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Postgraduate

MA Virtual Reality

Close up shot of moulded shapes in a variety of pastel colours
Ludmila Moleman, 2019. MA Virtual Reality, London College of Communication, UAL | Photo: Alys Tomlinson
College
London College of Communication
Start date
September 2023
Course length
1 year 3 months full-time (45 weeks across a four-term model)

MA Virtual Reality (VR) at London College of Communication (LCC) explores the application of VR technologies across filmmaking, VFX, animation, games and augmented reality experiences.

Open Evenings

The next Open Evening for this course will be announced soon.

Course overview

MA Virtual Reality will equip you with the technical resources and specialist guidance needed to test and develop virtual experiences across a range of media platforms including 3D computer animation, 360-degree filmmaking, games and interactive AR applications.

What can you expect?

You’ll experiment with new approaches to the use of these technologies, as well as explore the design and conceptualisation pipeline for these virtual experiences.

Across Terms One and Two, you'll have the opportunity to explore and utilise an array of VR software pipelines including VR painting, 3D modelling and environment design, 360-degree video capture and games development.

The course prepares you to progress into the fast-growing VR industry, as well as into sectors such as animation, film, television, games and marketing, which are all quickly adopting VR technologies.

Mode of Study

MA Virtual reality is in Full Time mode which runs for 45 weeks over 15 months. You will be expected to commit 40 hours per week to study.

Course units

Each course is divided into units, which are credit-rated. The minimum unit size is 20 credits. The MA course structure involves five units, totalling 180 credits.

Autumn, Term 1

Creative VR Project Portfolio (40 Credits)

In this unit, you will have the opportunity to explore the full breadth of creative VR applications and begin to explore ways to utilise various software palettes and workflows to develop immersive products.

Designing Immersive Experiences (20 Credits)

In this unit, you’ll explore the methods, techniques and critical theories that underpin the conceptualisation and design of VR experiences. You’ll explore the principles of animation, alongside film and games concept development and use these to develop strategies that help to establish the language and workflow of VR design.

Spring, Term 2

Critical Practice and Exploration (40 Credits)

During this unit, you’ll draw on your knowledge of VR workflows and technical methodologies in order to produce a portfolio of advanced experimental, technical and critical practice. This could take the form of interactive application, games or immersive narrative experiences.

Collaborative Unit (20 Credits)

As part of the LCC Screen School strategy to enable collaboration and a project-focused approach to creative practices, you will use this unit as an opportunity to work as part of a cross-disciplinary creative team.

You’ll be encouraged to work with postgraduate students across other courses within the Moving Image and Digital Arts Programme including MA 3D Computer Animation and MA Games Design, as well as courses in other programmes within the Screen School such as MA Sound Arts and MA Film.

Summer, Terms 3 and 4

Final Project and Thesis (60 Credits)

At this final stage of the course, you’ll bring together the knowledge, skills and experience gained throughout your studies to produce a self-directed, longer-form VR project, alongside an associated thesis.

Students will specify, refine and produce an ambitious and substantial VR project that will show that they have an in-depth critical awareness of the area and the highly developed practical skills in production management, design and execution of immersive experiences to deliver a complex project on time.

This major project will demonstrate that the appropriate level of academic and technical proficiency has been reached for the award of a Masters degree.

Learning and teaching methods

  • Lectures
  • Seminars
  • Tutorials
  • Critiques
  • Workshops
  • Software training
  • Individual research exercises
  • Self-directed study
  • Peer reviews

Online Open Day

Course Leader, Ana Tudor, gives an overview of studying MA Virtual Reality at London College of Communication.

Student voices

Inga Masliy

Student voices

Inga's final project uses augmented reality to recreate a destroyed church in Russia.

Mila Moleman

Student voices

Mila tells us about why she chose LCC's MA in Virtual Reality and collaboration on the course.

Course stories

Facilities

  • Student reading a book in between two bookshelves in the Library
    Students in the Digital Space. London College of Communication, UAL. Photograph: Alys Tomlinson
    Digital Space

    The Digital Space is an open-plan, creative hub with computers set up with specialist software.

