BA (Hons) Theatre & Screen: Technical Arts & Special Effects

Clearing places 2016

This course has Clearing places available for international applicants. To find out how to make a direct application, call us on +44 (0)20 7514 1852. For a full list of 2016/17 course places at Wimbledon College of Arts and other UAL Colleges, visit the Clearing 2016 page.

Applying for 2017?

Please visit the BA Production Arts for Screen course page. This new course will bring together aspects of our Techincal Arts and Special Effects and Set Design for Screen courses. If you have any questions contact

BA Technical Arts and Special Effects at Wimbledon College of Arts teaches a wide range of professional technical skills used in theatre, television, film and the exhibition industries. Special effects is the use of technology to enhance imagination, and our aim is to develop skilled and inventive communicators, collaborators and problem solvers.


Course Leader

Grant Hicks

Course Location

Wimbledon College of Arts, Merton Hall Road


Study LevelUndergraduate
Study ModeFull time
Course Length3 years
Home/EU Fee

£9,000 per year (2016/17). 

Fees are subject to an inflationary increase as students progress through their course.

Use UAL’s fees and funding calculator as a guide to how much your studies may cost in your first year.

International Fee

£17,230 per year (2016/17).

Fees are subject to an inflationary increase as students progress through their course.

Use UAL’s fees and funding calculator as a guide to how much your studies may cost in your first year.

Start DateSeptember 2016
Autumn Term DatesMonday 26 September - Friday 9 December 2016
Spring Term DatesMonday 9 January - Friday 17 March 2017
Summer Term DatesTuesday 18 April - Friday 23 June 2017
Application Route

Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS)

Application DeadlineOpen for international applicants only for 2016/17 entry. Applications for 2017/18 entry will open in Autumn 2016.
UCAS CodeW492
University CodeU65

Content and Structure

Content: what students can expect

  • A series of integrated and self-generated projects, that will involve collaborating with other courses such as BA Set Design for Screen
  • An on-going contextual studies programme that builds our students’ knowledge and helps develop their critical understanding of the changing culture of film, television and the arts

Students will be be introduced to a broad range of skills and technical areas used in film, TV, theatre and exhibitions, including: 

  • Anatomical and observational drawing
  • Construction in wood and metal
  • Introduction to prosthetic make-up
  • Puppet fabrication and performance
  • Sculpting from life
  • Three-dimensional prop making

Students can also develop work within the following areas:

  • Character modelling for film animation
  • Film animation
  • Miniature model-making
  • Animation and computer generated imagery (CGI)


Year One

  • Unit 1: Introduction to study in Higher Education
  • Unit 2: Introduction to practice - Defining the subject
  • Unit 3: Critical and contextual studies
  • Unit 4: Establishing practice

Year Two

  • Unit 5: Understanding collaborative practice
  • Unit 6: Experimentation and exploring practice
  • Unit 7: Research in practice
  • Unit 8: Contextualising practice

Year Three

  • Unit 9: Theorising practice and practising theory
  • Unit 10: Towards independent practice

Work experience and opportunities

The college has good relationships with many companies in the creative and entertainment industry, including Merlin Entertainment’s Madame Tussauds, Aardman Animations, Disney, Artem, Asylum, Hothouse as well as The National Film and Television School.

With focused periods of work experience possible during students’ first and second years, these links offer the chance of work experience within these companies, as well as potential employment afterwards.

Students can also study abroad in their second year as part of the College’s Erasmus scheme.


Grant Hicks - Course Leader

Grant Hicks is an award-winning and practising film production designer with over 30 years experience in theatre, television, commercials and feature films. 

Allan Sly - Senior Lecturer

Allan Sly is a professional sculptor and modeller with over 36 years teaching experience in higher education. He's also been actively engaged in public commissions and film work since graduating from the Royal Academy of Arts in 1977.

Visiting Staff

  • Keith Frederick
  • Dr.Tim Garrett
  • Trevor Hewett
  • Dan Martin
  • Aya Nakamura 
  • Liz Thompson 
  • Darryl Worbey


Graduates from this course now work as sculptors, model-makers, designers, film animators, animatronics mechanics, prosthetic artists, prop-makers, creature-costume designers or fabricators.

