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MSc Film and Television Production with Visual Effects

Focus on your profession with skills in 2D graphics and compositing to prepare for a career in industry

Year of entry: 2019

Length

1 year full-time

Start date

September 2019 (term dates)

Study, explore and practise contemporary film and television postproduction with a focus on creative aspects of visual effects. Learn a variety of postproduction techniques, including compositing, colour grading and conforming visual effects projects. 

Our course emphasises a high level of craft skill and creativity, combined with critical thought and collaboration. You'll gain scientific and technical training with hands-on experience of visual effects systems, programme creation and artistic decision-making.

We'll teach you through a mix of workshops, lectures, screenings and masterclasses with leading academics and industry professionals. You'll use industry-standard facilities in a vibrant and supportive environment. You'll realise your own creative and technical projects and develop essential professional skills to pursue a career in industry.

On this MSc you can focus on formal research into the technologies behind postproduction systems. Alternatively you can focus on production-orientated work and apply for the MSc Film and Television Production with Visual Effects.

Many of our graduates work in the industry, from film to television companies, and some of our graduates have gone on to research in industry or academia.

Accreditation

This course is accredited by Creative Skillset, the skills council for the UK film, TV and video games industries. The accreditation means that our students learn the correct professional skills required by the industry. It gives access to various schemes, such as work placement opportunities with the BBC or ITV.

Watch video on YouTube
Watch a compilation of work by students from this course demonstrating a range of visual effects.

Distinguished visiting speakers

We have a wide range of industry connections and regularly host visiting speakers and masterclasses.

Unique creative environment

Bringing together world-leading researchers, dynamic teachers and industry professionals in a vibrant community.

Employment prospects

Experience industry-standard training and creative practice, and use the latest professional kit to advance your skills for your future career.

These 2 years at TFTV have been an incredible and somehow life-changing experience. I have been learning so much. Thank you for having created such a great learning environment for film students.
Bianca, 2019 graduate

Course content

On this course you'll learn a variety of visual effects techniques. Your understanding of professional production values and aesthetics will be enhanced through technical analysis and critical evaluation. We combine creative and technical work with the contextual analysis of theories and history as well as debates about technique, style and meaning.  

Our focus on group work means that you'll also work on creative and technical collaborative projects with others studying related courses. You'll be set industry-related tasks which will hone your problem-solving skills in an applied setting, and allow you to complete work to professional standards.

We'll ensure that you have a realistic picture of the film and television industries, as well as covering the business aspects of the industry such as the development, financing and distribution of projects. You'll benefit from our regular sessions with visiting industry personnel. Past guests have come from Warner Bros/De Lane Lea, Pinewood Studios Sound, Prime Focus, Molinare and other top companies.

This course will also prepare you for further research in postproduction systems.

Modules

You'll study a total of 180 credits. 90 of these will be through taught modules in the first two terms. You'll then go on to take a further 90 credits as part of an extended research project in the third term.

In your first term you'll look at digital production and postproduction processes for the creation of commercial film and television programmes. You'll examine the latest technical and aesthetic workflows for picture and sound. You'll put theory into practice by applying the concepts and techniques covered in lectures with labs on picture and sound techniques. 

You'll study the fundamental theory and practical skills involved in the creation of visual effects for film and television. You will explore 2D compositing as well as the technical design and implementation of visual image processing and the creative application of visual effects systems. You'll develop a range of skills in creative picture editing and visual effects creation using industry standard tools.

Term 1

1. Digital Production and Postproduction Workflows (20 credits)

2. Visual Effects Design Lab (10 credits)

3. Group Projects I (20 credits)

Term 2

In your second term you'll have the opportunity to apply the concepts and techniques presented in the first term. You'll also expand your understanding of the creative process. You'll look at online editing and picture finishing, exploring the similarities and differences between these for film and for television. You'll develop a range of creative and technical skills and gain a working knowledge of the stages and process of film and television picture finishing. You'll get hands-on experience with industry-standard picture finishing systems.

1. Conform and Finish (10 credits)

2. Business of Production and Postproduction (10 credits)

3. Group Projects II (20 credits)

Please note, modules may change to reflect the latest academic thinking and expertise of our staff.

Dissertation

Term 3 and summer

The final term is dedicated to the design and development of extended research project work.

Individual Project (90 credits)

This involves the creation of a technical project or experiment (such as an image processing system, exploration of stereoscopic 3D, etc). You'll apply the visual effects and postproduction expertise you have gained through the year in a technical context, drawing on existing research.  

You'll support your work with a dissertation of 10,000 words where you detail the project specifications and technical objectives, your design and technical approaches, the rationale for your design choices and methodologies, creative applications for your system or results of experiments, and your critical reflections on both the process and the finished work.

You will receive support through scheduled seminars, where you will work on the aims and objectives of your creative enquiry as well as through individual supervision meetings.

If you'd like to undertake a more creatively-focused project then you should consider applying for the MA Film and Television Production with Visual Effects instead. 

