Animation, Visual Effects and Game Design Major - Bachelor of Design Te Tohu Paetahi mō te Hoahoa

Study animation, visual effects and game design, and prepare for a career in the digital creative industries. Get access to world-class facilities, industry connections and workplace experience.

Develop practical skills using our green screen, motion capture and virtual reality studios, and our high-end computer labs with a suite of industry standard software. We also have strong and long-established links with leading industry organisations, and you'll have opportunities to gain professional experience while studying.

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This is part of the Bachelor of Design Te Tohu Paetahi mō te Hoahoa.

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The Animation, Visual Effects and Game Design major offers a lot of flexibility across the fields of animation, visual effects and game design. As well as gaining expertise in a range of digital production tools, you learn to create, communicate and analyse stories, moving image narratives and user experiences in compelling and engaging ways.

Year 1

The first semester introduces you to the foundations of animation, visual effects and game design through a range of creative practice-based work. You'll work individually and in groups in a studio-based environment, using industry-standard software in our computer labs and digital video production spaces. You're also introduced to design-thinking principles and practices, as well as history and theory frameworks.

In Semester 1, you study the following core courses:

In Semester 2, you study:

You’ll also start your courses from your second major, your minor(s) or elective courses.

Year 2

You'll study animation, visual effects or game design, working on a series of practice-based projects. You'll also further your critical analysis and trouble-shooting skills, content creation, communication and narrative strategies.

Industry networking opportunities include external guest speakers and workshops.

You study the following courses:

You’ll also continue to take courses from your second major, your minor(s) or elective courses.

Year 3

You’ll complete a major self-directed design project. Projects can be individual, in partnership with another student or undertaken as a group project.

Expert industry speakers and workshops offer opportunities for networking and feedback.

You study the following courses:

You’ll also continue to take courses from your second major, your minor(s) or elective courses.

Workplace experience

You complete 60 hours of workplace experience in an industry organisation. This is a great opportunity to network, gain work experience and develop your showreel and digital portfolio.

Recent placements included:

  • Weta Digital
  • Staples VR
  • Flux Animation Studio Ltd
  • InGame Ltd
  • Power Rangers TV series
  • Geo AR Games

Build your degree

Use our online tool to build your own degree and see what your three years of study could look like.

Build your degreeBuild your degreehttps://www.aut.ac.nz/courses/bachelor-of-design-te-tohu-paetahi-mo-te-hoahoa/animation-visual-effects-and-game-design-major

  • 2D/3D animator
  • Visual effects artist
  • Games designer
  • Virtual reality artist
  • Interactive designer
  • Motion capture artist
  • Motion designer
  • Working in the film industry
Animation VFX and Game Design-1

Find out more about industry trends, job descriptions and what employers may be looking for.

Animation VFX and Game Design

Other majors in the Bachelor of Design Te Tohu Paetahi mō te Hoahoa

Student work

Check out a selection of award-winning student work from Animation, Visual Effects and Game Design major students.

a screenshot
Linda Zhuang, ‘Whispers of the Deep’
a screenshot
Hanvit Kang, ‘Dreams are Made of Water and Paint’
a screenshot
Jake Hannah-Girven, ‘Homolupus’
a screenshot
Arche Pacaigue, ‘Training ARC’
a screenshot
Tara Cate Haggerty, ‘Church Grim’
Key features
  • Access to state-of-the-art facilities
  • Strong ties to key industry organisations, including Weta
  • Growing demand for digital design skills, in the entertainment industry and beyond
  • 60 hours of work experience in the digital design industry
  • Option to include subjects from across AUT in your degree
See yourself as
  • A story-teller
  • Technologically savvy
  • Visually creative
  • A problem-solver
  • Innovative
Lily Martin-Babin
Kritteka Gregory
Nathania Sum
Luke Mcleod
Reuben Terehu Shortland

The information on this page was correct at time of publication. For a comprehensive overview of AUT qualifications, please refer to the Academic Calendar.