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Course details

Study options

Full-time: 3 Years, Part-time: 6 Years

UK/EU fee

£9,250 per year* (2020/21)

International fee

£14,045 per year (2020/21)

UCAS points

112 (September 2020 entry)

UCAS code


Course level



BA (Hons)

Start date



Markeaton Street and Britannia Mill, Derby Campus

If you do not achieve the typical entry points required, you may want to consider studying this course with foundation year.

View with foundation year optionView with foundation year option

Course description

This course provides you with the opportunity to explore the potential of Computer Generated Imagery and Visual Effects.

It will enable you to become a resourceful and independent learner capable of generating ideas and developing original, effective visual solutions. You'll study at Markeaton Street, which is equipped with studios, PC and Mac suites, our Render Farm and the latest technology.

Explore the exciting and rapidly evolving area of visual effects utilising 3d Animation, Motion Capture, Green Screen and Pyro Effects using Industry standard software, such as Autodesk Maya, Houdini FX, Realflow and Nuke-X as well as industry standard 3rd Party Plug-ins and add-ons. Explore how various techniques are implemented within the film, television and computer games industries and build a personalised portfolio to help you get started within your career. You will develop conceptual, aesthetic and technical abilities and receive one-to-one guidance from our expert tutors.

The BA (Hons) CGI and Visual Effects course is designed to enable you to develop your conceptual, aesthetic and technical abilities with individual focus and direction.

The video below shows a selection of work from our students...

BA (Hons) CGI and Visual Effects showreel.
CGI of a person in a space suit on the surface of another planet
CGI generated futuristic metal ball rising up through water and breaking through rock
CGI of a Rubix cube balancing on water with a solar system backdrop


All art and design courses are based at our Markeaton Street site where modern, purpose built studios and labs provide a modern creative space for our arts students. Markeaton Street encompasses Chandos Pole Street (home to our Fashion and Textiles courses) and Britannia Mill (home to Fine Arts). Students on any of our theatre related courses also get to study at Derby Theatre, and Dance students study at Deda.

Markeaton Street is a 15 minute walk from Kedleston Road, and is serviced by regular free site shuttle buses.

Find out everything you need to know about our University in one click with our Virtual Tour.

Markeaton Street

Media and Film Studios

'The Explorer' by Charlie Thompson

The Explorer by Charlie Thompson

'Rubix' by Daniel Richards

Rubix by Daniel Richards

What you will study

You will study modules such as:

  • CGI and Visual Effects Production 
  • Pre-Production and Visual Development 
  • Critical Approaches to Animation and Visual Effects
  • The Principles of Animation 
  • Advanced CGI and Visual Effects and Production 
  • Applied Dynamics and Simulation 
  • Professional Practice 
  • Researching Animation and Visual Effects
  • Contemporary Issues in Professional Practice
  • Applied Professional Practice
  • Negotiated Studies and CGI and Visual Effects
  • Specialist Practice in CGI and Visual Effects 
  • Portfolio and Promotion
  • Independent Research Project in Animation and Visual Effects 

Please note that our modules are subject to change - we review the content of our courses regularly, making changes where necessary to improve your experience and graduate prospects.

Side-on black and white portrait of a young student looking to the sky for inspiration with bokeh lights

Open Days

Register your interest for a future Open Day and we'll be in touch as soon as we are able to welcome you on campus.

Register nowRegister now

How you will learn

A wide variety of teaching and learning methods are used within the BA CGI and Visual Effects programme including lectures, seminars, collaborative work, Digital online tutorials, practical workshops, screenings, peer group critiques and discussion, negotiated and independent study. You will also work with other students on projects, which is good preparation for your career, since the visual effects and post-production industry is highly collaborative. This course is 100% coursework.

Degree Show

Every year students from the School of Arts celebrate their time at University by showcasing their work at an end of year Degree Show at Markeaton Street and across the City of Derby. The Show usually runs throughout June and is a fantastic opportunity for potential employers, friends, family, industry and members of the public to see exciting creations by the next generation of artists, designers, creators and makers from Derby. The Show takes the form of:

Take a look at highlights from the 2019 Degree Show.

