BA (Hons) Model Design (Model Effects) with Optional Sandwich Placement/ Study Abroad

About the course

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The Model Design Degree Programme uniquely, has a combined first year covering model making, prop making, sculpture and special effects. Second and third year students specialise in one of three-degree pathways: Model Design (Character and Creative Effects), Model Design (Model Effects), Model Design (Special Effects)

  • You will learn how to create highly detailed models for a wide range of disciplines from concept cars for the automotive industry and product prototyping, through to the scale buildings used by architects or ‘movie miniatures’ used in films.
  • Excellent workshop facilities for both traditional model making machinery and cutting-edge prototyping technologies including; CAD, 3D printing, laser cutting and CNC machining sit alongside the specialist industry standard facilities for model making, product prototyping and prop making
  • Outstanding work experience opportunities and collaborative projects provided by our very close contacts in the creative industries
  • Industry professionals teach across all three pathways of the programme
  • Model Effects students achieve consistently high graduate employment rates

What Our Employers Say About Us

The University of Hertfordshire is widely recognized within the industry for its outstanding Model Design Programme. The course has continued to evolve over recent years and has consistently produced graduates who are both professional and employable. The course incorporates a wide variety of design and manufacturing skills, technologies and processes, which equip graduates to succeed in industry. David Austen, Managing Director, Berry Place

The Model and Special Effects Programme at the University of Hertfordshire has consistently produced some of the most employable graduates in our industry.
Mark Ward, Managing Director, Asylum Models and Effects

Model Design Student Testimonials

"Good equipment. Great studio, it has a good layout - I like the way all the years are together."

"The staff we have are fantastic, the work experience opportunities are brilliant, everyone on the course is welcoming and friendly. I could not imagine myself being anywhere else."

Model Design Successes

The Model Design Programme is the only Special Effects course to have been accredited by Creative Skillset, the industry kite mark of quality following a rigorous assessment process by experts working in the Creative Industries and is awarded to practice-based courses which best prepare students for a career in the industry.

The programme has outstanding links with industry and this results in high profile work experience opportunities for our students. In 2013, our students worked on major feature films at leading UK studios, including making action props on Guardians of the Galaxy, Jupiter Ascending, Exodus and Black Sea.

In 2014, 92% of our second year students undertook work experience on four major feature films at Leavesden, Pinewood, Shepperton and Twickenham studios.

Graduates from this degree often work with leading figures in the creative industries and a host of companies including: Anarchy Ltd, Artem, Asylum, Berry Place, Darkside FX, Ferox Effects, Foster + Partners, Gerry Judah, Seymour Powell, Pipers and Zone Creations etc.

The programme regularly exhibits at the New Blades exhibition (held at Holborn Studios in London). In 2013, our graduates won three prizes making a total of thirteen awards we have won at New Blades in the last 4 years.

Articles about the work have featured in a variety of international publications including Wired Magazine and CNN.

Model Design Facilities

Our students’ work in a large airy purpose built studio (with individual spaces for every student), which is situated above an extensive workshop that contain a wide range of traditional and cutting edge technologies. Students are able to use a wide variety of equipment/machinery and state of the art rapid prototyping facilities: laser cutters, 3D printers, CNC milling and routing. Our students also use a well-equipped sculpture studio, which has excellent life drawing and modelling facilities, a plaster mould making area and industry standard extraction in the fiberglass/resin casting room. The sculpture workshops also provide excellent brazing, soldering and welding facilities for most types of metal fabrication and finishing. In addition to these dedicated workshop facilities, our students are taught a variety of computer aided design processes in both 2D and 3D packages in computer suites, which are situated close to the Model Design studio. Our students have access to all of the facilities across the school including excellent photographic equipment/studios and printing.

Model Design (Model Effects) Gallery



Why choose this course?

This is a unique combination of three interrelated degrees with a combined first year (Model, Character and Special Effects). The lecturing staff all have extensive subject knowledge gained from careers in the creative industries, hence students achieve professional standards in their work. We have excellent links with industry and provide placements on major movies at leading UK film studios.

Entry requirements...

2017 entry

UCAS are introducing a new tariff for 2017 entry so the points being asked for are substantially different to previous years.

