Games Art BA (Hons)

 

Course Code

UCAS Code: W280
International Code: ADU191

Location

Coventry University (Coventry)

 

Study mode

Full-time
Part-time
Sandwich

Duration

3 years full-time
4 years full-time with study abroad / professional placement
Flexible part-time

Start date

September 2022

Available through Clearing

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Course overview

Study level: Undergraduate

As a games artist, you can work in one of the largest and agile creative industries in the world.

  • You have the opportunity to develop games art skills such as storytelling, narrative, sociology, spatial design, architecture to anatomy, and character/environment design. 
  • We teach you about industry practices in a simulated games studio environment, so you can gain a solid grounding in visualisation techniques, character, environment and concept design. 
  • This exciting course is developed in conjunction with games industry employers like Radiant Worlds and shows you the skillset you need to be a successful games artist. 
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Global Ready

An international outlook, with global opportunities

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Teaching excellence

Taught by lecturers who are experts in their field

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Employability

Career ready graduates, with the skills to succeed

Why you should study this course

The aim of this course is to develop your understanding of coders’ and game developers’ needs, while addressing the visual needs of games development. This course offers you opportunities to work with animators and illustrators to develop your core skills in drawing, perspective and concept development. You will also be taught the trends and technical developments within the games industry.

When you have successfully completed this course, you should be able to demonstrate knowledge and understanding of:

  • The representation of human and animal form, anatomy and motion, natural environments, architecture and artefacts.
  • The aesthetics of photography, film and narrative animation and your impact upon games art KU3.
  • The communicative and immersive role of design for user interfaces.
  • A broad range of image manipulation technologies including 2D and 3D design and rendering applications.
  • Augmented Reality & Virtual Reality using HTC Vive/Oculus Rift,  Game Engines such as Unreal Engine and Unity.
  • Technical requirements of art assets produced for integration into programmed elements of games.
  • Working processes and cross-disciplinary roles in the games and related industries.
  • Ethical dimensions relevant to the representation of interpersonal and social interactions.
  • During your course of study, you may be invited to take part in regular study trips to exhibitions and events (availability and additional costs may apply).

More than just a degree

The course definitely prepared me for the work I am doing right now. It taught me a lot, creating assets and environments. I can comfortably create my own scenes from my imagination.

Manjot Singh, Games Art BA (Hons), graduate of 2020
Student using VR in the games technology lab

What you'll study

The course responds to the growth in the games art sector and the expansion of animation and computer graphics training from the fields of film and television to include the highly-rendered environments within games, with their increased focus on character driven narratives.

Based around professional studio culture, we will teach you high level art skills relevant to the games industry, encompassing visual design and practical games production, immersing yourself in 3D environments and developing in-game content using industry standard 3D modelling, mapping, materials, rigging and dynamic effects.

In your first year, we introduce you to the games industry, its expectations and the core skills you will need for the next three years of this course. 

We teach a range of effective techniques used in idea development and concept visualisation, such as brainstorming, the use of game art genres, photographic and digital design elements, and how to communicate and present concepts. We also offer you opportunities to use specialist software training such as Maya and the Adobe Creative Cloud. 

Modules

  • This module encourages you to explore ideas development through practical exercises. It gives you an introduction to analysing problems by using brainstorming, game art genres, and photographic and digital design elements. You will use a mixture of these skills and techniques to present these concepts to an audience. Case studies will be available for you to gain insight into the impact of social and cultural contexts which affect games art practice. Drawing on a range of creative sources, you will form ideas, and discuss and revise your work effectively and quickly.

    You will have the opportunity to demonstrate professional presentation methods. Emphasis will be placed on you creating and effectively communicating ideas, rather than demonstrating the technical skills required to achieve a finished piece.

    Compulsory

    Assessment: coursework

  • This module is designed to introduce you to key tools and methodologies in the production of games art. You should develop your knowledge of a range of design software relevant to games art and be introduced to how they are used in professional creative approaches and working practices. You are required to develop your understanding and skills for originating, capturing, combining and manipulating imagery using digital tools as your creative workspace in the production of 2D and 3D game elements. The module will introduce you to digital workflow, enabling you to gain an understanding of how your work is included in games technologies.

