Start Date


3 year(s) full-time


Program Code

444606 (Internal)

Study as
Full-time or part-time


Assumed Knowledge

Entry Scores
2024 Guaranteed Entry
Year 12 (ATAR-based): 65.00
Year 12 (Grades-based): B,B,C
View Guaranteed Entry Info
2023 Cut-Offs
View full entry requirements

Degree overview

  • Study this degree if you want to work in the visual effects industry as a visual effects artist.
  • Join the rapidly growing visual effects industry that’s worth over $550 million in Australia1.  
  • Study a degree designed in association with world-renowned visual effects studio Rising Sun Pictures (RSP)
  • Learn from the World No. 17 Visual Effects School2 with UniSA and Rising Sun Pictures.
  • Experience unparalleled industry-based learning opportunities when you spend 60% of your degree onsite at Rising Sun Pictures’ Adelaide studio. 
  • Learn from experienced visual effects (VFX) artists and supervisors in a simulated production environment. 
  • Gain specialist skills in compositing and tracking, dynamic effects and lighting, creature effects, 3D animation and 3D modelling. 
  • Have the opportunity to work on real-world productions through our industry partnerships. 
  • Gain experience with current trends, technologies, and professional practices. 
  • Graduate industry ready with your own professional VFX showreel.
  • UniSA is an unstoppable university for unstoppable people. As one of the World’s Top Young Universities3, we’ll ensure you get the experience your future profession demands so it’ll feel like you’re studying one minute and, in a career, the next. 

1Screen Australia, The Drama Report 2021/22
2 The Rookies Awards 2023
3UNSTOPPABLE® is a Kellogg Company trade mark used under licence. Ranked #52, 2023 THE Young University Rankings. 



The visual effects industry is undergoing a remarkable expansion and reshaping the global screen sector. With the rise of popular streaming platforms such as Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, and Disney+, there has been increasing demand for captivating and original content, powering the need for top-tier visual effects. In 2022, the Post, Digital and Visual Effects industry in Australia was worth over $550 million, an increase of 71% from the previous year and 56% above the 5-year average1.

UniSA’s Bachelor of Visual Effects is an innovative, industry-focussed degree that puts you at the cutting edge of visual effects production. Combining theoretical knowledge, technical skills, and unparalleled industry-based learning, it will set you up for a career as a multi-disciplinary visual effects artist.

Developed with one of Australia’s largest and most awarded VFX studios, Rising Sun Pictures, you’ll spend 60% of your degree onsite at RSP in their purpose-built simulated studio. This industry-based learning starts in your first year of study, and you’ll learn from experienced VFX artists and have access to the latest technologies, while gaining first-hand experience of professional practices.  

Throughout the degree you’ll gain an understanding of all stages of the professional production cycle, from conceptualisation right through to post-production. You’ll also develop your knowledge and practice of core VFX areas including compositing and tracking, dynamic effects and lighting, creature effects, 3D animation and 3D modelling.

You can also choose to accelerate your studies and complete your degree in 2.5 years.

Graduate with your own VFX showreel, practical industry experience, and the latest skills and knowledge to enter the dynamic world of visual effects.  

Screen Australia, The Drama Report 2021/22 

What you'll learn

What you Learn

When you study this innovative and highly practical degree, you’ll learn the theoretical knowledge, technical skills and professional expertise needed to produce high quality visual effects for the global screen and media industry.

You’ll also experience firsthand how a world-class VFX studio operates, when you undertake over half of your degree onsite at Rising Sun Pictures, in their Adelaide VFX studio. This unparalleled, industry-based learning starts in first year and includes the entire final 1.5 years of your degree. 

Throughout the degree, you’ll develop a comprehensive understanding of practices, processes, and techniques within these key VFX disciplines: 

  • dynamic effects and lighting 
  • compositing and tracking  
  • creature effects 
  • 3D animation 
  • 3D modelling, and  
  • look development. 

You will work with the latest production software and technologies such as Nuke, Houdini, Maya, Unreal Engine, Substance Painter and DaVinci Resolve to create complex visual effects sequences. 
You’ll develop an in depth understanding of the professional production cycle, from conceptualisation right through to post-production, building your understanding of the various roles visual effects artists play in the creative production pipeline. The importance of active career management and ongoing professional development within the industry is also highlighted. 
At UniSA you’ll have access to our specialist VFX lab, motion capture studio, film and television studio, green screen, and virtual reality facilities.  
There is also the opportunity in the program to work on real projects with We Made A Thing Studios.