  • 96 UCAS points
  • GCSE Maths and English Language at grade 4 or above.  
  • A levels/BTECs to include an art related subject.
  • IB - 96 points from a minimum of 2 HL subjects at H4 or above to include Visual Arts at SL or HL  (with the remaining points to come from a combination of HL, SL and Core).
  • Subject to portfolio interview.
  • English Language grade C and Mathematics Grade D or above at GCSE if taken prior to 2015.
  • All students from non-majority English speaking countries require proof of English language proficiency, equivalent to an overall IELTS score of 6 with a minimum of 5.5 in each band.
  • If you do not have the required IELTS or equivalent for direct entry on to your degree programme, our Pre-sessional English and International Foundation courses can help you to achieve this level.
  • For country specific qualifications, please visit our Your Country page.

Key staff

Nick Morgan
Head of Programme: Nick has over 20 years working in design, architectural and advertising model making and special effects.
Find out more about Nick Morgan

Professional Accreditations

Creative Skillset Tick

Creative Skillset accreditation is awarded in recognition of the highest level of contemporary industry teaching and facilities. This gives potential employers an indication that candidates from our degree course have been trained professionally and are ready to take up an industry role successfully.

Guardian League Tables 2017

Ranked 10th in the country in the design and crafts section of the Guardian's 2017 University League Tables.

Careers

Our graduates work across the design and creative industries, often for internationally renowned architectural practices and major product and packaging design consultancies in the UK and abroad. Many graduates work in the film and TV industry contributing to high-profile advertisements, television programmes and blockbuster movies.

Teaching methods

You'll experience a wide variety of learning styles on this course. During your studies you'll develop your capacity for self-directed study and your interpersonal skills. We particularly emphasise the importance of 3D making leading to physical artefacts created through structured research and design; well-prepared written and verbal presentations; and computer literacy. Alongside elements of standard lectures, seminars, tutorials and practical workshops, you also learn through case studies, individual and group projects and other student centred activities. In your final year you will have the opportunity to practice your independent study skills by completing a major project and dissertation.

You will experience a wide variety of teaching styles on the programme including:

  • standard lectures
  • practical workshops
  • case studies
  • individual and group projects

First Year

You will be introduced to current materials, techniques and design processes in a combined first year (all three degree disciplines) and gain a strong grounding in workshop machinery and practices, which are relevant to the whole programme.

Second Year

You will learn how to create highly detailed models for a range of disciplines, from concept cars for the automotive industry to the scale models used by architects and ‘movie miniatures’ for films. You will use cutting-edge technologies including CAD (computer-aided design) and CAM (computer-aided modelling) that complement the traditional techniques learned in the machine shop to produce highly finished, professional-quality models.

All of our second year students have the option to undertake a professional work experience module with one of our many high profile industry contacts.

Final Year

Your final year is designed to prepare you for entry to the industry as a highly employable graduate. You will make a variety of project outcomes that demonstrate your professional ability and you will also spend time producing a professional portfolio and self-promotional material designed to impress potential employers at your first interview and beyond.

Work Placement

We regularly provide fantastic work experience opportunities for students across the three degrees within the Model and Special Effects programme; students can choose to take a range of modules as a replacement for all or part of one semester in their second year of study. The staff team have excellent contacts in the creative industries and have won awards for their work supporting students in this activity. Staff are frequently able to provide students with high-profile work placements.

Typically students spend up to 3 months of optional replacement study, with leading companies across the creative industries. These often include opportunities in architecture, design, film and TV.  Our students have worked on major blockbuster movies such as Captain America: The First Avenger, X Men: First Class, Wrath of the Titans, Batman 3: The Dark Knight Rises, Prometheus, Thor: The Dark World, Maleficent, World War Z, Edge of Tomorrow, Guardians of the Galaxy and Jupiter Ascending.

