BSc (Hons)/MSci Character Creation for Animation, Games & VFX
3 years (BSc) / 4 years (MSci)
Mode of study
£9,250 per year for 2024 entry
32-120 UCAS points, plus a portfolio
I804 (BSc) / I805 (MSci)
If you feel a passion for storytelling and creating characters with rich backstories that are a part of vast and detailed worlds… then this is the course for you.
The creative industry is now bigger than ever, and we are always asked to create characters for everything, from films, animations, advertising, games, TV and more. The role of Character Creator is to bring characters to life.
This course has been created with our industry partners to encompass not only theory but technical and artistic approaches. Although the pipelines for character creation differ across different outputs such as VFX or games, this course approaches character creation holistically, so that you are prepared for this process in any scenario, especially in the ever-changing world where technology and tools evolve so often.
Taught by industry professionals, you will understand the character creation pipeline from concept to implementation, developing models, character rigs and FX. This will require work at all points in the production pipeline, including simulations of muscles, cloth and fur. You will have the transferable skills to work and support teams in both technical and artistic capacities across different outputs such as complex character simulations, and real-time and interactive production environments, such as virtual reality and other forms of interactive entertainment.
Designed with our industry partners, this cutting-edge course will enable you to develop and refine your skills, with individual specialisms, as well as working alongside our Technical Art and Games Design programmes, and our extended undergraduate art programmes. This course will provide rich and varied opportunities to work on collaborative projects, developing the soft and technical skills that companies look for in Character Creators in all disciplines.
Why choose this course
Based in London - home to some of the best animation, video games and VFX studios in the world
Partnership with Epic Games - we are the first Unreal Engine Authorized Training Center in the UK and an Unreal Engine Academic Partner. Our certified tutors also run short courses for studios to train their staff in Unreal Engine
We’re a Houdini certified school - learn from the experts and benefit from exclusive access to Houdini webinars and presentations
Industry briefs and feedback - work on industry-standard briefs, experience real-life scenarios and receive feedback on your work from external developers to learn about current development practice
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 animation, games and visual effects studios including Rare, Rockstar, Ubisoft, DNEG and Framestore. 20 Escapees worked on Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, 36 on No Time to Die and 16 on Stranger Things
Industry-standard facilities - study in a studio environment that mirrors current industry practice, using high-spec equipment and professional software such as Unreal Engine and Houdini
Professional input - industry partners have helped design this degree to make sure it is relevant to employers and up to date
All-round technical skills - learn software, skills and techniques for both games and visual effects and learn 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
The Escape Pods - our students have worked on projects for Pearson and the British Library as part of our incubator.
Art direction and visual language (15 credits)
Introduction to 3D graphics (15 credits)
Introduction to technical scripting (15 credits)
Worldbuilding (15 credits)
Introduction to games design (15 credits)
Character control (15 credits)
Real-time FX (15 credits)
Interactive - jam group project (15 credits)
Character creation (30 credits)
Technical direction (30 credits)
Specialism (15 credits)
Industry studio project (45 credits)
Advanced specialism (30 credits)
Professional practice (30 credits)
Professional studio project (60 credits)
Creative technology research and development (30 credits)
Commercial studio project (60 credits)
Business of innovation (30 credits)
All undergraduate students on creative technology degrees (BSc/MSci) 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.
If you’re doing the four-year MSci programme, in this final year you’ll develop entrepreneurship skills needed to manage your fledgling studio as a real business. You will be asked to organise yourself to work as a digital studio, working on projects that are viable and to a commercial standard. The three modules of this final year will cover the crucial aspects that will define your studio's success.
For more details about modules, see the full module specifications.
GCSE English at grade 4/C or equivalent
GCSE Maths 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.
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.
You should submit your application via UCAS. Our institution code is P34 and our institution name is Escape Studios.
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
If you don't have traditional qualifications, contact the Admissions Team at email@example.com or +44 (0) 207 190 4013 and we'll be happy to discuss your options.
Portfolio submission (2024 entry)
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.
We’re currently unable to accept international students who would require a student visa onto our undergraduate courses. This may change in the future.
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.
|IELTS||6.5 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|
£9,250 per year for 2023/2024 academic year entry
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 of £750 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.
Visit our admissions page for more information on fees, funding and scholarships.
A high level of industry project feedback from external developers throughout our courses will connect you to current development practice. This coupled with our studio-based practice and high-spec equipment will give students the best foundation to become a Character Creator.
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:
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.
If you’re doing the four-year MSci programme, you will be required to complete level 7 modules. The assessment of these modules will be split into three parts corresponding to three stages of the project - Research, Project and Business/Innovation. The project represents 50% or the whilst research and Business/Innovation represent 25% each.
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 (although you can not enter third year whilst still having first year modules outstanding).
For further information, please see our student handbook.
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 skills 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 technical 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.
The academic year consists of two 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.
Meet our industry-experienced tutors
They all have industry experience and are experts in their fields, including certified trainers for Unreal Engine, Autodesk and Houdini. They've worked at studios such as Walt Disney, EA and Framestore, on credits including Doctor Strange, Kingsman and Bond: Spectre.