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Graduate Certificate in Animation and Visual Effects

Arts, Design & Architecture
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Explore your interests and develop a career in animation and VFX. The UNSW Graduate Certificate in Animation and Visual Effects combines technical, conceptual, creative and professional skills to kick-start your creative future. Gain the specialised skills and knowledge to enter or upskill in this growing and evolving field.
Commencing Terms
Term 1, 2 & 3
Duration
0.7 year(s)
Delivery Mode
Face-to-face (includes blended)
Campus
Paddington
Codes
Program code 7319
CRICOS code 113672J
Entry Requirements
View all admission criteria
Fees
2024 Indicative first year full fee
$17,000*

Overview

The Graduate Certificate in Animation and Visual Effects is designed for graduates and professionals both within and outside of the animation and visual effects industry who aim to enter or upskill in this growing and evolving field.  

This shortened and customisable program combines technical, conceptual, creative and professional skills to enable you to explore your interests and develop as an animation and VFX artist. With access to world-class facilities and a diverse community of artists and designers, you’ll be guided by academics with a wealth of industry experience.   

Key features

Holistic artistic development 

Informed by the latest industry developments, you'll learn a variety of technical processes and approaches as well as creative and conceptual skills that prepare you to work in a variety of roles across and beyond the creative pipeline. From pre-visualisation to output, you'll combine practical skills with an understanding of screen aesthetics and attention to broader social, cultural and technological contexts. This combination of practical and contextual learning is designed to build your ability to think laterally, adapt across disciplines, and solve creative, conceptual and technical problems as an artist. 

Agility and leadership for an evolving future   

You’ll gain in-demand capabilities that will help you become a professional artist in the animation and visual effects sector and beyond. This complementary skillset will set you up to be agile, adaptable, future-oriented and ready to play a key role in a rapidly evolving animation and VFX industry into the future, as well as in new and emerging sectors using digital visualisation technologies. 

Inclusive and flexible learning environment 

Immersed in a supportive and inclusive community at UNSW Art & Design, you’ll develop your practice alongside fellow artists and designers of the future. As part of this dynamic and diverse community, you’ll grow creatively, share experiences, and expand your peer network. Our flexible study options and pathways mean that you can learn at your own pace and develop a portfolio or showreel that aligns with your creative vision and career ambitions. 

Why study at UNSW?

  • Join a global top 50 university (QS World University Rankings, 2023). 
  • Develop as an artist on campus at UNSW Art & Design, a campus dedicated to creativity at the centre of Sydney’s creative sector. 
  • Gain a prestigious Go8 education at a university dedicated to shaping a generation of socially conscious change-makers and leaders across art and design. 
  • Access flexible study options. Our timetables are designed to allow you to work while studying, with the added opportunity to gain industry feedback and real-world work experience through internship options. Depending on your experience, you can also fast-track your degree and graduate in one year. 
  • Our research in digital media has been rated well above world standard four times since 2010 by the Australian Research Council (ERA ranking 5). 
  • Tap into a diverse array of creative expertise with lectures from world-class companies featured at venues, festivals, museums and galleries in Australia and across the world, including Weta Digital, Animal Logic, DreamWorks Animation, Rising Sun Pictures, Cutting Edge and more. 
  • Be inspired by UNSW Art & Design's extensive alumni network of digital media trailblazers and innovators, including Duncan Ramson (CEO at The Endless Co.), Lynette Wallworth (Emmy award-winning filmmaker and artist), Jack Condon (Evangelist at Epic Games), Patrick Younis (3D interaction and VFX artist) and more.
Program Code
7319
CRICOS Code
113672J
Campus
Paddington
Total Units of Credit (UOC)
24

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Entry requirements

Admission to the Graduate Certificate in Animation and Visual Effects requires a Bachelor’s degree in any field. Applicants who apply without a Bachelor’s degree or with a Bachelor’s degree completed more than 10 years ago can be admitted to the Graduate Certificate on a case-by-case basis by the Program Director, on the basis of professional experience.

English language requirements

 

You may be asked to provide evidence of your English proficiency to study at UNSW depending on your educational background and citizenship. English language skills are vitally important for coping with lectures, tutorials, assignments and examinations - this is why UNSW requires a minimum English language competency for enrolment.

If you’re completing an Australian Year 12 qualification (e.g. NSW HSC or equivalent), you do not need to provide anything extra to prove your proficiency. Your qualification will be used as evidence of your English proficiency.

If you do need to provide evidence of your English proficiency, this will be indicated in your application. You can prove this by providing evidence that you meet one or more of the following criteria:

If you need to improve your English skills before you start your degree, UNSW College’s Academic English Programs are for you. The programs are suitable for various English levels and help you prepare for university studies and life in Australia.

Admission to the Graduate Certificate in Animation and Visual Effects requires a Bachelor’s degree in any field. Applicants who apply without a Bachelor’s degree or with a Bachelor’s degree completed more than 10 years ago can be admitted to the Graduate Certificate on a case-by-case basis by the Program Director, on the basis of professional experience.

English language requirements


You may be asked to provide evidence of your English proficiency to study at UNSW depending on whether you are from an English-speaking background or non-English speaking background. English language skills are vitally important for coping with lectures, tutorials, assignments and examinations - this is why UNSW requires a minimum English language competency for enrolment.

If English is not your first language, you’ll need to provide proof of your English proficiency before you can be given an offer to study at UNSW. You can do this by providing evidence that you meet one or more of the following criteria:

If you need to improve your English skills before you start your degree, UNSW College’s Academic English Programs are for you. The programs are suitable for various English levels and help you prepare for university studies and life in Australia.

