BA (Hons) Visual Effects and Motion Graphics


Visual effects and motion graphics are an integral part of modern media, from Hollywood films to adverts, music promos and TV drama. This VFX degree will develop your creative instincts in VFX and motion graphics. It is industry focused, with many opportunities to work with industry while you study. You’ll work on live projects and briefs, with many opportunities for practical experience through placements. USW VFX students have worked on Sherlock, Doctor Who, Bastard Executioner, and Beowulf.

This visual effects course will develop technical expertise in Nuke, Adobe Creative Suite, Cinema 4D, Maya, and tracking software. What’s more, you’ll develop an understanding of working pipelines and the ability to work collaboratively. Our best students get multiple job offers and are headhunted by industry, going on to work on big-name projects including The Jungle Book, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Inception, Captain America, Iron Man 2 and The Chronicles of Narnia. See student and graduate work

USW's Visual Effects and Motion Graphics degree is part of Film & TV School Wales, which provides students with the skills and opportunities needed to work in today’s exciting TV and Film industry. 

Watch the 2018 VFX showreel

UCAS Code Study Mode
Duration Start Date Campus Campus Code
W280 Full-time 3 Years September Cardiff (ATRiuM) B
UCAS Code Study Mode
Duration Start Date Campus Campus Code
W280 Full-time 3 Years September Cardiff (ATRiuM) B

Our VFX course is a balance between practice and theory, and is supplemented by visits from industry professionals, exhibitions and workshops.

In your first year, you’ll study modules such as concept development and time- based design, motion graphic design and audiovisual technique.

In year two, modules will include 3D tracking and professional studies, as well as advanced motion graphics and VFX projects with work experience. Your final year consists of projects, including a major final project, undertaking research and developing your design management skills. You’ll also take part in design competitions.

Our graduates pursue careers as VFX artists, compositors, modellers and motion graphics designers across a huge range of visual media. With great links to established companies such as the BBC, Cloth Cat, Double Negative, and Framestore, our best students get multiple job offers and are often headhunted to work around the world.

Year one: VFX and Motion Graphics degree

  • Contextual Studies: Visual Effects and Motion Graphics
  • Visual Effects
  • Image Acquisition Fundamentals
  • Concept Development and Time Based Design
  • Motion Graphic Design
  • Audio Visual Techniques

Year two: VFX and Motion Graphics degree

  • Motion Graphics and Visual Effects Project
  • Narrative Forms in Animation, Comics and Computer Games
  • 3D Tracking
  • Critical Studies: Visual Effects and Motion Graphics
  • Professional and Critical Studies in Visual Effects and Motion Graphics
  • Professional Design and Practice
  • Motion Graphics
  • CCI Work Experience

Year three: VFX and Motion Graphics degree

  • Major Project: Visual Effects and Motion Graphics
  • Critical Research: Animation
  • Minor Project: Visual Effects and Motion Graphics
  • Design Competitions: Visual Effects and Motion Graphics
  • Professional Development: Visual Effects and Motion Graphics


Students on the Visual Effects and Motion graphics course will gain knowledge of the field through specialist lectures, which are followed by hands-on sessions. As you progress, you will specialise in areas of interest to you.

By the final year, you will possess the skills to generate a product from concept through to finished piece. You will also have the opportunity to participate in national and international festivals and competitions. These will help you develop a showreel of professional, broadcast quality work, which you can show to employers.


The majority of your assessment (80%) is through presentation of practical assignments, with remaining elements in written or multi-media form. You will be expected to ‘pitch’ your project ideas and concepts to staff, leading VFX professionals and other students, in a constructive and supportive environment.


This Visual Effects and Motion Graphics course is recognised by Creative Skillset, a quality mark indicating the courses best suited to prepare you for a career in the creative industries.


The tutors on our visual effects degree are exceptionally experienced in VFX and motion graphics, and continue to work in the industry.

Pete Hodges, Academic Subject Manager
Jack Phillips, Lecturer
Thomas Tatchell, Lecturer
Geraint Thomas, Lecturer (not the cyclist)

The entry criteria below shows the qualification range within which the University will make offers. Most offers we make are at the top of the range, but we take all aspects of an application into consideration and applicants receive a personalised offer. Combinations of qualifications are acceptable and other qualifications not listed here may also be acceptable.


