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Tricking our minds into believing the unreal often relies on a hint of the real – genuine models and props provide anchors that help audiences suspend disbelief. Our Special Effects Modelmaking for Film and Television degree offers industry-experienced staff and fantastic facilities, ready for you to learn specialist model and prop-making skills and techniques.
Mode of Study:
University of Bolton
To be confirmed
From alien spaceships to samurai swords, and body parts to ancient statues, special and visual effects uses physical artefacts to inject reality into computer generated action, as well as provide a sense of place, time and atmosphere for actors and audiences. Our Special Effects Modelmaking for Film and Television degree is designed to train the talented artists and craftspeople this highly creative industry needs. We focus on preparing you for a career as a skilled artisan, creating visually stunning pieces that help bring on-screen productions to life.
We offer an intensely practical education in special effects modelmaking. We’ll encourage you to experiment with materials and tools, and practice contemporary and long-established modelmaking techniques. We’ll support you as you learn the principles of scale representation and how to create bigatures. We’ll lead you in an exploration of how models and props can combine with 3D computer graphics to create spectacular on-screen environments.
This highly creative industry demands transferable skills too – communication, project and time management, team-working and entrepreneurship are all needed for success in this often freelance profession. We aim to support you to develop these attributes, alongside the imagination, flair and curiosity that will enable you to help make the unbelievable, believable.
Where changes are made to material information contained in this course description or a decision is taken to suspend a course between the offer of admissions and enrolment, we will inform applicants at the earliest possible opportunity and will outline the various options available to the applicant.
A graduate of this course will be able to demonstrate and combine creative skills with high levels of technical ability and will design, create and produce 3D scale models and miniatures for use on film and television productions.
You will develop a range of practical hand skills and transferable skills such as utilising a range of different materials, sculpting and modelling techniques, using a range of tools and computer-assisted equipment, working with accuracy and attention to detail, developing ideas and concepts with others, team work, working to deadlines and project management. You will also develop an eye for detail, the ability to understand scale, patience and the ability to focus for long periods of time.
Most modelmakers are self-employed and work on a project-by-project basis. Freelance modelmakers can progress by building up their businesses or by becoming agents for other modelmakers.
Modelmakers create models that bring to life the ideas of production designers, props masters or the visual special effects team. Talented modelmakers are still very much in demand, even with the rise of CGI in film and TV special effects.
As well as film and television, other clients who employ modelmakers include engineers, designers, architects, advertising companies and museums. Other career opportunities exist within:
Important note regarding tuition fees for the 2022-2023 academic year: EU nationals who meet residency requirements (have settled or pre-settled status) may be eligible for 'Home' fee status. If you do not meet these residency requirements, overseas fees will apply. Irish citizens living in the UK or Ireland will be eligible for 'Home' fee status under the Common Travel Area arrangement. Please read the student finance for EU students web page on www.gov.uk for information.
The fees for a student's course of study will be set for the normal duration of that course subject only to inflationary increases – measured by the Consumer Price Index (CPI) recorded in March each year to take effect for subsequent start dates.
Click here for more information about the scholarships and bursaries available to University of Bolton students.
For details of how to apply for this course, please choose your status from the options below:
We use a wide variety of teaching and learning methods to help you achieve your potential, and you can expect our blended style to include lectures, seminars, tutorials and critiques, self-directed learning, e-learning and laboratory/workshop sessions, as well as online learning.
Lectures are used to introduce the core course content, while seminars allow you to explore subjects in greater detail. Practical skills and techniques are gained through technical introduction and support, workshop sessions, demonstrations and activity-based assignments. Tutorials allow you to ask any questions you have, ensuring you understand the topics covered in lectures and workshop sessions.
Guest lectures and visits give you opportunities to engage with and learn from respected professionals working in the special effects arena. Our highly practical and project-based approach promotes active learning, and our specialist facilities create realistic industry-like learning environments. Our project modules encourage you to interact and collaborate with students specialising in both your own and other areas of special and visual effects, helping to give you a taste of working on group and multidisciplinary projects.
Personal and independent study is essential and you should expect to devote a significant amount of time to activities such as project work, background reading, preparation for seminars and tutorials, research, design and creative thought.
In terms of assessment, you can expect assignments, projects, case study, quizzes, interviews and presentations. As far as possible, we set project-based coursework that simulates professional situations. These pieces contribute to your final mark and allow you to demonstrate that you’ve met the learning outcomes. The course doesn’t include formal examinations.
The modules listed below may be a mixture of compulsory and optional. You may not have the opportunity to study all the modules shown as part of the course.
|Level one||Coursework 40%, Practical exams 60%|
|Level two||Coursework 23%, Practical exams 77%|
|Level three||Coursework 65%, Practical exams 35%|
|Level one||Guided independent study 65%, Scheduled learning and teaching activities 35%|
|Level two||Guided independent study 65%, Scheduled learning and teaching activities 35%|
|Level three||Guided independent study 65%, Scheduled learning and teaching activities 35%|
The university will use all reasonable endeavours to deliver your course as described in its published material and the programme specification for the academic year in which you begin your course. The university considers changes to courses very carefully and the university will minimise any changes. Please be aware that our courses are subject to review on an ongoing basis and changes may be necessary due to legitimate staffing, financial, regulatory and academic reasons. The content of course modules and mode of associated assessments may be updated on an annual basis. This is to ensure that all modules are up-to-date and responsive to employment and sector needs. The published course material and the programme specification contain indicative ‘optional modules’ that may be subject to change due to circumstances outside of our control. For this reason, we cannot guarantee to run any specific optional module.
The academic staff detailed above teach across a range of courses in this subject area and may not teach on this course specifically.
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