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Postgraduate Courses 2017/18

Architectural Visualisation - MA



The hunger for the digital visualisation of architecture and urban environments has grown exponentially in both the Architectural and Film Industries.  As the need for skilled modellers and animators with an awareness of architectural and cinematic issues increases, this MA in Architectural Visualisation develops your skills to communicate architecture and urbanity for a variety of applications and audiences.

The MA in Architectural Visualisation is jointly taught by Kent School of Architecture and the School of Engineering and Digital Arts. Building on the successful Master's programmes in Computer Animation and Digital Visual Effects, this MA enables students to develop at an advanced level the skills, knowledge and understanding of digital simulation and 3D modelling which will equip them to become highly skilled professionals in architectural visualisation.

Drawing influence from both architecture and film, this programme offers a progression route into both industries, highlighting the different requirements needed for each profession while exploring the similarities of these markets. In this programme, the professions of architecture, film and animation fuse together, providing students with the ability and understanding to work in each or all of them.

About the School of Engineering and Digital Arts

The School of Engineering and Digital Arts successfully combines modern engineering and technology with the exciting new field of digital media. The School was established over 40 years ago and has developed a top-quality teaching and research base, receiving excellent ratings in both research and teaching assessments.

About Kent School of Architecture

Kent School of Architecture is a young school that has built an excellent reputation, based on high quality teaching and excellent resources. Architecture at Kent was ranked 7th in the UK in The Guardian University Guide 2017, and 7th for graduate prospects in The Complete University Guide 2017.

National ratings

In the Research Excellence Framework (REF) 2014, research by the School of Architecture was ranked 8th for research intensity and 8th for research output in the UK.

An impressive 100% of our research-active staff submitted to the REF and 88% of our research was judged to be of international quality. The School’s environment was judged to be conducive to supporting the development of research of international quality.

Course structure


The following modules are indicative of those offered on this programme. This list is based on the current curriculum and may change year to year in response to new curriculum developments and innovation.  Most programmes will require you to study a combination of compulsory and optional modules. You may also have the option to take modules from other programmes so that you may customise your programme and explore other subject areas that interest you.

AR821 - Film and Architecture (15 credits)

This module reviews the representation of architecture in film through history, by looking at influential cinematic depictions of the built form. With light being such an important factor in both disciplines, the links between the two industries are explored, analysing films from early German expressionist cinema through to present-day utopian/dystopian films. Students will investigate how the cinematic depiction of architecture can alter the character of the built environment and the way in which it is portrayed. This module aims to explore the relationship of architecture to lens, and screen to audience.

Credits: 15 credits (7.5 ECTS credits).

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AR822 - Virtual Cities (30 credits)

This module will develop skills in visual communication and representation using 3D digital modelling. Students will develop modelling skills, learning materiality, lighting and high quality rendering skills. This module will draw from professional practice of a number of industries, such as architecture, film and games, highlighting the priorities that each profession places on the modelling and rendering process.

Credits: 30 credits (15 ECTS credits).

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AR823 - Digital Architecture (15 credits)

This module will intensively guide students through the procedures of modelling and animation needed for architectural visualisation. The programme of study will compare the available software packages used in industry and will provide students with hands-on ability to model, animate and render architectural visualisations. Through a series of exercises advancing in complexity, by the end of this module students will be able to create realistic digital architectural models appropriate for the target industry and application.

Credits: 15 credits (7.5 ECTS credits).

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AR846 - Architectural Photography (15 credits)

The study of photography is often a complementary element of architectural education. Understanding of the processes of composition, framing and lighting is essential in both disciplines. Through a series of lectures and workshops students will comprehend these concepts, as well as fundamental principles of photographic creation and processing, enabling them to apply these skills and principles to the communication of architectural space and form through photography.

Credits: 15 credits (7.5 ECTS credits).

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EL837 - Professional Group Work (15 credits)

This module is a group project which allows the student to work on a model of an actual animation job provided by our industrial partner. Each group produces an animation from established plates and models to a 4 week deadline. The student works with a model of a production pipeline, becoming familiar with the production process, chains of approval and departmental divisions.

Credits: 15 credits (7.5 ECTS credits).

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EL868 - High Definition Compositing (15 credits)


difference keys, luma keys, chroma keys, garbage mattes.

2D and 3D Tracking:

techniques to track elements from a live action background plate

Video compositing:

blending modes, motion attributes, rotoscoping, using alpha channels.

Credits: 15 credits (7.5 ECTS credits).

