BA (Hons)/MArt The Art of Visual Effects

Course details

Start date

September 2024


3 years (BA) / 4 years (MArt)

Mode of study

Full time

2024 Fees

UK students: £9,250 per year

International students: £17,995 per year

Entry requirements

32-120 UCAS points (or equivalent), plus a portfolio

How to apply

UK students: Apply via UCAS

International students: Complete application form

Institution code


UCAS code

I702 (BA) / I703 (MArt)

Awarded by

Transparent black Coventry University logo
Thirs place Rookies award icon for production excellence in visual effectsTop 10 Rookies award for creative schools in the UK

Course overview

Do you dream of working on the next major film or TV series?

Technology innovation and the increase in digital entertainment consumption have made the visual effects (VFX) industry one of the fastest growing industries, with the UK’s sector generating an impressive £1.6bn in 2021 (source BFI). There’s never been a more exciting time to join the creative industries, whether you want to apply VFX to big blockbusters, commercials, TV series or other industries such as architecture, medicine or automobiles.

This programme has been developed with professional VFX Artists to make sure it stays relevant and up to date. It is perfect to gain knowledge of 3D VFX and 2D compositing, providing you with the technical and creative skills that the industry is looking for. You’ll also develop your soft skills and start building your experience and industry network and will graduate with a shiny showreel to open the path to a successful career.

Intensive hands-on tutorials will be taught in our London industry-standard studios, by experienced tutors who’ve worked on the likes of Thor: Love and Thunder, Gladiator, Kingsman and Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2.

Why choose this course 

  • Ranked 3rd in the UK - and 10th in the world for Production Excellence in Visual Effects by The Rookies

  • Based in London - home to some of the best post-production studios in the world 

  • Industry briefs - work on industry-standard briefs and experience real-life scenarios, just like in a professional studio 

  • Successful alumni - you’ll join our community of thousands of Escapees, many of whom have gone on to work at some of the world’s top studios including Rare, Rockstar, Ubisoft, DNEG and Framestore. 47 Escapees worked on Avengers: Endgame, 26 on The Mandalorian, 23 on Guardians of the Galaxy: Volume 3 and 16 on Stranger Things

  • Industry-standard facilities - work in a studio environment that mirrors current industry practice, using professional software such as Maya, Nuke and ZBrush 

  • Professional input - our advisory board of experts, from the likes of DNEG (Avengers: Endgame and Oscar-winning Dune) and MPC (The Lion King and 1917), help develop and keep this degree up to date. You will also receive feedback on some of your work from industry professionals

  • All-round creative skills - study common modules in your first year to gain an understanding of visual effects, animation and game art and how the pipelines cross over 

  • Soft skills - learn soft skills such as teamwork, organisation and giving and receiving feedback to prepare you for work in the real world 

  • Specialisms: 2D vs 3D - you’ll be introduced to both 2D compositing for VFX and 3D for VFX, so you can decide which you enjoy most and best lends itself to your skillset 

  • Our student short films have been nominated and won several international awards over the years, including Jerich0 being shortlisted for the Student BAFTA Awards

Course modules

Students on our BA/MArt Animation, Games, Visual Effects and Motion Graphics degrees study common modules in their first year. This will give you the all-round skills needed to become a professional, and a chance to choose a different specialism if you change your mind before your second year (subject to availability).

  • Creative foundations - craft (30 credits)

  • Creative foundations - project (30 credits)

  • Computer animation - core (15 credits)

  • Video game art - core (15 credits)

  • Compositing for VFX - core (15 credits)

  • 3D for VFX - core (15 credits)

From your second year, you’ll start to specialise in VFX and work in teams on industry-style projects. 

You will be introduced to both 2D compositing for VFX and 3D for VFX. You will have the opportunity to try each specialism in your first term, so you can decide which you enjoy most, and which best lends itself to your skillset. Our tutors and industry professionals will help guide your decision.  

In professional visual effects studios, collaboration between 2D Compositors and 3D Artists is essential. This is exactly how we run our projects, so you will work closely with those who’ve chosen a different pathway – a real taste of life in industry. 

  • 3D for VFX - Pro (30 credits) 

  • Compositing for VFX - Pro (30 credits) 

  • Specialism (15 credits) - Options include:

    • Modelling 

    • Texturing 

    • FX 

    • Look development 

    • Rotoscoping 

    • Prep 

  • Industry studio project (45 credits) 

By your third year, you’ll be working in a team just like a fully-functioning independent studio, alongside developing an in-depth knowledge of your chosen specialisation.

