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BA (Hons) Character and Creative Effects (2024 entry)

Develop standout projects, collaborate with future industry leaders and learn from experts. Made for the talented and creative figurative sculptor and designer, this innovative course opens the door to a vibrant career in the model design industry.

This course is due to be validated at a Validation conditions event which will be held on 12 September 2023.

We anticipate that there will be further enhancements made to the course as a result of the Validation.

Our website and printed literature will be updated following completion of the Validation process in order to provide applicants with further confirmed details on the following:

  • module titles
  • whether the modules are core or optional
  • the expected contact hours
  • how the course will be assessed
  • staff teaching on the course

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Design and sculpt characters and learn moulding, casting, art-working

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Benefit from fantastic links to industry and regular guest speakers

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Outstanding record at New Blades model makers show, London

Course overview

Sharpen your skills in model design with our immersive, all-rounder course. Explore the fundamentals of the design and creation of puppets and theatre props for performance, public sculptures and display pieces.

Made for the ultra-creative individual with a flair for design and figurative sculpture, this course will develop your personal toolkit of essential knowledge to advance your career, supplemented by practical experience.

Shape your career and determine where your skills take you. Whether you want to work on films, television, museums and exhibits or theatre productions and spectaculars, you will be equipped with the tools to confidently move into to the career path of your choice.

Benefit from outstanding links to industry, providing you with regular contact with industry professionals, as well as excellent placements opportunities and collaborative projects.

Develop your skills in traditional and cutting-edge technologies through our progressive programme. You will gradually grow your skills, working with a range of mediums and materials to develop your expertise to a professional standard.

You will graduate with a broad range of highly sought after skills, having built your mastery of general workshop practise and the end-to-end process of model creation and finishing. This, coupled with the experience gained from practical projects will enable you to go into the workforce ready to thrive.

Why choose this course?

Studying Character and Creative Effects at Herts offers you a distinctive, immersive experience. Through consistent opportunities to collaborate with peers from the Model Design and Special Effects pathway, you will develop the ability to continuously challenge yourself to consider new ideas and increase your versatility.

There are many opportunities to make the most of your degree with exciting opportunities within and parallel to the programme. Enhance your learning through guest lectures delivered by industry experts. Put your knowledge to practice by partaking in live projects with local intuitions and industry contacts. Explore opportunities to learn alternative skills such as metalwork and welding. Take charge of how you shape your learning to suit your interests.

Learn from an expert team of staff, who will infuse your learning with their individual knowledge gained from years working varying areas of industry, from stop-frame animation to public sculpture. All staff are experienced in general workshop techniques, specific machine shop skills, figurative sculpting, moulding and casting and painting and finishing.

Our large atelier-style studio guarantees that you will have a dedicated workspace all year round, while giving you the added benefit of socialising with other year groups. You will also have easy access to facilities for resins and composite mould making within our start of the art sculpture studio.

Our unique location in Hertfordshire means that you will be close to all of the major film studios. Enjoy easy access to design studios and exhibition workshops in London, many of which Herts has links with.

Your future career

With a focus on developing your creativity and competency in design processes, this course is the perfect launchpad to kickstart your career in the creative industry.

Areas in which you could work include:

  • Mould room trainee
  • Mould room supervisor
  • Sculptor for film interiors
  • Puppet maker for animation
  • Prop maker for animation
  • Greens team member (Disney and Warner Bros)

Graduates have landed successful roles at companies like Merlin Entertainments (Madame Tussauds). Others have taken on film studio work on Marvel and DC comics productions, Star Wars franchise and many other fantasy productions.

Hand skills are still much in demand, enhanced by digital processes, these are the mainstay of film and exhibition work. Resultantly, the course structure is built around ensuring that you are ready to work in industry by providing you with a blend of academic study, practical projects and co-curricular activities.

What you'll study

Build upon your knowledge yearly to become our immersive and practice-based programme.

In your first year, you will learn alongside your peers on the Model Design and Special Effects pathway to establish general workshop skills. You will build essential foundational knowledge of sculpting, moulding and casting and will begin exploring digital processes.

In your second year, you will hone the skills you will have already developed to apply them to content more specific to your pathway. You will produce sculpted figures and mould and cast them. This year of study will also introduce you to the idea of professionally contextualised project work as you undertake short one or two week ‘Turbo’ projects. These practical projects will give you the opportunity to apply your learned skills while also developing your short deadline time management skills.

At the end of your second year, you will have the option to take a sandwich year to go on a placement or study abroad and broaden your skills in a new environment.

Your final year brings together your learnings from the two previous years of study. By this point in your programme, you will be designing your own major project briefs and creating work of great variety while demonstrating excellent design process and planning. You will take on two major projects and develop a truly professional approach to project delivery and self-promotion.

What if I need support?

Student Success Officers and Student Wellbeing can arrange support for many needs. This includes writing support, mental health and general needs that help progression through the course. Careers Officers are also available to help advise you as you go through the programme and look to transition into industry.

Optional sandwich year

At the end of your second year, you have the option to experience a year of working life with a placement, or a shorter internship, a huge CV booster!

Professional work experience is the biggest contributor to your future employability. It allows you to put your knowledge into action, while learning how a business operates and making some handy professional connections.

We'll help you make the most of the experience, holding your hand from start to finish. You also get assistance with your CV, plus help preparing for interviews and presentations, at our ground-breaking mock Assessment Centre Experience.

