Games Art

Study options

Award

BA (Hons)

Key facts

UCAS code:
I741
UCAS code:
I742
Location:
Stoke-on-Trent campus
Location:
Stoke-on-Trent campus
Study option:
Full-time
Study option:
Full-time, with a foundation year
Duration:
3 Years
Duration:
4 Years
Start date:
13 September 2021

Industry recognised

Accredited by TIGA, the video games industry body

Pathway Course

Take the option to specialise in a particular area of games art during your second year

Expert teaching team

The team’s expertise is closely matched to the modules on the course

With our Games Art degree, you will be able to get to grips with everything from environment and character creation to props, vehicle and weapon design.

If you want to create the amazing visual elements that are seen in games, our Games Art degree will provide you with the skills you need for a career as a 3D artist.

Throughout the course, you will study 3D modelling, digital sculpting, texturing, observational drawing and character design. You will also learn how to art direct your work as you apply the fundamentals of Art and Design theory to your coursework and skill development. Developing your own artistic workflow in the creation of your career portfolio is highly encouraged and supported during your study.

During your second and third years we provide you with the opportunity to choose from career specialisms within different pathways of study. This helps you to create a curated portfolio ready for the industry.

You can choose to specialise in the following pathways:

Character Art:

  • Specialise in creating fantastic game ready creatures and characters using ZBrush and Marvelous Designer.

Environment Art:

  • Specialise in world building and crafting detailed environments that immerse the player using the Autodesk creative suite, ZBrush, Substance, Houdini, Speed Tree and the Unreal Engine

 

If you want to create the amazing visual elements that are seen in games, our Games Art degree will provide you with the skills you need for a career as a 3D artist.

Throughout the course, you will study 3D modelling, digital sculpting, texturing, observational drawing and character design. You will also learn how to art direct your work as you apply the fundamentals of Art and Design theory to your coursework and skill development. Developing your own artistic workflow in the creation of your career portfolio is highly encouraged and supported during your study.

During your second and third years we provide you with the opportunity to choose from career specialisms within different pathways of study. This helps you to create a curated portfolio ready for the industry.

You can choose to specialise in the following pathways:

Character Art:

  • Specialise in creating fantastic game ready creatures and characters using ZBrush and Marvelous Designer.

Environment Art:

  • Specialise in world building and crafting detailed environments that immerse the player using the Autodesk creative suite, ZBrush, Substance, Houdini, Speed Tree and the Unreal Engine

 

On successful completion of study, we will issue the following award: BA (Hons) Games Art

On successful completion of study, we will issue the following award: BA (Hons) Games Art

Course content

During your first year you will learn the fundamentals of 3D modelling and texturing for use in a real-time games engine, Unreal Engine. You will learn art and design principles, art direction, visual art theories and will develop an understanding of shape, form, volume and anatomy through life drawing and fundamental studies. You will build up your core skills as an artist, whilst learning the technical aspects of creating and texturing 3D models for real-time video games.

In the second year you will develop an understanding of games production through being a games artist for a group game development project. You will also have the chance to tailor the course to your future career ambitions by selecting from a range of pathway modules and specialising in:

  • Character Art
  • Environment Art

In the final year of your degree, you will continue to progress your skillset and further develop your portfolio skills with our final pathway modules, games art project and advanced 3D modelling. We will guide you in developing specialist skills for your individual career path, which will be vital in securing your first job. You will also be a senior member of a collaborative games development team which will prepare you for working in the industry.

During your first year you will learn the fundamentals of 3D modelling and texturing for use in a real-time games engine, Unreal Engine. You will learn art and design principles, art direction, visual art theories and will develop an understanding of shape, form, volume and anatomy through life drawing and fundamental studies. You will build up your core skills as an artist, whilst learning the technical aspects of creating and texturing 3D models for real-time video games.

In the second year you will develop an understanding of games production through being a games artist for a group game development project. You will also have the chance to tailor the course to your future career ambitions by selecting from a range of pathway modules and specialising in:

  • Character Art
  • Environment Art

In the final year of your degree, you will continue to progress your skillset and further develop your portfolio skills with our final pathway modules, games art project and advanced 3D modelling. We will guide you in developing specialist skills for your individual career path, which will be vital in securing your first job. You will also be a senior member of a collaborative games development team which will prepare you for working in the industry.

