Last week, we launched our first academic qualification, an MA in Visual Effects Production, which we’re running with the University of Bradford. You’ll probably be wondering what we’re up to, what with everything that’s been in the news about how much university tuition is going to cost in the UK. Having collaborated on this project with some leading industry pros, however, I reckon we’re on to a winner. Here’s why:
- As with all of our courses, you get real-world skills from professionals who have at least ten years working in the industry – you’re learning from the guys who work with the guys who’ll employ you
- We take you beyond the production line. Of course, our MA covers 2D and 3D, VFX and compositing, but we’ll also give you a thorough grounding in project management, analysis and critical skills
- You get access to industry – our advisory board, which keeps us on the straight and narrow when it comes to designing our courses, are at the top of their game. Students on the MA will get regular contact and feedback with some of the CG industry’s leading lights
- No university has the resources to focus on one sector so heavily – and rightly so, but our own CG recruitment team will help you secure a job when you finish. They work with all of our classroom and mentored courses students, and have a success rate of over 85% because we’re totally focused on the CG industry
For me, the MA (which can also be taken as a shorter diploma focusing on either 2D or 3D production) is not just about learning the skills you’ll be using day to day, but also about why you’d use the techniques, how it all fits together, and also how you should be planning projects and managing resources to get the best out of your team. This is where it differs from what we’ve done before – we’re looking not just for the hungry young artists desperate to crack the industry, but also the pros with a couple of years under their belt, looking at the next step in their career.
What do you think? Are we completely barking to ask people to shell out for another qualification (albeit one from us and one of the country’s top CG academic institute), or are we going to be educating the next leaders of the industry? I’m inclined to say the latter, but then I would. Here is a forum where some people are already talking about it and exchanging thoughts. Let us know what you think, and if you’d like further information check out our MA page.
I'll leave you with a quote from Dayne Cowan, who is the Chair of the UK Section of the Visual Effects Society. He said “This course is going to produce ‘super students’, with the knowledge and skills we need in the industry to keep us at the cutting edge”.