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Undergraduate

BA (Hons) Virtual Reality

Image of man in denim shirt and jeans wearing a virtual reality headset while looking and bending down within a red rectangle taped to the floor.
BA (Hons) Virtual Reality banner. Image by Ana Escobar
College
London College of Communication
Start date
September 2021
Course length
3 years
UCAS code
I700

BA (Hons) Virtual Reality offers the chance to design and shape the future of the VR field, giving students the opportunity to test and work with new immersive and interactive tools for film, games, design and remote collaboration.

Why choose this course at London College of Communication

  • Access to industry standard development technologies, animation studios and capture facilities. This includes our new state-of-the-art Virtual Reality (VR) suites and motion capture facilities.
  • Opportunities to collaborate with students on other courses within the Screen School including but not limited to BA (Hons) Film Practice, BA (Hons) Animation and BA (Hons) Games Design.
  • Students on this course will be at the global forefront of developing Virtual Reality (VR) as both a discipline and suite of technologies, and their research will directly impact the continued growth of this industry.
  • Virtual Reality (VR) is a rapidly growing industry, producing experiences across art, design, entertainment, film, games, heritage and simulation.

Open Days

The next online Open Day for this course will be announced soon.

A recording of our latest online Open Day for this course is now available. Watch online now

What is BA (Hons) Virtual Reality?

Programme Director, Danyl Bartlett, talks through what BA (Hons) Virtual Reality (VR) is and why it's the right time to be studying VR at London College of Communication.

Course stories

Facilities

empty workshop space with chairs, tables, tv screen's vr booths and coding area

Creative Technology Lab

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

The Digital Space, London College of Communication.
Image © Ana Escobar

The Digital Space

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

A 3D model of a wolf produced by an animation student.
Image © Lewis Bush

Animation and Games Design

Discover the range of resources on offer to students studying Animation and Games Design.

Course overview

As a course within the Screen School at London College of Communication, BA (Hons) Virtual Reality prioritises the development of narrative-led experiences and diversity of voices within the projects that our students create.

Students studying on the course have access to industry-standard production technologies, including a fully equipped immersive production and motion capture lab and a wide range of state-of-the-art head mounted displays.

This course provides opportunities for students to develop immersive projects and experiences and across the fields of live-action 360* filmmaking, animation and games design.

In addition to learning core workflows in software such as Unity3D and AutoDesk Maya, students will also work with on-set capture and shooting equipment to develop assets for each project they complete.

Course Structure

The academic year for this course is divided into 2 blocks. 

The 1st block is of 15 weeks’ duration from late September to mid-February. In accordance with the University timetable, there will be a four week holiday in December. 

The 2nd block is also of 15 weeks’ duration from mid-February to the end of June with a four week holiday for Easter.

Mode of Study

BA (Hons) Virtual reality runs for 93 weeks in full time mode. It is divided into 3 stages over 3 academic years. Each stage lasts 31 weeks.

Course units

In common with all courses at the University of the Arts London, this course is credit rated. Years 1 and 2 must be passed to enter into year 3. Your degree is attained through full completion of the third year.

Year 1

Introduction to Virtual Reality (20 credits)

This unit will introduce you to your course and its subject specialism as well as to effective learning and studentship at undergraduate level.

It will orientate you to the practices and knowledge-base needed to understand your discipline and help you to develop your skills for independent & collaborative learning, reflection and your own self development.

Virtual Principles (40 credits)

The Virtual Principles unit introduces you to the fundamental terminology, technology and craft skills that underpin all areas of immersive content creation.

The unit covers a range of key production areas including production pipelines, 360 image capture and VR design software processes.

Virtual Spaces (40 credits)

The Virtual Space unit extends the Virtual Principles unit, giving you a deeper understanding of how narrative is constructed visually, and the tools that can used to create immersive experiences.

Within this unit you will have the opportunity to design and develop a series of short immersive projects that continue to explore the fundamental principles of VR production.

