BA (Hons) Live Visual Design & Production is a groundbreaking degree focused on creating cutting-edge visual experiences for audiences. Professionals with this skillset are in increasing demand in virtual productions, TV & film, esports, live events, music, theatre and corporate events.   

Course details

  • Qualification BA
  • UCAS code W990
  • Duration 3 years full-time
  • Location Production Park, Wakefield, WF9 3NR
  • Validated by University of Bolton
  • Tuition fees £9,000
  • Entry Requirements 104 UCAS points
  • Start date September 2022

Course Overview

Do you want to create cutting-edge visual experiences and lead the next generation of digital designers?

BA (Hons) Live Visual Design & Production is a groundbreaking degree focused on creating cutting-edge visual experiences for global audiences. Graduating students with this skillset are in increasing demand in virtual productions, TV & film, esports, live events, music, theatre and corporate events. 

Throughout the programme, you'll use industry-leading software and equipment, in line with the latest industry developments. Teaching is project-based and practical, and includes masterclasses with world-leading experts and industry placements giving you invaluable practical experience of working within visual production.

Whether you want to...

  • Use video game design to immerse audiences in virtual worlds...
  • Produce huge projections on the side of iconic buildings...
  • Enhance live performances with animated and interactive content...
  • Or combine art and technology to create cutting-edge artistic installations...

...this degree will develop you into unrivalled professionals at the forefront of the live events and creative industries.


BA (Hons) Live Visual Design & Production is ideal for you if you would like to develop a career in:

  • World building - video and interactive game design using software such as Unreal Game Engine and Notch
  • Generative content creation - using software to automatically generate content in real time
  • Virtual and augmented reality (AR & VR)
  • Virtual production and motion tracking
  • Immersive & interactive technology
  • Technical systems design, creative solutions and workflows
  • Projection systems and technologies
  • Large format LED systems (including video walls)
  • The cutting-edge of user experiences in live events
  • 2D & 3D design and modelling

Previous students on this course have come to us from the following areas:

  • Video game design & 3D modelling
  • Visual effects
  • Production design
  • Art & design
  • Animation, graphic design & illustration
  • Content creation
  • Creative digital media
  • Interactive media
  • Lighting & sound
  • IT systems


Why Backstage Academy?

  • Career-focused in Every Way
  • Award-winning Student Experience (Student Experience Award, Educate North Awards 2020).
  • A Campus in the Heart of the Live Events Industry
  • Global Work Opportunities
  • Award-winning Industry Partnerships
  • Learn from Working Industry Professionals 
  • Highly-personalised Student Support


The course is regulated by the Office for Students.

Course content

  • ACADEMIC & PROFESSIONAL SKILLS FOR THE EVENT INDUSTRY

    As an overview of the visual production industry, this module will equip you with all the necessary methods and techniques to support your professional development. Topics include the fundamentals of visual design and production, efficient work practices, managing your well-being and safety, planning your career and developing the right attitude and expectations. You will understand the importance of developing lifelong learning skills to cope with the ever-evolving technologies and work practices. 

  • VISUAL PRODUCTION TOOLBOX - BASIC TECHNIQUES

    The understanding of some core concepts and industry standard software is at the heart of the degree course. This module introduces you to basic concepts of projection mapping, creative software workflow and 3D modelling. You will also be introduced to a range of creative software such as computer aided design, performance and projection mapping, and video editing programmes.

  • CREATIVE WORKFLOWS AND CONCEPT DESIGN

    This module introduces you to the processes of creative workflow and concept design in the visual production industry. Managing a diverse range of projects across many sectors and meeting your clients’ needs is key. It is imperative that you interpret the clients’ requirements appropriately, communicate your ideas and solutions effectively, and manage their expectations. This module assists you to interpret brands and products effectively, and examine how designers make the connections between ideas and images.

  • EXPERIMENTAL SYSTEM DESIGN

    Your learning of experiential design technologies within the live events industry commences by researching the evolution of lighting design and digital media. In this module, you will gain an understanding of the importance of style and theme, and the artistic qualities common to both light and video. In the module, you will produce a project in response to a given client brief, using examples of experiential technologies and techniques. 

  • EXPERIENTIAL TECHNOLOGIES - HARDWARE

    In this module you will gain an understanding of how to interpret artistic ideas and transform them into a technological response that embraces both lighting and video. Through taught content and project work you will expand on the knowledge and skills gained to look at the basics of lighting technology and video - from virtual building blocks and interconnects, to control and programming. 

  • SHOWTIME PRODUCTION BASICS

    The purpose of this module is to prepare you for the process of transferring your project proposals and experiential technology solutions to real performance environments across a range of sectors. The module integrates with on-site rehearsals and performances, including collaborative working, allowing you to gain experience of managing a performance and evaluating its success.

  • INDUSTRY PLACEMENT

    This module will prepare you for a work placement within the visual production industry. Before the placement commences, a series of workshops will guide you through personal development planning. Health and Safety in the workplace and management responsibilities will be discussed and you will also have a chance to refine your interview techniques. Work placements could range from acquiring a position within an established company through to freelancing on Production Park or external projects.

  • VISUAL PRODUCTION TOOLBOX – ADVANCED

    Building upon skills gained from the first year Visual Production Toolbox module you will gain experience of using a wider range of industry standard software and the exploration of generative content, camera techniques, composition and video game software. The work you complete in this module will help you to produce a showreel which is based upon researched content and represents your own style and interests.

