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Games Art BA (Hons)

  • Level(s) of Study: Undergraduate
  • UCAS Code(s): W200
  • Start Date(s): September 2024
  • Duration: Three years full-time
  • Study Mode(s): Full-time
  • Campus: City Campus
  • Entry Requirements:
    More information

Introduction:

If you have ever played a video game and been drawn in by the immersiveness of the environment art or marvelled at the imagination of the characters or creatures, the BA (Hons) Games Art course may be for you. Teaching you on industry-standard hardware and software, this course will advance your creative and artistic skills with opportunities to work collaboratively with game designers, animators and VFX artists to create Blueprint games. Working alone, in teams or in industry focused workshops, you’ll develop the digital toolset, creative invention, and contextual knowledge to bring your visual imagination to life. You’ll graduate with an industry-ready reel demonstrating your invention and artistic prowess.

This course is taught at Nottingham School of Art & Design for September 2024 entry. If you are looking to join us in September 2023, the course will be taught at Confetti Institute of Creative Technologies Nottingham.

  • You’ll have the opportunity to complete a work experience placement of up to a year in length. Dependent on the duration of your placement, you could gain an additional Diploma or Certificate in Professional Practice.
  • Develop your professional skills through self-initiated work experience placements, industry competitions, collaborations with organisations and guest lectures.
  • You’ll be able to personalise your studies by choosing from a range of up to eight optional modules. Your course also includes our School-wide, sector-leading CoLab module.

What you’ll study

Teaching you on industry-standard hardware and software, this course will advance your creative and artistic skills with opportunities to work collaboratively with game designers, animators and VFX artists to create Blueprint games. Working alone, in teams or in industry-focused workshops, you’ll develop the digital toolset, creative invention, and contextual knowledge to bring your visual imagination to life. You’ll graduate with an industry-ready reel demonstrating your invention and artistic prowess.

Principles of Screen Arts

(40 credit points)

Learn about, and put into practice, the principles of screen art that will serve as the foundation for your course. Throughout this module, you'll sharpen your skills and begin the journey of exploring perspective drawing, digital drawing and painting. You'll do this with a focus on the core elements of art theory such as line, shape, colour, form, texture, space, movement, and rhythm.

Introducing 2D Digital Art

(40 credit points)

Refine your digital art skills as you build your knowledge of anatomical figure drawing, digital drawing and painting through projects focusing on concept art, UI design and board game design.

Games Studies

(20 credit points)

Explore the captivating and fascinating history of game playing and associated game theory, and delve into the present-day impact of electronic gaming on commercial, ethical, and societal factors. Research and interrogate the wider social, ethical and global context of games production and consumption.

Introducing 3D Digital Art

(20 credit points)

Gain the skills and knowledge needed to create digital models and designs. You will learn about polygonal modelling, surfacing, and lighting techniques. In addition, workshops on life drawing will strengthen your understanding of the human form, combined with research into traditional visual art forms like painting.

Processing 2D Digital Art

(40 credit points)

Building on the knowledge you developed in Introducing 2D Digital Art, you will further apply your understanding of 2D practices to choose from a range of briefs where you will progress your skills. These might include character and environment art, tabletop game art, 2D sprite-based game or puzzle game art.

Processing 3D Digital Art

(40 credit points)

Based on the 3D skills you developed in Year One, you will progress your abilities and widen your knowledge of digital modelling and lookdev. You will be introduced to digital sculpting and programs such as Substance Painter. Additional workshops in anatomical drawing and clay modelling will reinforce your understanding of 3D form – enhanced by active production research into natural, architectural, prop, and costume detail.

Games Design Studio

(40 credit points)

The aim of this module is to bring together like-minded game development students from Games Art and Games Design. Together, you'll work on projects to bring game ideas to life. Each project will be unique and challenge your collaborative skills and technical abilities, including one set by an industry partner.

CoLab: Research, Exploration and Risk-taking

(20 credit points)

Through active participation with team-based problem-solving, you will work together in mixed teams on a project where you will use your creative ideas to generate solutions to the challenge or brief. Your project will allow you to explore outside of your usual frames of reference and to move beyond your comfort zone. You can expect to engage in new conversations as you explore disruptive learning opportunities through participation in unfamiliar creative places and experiments as you embrace new opportunities.

