Games Arts

BA (Hons) - UCA Farnham - 2019

Located next to Guildford – hailed as the ‘Hollywood of Video Games’ by The Guardian – our BA (Hons) Games Arts course has access to some of the biggest and most exciting emergent names in the games industry.

At UCA you’ll develop a deep grounding in 2D and 3D development through to production, current tools and technologies, games design disciplines, critical thinking practice and the widening context of gameplay. You’ll also learn observational drawing and explore art styles, whilst concepting interactive and digital environments.

With access to high-end hardware and outstanding industry software such as Autodesk Maya, Quixel Suite, Zbrush, Unity, Unreal, Marvelous Designer and more, you’ll be able to bring to life incredible worlds, dynamic characters and engaging game prototypes from your imagination. You’ll also have the opportunity to use production cameras, workshops and digital editing studios. 

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

Supported by our team of experienced lecturers, practitioners and researchers, you’ll study a balance of theory and practice, covering industry software, a range of art skills and design drawing techniques.

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

With two of the UK’s three main games hubs right on your doorstep, you’ll have the opportunity to gain real professional experience in the workplace internships, networking events, conferences, building contacts in the industry. 

Whether your ambition is to become a games concept artist, designer, 3D asset modeller, environment artist, games developer, or other creative gaming professional, our BA (Hons) Games Art 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, Console, iOS and Android), in the fastest growing and most exciting sectors in the digital creative industries.

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

This course has changed it's title for 2019 entry, to find out more about the 2018 course please see the BA (Hons) Computer Games Arts course page.

Length of study:

Three years full-time

Campus:

UCA Farnham

Start month:

September

View term dates

Entry year(s):

2019

Entry requirements:

112 UCAS tariff points

click here for full details

UCAS code:

W280

UCAS institution code:

C93

UCAS campus code:

F

Next event

03 Nov 2018 UCA Open Day

Pre-degree & Undergraduate

Course details

  • Year 1

    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. 

    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.

  • Year 2

    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. 

    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.

  • Year 3

    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. 

    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.

  • Study abroad

    This course offers the opportunity to study abroad for part of your second year. To find out more about studying abroad as part of your course please see the Study Abroad section:

  • Fees

    Find out all about the fees for studying with us, as well as the grants, loans and other financial support you may be entitled to:

Facilities

This course has studios with high-end PCs dedicated to games design with games systems and interactivity software including XNA, Unity and Unreal 3D Editor. On campus there are sound production studios for students from Games Art, Film and Animation with Pro Tools and a modern library with a wealth of books, journals, special collections and online resources.

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What our students say

Course connections

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

  • Industry links

    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.

  • Careers

    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.
  • Further study

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

     

How to apply - 2019 entry

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Entry requirements

UK entry requirements

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

One of the following:

  • 112 new 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, see more information about IB entry requirements.

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.

International entry requirements

To view the equivalent entry requirements for your country please select it in the list below.

Pick Your Country

Non-UK equivalent qualifications

English language requirements


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

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