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Dillon Waugh, BA (Hons) Games Arts, UCA Farnham

BA (Hons) Games Arts

Games Arts BA (Hons)

Farnham 3 years full-time, 4 years full-time

Course overview

Creating whole new worlds and characters is the focus of our BA (Hons) Games Arts course at UCA Farnham. On this practice-based games degree, you’ll develop the skills to become a true team player who is all set for a career in the gaming industry.

This course, which is accredited by The Rookies, will equip you with the tools you need to become a skilled games artist, as well as developing your ability to work with others to produce games collaboratively in a way that replicates industry practice.

You’ll develop your skills using world-class facilities, with high-end hardware and the latest software such as Autodesk Maya, Substance, Quixel Suite, Zbrush, Marvelous Designer, Marmoset Toolbag and games engines such as Unity and Unreal.

You’ll also benefit from opportunities to collaborate with students on our Games Technology course, and make the most of our exceptional industry links to brands like Rebellion, SEGA, Creative Assembly and SuperMassive Games.

When you complete the course, you’ll be ready to launch a career in the industry. Past graduates have gone on to work for AAA, iii and indie games companies in the UK and beyond.

You have the option to complete a Professional Practice Year as part of this course. This will give you the opportunity to develop your professional, academic and personal potential, equipping you to be confident and engaged in creative workplaces. Employers widely recognise these qualities, and a significant proportion of placement students are offered graduate-level jobs or go onto postgraduate study.

 

Our standard three year undergraduate degree for those who meet the entry requirements for higher education.

UCAS Code for 3 year/standard: W280

A four year degree programme, including a foundation year to help develop your creativity before you embark on year one of a degree.

UCAS Code for course with Integrated Foundation Year: W28F

A four year course, specifically designed to provide international students with the English language and creative skills before they embark on year one of a degree.

UCAS Code for course with Integrated International Foundation Year: W28H

A four year programme, which sees you spend an entire year gaining valuable industry experience prior to your final year of study.

UCAS Code for course with Professional Practice: W283

A five year course, including a foundation year to help develop your creativity before you embark on year one of a degree, and a year on a professional placement gaining valuable industry experience prior to your final year of study.

UCAS Code for course with Integrated Foundation Year and Professional Practice Year: W28G

A five year course, including an international foundation year concentrating on English language and core creative skills before you embark on year one of a degree, and a year on a professional placement gaining valuable industry experience prior to your final year of study.

UCAS Code for course with Integrated International Foundation Year and Professional Practice Year: W28J

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Accredited by:

Rookies School Accreditation
Course details

Course Details

The content of the course may be subject to change. Curriculum content is provided as a guide.

UCA’s Integrated Foundation Year is designed to give you the skills you’ll need to start your degree in the best possible way – with confidence, solid knowledge of creative practice, study skills and more.

You’ll explore a range of creative techniques and develop your portfolio, with your chosen subject in mind. We’ll work with you throughout the year to ensure you’re on the right track and give you the tools to achieve your highest potential on your degree.

Find out more about the Integrated Foundation Year

For our students coming from a non-UK educational background, UCA has launched an Integrated International Foundation Year, based at UCA Farnham to bring students from around the world to one hub of creativity.

This year of preparatory study is designed to give you the skills you’ll need to start your degree in the best possible way – with confidence, solid knowledge of creative practice, study skills and the English speaking and writing skills you’ll need to succeed.

You’ll explore a range of creative techniques and develop your portfolio, with your chosen subject in mind. We’ll work with you throughout the year to ensure you’re on the right track and give you the tools to achieve your highest potential on your degree.

Find out more about the Integrated International Foundation Year

Launch Week
All launch weeks feature a range of activities, which will comprise an interdisciplinary Industry Guest Speakers’ Series offered to all students across the School of Games and Creative Technology.

There will also be other activities, such as study trips and/or studio visits, Design Sprints, could also take place.

Introduction to Games Arts 1
You’ll be introduced to the fundamental research, design thinking, development, techniques and principals involved in the 2D and 3D areas of your practice. You’ll keep a 2D sketchbook and 3D art design document, through which you will develop and fully document your observational skills, record your creative process and practice.

Equality Diversity and Inclusion
The unit provides an opportunity for you to explore what is meant by equality, diversity, and inclusion and the implications of these concepts on your own creative practice.

Board Game Design
Applying your skills to paper-based design, you’ll work in teams to prototype and build a board game. You’ll consider building mechanics, technical design documentation and artwork such as box art, character and environment designs, including 3D models for your game, which you’ll present at the end.

