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BA (Hons) Visual Effects

  • Placement year available
How to apply Come to an Open Day


Prepare for a career in technical art in the visual effects and video games industry. Develop your skills to meet demand for roles including technical artist, procedural content creator and technical director.

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Study at an award-winning university

We're the Times Higher Education (THE) University of the Year. We've also been awarded a Gold rating in the Teaching Excellence Framework – a reflection of the outstanding education we offer our students.

Are you in Year 12? You could join us for a real taste of life as a Computer Games student with our free residential experience this July. Places are limited – find out more and apply for our Amplify Your Summer Character Design Programme in Cambridge.

Our BA (Hons) Visual Effects will help you become an artist skilled in the latest procedural 3D techniques, who can work alongside programmers, developers and other artists.

Using the latest procedural content creation software, you’ll learn to design and deploy solutions to problems encountered in the video games and visual effects industries.

As well as exploring the key areas of working with VFX and computer graphics, our course will keep you up to date with the latest techniques and trends. We'll also help you identify the supporting skills and knowledge that you’ll need to succeed in the creative industries.

Course options

Course options

The foundation year version of this course starts in September 2025 and will open for applications later in 2024.

Key facts

Looking for different course options?

Entry requirements


Entry requirements are not currently available, please try again later.

Fees and paying for university

Facilities and showcase

State-of-the-art facilities

All our Visual Effects students will:

  • work in a computer lab with state-of-the-art workstation PCs
  • use software and tools such as SideFX Houdini, Blender, Autodesk Maya, Unreal Engine 4, Pixologic ZBrush and Substance, increasing your career opportunities in the visual effects and games industries, as well as opening possibilities in other content-creation fields such as synthetic data, machine learning, XR, and architecture
  • have opportunities to work with equipment including Wacom creative pen tablets to assist with digital painting and texturing; VR headsets; and a 16-camera motion capture system
  • get access to all our creative facilities, with full training provided, including a TV studio, theatre, and recording studios.

Build your profile

Study at ARU and:

  • learn from expert staff whose teaching reflects current industry practice
  • use online learning tools and resources such as Canvas, Discord, and social media to access course information; share and demonstrate work; and develop an online identity
  • collaborate with students from our computer games art and programming degrees
  • make industry connections at a range of events
  • receive ongoing support to find placements and work experience.

Take a closer look

Our Creative Showcase shines a spotlight on what makes ARU creative and cultural – our spaces, places and people. Find out more about our community, the difference we make, the stories we tell, and the things that inspire us.

Meanwhile, Present is an exhibition that you curate for yourself. Explore the work of our graduating students in this eye-catching virtual degree show.

Alternatively, take a guided tour and meet our students.


82% of the UK computer games industry is educated to at least undergraduate level, according to UKIE’s 2022 census.

Throughout our BA (Hons) Visual Effects, you’ll develop the latest skills and knowledge for a career in 3D content creation. You'll also get the support you need to grow into a confident and creative graduate with a willingness for lifelong learning.

As a graduate, you will have tackled a variety of live VFX briefs, finding creative ways to use your knowledge and skillset and working with our industry partners. Recently, ARM, Sony Computer Entertainment Europe, Frontier and Just Flight have offered internships and work opportunities to our students.

You'll also have a strong portfolio of work to showcase your skills and specialisms.

Graduation doesn’t need to be the end of your time with us, of course. You might decide to stay at ARU and study for a Masters degree, such as our MA Computer Games Development (Art). Take advantage of our Alumni Scholarship and get 20% off your fees.

Employability and personal career development

Informed by employers, our courses support an integrated approach to employability. You’ll have opportunities to develop the skills and abilities they are looking for and gain a deeper understanding of how your academic learning relates to the world of work through Live Briefs and Ruskin Modules.

You will need to dedicate time outside of your course to develop your employability, through placements, internships or volunteering or through our partner scheme Students at the Heart of Knowledge Exchange (SHoKE). You can evidence this experience on your CV and talk about it in interviews to give you that all important edge.

Our Employability and Careers Service offers a range of expert advice and support to build your unique professional profile, including tailored career appointments, advice on writing your CV, and help to complete job applications. You’ll have 24/7 access to the Careers Centre, our comprehensive online digital resource, which empowers you to start building a Personal Career Development Plan from the very start. Design your future at ARU.

Apply now for BA (Hons) Visual Effects

Life in Chelmsford

Chelmsford has something for everyone, and our green, modern campus is just ten minutes from the city centre.

Get to know Chelmsford

Want to talk to someone?

Do you have a question that we haven't answered so far? Talk to our application experts. You can also ask our Student Ambassadors about life at ARU.

We're here Monday-Thursday 9am-5pm (please note we close at 3.30pm on the first and third Thursday of the month for staff training), and Friday 9am-4.30pm.

Placement year available

You have the option to take a placement year as part of this course. It’s a great chance to get hands-on experience in the industry you want to work in.

Your guide to placements