Course information




1 year full-time or 2-3 years part-time.

Course overview

Immersive experiences, including virtual and augmented reality, are the most exciting new mediums to emerge in the 21st century.

They can transport you to a new world that feels as real as the physical one around you, creating a totally unique experience for the user. On this course, you’ll be working on a once in a lifetime challenge: shaping and pioneering a medium that’s already having a major impact on our society.

Why study MA/MSc Virtual and Augmented Reality at Goldsmiths

  • You'll have the chance to choose between two distinct pathways, depending on your interests. These are the 3D Graphics and User Experience Pathway and the Programming and Computer Science Pathway. 
  • You’ll be creating virtual and augmented reality that is informed by both the technology and psychology of the medium, so you can create powerful experiences that make the most of its distinctive features.
  • This technology is used in a huge variety of industries including medicine, advertising, journalism and mental health therapy. When you graduate you’ll have the skills to work in these industries, as well as in more traditional gaming and film roles.
  • We treat virtual reality and augmented reality as interlinking technologies – you’ll be working in both areas and the various types of Mixed Reality that combine the two. You can also learn other areas of computing that can be applied to Virtual and Augmented Reality such as data visualisation, interactive art, games technology, machine learning and AI.
  • This programme is co-led by two leading researchers in the area of XR research. You will be working with a strong team of 10+ XR researchers (Researchers and PhD students) from the SeeVR Research lab.
  • As well as being taught by leading experts in VR/AR experience, you’ll benefit from our links to an extensive network of VR companies. We regularly welcome them to campus to deliver talks.
  • We offer a work placement programme that will help kick-start your VR career.
  • You’ll have access to a dedicated V&AR lab. The facilities will be updated each year to keep up with technology but they currently include a range of high-end head mounted displays including Oculus Rift, HTC VIVE Pro and Windows MR, each with high end graphics PCs. You’ll also have access to mobile VR set ups (Oculus GO) and a professional motion capture suite which is synchronised with an HTC VIVE for full body immersive experiences.
  • Our general computing facilities include the HatchLab, our maker space that can be used for, among other things, fabricating custom VR input or output devices.
  • We also offer an abridged online version of this course which you can try before registering for the full-time postgraduate course. Find out more on Coursera.

Contact the department

If you have specific questions about the degree, contact Marco Gillies or Sylvia Xueni Pan.

What you'll study

The programme is split into two pathways - the 3D Graphics and User Experience Pathway and the Programming and Computer Science Pathway. 

All students on the programme will study compulsory modules together, and will then split into their separate pathways, studying a variety of compulsory and optional modules that relate to their chosen specialism. 

Compulsory modules across both pathways

Module title Credits
Virtual Reality 15 credits
Advanced Topics in Virtual and Augmented Reality 15 credits
Augmented Reality 15 credits

MA compulsory modules

Students undertaking the MA programme will also take the following compulsory modules: 

Module title Credits
Introduction to Modelling and Animation 15 credits
Visual Game Development 15 credits
Games Programming 1 15 credits

MSc compulsory modules

Students undertaking the MSc pathway will also take the following compulsory modules:

Module title Credits
Mathematics for Games and V&AR 15 credits
Games Programming 1 15 credits

Option modules

You will then study 45 credits of optional modules from a list provided annually by the department. Modules change from year to year, and recent examples have included:

Module title Credits
Advanced Modelling and Animation 15 credits
Advanced Programming for Games 15 credits
Game Design and Analytics 15 credits
History of Computer Games, Art and Animation 15 credits
Programming for Game Engines 15 credits
AI for Games 15 credits
Workshops in Creative Coding 1 15 credits
Workshops in Creative Coding 2 15 credits
Data and Machine Learning for Artistic Practice 15 credits
Approaches to Play 1 15 credits
Approaches to Play 2 15 credits
Physical Computing 15 credits
Data Visualisation and the Web 15 credits
Motion Capture Techniques and Digital Embodiment 15 credits


You will also complete a final project which is worth 60 credits. This project will be specific to your chosen pathway.

Download the programme specification. If you would like an earlier version of the programme specification, please contact the Quality Office.

Please note that due to staff research commitments not all of these modules may be available every year.

