Undergraduate BA (Hons)

Post Production and VFX

Salford School of Arts, Media and Creative Technology

Attendance

Full-time

Course

Three year

Next enrolment

September 2022

Introduction

In a nutshell

Every film goes through three states: pre-production, production and post production. Post production is the creative activity that can make a good film great, and with a growing demand for bigger and better visual effects, there’s never been a better time to study for a VFX and post production degree course.

Combining practical skills with theory, this BA (Hons) Post Production and VFX degree course has been developed and shaped by leading production companies to ensure our teaching reflects a constantly evolving industry. You’ll cover all aspects of post production, from initial shooting to editing, sound design and VFX creation. At the heart of our post production university courses is collaborative practice, equipping you with the skills you establish a professional career in the creative industry.

What’s more, you’ll be based at our MediaCity campus, meaning you’ll be ideally placed to tap into a network of leading post production and VFX companies. You’ll gain hands-on experience through a series of live briefs, while engaging with renowned industry practitioners and scholars across a variety of initiatives, events and projects.

You will:
  • Develop the creative and technical skills needed to produce high quality post production and VFX visuals
  • Study in our state-of-the-art facilities on our MediaCity campus
  • Deepen your knowledge of shooting, editing, sound design and VFX creation in the context of contemporary post production practice

 

Want to find out more about our VFX and post production university courses? Why not sign-up to an Open Day or attend a campus tour.

Our supportive course enquiries team can help you with any general questions you may have. You can also explore all of our Film TV and Radio courses.

International

students accepted

This is for you if...

1.

you want a good grounding in all areas of post-production and video FX

2.

you want opportunities to learn cutting-edge technologies from industry practitioners and to work on industry live briefs

3.

you are interested in how media production happens and how visual media reaches its audience

Course details

All about the course

This BA (Hons) Post Production and VFX course is industry led and is being developed in close collaboration with a media industry that is constantly embracing change. This programme will provide students with the potential to engage with industry partners at a time when the roles of Post Production and VFX professionals are being redefined. Guest lectures, live industry briefs and the potential for industry placements offers the opportunity for students to be situated at the forefront for employability within the industry.

With the continued development of ever more complex digital media there is a requirement for graduates with the skills needed to deliver the next generation of digital content, particularly in the fields of Post Production and visual effects. The anticipated growth in media related industry within the north west, particularly MediaCity, defines the rationale for the redevelopment of the programme; employer engagement, industry partnerships and enhanced employment opportunities for graduates are features which validate this programme and appoint it appropriately at the forefront of contemporary media development.

Your collaborative and interdisciplinary learning will be fostered through core modules based around project-based work, which focuses real-world scenarios and industry practices. You’ll learn a wide range of skills through workshops, masterclasses. Experiences for students are grounded in sound, applied pedagogic theory and practice preparing them for the real world. You’ll also have the opportunity to take a range of industry standard courses and have the potential to gain accreditation for specific courses.

Gain a deeper understanding of what you’ll explore within each module below.

Year one

3D with 2D Content Generation

The modules main aim is to introduce students to concepts and techniques of 3D and 2D content generation strategies and workflows which will include research and development, project management and professional practice. Preparation of 3D and 2D content for compositing will offer the opportunity for the creative integration of traditional techniques with industry standard 3D and 2D applications. Students will be encouraged to evidence the process through a production portfolio that outlines the development of design concepts, storyboards and an exported high-resolution video file. The syllabus will include a number of key concepts in the production of a visually rich composited sequence that will include animation concepts, 3D modelling, compositing techniques and the development of presentation skills and critical evaluation.