Contextual and Theoretical Studies 1 (20 credits)

This unit introduces you to histories, theories and debates in relation to virtual reality and visual and material culture.

Year 2

Virtual Trajectories (40 credits)

This unit will introduce you to the defining technical and artistic principles that underpin immersive content production and allow you to better understand the practices and professional skills needed to create professional moving image and interactive products.

Mapping Virtual Practice (20 credits)

The unit builds on the Year One: Introduction to Virtual Reality by focusing on work-based learning, competitions and/or ‘live’ project(s).

These options will entail self-negotiation and will be initiated, mentored and judged in collaboration with external industry and cultural partners.

Virtual Reality Design Labs (40 credits)

This unit will provide you with the opportunity to produce a portfolio of virtual reality artefacts that demonstrate a developing understanding of your specialist practice, and most importantly how that practice intersects with other mediums.

You will work collaboratively with students across the course, programme area and wider college to produce a portfolio of immersive projects that demonstrate your understanding of the broader context of your technical specialism.

Contextual and Theoretical Studies 2 (20 credits)

You will develop your broader knowledge and understanding of the historical, social, practical, theoretical and cultural developments of contemporary visual culture. You will have the opportunity to further contextualise various aspects of art and design theory in its broadest sense by focusing upon specific options.

Year 3

Final Major Project: Virtual World Building (60 credits)

The Final Major Project offers the potential to collaborate, giving you the opportunity to make a significant contribution to a major project in a specialist role within a small production team.

You will individually develop a portfolio of tested concepts, themes and techniques. Through a pitch and selection process, project proposals will go into production and be part of your Degree Show.

Virtual Networks (20 credits)

This unit builds on the experiences gained in the Mapping Virtual Practice unit on Year Two.

This unit is the final professional practice unit on the course, and there will be a focus on tailoring skills towards a specific role within the industry and on the development of strong personal professional methods and tools of presentation such as CV and personal website.

Contextual and Theoretical Studies 3 (40 credits)

This unit is the culmination of the Contextual and Theoretical Studies component of the course, and provides you with the opportunity to utilise all your knowledge and analytical skills related to visual culture and critical theory in the realisation of a self-determined and extended piece of written work.

Learning and teaching methods

  • Lectures
  • Seminars
  • Formative critiques
  • Technical workshops
  • Software training
  • Peer reviews
  • Group critiques.

Assessment methods

  • Review of research and design development portfolios
  • Submission of moving image and interactive artefacts
  • Written essays 
  • Presentations 
  • Exhibition 

Staff

Annie  Wan

Dr Annie Wan

Course Leader, BA (Hons) Virtual Reality

Danyl  Bartlett

Danyl Bartlett

Programme Director, Moving Image and Digital Arts

How to apply

Opportunities for all

We are committed to making university education an achievable option for a wider range of people and to supporting all of our students in achieving their potential both during and after their courses.

We welcome applications from people with disabilities. If you have a disability (e.g. mobility difficulties, sensory impairments, medical or mental health conditions or Asperger’s syndrome) we strongly encourage you to contact us on disability@arts.ac.uk or +44 (0)20 7514 6156 so that we can plan the right support for you. All enquiries are treated confidentially. To find out more, visit our Disability & Dyslexia webpages.

Entry requirements

Home/EU/International

The course team welcomes applicants from a broad range of backgrounds from all over the world. The course attracts students who apply direct from A-level (or equivalent) or from Foundation Diploma in Art and Design, or other art or design courses, as well as mature students who may have previously worked in industry.

