Computer Games Arts

BA (Hons)

2018 entry

The UK is one of the leading global centres of the games industry and is recognised as a dynamic birthplace for new ideas and emerging talent.

Located less than ten miles from the country’s largest games hub in Guildford, and right on London’s doorstep, our Computer Games Arts course offers students a wealth of opportunity and expertise in the rapidly growing computer games arts field.

You’ll join a vibrant community of practitioners that actively seeks creative challenges, embraces experimentation and encourages independent thinking.

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Length of study:

Three years full-time


September 2018


UCA Farnham

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Course overview:

Supported by our team of experienced lecturers and practitioners, you’ll study a balance of theory and practice in a series of key topics covering art skills and observational drawing.

You’ll also learn industry methodologies such as Agile Development and sketchbook development, completing a major project demonstrating a working game environment, and creating an extensive and bespoke portfolio.

Our students have access to outstanding industry software such as Autodesk, Maya, Quixel Suite, Zbrush, Unity3D, XNA, Adobe CC, a sound production studio with Pro Tools, 3D rapid prototyping, film and animation facilities. You’ll also have access to production cameras, workshops and digital editing studios.

Whether your ambition is to become a games concept artist, designer, 3D modeller or concept/texture artist, our Computer Games Arts degree offers you the perfect springboard into the industry.

Using the skills gained with us, our graduates have progressed into employment in both AAA console titles and indie games development (PC, iOS and Android), in the fastest growing and most exciting sectors in the digital creative industries.

UCA’s Computer Games Arts degree has access to some of the biggest names in industry including Sony, EA, Super Massive Games, Ubisoft, and Rebellion.

Open Days

Register for an Open Day to find out more about this course in person.

Course content - 2018 entry

In the first year, you'll be introduced to the University and the technical workshops and facilities available to you. On the course you’ll learn the technical and conceptual skills that will give you a solid foundation from which to explore your areas of specialist activity.

Please note, syllabus content indicated is provided as a guide. The content of the course may be subject to change.

Course modules

  • 3D Art Production

    Introduces and develops the key art skills and software knowledge needed to develop ideas and create tangible 3D art assets in the context of entertainment design and computer games development.

  • Gameplay and Interactivity

    We'll introduce you to fundamental concepts of gameplay, computer games design, and computer games programming as applied to an interactive games context. This unit explores: games design and play concepts; core programming concepts and methodologies and games authoring concepts and techniques.

  • Moving Image Culture: Understanding and Interpretation

    You'll explore a range of key concepts central to an understanding of historical and contemporary moving image visual culture, from celluloid film to games and digital media.

  • Visual Design

    You'll develop the key art skills and software knowledge needed to communicate ideas and create tangible art assets in the context of entertainment design and games development. You'll gain a solid grounding in the traditional art skills and principles that underpin visual design. You will also be introduced to practical digital arts software, which you will use to produce outcomes testing your technical and conceptual skills.

The second year focus is on finding your own specialist way of working and you’ll be encouraged and supported to start working more independently. During this year you may also have the opportunity to complete an industry work placement or even study abroad.

Please note, syllabus content indicated is provided as a guide. The content of the course may be subject to change.

Course modules

  • Games Art

    Building on the arts units in year one, you'll focus on your personal artistic and intellectual development. You'll research and create advanced visualisations and art assets while developing your own strategies for independent learning in the subject area.

  • Games Production

    Introduces you to games production practices by adopting professional roles and working together in teams. Divided into two halves, in the first half, you will work as part of a group to create a 3D environment based on a real world setting as chosen by your tutors. The second half of the unit concentrates on using your developing practical and conceptual skills to produce an outcome of high quality.

  • Gaming in Contemporary Culture

    This unit explores concepts and issues central to the historical, theoretical and aesthetic dimensions of the gaming practice. It critically examines the position of computer games and gamers within culture and society, exploring gaming's relationship to gender, ethnicity, conflict and capital, before turning a critical eye inwards to discuss ludology and its attendant concepts, including immersion, procedural rhetoric and cyber-individualism.

The third year will see you achieve a greater level of independence with self-managed research, study and practice, resulting in a final major project and a written dissertation.

