University of South Wales
We offer students the best opportunities in the UK to build a successful career in film and TV. On our courses, students discover countless opportunities to build industry experience, networks and connections to help them transition into a creative professional.
USW Cardiff is one of the largest providers of Creative Industries Education in the UK, with a curriculum covering Illustration, Animation, Graphic Communication, Film and Media Production, to Drama, Performance, Music and Dance. Partnerships with major employers have led to 95% of our graduates entering employment within 6 months of graduation. Our graduates work for major studios including Disney Pixar, ILM, DNEG, Framestore, Rockstar Studios, Sony Pictures Animation, EA Games, DreamWorks and broadcasters including BBC, HBO along with many independent companies.
USW Cardiff prides itself on its vibrant city-centre location with several animation and games employers within easy reach. The Faculty offers a diverse range of undergraduate and postgraduate courses across the areas of - Animation and Games, Film & VFX, Music and Sound, Journalism & Media, & Performance, Design Communication, Fashion & Photography – all ideally placed within the same landmark building to foster a ‘culture of collaboration’ between them. All courses are united by a course structure that supports the development of ‘creativity’, ‘skills’ and ‘professionalism’, and is underpinned by a shared ethos that focuses upon twenty-first graduate skills.
Each course has access to dedicated, bespoke studios each with high-spec mac or pc hardware on a four-year replacement cycle and annual subscriptions for all industry-relevant software. In addition to these course-specific studios and teaching spaces students also have access to :
Motion Capture Suite - with two market-leading, industry-spec systems available, both an 18-camera Vicon (fixed) and an Xsens (mobile) systems available and operational
Green Screen Studios – students have access to 1 medium and one large green screen studios with infinity scoops for captures with endless horizons.
VR Equipment – numerous HTC Vive and Occulus Rift systems available and operational
Film Facilities - Students benefit from industry-standard film facilities, including dedicated, fully equipped HD film studios complete with lighting rigs, a black box studio, Avid HD and Adobe editing suites, Pro Tools sound editing and dubbing suite, and excellent screening facilities.
3D Fabrication Workshop - For any larger fabrication requirements (Stop-motion sets etc.). Includes 3D printers and laser cutters.
Life Drawing Studio - capacity 20 - Includes drawing easels and drawing donkeys.
Media Loans - the University's equipment and film resources hire facility. Currently well-stocked with appropriate sound, camera, lighting and other filming equipment suitable for all relevant courses within the faculty.
Access to Resources - Students also have access to the variety of other resources the Faculty offers, such as a well-stocked library, specialist areas for sound and music recording, large Film studios and numerous computer labs with large variety of software suitable for the wide-range of creative industries facilitated by the Faculty. Students have access to the building and its resources from 8:00 – 21:00 Mon-Sat, and 9:00-17:00 Sun, and as such have a significant period of 'out of hours' available to work on their projects.
Within the staff team, individual staff members are continually pursuing commercial practice in 3D CG Art & Animation, Games Art, Games Design, VFX and Motion Graphics as well as scholarly activity in support of the courses. To this end, teaching material is updated regularly utilising up to date content in terms of workshops, as well as delivering on the most current and suitable software and hardware for the student’s projects. Workshops and lectures are designed to be inclusive and where appropriate, include practical demonstrations and tutorials in order to facilitate the students learning.
In addition to this, the Course Teams regularly visit studios both locally and further afield where conversations often turn to “skills gaps”, new software being incorporated into pipelines and what apects industry partners “would like us to do more of”. The resulting snippets of advice and guidance are then regularly incorporated into decisions around course design, content of projects and new software acquisitions. Hourly Paid Visiting Lecturing staff who currently work in local (and national) studios also regularly influence the curriculum through ongoing discussions about our course content and how it reflects and supports current industry practices. Sometimes these come in the form of new ad-hoc classes around specific techniques, in other cases, they challenge the course to affect a small or large-scale redesign if considered appropriate by the staff team.
The current Discover Uni course employability report accessed 03/07/20 states the following statistics following completing the courses in 2019: between 82% - 90% of students go on to work and/or study across the schools various Bachelor Degrees.
Autodesk Suite (Maya, 3DS Max, Mudox, Motionbuilder), Foundry Suite (Nuke, Mari, Modo), Houdini, Zbrush, Topogun, Unreal Engine, Unity, Substance Suite (Designer, Painter), Marmoset Toolbag, Speed tree, Quixel Suite, Realflow, Redshift, Adobe Suite (Photoshop, Premiere, After Effects, etc), Cinema 4D, Blender, DaVinci Resolve, PFtrack, Shotgun, Toonboom , Celaction, Dragonframe (stop-motion)
BA(Hons) Computer Animation: 2 x Computer Animation Studios – 62 seats in total. 62 x High Spec PCs - Core i7-770 quad-core processer 4.5ghz, 32GB 24MHz, PC4-19200 DDR4 RAM, 500GB SSD, NVIDIA FeForce GTX1080 8GB, 10 x 13” Wacom Cintiq tablets, 2 x 4K Projector for Teaching & Demonstration purposes, Motion Capture Suite - 18-camera Vicon (fixed) and Xsens (mobile) systems available and operational, VR Equipment - HTC Vive and Occulus Rift systems available and operational.
BA(Hons) Game Art: Microsoft specs PC’s with high-end gfx cards and SSD drives. We use a remote desktop system to allow students to use the power of studio machines from a home device. VR headsets and 3d printing systems are utilised for both digital and physical asset development.
BA(Hons) Visual Effects and Motion Graphics: 2x Visual Effects Computer Studios, collaboration areas and dedicated green screen studio facility. 40+ 4k i7 Apple iMac’s with 16gb RAM and dedicated GPU’s. 4k teaching Projectors and presentation displays. Remote computer access for complete software access and rendering.