Opportunity Week
Opportunity Week gives you the chance to try something a little different, broaden your engagement and your subject knowledge, such as Games Jams and Design Sprints. There may also be study trips and/or studio visits locally, in major hubs like London and even internationally for festivals, or trips museums, galleries and festivals.

Introduction to Games Arts 2
You will continue to develop your art fundamentals; the key traditional and digital art skills needed to develop and communicate ideas. Your outcomes will demonstrate your conceptual approach, a range of art skills, and technical understanding.

Client Brief
You’ll be asked to use your skills and knowledge to work on a client-facing brief. You’ll work individually or in teams to respond, building your collaborative skills. And you’ll focus on refining your presentation skills to ensure outcomes are shared successfully.

Interactive Narratives
You’ll study popular frameworks and theoretical concepts such as designing a plot, character, setting, dialogue, culminating in making your own interactive narrative. You’ll investigate narrative as a psychological and anthropological phenomenon, before understanding its most contemporary and experimental forms embodied in postmodernism, and finally, games as narrative architectures for exploration.

ATOM Activities
ATOM activities are tiny pieces of diverse individual learning that facilitate interdisciplinary exposure and give you the chance to learn topics that would not otherwise be scheduled on your timetable.

PLE Digital Outcome 1
Your PLE Digital Outcome is a purposefully edited, self-directed record of your constructive engagement with and presence on, digital media platforms across the year. Examples of this could be an online portfolio or blog/vlog, or social media activity.

Launch Week
All launch weeks feature a range of activities, which will comprise an interdisciplinary Industry Guest Speakers’ Series offered to all students across the School of Games and Creative Technology.

There will also be other activities, such as study trips and/or studio visits, Design Sprints, could also take place.

Games Art Workflows
Building from what you’ve learned in Year 1, this unit is all about continuing your development as a games artist and building your knowledge of professional aspects of the games industry. You’ll produce a body of work relevant to video games and entertainment design, demonstrating appropriate wide-ranging research that looks beyond gaming for entertainment.

The Conscious Practitioner
You’ll explore global perspectives and influences on creative practice, drawing upon interactions with varied identities, cultures, politics, and histories. The unit will explore how beliefs, values and attitudes drive behaviour and practices

Environmental Storytelling (electives)
Learn about how narrative works in environmental design – how the surroundings of a game can convey mood and atmosphere. You’ll use game engines and 3D modelling to build original scenes, implementing them in a fully realised game environment for player habitation, movement and interpretation.

You’ll explore the fundamentals of environmental storytelling: discovery, interpretation, participation and play; advocate an understanding of the historical, social and cultural factors underpinning any design, and finish with the delivery of an original narrative architecture embodied as a playable project.

Motion Capture Technologies (elective)
Motion-capture techniques now widely impact many core disciplines with the creative industries, such as Games, Fashion, Film and TV, VFX, Animation, Digital Performance and beyond. This intensive unit is designed to give you a grounding the core skills, knowledge and understanding required for motion-capture production. As part of the unit, you’ll earn how to use VICON Motion Capture technologies at UCA for a wide variety of disciplines.

Opportunity Week
Opportunity Week gives you the chance to try something a little different, broaden your engagement and your subject knowledge, such as Games Jams and Design Sprints. There may also be study trips and/or studio visits locally, in major hubs like London and even internationally for festivals, or trips museums, galleries and festivals.

Games Art Pathway
In this unit you’ll be able to explore an area of interest in more depth – either Concept Art or 3D – to build upon your existing strengths. Each pathway contains relevant content and assignments relevant to the chosen discipline, and you’ll produce a body of work at the end to reflect your learning.

Industry Brief
You’ll use your skills and workflows to produce work for an industry brief, who will set specific parameters and conditions to be met by a deadline. This could include style guides, historic markers, format conditions, audience, and genre.

You’ll work as individuals or in a team (depending on the brief) and develop new skills in engaging and communicating effectively with your fellow students, including your ability to respond to an industry focused brief. In addition, you will focus on refining your presentation skills to ensure that you successfully share the outcomes, reflecting on your output.

Creature Animation (elective)
This unit will start with observational studies, such as a trip to the zoo, where you’ll undertake and shoot reference footage of animals in motion in order to gain a deeper understanding of each creature’s body mechanics.

You’ll then create a walk cycle, a run cycle, and a short emotive piece showing interaction between the creature and an environment.

