Computer animation has revolutionised the world of film, special effects and computer games. This course will help you acquire the skills needed to work in a number of areas where computer animation is applied, including films, animated features, computer games, television production, commercials, illustration, scientific visualisation, flight simulation, virtual environments, architectural visualisations and interactive media.
We aim to give you an exceptional learning experience by creating a professional studio environment where you will learn best practice and the techniques found in industry.
You’ll learn the fundamentals of computer graphics, which will give you an excellent grasp of the subject matter and the transferable skills that you will need in your career. You’ll be provided with your own workstation which is accessible 24/7,and will learn through a combination of mentoring, tutorials and lectures.
Throughout the year industry practitioners deliver a variety of master classes relevant to the subject area. Group projects will give you the opportunity to collaborate with students from other Master’s courses, providing a realistic setting to discover what it’s like working with other creative and technical people.
You'll be taught the best practice and techniques found in the industry and will receive accreditation from the National Centre for Computer Animation (NCCA).
This programme is ideal if you have established technical and/or creative skills and wish to develop academic or commercial practice. Focus on the practical skills and knowledge required to participate in design and initiate discussions at the highest level.
This course responds to a specific industry niche, capitalising on the industry and academic experience of our staff members.You focus heavily on specialised computer animation and visual effects practice. We have extensive facilities to support this work – both software and hardware. Staff have technical expertise in maths, computing and Linux, and the creativity to help you produce convincing animation and visual effects that look great.
There are three routes you can choose from to gain an MA Computer Animation and Visual Effects:
Modules offered may vary.
How you learn
You undertake live projects guided by industry practice and you discuss and negotiate with your tutors what area(s) of investigation you wish to explore
How you are assessed
Your learning is assessed by individual coursework. This includes practical implementations and reports which demonstrate a critical evaluation of the practical process, techniques and end product, plus supporting evidence of research into specified areas.
You present your work to your peers and tutors within lab-based sessions to receive both formative and summative feedback.
We provide detailed marking criteria with each assessment. Due to the practical nature of this programme, we allocate more marks to the practical work than the report.
From the beginning of your programme, we prepare you for a career in industry. In addition to your taught classes, we create opportunities for you to meet and network with our industry partners through events such as our ExpoSeries, which showcases student work to industry. ExpoTees is the pinnacle of the ExpoSeries with over 100 businesses from across the UK coming to the campus to meet our exceptional students, with a view to recruitment.
There are a number of internship options, including:
You are expected to come from a technical background (Computer Science, Physics, Maths, Engineering) with an existing knowledge of programming and the course will build upon this, providing you with a combination of artistic sensibilities, problem-solving and technical skills, which can be applied to the role of technical director within the animation and games industries. Technical directors often have to work alongside computer animators and resolve technical problems either by configuring existing software tools or designing new tools.
During your year-long study, you will develop your programming and scripting skills, and become familiar with special techniques and tools associated with computer animation. These skills are assessed in a variety of projects you will undertake during the year. Emphasis is placed on the use of industry standard hardware and software in the development of these techniques. Typical examples include the development of C++ programs to test new algorithms, the writing of shaders to support rendering, and the developing of scripts and tools to create new effects.
The academic aspects will provide you with a strong theoretical underpinning for the principal areas of study, including lecture series on computer graphics techniques, animation software development, principles of computer graphics, the fusion of art and technology, and personal research projects. You will also have the opportunity to collaborate with students on the other two Master’s courses in the Group Project. This format provides a realistic setting to discover what it’s like working with other creative people and working to a strict timescale.
The course attracts students from all over the world, giving it a strong interdisciplinary, international feel.
This is a truly international course, attracting students from all over the world with a diverse range of cultures and identities. It 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. Knowledge of digital effects and computer graphics are not a pre-requisite 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.
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.
This MA responds to the pressing need for a high quality postgraduate degree serving the computer games and entertainment industries. The emphasis is on games design, art and animation, and will also develop the fundamentals of computer programming, entrepreneurship/business, and your own practice. You'll also be able to work with industry partners.
The computer games and interactive entertainment business is a fast-growing multi-billion dollar worldwide business, with games platforms from handhelds and mobiles including iPhones, iPads and Android phones, through consoles such as the Playstation 4, Xbox One and Nintento Wii U, to PCs and massively-multiplayer online games involving tens of thousands of people.
