Undergraduate BA (Hons)

Model Making for the Creative Industries

Salford School of Arts, Media and Creative Technology




Three year

Next enrolment

September 2021


In a nutshell

From the spellbinding creature animation in the 1933 version of King Kong to the cityscapes of modern CGI, the creative industries have always needed talented model makers. Even in a digital age where modeling is often digital there is still an appetite and need for physical modeling. Auteurs such as Tim Burton and Wes Anderson remind us that the magic of traditional stop motion animation endures. Artefacts still needs to be made for humans to hold and look at.

On this course you will gain a unique blend of the theory and practice, with an emphasis on the practical experience of making and designing from drawing board to set. 

Modelmaking for the Creative Industries in the North of England has global reach, MacKinnon and Saunders based in Altrincham are, arguably, the best puppet makers in the world.  The BBC north is based in Media City UK – right next to the University of Salford Media City programmes.

This course course teaches you vital, industry-relevant skills in digital and real world making. The practical nature gives you experience of researching, designing, prototyping and refining.

You will: 
  • Be taught by specialist staff and industry professionals 

  • Undertake live projects and experience strong industry engagement 

  • Study at our £55 million New Adelphi building, our home for art and design 

Find out more by signing up to our upcoming Open Day, or if you have any general questions please contact course enquiries.

You can also find helpful FAQs, learn more about student life at Salford or explore all our Art and Design courses. Continue reading to understand more about this BA (Hons) Model Making for Creative Industries course.  


students accepted

This is for you if...


You are imaginative and curious


You have good visual communication skills


You are enthusiastic and interested in model making

Course details

All about the course

This programme covers the key areas of professional model making associated with the creative industries which includes; character creation (puppets) typically associated with animation, theatre props, product modelling and prototyping, architectural models, prosthetics and special effects. The programme will introduce students to all these areas and the associated ways of working, and will allow you to specialise in a particular field of model making.

Collaboration is a central part of the programme, with each module having industry and expert support in the form of visiting lectures, site visits, live briefs, and project sponsorships. The modules allow you both individually, and working in teams, to generate, develop and effectively communicate solutions in response to your research and subsequent insight.

Specialist (disciplinary) subject knowledge such as sketching and drawing ,3D printing, an understanding of the relevant business environments, design skills, enabling and manufacturing technology will be introduced and developed at appropriate stages of the course.

You will develop strong technical and craft skills in workshop practice. This will be supported by a solid understanding of professional practice including Intellectual property and entrepreneurship.

Year one

3D Design Principles

You will undertake a project to explore the formal principals of design and making such as scale, form, balance, rhythm, repetition, tension, movement and colour.

Design Process and Methods

Through a series of projects and exercises we will introduce the design and modelmaking process and associated creative design methods.

Introduction to Digital Skills for Modelmaking

From almost ground level we will develop the digital skill necessary to communicate and refine our ideas. 2D digital including photoshop, illustrator and InDesign. We will begin to explore the potential of 3D modelling, drawing, sculpting and making.

Introduction to Materials and Processes for Modelmaking

During this module we explore some of the traditional ways of creating artefacts. In conjunction with the workshop demonstrators we will explore methods of fabrication, fixing, sculpting, casting and mould-making.

Modelmaking for Script 1

Here we get to apply our new skills to work towards a specific creative goal. Working from a script or brief we work out what the director or designer needs and plan a response. We then turn our plans into reality. This could be in collaboration with other programmes in the School i.e. Animation or Film Production and in line with your specific interests e.g. character, architectural, product or special effects.

Year two

Advanced Material and Process Choice for Modelmaking

In this module we develop and refine our craft skill and knowledge. Foam models, casting techniques and armature construction are some of the specialist areas to explore.

Model and Movement

This project requires the creation of an animated model/puppet or model in line with students interests e.g. character, architectural, product or special effects. We explore the mechanics and physics of automation.

Modelmaking for Script 2

A second chance to apply new knowledge in a practical application that mirrors what we might be required to do in a professional situation.

Application of Digital Skills for Modelmaking

In this module we get to apply our digital understanding to make models using our digital workshop. 3D Printers, CNC mills and laser cutters can all need virtual models to drive them. We will learn to design effectively for small batch production and assembly.

Live Project or Placement

This could either be with an external organisation or partner here in the university in collaboration with other programmes, i.e. animation, film and illustration. It's a chance to develop contacts and produce professional work to build an exciting portfolio.

Year three

Project Proposal, Research and Concept Generation

Research files, images, drawings, storyboards, maquettes. Sketch models, prototypes and testing.

Major Project

Realisation; Presentation; Curation; Analysis; Marketing

Please note that it may not be possible to deliver the full list of options every year as this will depend on factors such as how many students choose a particular option. Exact modules may also vary in order to keep content current. When accepting your offer of a place to study on this programme, you should be aware that not all optional modules will be running each year. Your tutor will be able to advise you as to the available options on or before the start of the programme. Whilst the University tries to ensure that you are able to undertake your preferred options, it cannot guarantee this.

What will I be doing?




You are taught through a combination of lectures, seminars and practical sessions. Seminars enable you to discuss and develop your understanding of topics covered in lectures in smaller groups. In addition, you have timetabled meetings with your personal tutor.