The standard entry requirements for this course are as follows:

104 UCAS tariff points which can be made up of one or a combination of the following accepted full level 3 qualifications:

  • A Levels at grade C or above (preferred subjects include: English; History; Media; Business; Art and Design, or other subjects within Social Sciences).
  • Pass at Foundation Diploma in Art & Design (Level 3 or 4).
  • Distinction, Merit, Merit at BTEC Extended Diploma (preferred subjects: Art and Design, IT & Computing, Media, Music and Performing Arts).
  • Merit at UAL Extended Diploma.
  • Access to Higher Education Diploma (preferred subject: Digital and Creative Media, Film and Production, Computing, Humanities and Social Science).
  • OR equivalent EU/International qualifications, such as International Baccalaureate Diploma at 24 points minimum

And 3 GCSE passes at grade 4 or above (grade A*-C).

APEL - Accreditation of Prior (Experiential) 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;
  • A combination of these factors.

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

English Language Requirements

IELTS level 6.0 or above, with at least 5.5 in reading, writing, listening and speaking. Please check our main English language requirements page for more information.

All classes are conducted in English. If English is not your first language you will be asked to provide evidence of your English language ability when you enrol.

Selection criteria

The details on your UCAS application (including the academic reference and your personal statement) will be assessed against the following criteria:

  • An understanding of the broad applications of immersive technologies
  • A demonstrable interest in using Virtual Reality as a storytelling medium
  • Broad knowledge of either games development, filmmaking, animation or interactive media as evidenced by relevant prior qualifications.

Making your application

Personal statement advice

This is an important part of your application and should demonstrate to the team that you are interested in Virtual Reality, and that you have thought carefully about why you want to study on this course.

You can demonstrate this through your previous work experience or study, personal experience and your ambitions for personal development as a student at LCC.

You should ensure it is written clearly, and free of any spelling mistakes. It is your chance to impress the team by demonstrating your appreciation of what the course can offer you and how you feel it will help you in the future.

State what you personally would bring to the course, and explain what motivates you to learn, explore and experiment.

Please note: This course does not require a portfolio as part of the application.

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

  • University code: U65
  • Course code: I700

London College of Communication courses are listed under University of the Arts London.

Application deadline

We recommend you apply by 15th January for equal consideration. However this course will consider applications after that date, subject to places being available.

Deferring your place

This course allows offer holders to defer. If you have an offer of a place, but you would like to defer starting for a year, please contact our Admissions Service as soon as possible via your UAL Portal. Make sure you check our Admissions Policy before requesting a deferral.

If you are an EU offer holder, it is important to consider that, from 2021-22, you may be charged International fees, which are higher. Read our Coronavirus guidance for prospective students for details.

Transfers

If you are currently studying somewhere else on a course in an equivalent subject area and would like to transfer to this course, you can transfer to:

  • Year 2, if you’ve completed 120 credits in Year 1
  • Year 3, if you’ve completely 240 credits in Years 1 and 2

Apply via UCAS and choose Year 2 or 3 for your POE (Point of Entry)

Please check our Student Transfer Policy for more important information and be ready to provide us with your current course handbook and Year 1/Year 2 unit transcripts.

Referral to alternative UAL courses

The University operates a cross-referral system, where applicants can be considered for and offered a place on an alternative course, if the admissions tutor feels they are more suited to that course. If you wish to opt out of the cross-referral process you can do so at the application form stage.

Erasmus

For further information on Erasmus and UAL exchange schemes, please visit the Erasmus and Non-Erasmus Exchanges section on the UAL website.

International applicants can apply through either of the following routes:

London College of Communication courses are listed under University of the Arts London.

Further information on applying via UCAS is provided on the University Applying through UCAS page.

For full details on the application process, visit the Undergraduate Application page, and for further advice for international applicants, please visit the UAL International Application page.

Application deadline

We recommend you apply by 15th January for equal consideration. However this course will consider applications after that date, subject to places being available.

Deferring your place

This course allows offer holders to defer. If you have an offer of a place, but you would like to defer starting for a year, please contact our Admissions Service as soon as possible via your UAL Portal. Make sure you check our Admissions Policy before requesting a deferral.

Immigration history check

International applicants, whether applying online via UCAS or through a UAL representative or by direct application, you will need to complete an immigration history check to establish whether you are eligible to study at UAL. If you do not complete the check, we will not be able to proceed with your application.