    Compulsory

    Assessment: coursework

  • This module addresses the collaborative culture of studio production and responds to the need for collegiate communication in a professional working environment. Starting with a negotiated brief, you will produce an artefact that will demonstrate meaningful planning, time management and high-quality output. You are not only responsible for your individual input, but for the management of the project, assuring the project remains on schedule and fulfils all of the requirements of the brief. The module will be supported by tutorials, seminars and lectures as well as visits from professional speakers and the opportunity for ongoing software training.

    Compulsory

    Assessment: coursework

  • This module provides you with an introduction to professional practice in contemporary games art, through undertaking either live client-based briefs or short creative placements. On completion of this module, you should have developed an awareness of working within a professional context and completed creative work that relates to your future goals. Elements of this might include, establishing clients, contacts, project and time management, working for clients, developing your own creative output in relation to marketplace opportunities, presentation and portfolio development.

    Compulsory

    Assessment: coursework

  • You will also be able to take an Add+vantage module which can allow you to develop your CV by taking credits in an area of study that doesn't have to be related to your degree. The assessment type will depend on the type of Add+vantage module you wish to take.

    Compulsory

    Assessment: coursework, exam

In the second year, you have the opportunity to explore the collaborative culture of studio production, which responds to the need for collegiate communication in a professional working environment

Working as part of a creative and technical team, you take a project from concept to finished artefact, aiming to cultivate the development of high-level creative, observational, technical and rendering skills in the depiction of environments, objects and characters, as well as professional skills in communication, negotiation, persuasion and team working.

Modules

  • This module provides you with the opportunity to refine your practice so you can develop and execute a response to your own brief. You will negotiate the terms of reference with the tutor to establish an appropriate level of challenge. Your project will be relevant to your professional goals and will address issues including scheduling, turnaround times, verbal and visual presentation, budgeting and meeting the expectations of industry.

    Emphasis will be on you generating ideas and exploring solutions, professionally, articulately and within strict deadlines. You will then produce a highly refined finished artefact for professional consideration, competition entry and/or inclusion in your portfolio or Degree Show exhibition.

    Compulsory

    Assessment: coursework

  • This module builds on the previous design and software module. You will develop your knowledge of a range of design software relevant to games art and be introduced to professional creative approaches and working practices relating to their use. You have the opportunity to further develop the knowledge and skills involved in originating, capturing, combining and manipulating imagery using digital tools as your creative workspace in the production of 2D and 3D game elements.

    Compulsory

    Assessment: coursework

  • This module helps you to develop your ability to negotiate the challenges of working as part of a creative and technical team. You will be expected to develop your skills of negotiation, reflection, technical and visual research and idea development, along with a growing awareness of professional practice.

    The module highlights the collaborative culture of studio production and demonstrates the need for collegiate communication in a professional working environment. Starting with a negotiated brief, you produce an artefact that will demonstrate your meaningful planning, time management and high-quality output.

    Developing from the work in the previous Collaborative Practice module, your approach should become more outward facing with you demonstrating greater levels of research in terms of audience and industry expectations. You can use this module as an opportunity to identify your area of practice for the stage 3 projects. All of the artwork you produce needs to demonstrate a high level of technical acumen and should build upon skills developed in Design Software Training and Concept Development modules.

    Compulsory

    Assessment: coursework

  • This module provides you with the opportunity to develop your professional practice in contemporary illustration, graphics and animation by undertaking external briefs. On completion of this module, you should have developed a detailed awareness of working within a professional context and completed creative work that relates to your future goals.

    You must agree your project with your supervisor so it is appropriate in scale and challenge and be realistic in terms of you completing it within the timescale of the module.

    You will need to demonstrate a high level of project management skill and professional client interaction. We expect you to present the outcome of your professional experience to staff at the end of this module. These presentations should be organised, visual and evaluative of your professional experience and creative work produced during this module. You must also show your current portfolio as part of your presentation. Innovative methods of presentation are encouraged, and this may include the use of video presentation.

