Module code: DMAM004

Module Overview

This module runs as a continuation from Creative Media Practices (I), and offers a range of specialist workshops in important emerging techniques in moving image media production. This enables students to further develop their proficiencies in film, animation and digital media arts production methods, and in particular explore new techniques  in audiovisual content creation such as virtual production, real-time rendering, procedural animation, performance capture, and generative AI. Students will also be instructed in state-of-the-art VFX tools and technologies, encountering and consolidating skills in compositing packages such as ‘Nuke’, and Da Vinci Resolve Fusion. Students will also become familiar with tools such as the Unreal Engine, which is increasingly becoming a powerhouse in film and animation rendering.

Students also use this module to advance particular skills and develop novel production techniques where required, informed by the needs and challenges of their ongoing final project development. Projects at this level usually involve a not insignificant degree of research and development, and this module can accommodate exploration and skills development in any newly identified tool or technique not previously encountered. This may include evolving research areas, such as automated digital character animation, applied ‘denoising diffusion probabilistic models’ (such as Stable Diffusion), or location-based interactive installation and augmented reality techniques.

Module provider

Music and Media

Module Leader

WEINBREN Jon (Music & Med)

Number of Credits: 30

ECTS Credits: 15

Framework: FHEQ Level 7

Module cap (Maximum number of students): 20

Overall student workload

Workshop Hours: 20

Independent Learning Hours: 180

Seminar Hours: 10

Tutorial Hours: 20

Guided Learning: 50

Captured Content: 20

Module Availability

Semester 2

Prerequisites / Co-requisites


Module content

Indicative content includes:

  • Narrative Film Production (camera, lighting, working with actors etc)

  • Unreal Engine

  • Virtual Production

  • Compositing and VFX

  • Advanced Animation (2D & 3D)

  • Digital Performance

  • 3D modelling / animation

  • Generative AI techniques in Audiovisual Content Creation

Assessment pattern

Assessment type Unit of assessment Weighting
Coursework Project proposal and creative portfolio 100

Alternative Assessment


Assessment Strategy

The assessment strategy is designed to provide students with the opportunity to demonstrate creative and technical proficiency with tools and techniques covered by the module, as applied to their creative portfolio.

  Summative assessment:

  • Portfolio

  Formative assessment and feedback

Formative assessment is given through timetabled group critiques and individual tutorials, as well as more informally during workshops sessions. Students can discuss and develop both creative and technical aspects of their work through regular open interaction with tutors and peers, as well as through specific tutorial sessions with specialists.


Module aims

  • - Facilitate development of advanced creative media practice tools and techniques
  • - Develop the deep skills necessary for students¿ final projects, and their subsequence future professional practice.
  • - Develop students ability to diagnose and develop specific techniques needed for particular creative media projects.
  • - Compliment the advanced development of creative projects
  • - Aid students in the development of the tools required to conceptually frame their practice and help them communicate clearly and critically.
  • - Explore film, animation and digital media art works media projects in a variety of forms and formats and understand the procedures and processes involved in their creation.
  • - Equip students with the facility to research and develop potential projects in depth and articulate these in proposals, documentation and realisations.
  • - Working alongside specialist tutors, develop the deep skills necessary for execution of Final Projects, and for ongoing future practices.

Learning outcomes

Attributes Developed
001 - Demonstrate skilled application of film, animation and digital arts techniques across multiple areas, covered in depth by module workshops. KP
002 - Realise potential for film, animation and digital arts offered by developments in new and emerging technologies. KC
003 - Devise specific effective workflows that incorporate different tools and techniques. KC
004 - Select, test and make appropriate use of software, processes and environments. PT
005 - Undertake independent acquisition of skills and techniques in order to meet a range of creative production needs. PT
006 - Study independently, set goals, manage workloads and meet deadlines. PT
007 - Independently master new skills and techniques in chosen area(s) KP
008 Utilise independent judgement within an ethical framework in carrying out responsibilities, demonstrating commercial awareness within a professional context. PT
009 Demonstrate enhanced employability through knowledge of the skills, behaviours and attitude required to secure employment and be successful in the professional workplace. PT
010 Evidence the ability to promote oneself through maintenance of professional development profiles, public facing portfolios and CV/Resume.. PT
011 Evidence effective work in small groups and teams towards a common goal/outcome. PT

Attributes Developed

C - Cognitive/analytical

K - Subject knowledge

T - Transferable skills

P - Professional/Practical skills

Methods of Teaching / Learning

The learning and teaching strategy is designed to:

Support students in the independent creation of an extended digital media project making use of the critical and production skills which have been developed over the previous semester.

