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 focus on developing your artistic and technical skills to produce models, animatronics and other effects. You’ll also gain hands on experience of the specialist equipment used to produce rain, fire, smoke, wind and snow, and learn about the safe use of pyrotechnics.
In Second Year, you will acquire an understanding of special effects design and receive a thorough grounding in the practical aspects of this. You will be able to combine your artistic and technical skills to produce animatronics, action props, models and special effects.
In your Final Year, you’ll work on major projects and create a professional portfolio to impress employers. Throughout your studies you’ll use a mix of traditional techniques and modern technology. This course is accredited by Creative Skillset, reflecting the highest standard of teaching and facilities.
Over the last two years I have employed three graduates of the University, all of whom had completed the Model and Special effects Programme. These three graduates have not only successfully merged into my established film industry Special Effects team but also, are now actively contributing their ideas and skills to enhance and widen the scope of my team.
Chris Corbould Special Effects MIExpE
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
"Facilities are good and the teaching is good, and they are really helpful and enthusiastic about what they do."
"Work experience opportunities are fantastic. The 3rd year timetable, allows us to push ourselves and get more projects and better quality of work done for our portfolio."
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. Our students have worked on major feature films at leading UK studios, including making action props on Guardians of the Galaxy, Jupiter Ascending, Exodus and Black Sea.
Graduates from this degree often work with leading figures such as Chris Corbould Special Effects MIExpE and a host of other companies including: Anarchy Ltd, Artem, Asylum, Darkside FX, Ferox Effects, Gerry Judah, Machine Shop, etc.
Programme Leader: Nick has over 20 years working in design, architectural and advertising model making and special effects.
Find out more about Nick Morgan
Course Leader: Prior to teaching he had over twenty five years working in most areas of Special Effects, at the BBC then at Artem and eventually working freelance as an Art Director.
Find out more about Rob Thomas
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.
The course’s strong focus on creative problem-solving, mechanical design and practical workshop skills will prepare you for working in Special Effects. These versatile skills are also sought after in other areas including stage, theme parks, fine art installations and interactive displays in museums or exhibitions.
Our graduates have strong creative problem-solving, mechanical design and practical workshop skills that lead to many fascinating employment opportunities. You’ll find our graduates working in TV and films, the theatre, museums and other highly creative areas. Our graduates have gone on to employment with the likes of Chris Corbould, Neil Corbould, Anarchy Ltd, Artem, Warner Bros, Universal Creations and Zone Creations.
The course emphasises 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.
You will experience a wide variety of teaching styles on the programme including:
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 acquire an understanding of special effects design and receive a thorough grounding in the practical aspects of this. You will be able to combine your artistic and technical skills to produce animatronics, action props, models and special effects. You will also gain ‘hands on’ experience of special effects equipment used to produce, rain, fire, smoke, wind and snow etc. and learn about the safe use of pyrotechnics.
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.
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.
Fantastic work experience opportunities are available for students across the three degrees within the Model and Special Effects programme. 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. 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|
|Special 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|
|Special Effects Major Project Proposal||15 Credits||Compulsory|
|Special Effects Major Project||30 Credits||Compulsory|
|Critical and Cultural Studies: L6 Enquiry / Report / Essay (Model Design)||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|
|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)|