This MA will produce graduates who are well-positioned to have a career in this exciting worldwide industry, meeting the strong demand for graduate computer games designers and artists in the UK and abroad. The programme is delivered by a mix of professionals from the games and effects industries and from the research world.
The influence of computer games is spreading to other digital industries, with gamification and games-based learning, social machines and interactive visualisation of scientific and financial data all exploiting techniques from computer games, and all fields where graduates from this MA could make their mark.
We work closely with industry leaders to shape the course content and to offer industry placements at studios including:
The skills you will learn throughout the programme will have a focus on games design, art and animation, in addition to gaining the fundamentals of computer programming, entrepreneurship/business and practice.
You will study the following modules:
You will also study:
Industry Seminars Series (shared with the MSc in Computer Games and Entertainment course)
We expect that you will leave this programme with strong creative skills, production experience and management capability, giving you the potential for senior roles in the computer games and entertainment industries.
This MA builds on the success of the MSc in Computer Games and Entertainment, and will develop your skills in game design, art and animation. You'll have the opportunity to work with students from this industry-recognised programme on placements and final projects. Through these creative collaborations with artists, games designers and developers we hope that many exciting and innovative projects will emerge. This mix of students also replicates the typical mix of workers in games development and special effects studios.
It's likely that this will encourage exciting and innovative projects to emerge, through creative collaborations
You'll be well equipped to pursue a career in the computer games industry, covering mainstream computer games for mobile, PC, tablet and console platforms, through to gamification and 'serious games'.
Or you could choose to work in the broader entertainment industries – including advertising, special effects, television and web/design studios.
Graduate employment destinations of our computing programmes include:
Find out more about employability at Goldsmiths.
You will study a range of modules including computer graphics and visual effects, and computer vision.
You’ll explore different approaches for creating visual effects and the relationship between the segmentation, classification and identification of images and video.
You’ll learn about modern visual effects tools, programming techniques and physics-based animation, and have the opportunity to apply them and to adapt algorithms to typical problems in an advanced visual effects R&D environment.
This course is for you if you’ve gained mathematics or computer science skills in your first degree and are interested in the technology behind computer games and other digital entertainment.
The course will give you the opportunity to undertake research in our leading centres, including the highly regarded Centre for Digital Entertainment. Our facilities also include the £5 million Centre for the Analysis of Motion, Entertainment Research and Applications (CAMERA).
You’ll complete your course with the knowledge and transferable skills to prepare you for a career in the visual effects, computer animation and computer games industries. You’ll gain an understanding of the how to put together a project from scratch, rather than simply use commercial packages, so that your career can take you to a senior position more quickly.
As we involve our industry partners throughout your course, you’ll receive help in getting your CV to our partner companies. When you graduate, you will have already started to build your own industry network.
Recent graduates have gone on to work with companies such as Imagination Technologies, Electronic Arts and Nokia.
Watch a short video on our new Centre for the Analysis of Motion, Entertainment Research & Applications (CAMERA) (https://vimeo.com/133344283).
You can either study the MSc full-time, for one year, or take an optional professional placement and complete the course in two years. The placement offers paid, practical experience in an industrial or commercial environment. Here you’ll have the chance to apply the knowledge and skills you have gained so far, improving your understanding of digital entertainment in practice as you look to build a successful career in this field.
Visit the Department of Computer Science (http://www.bath.ac.uk/comp-sci/) for further information on the department.
The programme exists in partnership with our highly regarded Centre for Digital Entertainment, the UK’s premier doctoral training centre for the digital entertainment sector. With established experience in training for this economically important sector, we’ve been able to develop the MSc with 35 of our most innovative partner companies (for example Double Negative Visual Effects, EA Games, Disney Research), as well as existing students.
The MSc in Digital Entertainment is designed to equip you with a wide range of specialist knowledge and transferable skills, so that you can build a successful career within any number of areas in digital entertainment. We involve industry partners in the provision of our course to ensure we provide relevant, timely and current experience to improve your career prospects.
During your studies you’ll also have the chance to study alongside our doctoral students, and enhance your knowledge and understanding with specialist classes taught by company experts.
