Visual Effects

Explore unmapped visual frontiers in our unique creative laboratory


The visual creatives of tomorrow will be multidisciplinary artists, grounded in art and science fundamentals, and fluent in cutting-edge software and technology tools. Above all, they will be storytellers, guided by an ethical awareness that will open minds and contribute to the design of future realities.

At Catalyst we have a multidisciplinary approach to visual effects for films, audiovisual and technological arts. Our hands-on courses guide you from 2d and 3d animation to augmented reality and motion capture.

Our Visual Effects programme is designed around the age-old fundamentals of storytelling and composition and expands into the latest cross-media digital tools and technologies. Our aim is to prepare our students as trained professionals in a variety of fields such as filmmaking, post-production, motion design, 3D, digital compositing, visual effects supervising, creative coding, installation art with interactive tools, music and more. The list is long because our goal is to provide you with a powerful overview of the vast world of visual effects along with the tools, techniques and experience needed to succeed as a VFX practitioner.

The media landscape is changing on a daily basis, and the world needs equipped and thoughtful new practitioners to fill unprecedented roles. Take your place in the vanguard of that revolution and dive into extended realities whilst pushing the boundaries of filmmaking and your understanding of the physical world.

Don't just show the world what you've become. Show them the future.

Certificate and Bachelor Degree Courses

Our flagship courses focus on 'hands on' reflective practice, collaboration, problem solving and critical thinking.

HE Certificate

Length: 1 Year
Start: 13.09.2021
Application by: 30 April for Priority
Fees: From 975€/month

An intensive year of whirlwind, hands-on collaborations and a deep end dive into the tools of the trade. Become adept at navigating visual effects solutions for film and media, from practical visual effects to digital compositing and everything in between. More importantly, you’ll find out which approach best suits your style, so you can best judge the unique needs of incoming projects.

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BA (Hons) Bachelor Degree

Length: 3 Years
Start: 13.09.2021
Application by: 30 April for Priority
Fees: From 975€/month

A practical and innovative project-based programme designed to provide you with the tools and techniques required to create digital images and visual effects solutions for film, live visuals and technological arts. From conceptualisation to live performance and finalised effects, collaborate with musicians, actors, filmmakers. Navigate through a wide scope of technologies and explore new forms of storytelling. Engage and adapt to the industry of tomorrow and discover cutting edge creative art fields, whilst exploring the fundamentals of visual narrative, design and creative project development.

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Build your portfolio

Our industry-pro tutors will guide you through a structured, project-based, hands-on journey from milllenia-old fundamentals to today's latest cutting edge software and industry workflows. Leave with a rich and varied portfolio that is impressive on a technical level, but more importantly makes a personal statement about you as a human being.

Experience it for yourself

Learn everything you need to know about our courses and community during our Virtual Open Days and live online demos.

Visit our events calendars for more details.

A bedrock of support

Learn by doing. Learn by playing. Learn by experimenting. Learn by trying and failing and trying again. Learn through projects, through discussion and reflection, through passionate argument and compassionate inquiry. Learn outside your comfort zone while inside our supportive creative learning community.

What to expect

The Plan

Our Visual Effects courses offer a balance between cutting-edge digital and physical environments and classic techniques as old as time. We provide a grounded foundational knowledge, then challenge you to explore on your own.

You can look forward to:

  • Reviewing, demystifying and experimenting with every possible technique used to create digital images and visual effects
  • Learning how to conceptualise and finalise a composed image
  • Constant shooting, mastering both live action projects as well as on-set supervision
  • Exploring the future through technological arts, new realities and human/machine interfacing
  • Getting the keys to independently engage with VFX software and technology
  • Collaborating on projects with film production, screen acting, and music production students
  • Growing as an individual and creative artist
  • Having a lot of fun!
Building for success

Whatever your definition of success, there are a range of tools, skills, attributes and habits which significantly increase your chances of achieving that success. These skills and attributes are the building blocks that help turn a talented, hardworking human being into a genuinely successful one. When we talk about success at Catalyst we are talking about it in the widest possible sense. It may or may not include a financial or a fame element depending on your own personal goals. It must include the importance of also feeling content or happy.

Here are some examples of the qualities we help you develop:-

  • A well developed creative muscle
  • Comfort with failure and vulnerability
  • Building tenacity, grit and resilience
  • Personal leadership
  • Growing and developing an entrepreneurial approach
  • Learning to lead people and projects
  • Understanding the benefits of taking risk
  • Enhancing your communication and collaborative skills
  • Embedding innovation techniques in your daily practice
  • Understanding the importance of developing the 'whole' person

Much of this learning is deeply embedded in the projects you complete for your course. Much of the time you may not even be consciously aware you are in the process of developing these skills.


Our team

Our tutors are all experienced professionals with a passion for passing on their experience to others. You will be guided along your visual effects journey by a team of permanent tutors and visiting visual effects industry pros from around the world.

Support before and during your time at Catalyst

Extra courses to support your personal and academic growth

Access to Higher Education - Primer Workshop

For those wishing to join our main Bachelors programmes, but lacking either practical experience in film making / visual effects or the formal education requirements to apply through standard entry, we offer an additional primer workshop to run alongside the 4 week filmmaking course. It covers writing skills, reading, structuring arguments, debate and understanding context. The course utilises task and project based learning methodology to ensure that you’re prepared and ready for our longer HE Certificate or Bachelor Degree level programmes.

Reach out to our Admissions team for more details on how to access this course once you've applied.

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Being a Leader and Exercising Leadership Effectively

Beyond the specialised creative and technical skillsets you learn with us, we think that leadership is a crucial element in supporting your life, your creative projects and your success after you leave Catalyst behind. This extraordinary course will magnify the potential of everything else you learn whilst you are with us and is available to Catalyst students as part of your course fee.

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Our student showcase

Class of 20-21, Semester 1

Behind the scenes

Catalyst story features and extracurricular highlights