All three of our model design courses share the same First Year, giving you an excellent introduction to model making, prop making, sculpture and special effects. Building on this foundation, you’ll learn to use a wide range of specialist materials and processes to create original sculptural characters, props and set dressings – including the option of developing stop-motion puppets or collaborating with special effects students.
In your second year you will explore a wide range of specialist materials and processes such as sculpting, moulding and casting that enable the creation of original characters, props and set dressings
In your Final Year you’ll work on major projects and create a professional portfolio to impress employers. Throughout your studies you’ll have access to traditional model-making equipment and cutting-edge prototyping technologies. This course is accredited by Creative Skillset, reflecting the highest standard of teaching and facilities.
We regularly take a number of students on work experience and often find ourselves wanting to extend the placement, or offer the students contracts during their holidays. This is principally down to the thorough preparation Hertfordshire students have for the workplace, through initiatives such as Professional Practice Seminars, which means we have increasingly found its graduates to be very employable.
Steve Hagon, Figure Production Manager, Merlin Studios (Madame Tussauds)
With 3 courses covering different aspects of the Special Effects industry, (which I think is unique), they are the main supplier of graduates to our industry. More importantly these graduates are aligned with the needs of the industry and are readily employable.
Mike Kelt, CEO Artem
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
“The course is the best way to get your ‘foot in the door’ of the industry. The facilities are some of the best I have seen (large studio space). The tutors have all got a background in the industry and hold a lot of knowledge on helpful processes”.
"The staff are very friendly and give good advice when needed. I learnt a lot in my last years of university and thought it was good how they strive to arrange everyone with a work experience placement in the second year. Prepares you well for industry."
The Model Design Programme is the only Special Effects course to have been accredited by Creative Skillset
The programme has outstanding links with industry and these result 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, Crawley Creatures, Creatures Inc. Ltd, Darkside FX, Ferox Effects, Gerry Judah, Madame Tussauds, Merlin Studios, etc.
The programme regularly exhibits at the New Blades exhibition (held at Holborn Studios in London), our graduates won three prizes in 2013, making a total of thirteen awards at New Blades in the last 4 years.
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.
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.
Cath worked as a freelance model maker for 30 years, for 20th Century Fox, Warner Bros., Clearwater Films, Aardman Animation; and Asylum Models, where she was head of Sculpting, Moulding and Casting.
Find out more about Cath Maze
Head of Model Design: Nick has over 20 years working in design, architectural and advertising model making and special effects.
Find out more about Nick Morgan
ScreenSkills 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.
Ranked 10th in the country in the design and crafts section of the Guardian's 2017 University League Tables.
A strong focus on sculpture and practical skills linked with creative ability will equip you to work in advertising, TV and film. It will also enable you to seek employment in other areas of the entertainment industries including fine art installations, theatre, theme parks and interactive displays in museums or exhibitions.
With a strong focus on sculpture, practical skills and creativity ability, you’ll be well equipped to work in TV, film and advertising. You could also find yourself working with theatres, theme parks, museums and exhibitions or creating displays. Our graduates have gone on to employment with the likes of Anarchy Ltd, Crawley Creatures, Universal Creations, MacKinnon and Saunders, Madame Tussauds and Merlin Studios.
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.
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 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.
You will explore a wide range of specialist materials and processes such as sculpting, moulding and casting that enable the creation of original characters, props and set dressings. Communication of ideas will be developed through drawing and presentation skills. You can also combine designing and making characters with animation using stop motion armatures, or with animatronics (in collaboration with students on the special effects degree).
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.
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.
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
|Scale and Structure||30 Credits||Compulsory|
|Shape and Form||30 Credits||Compulsory|
|Design and Fabrication||30 Credits||Compulsory|
|The Model in Mind: histories, contexts, theories (C&CS)||30 Credits||Compulsory|
|Turbo Projects||30 Credits||Compulsory|
|Design Process and Realisation||30 Credits||Compulsory|
|Character and Creative Effects Contextualised Model||30 Credits||Compulsory|
|Talking Models: the theory of practice (C&CS)||30 Credits||Compulsory|
|Professional Work Experience 30: Screen||30 Credits||Optional|
|Professional Work Experience 45: Screen||45 Credits||Optional|
|Professional Work Experience 15: Screen||15 Credits||Optional|
|Professional Work Experience 15 5B: Screen||15 Credits||Optional|
|Professional Context Model||30 Credits||Compulsory|
|Professional Practice||15 Credits||Compulsory|
|Creative Effects Major Project Proposal||15 Credits||Compulsory|
|Critical and Cultural Studies: L6 Enquiry / Report / Essay (Model Design)||30 Credits||Compulsory|
|Character and Creative Effects Major Project||30 Credits||Compulsory|
|Year Abroad||0 Credits||Optional|
|Sandwich Year (Creative Arts)||0 Credits||Optional|
In addition to the fees there are some compulsory course attached to this course:
Personal tool kit - £120-£180
Materials required per project £200-£250
Materials required per project £250-£300
Materials required per project £300-£500
*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.
The University of Hertfordshire offers a great choice of student accommodation, on campus or nearby in the local area, to suit every student budget.
|UCAS points||A Level||BTEC|
|Start Date||End Date||Link|
|23/09/2019||20/05/2020||Apply online (Full Time)|
|23/09/2019||31/05/2020||Apply online (Full Time/Sandwich)|
|23/09/2019||20/05/2020||Apply online (Full Time/Sandwich)|
|Start Date||End Date||Link|
|28/09/2020||20/05/2021||Apply online (Full Time)|
|28/09/2020||31/05/2021||Apply online (Full Time/Sandwich)|
|28/09/2020||20/05/2021||Apply online (Full Time/Sandwich)|
|Start Date||End Date||Link|
|28/09/2021||20/05/2022||Apply online (Full Time)|
|28/09/2021||31/05/2022||Apply online (Full Time/Sandwich)|
|28/09/2021||20/05/2022||Apply online (Full Time/Sandwich)|