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  • Delivery:
    Full time according to Funding Council definitions

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This course will provide you with a strong theoretical and technical underpinning for the principal areas of study, thanks to lecture series on filmmaking techniques, green screen, MOCAP, computer graphic principles, the fusion of art and technology, personal research, and applied digital effects theory and practice.

We accept students from a broad range of art-based subject areas including fine art, photography, architecture, filmmaking, fashion design, and graphic design. We will also consider applications from non-art based subjects such as computer sciences or engineering, as long as good art skills can be demonstrated. This is a truly international course, attracting students from all over the world with a diverse range of cultures and identities. 

Knowledge of digital effects and computer graphics are not a prerequisite for entry, as everything is rapidly taught from basics. A strong set of traditional art and photography skills are however highly beneficial, and demonstration of all art-based skills should be done at application stage in the form of a digital portfolio.

MA Digital Effects and the National Centre for Computer Animation is the UK’s only officially recognised Houdini Certified School. This incredible software is now at the forefront of the VFX Industry, and knowledge of it is a must for anyone wanting to progress their careers in this field.

Digital Effects is one of three Master's degree pathways created by the National Centre for Computer Animation NCCA. All pathways share a great deal of core teaching, but also have specific pathway teaching. If your primary area of interest is mostly illustration or figurative character-based, then our 3D Computer Animation Programme may be a better choice for you. If your application portfolio is mostly technical or programming-based work without much in the way of original artwork, then our Computer Animation & Visual Effects Programme may be the better choice. 

Our assessment panels will automatically pass applications deemed better suited to another pathway onto them, so it is a good idea to familiarise yourself with all our Master’s pathways to help ensure Digital Effects is the right programme for you.

We enjoy very strong links with industry, due largely to the ubiquity of NCCA graduates in the film, game and television industries. Our graduates have worked on films such as Blade Runner 2049, The Avengers, Solo: A Star Wars Story, Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald and Dunkirk. 

Please watch the recorded BU Webinar ‘MA Digital Effects’. Presented by Phil Spicer, Senior Lecturer In Computer Animation, this webinar will give you an excellent insight into this Master’s programme.

Key information

Next start date:

September 2019, September 2020

Location:

Bournemouth University, Talbot Campus

Duration:

1 year full-time

Accreditations:

Creative skillset

Entry requirements:

For 2019 entry: A Bachelors Honours degree with 2:2 in any subject. For more information see our full entry requirements.

International entry requirements:

If English is not your first language you'll need IELTS (Academic) 6.5 with a minimum of 6.0 in each component of writing, speaking, listening and reading. For more information see our full entry requirements.

Course details

On this course you will be taught by a range of staff with relevant expertise and knowledge appropriate to the content of the unit. This will include senior academic staff, qualified professional practitioners, demonstrators, technicians and research students. You will also benefit from regular guest lectures from industry.

The course is split into four terms, each lasting ten weeks. The first three terms are the Postgraduate Diploma (PGDip), and the final term is the Master’s term.​

View the NCCA Digital FX student showreel on YouTubeDownload the programme specification (pdf 742kb)

Your application

This course will be suited to grounded, capable, personable students who can be independent, focused, determined and precise during their time with us. A good MA Digital Effects student will enhance themselves, the reputation of MA Digital Effects, and the wider reputation of the NCCA as a result of their studies.

Entry requirements

Careers

Digital Effects graduates are highly sought after in the industry. This is partly due to our level of teaching in this subject area, and partly from students' desire to listen, learn and progress.

Graduates have gone on to work for a variety of International VFX Companies including Double Negative (Inception), Digital Domain (Transformers, X-Men) and Sony Picture Image Works (Smurfs).

All information shown has been taken from Destination of Leavers from Higher Education (DLHE) or BU institutional data unless otherwise stated.

Costs and fees

You can find full information about the deposits required and how to pay your fees in our postgraduate fees and funding section, including details of the new Postgraduate Loans Scheme, offering up to £10,000 of support (subject to fee status).

All fees are quoted in pounds sterling and are per annum. Fees quoted are for tuition only unless stated otherwise. Your tuition fees will be the same for each year of your course.

Find out more about living expenses for postgraduate students

Our staff

On this course you will be taught by staff with relevant expertise and knowledge appropriate to the content of the unit. This could include senior academic staff, qualified professional practitioners and research students, many of whom are actively engaged in research and/or professional practice which is integrated into the teaching of this course. You may also benefit from guest lectures from industry, including our alumni. Please note that teaching staff can change.

Our graduates

Course changes

What our staff say

Phil Spicer

Digital Effects is the integration of computer graphics into film footage. Students generate elements that blend seamlessly with the footage itself so you wouldn't believe it is computer generated.

What our graduates think

Adam Redhead

This course proved to be invaluable in my career. I gained the skills that enabled me to start working in an artist role in a month of completing the course.

What our staff say

Steve Hubbard

By the end of the course artists know the technical elements of computer animation systems and principals behind them to function to a high level in the visual effects industry.