Course information

Department

Computing

Length

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.

  • 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.

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 core modules together, and will then split into their separate pathways, studying a variety of core and optional modules that relate to their chosen specialism. 

Core modules taken by all students:

  • Introduction to Virtual Reality
  • Introduction to Programming for Games
  • Mixed Realities
  • Advanced Topics in Virtual and Augmented Reality

Core modules for students on the 3D Graphics and User Experience Pathway:

  • Introduction to Modelling and Animation

Core modules for students on the Programming and Computer Science Pathway:

  • Mathematics and Graphics for Computer Games 1

Optional modules

You will then study 45 credits of optional modules. The following list is indicative and may change from year to year:

Module title Credits
  Advanced Modelling and Animation 30 credits
  Advanced Programming for Games and Interactive Graphics 15 credits
  Games Design and Games Analytics 15 credits
  History of Computer Games, Art and Animation 15 credits
  Tools and Middleware for Games and Special Effects 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 1 15 credits
  Data Visualisation and the Web 15 credits

Project

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, for the 2019-20 intake. 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.

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.

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 with a 6.5 in writing 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

Annual tuition fees

These are the fees for students starting their programme in the 2020/21 academic year.

  • Home/EU - full-time: £10450
  • Home/EU - part-time: £5225
  • International - full-time: £15500

If your fees are not listed here, please check our postgraduate fees guidance or contact the Fees Office, who can also advise you about how to pay your fees.

It’s not currently possible for international students to study part-time if you require a Tier 4 student visa, however this is currently being reviewed and will be confirmed in the new year. Please read our visa guidance in the interim for more information. If you think you might be eligible to study part-time while being on another visa type, please contact our Admissions Team for more information.

If you are looking to pay your fees please see our guide to making a payment.

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.

Careers

This programme will enable you to take on a creative or technical role in Virtual and Augmented Reality, for example a programmer, artist or user experience designer. It would prepare you to be an indie creator, working independently or in small teams or a member of a larger “AAA” team.

The knowledge gained would also help in other roles associated with the V&AR industry such as producer or manager.

Virtual and Augmented Reality is being applied in a very wide range of domains and industries: games, film, medicine, journalism, advertising, education, engineering and many other industries. Your expertise in the medium will open up jobs in this area and many more. Our industry advisory board helps us ensure that the content you learn will stay relevant to the needs of an ever changing workplace.

You may also consider going in to an academic career. This degree will put you in a good position to apply for one of our PhD Studentships, which can lead to PhD study.

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