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BA (Hons) Animation & Games — Overview
Launching Sept 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.

*Subject to validation

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.

Digital painting concept artwork

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.

Student work by Billie Joe Hutchins

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

Students collaborate on projection mapping with Spanish artist Xavi Bove at Illuminate Festival 2019

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, click here for more.


 

Interested in finding out more? Fill out our enquiry form below:

BA (Hons) Animation & Games — Modules

Launching Sept 2021

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

Develop and extend your existing knowledge of processes and technologies associated with your field of study, through the exploration of associated methods and materials. You will be introduced to a range of practical methods, processes and techniques, and encouraged to think critically about your subject. 

Unit 2: Encountering place

Focusing on the geographical offerings and potential of Plymouth and its surroundings, you will orientate your practice through considering immediate geographies and the relationship of the local to the global. You will develop ways for generating creative ideas in response to a brief, with a primary focus on creative problem solving, methods and materials.

Unit 3: Exploring subject

Engage with subject-specific ideas and applications, encouraging critical reflection on your individual creative practice and subject within the larger creative arts domain. You will be supported to undertake an imaginative approach to your subject that challenges historical and cultural assumptions.

Unit 4: Platforms of exchange

Focus on collaboration as a practice, way of working and experience. Share your skills in pursuit of creative problem solving through mutual interest and cooperative approaches, while being introduced to methodologies from other disciplines.

Year 2

Unit 1: Speculative Strategies

Enhance your awareness of research-informed practice, the role of risk and failure, and the adoption of new or unfamiliar methodologies in developing creative practice. You will focus on the critical and practical processes used for ideas generation, propositional and hypothetical creative outputs, rather than finished outcomes.

Unit 2: Global Challenges

Think deeper about how creative solutions might help solve real-world challenges. Draw on expertise and ideas from the arts and sciences to provide alternative propositions for solution-focussed practical enquiry. 

Unit 3: Ideas & Audience

Through the use of real-world scenarios (live or simulated), you will be encouraged to use the methods, knowledge and understanding gained in previous study to place your work in relevant professional and creative contexts in order to facilitate knowledge transfer into the public domain.                         

Unit 4: Emergent practice

Develop individual authorship in your creative practice, and ownership of your learning through a self-initiated project. You will be introduced to methods for managing and producing an independent creative project, developing skills in project articulation and management to include consideration for project scope, time and resources management.  

Year 3

Unit 1: Research & Development 

You will be encouraged to further refine your aims and ambitions for your final year of study, by formulating and testing out ideas for your Final Project. You will present a creative pitch that outlines the key concepts and methods behind your project and demonstrates knowledge and understanding of appropriate contextual and professional frameworks.

Unit 2: Publication 

You will produce a research-informed critical text that contextualises your research interests and demonstrates sustained critical engagement with your subject. This could be an extended critical essay or industry report; or an original publication (text & image) and accompanying critical essay.

Unit 3: Positioning practice

This unit will extend your understanding and consideration of appropriate audiences, end-users and markets for your work, and raise your awareness of industry-relevant technologies, techniques and innovations. Your learning will support the articulation of your personal career ambitions, informed by an awareness of professional contexts and graduate opportunities for creative practice. 

Unit 4: Final project

The culmination of your undergraduate study providing a focussed period of consolidation and creativity, you will have the opportunity to realise a final major project to demonstrate your specialist knowledge and skills. At the end of the unit, you will have the opportunity to present this project to the public within the context of the annual PCA Summer Shows.


Please note unit details listed above are correct at time of publication and indicative content only. If you have any questions about course content and structure please email liaison@pca.ac.uk 

BA (Hons) Animation & Games — Staff

Launching Sept 2021

Martial Bugliolo

Martial Bugliolo

Martial is Senior Lecturer & Subject Leader for BA (Hons) Game Arts and BA (Hons) Animation at Plymouth College of Art.

His principal interests cover entertainment design for artists and creators of new realities. His aim is to prepare our students for career opportunities as concept artists, character artists, 3D modellers, level designers, and game art directors.  

