School of Art, Design and Architecture

BA (Hons) Virtual Reality Design

Immersive technologies such as virtual reality, augmented reality, immersive audio and mixed reality now allow us to take traditional 2D experiences further by putting us inside incredible virtual environments, or by blending the real world with augmented digital content. Immersive media enhance the world around us by giving us access to information and knowledge in new, stimulating, useful and entertaining ways.

Learn how to create content for this exciting new form of media and contribute to the way we will communicate, work and play in the future.

Careers with this subject

The combination of new digital tools and devices, with the creative skills you will learn on this course, will equip you to develop not just new content, but to contribute to the creation of whole new markets and industries. From immersive gaming and interactive art, to flight simulations and surgical training tools, the possibilities are endless.

Key features

  • Access to the School’s Immersive Technologies Suite.
  • Be part of a vibrant and creative academic community in the School of Art, Design and Architecture.
  • Work with students from across the university from the Schools of Health, Engineering and Business.
  • Be at the cutting edge of this exciting emerging sector of the creative economy.
  • Draw on support from specialised tutors with extensive industry and academic experience.
  • Engage with live client briefs, giving your creativity real-world impact and learn how to build, and sell, your own immersive products, services and experiences.

Course details

  • Year 1
  • The first year allows you to experiment with a range of immersive technologies and learn the fundamentals of immersion, narrative, character and environment creation. You will undertake a series of short, quick workshops and projects that help you to develop key skills in producing compelling content for immersive media.

    Core modules
    • DAT406 Digital Making

      This module introduces students to a key set of digital technologies that are core to the production of current digital artwork. This will include exposure to a wide range of software, hardware and networking components commonly used by digital artists and designers. This is a Plymouth Plus module.

    • DAT411 Disruptive Design Strategies

      This module introduces students to practical and creative processes that encourage experimentation and foster critical thinking. Through conceptual understanding of artistic practice combined with technical production skills in a range of areas, such as 2D and 3D design, digital fabrication, and physical computing (electronics and microcontrollers), students are expected to develop physical prototypes and media outputs that demonstrate innovative thinking within a multi-disciplinary context. Induction is given to a fully-equipped maker space, digital fabrication suites, and a 360° Immersive Vision Theatre.

    • FAPY100 Stage 1 Placement Preparation

      If you’re undertaking a company placement in your third year, this module helps you find a suitable placement, and prepares you for the placement itself.

    • GAD403 Introduction to Immersive Technologies

      This module introduces issues and techniques involved in designing and developing immersive experiences. This module takes a user-centred approach to the production of virtual and blended reality environments (including a wide range of different styles and types of game. The key to this module is the combination and integration of sensory stimuli to produce an engaging and compelling, whilst at the same time coherent user experience.

    • GAD404 Game Programming

      This module introduces coding for game designers, explored through the creation of a playful interactive project. Working with programming languages and game engines, students learn to use code to make their drawings and animations come to life with dynamic and interactive behaviours. Key programming concepts such as variables and conditional logic, are introduced alongside relevant game studies topics. Students will apply what they have learnt to solve problems and create engaging gameplay.

    • GAD406 Character and Environment Design

      Students create character and environment concepts as digital paintings, and realise their designs as detailed 3D models. Drawing and painting skills are developed, exploring figure, proportion, lighting, colour and value. Students learn advanced modelling and texturing skills using state-of-the-art software platforms, rigging their characters for animation and exporting them to game engines. In addition, students develop presentation skills and showcase their work in a digital portfolio.

    • GAD407 Interactive Narrative

      You will explore interactive storytelling and animation / sequence creation within your work via a range of traditional and digital media and formats. Storytelling, narrative pacing, creative writing and animation are features of this module. Critical reflective writing underpins practical work.

  • Year 2
  • The second year of the course introduces you to the numerous commercial contexts in which immersive media can add value and be deployed. It provides you with valuable enterprise and entrepreneurial skills that will be essential in your future employability. You will additionally learn how to develop your own workflow process and continue to learn more essential technical and creative skills.