You will also choose one optional 20-credit module from:

  • Visual Effects Technical Direction
  • Games Art
  • Visual Effects Art
  • 3D Materials and Exploration
  • Storyboarding
  • Character Ideation
  • Experimental Animation
  • Motion Graphics

Optional Placement Year

We have an option for all of our students to undertake a placement year and allow you to decide whether this is right for you once you have completed years 1 and 2 of your course. This time spent working in industry provides our students with crucial work experience, which is highly prized and much sought after by employers upon graduation. If you are successful in securing a placement you will have the chance to gain an additional Certificate or Diploma in Professional Practice, dependent on duration.

Games Art Project

(60 credit points)

Define yourself as a games designer through personal projects. Develop your projects and reflect upon their degree of success either as individual self-directed project/s or as a primary creative on other students’ projects. You'll be challenged to display your mastery of industry-standard digital tools to create stunning visual aesthetics and your ability to critically evaluate technological research to shape your game design and decision-making.

Screen Arts Collaboration

(40 credit points)

Building on the collaborative skills you have developed in Year Two, you'll have the opportunity to work with other screen arts students to fully develop a group project with a negotiated outcome or with an industry partner. You'll explore audio and visual storytelling as a group, working as a multi-disciplinary team to effectively respond to a brief.

Games Entrepreneurship

(20 credit points)

Assess your previous learning and specialised direction to focus your final year effort towards building your graduate profile. Throughout the module, you will identify and evidence the required professional knowledge and skills aligning with your future goals in your final showcase and reflect upon the progression of your creative and technical processes and outcomes.

How you’re taught

Teaching and learning experiences will include:

  • Lectures and briefings
  • Studio workshops
  • Seminars
  • Tutorials
  • Peer and self-evaluations
  • Verbal and visual presentations
  • Teamwork
  • Live projects
  • Study trips
  • Personal development planning.

Collaboration across courses

This course offers our new innovative collaboration module. This gives you the opportunity to work collaboratively with your contemporaries from a range of different art and design subjects and beyond. You’ll be working alongside artists, designers, photographers, illustrators, animators, and filmmakers on daring and creative projects that prepare you for a rewarding career in your chosen industry. Your project will allow you to explore how creativity can make an impact in society, as you choose a theme of sustainability, social justice, enterprise and innovation or community.

Exchange opportunities

If you’re thinking about studying part of your degree abroad, the course has exchange agreements with a number of institutions around the world.

Exchanges take place in Year Two of the course. You’ll receive guidance from the University about where you can study, and help in completing your application and arranging your exchange.

Showcase

You will be given the opportunity to exhibit your work during your time at NTU to members of the creative industries. Visit our ‘We Are Creatives’ showcase to take a look at the work of this year's graduating students’.

Contact hours

  • Year 1 lectures/seminars/workshops (21%), independent study (79%)
  • Year 2 lectures/seminars/workshops (20%), independent study (80%)
  • Year 3 lectures/seminars/workshops (20%), independent study (80%)

How you’re assessed

  • Year 1 coursework (100%)
  • Year 2 coursework (100%)
  • Year 3 coursework (93%), practical exams (7%)

Careers and employability

Employability is a key focus of this course, with modules including initiatives such as live projects and trips, and the opportunity to exhibit your work, which will help to raise your profile and enhance your future career.

Our BA (Hons) Games Art course will prepare you for a broad range of careers in games art. This could include roles such as character artist, 3D modeller, environment artist, concept artist, storyboard artist, and 3D LookDev artist.

Connecting with industry and work placement opportunities

Industry professionals will visit the course to guest lecture and share their experiences. Live projects and competitions will help you to gain real experience of the industry, make contacts, and build your portfolio and CV.

You’ll be encouraged to undertake short periods of work experience alongside your studies. You will normally complete these placements during holiday periods, but you will have the option of taking up to two weeks out of term time, which you can negotiate with your tutor.

In addition, you’ll also have the opportunity to complete a longer work experience or placement, with the chance to gain an additional Diploma or Certificate in Professional Practice, dependent on duration. Course tutors and our Employability team are on hand to support you in applying for placement and professional practice opportunities.

YouFirst – working with our Employability team

Studying a creative degree in a large university has many benefits, none more so than having access to a large employability team.

