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Visual Effects - BSc (Hons)

Our BSc (Hons) Visual Effects course will develop your technical, creative and production skills, related to visual effects production. The course will prepare you to pursue careers in a range of roles within visual effects and other innovative industries utilising computer graphics....

Studying with us in 2021/22 and 2022/23

The University has put in place measures in response to Covid-19 to allow us to safely deliver our courses.  Information about the arrangements for the 2021/22 academic year can be found here.  

 

Should the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic continue in the 2022/23 academic year or subsequent years of your course, any additional and/or alternative arrangements put in place by the University in response will be in accordance with the latest government public health advice, pandemic-related/health and safety legislation, and the terms and conditions of the student contract.

  • Level Undergraduate
  • Study mode Full Time
  • Location City Centre
  • School School of Computing and Digital Technology
  • Faculty Faculty of Computing, Engineering and The Built Environment

Overview

Our BSc (Hons) Visual Effects course will develop your technical, creative and production skills, related to visual effects production. The course will prepare you to pursue careers in a range of roles within visual effects and other innovative industries utilising computer graphics.

You will have access to a variety of high quality facilities including: a range of industry standard software, high specification computers, cloud-based rendering facilities, a Vicon motion capture studio, one of the largest fixed green screen studios in the UK, a Milo motion control system, a variety of camera and lighting equipment and excellent learning facilities with access to substantial library open 24 hours and a variety on-line resources.

The course is delivered by a highly skilled and experienced course team, with a range of relevant industrial and academic experience, who constantly engage with industry and update their skills, to ensure the course remains up to date.

To ensure that you are equipped and ready to engage with industry our tutoring programme and Graduate+ scheme will provide support and guidance through-out your educational journey to equip you with professional skills and prepare you for industry. The course aims to produce versatile, adaptable graduates with the fusion of technical and creative skills that industry is looking for.

Our students work

This course is open to International students.

What's covered in this course?

You will learn all aspects of visual effects production including: shooting video, computer modelling, computer animation, matchmoving, and compositing. You will use these skills to produce digital elements such as creatures and environments, then combine them with live action video to produce convincing visual effects shots.

As a Bachelor of Science course there is an emphasis on technical director (TD) roles such as: Matchmoving, Rigging, Dynamic Simulations, Motion Capture and Python/Pipeline Development, which are in particular demand within the visual effects industry. The teaching of technical skills is underpinned with a knowledge of fundamental concepts and use of industry tools and practice.

To help you engage with industry, guest speakers are invited to come and share their expertise. The course also includes organised excursions such as trips to conferences or industrial visits. Previous examples include the London VFX Festival, Framestore, Double Negative, Cinesite, Industrial Light and Magic, and The Mill.

During the course you will do a mixture of ‘hands on’ productions and technical investigations which will teach you the practice, process, craft and technology of visual effects. These activities will help you become a proactive learner able to explore knowledge, implement best practice and critically evaluate the results of your work.

You will get the opportunity to work collaboratively with students from related disciplines such as games and film. This will allow you to broaden your horizons and help you understand how your visual effects and computer graphics skills can fit into other existing and emerging industries.

Why Choose Us?

  • Brand new facilities at STEAMhouse - This state-of-the-art building will become the new home for its School of Computing and Digital Technology from the start of the 2022 academic year. Based at our expanding City Centre Campus, this unique centre will give you access to outstanding facilities and teaching spaces, as well as opportunities to collaborate with people and businesses across multiple sectors and work on real industry-based projects.
  • Learn from our experts   - Our course staff have a wealth of experience to share with you. Course Leader, Lianne Forbes has worked on movies such as Harry Potter, Bladerunner 2049, Star Trek Into the Darkness, Hugo and Game of Thrones – to name a few!
  • You do not need existing experience to apply  - You do not need to have studied any related subject or have any pre-existing experience to apply for this course. We teach you the basics and skills to become a VFX professional no matter what your background, just a passion and interest for the subject is all you need.
  • Industry-standard software - You’ll learn how to use industry-standard software such as Autodesk Maya, SideFX Houdini, Foundry Nuke along with many others so that you graduate prepared to step straight into an exciting role. We will also provide you with a personal license to access these softwares too!
  • State-of-the-art facilities  - You’ll have access to our Vicon, 8 camera, motion capture studio and our high spec computer labs running, with access to all the industry software you need. You’ll also have access to our cutting-edge facilities across Millennium Point and the £65 million Parkside campus, both located in City Centre. Find out more about our campuses.
  • Highly employable graduates  - The unique combination of technical and artistic knowledge and skills you gain will enable you to move into roles within various exciting industries.
  • Gain first-hand experience in industry  - You will have the opportunity to network and make key contacts with people in industry, gain work experience and to take a placement year between your second and final year.  
  • Preparation for employment - You will have the option to join our Curzon Software House and take part in industry projects to build up skills for your CV.