Industry partners linked to this programme continually look to nurture talent and support students in securing placement opportunities that help them better understand the environment of professional model making and sculpting.

Past students have taken on placements at companies including Warner Bros, Harry Potter Experience and Merlin Entertainments (Madame Tussauds).

Study Abroad offers the opportunity for an amazing experience, which will help make you stand out from the crowd. With more and more companies working internationally, experience of living in another country can make a great impression on future employers.

This course offers you the opportunity to enhance your study and CV with a sandwich year abroad. The University has partnerships with over 150 universities around the world, including the USA, Canada, Asia, Africa, Australia, South America and closer to home in Europe.

If you study abroad between your second and third year of study, you’ll pay no tuition fee to the partner university and no tuition fee to us either. We’ll ask you to make your decision in your second year, so there is plenty of time to think about it.

At the end of your second year, you have the option to experience a year of working life with a placement, or a shorter internship, a huge CV booster!

Professional work experience is the biggest contributor to your future employability. It allows you to put your knowledge into action, while learning how a business operates and making some handy professional connections.

We'll help you make the most of the experience, holding your hand from start to finish. You also get assistance with your CV, plus help preparing for interviews and presentations, at our ground-breaking mock Assessment Centre Experience.

Industry partners linked to this programme continually look to nurture talent and support students in securing placement opportunities that help them better understand the environment of professional model making and sculpting.

Past students have taken on placements at companies including Warner Bros, Harry Potter Experience and Merlin Entertainments (Madame Tussauds).

Find out more about work placements

Study Abroad offers the opportunity for an amazing experience, which will help make you stand out from the crowd. With more and more companies working internationally, experience of living in another country can make a great impression on future employers.

This course offers you the opportunity to enhance your study and CV with a sandwich year abroad. The University has partnerships with over 150 universities around the world, including the USA, Canada, Asia, Africa, Australia, South America and closer to home in Europe.

If you study abroad between your second and third year of study, you’ll pay no tuition fee to the partner university and no tuition fee to us either. We’ll ask you to make your decision in your second year, so there is plenty of time to think about it.

Find out more about study abroad options

Where you'll study

You will learn on our College Lane campus, which you will share with other creative arts students as well as students on science and health-related courses. This means you’ll share the campus with future nurses, scientists, artists and more.

For your course, you will have access to a purpose built atelier-like studio which is shared by students across all three year groups. In addition, you will be able to make sure of a well-equipped sculpture studio, which contains state of the art moulding and casting rooms as well as a plaster room.

As well as these dedicated workshop facilities, you will be able to make use of facilities across the school including photography equipment/studios and printers.

Who you'll learn from

Learn from a diverse range of experts who have gained a wealth of experience in multiple areas of model design. Your lecturers are highly skilled in areas including sculpting, moulding and casting, general modelmaking, figurative drawing, prop making for animation, product design and more.

In addition to learning the fundamentals of key concepts on your course, you will gain a deeper understanding of the realities of working in industry, brought to the forefront by your lecturers’ own real world experiences.

How we support our students

At the University of Hertfordshire, we want to make sure your time studying with us is as stress-free and rewarding as possible.

We offer a range of support services, from childcare to counselling, ensuring that you make the most of your time at Herts and can focus on studying, having fun, and have the support you need.

Entry requirements

The University of Hertfordshire is committed to welcoming students with a wide range of qualifications and levels of experience. The entry requirements listed on the course pages provide a guide to the minimum level of qualifications needed to study each course. However, we have a flexible approach to admissions and each application will be considered on an individual basis.

Typical offer (UCAS points)104–112
Typical A Level offerBCC–BBC
Typical BTEC offerDMM
Access coursesDiploma with 45 level 3 credits at merit.
InterviewInterview required
Additional informationFind out more about our Undergraduate Entry Requirements.

English language

All students from non-majority English speaking countries require proof of English language proficiency, equivalent to an overall IELTS score of 6.0 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.

Additional information

Find out more about International Entry Requirements.

Ready to apply?

UK and EU applicants with pre-settled/settled status in the UK
Start date Study typeApply
September 2024 Full time Apply via UCAS
Full time with placement year Apply via UCAS
Full time with study abroad year Apply via UCAS

Fees and funding

At Herts, we’re dedicated to proving world-class teaching supported by industry-level facilities and incredible social spaces. We believe cost shouldn’t be a barrier to higher education, and we strive to keep both our standard and additional costs as low as possible.

Study type2024/25 fees
UK studentsFull time£9,250 for the 2024/2025 academic year
EUFull time£15,500 for the  2024/2025 academic year
International studentsFull time£15,500 for the  2024/2025 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.

Scholarships, grants  and bursaries

Depending on your circumstances, you may be eligible for a non-repayable scholarship, grant or bursary to support your studies.

Disabled Students' Allowance

The Disabled Students’ Allowance can cover any study-related costs you have because of a mental health problem, long term illness or any other disability.

Student loans

Find out about securing a student loan, from how much you could be eligible for to when you need to start making repayments.

Accommodation costs

We offer a great choice of student accommodation, on campus or nearby in the local area, to suit every student budget.

Additional course fees

Read more about additional fees in the course fact sheet.

More about the course

Additional information

Applications open to international and EU students

Yes

Course length

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