You’ll graduate career ready with your own industry-standard visual effects showreel. 

You can gain an extra qualification and broaden your career prospects by completing a Diploma in Languages.

Degree structure

Course name Area and cat no. Units Reference  
First Semester (Study Period 1, 2 or 3)
Cinematic Design INFT 1019 4.5
Hollywood Film and Television INFT 1015 4.5
Digital Compositing COMM 2094 4.5
Introduction to Games Design GRAP 1030 4.5
Second Semester (Study Period 4, 5 or 6)
Introduction to CGI COMM 1067 4.5
Cinematography and Editing COMM 1084 4.5
Character Performance COMM 2083 4.5
Development and Lighting COMM 2097 4.5
First Semester (Study Period 1, 2 or 3)
Dynamic Effects COMM 3068 4.5
Hard Surface Modelling COMM 2096 4.5
Aboriginal Cultures HUMS 1035 4.5
Communication and Reciprocity COMM 2060 4.5
UO Intercultural Communication LANG 1064 4.5
Elective 4.5 Note(s): 1
For the remaining three semesters students will need to undertake three of the four courses listed below:
Visual Effects Placement: Compositing and Tracking COMM 3082 18 Note(s): 2 Rule(s): 1,2
Visual Effects Project: Dynamic Effects and Lighting COMM 3069 18 Note(s): 2 Rule(s): 1,2
Creature Effects GRAP 3023 18 Note(s): 2 Rule(s): 1,2
3D Animation for Visual Effects GRAP 3022 18 Note(s): 2 Rule(s): 1,2

Study hours

For each course you study, you will need to allocate time for various classes such as lectures, tutorials, workshops, seminars and practicals. Plus you will need additional hours to study in your own time to complete assignments, readings and projects, as well as to contribute to online discussion forums (independent study). So as a general rule, if you are studying full-time you would need to allocate 12–26 hours of study when at university and 14–28 hours of independent study per week. 



Your studies will incorporate practical, industry focused and research-based learning, so assessment types will vary. This will predominantly include creative practice project work, as well as occasional written reports and presentations. You will also produce industry standard VFX sequences within the following fields: 

  • Compositing and Tracking 
  • Dynamic Effects and Lighting 
  • Look Development 
  • Creature Effects 
  • 3D Animation 
  • 3D Modelling 

Global opportunities

Enrich your studies and your life – make overseas study part of your qualification. You may have the option to undertake an exchange, short-term program or study tour overseas while you study. We have links with universities worldwide, as well as a range of travel grants available to make going overseas much more accessible.

You can choose short-term or semester-long study from a range of universities and countries depending on your area of study and cultural interests.

Take a look at the global opportunities available.

Global opportunities

Why Bachelor of Visual Effects

Why this Degree

Studying the Bachelor of Visual Effects at UniSA offers the unparalleled opportunity to spend 60% of your degree onsite at world-renowned VFX studio Rising Sun Pictures, who have crafted thousands of VFX shots for over 200 projects, including Indiana Jones, Star Wars, and the Marvel Cinematic Universe. 
Since 2015, our partnership with RSP has launched more than 190 careers in the visual effects industry. Our graduates work locally, nationally and internationally at companies including RSP, ILM, MPC, Kojo, Framestore, Method, Pixel Zoo, Luma Pictures, AltVFX, Animal Logic, Resin, Mighty Kingdom, Lola VFX, Important Looking Pirates, Cumulus, Pixomondo, and Lightstorm Entertainment. 
When you study the Bachelor of Visual Effects you will: 

  • receive practical training in the core skills to become an entry-level VFX artist in a range of disciplines 
  • produce an industry-standard showreel of work, and 
  • establish valuable industry networks. 

This degree also offers beyond the classroom opportunities, including attending RSP company staff meetings, networking and industry events, client reviews and day in the life of presentations, providing you with the industry experience and connections to step seamlessly from study into the workplace. 