  • CREATIVE RESEARCH

    When studying visual production, it is essential that you are able to engage creatively with projects, given the enormous range of clients and creative scenarios available to you. In this module you will acquire the skills and knowledge needed to undertake investigative research, which will underpin your studies and facilitate you in producing ideas of your own. This module explores the history of art, architecture, music and scenography in support of your creative research practices.

  • SHOW TECHNOLOGIES - INTEGRATION AND DESIGN

    In this module you will explore the expectations of audiences, designers and performers regarding artistic and technical systems and how those expectations grow each year. Working to a given brief and as part of a team, you will project manage an entire production process; bringing together a range of artistic, creative, and technical skills. 

  • CONTEMPORARY ISSUES FOR VISUAL PRODUCTION

    The visual production sector is constantly evolving and, as part of the next generation of practitioners, you must be aware of the challenges it faces. In this module, you will conduct in-depth research into one element of the visual production industry and explore the latest national and international issues that affect it.

  • VISUAL PRODUCTION DESIGN

    This module will enable you to develop your own values, attitudes, style and interpersonal skills to provide a platform for continuing personal development as a visual production designer. Working to an agreed brief, you will develop imaginative concepts and work collaboratively with your client; exploring creative workflows, communication skills and efficient working methods.

  • EXPERIMENTAL SYSTEM DESIGN

    You will design a convergent, innovative and creative experiential technology system. Responding to the artistic and creative requirements, you will generate a professional and technical response that will enable a budget to be approved by your client. Prior to your proposed system being installed by on-site contractors and local crew you will make recommendations for any licensing and health and safety considerations that need to be implemented. 

  • SHOWTIME APPLIED PROJECT MANAGEMENT

    The safe delivery of visual productions across the globe relies on effective project management. In this module you will study a range of management techniques and consider the impact of events on the site and the community. Production planning takes into consideration a range of skills so it is important that you are able to develop a professional approach to pre and post event evaluation.

  • WORK RELATED PROJECT

    This module is designed to provide you with a vehicle to develop and transfer your prior learning into practical, work related skills. You will also reflect on your own personal management skills in terms of time management and working with others towards an agreed goal. The module will require you to complete a period of work placement providing you with practical experience of working in the visual production sector. 


  • MAJOR PROJECT

    The final project module gives you the opportunity to pursue a piece of individual study under the supervision of a tutor. The selected area of study must be relevant to visual production and be academically rigorous. The field of visual production has a relatively small body of research compared to more traditional university subjects so this is your chance to make a lasting contribution to the knowledge-base of the sector.

Entry Requirements

104 UCAS points. 

We may make you a lower or unconditional offer based on prior experience or potential demonstrated at interview.


Assessment

As well as traditional lectures, seminars and tutorials your learning will be enhanced with visits from guest speakers and masterclass seminars from industry experts, international case studies, workshops and more importantly opportunities to work on live projects as part of both practical modules and work placement; giving you unique insights and a thorough understanding of the visual production industry operating in international markets and in a range of sectors. Assessment is via a range of methods, from developing a portfolio of your work and skills, to practical assessment and research projects.


Course leader

Graham Thorne Course Leader
Graham has a healthy balance of academic qualifications and professional experience. Starting from a BA in Creative Music Production, leading to an MA in Digital Performance with a final degree of a PGCE. He has worked as a course leader on the Visual Production degree at University Centre Doncaster and then as a Digital Creator at York Museums Trust, where he was responsible for bringing the collections to life, media server work, digitisation and various AV interactive installations. His freelance work has taken him from Helsinki to London, Glastonbury to the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. Graham is the only official pro user, beta tester and forum moderator in the UK of the Isadora software by TroikaTronix. His interests are interactivity, real time AV control, motion tracking and much more. He is a DJ, composer, VJ and custom content creator to name just a few.

Employability

The knowledge and skills you acquire on this course will be transferable across a range of industries, from live music, theatre and opera, to film and TV, and architectural installations. You will graduate with the ability to produce impressive lighting and video visuals using the latest techniques, making you highly employable for a career in visual production. Graduates are already in high demand for Production, Manufacturer, and Equipment Hire companies worldwide. Working as freelancers or as direct employees these individuals are already exceeding employment expectations.


Equipment / software

Students at Backstage Academy benefit from having access to a wide range of specialist equipment, software and technology in line with the latest industry developments - much of which is made possible through our partnerships with some of the industry’s best entertainment technology manufacturers and distributors. 

This may include:

  • Media servers - Green Hippo, Avolites, Disguise
  • Content creation software (e.g. Notch, Resolume, Isadora, Smode)
  • Adobe Creative Cloud (e.g. After Effects, Illustrator, Photoshop, Premiere Pro)
  • Game design, VR and AR (e.g. Unreal)
  • Motion tracking and interactive technologies & systems
  • Micro-computing 
  • Network systems and programming
  • LED video walls
  • Projection hardware

How do i apply?

Applications are made through UCAS. 

You will need the following information to make an application:

Institution Code: B05
Course Code: W990

To find out more about applying for this course, please visit our application process page.

FEES AND FUNDING

To find out more about fees and funding, please visit our Student Finance page.


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