    Compulsory

    Assessment: coursework

  • You will also be able to take an Add+vantage module which can allow you to develop your CV by taking credits in an area of study that doesn't have to be related to your degree. The assessment type will depend on the type of Add+vantage module you wish to take.

    Compulsory

    Assessment: coursework, exam

After your second year, you have an opportunity to undertake an optional sandwich year studying abroad or on professional placement (subject to availability, competitive application, meeting visa requirements and additional costs).

Modules

  • This optional module enables you to undertake an enhancement year following the second year of an undergraduate degree programme. This year could consist of:

    • European internship through Erasmus
    • Self-funded European internship
    • International internship
    • Study abroad
    • Appropriate and agreed combination of the above activities

    You will begin to prepare for the enhancement year during your first and second years of study and will be required to demonstrate commitment and a professional approach to the process.

    You can draw on the experiences you encountered during your enhancement year and use them to inform and plan your final year of study.

    On successful completion of the course and this module, you will be entitled to add the following degree title: with International Enhancement.

    Optional

  • This optional module enables you to undertake an enhancement year following the second year of a degree programme. This year could consist of:

    • Internship or placement scheme
    • Short-term placement
    • Business start-up
    • Contract, freelance or independent commission opportunity
    • Appropriate and agreed combination of above activities

    You begin to prepare for the enhancement year during your first and second years of study and will be required to demonstrate your commitment and a professional approach to the process. You are expected to identify an appropriate opportunity and, with guidance from staff and subject to approval from course directors, organise and prepare for the year using the resources available to you through the university, your course and your personal networks. You will be expected to draw on your  experiences during your enhancement year and use them to inform and plan your final year of study.

    On successful completion of the module, you will be entitled to the addition of with Professional Enhancement following your degree title.

    Optional

In your third and final year, you have the opportunity to create the most significant contribution to your area of practice in the form of a market analysis. You will work on an external project and develop a relevant portfolio of industry facing work that demonstrates a high level of technical and creative ability.

Modules

  • This module provides you with the opportunity to refine your practice so you can develop and execute a response to your own brief. Your project will be relevant to your professional goals and will address issues including scheduling, turnaround times, verbal and visual presentation, budgeting and meeting the expectations of industry.

    Emphasis will be on you generating ideas and exploring solutions, professionally, articulately and within strict deadlines. You will then produce a highly refined finished artefact for professional consideration, competition entry and/or inclusion in your portfolio or Degree Show exhibition.

    Compulsory

    Assessment: coursework

  • You will create a 4,000-word text based on your exploration of contemporary, historical, cultural and technological debates and precedents relevant to your practical work. Styles of presentation for this component of the submission may be flexible but it must be a researched endeavour, which includes a bibliography and follows the guidelines provided in lectures and handouts.

    Compulsory

    Assessment: coursework

  • This module offers you an extended period of studio practice and the opportunity to consolidate and refine your practice. You can produce a substantial, sustained and coherent body of work leading towards a relevant professional portfolio and degree exhibition. You are expected to develop skills in terms of managing complex, multi-dimensional challenges, integrating the skills and depth of knowledge acquired earlier in the course, while expanding your own discipline expertise.

    Compulsory

    Assessment: coursework

  • You will also be able to take an Add+vantage module which can allow you to develop your CV by taking credits in an area of study that doesn't have to be related to your degree. The assessment type will depend on the type of Add+vantage module you wish to take.

    Compulsory

    Assessment: coursework, exam

We regularly review our course content, to make it relevant and current for the benefit of our students. For these reasons, course modules may be updated.


How you'll learn

The School of Art and Design often provides opportunities to engage in external or collaborative activities such as competition/industry briefs and speakers beyond your course studies. We strongly encourage you to take advantage of these opportunities to support your learning journey.

