Games Art BA | Coventry University
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Games Art BA (Hons) 2018/19 entry

Course code:

W280

Study options:

3 years full-time
4 years sandwich

Location:

Coventry University

Starting:

September 2018
January 2019

Fees:
Faculty:

Get in touch

For questions regarding study and admissions please contact us:

+44 (0) 24 7765 2222


Overview

Developed in conjunction with games industry employers like Radiant Worlds, this exciting course is designed to equip you with the distinctive skillset required to be a successful games artist – integrating art school training with games technology know-how and familiarity.

The UK was estimated to be the sixth largest video game market In 2015, worth nearly £4.2 billion in consumer spend with around half of UK video games companies are based in London and the South of England.

Delivered in collaboration with the School of Computing and capitalising on expertise within the University-based international Serious Games Institute, this course will develop your understanding of the needs of coders and game developers, at the same time addressing the visual needs of games development. You will learn about industry practices in a simulated games studio environment, gaining a solid grounding in visualisation techniques, character, environment and concept design

Why Coventry University?

An award-winning university, we are committed to providing our students with the best possible experience. We continue to invest in both our facilities and our innovative approach to education. Our students benefit from industry-relevant teaching, and resources and support designed to help them succeed. These range from our modern library and computing facilities to dedicated careers advice and our impressive Students’ Union activities.

Global ready

An international outlook, with global opportunities

Employability

Career-ready graduates, with the skills to succeed

Teaching Excellence

Taught by lecturers who are experts in their field

Course essentials

A degree which offers you more, at no extra cost

Course information

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.

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 our professional studio culture, we will aim to 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.

86%

of our students are satisfied with the quality of the course

NSS, 2016

Course specification
Download PDF (431Kb)

Modules

Overview

In your first year, you will be introduced to the games industry, its expectations and the core skills that you will need to progress through the next three years.

You will be taught 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 to your commissioning audience. We also offer opportunities to engage with specialist software training such as Maya and the Adobe Creative Cloud.

Modules

  • Concept Development

  • Design and Software 1

  • Collaborative Practice 1

  • Professional Practice 1

Add+vantage

The focus on preparing students for successful futures sets Coventry apart as a university.

The Add+vantage modules teach a range of work experience and extra-curricular activities that are taken each year, and broaden students knowledge and skills within a work focused environment. There is a very wide range of Add+vantage free-choice subject areas, and they are arranged in themes.

Overview

In the second year, you will 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 will be given the opportunity to take a project from concept to finished artefact, cultivating 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

  • Self-Initiated Project

  • Design and Software

  • Collaborative Practice 2

  • Professional Practice 2

Add+vantage

The focus on preparing students for successful futures sets Coventry apart as a university.

The Add+vantage modules teach a range of work experience and extra-curricular activities that are taken each year, and broaden students knowledge and skills within a work focused environment. There is a very wide range of Add+vantage free-choice subject areas, and they are arranged in themes.

Overview

After your second year, you have an opportunity to undertake a sandwich year studying abroad or on professional placement.

Modules

  • Study Abroad

  • Professional Placement

Overview

In your third and final year, you will 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

  • External Project

  • Extending Games Art Contexts

  • Major Project

Add+vantage

The focus on preparing students for successful futures sets Coventry apart as a university.

The Add+vantage modules teach a range of work experience and extra-curricular activities that are taken each year, and broaden students knowledge and skills within a work focused environment. There is a very wide range of Add+vantage free-choice subject areas, and they are arranged in themes.

8th

Our Design and Crafts courses are ranked 8th in the UK by Guardian University Guide 2019

In more detail...

  • Guest lectures from leading practitioners in the field of games art.
  • Industry-standard software includes Creative Suite, Maya, 3D Studio Max and Toon Boom.
  • Induction and refresher sessions and technical demonstrations in specialist software such as Maya, Z-Brush, Spotlight and Quixel.
  • A thriving studio culture with dedicated workspaces for all students in purpose-built studios with permanent exhibition displays, supported by wide-ranging technical facilities in both traditional and new technologies.
  • Access to a dedicated stop-motion shooting area and camera facility, as well as specialist photographic and media resources, including digital audio recorders and manual/digital still/video cameras via our dedicated Media Loan Shop.

Opportunity to collaborate with students from computing courses in order to learn about industry practices in a simulated games studio environment.

Your main study themes are:

  • Design and software: You will be introduced to key tools and methodologies in the production of games art, developing your knowledge of a range of design software, professional creative approaches and working practices relating to their use. We will aim to develop your understanding of the skills involved in originating, capturing, combining and manipulating imagery, using digital tools in the production of 2D and 3D game elements. We will also examine digital workflow, enabling you to appreciate how your work is incorporated into games technologies.

  • Collaborative practice: You should learn to negotiate the challenges of working as part of a creative and technical team, developing appropriate levels of negotiation, reflection, technical and visual research and idea development together with growing awareness of professional practice. You will be expected to plan, record and implement the creation of a finished artefact. As the course progresses, you will be expected to demonstrate greater levels of research both in terms of audience and industry expectations.

  • Professional practice: You should gain hands-on experience of professional practice in contemporary games art by undertaking either ‘live’ client-based briefs or short creative placements. We will aim to teach you how to establish and work for clients, build contacts and networks, organise project and time management, develop presentations and portfolios, for example

The course can be studied full-time over three years, starting in September. You have the option of extending your studies by a year and undertaking study abroad or a professional placement.