Study Abroad

This course offers you the opportunity to study abroad through the University's study abroad programme.
Study abroad opportunities are available worldwide and in Europe under the Erasmus+ Programme.
Find out more about Study abroad opportunities

Structure

Year 1

Core Modules

  • Scale and Structure

    This module provides an introduction to the basic design, technical and practical skills required in subsequent modules of the programme. There is an introduction to the workshop machinery, materials and techniques that the student will be using throughout their time as an undergraduate and in the professional practice of Model Design. Students attend workshop/demonstrations where they are introduced to and operate workshop machinery, where the emphasis on safe working practices and health and safety is paramount. As the module progresses students are introduced to the processes of research, design, technical drawing, maquette making, evaluation and appearance modelling. Students consider issues such as the representation of scale, design details, surface finish when designing and constructing models or prototypes.

  • Design and Fabrication

    This module introduces students to model design as a means of interpretation, typical of the special effects industries of film, television, museum exhibits and stills photography. It deals with the design and construction of models that interpret rather than simply replicate reality. Students will gain experience of creating special effects models, which are conceived to blur the boundaries between the real and the imaginary. They will explore the inventive process of research and design to produce models suitable for film, television and photography. As well as research, design and making, there will also be an introduction to basic sculpture techniques. Students will gain knowledge of current professional practice in the special effects industries of film, television and photography as well as historical precedents in, for example, art and stagecraft. As well as gaining experience in a range of practical techniques of model making they will be introduced to relevant photographic and digital compositing skills.

  • Shape and Form

    This module provides an opportunity for students to gain experience in the design and construction of a range of models for use as communication tools. The module allows students to research an historical context and develop design ideas and produce 3 dimensional models of those concepts. It facilitates further practice of workshop equipment and making techniques relevant to professional practice.

  • The Model in Mind (C&CS)

    In terms of what people do with them, Models are complicated objects. As a part of human culture models, in the form of human and animal figurines, seem to mark out our history and are among the oldest known human artefacts. Contemporary cultures use models as a means to communicate ideas - about the aesthetic experience of objects in the Product Design process, as a way of explaining the inter-relationship of space and form in architecture, as a part of the pleasures of film and television viewing, as a way of managing and organising personal memories and identities through keepsakes and mementoes. The Model in Mind examines the use of models as cultural objects and their role in communication processes. The module looks at key ideas and theories about communications and the making of meaning, at the way models are, and have been used, to impress, explain and delight.

Optional

Year 2

Core Modules

  • Turbo A

    These are highly focused one or two-week projects, comprising concentrated periods of intensive making activity and are designed to further develop the student’s explorative approach to materials and processes engendered during Level 4. These projects are intensively taught and introduce a range of more complex technical skills and materials. Emphasis is placed on time management through the structure of tight deadlines.

  • Turbo B

    These are highly focused one or two-week projects, comprising concentrated periods of intensive making activity and are designed to further develop the student’s explorative approach to materials and processes engendered during Level 4. These projects are intensively taught and introduce a range of more complex technical skills and materials. Emphasis is placed on time management through the structure of tight deadlines.

  • Design Process and Realisation

    Students are expected to work at a higher level of independence than in level 4, and to engage in critical evaluation throughout the design and execution of this project. By creating a body of research relevant to their field of study, including an understanding of the purpose and audience of their intended model, this offers a sustained exercise in the design, exploration and development of models suitable for use in the Model Design industries. The introduction to, and exploration of a larger sphere of materials and techniques enables the student to develop a broader knowledge base and implement a higher level of design and making skill. Effective self- management is developed and demonstrated through the ability to meet deadlines, and to present their work in a considered and professional manner.

  • Contextualised Model

    In negotiation with tutors, students generate their own brief, reflecting their interest in a particular field of Model Design, and with emphasis on professional context. Students initiate self-management through the development of work plans, incorporating research and analysis of making methods, materials and budgets, and schedules of making, referencing relevant deadlines. Appropriate professional behaviour in the workplace is emphasized and there is the possibility for group work. Design process will be used throughout and includes: investigation, evaluation and use of appropriate design sources and materials, analysis of client/audience awareness, including fitness for purpose; and presentation skills, both visual and verbal.