BA(Hons) Computer Games Design: High spec gaming PCs (100+) across four labs, VR Kits, Consoles & Arcade machines, Greenscreen & Mocap studio
BA(Hons) Animation (2d And Stop Motion): Microsoft high-spec PC’s with high-end gfx cards and SSD drives. We use a remote desktop VPN system to allow students to use the power of studio machines from a home device. 3D Printing , laser cutting up to date filming facilities for stop motion.
Take a look at some of the traditional and digital artwork University of South Wales students produce during their education.
•Emma Hygate | Previz Artist – Painting Practice/Bad Wolf
When I came to my first Open Day it was clear to see the scale of the opportunities in Cardiff and how much the industry is going here. The University of South Wales really helped and put me in touch with a lot of great people to get into the industry. Now working on the HBO TV series of Philip Pullman’s “His Dark Materials” I actually get to animate a character I've known since I was young and bring it to life
Networking & Careers
USW Animation, Design, and VFX graduates from Film and TV School Wales contributed to this year's Oscar-Nominated Films, in the 2019 "Animated Feature Film" and "Visual Effects" categories. The University is thrilled with the achievements of our alumni, and we're astounded when they receive high-level praise, such as potentially winning an Oscar. Former students from the University of South Wales (USW) are behind some of the most successful films of the past year, which were nominated for 2020 Academy Awards. A total of 15 former students from USW’s Film and TV School Wales have worked on films that were listed in this year’s nominations, in the categories of Production Design, Visual Effects and Animated Feature Film. Working on blockbusters including 1917, Avengers: Endgame, The Lion King and Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, the USW alumni are adding some of Hollywood’s highest-grossing films of recent years to their CVs.
Following studios hire our graduates: Student are regularly employed by the following companies: ILM, Sony Pictures Imageworks (USA), Pdi/ Dreamworks (USA), Animal Logic (Australia), Core (Canada), Framestore (UK), Double Negative (UK), Cinesite (UK), Aardman CG (UK), Rockstar North, Sony Computer Entertainment Europe (Playstation), EA Games (UK & USA), Ubisoft (Canada), Criterion, Crytek , Rocksteady Studios, Codemasters, Travellers Tales, Climax Games, Splash Damage, Freestyle Games, Rare Games Ltd, Kuju Games, big BIG Studios, Headfirst Productions, Oysterworld Games, Wales Interactive, Gamesoft, Eutechnyx, Jagex
Through the Faculty’s Film & TV School Wales, we offer students the best opportunities in the UK to build a successful career in film and TV. On our courses, students discover countless opportunities to build industry experience, networks and connections to help them transition into a creative professional. Our students benefit from our unique contacts with leading industry companies and professionals, and the many opportunities that they gain from work placements, job opportunities and strong international exposure. Our inspiring team of academic staff combine top quality teaching with working in the industry, ensuring they can pass on up-to-the-minute skills, and share their extensive contacts and knowledge with our students. Guest lectures, masterclasses, industry visits and work placements all add to opportunities to meet top industry talent face-to-face.
BA(Hons) Computer Animation
Internationally recognised, award-winning course. You can develop your creative talents, and gain the practical and technical skills for an exciting career in TV, Film, Visual Effects or Games. Artistic and creative practices, enabling you to produce the best results possible, underpin the computer-generated content of the course.
BA(Hons) Game Art
If you want to become a skilled and professional game artist, our BA (Hons) Game Art degree develops the creative and technical skills you will need. You’ll develop traditional art skills alongside cutting-edge digital artwork. Your studies will also explore professional and theoretical elements of the games industry. The Game Art course includes professional live briefs, competitions, game jams and project collaborations with other courses such as Games Design and Computer Animation to design, develop and publish games for PC, console and mobile games
BA(Hons) Visual Effects & Motion Graphics
The USW Visual Effects & Motion Graphics course enables students to build towards a successful career in the Creative Industries. Graduates from recent years have embarked on their professional development at studios such as DNEG, Framestore, ILM, Bait Studio, Nineteentwenty amongst others. From heavy visual effects to TV title sequences and motion, the opportunities available for students to explore are vast and giving them access to high quality facilities and resources will open up opportunities for all budding motion designers, filmmakers and visual effects compositors to realise their potential.
BA(Hons) Computer Games Design
This Computer Games Design degree focuses on the creative and artistic aspects of games production, giving you the practical skills to develop, produce and publish game titles. On this course, you'll learn how to develop your game in such a way that it could form the basis of a start-up games company. On graduation, you'll have a strong portfolio of playable games to present to employers.
If you want to work in the 2D or stop- motion animation industry, and have a passion for storytelling through animation, this course is for you. You’ll gain plenty of hands-on experience of traditional and digital animation techniques to complement your strong drawing skills and imagination. You’ll be encouraged to find ways to apply these skills throughout the entire animation process.
USW's Animation masters produces highly skilled artists who are able to make a significant impact and contribution in today’s evolving industry, developing new ideas for commercial platforms on the international stage. Taught by our BAFTA award-winning staff and visiting industry professionals, MA Animation graduates will be in a position to apply for influential creative positions in the film, television, advertising, games, visual novels and mobile app fields.
MA Games Enterprise
The MA Games Enterprise is an innovative course that will give you the opportunity to develop design, production and enterprise skills. It builds upon the existing successful teaching at undergraduate degree level within this subject area that has produced award-winning game developers, SMEs, artists and designers. The Games Enterprise masters is aimed at those who wish to expand their existing skills and develop their practice within an environment that functions as a small development company, but who also wishes to tailor their learning to their own specialism.
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