MA Immersive Arts (Virtual and Augmented Reality)

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This programme is subject to approval

New programme for 2022

Faculty Faculty of Arts
Awards available MA
Programme length One year full-time;
Two or three years part-time
Location of programme Clifton campus
Part-time study available Yes
Part-time study requires daytime weekday attendance
Start date September 2022

Programme overview

Creative technologies, interactive and immersive media are transforming the ways in which we experience and engage with culture. Virtual Reality (VR), Augmented Reality (AR) and Mixed Reality (MR) are being used across a wide range of industries, from games and entertainment; theatre and live events; museums and heritage; marketing, advertising, and tourism; architecture and design; through to simulation and healthcare. This MA will enable you to translate your learning and experience in creative arts (eg writing, theatre, film, or music production) into making engaging immersive content and designing innovative interactive experiences. We will equip you with the technical skills and knowledge to succeed in this exciting and rapidly growing sector. Throughout the course, you will learn from world-leading academics, pioneering thought-leaders, and work closely with creative industry partners. This MA equips students with the:

  • creative skills and knowledge to work with virtual reality, augmented reality and interactive media
  • critical, theoretical, and practical skills in creative technologies and immersive storytelling, which underpin effective extended reality experiences (XR)
  • ability to consider the processes of digital content creation, delivery, and consumption holistically, as a continuum, in order to produce interactive media for a range of audiences while meeting technological constraints and addressing live industry briefs
  • ability to work across disciplines to produce engaging immersive experiences for a variety of contexts, through working collaboratively with students on the MSc Immersive Technologies (Virtual and Augmented Reality) to bring together skills in creative arts and computer science/software development
  • skills in responsible innovation and entrepreneurship to become the next generation of leaders in immersive industry startups. 

The creative, immersive and screen media industries are thriving in Bristol and the region, which makes the city an ideal place to study Immersive Arts. The MA has been co-designed with industry partners and is closely associated with excellent cutting-edge research within the University in immersive technologies and creative practices, for instance MyWorld. The teaching will be research-led, give students insights into emerging media and how the creative industries are evolving, along with emphasizing practical approaches to learning. Students will receive professional mentorship and have considerable opportunity to engage with the University's excellent network of partners in this field, with organisations such as Bristol Old Vic, Aardman, Watershed/Pervasive Media Studio and Knowle West Media Centre.

Register for our Film webinar.

Fees for 2022/23

We charge an annual tuition fee. Fees for 2022/23 are as follows:

UK: full-time
£12,300
UK: part-time (two years)
£6,150
UK: part-time (three years)
£4,100
Overseas: full-time
£25,900

Following the recent changes to fee assessment regulation, Channel Islands and Isle of Man students will no longer be charged a separate tuition fee. From the 2021/22 academic year they will be charged the same fees as Home students.

Fees are subject to an annual review. For programmes that last longer than one year, please budget for up to a five per cent increase in fees each year. Find out more about tuition fees.

Alumni scholarship

University of Bristol students and graduates can benefit from a ten per cent reduction in tuition fees for postgraduate study. Check your eligibility for an alumni scholarship.

Funding for 2022/23

Alumni scholarship

University of Bristol students and graduates can benefit from a ten per cent reduction in tuition fees for postgraduate study. Check your eligibility for an alumni scholarship.

Further information on funding for prospective UK, EU and international postgraduate students.

Programme structure

You will be introduced to the fundamental technologies underpinning immersive media, the diverse applications and experiences that can be achieved with these technologies, and the wide range of opportunities in the sector. You will get to experience and discuss inspiring examples, cover theories of immersivity, histories of immersive and interactive media, along with emerging technologies and approaches. This will enable you to position your practice in the field and reflect critically on how the sector is developing. You will be made aware of the ethical considerations that should be taken into account when developing immersive experiences to instil a sense of responsible innovation. Virtual and augmented reality require new forms of non-linear narrative and you will develop your understanding of interactive storytelling, non-linear dramaturgy and how to structure compelling experiences. You will explore creative content creation, producing 360-degree video and spatial audio, motion capture, directing and/or performing in virtual environments and AR scenes. You will learn about how to design interactions to further immerse your audience in the action, giving them agency in how an immersive experience unfolds, and developing understanding of how the player/user is being affected by the experience.

The MA consists of the following units:

  • Introduction to Immersive Technologies and Arts (20 credits)
  • Virtual Environment Design (20 credits)
  • Innovation, Entrepreneurship and Enterprise (20 credits)
  • Immersive Content Creation (20 credits)
  • Immersive and Interactive Storytelling (20 credits)
  • Immersive Production (20 credits)

To complete your studies, a 60-credit individual research or group practical project can be chosen. This unit will provide you with first-hand experience in planning, delivering, and presenting a substantial piece of original immersive and creative work in an academic, civic or commercial environment. The aim of this unit is to give you a substantial opportunity to integrate material from all taught units and demonstrate the breadth and depth of your learning on the MA.

Visit our programme catalogue for full details of the structure and unit content for our MA in Immersive Arts (Virtual and Augmented Reality).

Entry requirements

To be considered for admission to this programme, applicants are required to hold/achieve a minimum of an upper second-class honours degree (or international equivalent) in any discipline. Non-traditional qualifications/routes will also be considered.

See international equivalent qualifications on the International Office website.

English language requirements

If English is not your first language, you need to meet this profile level:
Profile C
Further information about English language requirements and profile levels.

Admissions statement

Read the programme admissions statement for important information on entry requirements, the application process and supporting documents required.

Admissions statement

Careers

Graduates from this MA will be capable of developing immersive applications and content for a variety of sectors, applying their knowledge to real-world challenges, and will be able to innovate and work successfully in interdisciplinary teams. As diverse sectors pivot to embrace immersive technologies, the demand for graduates with skills in this area has skyrocketed and such expertise is becoming integral to a wide range of occupations across the globe. Students will graduate with a portfolio of work that shows what they are able to do and you will have a network of professional contacts to draw on.

Graduates from this MA will be sought after in a wide range of roles, for instance in immersive theatre and events, in the interaction department of animation, film and screen media companies, in advertising, marketing, experience and app design, in digital museum interpretation, and in games development.

Expected application closure date

29 July 2022 for international applicants. 12 August 2022 for UK applicants. Early applications recommended; places may fill before the deadline. As students from different regions tend to apply at different points in the application period, applications from some regions may close earlier in the year.

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Contact details

Enquiries Team Phone: +44 (0) 117 394 1649 Email: choosebristol-pg@bristol.ac.uk

Dr Paul Clarke Academic Lead Email: p.clarke@bristol.ac.uk

School website: School of Arts
Department website: Department of Theatre

International students

Find out more about becoming a student at Bristol, applying for a visa and the support we offer to international students.

REF 2014 results

  • 20% of research is world-leading (4 star)
  • 45% of research is internationally excellent (3 star)
  • 30% of research is recognised internationally (2 star)
  • 5% of research is recognised nationally (1 star)

Results are from the most recent UK-wide assessment of research quality, conducted by HEFCE. More about REF 2014 results.

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