Undergraduate study
Computer Games

I622 BA/GA (I629 BA/GAFY for Year 0 entry)

 
 

Course overview

This course provides an industry relevant education for students from a variety of subject backgrounds, employment and life experience. You are exposed to a complex body of knowledge related to the computer games discipline (with a specialist focus on games art in both 2D and 3D formats) to support development and enhancement of your own creative, academic and subject specific skills.

You benefit from a comprehensive learning experience that introduces you to the teamwork aspect of games development through a number of group projects that develop professional skills through simulating industry practice. You are given the opportunity to acquire a range of practical, professional and transferable skills to equip you for your chosen profession, or to pursue further study. You will also develop critical awareness of business and entrepreneurial skills required to evolve confidently in the creative industry as independent developers or as members of small teams.

* Subject to University approval

 

Course details

Course structure

Year 0 (foundation year) core modules

Creativity and Design

You develop your design and drawing styles, essential for the creative development of interesting and innovative visual solutions.

You are guided through a range of techniques and encouraged to push your ideas and designs in alternative directions, expanding your creative thinking and developing your ideas in new ways.

You produce a range of visual images and worksheets to develop your drawing and image-making styles and process. Throughout the module, you are encouraged to experiment with a variety of drawing and mark-making media and techniques.

You are also encouraged to make connections between seemingly unrelated beginnings and outcomes with briefs that allow creative freedom and broad interpretation.

Critical and Contextual Studies

You gain an historical and contextual overview of the history of art, animation, film and games. Aimed at technical, arts, games and animation students, this module equips you with an introductory level of understanding in the context of your chosen field of study.

Through a series of lectures and seminars, you engage in research and discussion based on your chosen areas of art, animation and game history. You learn how to effectively seek out appropriate academic sources on which to base and construct these discussions in seminars and in writing.

Drawing Principles

In this module you gain confidence in creating rudimentary images using traditional tools such as pencil and charcoal. The teaching enables you to develop your drawing technique and approach, and helps you produce images that effectively communicate simple ideas.

With a range of traditional materials, you are encouraged to experiment with different approaches to drawing. You learn methods and techniques to improve your observational skills in relation to still life drawing. This module also looks at other formal elements including tone, proportion, perspective and basic human anatomy.

Foundation Project

You are guided through the production of a small-scale individual project, defined in part by you with guidance from your tutor. The foundation project guides you to a more autonomous working approach developing your project management skills and consolidating other skills already learnt in other modules.

You develop original ideas and concepts for the pre-production of an appropriate project in your chosen field of study. This may take the form of a game design document, modest game prototype, animation or game pre-production, concept art or another appropriate form related to the games, animation and film industries.

Modelling Principles

You learn some of the basic principles of 3D computer modelling, lighting and texturing. You use 3D software to produce a simple 3D model that will be textured and rendered with basic lighting. Through guided tutorial tasks, you learn some of the first principles of 3D modelling with the view to creating a small collection of elementary assets for computer games and animation. You create simple textures in appropriate software, such as Photoshop, and consider basic CG lighting.

Narrative Principles

You are introduced to the theory and practice of narrative construction within animation and games. You focus heavily on narrative structure and plot through the group production of a story overview, script and animatic or other appropriate form.

You study the basics of story writing for animation and games including character, story arcs, point of view, creating and formatting scripts, storyboards and animatic, and non-linear stories which may be implemented in software such as Twine.

 

Year 1 core modules

Concept Art Pre-Production

This module develops your understanding of the role of the concept artist. You are guided though a wide range of concept art tasks and encouraged to develop an effective working practice. The unique challenges faced by a concept artist are identified and explored.

The module focuses on the generation of original ideas and develops skills in thumbnailing, iteration and presentation.

Drawing for Games and Animation 1

This module develops your visual perception and drawing skills – these are essential for a productive artist to communicate ideas effectively, swiftly and efficiently.

You are guided through a range of drawing exercises including figure drawing, environment drawing, and still life, enabling you to work through a variety of approaches to drawing. These exercises develop your observational and imaginative drawing abilities, and build on your artistic skills and range of techniques, using traditional tools.

