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Choosing what to study can be challenging. Speak to one of our advisors to find out what your options are.

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This study programme is designed for 16-19 year olds only (age 19-24 for students with an Education, Health and Care Plan).

Please visit our Adult Education, Degrees and Employer section for alternative courses.

About the course

Is it your dream design and create creatures, spacecraft or miniature robots and merch that will wow, fascinate or scare millions or are you fascinated by realistic modelling and the magic of animation? If you are interested in storytelling and characters then this unique course is the right one for you. In year one you work with the Interactive Media and Computer Arts to learn model making by hand, using professional polymer clays and casting techniques for character development and dioramas and hand based animation techniques which are then backed up by digital software workshops, including digital animation and 3D sculpting through Mudbox and Cinema 4D as well as comic and concept art, in case you decide to focus on making and digital outcomes as you move into the final part of year one where you choose a focus and specialise. On the online show Vexed 21 you will find all the students from both this course and Interactive under the banner of Interactive Media and modelmaking and you can see what the students have been up to in year one and year -  two! https://sites.google.com/wsc.ac.uk/vexed21/vexed-2021/ 


In year two you choose to work in your specialist pathway which could include the fabrication of props, models and stop motion animation, 2D animation or character design for the entertainment industry. We support you to apply to University and our students are currently studying Special Effects Make Up, Model making for film, animation, stop motion, creature design and prop making but our course is built to find your strengths and specialist skills and if you find that Compositing for special effects, Games Art or comic book art become your focus we support you to achieve.

Entry requirements

Entry is by interview (informal). Candidates will need either a minimum of four GCSE's Grade C/4 or above, or an equivalent Level 2 qualification. One of these must be in either English or Maths - or both. Applicants will have the opportunity to discuss the course content and requirements during their interview and provide a portfolio of work demonstrating their creative ability. Applicants will need to be able to be motivated, manage their own time and have a mature outlook.


UAL Diploma (Extended) in Creative Practice: Art, Design and Communication (specialist pathway: Visual Special Effects and Animation (including Model Making) Extended Diploma Level 3)

What you'll learn (core modules)

This is a unique course at this level. It will be an incredible two years of creativity and skill development. The course explores animation and three-dimensional design and making skills for models of fantasy architecture for film or game, character creation and sculpting, props, model vehicles and realistic or out-of-this-world environments. This will involve skills in idea creation, design development, sculpture in various materials and final presentation effects and techniques. The course also offers wide ranging drawing and visualisation skills, and software skills in case this pathway needs to widen out into digital 3D, Game environments or even concept art.

There will be various trips locally, nationally and internationally (TBC).

There are no written exams and students will be assessed through a combination of coursework and practical work.

See some of the work our students have created on Instagram.

Any student aged 16 to 19 who does not hold a GCSE A* to C (9 to 4 on the new grading structure) or equivalent qualifications in Maths and English by age 16 will need to continue to study these subjects in each academic year.

The course is structured to offer an equal quantity of individual projects and production practice on a wide range of internal productions and external commissions and some of our students have worked on film production props and creature design for film or won animation competitions.

Benefits, skills and character strengths

In the School of Art and Design we have a culture of outstanding standards. All our courses require resilience, a determination to succeed and professional conduct. Full attendance and meeting assignment deadlines is critical to your success. We are preparing individuals for university education and employment by building character strengths and ambition which underpins everything we do.

How will I be assessed?

There are no 'exams' for any of our qualifications within the School of Art and Design. Assessment is through coursework and presentation of the set assignments by the different lecturers and 1-1 recorded feedback and targets are given at key milestones. All work is assessed and verified internally and only the Final Major Project in term 3 is moderated externally. Final qualifications are awarded at either a Pass, Merit or Distinction level and as a Level 3 qualification it provide relevant UCAS points for university entry.

Where is the course delivered? (facilities/classrooms)

All aspects of the timetable are delivered in Leonardo House - a purpose-built Art School on the Bury St. Edmunds campus. Lessons are within specialist studios and workshops. These include 3D and model making workshops, which include laser cutting/3D printing and vacuum forming, specialist tools and clays and of course the Mac Suits which offer Adobe as a basic package and specialist items like MagicaVoxel, Mudbox and Cinema 4D.

Where will the course take me?

Students on this course have a great record of progressing to university degree courses and to employment. The UAL Level 3 qualifications all carry the same UCAS points as equivalent A-levels and Art based universities respond incredibly favourably to Extended Diplomas as they know that they have been delivered within a specialist Art School environment with specialist Lecturers and a focus which allows students to grow.

Last year, 82 per cent of students progressed to university and 18 per cent were successful in finding employment. Students who decide not to progress to university generally undertake trainee employment positions within the creative industries. We have an outstanding track record of our students having amazing careers and fulfilling their dreams and graduates work in the VFX industry, 3D animation companies or work on film and animation projects that keep winning awards.

Will I need any materials or equipment?

Various creative materials will be needed throughout the course - depending on individual pathways and creative directions which will reveal themselves as you grow as a maker or designer. At the start of the year a fee is charged for trips and enrichment which will be £50 and this could be for a specialist material or a trip to EGX. Other trips (such as foreign travel) are an additional cost and optional for all students studying in Art and Design.

Days & times

Date(s) to be confirmed

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