Similar Courses

Entry Requirements

We accept a range of qualifications, the most popular of which are detailed below.

Essential Requirements

120 UCAS tariff points from A/AS Level

LEVEL 2 QUALIFICATIONS
GCSE
  • GCSE English language and mathematics at grade C/4 or above
  • Equivalent level 2 qualifications can be accepted - please see UCAS for list of acceptable Maths and English equivalents considered in lieu of GCSE
  • Must have been achieved at the point of enrolment
Irish Leaving Certificate (Ordinary Level)
  • See level 3 entry under Irish Leaving Certificate for full details
Scottish Intermediate 2
  • English Language and Mathematics at grade C or above
  • Must have been achieved at the point of enrolment
Scottish Credit Standard Grade
  • English Language and Mathematics at grade 2 or above
  • Must have been achieved at the point of enrolment
Scottish National 5
  • English language and mathematics at grade C or above
  • Must have been achieved at the point of enrolment
Plus one of the following Level 3 (and above) Qualifications
A level and Advanced VCE
  • BBB / 120 UCAS Tariff Points
  • A maximum of 3 subjects are considered. These can be other A-levels or level 3 equivalents.
Access to HE Diploma
  • 60 credits overall. Minimum of 45 credits at level 3. The remaining 15 credits can be taken either at level 2 or 3.
  • A minimum of 12 credits achieved from any Technology Units awarded at Merit or Distinction.
  • Pearson BTEC National Extended Diploma
    (2016 – present)
  • Pearson BTEC Extended Diploma (QCF)
    (2010 - 2016)
  • BTEC Level 3 National Diploma
    (2002 – 2010)
  • DDM / 120 UCAS Tariff Points)
  • Pearson BTEC Level 3 National Diploma
    (2016 – present)
  • Pearson BTEC Diploma (QCF)
    (2010 – 2016)
  • BTEC Level 3 National Certificate
    (2002 – 2010)
  • 120 UCAS points
  • Considered with one A-level or an equivalent level 3 qualification
  • Pearson BTEC National Foundation Diploma (2016 to present)

  • Pearson BTEC 90-Credit Diploma (QCF) (2010 - 2016)

  • 120 UCAS points

  • Considered with two A Levels or equivalent level 3 qualification(s)

  • Pearson BTEC Level 3 National Extended Certificate
    (2016 – present)

  • Pearson BTEC Subsidiary Diploma (QCF)
    (2010 - 2016)

  • BTEC Level 3 National Award
    (2002 - 2010)

  • 120 UCAS points

  • Considered with two A-levels or an equivalent level 3 qualification(s)

Advanced Welsh Baccalaureate - Skills Challenge Certificate (first teaching September 2015)

  • 120 UCAS points

Welsh Baccalaureate Advanced Diploma – Core (awarded until 2016) ESW/KS Combined component

  • 120 UCAS points

International Baccalaureate Diploma

  • Obtain a minimum of 28 points overall and pass one of the following subjects from Group 4 at Higher Level (Computer Science, Chemistry, Design Technology, Physics)

  • For students who do not already hold a GCSE in Mathematics at Grade C/4 or above grade 5 in Maths (Standard Level) from the IB Diploma will be accepted

  • For students who do not already hold a GCSE in English Language at Grade C/4 or above Standard Level English Language (not literature) English A - Grade 4 or above or English B - Grade 5 from the IB will be accepted.

T- Levels
Level 4 qualifications
Certificate in Higher Education (Cert HE)
  • Pass with 120 credits at level 4
  • Must be in a related pathway.
  • May be considered for advanced entry onto the second year of the degree. Subject to satisfactory comparability of modular content at level 4. A transcript will be required.
Other qualifications
If you have a qualification that is not listed in the table please refer to our full entry requirements on UCAS.

