MSc Virtual Production aims to equip students with the creative, technical and professional skills necessary to be innovators at the cutting edge of contemporary virtual production practice for film & TV productions, immersive experiences, virtual conferences, corporate events, music videos and more.

Course details

  • Qualification Master of Science
  • Duration 1 year - full time, 2 years - part time
  • Location Production Park, Wakefield, WF9 3NR
  • Validated by University of Bolton
  • Tuition fees Full time - £9,250, Part time - £4,625 p/year
  • Entry Requirements 2:2 Honours degree or above in a relevant subject and/or appropriate relevant work experience.
  • Start date September 2022

Course Overview

Virtual production is the cutting-edge of event production where live and broadcast technologies combine to create an XR (extended reality) environment, and the physical and digital worlds meet. 

MSc Virtual Production aims to equip students with the creative, technical and professional skills necessary to be innovators at the cutting edge of contemporary virtual production practice for film & TV productions, immersive experiences, virtual conferences, corporate events, music videos and more.

The programme is available full time over 1 year, or part time over 2 years. 

The programme prepares you for careers as innovative technologists and project managers, collaborating with others to solve the technical challenges in this new and rapidly expanding field of practice. 

You’ll study areas such as motion capture technology, XR (extended reality), systems configuration and integration, and other contemporary technical challenges. All the modules are industry focused with opportunities for you to engage in placement activity with XPLOR (see page X) as part of your research.

You’ll also benefit from the opportunity to collaborate with peers on other courses, working together on shared modules and projects. Throughout the programme you will be supported by our experienced staff team, extensive industry partners and masterclasses from established industry professionals.

The programme seeks to provide students with a challenging, supportive and inclusive environment where students learn through Praxis; combining critical thinking, practical experimentation and reflection. 

A range of learning and teaching methods will be employed, including (face-to-face or online) lectures, seminars, tutorials, discussion groups, guest speakers and master classes. A significant amount of personal study time is expected to be undertaken by the student comprising, for example, background reading, online activities, assessment work and preparation for sessions.

The course includes three subject specialist modules and two modules that you will share with students on other Postgraduate courses. During the course, students are encouraged to use their continuing professional practice as part of their research process and build on our close relationships with the Live Events Industry; engaging in live projects and developing plans for new creative projects coupled with a higher level of academic study and learning.


This course is ideal for you if...

  • You’re interested in live events and broadcast and want to explore new technologies such as virtual and augmented reality.
  • You’re a graduate from an undergraduate degree in a related area and want to increase your employability with an advanced level qualification.
  • You’re an industry professional looking to upskill, retrain or further develop your craft.


The programme aims to:

  • Provide graduates and those with professional experience of working in the live events or related industries the opportunity to develop their knowledge, understanding and critical insight into the principles and practices underpinning virtual production.
  • Provide rigorous opportunities for advanced study, research and embedded practice led by specialists in the field that are focused to enable you to build, enhance and take ownership over your own virtual production practice
  • Develop your own projects and projects in collaboration with students from our other postgraduate courses, culminating in your final negotiated Masters’ research project 
  • Offer specialist professional and personal preparation for entry into the competitive world of the live events industries.


Key features

  • The part time programme provides the opportunity to study via blended learning to support working professionals engage flexibly with their studies
  • Provides the opportunity to develop and deepen your skills, experience and knowledge of creative practice within a specialised institution situated within a global overview through The University of Bolton and Backstage Academy’s networks and links to the contemporary live events Industries.
  • Gives access to the unique commercial opportunities offered through Backstage Academy’s connection with Production Park and the range of live events businesses situated on the campus.
  • Provides opportunities to learn from qualified and professionally experienced staff and live events professionals/practices.
  • Provides opportunities to initiate live projects independently or in collaboration with students from other postgraduate courses.
  • Provides opportunities to engage with research and developments at Backstage Academy’s new Research and Innovation Centre, XPLOR.


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
Ambion Superoom AR Stage
Hibino VFX Studio Japan
disguise studio backdrop

Entry Requirements

You should have at least a lower second class (2.2) honours degree (or equivalent) in any subject or five years’ relevant work experience.

If you hold an undergraduate degree in a relevant subject, you may provide a transcript or other documentation that details your prior study. Alternatively, you may be able to demonstrate your professional experience via a portfolio of attested work. Please contact the programme leader to discuss your options.

If you wish to gain admission on the basis of five years’ relevant work experience, you’ll be required to attend an online or face-to-face interview and present evidence in the form of a portfolio of work and examples that demonstrate your suitability and aptitude for the course. The evidence should be presented in electronic format and attested by an independent person. The independent person could be a current or former lecturer or an employer who has a more senior role than yourself. The University is looking for candidates who can demonstrate a clear style and commitment to their professional practice and who will benefit from experiencing this area of study.

