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Undergraduate study
Games Art (with Foundation Year)

Games Art (with Foundation Year) BA (Hons)

Are you creative and love computer games? Want to combine your art skills with cutting-edge creative technology? Study computer games art and bring your passions to life.

 

W283 BA/GAFY

Course routes:

 

Course overview

Work placement

Computer games facilities

See the facilities you use when you study computer games at Teesside University

The popularity of computer games shows no signs of slowing down with the regular release of new sophisticated and innovative products, and smartphone apps – many developed in the UK. As a computer games artist you create a game's characters, assets, environments, creatures and vehicles, as well as producing concept art and storyboards.

You develop your artistic skills and explore specialised areas including 3D character sculpting, photo-real texturing and surfaces, hard surface modelling, shaders, material, lighting and effects, game engine implementation, concept art, environment art and character art.

This course includes a foundation year - ideal if you need additional preparation or if you don't have sufficient grades to join Year 1 of a degree.

Top reasons to study computer games art at Teesside

  • Industry links: take part in Animex, our annual international animation and games festival featuring experts from Rockstar, Pixar, Disney and Sony.
  • Real-world experience: enter GameJam events, take part in industry competitions and Beta test upcoming games before they are released.
  • Career-ready: our ExpoSeries of events allow you to showcase your skills to industry professionals who are seeking to recruit new and rising talent.
  • Industry recognition: our course is recognised by ScreenSkills, the industry-led skills body for the UK's screen-based industries, and carries the ScreenSkills Select quality-mark which indicates courses best suited to prepare students for a career in the screen industries.
  • Quality teaching: 90% of BA (Hons) Games Art students said that staff have made the subject engaging (National Student Survey 2023, tees.ac.uk/source).

Download pdf Order prospectus

 

Course details

Course structure

Foundation year core modules

2D Digital Art

You are introduced to the creative possibilities of image-making using digital tools. Study the fundamental principles of design and composition, and explore a range of image creation techniques. Use appropriate graphics software to improve your technical skills incorporating layers, composition, colour, linework and lighting.

This is a 30-credit module.

Case Studies

Focusing on computer games, animation and film, you gain an introductory level of understanding in the context of your chosen field of study. As well as looking at the historical and context of these, you observe how we interpret these types of media historically and materially. Choose a text within your area of interest, undertaking an analytical review in the form of a case study.

This is a 30-credit module.

Drawing, Creativity and Design

Learn to create imagery using traditional and digital drawing tools. Develop your drawing techniques and creative interpretations of themes including figure drawing, still life, perspective and character, creature and environment design. You are supported to produce images that effectively communicate visual ideas.

This is a 30-credit module.

Foundation Game

You create a small game, which involves writing a proposal document and completing a demo using a contemporary game engine.

This is a 30-credit module.

 

Year 1 core modules

Asset Creation for Games

You are introduced to the fundamental principles used in the production of real-time 3D models and 2D texture assets.

This is a 30-credit module.

Environment Production for Games

You study the research, planning and authoring of environment asset content for games engine integration. Adopt industry techniques including architecture research, real-time terrain creation, modelling and texturing for environment assets, VFX and lighting for real-time content.

This is a 30-credit module.

Games Art Fundamentals

You broaden your artistic and visual horizons, and develop your observational skills. You study contemporary and historical visual arts across games, cinema, fashion, graphic design, architecture, product design and typography.

This is a 30-credit module.

Sculpting for Games

Focus on creating organically sculpted assets, characters and creatures that could be used within a game, TV or film environment. Learn core skills and sculpting techniques by getting an introductory knowledge of leading industry software.

This is a 30-credit module.

 

Year 2 core modules

Character Production

You are introduced to industry workflows for authoring film and game-ready characters using industry-standard digital sculpting tools such as ZBrush. Study key points in the creation process, from sculpting accurate human anatomy and creating outfits and accessories, to retopology, UV mapping and texturing.

This is a 30-credit module.

Games Technical Art

Develop your understanding of custom asset pipelines in authoring games art to a real-time game level. You are introduced to technical art solutions, building on your skills to create engaging immersive environments which meet hardware budgets and rendering performance.

This is a 30-credit module.

Hard Surface Modelling

You learn the fundamental principles involved in promoting real-time hard surface 3D models and 2D textures in a game environment.

This is a 30-credit module.

Journeyman

You work with students from across all the games courses to develop a game slice in a team. Experience working in a production environment, and focus on specific skills in your own field of study while gaining valuable teamwork skills.

This is a 30-credit module.

 

Optional work placement year

Work placement

You have the option to spend one year in industry learning and developing your skills. We encourage and support you with applying for a placement, job hunting and networking.

You gain experience favoured by graduate recruiters and develop your technical skillset. You also obtain the transferable skills required in any professional environment, including communication, negotiation, teamwork, leadership, organisation, confidence, self-reliance, problem-solving, being able to work under pressure, and commercial awareness.

Many employers view a placement as a year-long interview, therefore placements are increasingly becoming an essential part of an organisation's pre-selection strategy in their graduate recruitment process. Benefits include:

· improved job prospects
· enhanced employment skills and improved career progression opportunities
· a higher starting salary than your full-time counterparts
· a better degree classification
· a richer CV
· a year's salary before completing your degree
· experience of workplace culture
· the opportunity to design and base your final-year project within a working environment.

If you are unable to secure a work placement with an employer, then you simply continue on a course without the work placement.

 

Final-year core modules

Beta Arcade 

Experience working as a member of a games development team, in a setup that is as close to industrial practice as possible. You work in groups to construct a working game demo in a current game engine. You consider standard industry practices that consider multiplayer gaming threats, user safety, cheating and data security.