VFX Fundamentals

The syllabus will explore classical, current and future workflows for visual effects production in film and television. This will involve a critical and reflective analysis of past and current workflows developing insight into how trends and technologies will shape the future of VFX production. They will consider the following:

  • Conceptualisation and design development
  • Planning, organisation creative application of technology
  • VFX and compositing practices and techniques
  • Workflow management
  • Integration of new technologies

Introduction to Media Workflows

The syllabus will explore current workflows for post-production and VFX in contemporary film and television. With an emphasis on the diverse components and aspects of contemporary post production and VFX workflows the module will explore the relationship and inter connectivity of these components and how they are utilised to produce and attain specific goals and objectives within the context of story development. The module will analyse a range of production workflows and provide a context for students to develop a story-based project that incorporates such elements as story/plot structure, narrative themes, character development, pre-visualisation and production management. Building on the ideas of creating creative storylines the module will develop and build workflows and development portfolios that are based around collaborative working practices from storyboard development through pre visualisation to first rough cut edit. In addition, the syllabus will explore past, current and future technologies for post-production and VFX and how surrounding technological developments have impacted workflows and collaborations and will continue to influence future workflows.

Craft Editing Fundamentals

The module offers and introductory study of the following aspects of creative editing

  • Development and enhancement in the use and selection of a non-linear editing system appropriate for short form editing within the context of defined criteria such as studio production and sports events
  • Students are introduced to the short-form production as a contributor to contemporary wed based and online productions, considering its form and function and are introduced to the associative practices of editing in relation to fast turn-around and output
  • Develop and engage with a range of industry practices that demonstrate the importance of the creative selection of suitable footage, the organisation of shots and their impact on the presentation of the final programme within specified technical guidelines relevant to distribution on online platforms.
  • Introduce and develop skills and practices in the organisation, selection and editing of material within the context of a contemporary media workflow relating to the production of short form production
  • Students will undertake independent study to support a programme of practical exercises designed to develop their skills and understanding of the conventions and practices of short form editing

History of Editing and VFX

Shooting for Post Production

This module is intended to provide a historical framework into which students can place their practice particularly in relation to how the camera can influence and have significant influence in post-production and the creation of VFX. Through a series of workshops students will gain valuable hands on experience of the

  • Basic Features of the camera – aperture, iris, shutter speed, WB and HD codecs
  • Composition & Framing – interpretation, controlling the viewer’s eye
  • Use of depth of field and focus, focusing decisions, using the right aperture
  • Camera work – principles and practices, designing shots and the application of HDR (High Dynamic Range)
  • Exposure control – shutter, aperture, ND, light and the application of the Zone System to influence exposure
  • Introduction to lighting on location – colour temperatures, principles key, back and Fill – working with/without lighting.
Year two

VFX Effects and Practices

The module is a follow on from level 4 VFX modules and includes the following:

  • Tracking techniques and their relationship to camera & object data
  • How to identify and evaluate the difference between a range of tracking and match-move functions
  • Application and incorporation of data sets information within a contemporary VFX pipeline
  • Work with assets on a group and individual basis to produce a range of shots based on industry practice
  • Use and shoot green screen material for a range of VFX agendas including live action, models and sets

Applied Technologies for VFX

The syllabus will explore the relationship and influence of new media technologies within the context of Post Production and VFX workflows. Exploring the impact of technological development upon Post Production and VFX practice, techniques and aesthetics will be a core skill within the syllabus with students researching and evaluating a range of new media technologies. The range of new technologies is constantly changing and student will have the opportunity to engage with a range of potential technologies such as motion capture, HDR (high dynamic range) and VR and to investigate and analyse how and if these technologies would be appropriate for defined productions. Through potential industry workshops, conferences and tradeshows students will have the opportunity to engage with industry practitioners and companies showcasing and promoting new technologies for post production and VFX. Students will undertake extensive evaluation of new media technologies to analyse and identify potential uses within projects and workflows. Working and adopting practical working practices and methodologies, students will adopt a hands on approach to implementing new media technologies within the context of defined goals and agendas. This will be undertaken within a historical perspective, exploring developments through film/cinema, television, online and digital technologies.