An interview and portfolio are required for this visual effects degree course. Your portfolio should demonstrate strong artistic and design abilities. Your portfolio should be a carefully constructed selection of your work, preferably produced during your most recent course of study, and can include any personal work or projects that you feel are relevant to the course. All work should be well organised and presented. You should be prepared to discuss your work at interview as well as the designers and/or VFX artists who have influenced you.

Typical A-Level Offer

BCC - CDD to include a relevant art and design subject (this is equivalent to 104-80 UCAS tariff points).

Typical Welsh BACC Offer

Pass the Advanced Welsh Baccalaureate Diploma with Grade C/D in the Skills Challenge Certificate and BC - CD at A Level with a relevant art and design subject (this is equivalent to 104-80 UCAS tariff points).

Typical BTEC Offer

BTEC Extended Diploma Distinction Merit Merit - Merit Merit Pass in a relevant subject (this is equivalent to 112-80 UCAS tariff points).

Typical IB Offer

Pass the International Baccalaureate Diploma with a minimum score of 29 overall including 5 or above in English at standard level

Typical Access to HE Offer

Pass the Access to HE Diploma with a minimum of 80 UCAS tariff points

Additional Requirements

GCSEs: The University normally requires a minimum 5 GCSEs including Mathematics/Numeracy and English at Grade C or Grade 4 or above, or their equivalent, but consideration is given to individual circumstances.

International Entry Requirements

We also welcome international applications with equivalent qualifications. Please visit the country specific pages on our international website for exact details.

English Requirements

In general, international applicants will need to have achieved an overall IELTS grade of 6.0 with a minimum score of 5.5 in each component.

However, if you have previously studied through the medium of English IELTS might not be required, but please visit the country specific page on our international website for exact details. If your country is not featured please contact us.

Full-time fees are per year. Part-time fees are per 20 credits. Once enrolled, the fee will remain at the same rate throughout the duration of your study on this course.

Find out how to pay your tuition fees in full or by payment plan.

This course is eligible under the Enhanced Learning Credits scheme for Ex-Armed Forces personnel.

International Scholarships are available for self-funding international students.

August 2019 - July 2020 Fees

  • Full-time UK and EU:  £9000

  • Full-time International:  £12600 

August 2020 - July 2021 Fees

  • Full-time UK and EU: TBC

  • Full-time International: TBC

Additional Costs

Students have access to a wide range of resources including textbooks, publications, and computers in the University’s library and via online resources. In most cases they are more than sufficient to complete a course of study. Where there are additional costs, either obligatory or optional, these are detailed below. Of course students may choose to purchase their own additional personal resources/tools over and above those listed to support their studies at their own expense. All stationery and printing costs are at a student’s own expense.

* Obligatory

Item Cost
Kit (Uniform and Equipment) £900
Apple Mac book or iMac (Any academic year)
Kit (Uniform and Equipment) £500
Digital SLR with Lenses (Any academic year)
Kit (Uniform and Equipment) £50
WD or equivalent Hard Drive (All academic years)
Kit (Uniform and Equipment) £50
Wacom Tablet (Any academic year)
Kit (Uniform and Equipment) £15
Cost is per month. Adobe Subscriptions (All academic years)
Field Trips £500
FMX/ Vancouver Trip (Any academic year)

UK and EU students

Apply via UCAS if you are a UK/EU residing applicant, applying for year one of a full-time undergraduate degree, Foundation Year, Foundation Degree or HND and you have not applied through UCAS before. If you are applying to study part-time, to top up your Foundation Degree or HND, or to transfer to USW from another institution, please apply directly

International students

Apply directly to the University if you live outside the UK/EU. 

Admissions statement

The practical elements of this VFX course, combined with your creativity, will ensure you develop the skills to go far in this industry. Graduates work for high-profile TV and post-production companies throughout the country, including The Moving Picture Company, Framestore, and Double Negative.

Our Careers and Employability Service

As a USW student, you will have access to advice from the Careers and Employability Service throughout your studies and after you graduate.

This includes: one-to-one appointments from faculty based Career Advisers, in person, over the phone or even on Skype and through email via the "Ask a Question" service. We also have extensive online resources for help with considering your career options and presenting yourself well to employers. Resources include psychometric tests, career assessments, a CV builder, interview simulator and application help. Our employer database has over 2,000 registered employers targeting USW students, you can receive weekly email alerts for jobs.

Our Careers service has dedicated teams: A central work experience team to help you find relevant placements; an employability development team which includes an employability programme called Grad Edge; and an Enterprise team focused on new business ideas and entrepreneurship.