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HND in Visual Effects and 3D Technology

Course Code: IFX

Duration: 2 Years


When BCFE animation graduate Richie Baneham won an Oscar at the 82nd Academy Awards it was for Best Visual Effects on the film Avatar. Visual Effects (VFX) involves combining live action and digitally created images together to create everything from placing real actors on a digital set through to adding fire into a fireplace scene in a TV commercial. This course will use industry standard software and hardware to take students through everything from learning how to light and shoot the live action elements to creating and compositing digital backgrounds and characters into footage to create a final scene. VFX and CGI / 3D are growing sectors in Ireland. On successful completion of the course graduates may seek employment and a career in 3D / CGI / VFX either locally or internationally.


Year 1

  • Individual Project
  • Creative Media Industry
  • Professional Practice
  • Film Studies
  • Visual Effects & Motion Graphics Cultures
  • Visual Effects Practices
  • 3D Modelling
  • Principles of Photography

Year 2

  • Collaborative Project
  • Personal Professional Development
  • Advanced Visual Effects Studies
  • Advanced Rendering & Visualisation
  • Advanced 3D Modelling
  • Advanced Editing & Compositing
  • Work-based Learning
  • The VFX and 3D Technology course is the first of its kind in Ireland.
  • VFX & 3D Technology are growth industries in Ireland and Internationally with lots of employment opportunities available now and in the future.
  • VFX / 3D Studios operating in Ireland include Brown Bag Films, Giant Animation, Screen Scene VFX, Windmill Lane VFX, Piranhabar, Egg Post Production, GLUE VFX, Raygun Post Production and Outer Limits Post Production.
  • Course resources include industry-standard hardware/software like Maya, Nuke, Photoshop, Zbrush, Mari, Mudbox, VRay, Arnold, Shotgun and access to our cutting edge TV Studio facilities.
  • Tutors on the course have current/relevant industry experience at studios like Brown Bag Films and Windmill Lane VFX.
  • The course includes regular guest speakers and workshops from specialists currently working in the industry locally and internationally.
  • The course was officially launched in October 2016 with guest talks by Richie Baneham (an Academy Award winning VFX Supervisor who worked on Avatar and Lord of the Rings and a graduate of the college); Troy Saliba (Animation Supervisor at Sony Pictures Imageworks); and Graham Gallagher (Creative Director at Windmill Lane VFX and a graduate of the college).
  • On the course we support extra curricular activities like attendance at festivals and studio visits. In the year 2016-17 for example students attended the Animation Dingle festival, cinema screenings, a studio tour of Brown Bag Films and free workshops on VFX related subjects through Screen Training Ireland, such as a talk by Scott Pritchard who was the VFX Supervisor for ILM on ‘Star Wars – The Force Awakens’.


View past students’ work.


Leaving Certificate / LCVP with a minimum of two H5/O1 and three O6/H7 grades or equivalent or QQI Level 5 award with a merit profile or BTEC National Diploma with a merit profile. The academic entry requirements may be waived for mature applicants (21+). Typical QQI Level 5 award feeder courses include:


HND in Creative Media Production (Visual Effects and 3D Technology)

This award is made by the UK awarding body BTEC Pearson and is not, at present, placed on the Irish National Framework of Qualifications (NFQ)

A Higher National Diploma is recognised by the QQI as being comparable to the Higher Certificate at NFQ Level 6.

QQI Comparability Statement


Each candidate will be interviewed on his or her portfolio work. The portfolio interview will last approximately 20 minutes. Candidates may present a variety of portfolio work. The emphasis should be on quality and not quantity. Portfolio work may consist of any or all of the following: Photography, digital artwork, digital images or short video clips which have been either shot, edited or digitally manipulated by the applicant.


It is envisaged that graduates of this programme will move from the course directly into employment and a career in 3D / CGI / VFX either locally or internationally. Graduates may also apply for our BA Honours Degree in Visual Media in BCFE. The BA Honours Degree in Visual Media is certified by the University of Dundee, Scotland.