Essentially studio-based, with access the University’s extensive specialist digital and media resources, the course draws on a range of creative sources help you to formulate ideas, discuss and revise your work effectively and quickly. For example, case studies will be used to offer insight into professional practice.

Throughout the course, you will have the opportunity to periodically work with students from our computing courses to replicate the range of roles found in a games studio project team. The intention is to equip you with the artistic and technical skills and knowledge ready to enter the games industry and engage effectively as games art specialists with professional workflows and technologies.

As part of our commitment to your professional development, you will have opportunities to undertake professional practice by participating in ‘live’ client-based briefs or short creative placements. During your course of study, you will be invited to take part in regular study trips to exhibitions and events (availability and additional costs may apply).

On successful completion, 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 their 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; 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.
  • 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.

In a typical teaching week, you will have up to 16 ‘contact’ hours of teaching. This generally breaks down as:

  • Personal tutorial/small group teaching: 1 hour of small group or individually guided work and 12 allocated hours of studio time.
  • Medium group teaching: 1 hour of seminars each week.
  • Large group teaching: 14 hours of studio practice each week. 

In addition, you will be expected to undertake a further 20 hours of self-directed studying, including your coursework assignments in your own time.

Our teaching is underpinned by a worldview of contemporary art; this is reflected strongly in the course curriculum. You will also study alongside students and staff from many different countries, enhancing your global perspective and intercultural competence. You can also undertake a sandwich year of study or work abroad.

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

Global ready

Did you know we help more students travel internationally than any other UK university according to data from the experts in higher education data and analysis, HESA?

In 2015/16, we were able to provide a total of 2101 experiences abroad that lasted at least five days, 76% of which were our own organised trips for undergraduates and 23% from postgraduate travel.

Much of this travel is made possible through our Global Leaders Programme, which enables students to prepare for the challenges of the global employment market, as well as strengthening and developing their broader personal and professional skills.

Explore our international experiences

1st for

international experiences

Sending more students overseas than any other UK uni


2,101

Student experiences

The number of student trips abroad for at least 5 days in 2015/16



16,000

and counting

The number of students we’ve helped travel internationally so far


21

global programmes

As well as trips, we offer other opportunities like language courses

Tuition Fees

We pride ourselves on offering competitive tuition fees which we review on an annual basis and offer a wide range of scholarships to support students with their studies. Course fees are calculated on the basis of what it costs to teach each course and we aim for total financial transparency.

For more information, please visit our Finance pages.

Starts

Fee


September 2018

£9,250 (per year)


January 2019

£9,250 (per year)


Scholarships

If you're a truly outstanding undergraduate candidate we may be able to offer you a Coventry University Scholarship.

Coventry University Scholarships are awarded to recognise truly exceptional sports achievement and academic excellence.

Starts

Fee


September 2018

£9,250 (per year)


January 2019

£9,250 (per year)


Scholarships

For the September 2018 intake we're investing in a range of EU Academic Excellence scholarships for high achieving and enterprising students. Fulfil your potential this academic year with Coventry University!

Starts

Fee


September 2018

£14,850 (per year)


January 2019

£14,850 (per year)


Scholarships

For the September 2018 intake we're investing in a wide range of Academic Excellence scholarships for high achieving and enterprising international students. Fulfil your potential this academic year with Coventry University!

Course essentials at no extra cost

We're committed to communicating study costs clearly to make sure you're not faced with having to make any unexpected payments.

This is why our ‘Flying Start’ package provides you with a few course essentials. Your full-time fee for an undergraduate degree will cover the following:

UK field trips

Any mandatory site visits and trips within the United Kingdom.

Key material

This can include core textbooks, software and equipment.

Laser prints

1,000 A4 sides of black and white laser printing credits per year.

Optional year

Pay no tuition fees for optional work placements or study abroad trips.

As well as covering UK field trips, key materials and laser print, the fees for this course also include:

  • Some essential art materials provided through workshops


The following are additional costs not included in the fees:

  • Any optional overseas field trips or visits: £400+ per trip
  • Any additional art materials: £250+ per year

Career prospects

The video/computer games industry has become a dynamic and growing contributor to the UK’s creative economy – in 2014, there were almost 2,000 video games companies located in the UK alone and almost nine in ten of these companies began operations in the 2000s or the 2010s*.

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 help you prepare for the rigours of the professional world by simulating the challenges that you will face as a practitioner, developing 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 Creative Futures employment 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 to help you develop the transferable skills and enterprising habits required for a successful career. Our dedicated enterprise officers also offer valuable assistance on how to begin as a freelancer/entrepreneur. 

Coventry University is committed to preparing you for your future career and giving you a competitive edge in the graduate job market. The University's Careers and Employability team provide a wide range of support services to help you plan and prepare for your career.

*nesta.org.uk

89%

of our graduates are in work or further study six months after the course

DHLE 2014/15

Where our graduates work

Graduates of this course can expect to 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 of our students 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.

£20k

Our graduates earn an average salary of £20,000 six months after the course (DHLE 2014/15)

Disclaimer

By accepting your offer of a place and enrolling with us, a Student Contract will be formed between you and the University. The Contract will detail your rights and the obligations you will be bound by during your time as a student and will contain the obligations that the University will owe to you. We encourage you to read the Contract before you accept an offer of a place and before you enrol at the University. A copy of the 18/19 Contract can be found here.