We'll consider applications where appropriate work experience can be demonstrated in lieu of, or in addition to, the published academic qualifications in line with the University’s Recognition of Prior Experiential Learning (RPEL) procedures.

If English isn’t your first language, you’ll also need IELTS 6.0 with no less than 5.5 in any band (or equivalent).


Assessment

Assessment tasks are linked to the learning outcomes of each module and are completed before the end of the module. Module assessments typically involve written coursework, project work, oral assessments and portfolios.

Our team of academic and professional staff will use a variety of teaching and learning strategies to help you gain and develop appropriate concepts, knowledge and skills. You can expect practice-based enquiry, self-directed study, lectures, seminars, tutorials, presentations and work-based learning.

It’s important to realise that the time spent with a tutor during formally scheduled activities is only a small part of the learning time identified for a module. You’ll also be expected to spend a significant amount of time in guided independent study, such as general background reading, preparing for seminar activities and working on assignments. We are committed to supporting you throughout your learning journey. Over time, our guidance will purposefully become less structured and prescriptive. This will encourage you to develop confidence and independence in your studies and take responsibility for managing your own learning time as you increase in autonomy.

The assessment strategy for the programme is designed to help you achieve the overall aims of the curriculum, as well as the learning outcomes for individual modules. As well as assessing your achievement, it helps to organise and develop your learning. Assessment feedback can help you develop your skills and an understanding of your strengths and weaknesses.

The types of assessment you’ll be required to complete fall into two general categories: formative and summative. Formative assessments help in learning and developing knowledge and skills. Summative assessments, on which grades are allocated, reflect the quality of the learning that has been achieved. Formative assessment will take place via tutorial discussion, group workshops including peer and tutor review, and guidance on work in progress. Formative feedback will be provided face-to-face via discussion, online or in written form. Summative assessments consist of both practical and applied theoretical work. These will include a range of assessments including practical projects, written work, presentations and portfolios.


Employability

Graduates will gain a competitive edge as virtual production specialists in the dynamic and developing live events and creative industries.

The programme will equip you with a range of transferable interpersonal and technical skills allowing you to capitalise on career opportunities that exist in a huge range of sectors – from Live Music and Theatre to E-sports and Corporate Events, amongst many others. 

It with also equip you with the necessary skills to progress to further postgraduate and doctoral study.

This is a career-focused postgraduate degree that will support you to develop advanced knowledge and skills. The skills training is combined with the project-oriented creative education and will enable you to adapt and develop your practice throughout your future career.

During the course, we’ll also guide you to make clear plans as to how you will use your expertise to progress your career. As a graduate of this MSc, you'll be well prepared to seek employment or promotion, or become self-employed using the professional skills you’ve developed as part of the course. This qualification also forms the basis for doctoral studies if you wish to pursue a career in academia or research and development.


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. 

Depending on your programme of study, this may include:

Sound equipment such as:

  • Desks from Allen & Heath, Avid, Midas and Soundcraft
  • Sound Systems from D&B and KV2 Audio
  • Microphones from Audix, Sennheiser and Shure.

Lighting equipment such as:

  • Wide range of lighting fixtures including Art2000s, Powercubes, moving lights, Source 4s and blinders from Avolites, Chauvet, Chroma-Q, Clay Paky and Prolight
  • Lighting control from Avolites, ChamSys, GrandMA and Hog
  • TitanNet processors from Avolites.

Video equipment such as:

  • Media servers from Avolites, Disguise, Green Hippo and Isadora
  • LED video wall from ROE Visual and Prolights
  • Laser projectors from Epson and Panasonic
  • Video switcher and cameras from Blackmagic Design
  • Networking from Luminex.

Communications equipment from Riedel. 

Software such as: Avolites Ai & Titan, Blacktrax, Disguise, Green Hippo Zookeeper, Isadora, Notch, SketchUp, Smode, Vectorworks, WYSIWYG, Adobe Creative Cloud package and Microsoft Windows 365 suite. 

Rigging equipment such as:

  • Truss from Prolyte and Sixty82
  • Motors from CM Lodestar
  • Load cells from Broadweigh.

Mature / International students

Backstage Academy welcomes students of all ages to study on our degree programmes. 

Unfortunately, we cannot accept international students onto our undergraduate or postgraduate programmes at this time. 


How do i apply?

Applications for our MSc in Virtual Production are made directly to Backstage Academy. 

Please click on the link below to start your application.   

FEES AND FUNDING

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


Make an Enquiry

Please complete our enquiry form via the link below and one of our postgraduate team will be in touch.

POSTGRADUATE CAMPUS TOUR

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ZOOM CALLS WITH OUR POSTGRAD TEAM

Join our Postgraduate academic team on a 1-2-1 zoom call to discuss our courses on offer!