The BA (Hons) Model Making & Visual FX degree here at The Northern School of Art has been developed directly with our industry partners, who include visual effects artists, miniature effects designers and model makers. Our programme teaches students to combine creativity with high levels of technical ability, developing practical workshop techniques with digital skills to help students secure employment in the screen Industries and beyond. As an industry focused course, we have worked with a range of organisations and professional freelancers including: Aardman Animation, Industrial Light & Magic, Alpha Star Productions, Sea and Sky Pictures and Proto Digital Production Facility and more!
The practical skills you will learn on this course are relevant to a wide range of careers, including film and television prop making, puppet and character development for stop frame animation, animatronics and automata for exhibition, concept models for the games industry, model making and design for theatre, architectural model making, prototyping for industrial designers, interactive exhibition models and photographic props for advertising.

You will learn not only traditional technical skills, such as sculpting, mould making and model making but also digital skills, including digital scanning and 3D printing with industry-standard software and equipment.

Working alongside complementary programmes in the stage and screen faculty you will work on a number of collaborative projects. Enhancing productions through your creativity e.g making a miniature-model establishing shot, digital set extension or augmenting a practical prop with some visual flourishes. By the end of the three-year course, you will have produced a showreel and portfolio of models composited into VFX sequences and settings.





Student Voice

Watch now to find out more about what it's like to be a student on this degree programme!



Senior Lecturer John has been involved in the world of film making since the late 1980s, starting with special effects for home video camera horror films, progressing to Hollywood blockbusters by the early 2000s, and experiencing everything in between, including stints in television, independent short films, theatre and animation. John has experience in front of the camera, performing and puppeteering, but specialises in building the worlds that appear onscreen, be it a prop, a model or a visual effect. With a career spanning over twenty years, John has made many contacts in the world of film, and is often called upon at very short notice to dress a set or create a prop or produce an obscure amputated body part or two. John has worked in the east midlands as a freelance architectural, exhibition and prototype model maker, travelled to China when he was a new product development manager for a novelty gift brand company and spent nearly a decade as a member of The Northern School of Art BA (hons) Production Design for Stage and Screen team, before becoming a full-time lecturer on the BA (hons) Visual Effects and Model Making degree programme in 2018. Constantly expanding his skillsets and working alongside students to explore innovative solutions to ever-more intricate problems, John is always happy to share his knowledge and enjoys learning even more through the student experiences and successes. Qualifications: BA (Hons), PGCE, FHEA


Senior Lecturer
Tony’s early career saw him working as a product designer with Pankhurst Design and Development, Fulham London. Co designing a range of Theatre Lanterns for TBA Lighting. Tony moved back to the North East and became the Regional Graphic and Exhibition Designer with ‘Keep Britain Tidy NE’. His work here has included exhibition design, promotional and graphic design. Tony progressed to develop their ‘Theatre in Education’ productions for the promotion of ‘Tidy Britain’, which toured schools in the North East. This allowed Tony to progress to his primary focus as a Freelance Theatre Designer/Maker. Freelance work includes Theatre Design for countless stage productions including operas such as Carmen, Madame Butterfly, Louisa Miller, Don Giovanni and Foust. Tony designed and produced the staging for the world premiere of Bernard J Taylors, ‘Nosfaratu The Vampire’ at the Winter Garden Theatre, Eastbourne. Working with Leeds Youth Opera, he designed the British premier of the Donizetti opera ‘Gianni Di Calais’ and also worked on the Cleveland Youth Opera’s production of ‘The Italian Girl in Algiers’ with Glyndebourne Director Dyved Burne Jones. Tony's freelance Model Making includes interactives for the Theakston’s Brewery Visitors Centre and re production Blade Runner Props for the Ridley Scott exhibition in 2016 at ‘The Word’ South Shields, He has produced photographic and TV models for advertising and action props for BBC TVs ‘Tracy Beaker’ and ‘Byker Grove’. Qualifications: BA (Hons), PGCE, MA, SBTD, FHEA


IT Technician/Tech Demonstrator Graham's role is split between being an IT Technician, looking after the Schools Macs and problem solving Staff/Student technical issues and Tech Demonstrator via workshops, in class and one to one tutorials (as and when requested by students &/or Academic staff). These cover a range of software solutions (Adobe Creative Cloud, 3DS Max, zBrush, etc…) and subject matters/courses (VFX, Fashion, Textiles, Web Design, etc…).


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MA Arts Practice - MA Design Practice - MA Design History -MA Directing & Theatre Making