Academic year

The course operates on a modular basis that provides flexibility and choice. Typically the majority of modules are 30 academic credits with a smaller number of 15 credit modules. Each credit taken equates to a total study time of around 10 hours. Total study time includes scheduled teaching, independent study and assessment activity. Full-time students take modules worth 60 credits per semester, with part-time students taking proportionately fewer credits per semester. All students take a total of 120 credits per level and 360 credits for the degree as a whole. Your overall grade for the course and your degree classification are based on the marks obtained for modules taken at levels 5 and 6. The full-time course has one start point in September.

The course operates on a modular basis that provides flexibility and choice. Typically the majority of modules are 30 academic credits with a smaller number of 15 credit modules. Each credit taken equates to a total study time of around 10 hours. Total study time includes scheduled teaching, independent study and assessment activity. Full-time students take modules worth 60 credits per semester, with part-time students taking proportionately fewer credits per semester. All students take a total of 120 credits per level and 360 credits for the degree as a whole. Your overall grade for the course and your degree classification are based on the marks obtained for modules taken at levels 5 and 6. The full-time course has one start point in September.

Professional body accreditation

Accredited by TIGA (The Independent Game Developers' Association) as delivering skills relevant to the games industry. TIGA accreditation is applicable to courses meeting any of a wide range of games industry needs, such as programming, art, design and entrepreneurship.

TIGA logo
BA (Hons) Games Art - Ryan Jackson

BA (Hons) Games Art - Ryan Jackson

Video

BA (Hons) Games Art graduate Ryan discusses his time on the course and describes how his degree helped him to get his role as a Technical Artist at Codemasters.

Modules

The tables provide an indicative list of the modules that make up the course for the current academic year. Each module is worth a specified number of credits. Our teaching is informed by research, and modules change periodically to reflect developments in the discipline. We aim to ensure that all modules run as scheduled. If for any reason a module cannot be run we will advise you as soon as possible and will provide guidance on selecting an appropriate alternative module.

Modules

The tables provide an indicative list of the modules that make up the course for the current academic year. Each module is worth a specified number of credits. Our teaching is informed by research, and modules change periodically to reflect developments in the discipline. We aim to ensure that all modules run as scheduled. If for any reason a module cannot be run we will advise you as soon as possible and will provide guidance on selecting an appropriate alternative module.

Standard route

Characters

Environments

Entry requirements

Typical UCAS offer: 112 points

  • A levels: BBC
  • BTEC: DMM
  • Typical UCAS Offer: 48 points
  • A levels: A, DD, EEE
  • BTEC: PPP

We understand that you might have experienced a challenging run up to higher education and may have not met the entry requirements as listed. If this is the case don’t worry, contact us and our team of expert advisors can guide you through the next stages of application, or help you find the perfect course for your needs.

Staffs Uni wins ‘Best Educational Institution’ at TIGA Games Awards

News

Staffordshire University has been named ‘Best Educational Institution’ at the prestigious TIGA Games Awards 2020.

For equivalent entry requirements in your home country, please see the information on our country pages.

Choose your country

Check our entry and English language requirements for your country.

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Facilities

Careers

Our past graduates have achieved worldwide success, securing jobs in games studios around the globe. One graduate was Lead Character Artist at Naughty Dog, working on The Last of Us, before moving to Avalanche Studios in New York. We also have artists at Playground Games, Codemasters, Dovetail Games and Sumo Digital.

Games and Visual Effects Showreel 2019

Games and Visual Effects Showreel 2019

Video

Student work from our Games Design, Games Art, Animation, Concept Art, Games Animation, Games Programming, CGI, & VFX courses.

Teaching and assessment

Teaching

You will be taught through a combination of lectures, seminars, workshops and laboratory practicals. Seminars enable you to discuss and develop your understanding of topics covered in lectures in smaller groups of around 16-18 students. In addition, you will have timetabled meetings with your personal tutor at least twice a year. You will be taught in first-class learning spaces throughout your course. Many of our courses are accredited or recognised by professional, statutory or regulatory bodies.

You will be taught through a combination of lectures, seminars, workshops and laboratory practicals. Seminars enable you to discuss and develop your understanding of topics covered in lectures in smaller groups of around 16-18 students. In addition, you will have timetabled meetings with your personal tutor at least twice a year. You will be taught in first-class learning spaces throughout your course. Many of our courses are accredited or recognised by professional, statutory or regulatory bodies.