The MSc in Digital Entertainment will equip students with the knowledge and transferable skills for a career in the Visual Effects, Computer Animation and Computer Games industries. It provides a solid understanding across all of these sectors, narrowing down over the year to the part that interests you most. It explains how it is done, rather than how to use commercial packages, so that your career can take you to a senior position more quickly. We involve our industry partners, to make sure you are getting the right kind of experience.
At graduation you will have the breadth which all of these industries require but the deeper specialised knowledge and ability to think for yourself which lead to a high-end career. We can help you get your CV to our supporter companies and you will have already started to build your own industry network during the year.
The Department has active collaborations with academics in leading universities in Europe, Australasia, the USA and Japan. Strong links with industry, e.g. HP labs, Airbus, Qinetiq, Westland, Toshiba and Vodafone.
Find out more about the department here - http://www.bath.ac.uk/comp-sci/
Find out how to apply here - http://www.bath.ac.uk/science/graduate-school/taught-programmes/how-to-apply/
The MA Animation Production sees observation, drawing and an understanding of the traditional principles of animation as fundamental, but these are critically contextualised in relation to technology, history, theory and professional/studio practice.
The overriding objective is to enable all of our Animation students to see yourselves as part of a ‘community of practice’ (that includes research and critique, and the building of a ‘production culture’), existing not as atomised students ‘doing their own thing’, but as part of a meaningful whole.
The overall aim of our course is to enable you to pursue your interests and specialism – whether 2D/drawn, CG, stop motion or other forms of animation – and produce excellent work that synthesises the ‘strands’ of theory, practice and professionalism.
AUB Animation has achieved alumni success with our graduates going on to work at Aardman, Framestore, Pixar, EA Games and the Moving Picture Company and many other companies. Our BA films have won awards and recognition in the British Animation Awards and Royal Television Society Awards and at festivals around the world. We are proud of the network of AUB graduates who are now employed in Animation – many of whom return to talk to current students.
A number of graduate films are linked to below or can be found on our course gallery
Our studios work in a way that mirrors industry with students working together in a high energy atmosphere.
Our state-of-the-art animation studios provide students with an individual workstation and light box. The course has its own computer suite with specialist software.
12 Field light boxes | Rostrum cameras | Dell Workstations | Stop Motion booths | Linetesting workstations | Wacom Intuos 4/5 | Wacom Cintiq workstation monitors | Professional lighting Set (Dedo/Kino Flo) | Canon 650D HD/SD Stills Cameras + sundries | Motion control rig | High Speed A3 sheet feed scanners integrated into Harmony | A3 Epson GT-2000 scanners | 24TB Isilon IQ 6000 Clustered Storage | Renderfarm running PipelineFx Qube 6.4 integrated into Maya
You’ll also have access to the following:
Online Avid Symphony Nitris DX Edit Suite | Avid Teaching Lab + 16 Workstations for Media Composer & ProTools | Avid Unity ISIS 32TB Server to all Edit Suites | 3 Avid ProTools Edit Suites + Audio Control Surfaces | Sound recording booths
Toon Boom Harmony | Adobe Creative Master Suite 6 | Autodesk Maya | Stop Motion Pro | Toon Boom Pencil Check Pro | Toon Boom Story Board Pro | Nuke | Mari | Zbrush | Extensive library of software tutorial DVDs | DVD/Blu-ray film library
The Institute of Perception, Action and Behaviour (IPAB) focuses on how to link computational perception, representation, transformation and generation processes to external worlds, in theory and in practice.
This covers domains such as visual perception, dynamic control of robot systems, active sensing and decision making, biomimetic robotics, computer-based generation of external phenomena, such as images, music or actions, and agent-based interaction within computer games and animation.
Supported by the dynamic research culture of IPAB, you can develop robots that learn their own motor control, mimic animal behaviours, or produce autonomous and coordinated team actions. Or you can work with systems that interpret real images and video, or generate complex behaviour in animated characters.
We aim to link strong theoretical perspectives with practical hands-on construction, and provide the hardware and software support to realise this vision.
You carry out your research within a research group under the guidance of a supervisor. You will be expected to attend seminars and meetings of relevant research groups and may also attend lectures that are relevant to your research topic. Periodic reviews of your progress will be conducted to assist with research planning.
A programme of transferable skills courses facilitates broader professional development in a wide range of topics, from writing and presentation skills to entrepreneurship and career strategies.