Fees and funding

Annual tuition fees for 2019/20

Study modeUK/EUInternational
Full-time (1 year)£8,580£21,640

Students on a Tier 4 Visa are not currently permitted to study part-time at York.

Fees information

UK/EU or international fees? The level of fee that you will be asked to pay depends on whether you're classed as a UK/EU or international student.

Funding information

Discover your funding options to help with tuition fees and living costs.

If you've successfully completed an undergraduate degree at York you could be eligible for a 10% Masters fee discount.

Home/EU students

International students

Department scholarship information

Further details of department specific funding.

Living costs

You can use our living costs guide to help plan your budget. It covers additional costs that are not included in your tuition fee such as expenses for accommodation and study materials.

Creative collaboration

You'll have the chance to work collaboratively with other students from all our film and TV Masters courses. Group project work will develop your skills to prepare you for an industry where you will often work with others to achieve your creative vision.

Teaching and assessment

You’ll work with world‐leading academics who’ll challenge you to think independently and excel in all that you do. Our approach to teaching will provide you with the knowledge, opportunities, and support you need to grow and succeed in a global workplace. Find out more about our approach to teaching and learning.

Teaching format

The course involves a range of different teaching styles. Most modules will include lectures to give you a fundamental understanding of the subject and then lead on to practical work. The practical work will primarily involve lab sessions where you can become familiar with industry techniques and equipment.
Sessions involving guests from the film and television industry will be part of your studies. You'll also have the opportunity to attend events such as talks, productions and festivals.

You'll be assigned a personal supervisor for the duration of the course. They are there to give advice on academic matters as well as other areas of University life.

Facilities

Our award-winning building is one of the best-equipped facilities of its type in the UK. For visual effects it features:

  • Postproduction laboratory featuring Nuke, Maya, Adobe Creative Cloud, Frameforge and other packages
  • One Nucoda Filmmaster
  • Organic Motions motion capture suite
  • 140-seat Dolby certified 4K digital cinema with Doremi server
  • Black box shooting stage with full green/blue screen and matching flooring
  • Two further green screen-capable studio rooms
  • Two fully broadcast-compliant HD television studios, both with green screen and one with a Brainstorm VR real time virtual set system

Teaching location

You will be based in the Department of Theatre, Film and Television on Campus East.

Most of your contact hours will be in Theatre, Film and Television, with some additional teaching elsewhere on Campus East.

About our campus

Our beautiful green campus offers a student-friendly setting in which to live and study, within easy reach of the action in the city centre. It's easy to get around campus - everything is within walking or pedalling distance, or you can always use the fast and frequent bus service.

Assessment and feedback

You'll be assessed throughout your course. Some modules have an early assessment that contributes a small amount to your final mark and gives an opportunity to check your progress.

Types of assessment vary depending on the module and include the following:

  • In-class tests
  • In-class pitch sessions
  • Presentations
  • Essays and reflective reports
  • Business plans or grant applications
  • Group project working with others across the Department 
  • Extended research project with 10,000 word report

Careers and skills

The film and television industry is highly competitive and there is a constant demand for visual effects artists with a solid knowledge of current software and postproduction techniques. There's also demand for artists who possess a firm grasp of story and how technology can enhance the viewing experience.

There's an increasing demand for researchers, in both industry and academia, who have a firm understanding of postproduction tools and how they can be applied to create the next generation of postproduction technologies.

Career opportunities

Many of our graduates are working in the industry, with companies such as:

  • Industrial Light and Magic
  • Double Negative
  • Moving Picture Company (MPC)
  • Oriental Dreamworks
  • Bloomberg LP
  • Nvizible
  • Prime Focus
  • Films at 59
  • CCTV (Chinese television)
  • China Film Group
  • GSP Studios

Others have gone on to further study or to work in academia at institutions including Oxford University and the City University of Hong Kong. 

Transferable skills

  • Collaborative working
  • Problem-solving
  • Investigative research
  • Time management and organisation
  • Technical analysis
  • Critical evaluation
  • Reflective learning

Entry requirements

Qualification Typical offer
Degree

You should have some experience of film, video or television production. This may have been gained through an undergraduate degree (typically awarded a minimum of 2:1 or equivalent), via professional practice or through a formal filmmaking society.  Experience in visual effects or animation is desirable but not required.

The international equivalents of UK qualifications are shown on our country-specific pages. You can also contact the international team for guidance.

English language

If you're a non-native English speaking applicant you must provide evidence of your English language ability.

  • IELTS: 6.5, with no less than 6.0 in each component
  • PTE: 61, with no less than 55 in each component
  • CAE and CPE (from January 2015): 176, with no less than 169 in each component
  • TOEFL: 87, with a minimum of 21 in each component
  • Trinity ISE: level 3 with Merit in all components.

Full details of all acceptable tests and relevant exemptions.

Applying

You can apply and send all your documentation electronically through our online system. You don’t need to complete your application all at once: you can start it, save it and finish it later.

Apply for this course

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Department of Theatre, Film and Television

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