Long Form Editing for Broadcast

The module is a follow on from level 4 editing modules and includes the following

  • Development and enhancement in the use and selection of a non-linear editing systems appropriate for the use of long form editing for drama and documentary production
  • Students are introduced to the long form production as a contributor to contemporary media productions and to consider its form, function and conventions and its contribution to screen grammar for documentary and drama production
  • Develop and engage with a range of industry practices that demonstrate the importance of the creative selection of suitable footage, the organisation of shots to order, and their impact on the presentation of the final programme.
  • Enhance and expand skills and practices in the organisation, selection and editing of material within the context of a contemporary media workflow relating to the production of long form production
  • Students will undertake independent study to support a programme of practical exercises designed to develop their skills in this area and develop discussion and debate designed to extend their critical appreciation of long form editing in relation to the genres of documentary and drama.
  • Enhanced and more detailed study of the application of colour and grading to achieve specific ‘looks’

Landmarks in Editing and VFX

During the course of this module students will look at the idea of the influence of editing and VFX in relation to film form and how it contributes to the meaning and creative style of a film. They will consider the following:

  • Editing and VFX production and the change from analogue to digital production
  • The shot and the development of the ’look’
  • Key technical and aesthetical editing influences such as montage, time manipulation and parallel narrative
  • Pioneers of the development, use and influence of VFX production in defined decades
  • Key technical and aesthetic VFX influences such as compositing, matte painting and 
  • Pioneers of the development of editing techniques and practices in defined decades

Short Form Editing for Online and Events

Students will study the skills, practices and techniques required for the fast turnaround environments of live events and online content

  • Development and enhancement in the use and selection of a non-linear editing system appropriate for short form editing within the context of defined criteria such as studio production and sports events
  • Students are introduced to the short-form production as a contributor to contemporary wed based and online productions, considering its form and function and are introduced to the associative practices of editing in relation to fast turn-around and output
  • Develop and engage with a range of industry practices that demonstrate the importance of the creative selection of suitable footage, the organisation of shots and their impact on the presentation of the final programme within specified technical guidelines relevant to distribution on online platforms.
  • Introduce and develop skills and practices in the organisation, selection and editing of material within the context of a contemporary media workflow relating to the production of short form production
  • Students will undertake independent study to support a programme of practical exercises designed to develop their skills and understanding of the conventions and practices of short form editing

Collaborative Workflows with Industry Brief

The module offers students opportunities to work in teams to develop techniques and creative practices that expand and broaden their skills within the context of building and designing media workflows within the context of an industry brief. Students will have opportunities to work collaboratively with other courses, modules and professional media services to expand and consolidate their practice and theoretical knowledge within the context of an industry related brief. These opportunities may include working with students from other course such as the BA Animation, Film Production, Film Production and Television and Radio which has the potential for students to gain skills within a wider range of media disciplines. This has the opportunity for students to enhance and compliment their skills in subject areas such as storyboard design, character development, production management and advanced camera practices.

Students work to develop ideas and proposals for projects/briefs that will include background research, proposal and treatment. Work and assessment will continue in the form of development of the project through written work, scripts, storyboards and include also production planning. Through a process of planning and workflow design, students will develop ideas with consideration for the target audiences, client needs and the appropriate deliverables for the project and the client. In addition, this module provides an opportunity for students to develop an awareness of professional working practices, including a basic understanding of the various forms of intellectual property rights (copyright, patent, and trademark) within the fields of Post production and VFX.

Year three

Advanced VFX

The syllabus will explore classical, current and future workflows for VFX in film and television. This will involve a critical and reflective analysis of past to current workflows and provoke insight into how development trends both technologically, economically and aesthetically will shape the future of VFX and its related post production workflows. Students will gain the necessary experience and skills to develop and create content from initial concept design to finished visual sequences. It will develop the creative and technical skills necessary to work within modern VFX and postproduction environments across a range of media industries. Students will be given the context to evaluate, reflect upon and analyse the multiple strands and practices current within Post Production workflows and pipelines. The module will aim to provide students with opportunities to work on simulated industry-relevant live briefs, including, where appropriate, within input from industry professionals.

