Undergraduate CertHE

Motion Capture for the Creative Industries

Salford School of Arts, Media and Creative Technology

Attendance

Full-time

Part-time

Course

One year

Two year

Next enrolment

September 2025

Introduction

In a nutshell

Do you want to learn how to turn performers’ movements into digital avatars? Do you want to learn this in relation to the gaming and creative industries? This one year course will equip you with the foundational skills you need. 

Motion Capture is used extensively across games, film and animation, as well as applications in health and sports science.  This new one-year course, equivalent to the first year of university degree study, will teach you the skills you need to be a technician and operator of this rapidly evolving technology. 

You can read about our recent win at the Educate North Awards where the team came away with the Digital Education and Development Award for developing motion capture capabilities at Salford, which also positively impacts other creative arts programmes

This course is subject to approval for a September 2025 start.

 

What is a 'CertHE'? 

A Certificate of Higher Education (CertHE) at Level 4 is awarded after one year of full-time study at university. Our CertHE programmes are hands-on and practical, with flexible learning options available so you can choose to study full or part time.  

CertHEs are a great choice for a wide range of reasons. Your personal or professional goals might mean that you don’t want or need a full degree but know that some higher education in your chosen field would be beneficial. You might want to experience university level study, including support and access to facilities, without the commitment of a three year degree. 

You can take a CertHE straight from college when you have completed qualifications like BTECs or A-Levels. Some people choose to take a gap year first or spend some time working before they start a CertHE. 

A CertHE can lead directly to a career as you will have gained valued skills and experience, or you might choose to continue with further studies.  

The course is also available as a two year Diploma in Higher Education (DipHE). 

You will:

  • Study how to be an effective technician.
  • Learn how to assemble, calibrate and use equipment.
  • Capture motion data.
  • Apply that data within gaming engines.
  • Learn how to be an effective member of a technical team.
  • Study technical standards appropriate to the discipline.

This is for you if...

1.

You are technically minded and love film, games and animation

2.

You want to study hands-on skills that are applied to new technologies

3.

You are fascinated by combining live action with computer generated visuals

Course details

All about the course

The course covers the essential practical  and technical processes involved in motion capture technology.  It provides the ‘back end’ production skills delivered from equipment setup to delivery of motion data and projects around real, industry led briefs. 

You will study the fundamentals of technical practice; explore production pipelines; foster creative visions; refine industry communication and cultivate the entry level skills required in this environment. It will not confine you to a single industry but empower you to navigate the evolving landscape of multiple sectors impacted by this technology.  

Facilities include best-in-class Opti-track motion capture facilities, powerful PC suites for game engine compatibility. Dedicated motion capture studio.  

Year one

Intro to Motion Capture

Learn to rig and calibrate a professional motion capture system, for different sizes of volumes and the necessary health and safety standards required.  

The Data Pipeline

Understand motion capture data and how to process and clean it to a professional standard.

Game Engine Fundamentals

Develop and build environments and lighting within game engines for use in motion capture projects.

Game Engine Practices

Using the skills learned in Game Engine Fundamentals, create animation sequences, here we will look at animation importing and retargeting and ultimately creating a short sequence inside the game engine. 

Intro to Motion Technology

Continued practice from ‘Intro to Motion Capture’ and development of recording MoCap data with a focus on independent rigging and clean-up of data ready for export. 

Motion Capture Technical Project

Combine all the skills studied at Level 4 into a final project, with potential for live briefs with industry.  

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?

Delivery will be a condensed timetable, on named days of the week. This is to simulate working practice and also to allow you the flexibility to plan your other activities around your studies.  

Of the three modules each trimester, only two at a time will be delivered concurrently. This allows you to focus on two subjects at a time. The modules lead into each other, and follow a natural flow of the working practice in this subject.  

Assessment:

You will be assessed in a variety of ways, such as presentations, technical reports and live, industry aligned practical exercises.   

Be part of a creative, supportive community

This course is delivered by the Salford School of Arts, Media, and Creative Technology. Our focus is to ensure that you have the skills you need to pursue your dreams, and we encourage our students, past and present, to collaborate with each other and achieve great things.

Whatever you choose to study with us, you’ll be mentored and supported by experts. And once you graduate, it won’t end there, you’ll join a thriving alumni network across Greater Manchester and beyond.

GMIoT

Located across England, Institutes of Technology (IoTs) are a national network of partnerships between local colleges, universities, and leading employers.

We are a proud partner in the Greater Manchester Institute of Technology. This means as a student on this course you will benefit from being part of the University of Salford community, with access to our facilities and support, and taught by our tutors. You will also be part of the GMIoT network, with access to additional events and activities.

Employment and stats

What about after uni?

Motion Capture is a growing art form and used across TV, Film, Games, Animation, Live Experiences and even in the health sectors.  There are opportunities for you to be a specialist in this technology and the skills that prepare you for a future as a technician in these industries.  

You are able to continue on to the DipHE Level 5 course to continue your studies should you wish.  Beyond this, further study could include ‘top-up’ options on to other relevant degree courses.

These programmes have been designed to give you the skills you need for employment upon graduation but with the optionality of further study. 

Career Links

We have consulted with Cloud Imperium Games and Dock 10, who are both based in Manchester & Salford and continue to consult with industry to input into the design of the programme from the ground up. 

Requirements

What you need to know

This course is suitable for people who love entertainment and want to be involved in making it happen. Be that film, TV, games, animation, or live experiences, we are looking for people with a passion for getting stuck in and bringing digital to life. We’re looking for people who like to do as they think.

We will enable you to take your emerging technical skills and apply them to the specific area of motion capture and moving you into the professional realm of technicianship. 

No previous experience is required, but we are looking for people who come from a creative and technology background with a real interest in working as a technician in the digital animation, broadcast and gaming sectors.  

Standard entry requirements

GCSE

English Language at grade C/level 4 or above (or equivalent) is required. Maths at grade C/4 or above (or equivalent) is preferred but not essential.

You must fulfil our GCSE entry requirements as well as one of the requirements listed below.

UCAS tariff points

72 points

A Level

72 points

BTEC Extended Diploma

MMP

Scottish Highers

72 points

Irish Leaving Certificate

72 points

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?

Type of study Year Fees
Full-time home 2025/26 £9,250.00per year
Part-time 2025/26 The part time fee is calculated on a pro rata basis

Additional costs

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

 

Apply now

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Enrolment dates

September 2025

September 2026

UCAS information

Course ID W691

Institution S03