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BA Comic & Concept Art

Comic & Concept Art BA (Hons)

Comic & Concept Art BA (Hons)

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

Course overview

Whether you want to draw stories for graphic novels and comics or create concept art for films or games, our BA (Hons) Comic & Concept Art degree will get you on the right track.

This degree is all about preparing you for the vital role that comic and concept artists play in animation, film, games, comics and other media.

Your imagination and drawing skills will combine to visualise directors' ideas on paper and screen, building your problem-solving skills as you create new and exciting designs.

This course focuses on the pre-production process, and will involve designing assets including characters, creatures, environments, key art illustrations, splash art, weapons and props.

You'll explore these creative briefs through traditional art methods, as well as using industry standard 2D and 3D art software.

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

UCAS Code for 3 year/standard: W223

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: W22A

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: W22C

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: W224

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: W22B

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 International Integrated Foundation Year and Professional Practice Year: W22D

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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

Your first year will focus specifically on developing your understanding of comic and concept art, and your individual style. You'll explore the core illustration practices that are the foundations of effective development as a comic artist, including the use of appropriate software packages.

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.

Visual Design Fundamentals
This unit will introduce the fundamentals of art production using a range of traditional and digital techniques. Complimentary to this, you’ll learn the life drawing and mark making skills necessary for observing and interpreting gestures and anatomy.

You’ll also be introduced to the wide academic field of Comics Studies and consider how concepts, theories and debates emerging from this area have provided new insights for scholars, practitioners, and enthusiasts alike. Appropriate academic research, and essay-writing skills will also be introduced.

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.

Design Sprint 1
You’ll be asked to use the skills and knowledge you’ve acquired to create an Art Bible (Art and Design Document) for an entertainment design project, which you’ll present at the end.

You’ll work in teams and develop new skills in engaging and communicating effectively with your fellow students, including your ability to distribute tasks effectively and resolve conflicts. In addition, you’ll focus on refining your public speaking skills to ensure that you present your pitch in an engaging manner.

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.

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.

Design Sprint 2
Working in teams, you’ll create a short story sequence pitch in the form of storyboards or animatics and present your story pitch as a group at the end of the unit.

By working in teams you’ll further develop your skills in engaging and communicating effectively with your fellow students, including your ability to distribute art tasks effectively and resolve conflicts. In addition, you will focus on refining your public speaking skills to ensure that you present your story sequence pitch in an engaging manner.

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.

In your second year, we'll challenge you to dig deeper, build your skills further and flourish as an artist. You'll also develop yourself as a professional as you learn how to deal with clients and make your name in the industry.

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.

Advanced Workflow and Techniques
Building on what you’ve learned in the first year, you’ll use a range of traditional and digital techniques to produce a body of work.

You’ll be introduced to and explore advanced techniques to produce original design work, such as biped, or quadruped human and or creature design, environment.

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.

Concept Story Design
You’ll create a short story sequence pitch for an entertainment design project in the form of storyboards or animatics. You’ll present your story pitch individually or in a group, at the end of the unit.

Environmental Storytelling (elective)
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.

Character and World Building
Throughout this unit you’ll be expected to demonstrate creative problem solving, self-direction and effective time-management, presenting your work appropriately and on time. Among the areas of interest you’ll be covering, are vehicle anatomy, weapon anatomy and costume and props

The critical and contextual elements of this unit will continue to produce connections between your practical work and relevant scholarly debates, theories, and concepts with a focus on characters and worldbuilding.

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

In your final year, you'll use all the knowledge, skills and experience you have built to produce your final major project.

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

UCA Farnham has digital media suites programmed with design software for high-quality print production; printmaking studio with relief and block printing, plate or stone lithography, intaglio, letterpress, photopolymer plate printing and screen-printing; and a modern library with a wealth of books, journals, special collections and online resources.

Library, UCA Farnham

Print studios, UCA Farnham

Digital Media suite, UCA Farnham

Library, UCA Farnham

Entry requirements

Entry 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.  


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.  


*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.

Check the equivalent qualifications for your country and the English language requirements:


  • Non-UK equivalent qualifications
  • English language requirements
  • 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. 

    Don't meet the international entry requirements or English language requirements?
    You may be able to enter the course through the following entry pathways:

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

    For these courses, we’ll need to see your portfolio for review. We’ll invite you to attend an Applicant Day so you can have your portfolio review in person, meet the course team and learn more about your course. If you would prefer to upload a portfolio digitally, there is also the option to submit it online via your UCA Applicant Portal. Further information will be provided once you have applied. 


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

    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.


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

    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. 


    More portfolio advice

    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

      W223

    • UCAS Code for course with Professional Practice

      W224

    • UCAS Code for course with Integrated Foundation Year

      W22A

    • UCAS Code for course with Integrated International Foundation Year

      W22C

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

      W22B

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

      W22D

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