BA (Hons) Live Visual Design & Production is a groundbreaking degree focused on creating cutting-edge visual experiences for global audiences. You'll build virtual worlds with gaming platforms like Unreal Engine, experiment with immersive technology such as VR and motion tracking, and create interactive visual experiences with projection mapping and LED walls to amaze audiences.  

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 64 - 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. You'll build virtual worlds with gaming platforms like Unreal Engine, experiment with immersive technology such as VR and motion tracking, and create interactive visual experiences with projection mapping and LED walls to amaze audiences. 

Throughout the programme, you'll use industry-leading software, technology and equipment, to explore the creative, technical and production elements of live visuals. 

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. Crucially, you'll work on real-world commercial projects throughout your degree bridging the gap between education and industry.  

You will graduate from this degree with a highly prized skill set and huge potential for an exciting and lucrative career in entertainment technology - from live events, music and gaming, to film, TV and virtual production. 


Whether you want to...

  • Develop your visual storytelling using immersive technology such as virtual production and VR,
  • Use gaming platforms, such as Unreal Engine, to immerse audiences in sophisticated virtual worlds,
  • Enhance live performances with interactive content shown through LED walls or projection,
  • Or combine art and technology to create cutting-edge artistic installations,

...this degree will develop you into unrivalled professionals at the forefront of entertainment technology.


You can watch a range of videos about this degree HERE


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 production and motion tracking
  • Immersive & interactive technology (including virtual & augmented reality)
  • Projection mapping, systems and technologies
  • Large format LED systems (e.g. video walls)
  • 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, animation, graphic design & illustration
  • Production design
  • Fine art
  • 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.

Virtual World Building

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. 

  • 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 NETWORKING

    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.

  • RESEARCH METHODS FOR EVENT STUDIES

    This module is designed to further enhance your academic research skills. You will consider different forms of primary research and the ways in which data can be collected and analysed. You will explore the discipline of academic writing and further develop an awareness of secondary research sources and literature searching techniques. Ethical considerations such as confidentiality, data protection and unfair means will be taken into account.  

  • 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

    This module allows you to develop your knowledge and perspective of the live events sector. You will explore the latest trends and issues in the development of the live visual production industry, nationally and internationally and the factors influencing those developments. Specific content may change from year to year since this will also be will also be influenced by contemporary trends and current affairs allowing you to evaluate their current importance and impact on the future of the sector.  

  • WORK RELATED PROJECT

    This module is designed to provide you with a vehicle to develop and transfer your prior and concurrent learning into practical work-related skills. It is further designed to help you develop your own personal management skills in terms of time and working with others towards a final pre-set goal. The module will require you to complete a period of work placement and provide you with practical experience of working in the Visual Production Industry. The module will utilise the learning gained in the other modules studied and aid you to apply your learning into a real work-based project which you will develop and implement to the benefit of your work placement provider.

  • ADVANCED VISUAL PRODUCTION THEORY AND PRACTICE

    This module builds upon and consolidates your learning from Levels 4 and 5 and allows you to work as part of a collaborative team to engage with the creative design and technical specification for a single project from conception through to final realisation. You will continue to develop your theoretical and academic understanding of the processes and workflows that underpin live visual production while applying this learning to a client based brief that will allow you to explore current and emerging cutting edge hardware and software.  

  • MAJOR PROJECT

    The Major Project module is a substantial piece of work that will give you the opportunity to demonstrate the extent of your achievement on the degree as a whole. The module will enable you to consolidate the skills and experience gained during the first two years of the course. You will agree on a project proposal and a learning agreement with your tutor. You may work individually or in a team. If you work in a team, the team members will have a common supervisor or supervising team, and all students will have clearly defined roles and responsibilities. Your project will build on areas already explored in the other modules in your programme. The module tutor and guide will provide further advice regarding the project, including attendance, supervisory arrangements, assessment criteria and rules regarding teamwork.  


    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

Our standard academic entry requirements range between 64 and 104 UCAS tariff points. You can see how many tariff points your qualifications would gain on the UCAS Tariff Calculator

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

You will graduate from this degree with a highly prized skill set and huge potential for an exciting and lucrative career in entertainment technology - from live events, music and gaming, to film, TV and virtual production.

We are frequently approached by the biggest names in the industry with job opportunities for our students due to their knowledge of the latest technologies, software, workflows and systems integration. 

Graduates from BA (Hons) Live Visual Design & Production have gone on to have incredible careers. This year alone has seen them:

  • Join the production team for our very own Centre for Virtual Production on Production Park.
  • Lead the installation of a visual exhibition at the Dubai 2020 Expo.
  • Secure a position with one of the world's biggest names in TV & film, Warner Bros, creating content for the upcoming Lord of the Rings TV show. 

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 Engine)
  • 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.


Make an Enquiry for BA (Hons) Live Visual Design & Production

Please click on the link below to make an enquiry about this degree.

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