  • Advanced specialism (30 credits)

  • Professional practice (30 credits)

  • Professional studio project (60 credits)

If you’re doing the four-year MArt programme, in this final year you’ll develop entrepreneurship skills needed to manage your fledgling studio as a real business. You'll be asked to organise yourself to work as a digital studio, working on projects that are viable and to a commercial standard. The four modules of this final year will cover the crucial aspects that will define your studio's success.

  • Art and design (30 credits)

  • Craft (30 credits)

  • Process (30 credits)

  • Business (30 credits)

For more details about modules, see the programme and module specifications.

More information

  • Maya

  • ZBrush

  • 3D Equalizer

  • Nuke

  • Houdini

  • Arnold

  • Photoshop

UK students

You should submit your application via UCAS. Our institution code is P34 and our institution name is Escape Studios.

International students

International undergraduate applications for September 2024 should be submitted direct to Escape Studios.

BA (Hons) / MArt The Art of Visual Effects application form for international students.

If we make you an offer for a place on the programme, you will need to agree to our terms and conditions for your place on the course to be secured.

Take a look at our application and admissions process.

Minimum academic requirements for UK students

  • GCSE English at grade 4/C or equivalent

  • Have or be predicted to pass a minimum of two A Levels or equivalent (32 UCAS points). Conditional offers are based on individuals' predicted grades up to a maximum of 120 UCAS points.

If you don't have traditional qualifications, contact the Admissions Team at or +44 (0) 20 4570 5091 and we'll be happy to discuss your options.

Academic requirements for international students (non-UK)

We welcome applications from qualified candidates all over the world. 

Undergraduate applicants will usually need good high school grades and an undergraduate portfolio.

View individual country requirements. If yours are not listed, then please contact

Portfolio submission

Once we receive your UCAS application, you’ll be invited to submit an online portfolio of your work. We take students who have the talent to succeed, and we know the best way to judge this is not necessarily by just a set of academic grades. Our tutors will review your portfolio to determine whether we can offer you a place.

Your portfolio can be submitted to your applicant portal in the form of an online link (e.g. ArtStation, Google Drive, Dropbox etc.). You can also include an optional supporting statement (written, video or audio) to be reviewed with your portfolio.

Check out detailed guidance in our Undergraduate Portfolio Guide.

English language requirements

All our courses are taught in English. If your first language is not English, you may need to complete an English language test, such as a Pearson English language test (PTE Academic) or International English Language Testing System (IELTS) test, to demonstrate you have the language skills needed to complete your degree.  

Qualification Score required
IELTS 6.0 IELTS (with a minimum of 6.0 in Reading and Writing and 5.5 in Speaking and Listening)
PTE 62 including 60 in each subtest
Cambridge English: Advanced & Proficiency 176 (with a minimum of 169 in Reading and Writing and 162 in Speaking and Listening)
Internet-based TOEFL 90 Overall including at least 22 in Reading, 21 in Writing, 17 in Listening and 20 in Speaking

International students will be required to hold a Secure English Language Test (SELT) at B2 in order to be able to apply for a visa to study at Escape Studios on a student visa. Visit the government website for guidance.

You may be exempt from proving your English level if you are from an English-speaking country listed as recognised for visa purposes or have a degree level qualification obtained in one of these countries. The latest list is available on the UK Government website.

For students who have a SELT at B2 but who do not meet our requirements, we can also consider alternative qualifications. Please contact for more information.

Fees for 2024 entry

  • UK students: £9,250 per year

  • International students: £17,995 per year

Additional costs

In addition to your tuition fee, you will need to budget for your living costs and some other costs associated with your studies.

An additional re-attendance fee per 15 credit module is charged if you need to repeat a module.

Computers are available for you to work on your projects and coursework during opening hours on campus. It is not, therefore, essential for you to purchase your own computer and software. However, many students prefer to have a computer at home as well, so we have prepared some guidance on the specifications to choose.

At our London campus, you will have access to free printing and photocopying facilities. However, you will have to purchase notebooks and other ordinary stationery items. You may wish to purchase your own copies of recommended textbooks, but please note that all textbooks are available to students in electronic editions.

If you will not live at home, you might need to pay for accommodation. Check out our accommodation information to find out about your options. You will need to budget for transport costs travelling to your classes and to events, such as industry workshops, which may take place elsewhere in central London. Details of public transport costs are available from Transport for London. There may be occasional and optional opportunities for you to attend an event outside central London, for which you would need to pay the transport costs.


We offer financial assistance including a travel bursary, hardship bursary and laptop loan to ensure that all students can access our learning, no matter their background.