Pervasive Game Studio (elective)
This unit explores and practices the design of pervasive games. As the name indicates, pervasive game experiences refuse traditional boundaries of games and play, whether this is the field, the board, or the screen.

In this unit, principles of game design are applied to the design, development, promotion and engagement of outdoor play enmeshed with various media and technologies. We explore the campus as a playground, with links to other forms of media including sport, film, theatre, television, websites, social media, augmented and virtual reality. The final deliverable is a pervasive game design.

Virtual Production Studio (elective)
Virtual Production (VP) is a rapidly growing area of content production. By combining CGI, game-engines, and virtual reality technologies, VP enables completely new ways of making digital productions for broadcast and online, to real-time, on-set visual effects. You’ll learn how to use UCA’s Virtual Production Stage to produce live or online virtual productions of all sorts and disciplines.

ATOM Activities and PLE Digital Outcome
These units are an extension of the Year 1 ATOM Activities and PLE Digital Outcome.

If you opt to complete a professional practice year, this will take place in year three. You will undertake a placement within the creative industries to further develop your skills and CV.

While on your Professional Practice Year, you will be required to pay a reduced tuition fee for that year. This fee will be determined using government funding regulations. Based on current regulations, we expect this to be a maximum of 20% of the tuition fee rate that you are charged for your second year of study. You will also incur additional travel and accommodation costs during this year. The University will provide you with further advice and guidance about this as you approach your Professional Practice Year.

Please note: If you are an international applicant, you will need to enrol onto the course ‘with Professional Practice Year’. It will not be possible to transfer onto the Professional Practice Year after enrolment

Launch Week
All launch weeks feature a range of activities, which will comprise an interdisciplinary Industry Guest Speakers’ Series offered to all students across the School of Games and Creative Technology.

There will also be other activities, such as study trips and/or studio visits, Design Sprints, could also take place.

Final Major Project: Pre-Production
Your final year allows you to develop a significant body of work that demonstrates your chosen pathway discipline, ideation skills, genre interests and your aspiration for your future role within the Games and entertainment industries. Work from this period of study will make up and define your graduate portfolio. This unit is all about developing your project proposal through which you will define the concept, scope, audience, and purpose of your Final Major Project.

Final Major Project: Critical and Conceptual Influences
This unit consists of a period of sustained, individually negotiated research which will help you develop an appropriate methodological approach towards your Final Major Project. You’ll produce a written piece that reflects upon and articulates a clear and sustained argument.

Professional Practice
You’ll identify, explore and develop professional promotional resources that highlight your strengths and your body of work. This will help you define and present yourself in a professional manner to external parties, in line with the conventions of professional practice and the workplace.

Final Major Project: Production
The culmination of your studies, you’ll follow through with your agreed proposal to produce a body of work that demonstrates your creativity, skill, knowledge and understanding of recognised games industry practices and pipelines, to a professional standard. Work from this stage will make up your graduate portfolio.

Tuition fees - 2023 entry

UK students:

  • Integrated Foundation Year - £9,250
  • BA course - £9,250

EU students:

  • Integrated International Foundation Year - £9,250 (see fee discount information)
  • BA course - £9,250 (see fee discount information)

International students:

  • Integrated International Foundation Year - £16,950
  • BA course - £16,950

If you opt to study the Professional Practice Year, for 2023 you will be required to pay a reduced tuition fee of £1,850 (UK students) and £3,390 (International students). You will also incur additional travel and accommodation costs during your Professional Practice year. The University will provide you with further advice and guidance about this.

Additional course costs
In addition to the tuition fees there may be other costs for your course. The things that you are likely to need to budget for to get the most out of a creative arts education will include books, printing costs, occasional or optional study trips and/or project materials. These costs will vary according to the nature of your project work and the individual choices that you make. Please see the Additional Course Costs section of your Course Information for details of the costs you may incur.

Further information
For more detailed information about our course fees and any financial support you may be entitled to please see our fees and finance pages.

The fees listed here 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.

Industry placement
offer

Preparing graduates for successful careers underpins everything we do, and all students on this course may be offered support to identify and prepare for an industry placement according to their individual needs. We’ll draw on our wide range of contacts within the creative industries to help provide you with opportunities that align with your interests and future career aspirations.

Facilities

This course has studios with high-end PCs with Alienware towers, 4k dual screen monitors and Wacom Cintiq graphics tablets, all dedicated to games design, with software including Unity and Unreal games engines. There is also a VR development studio, and a dedicated Games Incubator Studio for graduate entrepreneurs looking to set up their own companies or looking to release games to market. In addition, our Farnham campus has sound production and Foley studios, pro tools and a specialist library.

Games Arts studio, UCA Farnham

Foley sound studio, UCA Farnham

Games Arts studio, UCA Farnham

Library, UCA Farnham

Career opportunities

Career opportunities

Taking advantage of our proximity to the UK’s largest games hubs, our course connects directly with some of the best-known names in the industry, including:

  • Supermassive Games
  • EA
  • Sony
  • Creative Assembly
  • Supergonk
  • Two Point Studios
  • Zappar
  • Hangar 13
  • Atom Republic
  • Rebellion
  • Miniclip

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 Junior Character Artist at Guerrilla Games, Junior Games Designer at Creative Assembly, Lighting Artist at Splash Damage, Associate Designer at Hangar 13, Concept Artist on AAA BAFTA award-winning PlayStation 4 titles (Until Dawn, Hidden Agenda, The Dark Pictures: Man Of Medan, 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 dedicated Games 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).

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

Explore our Gradshow

Visit our 2022 grad show site to see the incredible work created by our graduating students

Visit the 2022 Gradshow
Andrew Thompson
Andrew Thompson

"The experience on the course has been incredible – not only have I made friends for life, but the course has given me an even greater appreciation for something I love. I’ve fallen in love with creating games."

Entry & portfolio requirements

Entry & portfolio requirements

BA (Hons) course
BA (Hons) course with Professional Practice Year

The standard entry requirements* for these courses 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 / BTEC National 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 9-4/A*-C 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.  

Portfolio requirements

You will be required to submit a digital portfolio and if you’re a student from the UK, attend an Applicant Day. This can include personal work with traditional or digital media, sketchbook drawings, and relevant coursework. Further information on specific portfolio requirements and how to submit your digital portfolio will be sent to you after you’ve submitted your application.

More portfolio advice

 


BA (Hons) course with Integrated Foundation Year
BA (Hons) course with Integrated Foundation Year and Professional Practice Year

The standard entry requirements* for these courses are one of the following:

  • 64 new UCAS tariff points, see accepted qualifications
  • Pass at Foundation Diploma in Art & Design (Level 3 or 4)
  • Merit, Pass, Pass at BTEC Extended Diploma / BTEC National Extended Diploma
  • Pass at UAL Extended Diploma
  • 64 new UCAS tariff points from an accredited Access to Higher Education Diploma in appropriate subject
  • 24 points from the International Baccalaureate, see more information about IB entry requirements.

And four GCSE passes at grade 9-4/A*-C 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. 

Portfolio requirements

These courses don't require a portfolio. If you receive an offer, you’ll be invited to attend an Applicant Day where you can meet the course team and learn more about the course. 

 


*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.

BA (Hons) course
BA (Hons) course with Professional Practice Year

The entry requirements for these courses will depend on the country your qualifications are from, please check the equivalent qualifications for your country:

Portfolio requirements

You will be required to submit a digital portfolio and if you’re a student from the UK, attend an Applicant Day. This can include personal work with traditional or digital media, sketchbook drawings, and relevant coursework. Further information on specific portfolio requirements and how to submit your digital portfolio will be sent to you after you’ve submitted your application.

 


BA (Hons) course with Integrated International Foundation Year
BA (Hons) course with Integrated International Foundation Year and Professional Practice Year

For these courses you need to have completed 12 years of schooling (with good grades) and show strong evidence of your ability to successfully complete the programme and progress onto your chosen degree.

Portfolio requirements

These courses don't require a portfolio. If you receive an offer, you’ll be invited to attend an Applicant Day where you can meet the course team and learn more about the course. 

 


English language requirements

To study at UCA, you'll need to have a certain level of English language skill. And so, to make sure you meet the requirements of your course, we ask for evidence of your English language ability, please chcek the level of English language required:

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

You may be able to enter the course through the following entry pathways:

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Apply now

Please use the following fields to help select the right application link for you:
  • UCAS Institution

    C93

  • UCAS Code for 3 year/standard

    W280

  • UCAS Code for course with Professional Practice

    W283

  • UCAS Code for course with Integrated Foundation Year

    W28F

  • UCAS Code for course with Integrated International Foundation Year

    W28H

  • UCAS Code for course with Integrated Foundation Year and Professional Practice Year

    W28G

  • UCAS Code for course with Integrated International Foundation Year and Professional Practice Year

    W28J

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