BA (Hons) Game Arts

General

Program Description

Game arts is concerned with realising the spread of new ideas about social and democratic design, and our programme will put you ahead of the field in this area.

You’ll gain a comprehensive understanding of these issues and a wide overview of the commercial entertainment industry.

You’ll learn the complete creative process – from visualising your ideas through concept art and sprite sheets to prototyping gameplay. We’ll introduce you to cutting-edge technology that will help bring your ideas to life. 

You’ll learn how VR technology can be used to create assets and content for 3D game engines, and work as a team using 3D modelling to create concepts and environments for virtual reality worlds. 

The programme will also see you explore sound production, narrative structuring, character development and animation techniques. 

What will I achieve?

From day one we’ll help you work towards a career in game arts or an associated area, and we’ll instil in you a confident and independent approach to creative working methods.

Over this three-year programme, you’ll develop the specialist skills to create your own original computer games in both 2D and 3D. With these skills, you’ll interpret gaming technology creatively and artistically, to come up with your own original game concepts.

In an industry worth nearly £4.2 billion, UK-produced titles include ‘Grand Theft Auto’, ‘Little Big Planet’, ‘Fable’ and ‘Batman: Arkham’. 

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.

BA (Hons) Game Arts — Highlights:

  • Find new ways to express your visions virtually.
  • Leave primed for employment in both AAA and Indie companies, with a rounded understanding of the game arts industry.
  • Develop a high level of skills in both 3D and 2D, gaining the fundamental skills to develop your personal creative approach.
  • Learn about the latest game industry software, so that you leave industry-ready.
  • Attend national gaming events EGX, EGX Rezzed and the Develop: Brighton conference. You’ll also have the opportunity to attend the international animation, gaming and VR conference FMX in Stuttgart, with our Animation students.

Modules

Year 1

  • BAGA101 Asset Creation
  • BAGA102 Game Play Creation
  • BAGA103 Drawing for Game Arts
  • BAGA104 Professional Practice 1
  • BCOP100 Contexts of Practice 1
  • BAIS300 Interdisciplinary Studies

Year 2

  • BAGA201 Character Creation
  • BAGA202 Level Creation
  • BAGA203 Professional Practice 2
  • GCOP200 Contexts of Practice 2

Year 3

  • BAGA301 Research and Experimentation
  • BAGA302 Creative & Professional Development
  • BAGA303 Creative & Professional Conclusion
  • BAGA304 Contexts of Practice 3
    • Pathway One - Written Research Project (WRP) is an opportunity to conduct a substantive piece of independent research, which is focused on an area related to creative practice. 
    • Pathway Two - Contextual Enquiry Project (CEP) is a practice-led research project with critical commentary, in which students conduct an in-depth inquiry intended to inform and reposition their creative practice.

All modules listed are compulsory.

Careers & alumni

Students will benefit from a programme of visiting lecturers and artists, including creative directors, 3D and concept artists, freelance games artists, coders and more.

The reality of the games-making world is built into everything we do. We will encourage you to collaborate effectively on live industry-led projects, meet practising designers and participate in external commissions, national competitions and exhibitions.

You’ll have opportunities to visit professional events such as FMX, Germany; Develop: Brighton; Euranim, Lille; EGX, Birmingham; and EGX Rezzed, London. The South West is becoming increasingly important in games development and construction, with Plymouth currently planning a new digital hub as part of The Market Hall regeneration project – a dynamic centre for digital arts, research and culture set to open up exciting new opportunities.

Our strong international connections also allow our students to take a semester of study with one of our partner institutions within Europe and North America, and in turn, we welcome overseas students from those institutions to join us in our studios, creating an exciting cultural exchange.

Graduates become:

  • Concept Artists
  • Technical Artists
  • 3D Modellers
  • 2D Texture Artists
  • Game Artists
  • Film and VFX Specialists
  • Digital Visualisers
  • Animators
  • Lecturers

Recent graduates:

  • 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

‘Careers & Enterprise in the Curriculum’ at Plymouth College of Art 

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.

