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Film and Visual Effects Technology

BSc (Hons)
Entry 2018: BBC / 112 UCAS points
Duration: 3 years
Attendance mode: Full-time
Award: BSc (Hons)
UCAS code: W613
Placement: Placement year not available
Suitable for international students
Faculty of Engineering & Informatics
Apply Prospectus downloads


A brand new, cutting edge programme designed as a response to industry demand for graduates who are creative and artistic, as well as technically able.

Utilising state-of-the-art and industry standard technologies, software and processes, you will gain a professional grounding in:

  • Still and moving image capture/manipulation
  • Cinematography
  • Modelling and animation
  • Computational simulation
  • Digital compositing
  • CGI lighting
  • Look development and advanced rendering

These skills are underpinned by conceptual/theoretical understanding, ensuring you emerge as a competent, well-rounded and employable professional. You will be guided every step of the way by our industry-experienced team of academics.

Film and Visual Effects Technology is also available as a four-year programme, which includes a placement year in industry.

Why Bradford?

The world’s first UNESCO City of Film, Bradford is at the heart of British film making.

The UNESCO City of Film offices are based on campus, at the School of Media, Design and Technology. This gives our students unique opportunities to get involved in their events and initiatives, and to produce content for City of Film.

Bradford is the home of the National Media Museum. We have a long-established partnership with the museum, giving you privileged access to the museum’s collections, exhibitions, industry events, film programmes and festivals. Just 5 minutes’ walk away from the University, it’s the perfect place to immerse yourself in Film and Visual Effects.

You’ll be surrounded by some of the most beautiful countryside the UK has to offer, including Bronte country, the Lake District and the Peak District. This means plenty of amazing locations to shoot film, practice time lapses or just gain inspiration and reflect – all a quick bus or train journey away.

From day one you will be immersed in the practical and theoretical aspects of Film and Visual effects. Through hands on industry practitioner tutorage and research informed teaching, you will develop the skills you need to excel at any production house, be it Film, VFX or related fields.

You will not just learn to use the software; you will develop crucial social, industry, artistic, and scientific skills and context. The industry regularly states that this broad knowledge base is missing in most graduates, and is in great demand - meaning you will be highly employable upon graduation.

You will have the opportunity to learn and engage with a wide pool of industry expert academics that span the creative industries and computer sciences. You will work with both Professors and researchers in bringing new exciting technology and knowledge into the world, whilst also being taught directly by professionals that are currently working at production companies.

We’ve designed the programme to give you the solid grounding you need in Animation, Film Production and Visual Effects in the first year of study. In your second year you will decide your focus disciplines, leading to a final production year. You’ll form a team and spend a full year on a fully-fledged production; the start of your professional portfolio.

We offer outstanding facilities, and are passionate about our industry and developing creative, highly skilled graduates. Upon graduation you’ll have an extensive portfolio of work ready to showcase to graduate employers. Practical elements of the programme will build a substantial portfolio of work alone; the outstanding extra-curricular opportunities open to you at Bradford will allow you to really stand out when stepping into the competitive graduate employment market.

Entry requirements

Typical offer: BBC / 112 UCAS points

A levels:

There are no specific subject requirements.

BTEC Extended Diploma:

DMM - there are no specific subject requirements.

Applicants on Access Programmes:

Meet UCAS tariff of 112. There are no specific subject requirements.

Plus minimum of:

GCSE English and Mathematics at grade C or 4 (equivalents accepted).

Additional entry requirements:

If you are an international student and you do not meet the entry requirements for direct entry onto this course you may be interested in our International Certificate of Foundation Studies.

English language requirements:

Minimum IELTS at 6.0 or the equivalent.

If you do not meet the IELTS requirement, you can take a University of Bradford pre-sessional English course. See the Language Centre for more details.


The modules for this course can be found in the latest programme specification.

The programme is intended to equip students who wish to develop expertise in the creative, aesthetic, scientific and technical aspects of film and visual effects with skills needed to use the latest industry techniques and technologies.

Year 1

  • Creativity and Imagination (20 credits) - core
    The module is intended to foster and develop students' ability to create new ideas and to develop appropriate creative strategies for making artefacts, media production, other forms of digital media production, or for self-expression.
  • Moving Image Production (20 credits) - core
    To gain the skills required for basic video production in both single camera and multi camera situations.
  • Introduction to 3D Computer Modelling and Animation (20 credits) - core
    To provide an introduction to the theory and practice of 3D computer modelling and animation.
  • Introduction to Digital Visual Effects (20 credits) - core
    The module will explore the core techniques and tools of digital post production and visual effects so that students will start to be able to create realistic images and effects.
  • 3D Character Animation (20 credits) - core
    To provide practical knowledge of 3D computer animation production processes in a project-based environment with particular reference to character animation.
  • Application Programming and Development (20 credits) - core
    To develop understanding and skills in multimedia production techniques, to create an application, plug-in or interactive game.

At the end of Year 1, students will be eligible to exit with the award of Certificate of Higher Education if they have successfully completed at least 120 credits and achieved the award learning outcomes.

