Visual Effects and Motion Graphics BSc
About the course
The exciting world of digital media design needs innovative, imaginative professionals who are fluent users of emerging technologies and tools – and this course aims to arm creative designers with these cutting edge skills.
Brunel’s new Visual Effects and Motion Graphics* programme develops students’ creative design, technological skills and conceptual knowledge – to meet the needs of an ever-evolving, technologically demanding media landscape.
There are few other programmes in the UK that aim to develop both the technological and aesthetic ingenuity required for the visual effects and motion graphics sector, within the entertainment and creative industries.
*This course replaces Brunel’s Broadcast Media Design and Technology course to reflect new industry skills requirements and to gain accreditation by Creative Skillset.
To view the Brunel digital media showcase 2015 video please click here.
The last five years has seen a shift in the way TV and film is recorded, produced, screened and viewed – creating a need for a new type of creative technologist.
This BSc in Visual Effects and Motion Graphics will develop your creative design, production, implementation, and post-production skills and processes needed for the various phases of modern digital TV, video and filmmaking and workflow.
Roles that graduates can move into include advanced titling artists, motion graphics designers, visual effects experts and interactive technologists for film and video, TV, post-production and virtual production environments.
You will be able to produce high quality media pieces and create post-production visual effects and motion graphics solutions, suitable for any VFX and motion design company.
The course looks at the influence of the internet and emerging technologies which have changed the way TV and film are recorded, produced, screened and viewed. These developments as well as the rapid growth of interactive and 3D TV have resulted in the need for a new type of creative technologist, while the increase in the sophistication of visual effects and post-production in films, TV and advertisements has increased demand for talented media designers.
The course allows you to specialise and to match your studies to your own particular interest, while maintaining a broad approach.
- Creativity for Digital Media Design
- Digital Photography
- Digital Graphics
- Web Design
- Business for the Creative Industries
- Programming for Digital Media 1
- Introduction to Video Production
- Digital Design Theory
- Introduction to Post Production
- CGI Foundation for Visual Effects
- Acquisition for Visual Effects.
- Motion Graphics Applications
- Applied Media Aesthetics 1
- Programming for the Moving Image
- Visual Effects Compositing
- Experimental Digital Futures
- Marketing & Professional Development
- Motion Graphics Design
- Applied Media Aesthetics 2
- 3D Animation
- CGI Digital Environments
- 3D Matchmoving.
Level 3 Compulsory
- Major Project
- Working in the Digital Creative Industries.
Level 3 Options
- Rigging and Motion Capture
- Advanced 3D Imaging
- Effects Animation
- Digital Experiences
- Sound Production for Mixed Media
- Advanced Motion Graphics.
Read more about the structure of undergraduate degrees at Brunel
and what you will learn on the course.
We pride ourselves on having some of the most up to date and extensive digital media resources available for our undergraduate and postgraduate students, including:
- a motion capture and photographic darkroom area
- green screen studio
- bespoke studio and workshop areas
- cameras, portable lighting and sound recording devices
- recording booth
- 20 HD video cameras, 20 Nikon digital SLRs, Zoom audio recorders
- RED ONE camera (one of very few in UK universities), tripods, portable lighting rigs, microphones, reflectors, diffusers, gels and lenses.
Visual Effects and Motion Graphics is taught in a very hands-on way, rather than as merely simulation or theory. You will spend much of your time in our custom designed, integrated TV studio and post-production suite, both using high-definition (HD) formats. We feel that HD is essential to the production of professional quality, post-production material. Our film and TV facilities will allow you to capture and manipulate high-definition video and 3D video.
We have excellent links with the film and TV post-production industry and local small and large companies. For our students, this means our courses are designed to meet the needs of the post-production and visual effects industry in the UK and beyond. Our West London campus is close to the UK’s TV and film industries, including the BBC, Sky TV and Pinewood – with London having Europe’s largest concentration of internationally renowned creators and distributors of film, TV and advertising content.
Teaching and Assessment
The course lecturers are at the leading edge of their fields and internationally and nationally recognised for their work. They are often widely published and have good links with industry, so they know exactly what is going on in the commercial world.
How many hours of study are involved?
In Levels 1 and 2 you will have about 18 taught hours a week. This falls to 12 hours of lectures and seminars at Level 3, with at least one whole day of project work. You will also have regular appointments with your final year project supervisor at Level 3, a series of project specific lectures, and subject specific peer mentoring groups led by academics to support your project work.
In addition to this, staff are normally happy to answer queries outside this time. We operate an open door policy where you can drop in and chat, or email lecturers with your questions.
Students are expected to carry out a total of 40 hours study a week, including contact hours.
How will I be taught?
Lectures – These provide a broad overview of key concepts and ideas relating to your course and give you a framework from which to carry out in-depth study.
Studios –These are normally stand-alone three hour sessions in which students can develop, understand and practice using industry standard equipment. They provide an informal environment in which to explore new ideas and apply what you have learnt in lectures.
Workshops – In a workshop you will work on more complex problems with guidance from a member of staff. This might involve producing an artefact or a design solution. Workshops allow you to develop new intellectual and practical skills and also serve to reinforce material learnt in lectures.
One-to-one – You will get one-to-one supervision for all major project work in your final year. If you go on a placement you will also be allocated an academic visiting tutor who will help you to set objectives, monitor your progress, and provide further support if you need it. You will also have a personal tutor who is available to discuss both academic and personal problems.
Level 1 does not count towards your final degree mark but you have to pass this year in order to progress to Level 2. Level 2 is worth a third of your final degree classification. Level 3 is worth the remainder of your degree.
In the final year, you will develop and implement a major individual project, worth half of your final year marks. This is in addition to other project work completed during Level 2.