Assessment

Your course will provide you with opportunities to test your understanding of your subject informally before you complete the formal assessments that count towards your final mark. Each module normally includes practice or ‘formative’ assessments, for which you receive feedback from your tutor. Practice assessments are developmental and any grades you receive for them do not count towards your module mark. There is a formal or ‘summative’ assessment at the end of each module. This includes a range of coursework assessments, such as essays, reports, portfolios, performance, presentations, final year, independent project and written examinations. The grades from formal assessments count towards your module mark.

Your course will provide you with opportunities to test your understanding of your subject informally before you complete the formal assessments that count towards your final mark. Each module normally includes practice or ‘formative’ assessments, for which you receive feedback from your tutor. Practice assessments are developmental and any grades you receive for them do not count towards your module mark. There is a formal or ‘summative’ assessment at the end of each module. This includes a range of coursework assessments, such as essays, reports, portfolios, performance, presentations, final year, independent project and written examinations. The grades from formal assessments count towards your module mark.

Learning support

In addition to the excellent support you will receive from your course teaching team, our central Academic Skills team provides group and one-to-one help to support your learning in a number of areas. These include study skills (including reading, note-taking and presentation skills); written English (including punctuation and grammatical accuracy); academic writing (including how to reference); research skills; critical thinking and understanding arguments; and revision, assessment and examination skills (including time management).

Additional support

Our AccessAbility Services support students with additional needs such as sensory impairment, or learning difficulties such as dyslexia.

Feedback

Examination feedback may take a variety of formats. However, as a minimum, generic feedback will be made available to all students who take written examinations.

Examination feedback may take a variety of formats. However, as a minimum, generic feedback will be made available to all students who take written examinations.

BA (Hons) Games Art - Ryan Thomason-Jones

BA (Hons) Games Art - Ryan Thomason-Jones

Video

Recent graduate Ryan discusses his time on our BA (Hons) Games Art degree.

Your study time will consist of class contact hours, self-directed learning, assessment and placements where appropriate. Your actual contact hours will depend on the subject area, on the option modules you select and professional body requirements. A typical composition of study time for this course is:

Your study time will consist of class contact hours, self-directed learning, assessment and placements where appropriate. Your actual contact hours will depend on the subject area, on the option modules you select and professional body requirements. A typical composition of study time for this course is:

Year 1

31% of time in lectures, seminars or similar
69% of time in independent study
0% of time in placements

Year 2

28% of time in lectures, seminars or similar
72% of time in independent study
0% of time in placements

Year 3

0% of time in lectures, seminars or similar
0% of time in independent study
0% of time in placements

Independent learning

When not attending lectures, seminars, laboratory or other timetabled sessions, you will be expected to continue learning independently through self-study. Typically, this will involve utilising a range of digital resources including our virtual learning environment; reading journals, articles and books; working on individual and group projects; undertaking research in the library; preparing coursework assignments and presentations, and preparing for examinations. Your independent learning will be supported by a range of excellent facilities. These include the library, open access computer facilities, informal learning zones, a range of laboratories and performance and studio spaces.

When not attending lectures, seminars, laboratory or other timetabled sessions, you will be expected to continue learning independently through self-study. Typically, this will involve utilising a range of digital resources including our virtual learning environment; reading journals, articles and books; working on individual and group projects; undertaking research in the library; preparing coursework assignments and presentations, and preparing for examinations. Your independent learning will be supported by a range of excellent facilities. These include the library, open access computer facilities, informal learning zones, a range of laboratories and performance and studio spaces.

Year 1

3% practical exams
98% coursework
0% written exams

Year 2

0% practical exams
100% coursework
0% written exams

Year 3

0% practical exams
100% coursework
0% written exams

Staff

You will be taught by an expert teaching team whose expertise and knowledge are closely matched to the content of the modules on the course. The team includes senior academics and professional practitioners with industry experience. Postgraduate research students who have undertaken teaching training may also contribute to the teaching of seminars under the supervision of the module leader.

Elliott Mcsherry

Lecturer

Elliott has had 3 years' experience in the video game industry in roles such as environment art & outsourcing, and has worked as part of a team for studios such as Lockwood Publishing, Eurocom & Sony London Studio.

