- Start dateSeptember 2018
- Course length1 year 3 months full-time (45 weeks across a four-term model)
MA Virtual Reality
MA Virtual Reality (VR) at London College of Communication provides the opportunity to explore and develop the application of VR technologies across filmmaking, visual effects (VFX), animation, games and immersive augmented reality (AR) experiences.
About this course
MA Virtual Reality (VR) is a new course that explores both the practical and theoretical implications of emerging virtual reality technologies.
The course will help to position you at the forefront of setting narratives and developing a critical language of how virtual reality can be applied across a vast range of media products.
You will have access to world-leading technologies and virtual reality learning environments, which are supported by the established technical and academic resources across the Screen School at LCC.
New course for September 2018
MA Virtual Reality is subject to validation. Validation is a process that makes sure students get a high-quality academic experience. During validation there maybe be some changes to course content.
Please contact us if you have any questions about this course.
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.
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.
MA Virtual Reality is delivered across four terms, starting in September and finishing in December the year after. Incorporating a summer break, this is a one-year full-time course (45 taught weeks), delivered over 15 months. Each course is divided into units, which are credit-rated. The minimum unit size is 20 credits. The MA course structure involves six units, totalling 180 credits.
Autumn, Term One
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 Two
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-wide 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 Three and Four
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.
How to apply
We ask all applicants to complete an online application and upload additional digital items, via the Apply now link.
Before you apply, we recommend you take some time to read the course Entry Requirements section below to learn about the application process and the additional items you would also need to supply.
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
You will need to enter the following information in the online application:
- 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
- Personal statement
Before submitting your application, you will need to agree to the terms and conditions for how we process your data – these are explained in the application form. Once you have submitted the online application, we will send you a confirmation email.
Please note, if you’re an international applicant we will ask you for copies of certain documents (for example, English language qualification/certificate and copies of any previous UK study visas).
Extra information required for applications to this course
You will need to supply:
After you have submitted your application, the course leader will then review your work, may invite you to interview or interview you via Skype, and will then make a decision on your application.
The admissions team will be in touch soon after that to let you know the outcome and to guide you through the next steps.
Start your application now
Applications are accepted and offers are made, throughout the year. Early application is advised.
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.
As you progress through the application process we will send you emails with important information, so do check your inbox regularly (and junk folder, just in case).
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.
Language requirements (International/EU)
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.
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
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.
Portfolio and interview advice
All applicants will be expected to submit an electronic portfolio as part of their application. At application stage, we are as excited to see a portfolio of strong image making or interactive content, that has a sense of sequential play, as we are to see an accomplished portfolio of animation work.
As a student on the course, you will be selected for something specific you portray through your portfolio. This could be a strong illustration or design portfolio that indicates a desire to take work into the 3D space and work with sound and interaction in a virtual format, or an accomplished portfolio of animation work that indicates a commitment to focus on personal development through a further course of study.
- Your portfolio should have some examples of image-led and visual work from either education or professional practice.
- It should contain a 3D, live action/VFX or animated showreel of minimum 60 seconds in length. Please state your role (animator, modeller, lighting, story, background) and techniques you have used. Preferably it should a personal work and animated entirely by yourself.
- It should contain a minimum of five projects and self-initiated projects are also encouraged.
- If you have links to web projects or media assets, please note these in your CV.
Applicants are usually interviewed by the course team before a place can be offered. Interviews will take place at LCC, or via Skype/telephone.
Deferring an offer
If you are offered a place for 2018/19 but wish to defer to 2019/20, information on how to do this and who to contact can be found in your offer letter. Additionally, International applicants should pay the deposit in order to defer. In all cases, deferred places will be held for one year.
Making a deferred application (during 2018/19 for entry in 2019/20)
Home/EU applicants are permitted to make a deferred application. International applicants are not permitted to make a deferred application.
What happens next?
Successful applicants will be guided through the rest of our admissions stages and towards enrolment on the course.
Fees and funding
Home / EU fee
Home/EU students whose chosen course is at a level equivalent to, or lower than, a qualification that they already hold, would will be charged the fees shown above, plus an additional £1,100 (called the Equivalent or Lower Qualifications (ELQ) fee). Students in receipt of Disabled Students' Allowances (DSAs) are exempt from ELQ fees and will pay the original fee, regardless of the highest qualification held. For enquiries relating to ELQ fees, please complete the course enquiry form.
In addition to tuition fees, you are very likely to incur additional costs such as travel expenses and the cost of materials. We strongly suggest you read the information on our Additional Costs page.
Find out about the accommodation options available and how much they will cost.
Scholarships and awards
A range of scholarships, bursaries and awards are available to postgraduate students at UAL.
Postgraduate loans of up to £10,000 are now available for eligible UK and EU students. A full list of eligibility criteria and information on applying can be found on the postgraduate loans webpage.
Home / EU and International students
Funding opportunities available for this course:
UAL Jobs and Careers
UAL has a number of services and networks that hold regular workshops and careers fairs developed to help you establish and promote your career in the arts, design, or media. These include:
Careers and Employability are the University's dedicated careers and professional practice service. We help UAL students and graduates embark on their professional futures in the creative industries, find jobs, set up a business, and sell their work. We run events throughout the year on all aspects of the career journey.
Creative Opportunities jobs board helps graduates and students find job and internship opportunities and connect with organisations and companies in the creative sector. We post jobs and paid internships, part-time work, freelance contracts and full-time opportunities.