He is investigating and developing skills and research in areas of new and immersive technologies such as AR and VR to identify future trends and how we can enhance them to suit our curriculum planning and delivery to support the needs and experience of our students. As part of his development and research projects, he has been invited to contribute as a speaker at national and international conferences such as ECEL European eLearning Conference at Sophia Antipolis Nice, Jisc RSC South West TurboTEL, and HEA (The Higher Education Academy) Visitors and residents Conference at Plymouth College of Art and London.​

Luke West

Luke West

Luke graduated in 2009 achieving a Bachelor of Arts in Design for Games. After completion of a Post Graduate Certificate in Education at the University of Plymouth Luke joined Plymouth College of Art as Lecturer on the BA (Hons) Game Arts programme in 2011. Since then Luke has also been operating as a freelance artist, working for independent clients in London and Sweden. 

The freelance opportunities and his strength in continuing professional development have all been directly tied to his career as a lecturer; enhancing his knowledge base as he supports students with similar ambitions to realise their creative potential and begin to operate as professionals within the entertainment industry themselves.

As an artist and lecturer Luke continues to discover ways of shaping the Game Arts curriculum to make session content relevant, fun and up to date with industry practice.

Luke’s personal work is mainly based in stylised 3D Prop Modelling and concept art, all with a strong link to creating fictional immersive worlds. For more, see www.artstation.com/lukewestart.

The staff listed on this programme are correct at the time of writing. Students will be notified if there are any changes to key staff (i.e. Programme Leaders and Lecturers).

BA (Hons) Animation & Games — Student Work

Launching Sept 2021

Maya Lenton

Toby Helley

Jack Dowson

Tom Lawrence

Matthew Marshall

Sofia Beale

Will Roberts

Chris Rose

Projection Mapping at Illuminate Festival 2019

Aedan Jenner, RSA Curiosity Brief

© Morgan Rio. Videomapping at Fete de l'Anim by our students

Sarah Damo

Jessica Mehler
Anthony Middleton

Elliot Rowe

Aedan Jenner

Will Roberts

Valerios Tsoumpass

BA (Hons) Animation & Games — Students Say

Launching Sept 2021

BA (Hons) Animation & Games — Careers & Alumni

Launching Sept 2021

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

BA (Hons) Animation & Games — Entry Requirements

Launching Sept 2021

BA (Hons) Animation & Games — Resources

Launching Sept 2021

Immersed in a working animation and game arts studio, you’ll be surrounded with industry-standard 2D, 3D and stop-motion equipment and software such as VR ready Alienware computers for 3D renders, Wacom Intuos Pro tablets and large Cintiq drawing tablets.

We offer regular one-to-one tutorial support throughout your study, while lectures from visiting industry experts enable you to make the transition from student to professional.

Recent visits include Industrial Light & Magic, Dot To Dot Productions, BAFTA-winning King Rollo Films and Aardman Animations.

Our Careers & Enterprise office provides support from a dedicated team who are purely focused on developing creative opportunities. And this doesn’t stop when you graduate – we want to keep in contact and help support you through the first two years of your career.

 

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.

Our stop-motion suite.

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.

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.

Students have full access to our range of 3D technologies in our Fab Lab.

Fine Art Printmaking Studios

A fantastic facility supporting fine art printmaking, our dedicated space caters for a wide range of programmes and processes. You’ll get access to a 150-year-old Columbian press, an Albion press, an historic and rare wallpaper press, and an automatic FAG proofing press, plus a broad selection of metal and wood type, vacuum screen-printing beds, and four etching presses.

Digital Print Bureau and Equipment Resource Centre

The 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.

Woods and Plastics Workshop

Alongside the latest in new technology, we value the long-standing traditions of making in wood and plastics – and have developed an excellently-resourced workshop that is open to all our students. It boasts a wide range of kit, including an impressive CNC router, plenty of saws and lathes, and strip-heaters, as well as greenwood-working facilities.

Our FabLab.

Our Photographic cove.

Our Fine Art Printmaking Studio.

BA (Hons) Animation & Games — Interview

Launching Sept 2021
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