Introduction to Digital Image Techniques

You are introduced to relevant digital software packages, such as Adobe Photoshop, enabling you to investigate the creative potential of digital painting. You look at initial approaches and techniques used to create concept art especially in the context of digital image making.

Introduction to Digital Sculpting

This module looks at how digital sculpting software is used to create organic multiresolution 3D models for game, animation or film purposes. Skills required will include basic 3D modelling and UV unwrapping.

Modelling for Games

You study the fundamental principles used to produce real-time 3D models and 2D textures within a real-time game environment. You create a 3D asset which can be used as prop within a game engine or other real-time applications such as virtual reality.

Lectures explain the principles of the modelling tools available in advanced modelling software and expose you to examples of how these techniques have been used in producing finished computer games.

In practical terms you use a combination of industry-standard 3D software for modelling and industry-standard texturing software to create textures. We give specific attention to art pipelines, which are used by practising game modellers.

Visual Iconography

‘Seeing what everyone else has seen, but thinking what no-one else has thought,’ Albert Szent-Györgyi. Iconography is the use of images and symbols to portray a subject, movement or ideal. You explore iconography in a range of visual media. This module challenges and expands your existing experience of your visual world and introduces you to alternative concepts.

 

Year 2 core modules

Celebrity and Promotional Culture

From Kim Kardashian to Apple and Virgin you explore the concept of celebrity and brands. You critically evaluate and assess the power of celebrity and brand in today’s society. Looking at how celebrity culture influences how we present ourselves, our buying habits and behaviours. Understanding the psychology behind how brands, advertising and marketing works. You also look at reputational management and what as a PR practitioner you can to do in a crisis and look at the ‘Golden Hour’ in the digital age and the factors controlling facts and rumour.
Your assessment is 100% ICA: essay.

Drawing for Games and Animation 2

The module is designed to develop further skills in drawing and to develop methods of applying drawing in more specific situations. The main focus is communicating emotional responses through the artwork. It will encourage you to start developing your own style, and to progress your narrative storytelling in an image.

Life drawing will form a key part of the module, encouraging you to think about showing personality through posing and developing an understanding of characterisation, exaggeration and the use of shape language in developing characters and environments.

Organic Modelling

Organic modelling is used to create multiresolution 3D assets in the context of character and environment production and design, utilising relevant modelling and sculpting techniques to create a 3D object with soft or organic characteristics – this can be a character or soft environment asset.

Approaches to modular asset creation for game environments with a focus on architecture, environment planning and contemporary games engine pipelines will feature heavily, combined with the core principles of game character creation that will feature anatomy and animation appropriate topology.

Professional Portfolio Development

You are provided with the opportunity to develop an online portfolio of material to a professional standard in your chosen field of study.

You produce a body of work reflecting your own specialisation, demonstrating your understanding of core industry requirements, practices and pipelines with a view to showcasing your creative and technical ability via an online portfolio.

This portfolio is intended to demonstrate your understanding of the quality of work expected at a professional level. You are expected to present your work in an appropriate online format – this may be embedded video, blogs or a specific portfolio website.

Underpinning Forensic Psychology

This module is designed to introduce students to the key concepts involved in understanding forensic psychology, such as crime and victim interaction, criminal thinking patterns, explanations of criminal behaviour, testimony and courtroom psychology, and crime prevention.

The main aim of the module is to introduce students to the basic concepts within Forensic Psychology. It will attempt to answer the question 'what is crime?', and will discuss the range of theoretical approaches that have been used to explain it. The module will also introduce students to a range of study and transferable skills relevant to their degree programme and future career.

 

Final-year core modules

Advanced Digital Image Techniques

You extend your abilities in creating digital art work and expand your image creation skills using advanced methods such as digital painting in line with professional standards. You are expected to respond to a creative brief as an accomplished digital artist, ready for industry. You explore a variety of integrated techniques including the combination of 2D and 3D methodology.

Beta Arcade

You gain experience of working as a member of a games development team that is as close to industrial practice as possible. Beta Arcade simulates the working criteria and mix of development skills that are required to produce a polished prototype of a computer game concept which would be suitable for publication.