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EL869 - Film and Video Production (15 credits)


The fundamentals of screenwriting: managing information and structuring narrative


The fundamentals of film style: composition, camera movement, lighting/colour, sound, and editing


Camerawork, sound recording, lighting, and editing


Regular meetings for discussion of projects and video production exercises



Students will individually write a 3-5 minute scene for possible production in class. This will not be assessed.


Students will work together in small teams on two short video production exercises. The first exercise will not be assessed. The second exercise will be assessed.


A brief reflective analysis (max. 1000 words + illustrations) on students' learning experience across the module. Assessed.

Credits: 15 credits (7.5 ECTS credits).

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EL870 - Visual Effects Project (60 credits)

Each student uses all the experience gained on the course to produce a video short in high definition which showcases his or her professional visual effects skills and forms a suitable entree to a professional career.

The subject, script, models and soundtrack of the piece are agreed with the academic staff, or is a project from an Industrial collaborator.

Credits: 60 credits (30 ECTS credits).

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AR845 - Independent Research Project (60 credits)

Students develop their communication and research skills to a high professional standard in an academic or industrial setting. Students elect to produce a theoretical, interdisciplinary or practice-based response in a topic related to the field of study. Working with an assigned tutor; students develop a research proposal, incorporating a methodology and schedule for the work. Students are expected to develop their ability to gather and synthesize data, as well as to analyse it in a coherent and convincing manner. In addition, they are expected to situate their own investigation in the broader context of architecture. Interdisciplinary investigations that further inform architectural thinking are encouraged.

Credits: 60 credits (30 ECTS credits).

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Teaching and Assessment

Modules are taught over three terms, concluding with a Major Project Visualisation, which accounts for one third of the programme. The content of the visualisation is agreed with programme staff and you build a showreel to a professional standard. Each module is assessed by practical assignments. The project work is assessed on the outcome of the project itself.

Programme aims

This programme aims to:

  • enable you to develop advanced level skills, knowledge and understanding of digital simulation and 3D modelling, which will equip you to become a highly skilled professional in architectural visualisation
  • train you in the requirements and skills needed for work in high definition
  • produce professionally-trained architectural visualisers who are highly skilled in using state-of-the-art 3D modelling and visual effects software
  • provide proper academic guidance and welfare support for all students
  • create an atmosphere of co-operation and partnership between staff and students, and offer you an environment where you can develop your potential.

Learning outcomes

Knowledge and understanding

You gain knowledge and understanding of:

  • the computer animation production process and pipeline roles
  • the principles of architectural modelling for visualisation and games
  • the technical terms and methods used in film editing
  • the fundamental concepts of digital video technology
  • current developments in the architectural visualisation industry and related market sectors
  • the relevance of architectural visualisation within the contemporary television and film industries
  • the cultural context of architecture in film.

Intellectual skills

You develop intellectual skills in:

  • the analysis and interpretation of 3D modelling issues.
  • the ability to relate technological options to practical implementation.
  • the ability to identify and solve complex problems and issues in the generation of an architectural visualisation
  • the ability to identify ideas for enhancing a production’s aesthetic quality by the use of complex video effects
  • the ability to demonstrate independence and creative and critical thinking
  • the ability to evaluate creatively evidence to support conclusions.

Subject-specific skills

You gain subject-specific skills in:

  • use of appropriate software tools, techniques and packages to produce and develop complex architectural visualisations
  • the ability to use drawing as a way of planning, visualising and explaining work in a time-based medium
  • the ability to read and make storyboards and animatics at a professional level
  • the ability to apply management techniques to the planning, resource allocation and execution of an architectural visualisation project
  • the ability to prepare reports and presentations relevant to architectural representation and visualisation.

Transferable skills

You gain the following transferable skills:

  • the ability to generate, analyse, present and interpret data
  • use of information and communications technology
  • personal and interpersonal skills, working as a member of a team
  • an ability to communicate effectively, in writing, verbally and through drawings
  • the ability for critical thinking, reasoning and reflection
  • the ability to manage time and resources within an individual and group project
  • the ability to learn independently for the purpose of continuing professional development.


We have developed our programmes with a number of industrial organisations, which means that successful students are in a strong position to build a long-term career in this important discipline. You develop the skills and capabilities that employers seek, including problem solving, independent thought, report-writing, time management, leadership skills, team-working and good communication.

Building on Kent’s success as the region’s leading institution for student employability, we offer many opportunities for you to gain worthwhile experience and develop the specific skills and aptitudes that employers value.