You use industry-standard design software and have access to engineering and computer laboratory facilities throughout your course.


Assessment methods include a range of coursework assessments such as essays, reports, portfolios, performance, presentations and your final year major project. The grades from formal assessments count towards your module mark.


All our Art and Design courses are delivered by the Salford School of Arts, Media and Creative Technology

Our School and University have strong and long-lasting relationships with local and national industry. 

Once you graduate with us, you’ll join a thriving alumni community in Greater Manchester and beyond.


The course has extensive dedicated facilities including a large studio with a permanent work space in our £55 million New Adelphi building. Close to the studio are well resourced computer suites (Mac and PC) with up to date software.

A main feature of the course is the 3D workshop which boasts up to date wood, metal and plastic facilities, spray shops, hot metal, laser cutting and rapid prototyping resources, including CNC and 3D printing.

Employment and stats

What about after uni?

Upon completion of the programme graduates will be equipped to undertake several roles; first and foremost, they will be employed as designer makers either in a consultancy situation or in a production environment. It is envisaged that their skill set will make them attractive to companies and organisation involved in the design, production deployment of products and services for model making.

Having developed a range of generic design skills graduates will employable across a broad range of design disciplines. With an emphasis upon transferable skills graduates are also likely to be employed beyond the design areas and will successfully contribute to a range of roles in both the service and manufacturing sectors.


MA Design for Communication with Industry Experience

A taste of what you could become

A Theatre and film prop maker

AN Architectural model maker

A Prototype maker

A CAD technician

And more...

Career Links

This new programme has been developed with industry in response to the increasing local, national and international demand for graduates with cross disciplinary skill sets. It builds upon the established success and reputation of courses in design as well as the strong regional industry partnerships that have been developed over many years.

The course will be of benefit to those seeking employment with local and national companies, to undertake periods of placements / work experience and benefit from visiting specialist lecturers and professionals. In addition, the course will include visits to companies to engage and meet with professional designers and service users.


What You Need To Know


Students entering the course will come from a variety of backgrounds: A Level, BTEC Diploma, or an Art and Design Foundation Year. The important thing is that you have studied Art and Design and have built up a portfolio of work. You will be imaginative and curious and will have an interest in current affairs and will read widely. You will have evidence of 3D form and scale within your portfolio, this might include drawing, model making, digital 3D, illustration, concept design.

As with all design courses, good visual communication skills are required. This can include drawing in its broadest sense, from observational drawing through sketch development, to presentation drawings and technical drawing. We are particularly interested in how you generate your design ideas and then develop them towards a final piece (your design process).

Above all, we want you to be enthusiastic and interested in model making as well as the creative industries in general.

Your personal statement should evidence, in addition to the required academic qualifications, an awareness of design and making. Don’t just tell us what you’ve done but also what you’ve learnt from doing it. You should look to support your views and opinions in a reasoned and objective way.

If you are called for interview, we will send you further guidance well in advance. You will probably be competent with freehand drawing and understand technical drawings.

Please note: The entry criteria below are related to entry onto this course in the 2020/2021 academic year. If you’re interested in a future intake year, please check the course entry on UCAS.

Standard entry requirements

English language requirements

International applicants will be required to show a proficiency in English. An IELTS score of 6.0, with no element below 5.5, is proof of this.


English Language and Maths at grade C/level 4 or above (or equivalent). You must fulfil our GCSE entry requirements as well as one of the requirements listed below.

A Levels

96-112 points including an A2 in an art and design or a design and technology subject at grade C

UCAS tariff points

96 - 112 tariff points, or equivalent, in Art & Design related subjects.

BTEC National Diploma


Scottish Highers

96 - 112 tariff points, or equivalent, in Art & Design related subjects.

Irish Leaving Certificate

96 - 112 tariff points, or equivalent, in Art & Design related subjects.

Alternative entry requirements

Salford Alternative Entry Scheme (SAES)

We welcome applications from students who may not meet the stated entry criteria but who can demonstrate their ability to pursue the course successfully. Once we have received your application we will assess it and recommend it for SAES if you are an eligible candidate.

There are two different routes through the Salford Alternative Entry Scheme and applicants will be directed to the one appropriate for their course. Assessment will either be through a review of prior learning or through a formal test.

How much?

Additional costs

You should also consider further costs which may include books, stationery, printing, binding and general subsistence on trips and visits.

Scholarships for international students

If you are a high-achieving international student, you may be eligible for one of our scholarships.
We have a range of scholarships available for students applying for courses in 2020-2021 and 2021-2022. Our Global Gold Excellence Scholarship is worth £3,500 and our Global Silver Excellence Scholarship is worth £3,000 - both are available for students studying in our 2021/22 intakes.

We also offer the Salford International Excellence Scholarship which offers up to £5,000 discount on tuition fees. As this is a prestigious award we have a limited number of these scholarships available.

See the full range of our International Scholarships.

Apply now

All set? Let's apply

Enrolment dates

September 2021

September 2022

UCAS information

Course ID TBC

Institution S03

Interested in starting university in September 2021? Book your place on our next Open Day.