Our industry-sponsored scholarships offer a unique opportunity to be hand-picked by some of the biggest names in the industry, from the likes of DNEG, Cinesite and BAFTA Games.

Visit our admissions page for more information on fees, funding and scholarships.

You’ll graduate with a degree and a killer portfolio put together with advice from tutors and industry professionals. Ready to apply to your first job in the industry!

Some of the opportunities you can consider once you’ve finished your studies include:

  • Runner

  • Junior Texture/Modelling/CFX Artist

  • Previs Artist

  • Roto/Prep Artist

  • Layout Artist 

  • Production Assistant 

  • Production Coordinator

Our students have gone to work as both specialist and generalist artists in creative studios, across TV shows, films and commercials. Read some of our VFX Escapee success stories.

Check out our Careers Guide for more information about career opportunities and progression routes.

Formative assessment

The majority of modules contain at least one piece of practice or ‘formative’ assessment for which you receive feedback. Formative assessments are developmental and do not count towards your overall module mark.

Summative assessment breakdown

Level 4 and 5

For level 4 and 5 modules, your assessment will be split into two parts:

  • 75% product - you will be required to create a product (short computer animation, rendered image of a 3D object composited shot, etc) to a specified brief, then present it in front of a panel and demonstrate how you have met the learning outcomes in your work

  • 25% retrospective - you will be required to write a reflective analysis and present it for moderation and assessment.

Level 6

The professional studio project module will be assessed just like level 4 and 5 modules; for the two other modules (advanced specialism, professional practice), 100% of your mark will be based on a self-evaluative portfolio.

Level 7

If you’re doing the four-year MArt programme, you will be required to complete level 7 modules. The assessment of these modules will be split into four parts corresponding to four stages of the project - explore, ideate, accelerate, and incubate. Each stage will be equal to 25% of your final mark.


In order to progress to the next stage (from first to second year, and from second to third year), you will have to achieve 120 credits at the end of the academic year.

Your overall workload will be divided between teaching sessions and independent learning. 

During your course, you’ll be able to develop your knowledge and skills in a number of ways. Some learning time will be closely directed and supervised by your tutors, at other times you’ll be free to organise your own study with guidance. All your scheduled studio time, except for some information sessions and presentations, will be in smaller groups based on specialism. 

For many of your projects, you’ll work in smaller teams, collaborating to meet a shared brief, with the support and assistance that you need. The craft modules have a higher contact time, as this is where you will learn the knowledge and skills associated with your chosen subject, directed and informed by your tutors’ expertise and experience. These will normally involve a large part of each day in the studio with your tutor and studio assistant, following demonstrations and working on set exercises to help you develop your craft. 

The project modules will have a lower contact time, with your tutors taking on the roles of supervisors or studio leads. You’ll meet with them regularly to get feedback and help you stay on the right path, but these modules are much more about you managing the learning experience to meet your objectives. The majority of projects will be team-based, and you’ll have the opportunity to take on different roles in several teams during your studies. Again, you’ll be expected to work in the studios for a significant part of each day, and attendance will be recorded, but outside those times, you’ll be free to organise your work as a team to best suit your project requirements. 

Each module has its own area on our Online Learning Environment (OLE) where you will find information about the module and the resources that are provided to support your learning. Some of this information will be dedicated to the module, other elements may be shared across different modules and some may be external assets that can help with your further study. There may be links to videos, online journals and e-books, and you should take advantage of these to enhance your development and take it beyond the studio experience. Tutors may highlight some of these during their sessions. The OLE and our online library also include resources to help you improve your study skills. 

Students with additional needs or disabilities are supported by our Student Services Team

Contact hours

The academic year consists of three terms: Autumn, Spring and Summer. Students on a typical three-year degree attend classes during the Autumn and Spring term, for a total of 30 weeks, and will normally not attend during the Summer term, unless they have to re-attempt assessments. 

Per week, your overall workload will be approximately 40 hours. Each week, you will spend 15 hours in workshops and practical classes and 20-25 hours on self-study learning and working on your projects. 

For more details about modules, credits and workload, see full programme specifications

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Meet our industry-experienced tutors

They all have industry experience and are experts in their fields. They are certified trainers for Autodesk and Houdini. They’ve worked at studios including DNEG, Framestore and Industrial Light & Magic, on credits including Fantastic Beasts, Gladiator, Kingsman and Guardians of the Galaxy Vol.

Meet your tutors

Student showcase

Not only was the standard of work excellent but the students themselves were incredibly articulate, self-assured and mature. It is testament to the course leaders that these students have already secured employment and will no doubt have successful careers.

Harry Jones
Operations Director at Time Based Arts