This is a 30-credit module.

Games Project

You undertake a large-scale project guided by a member of staff, where you produce a substantial piece of work related to your course alongside a written report. You also present and discuss your project.

This is a 60-credit module.

Photogrammetry for Games

You focus on the creation of high-quality, cost effective game assets using photogrammetry scan and procedural based workflows. Develop your skills in procedural material generation for complex shader workflows, 3D capture assets and the use of scan data when creating realistic game assets.

This is a 30-credit module.

 

Modules offered may vary.

 

How you learn

You learn in lectures and tutorials. Lectures cover the theory while tutorials focus on your practical skills. Further support is offered online in the form of extra learning material.

You also develop your teamworking skills, working with games designers in a simulated game studio experience, outsourcing various essentials such as assets and animation to specialist teams. You work on games in Unreal 5 and Unity in a scenario that is as close to industry practice as possible within an academic environment.

How you are assessed

You develop a portfolio of games art throughout the course and are assessed through practical projects. The final-year project allows you the freedom to set your own brief based on your skills, interests and career aspirations.


Our Disability Services team provide an inclusive and empowering learning environment and have specialist staff to support disabled students access any additional tailored resources needed. If you have a specific learning difficulty, mental health condition, autism, sensory impairment, chronic health condition or any other disability please contact a Disability Services as early as possible.
Find out more about our disability services

Find out more about financial support
Find out more about our course related costs

 

Entry requirements

Entry requirements

Any combination of level 3 qualifications. Each application is considered on a case-by-case basis.

We may also be able to help you meet the entry requirements through our Summer and Winter University modules.

For general information please see our overview of entry requirements

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

 

Employability

Career opportunities

Graduates have gone on to work as artists, level designers, 3D modellers and texture artists at a range of games companies including 3rd Dimensions, Atomic Planet, Bizarre Creations, Creative Assembly, Electronic Arts, Eutechnyx, Halch, Media Molecule, Microsoft Rare, Naughty Dog, Ninja Theory,Rebellion, Rockstar North and Rockstar San Diego, Sega, Sony, Streamline, Supermassive Games, Traveller's Tales, Ubisoft, Venom, Weta Digital and many more.

You also develop skills for a career in digital media – typically areas of film, TV, advertising and multimedia – through to architectural and product visualisation.

We have excellent relationships with many businesses, giving you the opportunity to apply for summer, year-long and graduate placements with key organisations such as Microsoft, Rare, Team 17, ZeroLight, R8 Games, Hammerhead VR, Dojo Arcade, Schlumberger, Sumo Digital and Coastsink.

 

Information for international applicants

Qualifications

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

Select your country:

  
 

Useful information

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

Talk to us

Talk to an international student enrolment adviser

 
 

Other course routes

Work placement

Study this course with an optional work placement year, at no extra cost. Alongside this, you can gain valuable experience and engagement with the sector through our shorter work placements, internships and work experience opportunities.

Work placements

Full-time

Entry to 2024/25 academic year

Fee for UK applicants
£9,250 a year

More details about our fees

Fee for international applicants
£17,000 a year

More details about our fees for international applicants


What is included in your tuition fee?

  • Length: 4 years (or 5 with a work placement)
  • UCAS code: W283 BA/GAFY
  • Start date: September
  • Semester dates
  • Typical offer: Offers tailored to individual circumstances

Apply online (full-time) through UCAS

 

Part-time

  • Not available part-time
 

Choose Teesside

  • Student and graduate profiles
    Ellen Dudley

    Ellen Dudley

    BA (Hons) Computer Games Art

    Ellen works as a UI/UX artist for Playstation.

    Meet Ellen

     
  • Student work

    Computer Games showreel

    See some of the work our computer games students produce.

     
  • On video

    Women in Games

    Find out more about studying computer games at Teesside University

    Aya Al-Bayati, BA (Hons) Computer Games Art

    Aya talks about her experience of studying computer games art at Teesside

    Francisco Mendes, BA (Hons) Computer Games Art

    Francisco talks about his experience of studying computer games art at Teesside

     
  • News

    Nick Marshall, pictured far left, with some of the Emmy winning team Emmy success for Teesside University graduate
    A successful Teesside University graduate who recently returned to the region to inspire guests at Animex is celebrating an Emmy Award for his work on a flagship HBO series.

    Read the full story

    Teesside Launchpad, home of the PowerUp Games Accelerator Indie games studios to attend prestigious conference
    Indie games developers based at Teesside University’s enterprise hub are to be given the opportunity to network with some of the industry’s biggest names when they attend a prestigious conference this month.

    Read the full story

    Back from left, Derek Booth, of The Wired Lobby; Michael Harvey, of Constantine Media; Siobhan Fenton and Darren Abbott, from the University’s School of Computing, Engineering & Digital Technologies. Front, Edwin Ford, of The Wired Lobby; Professor Chrisina Jayne, Dean of the University’s School of Computing, Engineering & Digital Technologies. Partnership will support students interested in fast-growing esports industry
    Teesside University has signed a partnership to work closely with new esports venue The Wired Lobby, which will help to provide opportunities for gamers and games programmers to thrive in the booming esports industry.

    Read the full story

     
 
 
 

ExpoTees 2021 animation, visual effects and computer games showreel

Our ExpoSeries of events allow you to showcase your skills to industry professionals who are seeking to recruit new and rising talent.

 

Get in touch

UK students

Email: scedtadmissions@tees.ac.uk

Telephone: 01642 738801


Online chat (general enquiries)

International students

Email: internationalenquiries@tees.ac.uk

Telephone: +44 (0) 1642 738900


More international contacts

 

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