Check the specific English language requirements for this program

Program structure

The Graduate Certificate in Animation and Visual Effects offers a shortened and customisable structure with flexible entry and exit points as well as full-time and part-time study options. 

Comprising two core courses and two prescribed elective courses, you can complete the graduate certificate in as little as two terms of study, or over a longer period if you’d prefer.  

Full program structure

Each university year at UNSW has three terms and an optional summer study period. 

You can study full-time or part-time. Depending on how you plan your study load, you can fit two or three courses into a term and one course in a summer term.

The Graduate Certificate in Animation and Visual Effects comprises two core courses that establish the context and foundations of your studies, and two prescribed electives that give you options to build your portfolio of skills and knowledge in specialised areas of practice. 

Core contextual courses 

In the two core contextual courses, you’ll build a complementary set of capabilities in teamwork, communication, research and leadership, as well as deepen your understandings of screen aesthetics and the key ideas and debates that are shaping this field.  

Courses include: 

  • Digital aesthetics  
  • Communication skills 

Prescribed electives 

You’ll choose from the following studio-based elective courses to focus on specific areas of animation and visual effects practice: 

  • Animating movement, storyboarding and pre-visualisation 
  • 3D visualisation and modelling 
  • VFX compositing, matte painting and camera tracking 
  • Responding to industry briefs and working in teams 
  • Production planning, documentation and realisation 
  • Full production workflow from conceptualisation to outcome  
  • Motion capture 
  • Rigging 
  • Creature and character design 
  • Procedural FX 
  • Real-time and virtual production 
  • Digital cinematography 

Example plan

Below is an example of what you could study in a two-term standard full-time study plan: 

First term 

2 contextual courses 

Second term 

2 prescribed elective courses 

Future careers

The Graduate Certificate in Animation and Visual Effects will help you upskill, build your portfolio and develop the creative and technical skills to enter a rapidly growing Australian and global creative industry. Gain the qualifications you need to kick start your creative career in a vibrant industry with career opportunities across the creative pipeline.

Visualise the future

Hear from alum, Pat Younis and Scientia Associate Professor, John McGhee on the dynamic and growing animation and VFX industry.

Potential careers

  • Animator 
  • 3D artist 
  • 3D generalist 
  • CG effects artist  
  • Creature effects artist  
  • Concept artist  
  • Storyboard artist  
  • Texture artist  
  • Visual effects artist  
  • Visual effects compositor 
  • VFX supervisor  
  • Matte painter  
  • Media arts practitioner  
  • Motion designer 
  • Art director  
  • Post-production artist 
  • Virtual production artist  
  • Game designer 
  • Game developer 
  • Layout artist 

How to apply

Applications must be submitted through our Apply Online portal. We encourage you to submit your completed application as early as possible to ensure it will be processed in time for your preferred term. Some high-demand programs and Faculties with limited places may have an earlier application deadline or commencement date. Find out more.

Ready to start your application?

For most international students, applications are submitted via our Apply Online service. We encourage you to submit your completed application as early as possible to ensure it will be processed in time for your preferred term.

Some high-demand programs with limited places, may have an earlier application deadline or may have an earlier commencement date. For more information visit our international applicant information page.

Ready to start your application?

Fees & Scholarships

2024 Indicative First Year Full Fee
$17,000*
2024 Indicative Full Fee to Complete Degree
$17,000*

There are a limited number of Commonwealth Supported Places (CSP) available for this degree/program. Your eligibility to receive a CSP will be automatically assessed when you apply.  To find out more about Commonwealth Supported Places visit Postgraduate Commonwealth Support.

*Fees are subject to annual review (or when required) by the University and may vary accordingly.

Indicative fees are a guide only and have been calculated based on the typical enrolment patterns of students undertaking the degree/program. The indicative fees listed here is an estimate for tuition only and excludes non-tuition fees and charges. The amount you pay will vary depending on the calendar year of enrolment, the courses you select and whether your study load is more or less than 1 Equivalent Full Time Student Load (48 units of credit (UOC) per year)

You should not rely on indicative fees as fee increases are assessed when required and may exceed the indicative figures listed here. Actual fees are calculated on enrolment. More information on fees can be found at the UNSW fees website.

2024 Indicative First Year Fee
$22,000*
2024 Indicative Fee to Complete Degree
$22,500*

*Fees are subject to annual review by the University and may increase annually, with the new fees effective from the start of each calendar year. The indicative fees listed here are based on an estimated average and are for tuition only other fees and charges are not included. The amount you pay will vary depending on the calendar year to enrol, the courses you select and whether your study load is more or less than 1 Equivalent Full Time Student Load (8 courses per year).

Indicative fees are a guide for comparison only based on current conditions and available data. You should not rely on indicative fees. More information on fees can be found at the UNSW fees website.

Indicative fees to complete the program have been calculated based on a percentage increase for every year of the program. Fee increases are assessed annually and may exceed the indicative figures listed here.

Indicative fees to complete the program include tuition plus an estimate of study-related costs of approximately $1,000 per year. To find out more about other costs, visit UNSW International.

Scholarships


At UNSW, we award over $83 million in scholarships each year. We pride ourselves on rewarding excellence and making university accessible to students from all walks of life. Whether you’re a domestic or international student, our range of scholarships, prizes and awards can support your journey.


  • Top 20
    Worldwide

    QS World University Rankings, 2024.

  • Most
    Employable Graduates

    AFR Top 100 Future leaders Award.

  • Leading
    Innovation

    #1 Australian uni attended by start-up founders.

The student community collectively inspire and encourage my individual career goals.
ADA alumni Shirelle Altona

Shirelle Altona

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