Games Arts

BA (Hons) - UCA Farnham - 2019, 2020

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.

A crucial part of the gaming experience is the art – the worlds, characters and concepts created through the imagination of the creators. On this Games Arts course 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 learn observational drawing and explore art styles, whilst designing and creating interactive and digital environments.

Working in the gaming industry will give you a variety of opportunities to work all over the world, and studying this course will give you the skillset required.

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 as part of your degree. 

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

You’ll learn industry methodologies such as Agile Development, whilst experiencing how to work effectively in a team, collaboratively creating exciting game prototypes and completing projects towards an extensive and bespoke portfolio.

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. 

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.

 

Length of study:

Three years full-time

Campus:

UCA Farnham

Start month:

September

View term dates

Entry year(s):

2019, 2020

Entry requirements:

112 UCAS tariff points

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UCAS code:

W280

UCAS institution code:

C93

UCAS campus code:

F

Next events

UCA Open Day Pre-degree & Undergraduate

Saturday 14 September, 2019

All campuses

Course details

  • Year 1

    In the first year, we'll introduce you to the fundamental concepts of gameplay, computer games design and computer games programming.

    You’ll explore key 3D modelling techniques using Maya and games engine development in Unity, and you'll be introduced to the University and the technical workshops and facilities available to you. 

    Visual Design
    This unit introduces you to key traditional and digital art skills. You’ll develop approaches to concept art and the software skills needed to develop ideas into art assets for computer games. You will learn how to approach problems creatively using a range of sources for inspiration and reference. Your outcomes will demonstrate your conceptual approach, a range of art skills and technical understanding.

    3D Art Production
    This unit introduces you to key skills, conceptual approaches and software needed to develop ideas into 3D art for computer games. You will gain a solid grounding in 3D digital art principles and processes, from traditional drawing skills to modelling in software. These skills underpin visual design for computer games. You will produce outcomes that demonstrate your technical skills and conceptual approach.

    Gameplay and Interactivity
    This unit introduces you to interaction through the fundamental concepts of gameplay, computer games design, and computer games scripting. You will produce outcomes that demonstrate your technical and conceptual skills through exploration of gameplay mechanics.

    Moving Image Culture: Understanding and Interpretation
    This unit introduces you to a range of key concepts central to an understanding of historical and contemporary moving image culture, with a focus on video games and the history of their theorisation. Exploring influential video game examples and relevant theoretical and critical writings, you will analyse the cultural and artistic contexts in which the medium has been theorised, produced and played. You will also become familiar with the technological developments and conceptual transformations, before and after the so called digital shift, establishing a firm understanding of the technical and intellectual changes that have influenced the development of the video game as a medium.

     

  • Year 2

    You’ll build on these foundations towards a specialism, through both solo and group work, experimenting with your own ideas and concepts, developing your theoretical knowledge and applying it to your work. 

    Games Art
    Through this unit you will further build on the 2D and 3D skills and contextual knowledge you gained in Year 1. Alongside this you will develop your understanding of professional aspects of the AAA and wider games industry, when starting to define your future role within it.

    Games Production
    You'll be introduced 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

    Your skills will cumulate in your final major project in Year 3 – you’ll create your portfolio for industry, submit your dissertation and will have the opportunity to exhibit your final work at the Graduation Show.

    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, either individually or as part of a team. This unit represents the culmination of your study of 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.

    Dissertation
    This unit consists of a substantial period of sustained, individually negotiated research on a subject that is likely to be related to the contextual and/ or theoretical concerns of your discipline or chosen area of practice, towards the provision of structured written argument.

  • Fees and additional course costs

    Tuition fees
    The course fees per year for 2019 entry are:

    • UK and EU students - £9,250 
    • International students - £15,500 (standard fee)
    • International students - £14,880 (full early payment fee)

    The fees for 2020 entry have not been confirmed but will be listed here as soon as possible.

    Additional course costs
    In addition to the tuition fees please see the additional course costs for 2019 entry.

    Further information
    Find out more about our course fees and any financial support you may be entitled to:

    These fees are correct for the stated academic year only. Costs may increase each year during a student’s period of continued registration on course in line with inflation (subject to any maximum regulated tuition fee limit). Any adjustment for continuing students will be at or below the RPI-X forecast rate.

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.

Programme Director

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 Junior Character Artist at Guerrilla Games, Lighting Artist at Splash Damage, Associate Designer at Hangar 13, Concept Artist on AAA BAFTA award-winning PlayStation 4 titles Until Dawn and Rush of Blood, Environment Artist at Bohemia Interactive, as well as entrepreneurial independent developers of games for iOS, Android and Steam projects from our incubator studio.

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

    • 2D and 3D Concept design
    • Serious (Applied) Games
    • Programming
    • TV and Film Post Production VFX
    • Pre-visualisation
    • Interactive Technologies (VR, AR, MR).
  • Further study

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

     

UK/EU applications

Apply for full-time study - starting September 2019:

Apply for part-time study - starting September 2019:

Apply for full-time study - starting September 2020:

Apply for part-time study - starting September 2020:

International applications

If you are applying for more than one course in the UK please apply via UCAS, to apply direct to UCA please use the links below:

Apply for full-time study - Year 1 - starting September 2019:

Apply for full-time study - Year 2 - starting September 2019:

Apply for full-time study - starting September 2019:

Apply for full-time study - starting September 2020:

Apply for this course and other courses in the UK - full-time study - starting September 2019:

Due to visa requirements, this course is not available to students that require a Tier 4 (General) visa

If you have another category of visa please contact us: internationaladmissions@uca.ac.uk to find out if you are eligible to study.

If you're interested in joining Year 3 of this course, please contact our Admissions Team on +44 (0) 1252 892 960 or admissions@uca.ac.uk

When to apply:

We are still accepting applications for 2019 entry - get your application in now.
If applying directly to us, you can apply throughout the year but we recommend you apply as early as possible so you have time to arrange accommodation and visas.

For more information visit our how to apply pages

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

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

You may be able to enter the course through the UCA International College

Learn more about the UCA International College

Your portfolio

For this course we will require you to attend an Applicant Day and bring your portfolio for assessment. 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. Further information on how to compile a portfolio and the specific requirements for examples of work to be included will be provided on the Applicant Portal after you apply.

More portfolio advice

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