About the course
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.
Why choose this course?
- Combine your artistic and technical skills to produce animatronics, action props, models and special effects.
- 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.
- Use of traditional workshop machinery and cutting-edge technologies, plus access to specialist industry standard facilities for animatronics, model making and prop making.
- Close contacts with industry, which provide outstanding work experience opportunities and collaborative projects.
- High graduate employment rates for Special Effects students.
- The only Creative Skillset Tick accredited Model and Special Effects course in the UK.
What employers say about us
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
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.
- Purpose built studio, situated above an extensive workshop containing a wide range of traditional and cutting edge technologies.
- A variety of equipment/machinery and state-of-the-art rapid prototyping facilities including: Laser cutters, 3D printers, CNC milling and routing.
- Well-equipped sculpture studio, which includes a plaster mould making area and industry standard extraction in the fiberglass/resin casting room.
- Brazing, soldering and welding facilities for most types of metal fabrication and finishing.
- Access to facilities across the School, including photographic studios and printing, and computer suites.
- Follow the link to find out more about the excellent facilities we have on offer
What will I study?
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:
- standard lectures
- practical workshops
- case studies
- individual and group projects
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.
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.
Guardian League Tables 2017
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.
What job can I get?
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.