VFX (Compositing)




Digital effects (DFX) are everywhere – from Marvel blockbusters and immersive content, to commercials, television programmes, games and independent movies. This course gives students extensive, practical training on real sets, in a visual effects (VFX) and animation studio, and in cutting-edge grading and finishing suites.

DFX graduates have worked on major films and television series, including Avengers: Endgame, Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, The Lion King, Captain Marvel, Aladdin, Hobbs and Shaw, Yesterday, Horrible Histories, Ready Player One, Early Man, Isle of Dogs, The Jungle Book, Game of Thrones, Doctor Who, Harry Potter, Inception, The Dark Knight Rises  and many more.

DFX students are taught essential 2D and 3D VFX and Colour techniques and will go on to specialise in compositing. All students work with the latest available software and camera technology and are taught by current industry artists, technicians and supervisors.

DFX students will collaborate with those in other specialisms at the NFTS to make film, TV, games and practical projects, putting into practice the skills they learn throughout the course – with all production costs met by the School.

All NFTS students can attend Masterclasses. Recent guests include David Fincher (Fight Club), Greta Gerwig (Little Women), Steve McQueen (12 Years A Slave), Edgar Wright (Hot Fuzz), Phoebe Waller-Bridge (Fleabag), Ben Wheatley (Free Fire), Rapman (Blue Story), Louis Theroux, Debra Granik (Winter’s Bone), Denis Villeneuve (Bladerunner 2049), Lynne Ramsay (You Were Never Really Here), Sam Mendes (1917), Asif Kapadia (Senna), Joanna Hogg (The Souvenir), Russell T Davies (Doctor Who) and Alex Garland (Ex Machina)

This course is industry recognised by ScreenSkills, the industry-led skills body for the UK's screen-based industries, and carries the ScreenSkills Select quality-mark which indicates courses best suited to prepare students for a career in the screen industries.

What you will study

During this extremely practical modular course, you will spend critical time learning techniques “on set”, as well as learning at a computer. Students work closely with other specialisms within the NFTS on a diverse range of NFTS film and television projects – many of which go on to become international award-winners.

You’ll control many of your own projects from start to finish. You learn by ‘doing’ as well as understanding theory, developing a variety of practical and creative skills from planning, through filming, emulation, CGI creation, VFX creation and finally post production, finishing and delivery.

Much of the first year is dedicated to shared modules teaching across the three major digital effects disciplines – compositing, colour and CG 3D – after which our VFX (Compositing) students will begin to specialise in this area.

The second year is dedicated to learning and practicing the craft of 2D and 3D compositing techniques, from on-set acquisition through to delivery. Learn to design, create, manage and deliver VFX taught by industry expert tutors using the latest compositing software, Nuke.

VFX (Compositing) students are responsible for supervising VFX for all the major NFTS film and TV productions, across the genres of Fiction, Science and Natural History, TV entertainment and Animation, plus the opportunity to collaborate with Games. VFX (Compositing) students leave the NFTS having studied the full NFTS VFX pipeline, armed with a production-ready showreel.

Download programme specification (PDF)

Download course outline (PDF)

Head of Department

The course is led by NFTS Head of Visual Effects, Ian Murphy. Ian is an accomplished visual effects compositor and supervisor, leading in-house training for Hollywood visual effects facilities including the Moving Picture Company, Atomic Fiction, Rushes and for Framestore Advertising. His recent production credits include The Jungle Book, Passengers, Skyscraper and Losing Grace.

Current or Recent Tutors

Recent tutors include Ted Chaplin (Early Man, Godzilla, Star Wars: The Clone Wars), Chris Packman (Eastenders, Love Soup, Jonathan Creek) and Aviv Yaron (World War Z, Blade Runner: 2049, Skyfall).

Fees and funding options

Fees for this course are as follows:

Home Fees:  £14,800 per year 

International Fees (including EU nationals): £24,900 per year 

These are the fees for January 2022 intake. Fees for January 2023 will be confirmed in June.

Please note:

EU nationals who have been granted settled or pre-settled status under the EU settlement scheme may be eligible for “Home Fees”, subject to meeting the residency requirements. (You need to be  ordinarily resident in the UK or EEA for 3 years prior to the start of your course).  

The NFTS has £900,000 of scholarships and bursaries available.

There is a compulsory, non-refundable £25 application fee for each MA application. A non-refundable deposit of £500 is required against the cost of your fees on confirmation of your place. 

All production costs are included in the course fees, including the use of School facilities and equipment. Students are expected to provide their own laptops. Students will be expected to pay for their travel for non-compulsory off-campus events. The School makes a contribution towards the travel and accommodation for students attending FMX and students are also expected to contribute to the costs.

The NFTS is committed to ensuring it is open to students of genuine ability, no matter what their background or financial circumstances. We don’t want anybody to be put off applying for a place at the NFTS because of the cost, which is why we award more scholarships and bursaries to British students, relative to the size of our student body, than almost any other educational institution in the UK. 

At the NFTS you will get far more time learning directly from tutors, in real production facilities and on real projects, than in the vast majority of film schools or universities – and we won’t charge you extra for the cost of productions or materials. The specialist nature of our courses mean that our students gain the relevant skills and experience they need to go straight into the industry.

Entry requirements

The course covers such a diverse range of subjects that there is no typical candidate. Your background may be in the arts or other media or you may be a recent graduate or Industry professional looking to fast-track or switch your career. A background in Mathematics and Physics is always of interest.

Although not strictly necessary, you are likely to have some industry experience or training in your chosen field and you must already understand the basic technical and operational use of computers. An ideal candidate should have a mixture of creative and technical skills. Communication, people and management skills are also desirable.

While many applicants will have a degree from a British or overseas university, we will consider applicants who do not have a degree if they have an impressive portfolio, a creative track record or an alternative qualification.

For international students, more information about our entry requirements, including Visa and English language requirements, can be found on our What You Need To Know section of our Students From Abroad page. 

If you have any questions, please email info@nfts.co.uk.

How to apply

Application deadline: 07 Jul 2022

Your application should be supported by a brief outline of your particular interests in Compositing, including any relevant experience, either academic or practical.

You can apply online by clicking on BEGIN YOUR APPLICATION below. We are happy to receive applications at any time up until the midnight of the application deadline date.

Begin your application