Please note, syllabus content indicated is provided as a guide. The content of the course may be subject to change.

Course modules

  • Dissertation

    You'll undertake a substantial period of sustained, individually negotiated research on a subject related to the contextual and/ or theoretical concerns of your discipline or chosen area of practice, towards the provision of structured written argument.

  • Final Major Project: Pre-Production

    This extended period of study allows you to develop a significant body of work either individually or in a group that demonstrates your skills, interests and your aspiration for your future role within the games industry. Work from this stage will make up your graduate portfolio.

  • Final Major Project

    In this unit you'll produce a fully resolved body of work, you will do this either individually or as part of a team. This unit represents the culmination of your study of Computer Games Arts at UCA. Through it you will demonstrate your creativity, skill, knowledge and understanding of recognised games industry practices and pipelines producing outcomes to a professional standard.

Please note, syllabus content indicated is provided as a guide. The content of the course may be subject to change.

Course modules

Course leader

International study

Find out more about studying in the UK, or studying part of your course abroad at one of our partner institutions (study abroad option not available on all courses).

Course connections

On this course, you'll be exposed to a world of opportunities

Taking advantage of our proximity to Guildford and London, our course connects directly with some of the biggest names in the industry, including:

  • Supermassive Games
  • EA
  • Sony
  • Doublesix Games
  • Ubisoft
  • Born Ready
  • Rebellion
  • Miniclip
  • State of Play
  • Lionhead, developer of the renowned Xbox series, Fable. 

We also regularly welcome input from active industry practitioners, who can offer expert advice and guidance to students about the realities of working in the computer games market.

Many of our graduates have gone on to establish themselves in the games industry, with recent alumni landing roles such as concept artist on AAA PlayStation 4 title Until Dawn, production designers for Endemol and Two Four, as well as entrepreneurial independent developers of games for iOS, Android and Steam Greenlight projects.

Skills taught on this course are highly transferable, making our graduates valuable assets in a number of industries, such as:

  • Concept design
  • Programming
  • TV and Film
  • Pre-visualisation
  • Interactive multimedia.

You may also like to consider further study at postgraduate level.

How to apply - 2018 entry

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Entry requirements - 2018 entry:

As a leading creative arts university, we want to attract the best and most creative minds in the country – so we take a balanced approach to candidate assessment, taking both individual portfolios and exam results into account. 

That’s why your portfolio is an especially important part of your application to study with us – and we can help. Our academics can offer you expert advice on how to showcase your creative work and build a portfolio that will make your application stand out. More advice on how to create an exceptional portfolio is also available here.

Entry requirements

Along with your portfolio, the standard entry requirements* for this course are:

One of the following:

  • 112 new UCAS tariff points (equivalent to 280 old UCAS tariff points), see accepted qualifications
  • Pass at Foundation Diploma in Art & Design (Level 3 or 4)
  • Distinction, Merit, Merit at BTEC Extended Diploma
  • Merit at UAL Extended Diploma
  • 112 new UCAS tariff points from an accredited Access to Higher Education Diploma in appropriate subject
  • 27-30 total points in the International Baccalaureate Diploma with at least 15 IB points at Higher level.

And four GCSE passes at grade A*-C and/or grade 4-9 including English (or Functional Skills English/Key Skills Communication Level 2).

Other relevant and equivalent Level 3 UK and international qualifications are considered on an individual basis, and we encourage students from diverse educational backgrounds to apply.

*We occasionally make offers which are lower than the standard entry criteria, to students who have faced difficulties that have affected their performance and who were expected to achieve higher results. We consider the strength of our applicants’ portfolios, as well as their grades -  in these cases, a strong portfolio is especially important.

Your portfolio

We’re looking for emerging artists who are excited about the subject area, keen to learn, and are looking to create amazing digital art and design work. A portfolio should reflect your specialist areas of interest through visual work, which may include 2D or 3D artwork, sketchbooks and drawings, films, and any games or projects you’ve worked on. Portfolio work may also be provided on an external hard drive or memory stick.

More portfolio advice

Fees & finance

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Student regulations

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