Further guidance on tariff points can be found on the UCAS website.
Additional information for EU/International students
Essential

Please see your country page for further details on the equivalent qualifications we accept.

In additional to the academic entry requirements listed above, international and EU students will also require the qualifications detailed in this table.

EU/Non-EU (International) Qualifications  
IELTS

6.0 overall with 5.5 minimum in all bands

If you do not meet the required IELTS score, you may be eligible for one of our pre-sessional English courses. Please note that you must have a Secure English Language Test (SELT) to study on the pre-sessional English course. More information.

International Baccalaureate Diploma (or equivalent, including internationally accredited Foundation courses).

1. For students who complete the full IB Diploma: a total of 14 points or above from three Higher Level Subjects.

2. Students who do not complete the IB Diploma will be considered on the basis of their IB Certificates.

Students must have grade 5 in Maths (Standard Level)
AND
English Group A - Grade 4 or above,
OR
English Group B and Ab Initio - Grade 5

Country-specific entry requirements and qualifications.

 

International students who cannot meet the direct entry requirements can begin their degree studies at Birmingham City University International College (BCUIC).

Additional Requirements

As part of the application process you will be invited to attend an applicant visit day where you will undertake a short one-to-one interview with an academic member of staff. This is your chance to show us how passionate you are about the subject and it will help us make a decision on your application.

This will provide you with more information about the School and your course. In addition, it will give you a chance to meet and our staff and students to gain a better understanding of what it is like to be a student here.

Fees & How to Apply

  • International students

Award: BSc (Hons)

Starting: Sep 2022

  • Mode
  • Duration
  • Fees
  • Study Year £9,250
  • Placement Year £1,650

Professional Placement Fees

Full-Time courses with a Professional Placement incur a fee during the placement year. The costs for those years when you attend the university for study, and the cost for the placement year are shown here.

Award: BSc (Hons)

Starting: Sep 2022

  • Mode
  • Duration
  • Fees

Access to computer equipment

You will require use of a laptop, and most students do prefer to have their own. However, you can borrow a laptop from the university or use one of our shared computer rooms.

Printing

You will receive £5 print credit in each year of your course, available after enrolment.

Field trips

All essential field trips and associated travel costs will be included in your course fees.

Access to Microsoft Office 365

Every student at the University can download a free copy of Microsoft Office 365 to use whilst at university and for 18 months after graduation.

Key Software

You will be able to download SPSS and Nvivo to your home computer to support with your studies and research.

Key subscriptions

Subscriptions to key journals and websites are available through our library.

Free access to Rosetta Stone

All students can sign up to the online learning language platform for free through the Graduate+ scheme.

Specialist Software

You will be able to access free licences for game development specific software such as Unity, Unreal Engine, Substance Suite, Maya, Mudbox, Motion Builder and Houdini.

Free Adobe Creative Cloud licence

Students studying on this course can request a free licence to install the entire suite of applications on up to two personal devices, including access to Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign, XD, Premier Pro and After Effects.

Project materials (mandatory)

This course includes project work that requires you to develop and produce a portfolio or collection. You'll be expected to provide the materials for use in your individual major projects; costs will vary depending on the materials selected.

Excess printing (optional)

Once you have spent your £5 credit, additional printing on campus costs from 5p per sheet.

Books (optional)

Some modules may suggest that you purchase a key textbook. All module key texts will be in the University library, but in limited numbers. Many students choose to purchase a copy.

Placement expenses (optional)

If you choose to undertake a placement, you'll need to budget for accommodation and any travel costs you may incur whilst living or working away from home.

Accommodation and living costs

The cost of accommodation and other living costs are not included within your course fees. More information on the cost of accommodation can be found in our accommodation pages.

Guidance for UK students

UK students applying for most undergraduate degree courses in the UK will need to apply through UCAS.

The Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS) is a UK organisation responsible for managing applications to university and college.

Applying through UCAS

 Register with UCAS

 Login to UCAS

 Complete your details

 Select your course

 Write a personal statement

 Get a reference

 Pay your application fee

 Send UCAS your application

International students

There are three ways to apply:

1) Direct to the University

You will need to complete our International Application Form and Equal Opportunities Form, and submit them together with scan copies of your original academic transcripts and certificates.