  • Talking Models (C&CS)

    Building on learning in The Model in Mind module at Level 4, Talking Models further develops knowledge and critical understanding of the contemporary uses of models in the full breadth of their application. Requiring students to identify their own areas of critical interest in relation to both the long traditions and contemporary contexts of models, the module is crucial as an introduction to the kind of ‘open’ critical enquiry that will characterise Level 6 in cultural studies. A core series of ‘catalyst’ lectures and seminars introduces new critical, theoretical and contextual ideas, while supporting students in their own exploration of the broad field of models. Undertaking a detailed survey of traditions, locations, and perspectives, students define a topic of study, formulate a research question or title, and carry out a carefully documented enquiry leading to the submission of an ‘essay’-style outcome in an appropriate form.

Optional

  • Professional Work Experience 30: Screen

    Students may identify a work experience opportunity or have a work experience suggested to them. Before starting students meet with the Programme Leader or their nominated tutor, to discuss the impending placement. All aspects of the intended experience are addressed from health and safety to client confidentiality and students are given guidance on behaviour and how to manage expectations. Proposals need to identify an outline work programme, the number of days in placement and the main learning outcomes; and are subject to agreement of the Programme Leader.

  • Professional Work Experience 45: Screen

    Students may identify a work experience opportunity or have a work experience suggested to them. Before starting students meet with the Programme Leader or their nominated tutor, to discuss the impending placement. All aspects of the intended experience are addressed from health and safety to client confidentiality and students are given guidance on behaviour and how to manage expectations. Proposals need to identify an outline work programme, the number of days in placement and the main learning outcomes; and are subject to agreement of the Programme Leader.

  • Professional Work Experience 15: Screen

    Students may identify a work experience opportunity or have a work experience suggested to them. Before starting students meet with the Programme Leader or their nominated tutor, to agree the impending placement. All aspects of the intended experience are addressed from health and safety to client confidentiality and students are given guidance on behaviour and how to manage expectations. Proposals need to identify an outline work programme, the number of days in placement and the main learning outcomes; and are subject to agreement of the Programme Leader.

  • Professional Work Experience 15 5B: Screen

    Students may identify a work experience opportunity or have a work experience suggested to them. Before starting students meet with the Programme Leader or their nominated tutor, to agree the impending placement. All aspects of the intended experience are addressed from health and safety to client confidentiality and students are given guidance on behaviour and how to manage expectations. Proposals need to identify an outline work programme, the number of days in placement and the main learning outcomes; and are subject to agreement of the Programme Leader.

Year 3

Core Modules

Optional

  • Year Abroad

    The Year Abroad will provide students in Creative Arts with the opportunity to expand, develop and apply the knowledge and skills gained in the first two taught years of the degree within a different organisational and cultural environment in a partner academic institution. The host institution will appoint a Programme Co-ordinator who will oversee the student's programme during the Year Abroad and will liaise with the appointed UH Supervisor.

  • Sandwich Year (Creative Arts)

    The optional 'Sandwich' placement year may be undertaken between the levels 5 and 6. Students undertake the placement within a commercial, public or not for profit setting that is able to provide an appropriate learning experience related to the creative and cultural industries. A placement could take a variety of forms, including: * working in an external organisation; * working with a University company or professional team within the University; * self-employment within defined context and externally refereed. The placement duration would typically be sustained for at least 36 weeks (from a maximum of two separate placements, neither of which should normally be less than 12 weeks in duration), though may be sustained for a full year. While the School actively supports the placement process, ultimately it is the placement provider that will agree to manage and select students, normally through an interview process. During the placement a member of the academic staff will be assigned to the student as a tutor and will monitor the student's progress during the placement period.

Year 4

Core Modules

  • Professional Context Model

    This module provides an opportunity to express individuality in a student led Model Design project. In a period of sustained independent study the student will demonstrate the extent of their knowledge and skills in an area of Model Design not covered by their Major Proposal and Major Project. This project enables the student to project the breadth of their abilities to their chosen professional audience. The student is required to identify a suitably challenging project, prepare a research proposal specifying their own learning requirements which is negotiated with tutors, and complete a small group presentation pitching the idea to their peers and receiving comment and feedback on it. Students are expected to conduct sustained independent study and research based on the approved proposal, leading to the realization of a significant artefact or series of artefacts made to a standard suitable for the context described in the proposal.