The percentage of coursework to exam varies, and depends on the modules you select. As an approximate guide, about 25% of assessment over the whole programme is by examination, and 75% by coursework.
Assessment is performed by a variety of methods. In general, the following techniques are used:
- Traditional exam
- Pre-seen exam (a case study to prepare in advance)
- Written assignments
- Practical and creative design assignments
- Individual and group presentations.
Particular emphasis is put on teamwork for certain assignments, as the ability to work in teams is critical for future careers in the post-production fields with specialisms in Visual Effects and Motion Graphics.
The creative industries are growing at 6% per year, and now contribute almost 10% of the UK's GDP. Significantly, film and TV post-production and VFX industries are growing at around 16% per year.
In this context, graduates who have both creative ability and advanced technical knowledge in film and video post-production are in ever growing demand.
According to David McNulty, a post-production artist currently working on film titles from Columbia Pictures and Warner Bros: "There is a high demand in today’s post-production industry for a new generation of up-and-coming professionals. The industry needs graduates who have a combination of cross-platform, multi-discipline understanding mixed with strong hands-on practical knowledge."
Recent graduates from this course have gone on to work for the BBC, Wurmsers TV Graphics, Philips, Sky, VentureThree and a variety of design companies.
There is a relaxed and friendly relationship between students and staff at Brunel and we take a genuine interest and pride in the success of our students and graduates.
Brunel's award-winning work placements offer you the opportunity to take up a valuable work placements within prestigious organisations such as BSkyB, Stream UK, JVC, and Dolby Laboratories. Increasingly, students are selecting smaller companies to obtain a more flexible placement opportunity.
The University maintains close contact with you during your placement year. The industrial placement year is assessed and contributes to your degree – students who successfully complete the placement year graduate with ‘Professional Practice as part of their degree title in recognition of their time spent in industry. You will be required to keep a record of your training and the work you do throughout the year, and submit coursework to demonstrate the placement learning you have undertaken.
Some of the benefits of a work placement to students include:
- experience in their desired or related field
- developing work-related skills demanded by industry employers, enhancing your employability
- personal development, including: self-confidence, self-discipline and responsibility
- a salary, since most Brunel placements are paid
Brunel has a dedicated Professional Development Centre with over 30 staff, including specialist industry consultants. Each course has a dedicated placement officer who supports students through the placement process, as well as course lecturers to visit and support you. The service includes CV writing, one-to-one guidance and mock interviews.
At Brunel we provide many opportunities and experiences within your degree programme and beyond – work-based learning, professional support services, volunteering, mentoring, sports, arts, clubs, societies, and much, much more – and we encourage you to make the most of them, so that you can make the most of yourself.
» More about Employability
Fees for 2016/7 entry
£9,000 full-time; £1,000 placement year
See our fees and funding page for full details of scholarships available to Brunel applicants
Fees quoted are per annum and are subject to an annual increase.
Entry Criteria 2016/7
- GCE A-level BBB, to include one creative subject such as Fine Art, Graphic Design, Music, Design and Technology (Product Design) or Photography and one technical subject such as Maths, Computing, Chemistry, Electronics, Statistics, Design and Technology (Systems and Control) or Physics (General Studies not accepted).
- Advanced Diploma Progression Diploma Grade B in either Creative and Media or Information Technology, plus a B at A-level for Additional and Specialist Learning.
- BTEC Level 3 Extended Diploma DDD in either Arts, Engineering or Science Subject.
- BTEC Level 3 Diploma DD in a related subject with an A-Level at grade B to include one creative or technical subject.
- BTEC Level 3 Subsidiary Diploma D in a related subject with A-Levels grade BB to include one creative subject and one technical subject.
- International Baccalaureate Diploma 30 points preferably to include at 5 in Higher one creative subject and one technical subject.
- Access to Higher Education Diploma Complete and pass Access to Art and Design, Computing or Media course with 45 credits at Level 3 and with Merit or higher in all units.
GCSE Mathematics grade C and GCSE English grade C are also required.
Please check our Admissions pages for more information on other factors we use to assess applicants as well as our full GCSE requirements and accepted equivalencies in place of GCSEs.
All applicants are required to attend an interview including a portfolio review as part of the selection process before a formal offer is made.
Entry criteria are subject to review and change each academic year.
International and EU Entry Requirements
If your country or institution is not listed or if you are not sure whether your institution is eligible, please contact Admissions
This information is for guidance only by Brunel University London and by meeting the academic requirements does not guarantee entry for our courses as applications are assessed on case-by-case basis.
English Language Requirements
- IELTS: 6 (min 5.5 in all areas)
- Pearson: 51 (51 in all subscores)
- BrunELT: 60% (min 55% in all areas)
Brunel University London strongly recommends that if you will require a Tier 4 visa, you sit your IELTS test at a test centre that has been approved by UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) as being a provider of a Secure English Language Test (SELT). Not all test centres have this status. The University can accept IELTS (with the required scores) taken at any official test centre or other English Language qualifications we accept as meeting our main award entry requirements.
However, if you wish to undertake a Pre-sessional English course to further improve your English prior to the start of your degree course, you must sit the test at an approved SELT provider. This is because you will only be able to apply for a Tier 4 student visa to undertake a Pre-sessional English course if you hold a SELT from a UKVI approved test centre. Find out more information about it.
Brunel also offers our own BrunELT English Test and accepts a range of other language courses. We also have Pre-sessional English language courses for students who do not meet these requirements, or who wish to improve their English.
Our International Pathways and Language Centre offers a number of foundation and pre-masters courses to provide you with the academic skills required for your chosen course.