2) Through a country representative

Our in-country representatives can help you make your application and apply for a visa. They can also offer advice on travel, living in the UK and studying abroad.

3) Through UCAS

If you are applying for an undergraduate degree or a Higher National Diploma (HND), you can apply through the UK’s Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS).

You can request a printed form from your school or nearest British Council office. You will be charged for applying through UCAS. Birmingham City University’s UCAS code is B25 BCITY.

Personal statement

UK / EU students are required to submit a personal statement as part of their application for this course.*

The personal statement gives you a crucial opportunity to say why you’re applying and why the institution should accept you.

Here are the key areas you’ll need to address:

Course choice

Why does this course appeal? What areas are of particular interest?

Career plans

If you have a specific career in mind, say how your chosen course will help you pursue this goal.

Work experience

Mention any work that is relevant to your subject, highlighting the skills and experience gained.

School or college experience

Highlight skills gained at school/college, eg summer schools or mentoring activities.

Non-accredited skills or achievement

eg Duke of Edinburgh Award, Young Enterprise scheme.

You should also mention your future plans – if you’re planning to take a year out, don't forget to give your reasons. Talk about any subjects you’re studying that don’t have a formal assessment and any sponsorships or placements you’ve applied for. And don't be scared to add in details about your social, sports or leisure interests.

Get more information on writing personal statements.

*Non-EU students are not required to submit a personal statement when applying for this course.

Course in Depth

Year One

This module provides students with the technical skills and experience to produce 3D models and turntable renders for use in visual effects.

The skills developed in this module will inform and underpin the use of 3D models throughout the rest of your course.

The module aims to develop your modelling skills to a highly competent standard, developing your knowledge of the fundamentals of 3D modelling as well as providing you with experience of using industry-standard modelling tools. By the end of the module you will be able to approach modelling productions by drawing on a suite of 3D modelling methods and tools. The module will also provide an overview of how 3D assets are used in a variety of industries.

This module will develop your key understanding of audio visual acquisition technologies for digital film production. The module addresses how images and audio are captured using sound and video recording equipment in a film production environment.

This module provides students with technical skills and experience to Texture, Shade, Light and Render models for use in visual effects shots.

The module aims to develop your skills to a high level allowing you to develop knowledge of balancing CGI texturing, lighting and rendering to match reference images. The module will provide you with experience of using industry-standard software and tools. It will also provide you with the unique mixture of art, science and maths skills needed to work in Technical Director roles such as Texture, Look Development or Lighting.

This module will provide an in-depth exploration of the Technical Director role; Matchmoving. Matchmoving also known as Camera Tracking is a key area within visual effects, it has become known for being a great entry point into the industry for those looking at the 3D route.

The module will use industry level software, to implement various tracking methods and techniques; explore lens distortion; develop onset visual effects skills. You will develop an understanding on how the Matchmoving role relates to other visual effects disciplines and wider production pipeline, as well as how to layout and deliver completed matchmoved shots.

Year Two

3D computer animation is the cornerstone of modern visual media production, and is an essential requirement for working in film visual effects.

This module aims to develop your 3D animation and production skills, introducing you to core computer animation techniques. You will be expected to plan and produce high quality, 3D computer animations suitable for use in visual effects production pipelines.

As well as developing technical skills, the module aims to provide you with an authentic experience of planning and producing computer animation from storyboarding to managing assets and designing production pipelines.

This module provides knowledge and experience of designing and developing bespoke add-ons and extensions to industry standard software. You will learn to programme scripts to make visual effects and games production more efficient and extend the capabilities of existing software. The development and implementation of bespoke visual effects tools is a key part of the competitiveness of games and visual effects companies, allowing them to make themselves more efficient and capable than their competitors.

This module provides knowledge and experience of digital video compositing, exploring the fundamental principles and techniques of compositing using professional node based compositing skills and tools. The competent use and application of these techniques are core practical skills within the course programme and fundamentally important to a variety of careers within the visual effects industry.

This module will provide an in-depth look at Dynamics and Simulations. This module will consist of an exploration into creating and simulating physics such as setting fire to objects, breaking glass, adding dust to scenes and destroying various geometry.

The module will use industry level software and will cover various methods and techniques in order for the student to control and artistically direct simulations. The module will enable them to; fracture geometry; constrain elements of the simulation, and create a variety of realistic simulations.