Study support

Postgraduate resources

Students on the programmes in Architectural Visualisation, Computer Animation and Digital Visual Effects work in a dedicated, state-of-the-art suite, equipped with leading-edge PC workstations running Alias™ Maya and Foundry Nuke. There is also a photographic studio and a production studio with green screen and motion capture facilities. The School is also equipped with a 3D body scanner – one of only two in the UK.


As a postgraduate student, you are part of a thriving research community and receive support through a wide-ranging programme of individual supervision, specialised research seminars, general skills training programmes, and general departmental colloquia, usually with external speakers. We encourage you to attend and present your work at major conferences, as well as taking part in our internal conference and seminar programmes.

Dynamic publishing culture

Staff publish regularly and widely in journals, conference proceedings and books. Recent contributions include: IEEE Transactions; IET Journals; Electronics Letters; Applied Physics; Computers in Human Behaviour.

Global Skills Award

All students registered for a taught Master's programme are eligible to apply for a place on our Global Skills Award Programme. The programme is designed to broaden your understanding of global issues and current affairs as well as to develop personal skills which will enhance your employability.  

Entry requirements

A 2.2 or higher honours degree in multimedia, art or design or a related subject. All applicants must present a portfolio.

General entry requirements

Please also see our general entry requirements.

English language entry requirements

For detailed information see our English language requirements web pages. 

Please note that if you are required to meet an English language condition, we offer a number of pre-sessional courses in English for Academic Purposes through Kent International Pathways.

Research areas

Digital Media

The Digital Media group is a multidisciplinary group with interests in many areas including social computing (eg, social networking, computer mediated communication), mobile/ubiquitous computing, human-computer interaction and digital arts (eg, computer games, 3D animation, digital film). Our work is applied across a wide range of domains including e-health, cultural heritage and cyber influence/identity.

Current research themes include:

  • interface/interaction design and human-computer interaction
  • cyber behaviour/influence
  • social computing and sociability design
  • natural user interfaces
  • virtual worlds
  • online communities and computer-mediated communication
  • mobile applications
  • digital film-making and post-production.

Staff research interests

Full details of staff research interests can be found on the School's website.

Dr Jim Ang: Lecturer in Multimedia/Digital Systems

Human computer interaction; usability and playability design; computer game studies and interactive narrative; social computing and sociability design; virtual worlds; online communities and computer-mediated communication.


Ania Bobrowicz: Senior Lecturer in Digital Arts

Human-computer interaction; computer-mediated communication; feminism and art history.


David Byers Brown: Senior Lecturer

Animation; digital visual effects; directing.


Howard Griffin: Programme Director, Architectural Visualisation MA; Director of Recruitment, Marketing and Admissions

Architecture and film; the representation and use of architecture in film; the use of film and visualisation in architecture; virtual architecture and digital space; looking at form and space in virtual worlds and cyberspace; the architecture and symbolism of freemasonry in England.


Stephen Kelly: Senior Lecturer in Electronic Engineering

Medical electronics, including: electrocardiology; speech assessment; telemedicine and computerbased assessment of clinical conditions.


Dr Richard Misek: Lecturer in Digital Media

Screen technologies and aesthetics; postproduction; remix cinema; digital spacetime; urban space; video art.


Dr Les Walczowski: Senior Lecturer in Electronic Engineering; Director of Learning and Teaching

The development of dynamic web applications, mobile applications and e-learning technology.


Enquire or order a prospectus



Admissions enquiries

T: +44 (0)1227 827272


Subject enquiries

T: +44 (0)1227 824205

E: ksaadmissions@kent.ac.uk

School websites


The 2017/18 annual tuition fees for this programme are:

Architectural Visualisation - MA at Canterbury:
UK/EU Overseas
Full-time £7490 £16720

For students continuing on this programme fees will increase year on year by no more than RPI + 3% in each academic year of study except where regulated.* If you are uncertain about your fee status please contact information@kent.ac.uk

The University of Kent makes every effort to ensure that the information contained in its publicity materials is fair and accurate and to provide educational services as described. However, the courses, services and other matters may be subject to change. Full details of our terms and conditions can be found at: www.kent.ac.uk/termsandconditions.

*Where fees are regulated (such as by the Department of Business Innovation and Skills or Research Council UK) they will be increased up to the allowable level.

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The University of Kent, Canterbury, Kent, CT2 7NZ, T: +44 (0)1227 764000