Nearly 50% of graduates working in film, VFX and gaming come from Silicon South

Great Talent Pool

Central to any business is its people and Silicon South benefits from an impressive talent pool, across all digital sectors. We’re home to two universities and two exceptional FE colleges. Specialising in creative and digital subjects, these centres of excellence equip and inspire a future generation of creators and entrepreneurs. 


There are also thousands of experienced professionals carving out careers in digital agencies, film studios, visual effects, IT, gaming, app creation and programming.  Some homegrown talent, others experienced 'boomerangers' who have returned to the region or actively sought out a different lifestyle. 


Both Bournemouth University (BU) and Arts University Bournemouth (AUB) are considered industry leaders in creative and digital. They are a valuable pipeline of graduate talent, regularly producing Academy Award-winning animators, leading media specialists, computer programming professionals, marketing experts and true entrepreneurial spirit.

Most cities will boast about their relevant university links. But Silicon South’s universities are more than just talk.

  • The Arts University Bournemouth, founded in 1885 and voted the UK’s #1 Top Creative University with an internationally renowned animation department. It is home to the largest UK film school outside of London
  • Courses accredited by Creative Skillset 
  • BU’s Media School designated as the only Centre for Excellence in Media Practice(CEMP) in the UK by the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE) 
  • 2011 Report published by NESTA (National Endowment for Science, Technology and Art) showed nearly 50% of graduates working in the film, visual effects or video games industries come from Bournemouth University.
  • 98% of all graduates are in full time roles within six months of graduation

National Centre for Computer Animation (NCCA)

The National Centre for Computer Animation was established over 25 years ago and is a leading centre for teaching, production and research in computer animation and digital effects. It was recently awarded the Queen’s Anniversary Prize for its pioneering work in computer animation. NCCA graduates are lauded across the world.  55 graduates worked on Avatar, and its graduates also won the Academy Award for VFX in 2011 for their work on the movie Inception.


The Framestore outpost at the International VFX Hub was responsible for much of the initial work on the 2013 cinema release Gravity.

International VFX Hub

A joint initiative between BU and AUB whose primary aims is to provide commercial outlets and links to industry for students, graduates and academic staff. It acts as the initial point of contact to the creative and technical expertise available in the Animation and VFX departments of both institutions. As a result of the hub, Framestore, the Academy Award-winning visual effects studio, opened its only official UK outpost outside of London in Dorset. 

Centre for Digital Entertainment

The Centre for Digital Entertainment is an innovative, industry-linked research programme, based at Bournemouth University, which creates innovative funded research and development projects for the games, animation, VFX, simulation and cultural industries.  It is currently responsible for 35 funded PhD-level projects within companies such as Sony Playstation, EA Games and Disney Research.

Nurturing Generation Y

Bournemouth & Poole College and Weymouth College offer exceptional opportunities for students through a broad mix of qualifications and apprenticeships. Their commitment to the digital sector, and to securing jobs for their students within the industry, feeds skilled and rounded talent into the region.  Working with local digital agencies, 

Bournemouth & Poole College recently launched a City & Guilds apprenticeship in digital and social media, equipping students to go straight into agency roles and to hit the ground running. For younger talent, Bournemouth is an Official Code Club Partner Town in 2014, the first outside of London. Code Club is an international network of volunteer-run, after school coding clubs for children aged 9 to 11, whose Patron is HRH Prince Andrew The Duke of York. 

Boomerang Talent

Every week, university alumni and those who have grown up and moved away, return to the region – joining successful companies or starting their own. Lured back by the blue seas and thriving economy of Silicon South, they return with experience, expertise and clients. It’s this combination of proven experience and with a fresh outlook which make the region’s offer so unique.