For graduates wishing to pursue a technical career in digital media production, be it Film or visual effects production, then a comprehensive understanding of the low level capture, processing and distribution technology is essential. To complement this a fundamental understanding in the methods for conducting research into the technology, the design and the limitations of this technology is essential.

The module is an opportunity to learn and critically reflect on the skills of collaboration by enabling you to create an interdisciplinary project with students from complementary disciplines, or with academic staff. Collaboration is a vital employability skill within the Creative Industries and this module allows you to develop these skills, making use of University facilities and with the support of academic staff. Within this module framework, several kinds of collaborative opportunities are available.

For example, with the approval of your supervisor, you can determine a project based on your own interests; your supervisor may set you a predetermined project to enable you to work with other students in a way that is appropriate to your subject area; or there may be opportunities for you to collaborate with staff on research projects. In all cases, you must apply your subject skills to an interdisciplinary project which will be agreed in advance with your supervisor.

Year Three

Working in the wider community of production, it is important to consider your part in the overall creation of an artefact. Being able to work independently; demonstrating problem solving skills; identifying and improving your own performance and; working other team members, are all traits that will be demanded of you in a typical work-place setting.

The purpose of the module is to enable you to undertake a sustained, in-depth and research informed project exploring an area that is of personal interest to you. In agreement with your supervisor, you will decide upon your topic which will take the form of a practical outcome (artefact) with accompanying contextual material. The main consideration when choosing your topic is that it must be aligned to the programme you are studying, and you should consider the relevance of this topic to your future academic or professional development.

At this level, you will be expected to work independently but you will receive additional one-to-one support from your supervisor, who will be familiar with your chosen topic area. As you progress on the module, extra support will be available and this may take the form of group seminars, workshops and online materials that will help to develop your project.

The aim of this module is to translate your existing skills to working in a Virtual Production workflow. Virtual Production is an approach that uses real-time tracking and game engines to perform post-production in real-time during the production phase and has been used in many production including: The Lion King, The Mandalorian, Avatar, Rogue One: A Star Wars StoryGuardians of the Galaxy, War of the Planet of the Apes and Game of Thrones, and is often referred to as the future of film making.

In order to become an effective professional practitioner, one needs to develop industrial awareness including current production and business practices, technologies and pipelines and trends and emergent technologies and how they are shaping industry. This module offers you the opportunity to research aspects of your sector, the impacts of technology and how they are driving change. You will analyse your profile as a professional practitioner and consider career opportunities and development. You will explore different approaches and theories as you develop a professional outlook to the industry, with the focus being the drive to find opportunities and routes and of attaining industry-specific work.

You will develop key skills through an assessment strategy that reflects industry needs. Assessments will be varied and predominantly focused on coursework. The practical application of technology and the craft of production are key features of the course, which are also emphasised in the style and focus of assessments.

The first year of the course focuses on developing your fundamental skills and knowledge in using digital video production to capture live action elements, using 3D modelling and software graphics tools to create virtual elements, and using compositing tools to combine live action and virtual elements. 

Your skills will be developed further in your second year, with specialist subjects such as motion capture, shader development, dynamic simulations, programming visual effects tools in python, and research and development.  You will also experience more demanding and collaborative production experiences. 

Your final year is about refining your skills and realising your full potential.  You will undertake a carefully planned, high-quality film and visual effects production, undertake an investigation (exploring a technical area of your choice), develop a well-defined career plan and examine how your skillset fits into a variety of industries.

Hear from our students

Second year Visual Effects student, Gabriel, tells us why he chose the course and what he has enjoyed most – plus his advice for future students.

Student Showreel 

Watch a selection of the work that our students studying BSc (Hons) Visual Effects have produced.

Attendance requirements

For more information on attendance requirements, course contact time and suggested self-study hours, download the course specification.

Employability

Employment Opportunities

There is currently a shortage of skilled creatives in the CGI and VFX industries, so once you gain your degree the chances of employment in the industry are good – though getting on the first rung of the ladder can still be challenging. Salaries can be high compared to production jobs like camera operators, producers and so on where supply outstrips demand.

Engaging with industry and gaining work experience during your studies is essential if you are going to be taken seriously in the job market. Getting work experience in film and visual effects production can be challenging, so we encourage you to be agile. We will also help you engage with a broad range of opportunities, as well as offering options for extra awards and recognition.