Game Art Project

This is a large scale piece of individual coursework, completed under the supervision of a project supervisor and a second reader. You agree the project parameters with your supervisor with the aim to produce a substantial artefact related to the graphical games field. The process begins with a pre-production document and culminates in a written reflective report and a viva where the artefact is presented and defended.

You are guided to develop an appropriate sense of work-discipline coupled with a professional outlook and are expected to take responsibility for the planning and execution of an extended piece of work including the consideration of associated legal, social, ethical and professional issues. You explore a chosen subject area in depth and are required to demonstrate the ability to analyse, synthesise, and creatively apply what has already been studied on the programme whilst demonstrating critical and evaluative skills and professional awareness.

Professional Practice

You develop professional practice skills in concept art, through appraisal and evaluation of industry standards, culminating in an online presence and professional identity. You are encouraged to analyse and evaluate elements of professional practice and synthesise your findings into your own practice, demonstrating employment potential and future professional development.

 

Modules offered may vary.

 

Our Disability Services team helps students with additional needs resulting from disabilities such as sensory impairment or learning difficulties such as dyslexia
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Find out more about our course related costs

 
 

Entry requirements

Entry requirements

A typical offer is 96-112 tariff points including at least two A levels (or equivalent). All applicants are invited to attend an interview.

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


You can gain considerable knowledge from work, volunteering and life. Under recognition of prior learning (RPL) you may be awarded credit for this which can be credited towards the course you want to study.
Find out more about RPL


Health conditions requiring adjustments
For this particular course, you may need to undertake an occupational health or work-based risk assessment check. If you have a disability, specific learning difficulty, mental health condition, autism spectrum condition, sensory impairment or medical condition that may require reasonable adjustments during an external placement, in the university or in a clinical practice area, this must be declared as part of the enrolment process. If you are unsure you can contact the relevant admissions or course tutor for guidance.

 

Employability

Career opportunities

Throughout your course we offer a wide range of business networking opportunities for you to extend your knowledge of the industry and show case your skills, enhancing your opportunity of securing your dream job. We host events such as:-

  • ExpoTees our end of course showcase of graduate work which attracts over 150 business who are looking for the emerging talent in the digital fields.
  • ExpoTential and ExpoTalent are student showcase events taking place in the first and second year of your course aimed at preparing you for the final year ExpoTees event, ensuring you are at your best when you exhibit in your final year. These events attract around 80 business representatives all looking to identify future digital talent.
  • Students Futures Week – a week-long event in which business partners network with our students across all years of study. Providing industry panels, presentations and networking opportunities this week builds professional skills and knowledge in your field preparing you for your next step in your career.
  • Drawing on our extensive industry links we invite guest speakers in your field to present to our students. Throughout your course we bring in industry speakers to ensure that you develop your knowledge of the industry that you plan to build your career in. In addition to covering technical subjects these speakers provide an insight into what employers are looking for in their employees, from technical to professional skills.

 

Information for international applicants

Qualifications

International applicants - find out what qualifications you need by selecting your country below.

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Useful information

Visit our international pages for useful information for non-UK students and applicants.

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Full-time

Entry to 2019/20 academic year

Fee for UK/EU applicants
£9,250 a year

More details about our fees


What is included in your tuition fee?

  • Length: 3 years (or 4 years including a work placement) or 4 years including foundation year (or 5 years including a work placement); January intake
  • UCAS code: I622 BA/GA
    I629 BA/GAFY for Year 0 entry
  • Semester dates
  • Typical offer: 96-112 tariff points and interview

Apply online (full-time) through UCAS

 

Part-time

2019 entry

Fee for UK/EU applicants:
£4,500 (120 credits)
More details about our fees

  • Length: Up to 6 years
  • Attendance: Daytime
  • Enrolment date: September
  • Admission enquiries: 01642 342639
  • Semester dates

Apply online (part-time)

 
 
 
 

Facilities

ExpoTalent showcases the next generation of talent from second year students from our School of Computing, Media & the Arts.

 

Choose Teesside

iPad

Are you eligible for an iPad, keyboard and £300 credit for learning resources?

 

Accommodation

Live in affordable accommodation right on-campus

 

Campus

Study in our town-centre campus with over £270m of recent investment

 

Industry ready

Benefit from work placements, live projects, accredited courses

 

Get in touch

 

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