The School of Informatics holds a Silver Athena SWAN award, in recognition of our commitment to advance the representation of women in science, mathematics, engineering and technology. The School is deploying a range of strategies to help female staff and students of all stages in their careers and we seek regular feedback from our research community on our performance.
Our robotics labs contain a range of mobile platforms, robot manipulators, humanoid robots, and custom-built sensor and actuation systems that attract continuous interest from funders, industry and members of the public.
Recent developments include the UK's only NASA Valkyrie robot platform, application of robotic hardware to prosthetics and assisted living, and a team that competes in the international robot soccer league.
Our new Edinburgh Centre for Robotics (ECR) brings collaboration with Heriot-Watt University to expand the range of facilities and applications we can explore, and to fund research training.
The machine vision lab has facilities for 3D range data capture, motion capture and high-resolution and high-speed video, and the high performance computing needed for graphics is well supported, including hardware partnerships with companies such as NVIDIA.
While many of our graduates go on to highly successful academic careers, others find their niche in commercial research labs, putting their knowledge and skills to use in an industry setting.
Several of our recent graduates have set up or joined spin-out robotics companies. Our graphics researchers have strong connections to the media and games industries.
The fields of graphics, vision and imaging increasingly rely on one another. This unique and timely MSc provides training in computer graphics, geometry processing, virtual reality, machine vision and imaging technology from world-leading experts, enabling students to specialise in any of these areas and gain a grounding in the others.
Graduates will understand the basic mathematical principles underlying the development and application of new techniques in computer graphics and computer vision and will be aware of the range of algorithms and approaches available, and be able to design, develop and evaluate algorithms and methods for new problems, emerging technologies and applications.
Students undertake modules to the value of 180 credits.
The programme consists of four core modules (60 credits), four optional modules (60 credits) and a research project (60 credits).
Students must choose a minimum of 15 and a maximum of 30 credits from Group One options. Students must choose a minimum of 30 and a maximum of 45 credits from Group Two options.
Group One Options (15 to 30 credits)
Group Two Options (30 to 45 credits)
Please note: the availability and delivery of optional modules may vary, depending on your selection.
All students undertake an independent research project related to a problem of industrial interest or on a topic near the leading edge of research, which culminates in a 60–80 page dissertation.
Teaching and learning
The programme is delivered through a combination of lectures and tutorials. Lectures are often supported by laboratory work with help from demonstrators. Student performance is assessed by unseen written examinations, coursework and a substantial individual project.
Further information on modules and degree structure is available on the department website: Computer Graphics, Vision and Imaging MSc
Graduates are ready for employment in a wide range of high-technology companies and will be able to contribute to maintaining and enhancing the UK's position in these important and expanding areas. The MSc provides graduates with the up-to-date technical skills required to support a wealth of research and development opportunities in broad areas of computer science and engineering, such as multimedia applications, medicine, architecture, film animation and computer games. Our market research shows that the leading companies in these areas demand the deep technical knowledge that this programme provides. Graduates have found positions at global companies such as Disney, Sony and Siemens. Others have gone on to PhD programmes at leading universities worldwide.
Recent career destinations for this degree
UCL received the highest percentage (96%) for quality of research in Computer Science and Informatics in the UK's most recent Research Excellence Framework (REF2014).
Our graduates have some of the highest employment rates of any university in the UK. This degree programme also provides a foundation for further PhD study or industrial research.
Careers data is taken from the ‘Destinations of Leavers from Higher Education’ survey undertaken by HESA looking at the destinations of UK and EU students in the 2013–2015 graduating cohorts six months after graduation.
UCL Computer Science contains some of the world's leading researchers in computer graphics, geometry processing, computer vision and virtual environments.
Research activities include geometric acquisition and 3D fabrication, real-time photo-realistic rendering, mixed and augmented reality, face recognition, content-based image-database search, video-texture modelling, depth perception in stereo vision, colour imaging for industrial inspection, mapping brain function and connectivity and tracking for SLAM (simultaneous localisation and mapping).
The Research Excellence Framework, or REF, is the system for assessing the quality of research in UK higher education institutions. The 2014 REF was carried out by the UK's higher education funding bodies, and the results used to allocate research funding from 2015/16.
The following REF score was awarded to the department: Computer Science
96% rated 4* (‘world-leading’) or 3* (‘internationally excellent’)
Learn more about the scope of UCL's research, and browse case studies, on our Research Impact website.