2023 University of South Australia Visual Effects Showreel

UniSA Video

Career outcomes

Your career

Graduates of this program will have the advanced skills and capabilities to work effectively in a variety of VFX roles, including: 

  • 3D animator: develop photorealistic 3D animations of characters, digital doubles, and CG assets for films and episodic series
  • FX artist: construct dynamic effects such as simulations, explosions and natural phenomena for films, episodic series and games 
  • lighting artist: place virtual lights in 3D scenes and adjust them to correspond with a live-action plate or CG environment for films and episodic series 
  • compositor: seamlessly integrate CG assets, matte paintings, and live-action footage to make a single moving image 
  • concept artist: develop the initial visual concepts (characters, props, vehicles, environments) from a script or creative brief 
  • paint and roto artist: digitally trace areas within live-action plates where CG characters, backgrounds, or effects will be integrated with the live-action footage 
  • matchmove artist: match camera movements in digital 3D environments with live action plates
  • DMP artist: paint believable, photo-realistic, digital environments and backdrops (interiors and exteriors) that seamlessly replace live-action elements or improves existing live-action footage for films and episodic series 
  • 3D modeller: create digital 3D characters and assets for films, episodic series and games 
  • creature technical director: build, develop and program the software for artists to create believable fur, feathers and skin on their creatures, helping artists to be as efficient as possible 
  • layout artist: determine the position of the virtual camera and 'block' the characters for the CG shots of a VFX sequence 
  • production assistant/ production coordinator: ensure all aspects of a production run on time and to budget rigger create rigs for digital 3D characters and assets 
  • rigger: create rigs for digital 3D characters and assets
  • VFX editor: collate and incorporate all VFX shots into the edit 
  • technical services operator: responsible for monitoring and controlling the rendering process within the production of VFX shots. 

Industry facts


The rapidly growing visual effects industry is worth $550M+ in Australia1 

1Screen Australia, The Drama Report 2021/22


The Australian Government is investing $112M from 2023-2027 in attracting big-budget screen productions to Australia1

1Australian Government Federal Budget, 2023??

How to apply

Applying to study with us:

  • go to the top of this page and make note of the SATAC code, then click Apply
  • you will be redirected through to the SATAC website to continue your application

Alternative Pathways

There are other pathways you can follow to study this degree, including:

There are other pathways you can follow to study this degree, including:


This degree is available for deferment. This option is made available by responding to your offer during the application process via the SATAC website. Applicants who receive an offer into a midyear degree are eligible to defer for six months.


Every year, over 2,500 UniSA students are supported in their studies through scholarships and grants worth millions of dollars. Check out the scholarships below. One of them may be perfect for you. Visit our scholarships page for more.

More scholarships

Your study experience and support

Our campuses are home to fantastic facilities including modern lecture theatres, libraries, workshops and laboratories, as well as spaces that simulate real work environments. But you’ll also discover that your journey at UniSA is about social experiences, healthy living and getting involved. You’ll find student sports and fitness facilities, community clinics, tech zones and chill-out spaces. There are campus sport activities to keep you active, and if you are keen to explore the social side of university life, there are movies, cooking demonstrations, parties and loads more.

Adelaide also has a variety of accommodation options to suit different requirements and budgets. Options include dedicated student accommodation and private rentals. See our long-term accommodation pages, or explore our student accommodation by Scape on Bank Street in Adelaide’s lively cultural precinct, an ideal location for students. It is within easy reach of UniSA’s city and metropolitan campuses, Rundle Mall shopping, the Central Market, Chinatown, and the West End’s vibrant nightlife. It is also across the road from the Adelaide train station, and on bus and tram routes.

Student services

Student services

Our student services provide you with all the support you need at university. We want you to succeed, and if you need help, we're here to assist. You can access a full range of support services, including:

  • academic counselling
  • personal counselling
  • social support services, including family support and nearby childcare
  • common rooms
  • prayer rooms
  • security officers
  • career services and mentoring
  • Wirringka Student Services, offering Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students a supportive place to study
  • as well as services offered through our student association, USASA.

When you become a UniSA student, you can also contact Campus Central for help with anything related to your degree. They will help you with your enrolment, ID cards, fees, timetables and more.

24/7 digital environment

Our learnonline facilities include a personal learning environment with virtual classrooms, lecture recordings, emails, learning support, administration, library access and results. The environment is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, so you can tailor your learning to your life. We are continually investing in innovative digital technologies for a high-quality student learning experience.

Student services

Your campus

We have six campuses in metropolitan and regional areas, each with modern facilities including lecture theatres, libraries and laboratories, as well as spaces that simulate real work environments.

Location This degree is delivered at the following campus.

Your program director

Dr Josh McCarthy

Program Director

Portrait image for Dr Josh McCarthy
Portrait image for Dr Josh McCarthy

Dr Josh McCarthy

Program Director


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