This studio-based course can be studied full-time over three years, starting in September.  In a typical teaching week, you will have approximately 13 contact hours of teaching. This includes a combination of: 

  • Medium group teaching: workshops, seminars and lectures 
  • Small group teaching: seminar, critiques and tutorials 
  • Studio practice and bookable workshop access 

The contact hours may be made up of a combination of face-to-face teaching, individual and group tutorials, and online activities.  As an innovative and enterprising institution, the university may seek to utilise emerging technologies within the student experience. For all courses (whether on-campus, blended, or distance learning), the university may deliver certain contact hours and assessments via online technologies and methods. 


Assessment

100% coursework: various practical and written projects in each module. 


Job ready

On successful completion, you can: 

  • Generate original visual solutions or responses to a client design brief.
  • Apply informed critical judgment demonstrating the capacity for self and peer evaluation.
  • Conceptualise designs for game formats exploring two and three-dimensional space, time and user interaction.   
  • Resolve creative design and technical problems arising from multiple constraints, limitations and demands of professional production.  
  • Engage in practice with a range of specialist media to communicate a coherent visual language for the expression of ideas and concepts. 
  • Demonstrate sound practice in the use of technical knowledge, skills and processes and an awareness of health and safety issues. 
  • Explore the interface between traditional and innovative media and processes within the context of games art practice. 

International experience opportunities

You have the option of extending your studies by a year and undertaking study abroad or a professional placement. (Subject to availability, application, meeting visa requirements and additional costs.) 

You will study alongside you and staff from many different countries, providing you with the opportunity to enhance your global perspective and intercultural competence. You can also undertake a sandwich year of study or work abroad (subject to availability, competitive application, meeting visa requirements and additional costs). 

We currently have exchange agreements with Accademia di Belle Arti Bologna, Universidad Europea de Madrid and Hanzehogeschool Groningen. 


Entry requirements

Clearing places available on this course

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Additional requirements may apply

Haven't met the entry requirements or don’t have the right qualifications? You may still be able to progress onto a degree you’d love by studying a foundation or access course.

View our full list of country specific entry requirements on our Entry requirements page. You can also explore our International foundation year courses.


Fees and funding

2022/23 Tuition fees

Student Full time Part time
UK £9,250 per year Not available
International £18,050 per year Not available

For advice and guidance on tuition fees and student loans visit our Undergraduate Finance page and see The University’s Tuition Fee and Refund Terms and Conditions.

We offer a range of International scholarships to students all over the world. For more information, visit our International Scholarships page.

Tuition fees cover the cost of your teaching, assessments, facilities and support services. There may be additional costs not covered by this fee such as accommodation and living costs, recommended reading books, stationery, printing and re-assessments should you need them. Find out what's included in your tuition costs.


Facilities

The Faculty of Arts and Humanities is joining two of our school’s completely refurbished Art and Design buildings and adding a range of new facilities in 2022. These will include a hyper studio designed for cross-disciplinary projects; immersive studios with cutting-edge virtual reality and mixed-reality technologies. Our aim is to offer you sector-leading facilities in a unique environment.

Our current digital and industrial workshops are of industry-standard quality and house 3D rapid prototyping, laser cutters and milling machines. These facilities are available to all students on our courses at no extra cost, subject to availability.

We have a ceramic and small-metal-working workshop, a large digital print bureau, and clay modelling studios where you can realise your creative artistic and design solutions.

The fashion workshops have digital embroidery machines, digital printers and a printmaking workshop that includes etching, screen printing and a rare, one of only three in existence in the UK, letterpress studio. 

In our Mac and PC CAD labs, you can become digitally literate in presentation and design skills using the Adobe suite of software. You can also get Adobe accreditation as part of an Add+vantage module and learn other software packages including Alias, Toom Boom, Revit, and Maya. 

Student in fashion studio, working with fabric.

Fashion studios

You will have access all kinds of industry-grade equipment* for a range of textiles: from laser cutting, digital embroidery, sonic wielding and screen printing, to manufacturing tools for accessories, embroidery and garments.

Female student creating a clay model in the clay studio at Coventry University.

Clay studio

In our clay studio*, your ideas become realised by using technological software and clay. Here you can create whatever you imagine, whether that’s an animated character, a sleek car design or theatre props.

Student using VR headset in Games Technology lab.