Our friendly, experienced careers consultants will work closely with you at every stage of your career planning, providing personal support and advice you won't find in a book or on the Internet. You can benefit from this at any time during your studies and for up to three years after completing your course.

Creative Industries Federation

We are members of the Creative Industries Federation (CIF), which means students in the Nottingham School of Art & Design have the opportunity to sign up to free student membership. Creative Industries Federation are an organisation that represents, champions and supports the UK’s creative industries and membership grants students exclusive access to their selection of resources and events to help advance your career and connect with industry.

Campus and facilities

You’ll be based in our new Design and Digital Arts Building – a landmark building for the creative industries in Nottingham equipped with cutting-edge technology and spaces to collaborate and exhibit work. View our Nottingham School of Art & Design Facilities Hub here

Entry requirements

112 UCAS Tariff points

What are we looking for?

  • 104 - 112 UCAS Tariff points from up to four qualifications (two of which must be A-level equivalent).
  • GCSEs – English and Maths or Science grade C / 4.

Other qualifications and experience

We will consider equivalent qualifications and combinations, please see UCAS course search for details and use our calculator to help you work out how many UCAS points your qualifications relate to.

We may also consider credits achieved at other universities and your work/life experience through an assessment of prior learning. This may be for year one entry, or beyond the beginning of a course where applicable, for example, into year 2. Our Recognition of Prior Learning and Credit Transfer Policy outlines the process and options available for this route.

Contextual offers

As well as assessing your application and qualifications, we use contextual data and information to make offers for this course. Depending on your circumstances, we may make you an offer up to two grades below the standard entry criteria. Find out how we assess your application.

Getting in touch

If you need any more help or information, please email our Admissions Team or call on +44 (0)115 848 4200.

International qualifications 

We accept qualifications from all over the world – check yours here:

Undergraduate preparation courses (Foundation)

If you don’t yet meet our entry requirements, we offer Foundation courses through our partner Nottingham Trent International College (NTIC), based on our City Campus:

English language entry requirements 

You can meet our language requirements by successfully completing our pre-sessional English course for an agreed length of time, or by submitting the required grade in one of our accepted English language tests, such as IELTS:

Advanced standing (starting your undergraduate degree in year 2 or 3)

You may be able to start your undergraduate course in year 2 or 3 based on what you have studied before.  This decision would be made in accordance with our Recognition of Prior Learning and Credit Transfer Policy.

Would you like some advice on your study plans? 

Our international teams are highly experienced in answering queries from students all over the world. We also have members of staff based in Vietnam, China, India and Nigeria and work with a worldwide network of education counsellors.

Fees and funding

Preparing for the financial side of student life is important, but there's no need to feel anxious and confused about it. We hope that our fees and funding pages will answer all your questions.

Getting in touch

For more advice and guidance, you can contact our Student Financial Support Service.

Tel: +44 (0)115 848 2494

What's included in the course fees?

The School will cover the costs of any mandatory study trips.

In your final year, the Nottingham School of Art & Design will provide infrastructure costs for the Showcase.

Additional costs

Print and copy costs

The University allocates an annual printing and copying allowance of £20 depending on the course you are studying. For more details about costs for additional print and copying required over and above the annual allowance please see the Printing, photocopying and scanning information on the Library website.

Material costs

Depending on the materials you choose to work with, you should budget around £100 per year (minimum) for production costs associated to your course, including things like your final year project.

Stationery and reading materials

Most study modules will recommend one or more core textbooks, which most students choose to purchase. Book costs vary between courses and further information is available in the University’s bookshop, Blackwell’s.

A good supply of these essential text books are available in the University libraries, which students can easily borrow or access on-line/directly whilst studying in the library. You should budget £100 per year (minimum) for stationery and reading materials.

Although this is not a requirement for entry on the course or for successful study, once you have joined the course, some students choose to buy a laptop. Costs for this can vary depending on the technique you want to work in and the subsequent computer specification. If you do wish to purchase a computer, we advise you to wait until the course starts so that you can take advice on the specs needed for the work you are doing.  You should expect to pay between £800-£1,500.

As part of your studies, you’ll need to store large quantities of data and we recommend you budget £70 for a rugged 1TB portable hard drive.

