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BA (Hons) Games Arts

Games Arts BA (Hons)

Farnham

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.

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

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.

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

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.

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.

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Accredited by:

Rookies School Accreditation logo
Course details

Course Details

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.

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.

You’ll be introduced to the fundamental concepts of visual design, gameplay, computer games design and computer games programming, exploring key 3D modelling techniques using Maya and games engine development in Unity.

Visual Design
You’ll develop approaches to concept art and the software skills needed to develop ideas into art assets for computer games, and 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
You will gain a solid grounding in 3D digital art principles, research and design 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
Through the fundamental concepts of gameplay, computer games design, and computer games scripting in C#, you’ll learn about games interaction, and demonstrate your technical and conceptual skills through exploration of gameplay mechanics.

Introduction to Video Game Studies: Image, Medium and Culture
This unit introduces you to a range of key concepts central to developing an understanding of 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.

Games Art
Through this unit you will further build on the 2D and 3D skills and contextual knowledge you gained in Year one. Alongside this you will develop your understanding of professional aspects of AAA workflows 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
You’ll critically examine the position of computer games and gamers within culture and society, exploring gaming's relationship to gender, ethnicity, conflict and capital. You’ll also discuss ludology and its attendant concepts, including immersion, procedural rhetoric and cyber-individualism.

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 create your portfolio for industry, submit your dissertation and will have the opportunity to exhibit your final work at the Graduation Show.

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.

Thesis
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.

Tuition fees
The course fees per year for 2021 entry are:

  • UK students - £9,250 
  • EU students - £9,250 (see fee discount information)
  • International students - £16,950 (standard fee)
  • International students - £16,270 (full early payment fee)

The course fees for 2022 entry will be available here shortly.

If you opt to study the Professional Practice Year, you will be required to pay a reduced tuition fee for that year. This fee will be set by the government in their funding regulations. Based on current regulations, we expect this to be a maximum of 20% of the tuition fee rate that you will be charged for your second year of study. 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 please see the additional course costs for 2021 entry. The details for 2022 entry will be available here in due course.

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.

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.

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.

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Games Arts studio, UCA Farnham

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Foley sound studio, UCA Farnham

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Games Arts studio, UCA Farnham

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Library, UCA Farnham

Course connections

Course connections

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 2021 grad show site to see the incredible work created by our graduating students

Visit the 2021 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 requirements

Entry requirements

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 / 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 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.

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

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

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

Pre-sessional English courses in the UK or China

UCA International Foundation courses

The UCA International College

For this course, you’ll be required to submit an online portfolio via your UCA Applicant Portal. 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. Further information on how to compile and upload your portfolio will be provided once you have applied. If you receive an offer, you’ll be invited to attend an Offer Holder Webinar 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

    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 International Integrated Foundation Year and Professional Practice Year

    W28J

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UK applications

International & EU applications

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 International Admissions Team on +44 (0) 1252 892838 or internationaladmissions@uca.ac.uk

When to apply:

We are still accepting applications for 2021 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

UK Applications

International Applications

If you're interested in joining Year 3 of this course, please contact our International Admissions Team on +44 (0) 1252 892838 or internationaladmissions@uca.ac.uk

When to apply:

The UCAS application deadline for 2022 entry is 26 January. If you are 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

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