Skip to main content

BA (Hons) Game Arts — Overview

The UK games industry is the largest in Europe – and is responsible for creating some of the most recognisable games in the world. Simultaneously, gaming and virtual reality now increasingly extend beyond play, becoming part of the fabric of everyday life.

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.

Fantasy landscapes by Will Roberts.

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 game play. We’ll introduce you to cutting-edge technology that will help bring your ideas to life. 

BA (Hons) Game Arts students get immersed in virtual reality exploration.

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. 

Students exhibit work to industry professionals at our annual Summer Show.

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’.

 

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.

 

Have a question for our team? Email: GAMEARTS@pca.ac.uk

BA (Hons) Game Arts — Modules

Year 1

BAGA101 Asset Creation

This module will cover the skills needed for students to creatively produce game ready assets using 3D polygon modelling. It is a core vocational 3D skill needed towards developing computer games for both indie and AAA titles. Students will be introduced to the possibilities of 3D modelling in the context of game asset creation. This process also contains preproduction process and should have a portfolio artwork at its core. This modules skills and knowledge could be a major strand to underpin the 3D route for developing the final year project at level 6, year 3.

BAGA102 Game Play Creation

This module will explore game play theory towards a practical outcome. The theories learned should underpin much of the practical skills taught in BA (Hons) Game Arts. It will give students the opportunity to explore the theory of play and underpin their practice with a sound knowledge of both real world and virtual game types. These game ideas will be simple digital prototypes introducing digital students to game architecture and game environment. In the final year students will create an interactive game artefact for which this module will be crucial.

BAGA103 Drawing for Game Arts

The module develops observational skills, 2D visualisation processes and other visual communication techniques to aid the design/preproduction process involved in developing game arts.

This module underpins the core idea generation and preproduction process involved within all the practical modules in BA (Hons) Game Arts. It will instil confidence in the student to communicate with traditional manual and digital drawing/design process.

BAGA104 Professional Practice 1

Exploration into the vocational opportunities that will be available to the students through the completion of the BA (Hons) Game Arts. Develop a clear understanding of personal relationships with the computer games industry and other related creative areas. Engage in entrepreneurial practice to develop a wider understanding of the employment possibilities as a games artist.

BCOP100 Contexts of Practice 1

This module will introduce students to key theories and will provide a range of critical approaches supporting the investigation, interpretation and analysis of contemporary creative practices. Students will study a range of ideas and concepts that have shaped the way that we understand, engage with, produce and consume art, design and media products. Students will develop core research and communication skills to help them to articulate and contextualise their understanding of the themes covered in this module. The knowledge gained in this module will support your creative practice by developing and understanding the relationship between thinking and making.

BAIS300 Interdisciplinary Studies

This module provides an opportunity to expand and develop students’ skills and knowledge, through the introduction of new approaches and methods that broaden and extend their understanding of practices both in their subject area, and the wider creative context in which they work.

The module will introduce students to interdisciplinary approaches and methods in their subject, and open up possibilities for engagement with practices both within and outside their immediate subject area. As such, this Module complements all of their study to date, and contributes to their wider knowledge and understanding of creative practices.

The module will encourage students to explore new skills and knowledge, develop team working skills, and above all encourage a reflective understanding of their own skills and contribution within an interdisciplinary context.

 

Year 2

BAGA201 Character Creation

The module will engage the students in the exploration of character design, creation and animation; the character will be the central player in a game world. The module will expand on the use of a range of game industry software in the conception and build of an original character. Students will be encouraged to create innovative and sophisticated character designs through a clear production line. The module will introduce animation techniques to add life and context to the character’s actions. This character (high poly) or characters (low poly) will be structured to perform effectively in a designated game engine.

BAGA202 Level Creation

The module will explore game/level creation in computer games. It builds on the skills and knowledge learnt in Game Play Theory and Practice and will develop the creative and practical skills needed when creating computer games for both the indie games companies and AAA games companies. This will be the core module to underpin the final major creative project in Level 6.

BAGA203 Professional Practice 2

This module builds on the experiences of Level 4 BAGA104 Professional Practice 1 and offers students the opportunity to inform their understanding of their own personal and professional development. Through research into the professional concerns which are relevant to individual interests within the creative industries, external cultural environment and communities of practice. It will run concurrently with other Level 5 modules and will inform their broader practical development and will provide a theoretical and contextual understanding of the level of professionalism required to build a career and make a living and continue to engage them with their own development.

GCOP200 Contexts of Practice 2

This module extends and develops the themed ideas, concepts and critical discourses introduced in Contexts of Practice 1. This themed approach encourages students to make considered and appropriate links between their area of practice and wider contextual and interdisciplinary discourses.

It will continue to develop critical approaches to research, which will inform the understanding of the relationship between context and practice. Students will undertake a contextual research project that links the thematic focus of their particular seminar series to their area of game studies, which culminates in an illustrated research project.