You have the option undertake an assessed sandwich year between your second and third year, which will provide you with valuable work experience and give you the real-life skills you need.

The second-year Collaborative Practice and final-year Production Project modules have been designed so that you can use your work in industry as a basis for the module’s assessment.

The University has a Graduate+ programme, an extracurricular awards framework that is designed to augment the subject-based skills that you’ve developed throughout the programme with broader employability attributes, which will enhance your employability options upon graduating.

Placements

There are a range of opportunities for you to gain industry experience during your studies. Examples of activities our student have done include: 

  • Working as an Editor and Visual Effects Artist for an animation house
  • Working as an Animator for a charity project
  • Working as a runner on one of our commercial productions
  • Working part-time for a production company
  • Doing a placement year between the second and third year of the course
  • Submitting work to festivals and competitions such as the Rookies
  • Collaborating with other students and local film makers on productions
  • Setting up a YouTube channel
  • Working directly for clients

Jobs after graduation 

Companies and jobs our students have gone on to work at:

  • VFX Production Assistant at Framestore (Oscar winning company)
  • Junior Previs Artist / Shot Creator at The Third Floor (Main player for previsualisation within the field)
  • Creative and Production Intern at Moonbug Entertainment
  • Animation Coordinator at Sun Creatures
  • Junior 3D Artist and Cataloguer at Virtual Worlds

OpportUNIty

OpportUNIty Student Ambassador

OpportUNIty: Student Jobs on Campus ensures that our students are given a first opportunity to fill many part-time temporary positions within the University. This allows you to work while you study with us, fitting the job around your course commitments. By taking part in the scheme, you will gain valuable experiences and employability skills, enhancing your prospects in the job market.

It will also allow you to become more involved in University life by delivering, leading and supporting many aspects of the learning experience, from administration to research and mentoring roles.

International Students

Birmingham City University is a vibrant and multicultural university in the heart of a modern and diverse city. We welcome many international students every year – there are currently students from more than 80 countries among our student community.

The University is conveniently placed, with Birmingham International Airport nearby and first-rate transport connections to London and the rest of the UK.

Our international pages contain a wealth of information for international students who are considering applying to study here, including:

Facilities and Staff

Visual Effects - BSc (Hons)

The Visual Effects course is supported with the latest industry standard software such as Maya, Houdini, Nuke, Syntheyes and Arnold. There are cutting-edge facilities available to our students, our Vicon motion capture studio, the University’s Parkside Media Centre, which is equipped with over 1,200 sq m of dedicated equipment, including three film/television studios, dedicated green screen studio, post-production facilities, MILO motion control rig, multi-track recording studios, and several editing and grading stations.

Cameras, light and grip equipment can be hired for free from our hires and loans team. Equipment available includes 4K cameras, high-end HD cinema style cameras with follow focus and matte boxes, a range of DSLR cameras, a range of different lights, soft boxes, flags, reflectors, a range of different tripods, stands, dollies, steady cams and jib arms.

Within the Centre there is an internationally recognised research team, Digital Media Technology (DMT) labs, specialising in mixed reality, intelligent animation, automated grading and compositing and human perception. This research team is involved in the delivery of this course, providing opportunities to join them as a post-graduate researcher on completion of the course.

Our staff

Lianne Forbes

Senior Lecturer and Course Leader in Visual Effects

Lianne has 14 years of high-end VFX film industry experience. Her focus is on forging strong links between the University and industry. She plans to develop student awareness of industry practices and produce more opportunities for them to engage with industry professionals.

Her VFX career has spanned over 5 countries, working with award-winning companies such as Framestore, Animal Logic, Pixomondo, and Rising Sun Pictures.

More about Lianne

Mathew Randall

Senior Lecturer in Visual Effects and Computer Graphics

Mathew has been working with computer graphics since the mid-1990s and has been involved in moving image production for over 10 years. Coming from an academic background in multimedia, he has extensive experience in real-time computer graphics and rendering, designing and developing user interfaces, games, systems for visualising data and signals, video systems for concerts and festivals, interactive sonic and video installations and real-time generative art.