    Core modules
    • FAPY200 Stage 2 Placement Preparation

      Building on the Level 1 module (FAPY100), this module continues to support you with the search for your placement and preparation for the placement itself.

    • IMR501 Production, Processes and Workflows

      This module provides an opportunity for students to develop particular workflows and working methodologies while developing engaging content that sits within the chosen digital framework.

    • IMR502 Enterprise Contexts

      This module explores the dynamic changes sweeping through traditional industries such as health, heritage, tourism and manufacturing brought about by the impact of new immersive technologies. Group production projects will create opportunities for students to explore the practical issues of developing interdisciplinary projects.

    • IMR503 Live Brief

      This module allows students to work individually to develop a solution to a live brief to produce an immersive experience.

    • IMR504 Commercialising Immersive Experiences

      This module introduces students to the concepts of entrepreneurship through the practical exploration of creative enterprise. This module affords students the opportunity to develop a new product/company related to the immersive/experience economy.

  • Placement year (optional)
  • Use this year to get a placement in industry, work for yourself as a freelancer, or take the opportunity to develop your own business or idea for and immersive service or product. A well spent placement year will help you to broaden your range of skills and appreciate your final year in the context of real-world development.

    Core modules
    • FAPY604 Digital Art and Technology/Internet Design Placement

      An extend period of professional training (at least the duration of both teaching semesters - 36 weeks) spent as the third year of a sandwich programme undertaking an approved placement with a suitable company (either a paid placement or unpaid internship). This provides an opportunity for the student to gain relevant industrial experience to consolidate the first two stages of study and to prepare for the final stage and employment after graduation.

  • Year 4
  • Your final year allows you to develop a major piece of independent work which will consolidate the skills you have learnt throughout the course and provide you with an excellent portfolio piece. You will also develop additional collateral for self-promotion when you are seeking employment.

The modules shown for this course are those currently being studied by our students, or are proposed new modules. Please note that programme structures and individual modules are subject to amendment from time to time as part of the University’s curriculum enrichment programme and in line with changes in the University’s policies and requirements.

Entry requirements

UCAS tariff

96 - 112

From a minimum of two A levels.

GCSE: Grade C/4 or above in Maths and English.

International Baccalaureate: 28 points overall.

Other: Portfolios are required, ideally with face-to-face interviews. International applicants can send their portfolios, followed by a telephone or web interview. Students who can demonstrate excellent design skills and capabilities may receive improved offers.

English language requirements.

We welcome applicants with international qualifications. To view other accepted qualifications please refer to our tariff glossary.

Fees, costs and funding

EU applicants should refer to our dedicated Brexit webpage for details of the implications of the UK’s plans to leave the European Union.

New Student 2020 2021
Home £9,250 £9,250
International £13,800 £14,200
Part time (Home) £770 £770
Full time fees shown are per annum. Part time fees shown are per 10 credits. Please note that fees are reviewed on an annual basis. Fees and the conditions that apply to them shown in the prospectus are correct at the time of going to print. Fees shown on the web are the most up to date but are still subject to change in exceptional circumstances. For more information about fees and funding please visit www.plymouth.ac.uk/money.

Additional costs

This course is delivered by the Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Business and more details of any additional costs associated with the faculty's courses are listed on the following page: Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Business additional costs.

How to apply

All applications for undergraduate courses are made through UCAS (Universities and Colleges Admissions Service). 

UCAS will ask for the information contained in the box at the top of this course page including the UCAS course code and the institution code. 

To apply for this course and for more information about submitting an application including application deadline dates, please visit the UCAS website.

Support is also available to overseas students applying to the University from our International Office via our how to apply webpage or email international-admissions@plymouth.ac.uk.

Immersive Dome
Immersive Vision Theatre
<p>Immersive Vision Theatre -&nbsp;&nbsp;an astronomy presentation made to the students as part of a course by Ben King

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