Year 2

  • Script Programming and Technical Animation (20 credits) – core
    To learn the fundamentals and the concepts of 3D embedded scripting language to students with basically no programming experience.
  • Cinematography (20 credits) – core
    This module provides an advanced understanding of the history and theory of cinematic moving image assembly and practical lighting techniques, in-camera capture methods and technologies, composition and motion.
  • Digital Preparation Rotoscoping and Matte Painting (20 credits) – core
    The module will explore the core techniques and tools of digital preparation, rotoscoping and matte painting enabling students to create seamless composites.
  • Look Development, Lighting and Advanced Rendering (20 credits) – core
    To attain a broad foundation in all aspects of the field of Look Development, to the level that students can start building informed but simple pipelines.
  • Digital Compositing and Post Production (20 credits) – core
    To provide an understanding of issues involved with the final stages of film and visual effects pipelines including the creation of photorealistic computer generated images and the creation of computer generated visual effects.
  • Technical Effects & Physics for CGI & VFX (20 credits) – optional
  • Motion Capture and Digital Scanning (20 credits) – optional
    To attain a broad understanding of the processes of the motion capture sequence, from setting up cameras and capturing data through to editing and transferring capture data to industry standard animation packages.

At the end of Year 2, students will be eligible to exit with the award of Diploma of Higher Education if they have successfully completed at least 240 credits and achieved the award learning outcomes.

Final year

  • Major Project Pre-Production (20 credits) - core
  • Individual Project (40 credits) - core
    To integrate material from other modules into a major digital media project; to provide you with a platform for autonomous learning within your chosen area of specialism; to develop a self-critical, editorial awareness of one`s own body of work; to present that body of work in a visually impressive video; to develop presentation skills.
  • Major Project Production (40 credits) – core
  • Motion Capture and Digital Scanning (20 credits) – optional
    To attain a broad understanding of the processes of the motion capture sequence, from setting up cameras and capturing data through to editing and transferring capture data to industry standard animation packages.
  • Facial Modelling / Animation (20 credits) – optional
  • AI for Games (20 credits) – optional
    Introduction to real-time AI and the games industry.
  • Effects Animation and Dynamics for VFX (20 credits) – optional
    To introduce advanced topics and concepts in the field of technical animation and make students aware of the appropriate use of simulation and effects, taking into account complexity, rendering, time, memory and resource overheads.
  • Application Programming & Development (20 credits) – optional
    To develop understanding and skills in multimedia production techniques, to create an application, plug-in or interactive game.

Reading lists

All reading lists can be found here.

Learning activities and assessment

Most modules use a mixture of formal lectures, practical lab sessions, tutorials and seminars. Some modules involve supervised group work, usually with an assigned academic staff member for each group.

All modules require students to undertake independent study, supported through distance learning technologies such as our Virtual Learning Environment. Reading lists and suggested resources for independent study provide further direction for students to undertake this work, and regular contact hours and informal feedback throughout the courses provide opportunities for further guidance for learners.

Assessments for modules mostly take the form of practical coursework, lab tests and written exams, with all forms being well represented throughout all years of the course across all modules.

Career support and prospects

Career support

The University is committed to helping students develop and enhance employability and this is an integral part of many programmes. Specialist support is available throughout the course from Career and Employability Services including help to find part-time work while studying, placements, vacation work and graduate vacancies. Students are encouraged to access this support at an early stage and to use the extensive resources on the Careers website.

Discussing options with specialist advisers helps to clarify plans through exploring options and refining skills of job-hunting. In most of our programmes there is direct input by Career Development Advisers into the curriculum or through specially arranged workshops.

Employment statistics

82% of our 2016 graduates in Film, Media, Animation, Games and Visual Effects found employment or went on to further study within six months of graduating.*

*These DLHE statistics are derived from annually published data by the Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA), based on those UK domiciled graduates who are available for employment or further study and whose destinations are known.

Career prospects

Visual Effects are central to almost all blockbuster films and television series - from the dragons of Game of Thrones to the gravitational lensing of the black hole in Interstellar. It is one of the fastest growing industry sectors, both in the UK and abroad.

Over the last five years our post-graduate employment and study rates have been significantly better than the national average for visual effects courses in the UK.

Bradford graduates are currently working at amazing companies such as:

  • BBC
  • Pixar
  • Sky
  • MTV
  • Channel Four
  • ITV
  • Disney
  • Double negative
  • Pixamondo

…and many more, and have worked on such ground-breaking cinematic feats as;

  • Avatar
  • Inception
  • Hugo
  • Gravity
  • Dawn of the Planet of the Apes
  • The Dark Knight Trilogy
  • Every film in the Harry Potter series


Most of our staff are research active, and contribute to the cutting edge of their disciplines. Bradford has a strong pedigree of world leading research, and our aim is to ensure that students benefit from our staff’s insight into the future of their subject.

The integration of new and innovative research findings into our curriculum, known as Research Informed Teaching, is a core value and one of the key principles driving the design of our courses and our modules. Particularly in the final year, but throughout their course from the very first day, students are given insight into the future of the Film and Visual Effects Technology and business, and the opportunities presented when they come together.


Our facilities include a Chroma Key studio, Faro LiDAR Scanners, 4K/6K cinema cameras, a 16 camera Vicon Motion Capture suite, VR equipment, dedicated simulation and rendering studios, Production labs with state of the art workstations and the latest industry standard software such as Houdini, Nuke, Maya, ZBrush, Katana, Mari and Renderman.

Equipment is free for students to use and budgets are provided for project work. All course books, journals and online resources are provided in the library.

Fees, Finance and Scholarships

Tuition fees


  • Home/EU: £9,250*
  • International: £17,800

* Fees going forward have been capped by the Government at £9,250 in October 2017..

See our Fees and Financial Support website for more details.

Financial support

See our Fees and Financial Support website.

How do I find out more?

Got a question?

Fill in our form and our Enquiries team will answer it for you.

Enquiry form

This is the current course information. Modules and course details may change, subject to the University's programme approval, monitoring and review procedures. The University reserves the right to alter or withdraw courses, services and facilities as described on our website without notice and to amend Ordinances, Regulations, fees and charges at any time. Students should enquire as to the up-to-date position when applying for their course of study.