/BSc (Hons) Computer Animation and Visual Effects

IoC Partner

Provided by: Manchester Metropolitan University

Course Area: North West

Course Type: Degree (Honours)

Start date: 20200914

End date: 20230731

Subjects: Augmented Reality, Creative Technology, Product Design, Project, Video Games Development, Web Development

Accredited by: BCS, IISP

Price: £6,000 to £10,000

Delivery Method: Face to face

Course overview

Focusing on the technical aspects of content creation, you’ll develop all the skills you’ll need to launch a career in computer animation and visual effects.


We take a learning by doing approach on this course. So, as well as expert guidance and support, you’ll have access to a fully equipped computer animation suite, with dedicated green screen room, lighting rigs and motion capture equipment. In other words, you’ll have everything you need to learn how to create your own assets for integration with virtual environments and live-action footage to produce complex visual effects.


You’ll also learn about character design, development and animation, and the technical aspects of animating a deformable, organic 3D mesh. And most importantly, at all stages you’ll have the creative freedom to develop your own ideas and concepts right through to the finished article.


Teamwork is at the heart of this industry and you’ll have plenty of opportunity for team-based study to help prepare you for the world of work. Whether your specific interest is in modelling, rigging and VFX work, lighting and texturing, or 3D animation, you’ll be perfectly poised to enter this rapidly expanding and exciting digital sector. Our Computer Animation and Visual Effects degree also provides the option of of spending an extra year expanding your horizons by working on a placement in industry.


This course is available with a Foundation Year. 

Who is this course for

Careers in computer animation and visual effects include; CG Generalists, animators, lighting or texturing artists and technical director roles such as riggers and compositors. In addition, the skills you learn on this degree are highly valued by a range of employers and opportunities may exist in areas such as games, film, advertising, medical science, engineering and education.


Manchester is a major hub for the digital technology industry. The close proximity of MediaCity and a large number of both established companies and innovative tech start-ups means that the opportunities for technological collaboration are huge. Situated in the ‘Oxford Road Corridor’ innovation district of Manchester, the University and the Department of Computing and Mathematics are perfectly placed to work with key players in the digital technology and new media sectors.

What will I learn

On the first year of our BSc (Hons) Computer Animation and Visual Effects degree, you will learn a core set of skills in the creation of digital assets in 2D and 3D environments for the output of computer-generated imaging across different platforms. You will study web development to give you the skills to develop an online portfolio to showcase your work. You will also study a games unit, giving you wider skills in an area in which animation skills can be applied.

Please note that the following list of units is indicative and may be subject to change.


In your second year, you will develop your skills in 3D modelling and begin to look at character design and development. Topology flow for a deformable organic mesh will be discussed as will laying out a texture map for the application of 2D images onto a 3D object. Dynamic systems for animation will be introduced, analysing real-world physics and applying this to animating within a virtual environment. The integration of CGI with real-world footage will be introduced and post-production effects and compositing techniques developed.

Please note that the following list of units is indicative and may be subject to change.


If you opt for the four-year sandwich route, your third year will be spent on a relevant industrial placement.


In your final year, you will develop your skills in post-production and compositing, integrating computer-generated visual effects with real-world footage. Cinematic techniques will be explored in both the real and virtual environment. Digital character animation techniques will be developed, applying the principles of animation to a custom built character control rig. Manual animation techniques, as well as motion capture technologies, will be explored. In this final year, you will embark upon a self-directed project bringing your knowledge and skills together.

Please note that the following list of units is indicative and may be subject to change.

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