On this course you will usually 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.
- Animation Software Engineering: This unit will build on your existing programming knowledge and teach C++ and Software engineering principles for computer graphics. We use Modern C++ and OpenGL for realtime graphics as well as the NCCA Graphics Library ngl.
- CGI Tools: You will be introduced to the main software tools used on the course these are Maya and Houdini, lectures will also introduce the main artistic concepts such as composition and cinematography.
- CGI Techniques: This unit provides a more in-depth look at the algorithms and techniques behind computer animation, you will be introduced to the main mathematical and algorithmic concepts behind computer graphics and animation.
- Simulation and Rendering: This unit includes simulation elements such as fluid, smoke and FEA. The rendering section includes writing shaders using renderman as well as an in depth look at how different rendering engines work.
- Personal Enquiry: You'll pursue research into areas that interest you and present the results of your findings to fellow students and staff at a research symposium.
- Group Project: Working with students from all three postgraduate courses (MA3D, MA Digital Effects) you'll present a concept for a short animated piece.
- Masters Project: The focus of fourth term is on completing the Master's component of your education. This can be a standalone project or the continuation and conclusion of another project. This project also includes a written thesis of approximately 5000 words and the year ends with a computer animation show, which gives you the opportunity to showcase your work to industry professionals and potential employers.
What follows is a small list of books we recommend (all should be in the library so there is no need to purchase them).
- Computer Animation Algorithms and Techniques, Rick Parent (2002), Morgan Kaufmann
- OpenGL Programming Guide, Mason Woo et al (2001), Addison Wesley
- Computer Graphics using OpenGL, F.S. Hill Jr. (3rd Edition), Prentice Hall
- Essential Renderman Fast, Ian Stephenson (2nd Edition), Springer
- Advanced Renderman, Apodaca & Gritz, Morgan Kaufmann
- Texturing and Modelling a Procedural approach, (3rd Edition) Ebert et al, AP Professional.
Programme specifications provide definitive records of the University's taught degrees in line with Quality Assurance Agency requirements. Every taught course leading to a BU Award has a programme specification which describes its aims, structure, content and learning outcomes, plus the teaching, learning and assessment methods used.
Download the programme specification for MSc Computer Animation & Visual Effects.
Whilst every effort is made to ensure the accuracy of the programme specification, the information is liable to change to take advantage of exciting new approaches to teaching and learning as well as developments in industry. If you have been unable to locate the programme specification for the course you are interested in, it will be available as soon as the latest version is ready. Alternatively please contact us for assistance.
Background and experience
For MSc Computer Animation and Visual Effects we are looking for applicants who:
- Enjoy working collaboratively with other students and academics
- Can focus their attention on more than one project at once
- A strong knowledge of object oriented programming is preferred
- Can adapt to varying demands/workloads
- Ideally have done some work experience within this field.
Full entry requirements
The normal requirements for embarking upon a postgraduate taught degree are:
- A good Bachelors Honours degree, 2:1 or above, or equivalent.
- For post-experience and professional qualifications, there may be additional entry requirements set by the association or institute that ultimately administers the qualification in question. The qualification description on the course information pages should tell you what these are but please get in touch with the askBU Enquiry Service if you are in doubt.
- An interview is required for this course.
If you lack the formal academic qualifications needed to enter a postgraduate or post-experience degree, there are several alternative routes to follow, some based on experience. Contact the askBU Enquiry Service for more information.
International entry requirements
- IELTS (Academic) 6.5 with minimum 6.0 in each component or equivalent.
View further information about our English language requirements.
A number of pre-sessional English and preparatory programmes are offered through our partner institution, Bournemouth University International College, and will get you ready for study at BU at the appropriate level.
You can also find further details of the international qualifications we accept, and what level of study they apply to, on our study postgraduate entry requirements page.
Our computer animation courses are well regarded within the industry and based on previous years, the employment prospects for postgraduates are excellent.
This course is accredited by Creative Skillset and carries the Creative Skillset Tick. In achieving the Creative Skillset Tick this course joins the ranks of the top creative training and education this country has to offer, you can be sure that it has undergone a rigorous assessment process conducted by experts working in the creative industries. The Tick is only given to those courses that have the strongest links with industry giving you the best possible chance of a successful career.
Most graduates find employment as technical directors or R&D developers in the film industry. A number of graduates have also found roles in computer games companies. Graduates have recently worked for companies such as:
- Moving Picture Company (Troy, Batman Begins, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, Kingdom of Heaven)
- Double Negative (Batman Begins)
- Framestore CFC
Industries worked in
- Computer animation.
If you want to continue your studies after achieving your Master's, you can look into our range of doctoral programmes.
- MSc Computer Animation and Visual Effects Studio: a 15-seat classroom based studio with a 1:1 student computer ratio. The studio is open 24/7 throughout the year apart from Christmas
- Programme-specific Software: Centos Linux, Maya, Houdini and Renderman
- Departmental Software: C++, OpenGL, Qt, Maya, Houdini, Renderman plus many more
- Acquisition: Full Green Screen TV and MOCAP Studio, Portable Green and Blue Screens, Track & Jib, Location Survey Kits, 3D Scanner and Motion Capture Suite
- Acquistion Cameras: Panasonic 101s and Canon 5Ds