Elliott's profile

Fees

For the course starting on 13 September 2021 the tuition fees are:

Tuition fees for BA (Hons)-Full-time
Study option UK / Channel Islands International
Full-time £9,250 per year of study £14,000 per year of study

For the course starting on 13 September 2021 the tuition fees are:

Tuition fees for BA (Hons) Full-time, with a foundation year
Study option UK / Channel Islands International
Full-time £9,250 for your first year subsequent years will be charged at the University standard rate £14,000 for your first year subsequent years will be charged at the University standard rate

UK and Channel Island students: This tuition fee is agreed subject to UK government policy and parliamentary regulation. If the UK government passes appropriate legislation, the fee for subsequent years of study may increase in each academic year. But this increase will not exceed the rate of inflation as measured by RPIX**. Any change in fees will apply to both new and continuing students. The University will notify students of any change as early as possible. Further information about fee changes would be posted on the University’s website once this becomes available.

**RPIX is a measure of inflation equivalent to all the items in the Retail Price Index (RPI) excluding mortgage interest payments.

International students: Tuition fees will remain the same for each year of your course, as long as you complete it in the normal time-frame (i.e. no repeat years or breaks in study).

Games Labs tour

Games Labs tour

Video

Course Director for Games Design, Greg Penninck takes you on a behind the scenes tour of our Games Labs.

Included in tuition fees
Included in the fees:

Travel, and accommodation costs incurred by compulsory trips and visits away from the University that are directly linked to the learning requirements of a specific module.

The use of all workshops, studios and specialist technical facilities and hire of equipment relating to the course of study.

Travel, and accommodation costs incurred by compulsory trips and visits away from the University that are directly linked to the learning requirements of a specific module.

The use of all workshops, studios and specialist technical facilities and hire of equipment relating to the course of study.

Not included in tuition fees
Not included in the fees:

The estimated cost of text books over the duration of the course. All essential text books are available from the library, but some students chose to purchase their own copies.

Travel, subsistence, entrance fees etc. incurred by optional trips and visits away from the University related to the course.

The cost of materials for the development of a student’s individual practice and work. Additional costs vary dependent upon student’s own choice of materials and approach to their practice.

Optional personal insurance when borrowing equipment such as cameras, lighting equipment etc. for extended period of use off campus [Approx £50-£100]. It may be possible to add some items to home contents insurance.

The estimated cost of text books over the duration of the course. All essential text books are available from the library, but some students chose to purchase their own copies.

Travel, subsistence, entrance fees etc. incurred by optional trips and visits away from the University related to the course.

The cost of materials for the development of a student’s individual practice and work. Additional costs vary dependent upon student’s own choice of materials and approach to their practice.

Optional personal insurance when borrowing equipment such as cameras, lighting equipment etc. for extended period of use off campus [Approx £50-£100]. It may be possible to add some items to home contents insurance.

Accommodation and living costs
Accommodation and living costs

Accommodation and living costs are not included in our fees. 

For more information on accommodation and living costs, please see: Accommodation

Sources of financial support

If you receive funding from Student Finance you may be eligible to apply for additional benefits. Details can be obtained by visiting: www.gov.uk

Scholarships and additional funding

As an undergraduate student at Staffordshire, you may be eligible for additional financial support through one of our scholarships and bursaries. You can visit our funding page to find out more and check your eligibility.

Scholarships and additional funding

As an undergraduate student at Staffordshire, you may be eligible for additional financial support through one of our scholarships and bursaries. You can visit our funding page to find out more and check your eligibility.

Our students

To anyone considering the Games Art course at Staffs I couldn’t recommend it more. The lecturers are great – they always push you to do the best and the subject matter is so interesting. If you want to be a character artist, there’s modules there. It goes beyond just the modules – there’s life drawing classes and there’s such a variety of different things you can be learning.

Ryan Jackson

BA (Hons) Games Art

If you aspire to work as a Games Artist, Staffordshire University is a great choice to help you achieve your goals.

Will Crighton

Games Art student

Apply

Location Award Study option Start date Apply Link
Stoke-on-Trent campus BA (Hons) Full-time 13 September 2021 Apply now

Information from discover uni

Rules and regulations

If you are offered a place at Staffordshire University, your offer will be subject to our rules, regulations and enrolment conditions, which may vary from time to time.

Students of Staffordshire University enter into a contract with us and are bound by these rules and regulations, which are subject to change. For more information, please see: University Policies and Regulations.

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