Games Technology laboratory

Our gaming lab is a technological paradise, equipped with high-end gaming PCs that have all of the industry-standard software necessary for your course*. It also houses virtual reality game development and motion capture technology.


Careers and opportunities

The course prepares you for the rigours of the professional world by simulating the challenges that you may face as a practitioner. It aims to develop your independent thought, innovation, imagination, critical reflection and confidence in your practice, as well as transferrable skills suitable for employment across the full breadth of the creative industries. 

This course models itself on the professional expectations of industry, with a strong emphasis on time management, good communication and self-sufficiency. Professional practice is embedded into the learning experience; we will prepare you for the rigours of the professional world by simulating the challenges that you may face as a practitioner, aiming to develop independent thought, innovation, imagination, critical reflection and confidence in your practice, as well as transferrable skills suitable for employment across the full breadth of the creative industries. 

Our Talent Team is on hand to offer tailored career and enterprise support if you wish to gain employment or take advantage of professional practice opportunities within course specific industries. It provides a programme of workshops, embedded learning, lectures, professional experience and one-to-one guidance with the aim to help you develop transferable skills and enterprising habits commonly required for a successful career. Our dedicated enterprise officers also offer valuable assistance on how to begin as a freelancer/entrepreneur. 

Where our graduates work

As a graduate, you may find employment as a character designer, animator, environment designer or concept artist. Notable alumni who are already successful in the gaming industry include Alex Underhill, senior VFX Artist at Rocksteady Studios, and James Biddulph, design lead at Applio. 

Some students may choose to enter the teaching profession after PGCE study and others go into further study: into our own postgraduate programmes or elsewhere within the UK or internationally. 


How to apply

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  • Student Contract

    By accepting your offer of a place and enrolling with us, a Student Contract will be formed between you and the university. A copy of the 2021/22 Contract can be found here. The Contract details your rights and the obligations you will be bound by during your time as a student and contains the obligations that the university will owe to you. You should read the Contract before you accept an offer of a place and before you enrol at the university.

    Tuition fees

    The tuition fee for the course that is stated on the course webpage and in the prospectus for the first year of study will apply. We will review our tuition fees each year. For UK and EU students, if Parliament permit an increase in tuition fees, we may increase fees for each subsequent year of study in line with any such changes. Note that any increase is expected to be in line with inflation. Following the UK’s exit from the European Union, EU students should be aware that there may be a change to UK laws following the UK’s exit, this may change their student status, their eligibility to study part time, and/or their eligibility for student finance. We will act in accordance with the UK’s laws in force in relation to student tuition fees and finance from time to time.

    For International students the tuition fee that is stated on the course webpage and in the prospectus for the first year of study will apply. We will review our tuition fees each year. For international students, we may increase fees for each subsequent year of study but such increases will be no more than 5% above inflation.

    Accreditations

    The majority of our courses have been formally recognised by professional bodies, which means the courses have been reviewed and tested to ensure they reach a set standard. In some instances, studying on an accredited course can give you additional benefits such as exemptions from professional exams (subject to availability, fees may apply). Accreditations, partnerships, exemptions and memberships shall be renewed in accordance with the relevant bodies’ standard review process and subject to the university maintaining the same high standards of course delivery. 

    Facilities

    Facilities mentioned on this page may not be relevant for every course. Due to the ongoing restrictions relating to COVID-19, some facilities (including some teaching and learning spaces) and some non-academic offerings (particularly in relation to international experiences), may vary from those advertised and may have reduced availability or restrictions on their use.

    Placements and study abroad opportunities

    Please note that we are unable to guarantee any placement or study abroad opportunities and that all such opportunities may be subject to additional costs (e.g. travel, visas and accommodation etc.), competitive application, availability and/or meeting any applicable visa requirements. To ensure that you fully understand the requirements in this regard, please contact the International Office for further details if you are an EU or International student.

    Additional costs

    This course may incur additional costs associated with any field trips, placements or work experience, study abroad opportunities or any other opportunity (whether required or optional), which could include (but is not limited to), equipment, materials, bench fees, studio or facilities hire, travel, accommodation and visas).