 

Year 3

BAGA301 Research and Experimentation

Reflecting on previous Level 4 and 5 studies the students will consolidate on the best use of acquired skills and knowledge to choose a project theme so as to best present personal development and aspire to gaining future aspirations. This module will give them the opportunity to research, present and test out concepts.

The module will be broken into two parts. Firstly a period of research that will underpin the independent final major project. This will be presented in a preproduction document that organises and structures the whole project. The second part is based on demonstrating that the project is achievable via the production of a body of proof of process covering all areas of the final project.

BAGA302 Creative & Professional Development

Students will apply an original aesthetic towards best presenting the initial concept. They will research the branding of an original visual style to communicate and stand out in a crowded market place. This module will enable students to use personal career ambitions to position themselves for progression to employment, self-employment or to post-graduate study. It will provide multiple opportunities for students to assimilate previous industry experiences and research into both contextual subject matter and creative outcomes of the final year modules. The module will encourage consideration of audiences, end-users and relevant markets.

BAGA303 Creative & Professional Conclusion

This module represents the culmination of a self-initiated or self-selected project begun in both BAGA301 and BAGA302. This Level 6 module also synthesises both Level 4 and 5 skills and the understanding acquired throughout the entirety of the student’s study on the programme. It builds upon their previous achievements culminating in a final body of work for exhibition.

As such this body of work will demonstrate depth of understanding, creative innovation, aesthetic, conceptual and technical skills, and will be supported by the production of a portfolio of self-promotional materials relating to personal professional aspirations.

BAGA304 Contexts of Practice 3

The purpose of this module is to culminate the development of independent critical thinking in conjunction with the students practice. So as students can clarify their understanding and position themselves as a creative practitioner by situating creative practice within a wider set of theoretical contexts. Working with increased autonomy, the student will develop a research project that aims to synthesise the relationship between contextual theory and practice to develop critical awareness and an understanding of art & design in its widest context. The intention is to embed and extend critical thinking into the students practice with an informed rationale and to position themselves as contemporary practitioners.

 

Module details listed above are indicative content only.

BA (Hons) Game Arts — Staff

Martial Bugliolo

Martial Bugliolo
Senior Lecturer and Programme Leader

Martial is BA (Hons) Game Arts Programme Leader 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
Lecturer

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.


Robert Naylor
Lecturer

Rob develops traditional and digital drawing skills towards a fluent 2D language for Game Art. This contains levels of conceptual development from initial idea generation through to final concept art. He successfully transfers traditional model-making skills into sculpting in digital space using ZBrush to create 3D Game Assets. 

Rob promotes imaginative concept art through a broad range of research and image reference gathering. Thus film, television and games, SF/Fantasy book cover art/illustration, the graphic novel/comic book, story boarding, manga and anime, as well as more traditional art and design forms are all utilised as sources of inspiration.

Oliver Curtis

Oliver Curtis
Technical Demonstrator

Specialising in level design, Unreal Engine 4 and Virtual Reality gaming, Oliver also has a keen interest in other areas of game arts such as particle SFX & texture creation. Since graduating from Plymouth College of Art with a BA (Hons) degree in Design for Games, he has been working for Tripmine Studios on the title Operation Black Mesa as a level designer and now joins the college as a technical demonstrator.

Notable achievements in Oliver's career so far include the fact that he created an unofficial Unreal Engine tutorial series that was covered by Epic Games (creators of the Unreal Engine), and he has also worked in Level Design & Game development Twitch Streamer affiliated with Green Man Gaming.

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) Game Arts — Student Work

Student work by Mohamud M Aden

Student work by Andy Cole

Student work by Will Roberts

Student work by Gavin Franklin

Student work by Will Roberts

Student work by Billy-Joe Hutchins

Student work by Peter Cox

Student work by Hayleigh Byers

Student work by Jack Dawson

Student work by Rebecca Churches

Student work by Megan Shepherd

Student work by Ross Plumpton

Student work by Sarah Damo

Student work by Stina Teesaar

BA (Hons) Game Arts — 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."

BA (Hons) Game Arts — 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.

BA (Hons) Game Arts — Entry Requirements

Minimum 5 GCSEs, grade C or above, from a general range of educational GCSE subjects, preferably including at least one from Art, Design, Textiles or Media.
200 UCAS Points

BTEC National Diploma - MMP grade
VDA: AGNVQ, AVCE, AVS
Access to HE Art and Design
Irish/Scottish Highers/Advanced Highers
International Baccalaureate
Other International Qualifications

Applications welcome from candidates without formal qualifications who can provide evidence of their creativity.

BA (Hons) Game Arts — 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.

 

Our Mac Suite.

The Print Lab and Equipment Resource Centre

The Print Lab 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. And our highly experienced Equipment Resource 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.

Our Ceramics Studios.

Our Equipment Resource Centre.

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.

Fab Lab Plymouth

BA (Hons) Game Arts — Interview

UCAS Code: W281 Full Time
Part Time

UNISTATS

undefined