Start date

0.5 year(s) full-time


Program Code

AUD$ 14,400 per annum (per 0.5 EFTSL) for students enrolled in 2024

English Language Requirements
  • IELTS total [6.5]
  • IELTS reading [6.0]
  • IELTS writing [6.0]
Equivalent English qualifications (PDF)

International Admission by Country
See full entry requirements


Degree overview

  • The visual effects (VFX) industry is rapidly growing and worth over $550 million in Australia1.
  • Learn from the World No. 17 Visual Effects School2 with UniSA and Rising Sun Pictures. 
  • Study on location at Adelaide-based world-renowned visual effects studio, Rising Sun Pictures (RSP)
  • Learn the tools and techniques needed to create creature effects for the global screen and media industry. 
  • Benefit from networking opportunities and mentoring when you study alongside skilled visual effects artists and industry professionals. 
  • Graduate career ready with your own 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
2The Rookies Awards 2023
3UNSTOPPABLE® is a Kellogg Company trade mark used under licence. Ranked #52, 2023 THE Young University Rankings.  

What you'll learn

What you Learn

This intensive, 12-week graduate certificate, will immerse you in a simulated studio environment at Rising Sun Pictures who have crafted thousands of VFX shots for over 200 projects, including Indiana Jones, Star Wars, the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Elvis, Mortal Kombat, Harry Potter, Game of Thrones and The Lord of the Rings. 

In this simulated studio environment, you will learn to: 

  • create complex creature effects 
  • realistically simulate hair, fur, cloth and other garments 
  • simulate a diverse range of digital props and assets such as flags, sails, ships, cables, chains, and more. 

There is also a career focus to this program and you’ll produce your own industry-standard showreel and resume to present to VFX recruiters at the end of program industry night. 

Degree structure

Course name Area and cat no. Units Reference  
Shot Finalling GRAP 5012 4.5
Cloth Simulation GRAP 5010 4.5
Hair Simulation GRAP 5011 4.5
Visual Effects Professional Practice COMM 5073 4.5

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, professionally focused, and research-based learning, so assessment types will vary. You can expect them to include: 

  • creative VFX projects 
  • a VFX showreel 
  • supervisor evaluations. 

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 Graduate Certificate in Creature Effects

Why this Degree

This graduate certificate offers students a highly regarded opportunity to fine-tune their skills and gain experience studying at world-renowned visual effects studio, Rising Sun Pictures

Under the guidance of experienced visual effects artists and supervisors, you will work on original VFX sequences and develop your own showreel. You will also gain expertise in industry standard software and build important industry relationships and connections. 

Real-world connections

This qualification is all about industry experience and connections – and from day one you will be working alongside industry professionals, building important relationships and learning on the job. Rising Sun Pictures' Adelaide-based studio has created VFX shots for over 200 projects, including Indiana Jones, Star Wars, the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Elvis, Mortal Kombat, Harry Potter, Game of Thrones and The Lord of the Rings. Through this industry learning you’ll graduate with a valuable connection to one of Australia’s leading visual effects companies.

UniSA offers an extensive range of career-related events and workshops online, on campus and around Adelaide to develop your skills and increase your knowledge. 

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.


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


Ask UniSA

More FAQs