Postgraduate study
The Arts

MA Concept Art

In recent years the role of a concept artist has become increasingly important in film, television and games and the need for this specialism continues to grow. In film and television this is due to the increasing use of computer-generated imagery requiring a creative individual to visualise an idea or scene. In games the role also continues to be vital to a successful production pipeline. There is a genuine demand for concept art graduates in this expanding marketplace.

Course information

Full-time

  • within 1 year (September start), 16 months (January start) or 2 years with advanced practice (September or January start)

More full-time details

2019 entry

Part-time

  • 2 years

More part-time details

2019 entry

Contact details

Further information

 

This course has a strong focus on preparing you for working in the industry. The course has been designed by and is run by industry professionals (who are still active and work in the industry today) with an overwhelming knowledge of film, TV, game, animation and comic productions. There are regularly consultations with studios, such as Atomhawk, to ensure our teaching practises are reflective of current industry trends. We also invite guest speakers from studios, such as Ubisoft and DreamWorks to not only engage with our you but to set you briefs reflecting the kind of work you would be expected to do in a professional environment. 

You will have access to excellent facilities which include high-specification computers with graphics tablets and more specialised equipment such as Cintiqs, green screen facilities and motion capture, as well as drawing studios, scanners and light boxes for more traditional art development.There are three routes you can choose from to gain an MA Concept Art:

  • full-time - 2 years with advanced practice (September and January start)
  • full-time - 1 year (September start) or 16 months (January start)
  • part-time - 2 years.

Course structure

Core modules

Character Design

Experiment with techniques and visuals to develop your individual strengths and style to create memorable characters.

Character design lets you demonstrate an understanding of the key issues relating to character development, including research, analysis and synthesis. From this you recognise and develop your original creative approach.

You also critically reflect upon your work to help further develop your specialist skills.

Assessment is through a portfolio of project work.

Concept Art Practice

As a professional concept artist you might work in an animation or games studio or you might choose to run your own business as a freelancer. In this module you explore the different aspects of working in both of these roles. The emphasis is strongly on engagement with industry.

You primarily work on briefs supplied by professionals from animation and games studios. In the past these briefs have been supplied by Dreamworks, Ubisoft and Atomhawk.

During the module you have the opportunity to pitch your work to professionals and receive direct feedback.

We also have regular visiting lecturers from industry who give talks and provide feedback and advice on your work.

You are assessed on the portfolio of work created during the module.

Drawing for Concept Artists

Drawing skills are essential to being a successful concept artist, and this module provides you with the skills essential to supporting your artistic practice. Experimenting with materials and techniques allows you to become more confident in your work, allowing you to overcome any ‘artist’s block’ you may come up against throughout your career.

Developing your skills will encourage you to reflect and improve your artistic practice. It also helps you to develop your strengths and overcome your weaknesses to enable you to create original artwork.

Assessment is through a portfolio and an edited blog, with an emphasis upon process rather than product.

Environment Design

You have the opportunity to research and then construct an environment design within the field of concept art. The module will look at both interior and exterior environments. You will be expected to experiment with a broad range of techniques based around a given brief. Effective use of practise-based research will be encouraged and you are required to critically reflect upon the portfolio you create.

Master's Project: Concept Art

You have the opportunity to undertake a major, in-depth, individual study in an aspect of your concept art programme. These projects will be drawn from appropriate commercial, industrial, artistic or research-based problem areas. The project will involve research and investigation in relevant aspects of a very specific area of study followed by the production of a major deliverable portfolio of relevant practice based materials from the area of concept art. You will also produce a written report that contextualises and critically evaluates your final outputs.

Research Methods

You gain the knowledge and skills to understand the research process in computing and digital media, and the necessary skills to undertake your masters project. You learn how to use and critically evaluate previous academic research, and to generate good evidence material to justify their professional practice. This involves you learning about different research strategies and data generation methods and how they fit into the development lifecycle and the evaluation of the user experience, the use of the academic research literature, and research ethics.

Assessment involves you preparing a research proposal which can form the basis of your master's project.

Visual Storytelling

Telling the story is what hooks your audience and we help you understand the key issues relating to visual storytelling.

You explore storytelling as it applies in various contexts such as storyboards, key moments, posters and comic strips.

The work you produce is informed by appropriate research and analysis of a range of visual storytelling contexts.

We help you demonstrate a high level of professional competence, willingness and confidence to experiment with a range of visual approaches. You critically reflect upon the work you produce.

Assessment is on your portfolio of project work.

 

Advanced practice

Internship

The internship options are:

Vocational: spend one semester working full-time in industry or on placement in the University. We have close links with a range of national and international companies who could offer you the chance to develop your knowledge and professional skills in the workplace through an internship. Although we cannot guarantee internships, we will provide you with practical support and advice on how to find and secure your own internship position. A vocational internship is a great way to gain work experience and give your CV a competitive edge.

Research: develop your research and academic skills by undertaking a research internship within the University. Experience working as part of a research team in an academic setting. Ideal for those who are interested in a career in research or academia.


 

Modules offered may vary.

How you learn

You learn about concepts and methods primarily through keynote lectures and tutorials using case studies and examples. Lectures include presentations from guest speakers from industry. Critical reflection is key to successful problem solving and essential to the creative process. You develop your own reflective practice at an advanced level, then test and assess your solutions against criteria that you develop in the light of your research.

How you are assessed

The programme assessment strategy has been designed to assess your subject specific knowledge, cognitive and intellectual skills and transferable skills applicable to the workplace. The strategy ensures that you are provided with formative assessment opportunities throughout the programme which support your summative assessments. There is a mix of practical work (usually in the form of a portfolio), poster and viva presentations, reflective blogs, and written reports. Formative feedback is typically given during lectures, tutorials and summative feedback using on-line methods. The assessments can include individual or group work. The assessment criteria, where appropriate, will include assessment of presentation skills and report writing.

Work placement

Advanced practice

There are a number of internship options, including:

Vocational internship – spend one semester working full-time in industry or on placement in the University. We have close links with a range of national and international companies who will offer you the chance to develop your knowledge and professional skills in the workplace through an internship. Although we cannot guarantee internships, we provide you with practical support and advice on how to find and secure your own internship position. A vocational internship is a great way to gain work experience and give your CV a competitive edge.

Research internship – develop your research and academic skills by undertaking a research internship within the University. Experience working as part of a research team in an academic setting. Ideal for those who are interested in a career in research or academia.

Career opportunities

Many graduates have become professional freelancers, as well as working at a variety of studios including Creative Assembly, Splash Damage, Atomhawk and Paramount Pictures.

Entry requirements

  • 2.2 degree (or above) or significantly documented relevant industry experience
  • portfolio of appropriate work of a good standard

In addition, international students will require IELTS 6.0 or equivalent.

For additional information please see the entry requirements in our admissions section

International applicants can find out what qualifications they need by visiting Your Country

Course information

Full-time

  • within 1 year (September start), 16 months (January start) or 2 years with advanced practice (September or January start)

More full-time details

2019 entry

Part-time

  • 2 years

More part-time details

2019 entry

Contact details

Further information