BA (Hons) Animation & Games

General

Program Description

Launching September 2021

Applying to study with us in 2021?

We are excited to launch this new course for 2021 as we enhance our well-established undergraduate curriculum. Degrees listed as subject to validation are in the final stage of our rigorous approval process, designed to ensure they accurately reflect course content and employment opportunities for students. Through close consultation with industry professionals, academics, students and alumni we can ensure that your learning prepares you for a dynamic and ever-changing future job market.

Bring your character designs and illustrative concepts to life with our BA (Hons) Animation & Games course, where you will invent new, imaginary worlds using the latest 2D and 3D software and techniques. You’ll develop the technical skills and production experience necessary to thrive in the top animation and gaming creative studios internationally.

Globally the animation industry is estimated to be worth £170 billion, with the gaming industry predicted to be worth £140 billion by 2021. Whether your interest is in film, television, video games, online content, VFX, motion graphics or VR, we’ll help you enter the market with the knowledge and skills necessary for a leading role in the industry.

In our state-of-the-art multimedia studio environment, you can explore the full range of the drawing, modelling, editing, rendering, and scripting techniques, giving you an unrivalled opportunity to take a multi-faceted view of the animation and games world.

Working within the creative incubator of our School of Arts + Media, you’ll not only gain knowledge of the latest software used in the creative industry and develop collaborative skills across disciplines, but you’ll also be encouraged to develop as an emerging artist-designer with your own unique creative voice. You’ll have the opportunity to work alongside students from our award-winning Film & Screen Arts course and Film Studies, as well as collaborating with Animation and Games peers in interdisciplinary projects.

Our animation and games studio facilities are fully equipped with industry-standard hardware and software such as Unreal Engine, Substance Painter, Toon Boom, 3D Studio Max, Maya, Marmoset Toolbag, Z-Brush and Adobe Master Suite. You’ll have your own high-spec, cloud-render enabled workstation with drawing monitors, as well as access to VR devices, cintiqs, a stop-motion studio, green screen studio and a state-of-the-art 3D printing and scanning studio.

Some of the core specialisms you’ll study include pre-production concept art for the entertainment industry, 2D and 3D world-building, drawing, environment art, environmental and particle textures, gameplay, level design, 2D and 3D character design, stop-motion animation, 2D and 3D animation, and special effects.

Our programme team is made up of professional animators, filmmakers and researchers who will assist you in building your own professional network. We have excellent industry links in the UK and internationally, developed through annual visits to both the FMX and International Trick film festivals in Stuttgart, Germany.  In recent years our students have had work screened at Encounters (the UK’s leading short film and animation festival), visited Aardman Animation studios in Bristol, and contributed to high-profile European-funded animation initiatives, such as the Euranim video mapping project with workshops in Belgium.

The college’s annual Summer Show also provides an excellent opportunity for students from this programme to engage directly with industry before launching their own careers.

Our Animation & Games students have gone on to work at leading creative studios such as Creative Assembly, Playstation, Rebellion Studios, and Industrial Light and Magic. Recent contributors to the course include Jim Parkyn from Aardman Studios, Jack Eaves and Frederic Fitzpatrick from Rebellion Studios, Tim Nguyen from Playstation, and Henry South from ILM (Industrial Light and Magic).

Graduates can become:

  • 3D CGI Animators
  • 3D Print Artists for Stop Motion Production
  • Animators
  • Art Directors
  • Character Designers
  • Compositors
  • Concept Artists
  • Filmmakers
  • Illustrators
  • Layout Artists
  • Lecturers/Teachers
  • Set, Prop and Model Designers                   
  • Storyboard Artists
  • Special Effects Artists
  • Texture and Lighting Technical Artists
  • Rigging Technical Artists
  • UX & UI designers
  • VFX Artists

Thinking & making

Study with us and you’ll expand your critical approach alongside developing skills in research and analysis. Our academically robust and intellectually stimulating degree programmes are delivered by our team of academics, technical demonstrators and invited experts who together deliver excellence in learning, teaching and assessment. Our programmes encourage diversity in thinking and making - from practical applications through to reflective, analytical writing.

We provide a dynamic, stimulating learning environment from which to test new models of practice while investing in the rich relationship between practice and theory - based on the potential in material and visual exploration, collaborative working, cross-fertilisation of ideas, and the exploration of histories and contemporary contexts.  

Opportunities for studying abroad are available at our partner institutions.

