A new reality in higher education

Dedicated degrees in virtual reality technology are set to commence at the London College of Communication

Next week, London College of Communication, UAL will be announcing the launch of a brand-new MA Virtual Reality degree, starting in October. The course will be the first of its kind in Europe and marks the College’s first foray into specialised virtual reality (VR) courses, with a BA (Hons) Virtual Reality also set to commence next year.

Dedicated VR classroom

In order for course students to fully develop their expertise, a suite of dedicated virtual reality classrooms will open in October. Equipped with state-of-the-art hardware and software, they will enable students to bring projects to life by filming, sculpting, and animating in VR. The tech includes 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.

Storytelling focus

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

“In just a few years, these graduates will gain the skills and understanding to incorporate this emerging technology across technical careers and roles that are entirely new.”

Diversity and employability

London College of Communication is launching these dedicated courses with the ultimate aim of closing the skills gap between education and employment in the VR industry. As a main barrier to entry is the high cost of equipment and training, one of the College’s long-term goals is to create a more inclusive industry by providing access to technology and skills to those otherwise marginalised from the field.

MA Virtual Reality Course Leader, Ana-Despina Tudor, said: “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. In just a few years, these graduates will gain the skills and understanding to incorporate this emerging technology across various industries, including 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.”