Other alumni have set up their own businesses or work freelance on major films and film studios, including the Harry Potter films, A Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy, BBC's Dr Who and New Zealand’s Weta Workshop that created special effects for The Lord Of The Rings films.


  • Eun Jung - Senior sculptor at Madame Tussauds
  • Max Patte - Sculptor for Weta Workshop whose credits include Harry Potter V, Prince Caspian, Justice League of America
  • Will Pearce – Head of masks and puppets for The Lion King at the Lyceum Theatre, London
  • Mikey Please – BAFTA award winner for The Eagleman Stag, 2011

Entry Requirements

We select students based on the quality of their applications, looking primarily at their portfolio of work and personal statements.

Applicants will have, or are expected to achieve, either:

  • A Foundation Diploma in Art and Design
  • 1 GCE A Level
  • 3 GCSEs grade C or above


  • BTEC Extended Diploma or NVQ Level 3
  • 3 GCSEs grade C or above


  • University of the Arts London level 3 Pre-University Diploma and Extended Diploma in Art and Design
  • 4 GCSEs grade C or above


  • International Baccalaureate Diploma pass achieved at 28 points or above 
  • An equivalent level of performance in other internationally recognised national school leaving or university entrance qualifications


  • Other evidence of prior learning and experience via Accreditation of Prior (Experiential) Learning - AP(E)L and / or alternative qualifications assessed as offering the same level as the above requirements 

In exceptional circumstances, applicants may be considered if they present a portfolio of equivalent standard to a Foundation Diploma in Art and Design and have:

  • 2 GCE A Levels
  • 3 GCSEs grade C or above

Where conditional offers are made to GCE A Level applicants these will normally be at grade C or above.

English Language Requirements

All classes are conducted in English. If English isn't a students' first language they must provide evidence at enrolment of the following:

At interview and portfolio review

 We look for:

  • An interest, commitment and motivation for studying the subject
  • An understanding of the subject, including examples of contemporary and historical practice
  • An ability to communicate your ideas visually, verbally and in writing
  • Your portfolio to demonstrate a range of appropriate skills and technical abilities 
  • An ability to self-direct and evaluate your own work

Portfolio advice

Your portfolio should show the following:

  • An ability to observe and record - particularly with life drawing
  • Basic 3D modelling and fabrication skills
  • Material awareness
  • Subject awareness

Home / EU applicants

All applicants for this course will be invited for interview.

Applicants will be seen by a team of Theatre and Screen tutors.

Interviews will take place between the following dates:

  • 1 - 5 February 2016
  • 22 - 26 February 2016

Applicants may be offered a place on an alternative BA Theatre and Screen course at Wimbledon.

This decision will be based on our assessment of an applicants' creative potential and interests.

International applicants

Interviews and portfolio reviews - applicants can be interviewed in a number of different ways: 

  • By phone
  • In their country, if your application was made though one of our official representatives 
  • At our international office based at Chelsea College of Arts


Use UAL’s scholarship search to find out what funding may be available to you.


Home / EU applicants

You must apply through the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS), where you’ll need the following information:

  • University code - U65
  • UCAS course code - W492

International applicants

There are three ways international students can apply to an undergraduate course at Wimbledon College of Arts:

To apply through the College, you’ll need to download and complete our international undergraduate application form and send this, along with your portfolio and any supporting documents, to the address below.

Download International Undergraduate application form [PDF, 185 KB]

International Office
Chelsea College of Arts 
16 John Islip Street

Deferred entry

This course will give consideration to deferred entry application from both Home / EU and International applicants.

Study Abroad applicants

Through the Study Abroad programme international students can apply to join an undergraduate course for a period of up to three terms. 

For information on how to apply visit the Study Abroad section

Enquire about this course

If you haven’t found the information you’re looking for or want to ask us a question about this course, please fill out our enquiry form.

Make an enquiry