  • Professional Practice

    The module delivers a series of lectures and seminars designed to consolidate the students understanding of professional practice. Visiting speakers provide material which heightens the student’s awareness of a range of matters relating to- CV writing skills, finding work and interview preparation, tax issues when working as a freelance model maker, finding grant awarding bodies for setting up in business, working abroad etc. This module culminates in a compilation of material such as a Curriculum Vitae, Business Cards and completed Portfolio suitable for presentation at interview. In addition to preparation for the world of work, students are exposed to the procedures necessary for continuation of their studies at postgraduate level. A range of topics are covered with particular emphasis on applications and funding for further study.

  • Model Effects Major Project Proposal

    The module provides an opportunity to specify a programme of independent research and development in the field of Model Effects. The main outcome of this module is a completed design proposal in preparation for the Model Effects Major Project. The project proposal must identify a 'real world', professional context and students are encouraged to collaborate with a client or simulate the conditions of a 'live' brief.

  • Model Design Major Project

    This module is the major opportunity for students to demonstrate the extent of their knowledge and understanding in the field of Model Effects. It provides students with the opportunity to engage in a period of sustained creative activity, which has been directed and informed by the Model Effects Major Proposal in the previous semester. It is intended as the final and primary platform for the student to demonstrate their abilities, both as an outcome of their learning from the degree programme and as an indication of professional potential. Students will, therefore, demonstrate key skills germane to the field of Model Effects and produce outcomes of a standard suitable for professional employment or further study.

  • Critical and Cultural Studies: L6 Enquiry / Report / Essay (Model Design)

    The content of this module allows students to engage with research, enquiry or critical processes appropriate for their subject area. Students select a topic related to their area of study as the basis for an extended enquiry. Usually the topic will have a close relationship with some of the ideas, approaches and content of the student's final project. This work may explore ideas, examine artefacts or set out to solve a problem through an enquiry of some kind. The module allows students to develop their broad understanding of issues of significance, meaning and value that are implicit in their project idea or to engage in a process arising from a question or problem they have identified from their subject area aimed at providing recommendations or explanations which are supported by valid evidence. The module is delivered through a mix of lectures, seminars and individual tutorials with a strong emphasis on independent learning.

Optional

Fees & funding

Fees 2016

UK/EU Students

Full time: £9,000 for the 2016 academic year

International Students

Full time: £11,500 for the 2016 academic year

Fees 2017

UK/EU Students

Full time: £9,250 for the 2017 academic year

International Students

Full time: £11,850 for the 2017 academic year

*Tuition fees are charged annually. The fees quoted above are for the specified year(s) only. Fees may be higher in future years, for both new and continuing students. Please see the University’s Fees and Finance Policy (and in particular the section headed “When tuition fees change”), for further information about when and by how much the University may increase its fees for future years.

View detailed information about tuition fees

Additional course-related costs

There may be some additional costs or charges associated with studying on this course. These costs or charges may be compulsory (ie you have to pay them if you are studying this course) or they may be optional (ie you don’t have to pay them, but they may help you get the most out of your course).

Any such costs or charges will be outlined in the About your course factsheet that can be found on the course Overview page.

Additional course costs

In addition to the fees there are some compulsory course attached to this course:

Year 1
Personal tool kit – £120-£180
Materials required for projects £120-£250

Year 2
Materials required for projects - £120-£250

Year 3
Materials required for projects £300-£500

Other financial support

Find out more about other financial support available to UK and EU students

Living costs / accommodation

The University of Hertfordshire offers a great choice of student accommodation, on campus or nearby in the local area, to suit every student budget.

View detailed information about our accommodation

How to apply

2017

Start DateEnd DateLink
28/09/201720/05/2018Apply online (Full Time)
28/09/201720/05/2018Apply online (Full Time/Sandwich)
28/09/201720/05/2018Apply online (Full Time/Sandwich)

2018

Start DateEnd DateLink
28/09/201820/05/2019Apply online (Full Time)
28/09/201820/05/2019Apply online (Full Time/Sandwich)
28/09/201820/05/2019Apply online (Full Time/Sandwich)