Transfers

If you are currently studying somewhere else on a course in an equivalent subject area and would like to transfer to this course, you can transfer to:

  • Year 2, if you’ve completed 120 credits in Year 1
  • Year 3, if you’ve completely 240 credits in Years 1 and 2

Apply via UCAS and choose Year 2 or 3 for your POE (Point of Entry)

Please check our Student Transfer Policy for more important information and be ready to provide us with your current course handbook and Year 1/Year 2 unit transcripts.

If you are an International applicant and studying outside the UK, please complete your Direct application and then contact us via your UAL Portal to ask to be considered for Year 2/Year 3.

Please be ready to provide an official document (translated into English) from your current university, explaining the learning outcomes of the units you have completed.

Referral to alternative UAL courses

The University operates a cross-referral system, where applicants can be considered for and offered a place on an alternative course, if the admissions tutor feels they are more suited to that course. If you wish to opt out of the cross-referral process you can do so at the application form stage.

Study abroad applicants

International undergraduate students can apply to join BA (Hons) Virtual Reality for a period of up to three terms as a Study Abroad student.

Visit the Study Abroad page for details of how to apply.


After you apply

Communicating with you

After you have successfully submitted your application, you will receive an email confirming we have successfully received your application and providing you with your login details for the UAL Portal. We will request any additional information from you, including inviting you to upload documents through the portal. You should check your UAL Portal regularly for any important updates and requests.

If you have achieved or expect to achieve the standard entry requirements we will consider you for a place on the course.

We make our offers based on the strength of the whole application, and therefore don’t routinely invite applicants to interview.

International applicants may be invited to an online interview. Interview details will be sent via the UAL Portal.

Please add @arts.ac.uk to your contacts to ensure that you do not miss any important updates re: your application to UAL.

What happens next?

We will advise you of your application outcome through UCAS Track. If you are an International applicant and have applied directly or through an agent, we will notify you through the UAL Portal.

We invite all offer holders to come to London College of Communication to attend one of our Offer Holder events. Offer holders will have the chance to meet the team, find out more about the course, and see our diverse and vibrant student community in action.

Requesting feedback

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

If you would like to request feedback – please email lcc.ukeu@arts.ac.uk if you are a Home or EU applicant, or lcc.international@arts.ac.uk if International. 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

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

Fees and funding

Home fee

£9,250 per year

This fee is correct for 2021/22 entry and is subject to change for 2022/23 entry. Tuition fees may increase in future years for new and continuing students.

Home fees are currently charged to UK resident nationals . However, the rules are complex. Find out more about our tuition fees.

From 2021/22 entry, most EU students will be charged the International tuition fee rate, depending on your individual circumstances. If you started your course in October 2020 or earlier, you’ll continue to pay Home (UK) fees for the duration of your course. Read more advice for EU students.

International fee

£22,920 per year

This fee is correct for 2021/22 entry and is subject to change for 2022/23 entry. Tuition fees for international students may increase by up to 5% in each future year of your course.

Students from countries outside of the UK are currently charged international fees. The rules are complex so read more about our tuition fees.

From 2021/22 entry, most EU students will be charged the International tuition fee rate, depending on your individual circumstances. If you started your course in October 2020 or earlier, you’ll continue to pay Home (UK) fees for the duration of your course. Read more advice for EU students.

Scholarship search

Careers and alumni

This course provides students the opportunity to develop the skills needed to progress in range of career pathways. With the immersive industries undergoing a period of near-exponential growth some of the potential employment opportunities include:

  • Unity Developer for Virtual Reality and/or Games
  • 360° fillmmaker/editor
  • VR Creative Producer
  • Unity Designer
  • VR Animator/Designer
  • MR Experience Designer

VR is set of disciplines that are being embraced by a wide spectrum of technical and creative industries, with graduates in the field having an exceptional range of career opportunities beyond their studies.