  • Students using the computers in the Digital Space
    Student in Creative Technology Lab, 2020. London College of Communication, UAL. Photograph: Tim Boddy
    Creative Technology Lab

    A multi-purpose space that supports students with: Creative Coding, Physical Computing, Projection Mapping, Games, and Virtual Reality.

Fees and funding

Home fee

£12,700

This fee is correct for 2023/24 entry and is subject to change for 2024/25 entry.

Tuition fees may increase in future years for new and continuing students on courses lasting more than one year. For this course, you can pay tuition fees in instalments.

Home fees are currently charged to UK nationals and UK residents who meet the rules. However, the rules are complex. Find out more about our tuition fees and determining your fee status.

International fee

£25,970

This fee is correct for 2023/24 entry and is subject to change for 2024/25 entry.

Tuition fees may increase in future years for new and continuing students on courses lasting more than one year. For this course, you can pay tuition fees in instalments.

Students from countries outside of the UK will generally be charged international fees. The rules are complex so read more about tuition fees and determining your fee status.

Scholarship search

Entry requirements

Applicants will be considered for admission if they have achieved an educational level equivalent to an honours degree in either animation, illustration, visual communication, graphic design or closely related subject, and present a portfolio of moving-image work. However, we do not exclude candidates who have graduated from other less strongly aligned disciplines.

This educational level may be demonstrated by:

  • Honours degree (named above);
  • Possession of equivalent qualifications;
  • Prior experiential learning, the outcome of which can be demonstrated to be equivalent to formal qualifications otherwise required;
  • Or a combination of formal qualifications and experiential learning which, taken together, can be demonstrated to be equivalent to formal qualifications otherwise required.

APEL (Accreditation of Prior Learning)

Applicants who do not meet these course entry requirements may still be considered in exceptional cases. The course team will consider each application that demonstrates additional strengths and alternative evidence. This might, for example, be demonstrated by:

  • Related academic or work experience
  • The quality of the personal statement
  • A strong academic or other professional reference
  • OR a combination of these factors

Each application will be considered on its own merit but we cannot guarantee an offer in each case.

Language requirements

All classes are conducted in English. If English is not your first language, we strongly recommend you let us know your English language test score in your application. If you have booked a test or are awaiting your results, please indicate this in your application. When asked to upload a CV as part of your application, please include any information about your English test score.

  • IELTS 6.5 (or equivalent) is required, with a minimum of 5.5 in each of the four skills.
  • If your first language is not English, you can check you have achieved the correct IELTS level in English on the Language Requirements page. 
  • For further details regarding international admissions and advice please visit the International Applications page.

Selection criteria

Offers will be made based on the following selection criteria, which applicants are expected to demonstrate:

  • Sufficient prior knowledge and experience of and/or potential in games development, film, animation or VFX practice to be able to successfully complete the programme of study, and have an academic or professional background in a relevant subject
  • Knowledge of visual culture and an ability to engage in critical discussion

 

Apply now

All applications will be reviewed by the course team who will consider key elements when making a decision on your suitability to join the course:

  • Firstly, they will look at your qualifications and transcript (or projected results)
  • Secondly, they will review your personal statement and portfolio
  • There is no requirement for an academic or professional reference.

Required Information for all postgraduate course applications

Before you apply, please take time to read the guidance below. You will be asked to provide the following items and upload documents when completing the online application form:

  • Personal details (including full name; date of birth; nationality; permanent address and English language level)
  • Current and/or previous education and qualification details
  • Employment history
  • CV
  • Personal statement

Extra information required for applications to this course

  • Portfolio

Start your application now

The online application can be saved as you fill it out, so you don’t need to complete it all at once. You will also have the chance to review all the information and make any necessary amendments before you press submit.

Apply now

Deferring your place

This course accepts requests from offer holders to defer their place for one academic year. Deferral requests are granted on a first-come, first served basis until all deferral places are filled, or a deadline has been reached, whichever is sooner.

Read our Admissions Policy for details, and request your deferral by contacting us through the UAL Portal using the Contact Us button in your My Application(s) tab.