More about Mathew

Cathryn Jane Easthope

Lecturer

I teach on BSc courses within the Department of Digital Media Technology and although my degrees are arts based, I've worked in biomedical research as well as design for the NHS, so this combination is ideal for courses like ours which allow our students to both express their creative and aesthetic abilities as well as develop their technical abilities. My current professional and research interests relate to computer graphics imaging, digital visual effects and virtual performance spaces. I have had international exhibitions of my creative works.

More about Cathryn Jane

Kira Summers

Programme Leader, Lecturer

Akira Summers has been working in software and technological development since the year 2000. Starting off in web development and interactive media, she has held many development roles and spent several years working as an embedded game programmer, multimedia developer and learning technologist. 

She now works as a lecturer at BCU and is responsible for the BSc Digital Media Course at BIFCA, in Wuhan China, as Link tutor, a member of the Faculty Academic Ethics Committee (FAEC) and Faculty Equality, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) Committee. 

More about Kira

Dr Carlo Harvey

Associate Professor, Director of Future Games and Graphics

Dr Carlo Harvey is an Associate Professor in Computer Games Technology at Birmingham City University, in the School of Computing and Digital Technology. He teaches C++ for Games, Computer Graphics and Artificial Intelligence / Machine Learning. He is the course leader for BSc Computer Games Technology and the Director of Future Games and Graphics overseeing the research arm for Games and Graphics within the DMTLab at BCU.

He is a co-founder of Curzon Software House. Curzon Software House was started as a Birmingham City University initiative to aid students to develop their skills, work on industry projects and gain experience of working in a job in the field. The initiative has been recently funded and is a new micro-placement opportunity. Curzon Software House works with many top local and national companies to produce real-world projects, whilst planning out deliverables, and meeting targets. Curzon Software House benefits from the collaboration with the University, which provides the team with cutting-edge technology. Using Microsoft Hololens, VR equipment, and state-of-the-art PCs with high-end configurations, they produce high-quality content for their clients. This initiative was nominated by TIGA (The Independent Game Developers’ Association) for the Best Educational Initiative and Talent Development award.

Since arriving at BCU in late 2017, he has been shortlisted for best personal tutor and inspiring teacher of the year. He has also seen the course BSc Computer Games Technology nominated for the TIGA award: Best Educational Institution two years running.

He was previously the programme leader for the Games Programming course in the Creative Technologies department of the Faculty of Science and Technology at Bournemouth University. Whilst at Bournemouth University the course won the TIGA Award for the Best Educational Institution. He oversaw the development of the BSc Games Programming course into the redesigned BSc Games Software Engineering. This process was approved by both an internal and external panel, by the Academic Quality team and by the Faculty Academic Standard Committee. He also undertook the role of Unit of Assessment 11 Impact Champion, overseeing the development of case studies being prepared for the Research Excellence Framework 2021 submission process.

Prior to this, Carlo worked with Jaguar Land Rover on an EPSRC funded research proposal, Program for Simulation Innovation (Psi: Theme 7). This project aimed to drive digital prototyping forward for the next generation. His work on this project included visualisation and sound-field manipulation for virtual vehicles. This utilised and integrated a wide variety of technology into one holistic demonstrator.

He completed a PhD in Computer Science at the University of Warwick in 2012. This was entitled Modality Based Perception for Selective Rendering and considered user study evaluated techniques to speed up image synthesis, taking advantage of perceptual artefacts of cross-modal attention under different sensory systems. He has a BSc (Hons) Computer Science from Bristol University (2007) and a Postgraduate Certificate in Academic and Professional Practice from the University of Warwick (2016).

Carlo has published in the fields of perception-aware rendering, simulation, auditory perception, multi-sensory perceptual impact on vision and cultural heritage. He has a number of Q1 journal publications and has won numerous best technical/application and student paper awards at international conferences. 

More about Carlo

Jay Patel

Senior Lecturer

Jay is a Lecturer in the School of Digital Media Technology. Jay has been involved with the delivery of ERDF projects. Since the successful completion of these projects he has moved into teaching. He currently delivers a variety of modules such as Audio Visual Technology, Moving Image Technology and Mathematics for Media.

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Michael Bickerton

Lecturer

Michael has been producing and teaching film for over twenty years. He has international production experience and has taught on prestige courses (such as the UK Film Council’s Introduction to Screenwriting).

He is a member of BECTU, GTC, and is a Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy.

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