Personal academic tutoring

Your personal academic tutor will work with you to help you get the most out of your time at university. Having someone to talk to about your academic progress, your university experience and your professional aspirations is hugely valuable. We want you to feel challenged in your studies, stretched but confident to achieve your academic and professional goals.

Find out more about personal academic tutoring

Who will teach you

Stuart Poynton

Stuart Poynton
Programme leader

Stuart is Programme Leader and Senior Lecturer in Design with specialisms in Motion Graphics, Animation and Moving Image.

View full staff profileView full staff profile

Entry requirements

September 2020 typical entry requirements

RequirementWhat we're looking for
UCAS points112 (up to 16 from AS-levels)
Specific requirements at A-level

No specific subject requirements

Specific requirements at GCSEGCSE Maths and English Grade C/Grade 4 (or above) or equivalent qualification
IELTS6.0 (with 5.5 in each skills area)
Interview / AuditionYes - see interview details

Yes - Digital portfolio

Alternative entry qualifications:

We usually consider an A-level in General Studies as a supplementary qualification. A good application/performance will be taken into account if you do not meet the criteria/offer conditions.

Our entry requirements for this course should be read together with the University's general entry requirements, which details subjects we accept, alternative qualifications and what we're looking for at Derby.

Two students sitting in front of a laptop smiling

Academic Achievement Scholarship

We’re offering eligible students a £1,000 scholarship to celebrate your hard work and success.

Learn more about the Academic Achievement ScholarshipLearn more about the Academic Achievement Scholarship

Fees and funding

2020/21 Fees


£9,250 per year*

£1,155 per module*


£14,045 per year


* The fees stated above are for the 2019/20 academic year; fees for 2020/21 have not yet been confirmed by the UK government. We will update this information as soon as it is available.

Further information about our fees and support you may be entitled to.

Additional costs and optional extras

How to apply

UK/EU students

Full-time students applying to start in September should apply for this course through UCAS or you can apply directly to the University for an undergraduate course if you’re not applying to any other UK university in the same year.

Part-time students should apply directly to the University.

Apply through UCASApply directly to the University

Guidance for EU students post-Brexit

International students

Full-time students applying to start in September should apply for this course through UCAS or you can apply directly to the University for an undergraduate course if you’re not applying to any other UK university in the same year.

Apply through UCASApply directly to the University

Guidance for international applicants applying for an undergraduate degree


We create many opportunities for you to showcase your work to a wider audience. By the time you finish your BA (Hons) CGI and Visual Effect degree we will have introduced you to support networks relevant to working in the creative arts industry and helped you to structure your CV and showreel, and reflect on your employability.

We will do our best to equip you to be able to successfully plot a course through the complex terrain of the creative industries and start your future career.

Some of our 2018 graduates have gone on to careers as FX artists, freelance motion graphics artists and VFX tutors.

Contact us

If you need any more information from us, eg on courses, accommodation, applying, car parking, fees or funding, please contact us and we will do everything we can to help you.

Contact us Contact us

Additional information about your studies

Download programme specification

Teaching hours

Like most universities, we operate extended teaching hours at the University of Derby, so contact time with your lecturers and tutors could be anytime between 9am and 9pm. Your timetable will usually be available on the website 24 hours after enrolment on to your course.

Additional costs and optional extras

We’re committed to providing you with an outstanding learning experience. Our expert teaching, excellent facilities and great employability prepare you for your future career. As part of our commitment to you we aim to keep any additional study costs to a minimum. However, there are occasions where students may incur some additional costs.

Included in your fees

Mandatory costs not included in your fees

Optional costs not included in your fees

Please note: Our courses are refreshed and updated on a regular basis. If you are thinking about transferring onto this course (into the second year for example), you should contact the programme leader for the relevant course information as modules may vary from those shown on this page.

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