For 2021-22 and 2020–21, we have made some changes to how the teaching and assessment of certain programmes are delivered. To check what changes affect this programme, please visit the programme changes page.

Entry requirements

You should have (or expect to be awarded) an undergraduate degree of at least upper second class standard in a relevant/related subject.

You might also be considered for some programmes if you aren’t a graduate or your degree is in an unrelated field, but have relevant experience and can show that you have the ability to work at postgraduate level.


To apply for the MA route, you’ll be required to submit a portfolio of relevant work as part of your application. This can include any form of creative work, ideally using digital tools such as existing VR, AR or games work, but also film production, design work or fine art.

To apply for the MSc route, you’re welcome to submit a portfolio to support your application, but this is optional.

​In some instances, we may ask to see more of your work or attend a short interview.

International qualifications

We accept a wide range of international qualifications. Find out more about the qualifications we accept from around the world.

If English isn’t your first language, you will need an IELTS score (or equivalent English language qualification) of 6.5 overall and no element lower than 6.0 to study this programme. If you need assistance with your English language, we offer a range of courses that can help prepare you for postgraduate-level study.

Fees, funding & scholarships

To find out more about your fees, please check our postgraduate fees guidance or contact the Fees Office, who can also advise you about how to pay your fees.

Additional costs

In addition to your tuition fees, you'll be responsible for any additional costs associated with your course, such as buying stationery and paying for photocopying. You can find out more about what you need to budget for on our study costs page.

There may also be specific additional costs associated with your programme. This can include things like paying for field trips or specialist materials for your assignments. Please check the programme specification for more information.

Funding opportunities

Find out more about postgraduate fees and explore funding opportunities. If you're applying for funding, you may be subject to an application deadline.

How to apply

You apply directly to Goldsmiths using our online application system.

Before submitting your application you’ll need to have:

  • Details of your education history, including the dates of all exams/assessments
  • The email address of your referee who we can request a reference from, or alternatively an electronic copy of your academic reference
  • A personal statement – this can either be uploaded as a Word Document or PDF, or completed online
  • If available, an electronic copy of your educational transcript (this is particularly important if you have studied outside of the UK, but isn’t mandatory)

You'll be able to save your progress at any point and return to your application by logging in using your username/email and password.

When to apply

We accept applications from October for students wanting to start the following September.

We encourage you to complete your application as early as possible, even if you haven't finished your current programme of study. It's very common to be offered a place that is conditional on you achieving a particular qualification.

Late applications will only be considered if there are spaces available.

If you're applying for funding, you may be subject to an earlier application deadline.

Selection process

Admission to many programmes is by interview, unless you live outside the UK. Occasionally, we'll make candidates an offer of a place on the basis of their application and qualifications alone.

Find out more about applying.


Our programme opens multiple career options including:  

  • Creator of Virtual and Augmented Reality experiences for digital agencies specialising in contract work 
  • Virtual and Augmented Reality artist working either independently or within the context of creative SMEs or larger organisations such as the BBC 
  • Games Developer specialising in Virtual and Augmented Reality Games on PC, mobile, or Sony PlayStation VR 
  • Virtual and Augmented Reality creator associated with more traditional platforms, for example creating VR experiences linked to film, television or games 
  • Designer of Virtual or Mixed Reality tools for education, for example medical training 
  • Designer of Virtual or Mixed Reality apps for domains such as healthcare (including mental health), engineering or social media/remote conferencing  

As well as technical developer roles, once you graduate you would also be well placed for roles such as junior producers in all these industries  

You may also gain the skills to develop your independent research questions, which could lead to postgraduate research. Many of our graduates have now progressed on to doing a PhD in this area.



In the Department of Computing, we have a great range of labs and facilities.

We have a state-of-the-art VR lab with 8 sets of high-end VR HMDs (e.g., VIVE Pro 2, Valve Index). There are also standalone HMDs students can borrow (Quest 2, Quest Pro). You can benefit from our own in-house 12-camera Motion Capture System (Optitrack).  

You can also access other computing facilities such as a large-scale projection space (the Siml lab), and our fabrication lab with 3D printers, laser cutters, and woodwork equipment.

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