Immersive & Virtual Reality at UCA

Learn the skills to bring new worlds and experiences to life through the power of technology on our MA Immersive & Virtual Reality course at UCA Farnham.

The growing demand for virtual and immersive reality - in fields such as architecture, transport, entertainment, healthcare and education - has been accelerated by the COVID-19 pandemic, and it's predicted the UK virtual reality industry will grow to around £294m in just two years' time. 

Whether for virtual tours of global museums, galleries and iconic cultural and historical sites, fashion shows, travel experiences or games, designing spaces or remotely training healthcare students, more and more companies and organisations are turning to virtual and immersive reality to add to their appeal and overall effectiveness. 

Through this course, you'll collaborate with students and staff across different subject areas - from film and fine art to games and digital media - to gain the skills and insight to create these experiences using the very latest software.

Please note, this course is subject to validation and has been previously named MA Virtual & Immersive Reality.


Course entry options

Select from the options below to find out more about the different study options available for this course:

What you'll study

What you'll

The content of the course may be subject to change. Curriculum content is provided as a guide.

For our students coming from a non-UK educational background, UCA has launched an Integrated International Pre-Masters year. On this course you’ll prepare for postgraduate study with a mix of online and face-to-face learning that will give you the study skills required to complete a Master’s, and you’ll also improve your English for academic study.

Fundamentals of Virtual and Immersive Reality
You’ll learn all of the fundamentals of Virtual and Immersive Reality, exploring its historical development and tracking through to the present day. You’ll discover key outputs from designers and artists who have created work in XR, as well as key theorists and theoretical concepts including virtuality and immersion.  You will be introduced to a range of relevant creative technologies and will prototype your own piece of XR work.

Research Methods in Creative Technologies
You will learn to synthesise theoretical research methods and industry practices of interactive app evaluation to provide a critically informed and reflective toolset for analysing and critically assessing applications, interactive experiences, and their practice. 

You will learn about a range of methods for analysing creative technologies on the level of their content and form and develop an understanding of qualitative methodologies for capturing and evaluating the interactive experiences of a diverse range of users. 

In tandem, the professional practice strand of this unit will provide you with industry and practitioner-led insights into how creative technology design practices are analysed and assessed within the development process.

Immersive Storytelling and Audience Engagement
You will learn the principles of storytelling and how they are being applied, transformed, and transcended in Virtual and Immersive Reality in this unit. Through video games and now XR, the role of narrative during the last decade has evolved to such an extent that it has redefined the trends of the market.

This unit will broaden your understanding of interactive experiences to influence your future directions by utilising theory from seminars and essential readings to research and a develop your narrative skills. You will also study immersive theatre and its unique approach to audience engagement and storytelling and ways in which it is moving into and influencing XR in a range of ways. 

XR Lab
This workshop-based unit is where you will learn game engines to design XR experiences, as well as learning workflows to make XR games, experiences and applications. This unit offers you the opportunity to learn the fundamentals of working with software, and coding for XR applications, to design and prepare assets and graphics for XR, and how to develop exciting XR experiences using a number of tools.

Professional Practice
In this unit, you can choose from two options:

A collaborative professional practice group project - This is expected to involve groups of students across the postgraduate portfolio collaborating on a project which may be based on an industry brief.

A creative business start-up option - This is being developed by the Business School for the Creative Industries which will also lead on the delivery. The Creative Startup component is based on active-reflective learning. A real-world practical business experience is at the core of the unit component, but it will also encourage you to adopt a critical and reflective approach to your work and specific behaviours.

Final Major Project
The Final Major Project is a culmination of your skills, passions and creativity as developed across your MA education. The final major project, and your role in it, should be ambitious but achievable, and framed by how you want to promote yourself as an XR Experience Designer.

Through this final project you will either utilise proposals you have been working on in other units or develop an entirely new proposal.

Alongside the project, you will be compiling a showreel of work to showcase your mini-projects and prototypes thus far. The unit and year will finish with an exhibition which celebrates the prototypes and projects completed for this unit and throughout the course. 