External Student Transfer Policy

If you are currently studying at another institution and have successfully completed 60 credits in the equivalent units/modules on your current PG course and wish to continue your studies at London College of Communication, you can apply to transfer.

The Admissions Tutor will consider applications on a case by case basis, subject to places being available. You must apply directly to the course via the course webpage as early as possible.

Further information about the external student transfer policy can be found on the Office for Students Information page.

CV

Please provide a CV detailing your education, qualifications and any relevant work or voluntary experience. If English is not your first language it is important that you also include in your CV details of your most recent English language test score.

Personal statement advice

You will be asked to complete a personal statement describing why you want to study on MA Virtual Reality. Candidates will be expected to demonstrate critical knowledge of and enthusiasm for the subject, and a well-articulated rationale for joining the course.

The personal statement is a very important part of your application and should demonstrate to the course team that you are interested in the subject and that you have thought very carefully about why you wish to study on the course.

Ensure that your personal statement it is well written, clear and free of any spelling mistakes. It is your chance to impress the course team by showing a strong interest in the subject, demonstrating what you feel you would bring to the course, your appreciation of what the course can offer you and how you feel it might help you in the future. This can be demonstrated through work experience, previous studies and your personal experience.

Application deadline

19 December 2022 and 3 April 2023

For postgraduate courses at UAL there are 2 rounds of applications. This is to ensure equal consideration and fairness for all of our applicants. You must apply for 19 December 2022 for Round 1 or by 3 April 2023 for Round 2.

The round 1 deadline has been changed to 19 December to give you more time to make your application.

When you'll hear from us

If this course requires a digital portfolio as part of the application process, we will contact you to invite you to submit this through UAL’s online submission tool, PebblePad. For Round 1 applications, you will need to submit your portfolio by 9 January 2023 at the latest and by 20 April 2023 for Round 2.

This course receives a high volume of applications. We need to make sure that we give all applications equal consideration, so the course team will review them in 2 rounds, after each application deadline date. This means you won’t hear from us about the outcome of your application until after the relevant application deadline date. Outcomes for Round 1 will be released by (at the latest) end of March and outcomes for Round 2 will be released by end of June 2023.

Remember to check the outcome of your application in the UAL Portal. If you apply in Round 1 and don’t hear back from us, we will consider your application within Round 2.

Find out more about what happens after you apply.

All applications will be reviewed by the course team who will consider key elements when making a decision on your suitability to join the course:

  • Firstly, they will look at your qualifications and transcript (or projected results)
  • Secondly, they will review your personal statement and portfolio
  • There is no requirement for an academic or professional reference.

Required Information for all postgraduate course applications

Before you apply, please take time to read the guidance below. You will be asked to provide the following items and upload documents when completing the online application form:

  • Personal details (including full name; date of birth; nationality; permanent address and English language level)
  • Current and/or previous education and qualification details
  • Employment history
  • CV
  • Personal statement

Please note: we will ask you for copies of certain documents (for example, English language qualification/certificate and copies of any previous UK study visas). Read our immigration and visa information to find out if you need a visa to study at UAL.

You can only apply to the same course once per year. Any duplicate applications will be withdrawn.  Read the UAL international application advice for further information on how to apply.

Extra information required for applications to this course

  • Portfolio

Start your application now

There are 2 ways international students can apply to a postgraduate course:

The application form can be saved as you fill it out, so you do not need to complete it all at once. You will also have the chance to review all the information and make any necessary amendments before you submit the application form.

Deferring your place

This course accepts requests from offer holders to defer their place for one academic year. Deferral requests are granted on a first-come, first served basis until all deferral places are filled, or a deadline has been reached, whichever is sooner.

Read our Admissions Policy for details, and request your deferral by contacting us through the UAL Portal using the Contact Us button in your My Application(s) tab.

External Student Transfer Policy

If you are currently studying at another institution and have successfully completed 60 credits in the equivalent units/modules on your current PG course and wish to continue your studies at London College of Communication, you can apply to transfer.

The Admissions Tutor will consider applications on a case by case basis, subject to places being available. You must apply directly to the course via the course webpage as early as possible.