Modules

Our unit structure applies to all of our undergraduate courses and creates a culture that promotes curiosity and creative thinking that extends beyond subject boundaries. Thematic approaches encourage an environment of free-flowing creative learning and opportunities for collaboration. Each unit will be contextualised by the subject specialism, and delivery will manifest uniquely through the specialist lens of each course. 

Applying to a four-year Extended BA degree?

If you choose to study an Extended BA, this will provide you with a preparatory year that will support your creative development through a broad range of art, design and media skills, as the basis for continued undergraduate study in your chosen specialist degree. In Year 0 you will learn through experimentation, exploration and discovery. Successful completion of this year allows automatic progression to Year 1 of your chosen three year BA at Plymouth College of Art. 

Year 1

  • Unit 1: Methods & Materials
  • Unit 2: Encountering place
  • Unit 3: Exploring subject
  • Unit 4: Platforms of exchange

Year 2

  • Unit 1: Speculative Strategies
  • Unit 2: Global Challenges
  • Unit 3: Ideas & Audience      
  • Unit 4: Emergent practice

Year 3

  • Unit 1: Research & Development 
  • Unit 2: Publication 
  • Unit 3: Positioning practice
  • Unit 4: Final project

Careers & alumni

Professional practice is embedded within all of our programmes.  Throughout your studies, you will have the opportunity to develop the key professional, transferable skills for employability in the creative industries and potentially work in partnership with other sectors locally, regionally, nationally or internationally.

From writing and making the most of your CV to gaining industry experience, the acquisition of professional skills has been written into the programmes of study by our staff teams, who have ‘real world’ experience. They are also supported by our Industry Liaison Groups, who help inform the development of the higher education curriculum.

Past Animation and Game Arts students have gone on to work at leading creative studios such as Creative Assembly, Playstation, Rebellion Studios, and Industrial Light and Magic. Recent contributors to School of Art + Media include Jim Parkyn from Aardman Studios, Jack Eaves and Frederic Fitzpatrick from Rebellion Studios, Tim Nguyen from Playstation, and Henry South from ILM (Industrial Light and Magic).

Graduates can become: 

  • 2D Texture Artists
  • 3D CGI Animators
  • 3D Modellers
  • 3D Print Artists for Stop Motion Production
  • Animators
  • Art Directors
  • Character Designers
  • Compositors
  • Concept Artists
  • Digital Visualiser
  • Filmmakers
  • Illustrators
  • Layout Artists
  • Lecturers/Teachers
  • Set, Prop and Model Designers                   
  • Storyboard Artists
  • Special Effects Artists
  • Texture and Lighting Technical Artists
  • Rigging Technical Artists
  • UX & UI designers
  • VFX Artists

Recent graduate destinations include:

  • Jonathan Bardwell - Unreal Developer at One Polygon
  • Jack Eaves - Concept Artist - Rebellion working on Sniper Elite 4 and Until Dawn
  • Henry South - Texture Artist - Industrial Light and Magic worked on Star Wars, Rogue One, The Hulk (San Francisco, Singapore, Vancouver & London)
  • Steve Cronin - Character Artist (ZBrush) - Creative Assembly (Horsham, West Sussex)
  • Tim Nguyen - User Interface Designer (GUI) - Creative Assembly (Horsham, West Sussex)
  • Fred Fritzpatrick - Strike Game Labs (Plymouth)
  • Jonathan Vigurs - Texture Artist at 4J Studios - Mojag Minecraft
  • Mark Ashbourne - 3D Artist and Sound/ Audio Engineer - Realistic Games (Reading, Berkshire)
  • Stefan Stoev - Character Creation, Hungary
  • Graham Watson - Creative Director - Remode & Real Visual (VR Company, Plymouth & Watford, London)
  • Alex Young - HTC/Vive (UK)
  • Patrick Sweeting - Front End Developer - Core Blue (Plymouth)
  • Oliver Curtis - Level Designer Tripmine Studio
  • Simon Wong - Concept Art and Illustration Artist - Vorpal Games Ltd (Manchester)
  • Kris Kosunen - Community Manager - HTC/Vive (UK)
  • Sam Hassens - Technical Artist at Blippar
Last updated Aug 2020

About the School

Founded in 1856, Plymouth College of Art is an art school run by artists and designers for artists and designers. We are home to a dynamic, cross-disciplinary community of makers and thinkers for whom ... Read More

Founded in 1856, Plymouth College of Art is an art school run by artists and designers for artists and designers. We are home to a dynamic, cross-disciplinary community of makers and thinkers for whom making is as important as reading and writing, and where the purpose of learning is inseparable from that of living your life. A place for making things, and making things happen. For making a difference. Read less