Students will work with one or more specialist tutors, who will assist their process of experimentation with approaches, technologies and workflows, as they develop deep skills in specific areas.

Students will be assisted in their exploration of relevant artworks and existing media from a range of forms, formats and genres to situate and contextualise their own work. Presentation and moderated peer review will be developed as an essential tool for project development.

The course is taught through a combination of presentations by the course tutors, peer review, group critiques, and one-to-one tutorial sessions.

Module content will be delivered through a combination of:

  • Demos, creative exercises (‘workshops’)

  • Group seminars, presentations, critiques (‘seminars’)

  • Personal tutorials

Indicated Lecture Hours (which may also include seminars, tutorials, workshops and other contact time) are approximate and may include in-class tests where one or more of these are an assessment on the module. In-class tests are scheduled/organised separately to taught content and will be published on to student personal timetables, where they apply to taken modules, as soon as they are finalised by central administration. This will usually be after the initial publication of the teaching timetable for the relevant semester.

Reading list
Upon accessing the reading list, please search for the module using the module code: DMAM004

Other information

Embedded alongside the specific knowledge, skills, abilities and experiences facilitated by this module are more general attributes which the university has identified as an ambition to develop in all students across all subjects and disciplines on offer. These are:-

  • Employability
  • Resourceful and Resilience
  • Digital Capabilities
  • Sustainability
  • Global Cultural Awareness

The following is an account of how this module addresses these ‘pillars’.


In general the MA Film, Animation and Digital Arts programme takes on students who are already eminently employable within the creative media industries, as they have most often developed a range of skills, both through previous undergraduate qualifications and through professional practice. The FADA programme boosts employability, raises the level at which students can gain positions and roles within the industry on graduation, and addresses well documented industry skills gaps. This module is delivered by tutors and specialists with significant industry experience and contacts, and the notion of ‘professional practice’ within a creative studio environment is a core attribute of the whole course and its components. The module developed a range of proficiencies appropriate to live action film, animation, games, and other associated areas of the media industries, by providing up-to-the-minute knowledge and understanding of tools and techniques used everyday in these fields at professional level. Equally important for employability within these areas (and often overlooked) is the development of ‘personability’: so that employers, collaborators, funders and commissioners want to work with you. We develop this by enabling students to work collaboratively and collegiately, in a supportive ‘studio-like’ environment in which we all work together to realise creative goals. We also facilitate plenty of networking opportunities, so that students get to meet and interact with future potential employers, collaborators, funders and commissioners. We also assist students to enter events and festivals so that their work is promoted and ‘seen’, widening opportunities and providing valuable peer esteem.

Resourcefulness and Resilience

Like others on the MA FADA programme, this module provides students with a number of challenges which reflect the current state of the art. Students need to respond to these with inventiveness and flexibility, and are often required to research their own solutions to given problems. The greatest resource for students on a postgraduate programme such as FADA is each other, and we encourage students to pool their knowledge and work together to come up with innovative methods to achieve a particular creative or technical goal. The studio environment and unfettered access to facilities and software facilitates this.

Digital Capabilities

The FADA programme is built on the very latest techniques and technologies, thus ‘digital capabilities’ very much comes with the territory. Contemporary Media Production is an inherently ‘digital’ affair of course, although we include more traditional techniques such as drawn animation, and drawing practice, as part of the offering.



It is incumbent on us all to reduce carbon footprints, and the film, animation and digital arts sector is no different. On all FADA modules, students are made aware of sustainable production practices both on-set and behind the computer. Students are shown best practices such as LED-based lighting, virtual production technologies to minimise crew and talent travel, recycling of sets and other materials, better transport choices, minimising of waste, and awareness of environmental and social effects on local communities and landscapes. These are embedded in various current industry initiatives such as BAFTA Albert, the ‘Screen New Deal’ production sustainability plan, and others. Furthermore, from a content viewpoint, many of the creative projects developed by students on the programme address environment and sustainability issues as part of their subject matter. We also work closely with the University of Surrey’s Institute for Sustainability to explore and promote the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals.

Global Cutural Awareness

The FADA programme consists of a diverse community of practitioners reflected in both the student cohort and the associates and specialist tutors brought in to assist in the delivery of this and other modules. We promote a convivial atmosphere, and as highly internationalised group, awareness of global cultures and diversities is an inherent part of the offering.


Programmes this module appears in

Programme Semester Classification Qualifying conditions
Film, Animation and Digital Arts MA 2 Compulsory A weighted aggregate mark of 50% is required to pass the module

Please note that the information detailed within this record is accurate at the time of publishing and may be subject to change. This record contains information for the most up to date version of the programme / module for the 2024/5 academic year.