Advanced Editing and Audio

The syllabus will explore classical, current and future workflows for video Post Production in film and television with particular emphasis and reference to the influential roles of editing and sound design.  This will involve a critical and reflective analysis of past to current workflows and provoke insight into how development trends both technologically, economically and aesthetically have shaped and influenced contemporary post production workflows. It will develop advanced creative and technical skills including colouring and grading, conforming, mastering and media management for archive, that are necessary to work within modern post production environments across a range of media industries. Students will be given the context to evaluate, reflect upon and analyse the multiple strands and practices current within media production. The module will aim to provide students with opportunities to work on simulated industry-relevant live briefs, including, where appropriate, within input from industry professionals.

Pre-Production Portfolio for Major Project

The syllabus will be determined by the student-led independent research and analysis underlying a self-directed project within the context of Post Production and/or VFX. The research and practice will be supported by regular feedback and critique sessions from supervisors with specialist knowledge in the relevant domains of practice and research that the students have chosen.

  • The syllabus of the programme will be delivered in the following stages
  • Delivery of either initial research aims and objectives (i.e. rough draft) or high quality prototype;
  • Presentation of a project idea and a workflow appropriate for the project.
  • Self-directed negotiated programme of studies
  • Synthesis of design ideas and production process
  • Production of a creative artefact with a managed and agreed timeframe
  • Presentation of additional, appropriate supporting documentation

Final Major Project

The syllabus will be directed by the nature of the projects in conjunction with the supervisor but will cover all stage of production, including:

  • Research, information gathering and critical evaluation of the production project
  • Self-directed negotiated programme of production
  • Planning and organisation of production portfolio including time management
  • Production of an appropriate body of work to a high technical and industry standard
  • A supporting portfolio of work and critical reflection of the project from initial conception to final output

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?

TEACHING

As part of your post production and VFX course, you’ll be provided with a timetable that will include a breakdown of your scheduled lessons with timeslots for you to explore your independent research interests. Your classes will be based at our MediaCityUK campus.

Teaching will be delivered through a combination of practical seminars, workshops, seminars, large group lecture, small group supervision, tutorials and online learning. You’ll also have timetabled meetings with your personal tutor. What’s more, you’ll use industry-standard design software and have access to computer facilities throughout your course.

When not attending your timetabled learning events, you’ll be expected to continue learning independently through self-study. This will involve reading journal articles and books, working on projects and undertaking research for your assignments. Your independent learning is supported by a range of excellent resources, including the library and computer laboratories.

ASSESSMENT

One of the most important parts of our VFX and post production courses is how we assess you. There are no exams on this course, but you will be expected to demonstrate your academic strengths through practical coursework and written essays. You’ll also work on a range of projects as part of your assessments.

You’ll receive feedback on all practice assessments and on formal assessments undertaken by coursework. The feedback we give is intended to help you learn, and you are encouraged to discuss it with your module tutor.

BE A PART OF A CREATIVE, SUPPORTIVE COMMUNITY

All  our Film, TV and Media coursesare 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.  

Each year - through the Create Student Awards – our School rewards the incredible achievements and successes of our final year and postgraduate students.  

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, meaning you’ll be supported professionally and personally whenever you need it. 

MEDIACITYUK FACILITIES

Our MediaCityUK facilities are industry-standard, so much so that they are used by our industry partners themselves.

When you study with us on this Post Production and VFX degree, you’ll learn from our experienced tutors and demonstrators, who’ll teach you how to use our facilities. These include:

TV studios - our TV studios have been used by the BBC for a variety of broadcasts, such as the Olympics and Christmas music concerts, and they’re equipped with the same audio-visual systems used by ITV and Sky too. 

The studios have green screen facilities as well as basic props so you can design and build sets for a range of projects. 

Green screen facilities - these allow you to create effects such as those you see on weather reports and incorporates a camera system and 3D graphics software.  

Audio production - we’ve got all the hardware and software you need to make sure you’ll know just how to create, edit, mix and master audio for film and television. Our main studios feature Avid S6 consoles – a similar set up to those at our MediaCityUK neighbours, such as Dock10 and ITV. 

