
  • Storyboarding Layout and Animatics
  • Creature Animation
  • Digital Tools II
  • Animation Styles

Year 2 Digital FX Pathway

  • Research and Invention
  • Production Project
  • Digital Tools II
  • Fluid Simulation
  • Physical Objects and Particles
  • Lighting and Look Development

Year 2 3D Virtual Environments and Assets Pathway

  • Virtual Environments
  • Advanced 3D Assets
  • Advanced Compositing
  • Lighting and Look Development

Year 3 Modules

  • Research Project
  • Industry Projects
  • Final Major Project: Concept and PreProduction
  • Final Major Project: Production

Fees

How much does it cost

Fees for September 2017 to August 2018 entry

Full Time Home and EU: £9250 per year

Full Time International: £10,500 per year

Most courses will involve some additional costs that are not covered by your fees.

Fees quoted are for the next intake and are subject to change. Fee costs for subsequent years may rise in line with inflation, course delivery costs or subject to government regulations.

For information on financial assistance to support your learning, visit our Undergraduate Fees and Funding section.

Questions about fees?

Contact our Student Centre on:
01494 603 020
student.centre@bucks.ac.uk

How do I apply?

For application details please visit bucks.ac.uk/applynow

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Teaching team

Employability

What are my career prospects

This course is ideal for students wanting to explore a career in a range of industries, including animation, visual effects, games, architectural visualization and advertising. Virtual Reality is now widely expected to explode and demand is expected to exceed content for some time to come. The 3D skills developed on this course will position students to move into this exciting and rapidly evolving sector.

Preparing for Work in the Industry

We have excellent links with connections that range from small companies to industry giants. Our students seek and gain placements and internships while undertaking their studies, including internships and employment with a range of companies including Pinewood Studios, FST Advertising, DeliPictures, Potion Pictures, Think BDW, Red Bee Media, URS, Firebird Films, Bionic Group, Nano Films and VCCP. We also encourage and support students who take on freelance work as this sort of experience can really help to build up a credible CV.

How will you help me prepare for my future?

Throughout your time with us we'll support you. Our knowledge and teaching will enable you to develop crucial skills, to become enterprising, employable and gain in confidence as you go through each level of study. With our staff you will benefit from an effective balance of academic and industry expertise ensuring you are effectively supported both as a student and a future professional.

We also help you find employment after graduation. Have a look at our Careers and Employability pages to find out more.