Field trips

All essential field trip costs will be included in your course fees. There may be the opportunity to take part in optional field trips, which do incur additional costs.

If you choose to join an optional UK study trip, you’ll need to budget around £50 per year (minimum). If you choose to join an optional international study trip, you’ll need to budget £500 per year (minimum).

Placements

If you're undertaking a placement year, you'll need to budget for accommodation and any travel costs you may incur whilst on placement. Many of our placement students do earn a salary whilst on placement which can help to cover these living costs.

If you undertake work experience or a longer placement, you will have the chance to gain an additional Certificate or Diploma in Professional Practice, dependent on duration.  The Diploma in Professional Practice incurs a fee for the additional placement year.

Preparing for the financial side of student life is important, but there's no need to feel anxious and confused about it. We hope that our fees and funding pages will answer all your questions.

You might be able to get a scholarship to help fund your studies. We award scholarships to those international students who can demonstrate excellent achievement, passion, and dedication to their studies.

Please take a look at our International students page for information about fees, scholarships for international students, visas and much more.

Getting in touch

For more advice and guidance, you can contact our Student Financial Support Service.

Tel: +44 (0)115 848 2494

What's included in the course fees?

The School will cover the costs of any mandatory study trips.

In your final year, the Nottingham School of Art & Design will provide infrastructure costs for the Showcase.

Additional costs

Print and copy costs

The University allocates an annual printing and copying allowance of £20 depending on the course you are studying. For more details about costs for additional print and copying required over and above the annual allowance please see the Printing, photocopying and scanning information on the Library website.

Material costs

Depending on the materials you choose to work with, you should budget around £100 per year (minimum) for production costs associated to your course, including things like your final year project.

Stationery and reading materials

Most study modules will recommend one or more core textbooks, which most students choose to purchase. Book costs vary between courses and further information is available in the University’s bookshop, Blackwell’s.

A good supply of these essential text books are available in the University libraries, which students can easily borrow or access on-line/directly whilst studying in the library. You should budget £100 per year (minimum) for stationery and reading materials.

Although this is not a requirement for entry on the course or for successful study, once you have joined the course, some students choose to buy a laptop. Costs for this can vary depending on the technique you want to work in and the subsequent computer specification. If you do wish to purchase a computer, we advise you to wait until the course starts so that you can take advice on the specs needed for the work you are doing.  You should expect to pay between £800-£1,500.

As part of your studies, you’ll need to store large quantities of data and we recommend you budget £70 for a rugged 1TB portable hard drive.

Field trips

All essential field trip costs will be included in your course fees. There may be the opportunity to take part in optional field trips, which do incur additional costs.

If you choose to join an optional UK study trip, you’ll need to budget around £50 per year (minimum). If you choose to join an optional international study trip, you’ll need to budget £500 per year (minimum).

Placements

If you're undertaking a placement year, you'll need to budget for accommodation and any travel costs you may incur whilst on placement. Many of our placement students do earn a salary whilst on placement which can help to cover these living costs.

If you undertake work experience or a longer placement, you will have the chance to gain an additional Certificate or Diploma in Professional Practice, dependent on duration.  The Diploma in Professional Practice incurs a fee for the additional placement year.

How to apply

Apply through UCAS.

We will ask you to provide a digital portfolio. Visit our webpage which has some advice on what to include to help make your portfolio stand out. After you have submitted your portfolio, we may also invite you to an online interview to help us make our final decision.

Getting in touch

If you need any more help or information, please email our Admissions team or call +44 (0)115 848 4200.

You can apply for this course through UCAS. If you are not applying to any other UK universities, you can apply directly to us on our NTU applicant portal.

Application advice

Apply early so that you have enough time to prepare – processing times for Student visas can vary, for example.  After you've applied, we'll be sending you important emails throughout the application process – so check your emails regularly, including your junk mail folder.

Writing your personal statement

Be honest, thorough, and persuasive – we can only make a decision about your application based on what you tell us:

Your portfolio 

If your initial application is successful, you may be asked to upload a portfolio of your work and you may also be asked to attend an interview.

Would you like some advice on your study plans? 

Our international teams are highly experienced in answering queries from students all over the world. We also have members of staff based in Vietnam, China, India and Nigeria and work with a worldwide network of education counsellors.