Fancy taking a leap and doing a dedicated course on VR? Well, you’re not the only one, as a London university is taking the leap!

This October, London College of Communication, UAL will bring a MA Virtual Reality degree for the 2018-19 academic year, the first in Europe. This is the College’s first foray into specialised Virtual Reality courses, as a BA (Hons) Virtual Reality is also coming the following year.

According to the release, a suite of dedicated virtual reality classrooms will open this October, equipped with hardware and software that will enable students to bring their projects to life by filming, sculpting, and animating in VR, including: tethered headsets such as Oculus Rift and HTC VIVE Pro headsets for room-scale VR, equipment for mobile VR, Unity Engine software on each PC for VR development, motion capture suits, and an infinity cove green screen.

Basically, it is decked out for everything nerdy students will need.

These courses will form part of London College of Communication’s Screen School, helping to develop powerful storytelling techniques through Virtual Reality and encouraging collaborations across modules such as film, games, animation and sound.

The university says that by treating VR as a discipline rather than a tool, students will learn to create immersive visual narratives. I fully support this, and I really like that are going full hog with it.

MA Virtual Reality course leader Ana-Despina Tudor comments: “As more film and media companies experiment with VR content, we’re seeing increased demand from the wider industry for skilled virtual reality experts, which is why it’s so exciting to open these two dedicated courses at London College of Communication. In just a few years, these graduates will gain the skills and understanding to incorporate this emerging technology across various industries, including in technical careers and roles that are entirely new. Furthermore, we want to support arts students to express themselves creatively in VR and learn the new visual language of this immersive environment.”

Larra Anderson, Dean of Screen at London College of Communication, said: “The emphasis of the new Virtual Reality courses is on creating immersive experiences and interactive stories – encouraging the creativity needed to utilise this new technology in innovative and thought-provoking ways. Throughout the process of developing and implementing these courses, we’ve engaged with key VR industry professionals and have received positive feedback that London College of Communication is producing exactly what the industry needs: graduates with both the skills and ideas to further evolve VR practices in the creative fields. Along with facilitating future industry leader’s careers, we’re excited to explore VR through research at the College and to be a part of developing the growing language of this new discipline.”

Tom Ffiske
Twitter: @TomFfiske
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