BSc (Hons) / MSci Programming for Games and VFX

Course details

Start date

September 2025

Duration

3 years (BSc) / 4 years (MSci)

Mode of study

Full time

Fees

£9,250 per year for 2025 entry

Entry requirements

32-120 UCAS points, plus a portfolio

Institution code

P34

UCAS code

Coming soon

Awarded by (subject to approval)

Transparent black Coventry University logo

Course overview

If you love games, films and animation, have a passion for coding, finding creative solutions and being part of a team, then Programming for Games and VFX is for you.

Programmers are the foundation of any interactive project, they are the people who innovate solutions, they facilitate Design and Art in realising their vision, Programmers are highly sought after in industry with great employment opportunities across animation, games and visual effects (VFX).

Designed with our industry partners, this cutting-edge course will enable you to develop and refine your skills, with individual specialisms. You’ll have rich and varied opportunities to develop experience in teamwork, as well as the soft and technical skills that developers look for in Programmers.

Upon graduating, you will also have the transferable skills to work and support teams across different real-time and graphics production environments, such as virtual reality (VR) and virtual production, VFX and animation.

Taught by industry professionals, we have a high level of industry project mentoring from external developers throughout our courses, connecting our students to current development practice. This coupled with our studio-based practice and high spec equipment will give you the best foundation to become a Programmer.

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.

Course modules

Subject to approval by Coventry University.

  • Introduction to Programming (30 credits)

  • Computer Graphics Fundamentals (30 credits)

  • Programming for Games Design (15 credits)

  • Programming for VFX (15 credits)

  • Software Development for Games and VFX (30 credits)

  • Applied Artificial Intelligence in Games & VFX (30 credits)

  • Distributed Systems for Games & VFX (30 credits)

  • Specialism (15 credits)

  • Industry Studio Team Project (45 credits)

  • Advanced specialism (30 credits)

  • Professional studio team project (60 credits)

  • Professional practice (30 credits)

  • Business of Innovation (30 credits)

  • Commercial Studio Project (60 credits)

  • Research and Innovation (30 credits)

More information

Subject to approval by Coventry University.

Applications for BSc (Hons) / MSci Programming for Games and VFX will open in September 2024 for 2025 entry.

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.

Minimum academic requirements for UK students

  • 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.

If you don't have traditional qualifications, contact the Admissions Team at admissions@escapestudios.ac.uk 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 admissions@escapestudios.ac.uk.

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. View qualifications that are accepted by UKVI.

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 admissions@escapestudios.ac.uk for more information.

Fees

£9,250 per year for 2024/2025 academic year entry

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 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.

Bursaries

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.

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! 

This degree is designed to give you the best foundation to become a Programmer across animation, games and VFX, with the transferrable skills to work and support teams across different real-time and graphics production environments, such as virtual reality and virtual production.

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

Your work is assessed through practical assignments and retrospectives by a mix of tutor, peer, self-review and industry. In fact, industry professionals often review your project modules and share their personalised feedback with you.

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.

Overall workload

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.

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Meet our industry-experienced tutors

Our tutors 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.

Meet your tutors