Course specifications

Please note, syllabus content indicated is provided as a guide. The content of the course may be subject to change in line with our Student Terms and Conditions for example, as required by external professional bodies or to improve the quality of the course.

Fees & funding

Fees & financial support

Tuition fees

  • 2024/25 entry: £10,500

Tuition fees

Tuition fees

  • 2024/25 entry (MA): £18,000
  • 2024/25 entry (Integrated International Pre-Masters course - 30 weeks): £17,500
  • 2024/25 entry (Integrated International Pre-Masters course - 15 weeks): £8,750

Please note: the fees listed here are correct for the stated academic year only. For more detailed information about our course fees please see our fees and finance pages

UCA scholarships and fee discounts

At UCA we have a number of financial support information available to assist you with the cost of your studies.

Current UCA students and alumni may be eligible for a tuition fee discount.

Financial support

There are lots of ways you can access additional financial support to help you fund your studies - both from UCA and from external sources. Discover what support you might qualify for please see our scholarships and fee discounts.

Additional course costs

In addition to the tuition fees there may be other costs for your course. The things that you are likely to need to budget for to get the most out of a creative arts education will include books, printing costs, occasional or optional study trips and/or project materials.

These costs will vary according to the nature of your project work and the individual choices that you make. 


This course has studios containing high-end PCs with Alienware Aurora towers and the latest RTX 2080 graphics cards, 4k dual screen monitors and Wacom Cintiq graphics tablets, running software including Unity and Unreal games engines. There is also a VR development studio and a dedicated Games Incubator Studio for graduate entrepreneurs looking to set up their own companies or to release games to market. In addition, our Farnham campus has sound production and Foley studios, pro tools and a specialist library.

View 360 virtual tour

VR motion capture film studio, UCA Farnham

VR motion capture film studio, UCA Farnham

Games studio, UCA Farnham

Library, UCA Farnham

Career opportunities


The growing demand for virtual and immersive reality within a plethora of different industries means that graduates might develop their career within a variety of different roles. These might include:

  • Producer
  • Instructional designer
  • WebAR developer
  • Software developer
  • Design/Graphics engineer
  • AR/VR maintenance support
  • XR gameplay and tools engineer

You may want to undertake further study or a research degree to specialise even more.

Entry & portfolio requirements

Entry & portfolio

MA course

  • A good honours degree or equivalent qualification in a related discipline


  • Relevant work experience, demonstrating your ability to study at postgraduate level.

Consideration will also be given to applicants who can make a strong case for admission in relation to a particular project and can demonstrate their potential to satisfactorily complete the course.

Portfolio requirements

For this course we will need to see your portfolio for review. You can either submit a digital portfolio or request an in-person portfolio review with the course team. Further information will be provided once you have applied.

MA course

The entry requirements will depend on the country your qualifications are from, please check the equivalent qualifications for your country:

Any additional entry requirements listed in the UK requirements section, e.g., subject requirements, work experience or professional qualifications, also apply to international applicants applying with equivalent qualifications.

Portfolio requirements

You will be required to submit a portfolio for review. Further information on specific portfolio requirements and how to submit your portfolio will be sent to you after we have reviewed your application.

MA course with Integrated International Pre-Masters course

  • A recognised bachelor degree or 3 year diploma with a strong portfolio in a relevant subject.

Any additional entry requirements listed in the UK requirements section, e.g., subject requirements, work experience or professional qualifications, also apply to international applicants applying with equivalent qualifications.

Portfolio requirements

You will be required to submit a portfolio for review. Further information on specific portfolio requirements and how to submit your portfolio will be sent to you after we have reviewed your application.

English language requirements

To study at UCA, you'll need to have a certain level of English language skill. And so, to make sure you meet the requirements of your course, we ask for evidence of your English language ability, please check the level of English language required:

Don't meet the international entry requirements or English language requirements?

You may be able to enter the course through the following entry pathways:

Apply now

Please use the following fields to help select the right application link for you: