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Games Arts at UCA

UCA’s new postgraduate degree course in Games Arts builds on your existing talents to give you the knowledge and skills to create advanced art for games or for aligned industries.  

Taught at UCA Farnham’s new £2 million School of Games & Creative Technology, you will combine theory and practice to develop a high-quality games art project, and learn to be ambitious, team-leaders, planners and develop rounded game artists. You will explore the benefits of game-related artificial intelligence to enrich user experience, and learn about future developments in the industry, including the deployment of virtual and augmented reality environments and the metaverse. 

In addition to building your technical skills, this course also explores research and professional practice related to the games industry. As part of this you will either work on a group professional practice project working with students from other games postgraduate courses or work on a creative business start-up. 

Course entry options

Select from the options below to find out more about the different study options available for this course:

Accreditations, partners and industry connections

The Rookies logo

The Rookies

The Rookies is a leading platform for digital artists to promote their work and assists members in preparing for industry. It also helps students find a school and course that’s right for them with its directory of accredited schools.

What you'll study

What you'll
study

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

For our students coming from a non-UK educational background, UCA has launched an Integrated International Pre-Masters year. On this course you’ll prepare for postgraduate study with a mix of online and face-to-face learning that will give you the study skills required to complete a Master’s, and you’ll also improve your English for academic study.

Launch
Your launch week is the chance get to know your peers and start working collaboratively.

Thinking, Prototyping and Practice

This unit examines games and the wider use of interactivity and gamification narratives through 2d, 3d, AI, VR and AR.

You will examine your own work through the lens of visual narrative, design, art principles and audience as producer. You will explore and challenge the expanding discipline through a range of practice-based projects, and alongside this, investigate the social, economic, political and cultural opportunities offered within Games Art and aligned industries.

Games Research and Professional Contexts 1

In this hybrid unit, you will get the analytical tools to not only interrogate and interpret existing games and gameplay experiences in written and verbal form, but to apply what you learn to their practice in a reflective report.  

You will learn to synthesise theoretical research methods and industry practices of game evaluation to provide a critically informed and reflective toolset for analysing and critically assessing games, gameplay experiences, and their practice.

You will learn about a range of methods for analysing video games on the level of their content and form drawing upon established research practices within the academy for analysing texts, images, and more recent Game Studies-specific approaches.

In tandem with this scholarly approach to research methods, the professional practice strand of this unit will provide you with industry and practitioner-led insights into how game design and art practices are analysed and assessed within the game development process. Delivered by industry insiders from a range of career stages and focuses, this element of the unit will provide opportunities for students to understand and apply industry standard best practice for evaluating games.

Opportunity
Opportunity week gives you the chance to work collaboratively to produce and replicate industry practice. 

Exploration and Development
Through a wider knowledge and understanding of games arts and aligned industries you will further research and identify areas of interest aligned to your intended subject specialty.

These areas will be explored, developed, and prototyped aligning to industry practice and deeper subject understanding. You will identify current and future technologies and addresses the deeper understanding and problem solving of those industries in a deeper understanding of the subject you have chosen.

Games Research and Professional Contexts 2 (Includes Creative Business Start-up or Collaborative Practice Project option)
Building on the methodological and analytical skills developed in Games Research and Professional Practice 1, you will be introduced to range of key concepts, theories and debates providing a conceptual lens through which to critically deconstruct game form and content. In addition, to this focus on game texts and concepts, topics will focus on players: on their experience of gameplay, on player cultures and identity and the role of game creators in shaping players as individuals and collectives. Centrally, these questions of player identities and cultures will be framed via concepts of equality, diversity, and inclusion.

In this unit, you will also choose to undertake one of the following two options:

  • A collaborative professional practice group project. This is expected to involve groups of students across the games postgraduate portfolio collaborating on a project which may be based on an industry brief.
  • A creative business start-up component, which is designed to give students from any creative discipline the opportunity to develop an idea, have it evaluated and win a prize. Throughout the process, students will develop their thinking and skills for innovation.

 

Games Arts Major Project
This is your opportunity to showcase the skills and knowledge you’ve gained and employ in-depth research to enhance your social and cultural understanding, leading to a visual outcome in line with future and contemporary industry practices. These will be aligned to their intended individual areas of expertise/interests. There should be a critical approach to visual meaning, narrative and understanding of the chosen outcome.

 Projects will be aligned to chosen professional level outcomes aligned to industry current and future pipelines. All parts of the design process need to be fully documented and follow industry practices regarding the development of a project.

 Individual, collaborative, cross course and industry collaboration is encouraged for the final project. Outcomes will be underpinned by critical research and understanding.

Course specifications

Please note, syllabus content indicated is provided as a guide. The content of the course may be subject to change in line with our Student Terms and Conditions for example, as required by external professional bodies or to improve the quality of the course.

Fees & funding

Fees & financial support

Tuition fees

  • 2024/25 entry: £10,500

Tuition fees

Tuition fees

  • 2024/25 entry (MA): £18,000
  • 2024/25 entry (Integrated International Pre-Masters course - 30 weeks): £17,500
  • 2024/25 entry (Integrated International Pre-Masters course - 15 weeks): £8,750

Please note: the fees listed here are correct for the stated academic year only. For more detailed information about our course fees please see our fees and finance pages

UCA scholarships and fee discounts

At UCA we have a number of scholarships and fee discounts available to assist you with the cost of your studies.

Current UCA students and alumni may be eligible for a tuition fee discount.

Financial support

There are lots of ways you can access additional financial support to help you fund your studies - both from UCA and from external sources. Discover what support you might qualify for please see our financial support information.

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.

Facilities

Our outstanding computer games studios have high-end PCs dedicated to games design with games systems and interactivity software including Maya, Photoshop and Substance, and Unity and Unreal games engines. There are also sound production studios, a Foley studio and pro tools suites. There is a modern library with a wealth of books, journals, special collections and online resources.

View 360 virtual tour

Games studios, UCA Farnham

VR motion capture studio, UCA Farnham

Games studios, UCA Farnham

Games studio, UCA Farnham

Career opportunities

Career
opportunities

Our students have previously graduated to find themselves within easily accessible pathways that have guided them to prosperous and fulfilling job roles within the games industry:

  • Concept designer
  • Game designer
  • Games developer
  • Multi-media programmer
  • Multi-media specialist
  • Software engineer
  • VFX Artist

You may also wish to progress onto a PhD or MPhil research degree.

Explore our Gradshow

Each year, we’re privileged to be able to share our graduates’ incredible work with the world. And now’s your chance to take a look.

Visit the online showcase
Entry & portfolio requirements

Entry & portfolio
requirements

MA course

  • A good honours degree or equivalent qualification in a related discipline

and/or

  • Relevant work experience, demonstrating your ability to study at postgraduate level.

Consideration will also be given to applicants who can make a strong case for admission in relation to a particular project and can demonstrate their potential to satisfactorily complete the course.

Portfolio requirements

For this course we will need to see your portfolio for review. You can either submit a digital portfolio or request an in-person portfolio review with the course team. Further information will be provided once you have applied.

MA course

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

Any additional entry requirements listed in the UK requirements section, e.g., subject requirements, work experience or professional qualifications, also apply to international applicants applying with equivalent qualifications.

Portfolio requirements

You will be required to submit a portfolio for review. Further information on specific portfolio requirements and how to submit your portfolio will be sent to you after we have reviewed your application.


MA course with Integrated International Pre-Masters course

  • A recognised bachelor degree or 3 year diploma with a strong portfolio in a relevant subject.

Any additional entry requirements listed in the UK requirements section, e.g., subject requirements, work experience or professional qualifications, also apply to international applicants applying with equivalent qualifications.

Portfolio requirements

You will be required to submit a portfolio for review. Further information on specific portfolio requirements and how to submit your portfolio will be sent to you after we have reviewed your application.


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 check 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:

Apply now

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