Visual Effects – Bachelor of Screen Arts with Honours

The Visual Effects major provides expertise in creating fantastic characters and scenes for all forms of screen media.

Where you can study

Wellington campus

International students

International students are not New Zealand citizens or residents.

Definition of New Zealand citizens and residents

Open to international students on campus in New Zealand

Specialise in Visual Effects for your Bachelor of Screen Arts with Honours at Massey

The Visual Effects major teaches you the skills to develop an exciting professional portfolio of work that you can carry into your visual effects career.

Design and control visual destruction, explosions, fluids – you name it – using both procedural and keyframed motion, and fully integrate your visual effects into live-action footage from concept to postproduction.

Gain skills that will help you create fantastic characters and scenes using traditional techniques and advanced technology. Study character design, 3D modelling, texturing and rigging, storyboarding, compositing, particle generation and dynamics. You’ll work with motion capture, virtual production, and a green screen stage.


Visual Effects students will have access to world-leading and cutting-edge hardware, such as motion capture facilities, and software including Houdini, Maya, Nuke, After Effects, Photoshop, Blender, and Renderman.

Planning information

Full-time study is recommended. You’ll take 120 credits per year or 60 credits per semester.

About this major

The Visual Effects major in the Bachelor of Screen Arts with Honours consists of 180 credits.


Completing a minor is optional and may be a way for you to show the breadth of your degree.

A minor must be in a different subject from your major and be made up of at least 60 credits.

If you’re interested in doing a minor you should contact us using the Get advice button on this page. Our student advice team will be able to talk you through your options and help you plan your degree.

More on minors

More information:  ‘Yellow Book’.

Official regulations

To understand what you need to study and must complete to graduate read the official rules and regulations for this qualification.

You should read these together with all other relevant Statutes and Regulations of the University including the General Regulations for Undergraduate Degrees, Undergraduate Diplomas, Undergraduate Certificates, Graduate Diplomas and Graduate Certificates.


Courses you can enrol in

Course planning key

Courses that need to be completed before moving onto a course at the next level. For example, a lot of 200-level courses have 100-level prerequisite courses.
Courses that must be completed at the same time as another course are known as corequisite courses.
Some courses are restricted against each other because their content is similar. This means you can only choose one of the offered courses to study and credit to your qualification.

180 credits from

Course code: 289104 Introduction to Visual Effects 15 credits

An introduction to the principles and concepts of visual effects. Students will gain a creative and basic technical knowledge of the tools and techniques essential to the production of visual effects.

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Course code: 289209 Visual Effects Production 15 credits

Further the application of industry standard tools for VFX production. Students will gain extended creative and technical understanding of VFX production processes and develop their knowledge and application of aesthetics and form.

Prerequisites: 75 credits at 100 level from College of Creative Arts

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Course code: 289219 Visual Effects Project 15 credits

Further extend knowledge of industry standard tools for visual effects production. Students will apply techniques, creative approaches, and methodologies to the production of a short visual effects project.

Prerequisites: 289209

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Course code: 289303 Major Project Development 15 credits

Students engage in technical prototyping, technical ideation, and practical experimentation associated with preparing for Major Project production and post-production studio courses. Techniques are project and discipline-specific and may include developing new technologies and learning pipeline-specific methods and tools.

Prerequisites: 289.204 OR 289.206 OR 289.223 OR 289.218 OR 289.219 OR 289.222 OR 289.226 OR 289.227 OR 289.230

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Course code: 289333 Screen Arts Major Project 30 credits

Work to an advanced technical, creative and professional standard in a collaborative production environment to complete a Major Project. Students will put into production the projects developed in the Major Project Development course managing deadlines and schedules to ensure project completion.

Prerequisites: 289303

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Course code: 289701 Production Planning and Development 30 credits

Students gain a professional knowledge and develop expertise in a range of creative research practices, tools and techniques for organising large scale productions. Students will apply these skills toward planning and communicating an Advanced Production Project.

Prerequisites: 289333 OR 289309

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Course code: 289803 Advanced Production 60 credits

Students will produce and finalise an advanced work demonstrating highly executed production standards informed by their research. Students will be required to demonstrate and sustain an professional creative and technical level of proficiency together with professional production management of workloads and deadlines.

Prerequisites: 289701

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Entry requirements

Admission to Massey

All students must meet university entrance requirements to be admitted to the University.

Specific requirements

There are no specific entry requirements for this qualification, outside of university admission regulations.  

English language requirements

To study this qualification you must meet Massey University's English language standards.

English language skills

If you need help with your English language skills before you start university, see our English for Academic Purposes (EAP) courses.

Can't meet the entry requirements?

If you need to do a course before you start your programme, there may be options for you in Summer School.

Fees and scholarships

Fees, student loans and free fees scheme

Your tuition fees may be different depending on the courses you choose. Your exact fees will show once you have chosen your courses.

There will also be some compulsory non-tuition fees and for some courses, there may also be charges for things such as study resources, software, trips and contact workshops.

Already know which courses you're going to choose?

You can view fees for the courses that make up your qualification on the course details pages.

Student loans (StudyLink) and Fees Free scheme

You may be eligible for a student loan to help towards paying your fees.

The New Zealand Government offers fees-free tertiary study for eligible domestic students. Find out more about the scheme and your eligibility on the Fees Free website. To use the site's eligibility checking tool, you will need your National Student Number.

Current and returning Massey students can find their National Student Number in the student portal.

Scholarship and award opportunities

Search our scholarships and awards

Fees disclaimer

This information is for estimation purposes only. Actual fees payable will be finalised on confirmation of enrolment. Unless otherwise stated, all fees shown are quoted in New Zealand dollars and include Goods and Services Tax, if any. Before relying on any information on these pages you should also read the University's Disclaimer Notice.

Careers and job opportunities

Visual effects producer, special effects technical director, virtual producer, editor, media technologies developer, 3D modeller, rigger, art director, VR/AR developer, audio producer, CG artist, motion capture animator, digital effects artist.

International students

New Zealand is a great place to study. Massey University’s reputation is supported by our international rankings, accreditations and associations. We are rated 5-star plus by the QS World University Rankings.

Massey University has small class sizes, and our lecturers and staff are friendly and approachable.

As an international student, there are entry requirements that will apply to you. We recommend that you apply at least three months before your anticipated start date so your application can be processed in time. There are additional steps you will need to take. These include obtaining a visa and travel bookings if your study is to be in New Zealand.

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