MakerSpace - bring your designs to life using 3D scanners and printers, power tools and a range of art and craft materials.  

Stop-frame studio we have animation booths equipped with industry standard lighting, grip, software and cameras and learn just what it takes to make your ideas and storyboards a reality. 

Computer Suites and Editing Studios – our computer suites are equipped with the latest industry-standard software. You’ll learn from our experienced demonstrators, who’ll teach you the skills needed to turn your concepts into a reality.

Equipment stores - cameras, lighting kits and mics – they’re all essential to media production. But don’t worry, you won’t need to spend thousands of pounds to get the set-up you need – we have a fully equipped equipment store available for you to use and take out industry-standard kit. 

Explore our Film, TV and Radio facilities at the University of Salford

MEET THE FILM, TV AND RADIO TEACHING STAFF

Are you looking to learn more about the background of our tutors and demonstrators, or put a face to a name?

Find out who'll work with you throughout your academic journey at the University of Salford.

Explore the Film, TV and Radio faculty at the University of Salford

Employment and stats

What about after uni?

EMPLOYMENT

So, what can you do with a post production and VFX degree course? Our recent graduates have gone on to establish successful careers in the media industry, holding professional roles in audio and post production, VFX artistry and colour grading. But with the technical and creative skills you’ll have developed throughout your programme, the possibilities don’t end there. Many of our previous students have also secured employment in areas of broadcast, online media and the digital creative sector more widely.

FURTHER STUDY

Graduates showing strong academic and research skills can pursue a further postgraduate path through our Postgraduate programmes on a full-time or part-time basis subject to a satisfactory proposal. 

Requirements

What you need to know

APPLICANT PROFILE

To gain a place on this Post Production and VFX degree, you’ll have to submit a personal statement and meet our entry requirements when you apply.

Within your Post Production and VFX personal statement (up to 4000 characters), we’ll want to understand:

  • what motivates you and what current experiences do you have in terms of film and media technology?
  • how have you been involved and what did you do or learn. Did you work in a team for example?
  • Are you a technical, creative, and professional thinker?
  • how do you develop ideas?
  • do you have any knowledge of the Post Production and VFX technology that’s used in the industry; are there any projects that inspire you?
  • why do you want to work in the post production and VFX sector?
  • and why the University of Salford and this Post Production and VFX degree is the right choice for your future goals.

As part of your application, we will need to see a portfolio of work to provide opportunity for you to share your creative practice with us. Any offers will be conditional upon our subject team having the opportunity to review your portfolio, and we look forward to viewing your work. For some applicants, you may also be asked to take part in an informal group seminar discussion or interview– either live or on camera – to demonstrate your skills.

Once you’ve made your application to study with us, we’ll contact you and let you know the next steps.

 

Want to find out more about our Post Production and VFX degree? Why not sign-up to an Open Day or attend a campus tour.

Our supportive course enquiries team can help you with any general questions you may have. You can also explore all of our Film TV and Radio courses.

Standard entry requirements

English language requirements

For international students

If you are an international student and not from a majority English speaking country, you will need IELTS 6.0 with no element below 5.5. We accept qualifications from all around the world. Find your country to see a full list of entry requirements.

We also accept a range of other English language qualifications. If you do not have the English language requirements, you could take the Pre-Sessional English course to gain entry onto this degree.

GCSE

English Language at grade C/level 4 or above (or equivalent) is required. Maths at grade C/level 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.

A level

104 points including Media

UCAS tariff points

104 points including Media

BTEC National Diploma

MMM including Media Production

Access to HE

Pass Level 3 QAA approved Access Diploma with 96 points, to include Media

Scottish Highers

104 points including Media Studies 

Irish Leaving Certificate

104 points including Media Studies 

International Baccalaureate

31 points including Media

European Baccalaureate

Pass in Diploma of at least 60%, including Media 

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 2021/22 £9,250per year
Full-time international 2021/22 £15,600per year
Full-time home 2022/23 £9,250per year
Full-time international 2022/23 £15900per year
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 2022

UCAS information

Course ID P391

Institution S03