Further information about the external student transfer policy can be found on the Office for Students Information page.

Immigration history check

Whether you are applying through a UAL representative or direct application you will need to complete an Immigration History check. If you do not complete the Immigration History Check we will not be able to proceed with your application.

CV

Please provide a CV detailing your education, qualifications and any relevant work or voluntary experience. If English is not your first language it is important that you also include in your CV details of your most recent English language test score.

Personal statement advice

You will be asked to complete a personal statement describing why you want to study on MA Virtual Reality. Candidates will be expected to demonstrate critical knowledge of and enthusiasm for the subject, and a well-articulated rationale for joining the course.

The personal statement is a very important part of your application and should demonstrate to the course team that you are interested in the subject and that you have thought very carefully about why you wish to study on the course.

Ensure that your personal statement it is well written, clear and free of any spelling mistakes. It is your chance to impress the course team by showing a strong interest in the subject, demonstrating what you feel you would bring to the course, your appreciation of what the course can offer you and how you feel it might help you in the future. This can be demonstrated through work experience, previous studies and your personal experience.

Application deadline

19 December 2022 and 3 April 2023

For postgraduate courses at UAL there are 2 rounds of applications. This is to ensure equal consideration and fairness for all of our applicants. You must apply for 19 December 2022 for Round 1 or by 3 April 2023 for Round 2.

We recommend you submit your application as early as possible before these deadlines to allow the Admissions team to resolve any initial queries about your application as quickly as possible.

When you'll hear from us

This course receives a high volume of applications. We need to make sure that we give all applications equal consideration, so the course team will review them in two rounds. This means that offers won’t be sent to successful applicants until after the relevant application deadline date. Outcomes for Round 1 will be released by 31 March 2022 and outcomes for Round 2 will be released by 30 June 2022.

Remember to check the outcome of your application in the UAL Portal. If you apply in Round 1 and don’t hear back from us, we will consider your application within Round 2.

Find out more about what happens after you apply.

After you apply

Communicating with you

After you have successfully submitted your application online, you will receive an email confirming your application and providing your login details for the UAL Applicant Portal. Please add @arts.ac.uk to your contacts to ensure that you do not miss any important updates re: your application to UAL.

Please log into the portal, as this is where we will send you important updates and requests, and you can contact us with any questions you may have about your application.

What happens next

Portfolio and interview information

As part of your application, you’ll be asked to submit an electronic portfolio which features a maximum of 20 images.

At application stage, the course team is just as excited to see a portfolio of strong image making or interactive content that has a sense of sequential play as they are to see an accomplished portfolio of animation work.

Successful applicants will be selected on the strength of a specific area or angle in their portfolio. For example, this might include work with a strong emphasis on illustration or design that indicates your desire to work with sound and interaction in a virtual format within the 3D space.

Alternatively, you might choose to showcase a portfolio of animation work that demonstrates your commitment to focusing on personal development through a further course of study.

Your portfolio should contain:

  • Examples of image-led and visual work from either education or professional practice.
  • A minimum of 5 projects.
  • Self-initiated projects are also encouraged. A 3D, live action/VFX or animated showreel of at least 60 seconds in length. You should make sure to state your role (animator, modeller, lighting, story, background) and the techniques that you’ve used.

Preferably, this should be a personal work and animated entirely by you. Please note any of your links to web projects or media assets on your CV.

Applicants are usually interviewed by the course team before a place can be offered. Interviews will be held online, and details will be sent via the UAL Portal.

How we notify you of the outcome of your application

You will receive the outcome of your application through the UAL Applicant Portal.

Requesting feedback

This course receives a high number of applications. Unfortunately, we can’t provide feedback to everyone who is unsuccessful. We can only provide feedback after you’ve had an interview.

We are only able to provide feedback to you directly, or to someone you have told us in writing can receive it on your behalf. If you would like to request feedback  please contact us through the UAL Portal using the Contact Us button in your My Application(s) tab.

Successful applicants will be guided through the rest of our admissions stages and towards enrolment on the course.

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