Our students say

Megan Shepherd – BA (Hons) Game Arts

"Studying Game Arts at Plymouth College of Art has been one of the best decisions of my life so far. It’s taken me around Europe and allowed me to meet so many inspiring people at events like FMX and the Video Mapping Festival in Lille, along with attending EGX and Brighton Develop. Honestly, I’m going to miss it a lot."

Laura Varga – BA (Hons) Game Arts

"I’ve thoroughly enjoyed it from the very beginning. We draw and do digital 3D modelling from day one. As a mature student, I’ve made lovely friendships with younger students – it’s a nice mixture and people are open-minded. We get lots of support from the tutors and technicians – they even set up extra skills workshops when we asked for them." 

James Dyer – BA (Hons) Game Arts

"You don’t get that experience at school. It’s more hands-on here and that helps you decide what to specialise in. We’re learning about audio for games, traditional and digital drawing, gaming, and conceptual design and presentation techniques. There are so many specialist skills needed for Games Design that we need to collaborate to double our expertise. Teamwork is really important to us."

Entry requirements

2020 onwards: A portfolio and 112 - 120 UCAS points (earned through A-levels, BTEC National Diploma, or Foundation Diploma etc).

We also welcome applications from students who do not have formal qualifications but can provide evidence of their creativity, skills and experience. You will also be required to attend an interview in person or via Skype, Google Meet or similar online platform.

International students

Language requirements for study at Degree level

  • Trinity College London
    • Integrated Skills in English II (Level B2), minimum grade required: Reading: Pass Listening: Pass Certificate valid for two years
  • IELTS SELT Consortium
    • IELTS (Level B2), minimum grade required: IELTS overall score of 6.0 with a minimum score Listening: 5.5, Speaking: 5.5, Reading: 5.5, Writing: 5.5,
    • Certificate valid for two years

Visa requirements

  • As an international student, you will need a Tier 4 (General) student visa which you can apply for online.

Resources

All of our students have access to a wide range of facilities and specialist equipment, and through our programme, you’ll get to use studios packed with industry-standard 2D, 3D and animation kit, such as VR ready Alienware computers for 3D renders. Each student will have access to a Wacom Intuos Pro tablet, as well as access to large Cintiq drawing tablets.

Our Game Arts programme is delivered via lectures, practical studio-based activities in dedicated teaching spaces, and online through a virtual learning environment.

Our Careers & Enterprise office provides support from a dedicated team who are focused on employability and developing creative opportunities for students. And this doesn’t stop once you graduate – we want to keep in contact with you through our growing alumni network.

Facilities at the college include:

Animation, Film and Photography Studios

Our students make full use of our industry-standard dedicated studio spaces – including our infinity cove, green screen, and specialist sound studio (with Foley pit and vocal recording booth) – plus our stop-motion suite, our darkrooms, and plenty of individual edit suites, all up-to-date with the latest industry-standard software.

Drawing Studios

With north-facing windows, a ‘methods and process’ area, individual studio space and a specialist life-drawing studio, our impressive, open-plan, triple-height Drawing Studio is a huge space, perfect for many different activities and specialisms.

Digital Print Bureau and Equipment Resource Centre

Our Digital Print Bureau offers affordable and quick print services for all our students who are looking for anything from large-format or solvent printing, to photo printing, scanning or vinyl cutting, and a wide range of finishing services. Our highly experienced Equipment Resource Centre staff can advise you on which of our 6,000 pieces of industry-standard kit – from underwater cameras to traditional large format cameras and all free to hire – will best meet your needs.

Fab Lab

Our ‘fabrication laboratory’ is kitted-out with the latest in digital design technologies – from 3D printers to 3D scanners, a vinyl cutter, CNC milling machine, CNC router and laser cutter. It adds a whole new level of opportunity for students across all creative walks of life.

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