Start date


3 year(s) full-time


Program Code


Assumed Knowledge

AUD$ 30,900 per annum (per 1.0 EFTSL) for students enrolled in 2024

English Language Requirements
  • IELTS total [6.0]
  • IELTS reading [6.0]
  • IELTS writing [6.0]
Equivalent English qualifications (PDF)

International Admission by Country
See 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. 

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

2023 University of South Australia Visual Effects Showreel

UniSA Video

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

How to apply for international students will give you helpful information about the application process at the University of South Australia. When you are ready, apply through our International Application System. If you would like to talk to someone near you about studying at the University of South Australia, we have agents all over the world who can assist you. Find an Education Agent in your country.

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:


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

As a UniSA student, you will have unique access to work placement opportunities, overseas study tours and exchanges, networking events, internships, guest speakers and more.

Our campuses are equipped with state-of-the-art facilities including modern lecture theatres, libraries, workshops and laboratories, as well as spaces that simulate real work environments. These are all supported by the latest technologies and a 24/7 online learning platform. We have health services on campus, gymnasiums, technology zones and great student lounges. You will also gain access to a range of community clinics, which provide professional and cost effective services in areas of health, business, law and psychology. 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 lots 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 international 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:

  • career advice and mentoring
  • help with student visas and health cover
  • personal counselling
  • academic counselling
  • fees and finance help
  • common rooms
  • prayer rooms
  • security officers
  • accommodation services 
  • as well as services offered through our student association, USASA.

We also offer study support from our Learning Advisers face-to-face or online. They are here to help you develop academically and professionally during your studies, and can offer help with the English language too. 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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