Computer Arts | Abertay University
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Computer Arts
BA (Hons)

Immerse yourself in a world where art, media and games join forces to deliver one of the most distinguished Computer Arts degrees in Europe.

Course detail

Start Date

September

Duration

4 years (full-time) or 3 years (accelerated)

Degree Classification

BA (Hons)

UCAS Code

GW42

Why Study Computer Arts?

This professionally-accredited programme develops your skills and understanding in the diverse domain of digital arts and design through stimulating subjects such as animation, media design, 3D modelling, concept development and character design.

Join a progressive programme that equips you with the necessary practical skills, theoretical knowledge, and creative tools you need to explore and build your digital arts and design practice. You’ll lead the design and production of a range of creative content for computer games, digital illustration, concept art, animation, visual effects and much more.

You’ll discover how to develop your critical and contextual understanding of the digital arts and  expand your knowledge base. Additional to your menu of lectures and classes, you’ll have opportunities to engage with industry practitioners, attend visiting lectures, participate in masterclasses and receive project mentoring. 

Our open plan studios are designed to cultivate interdisciplinary study. This means you’ll have the opportunity to use cutting-edge technology and entertainment production techniques  as you work collaboratively with students in game design, games technology, and sound production.

This degree is accredited by Creative Skillset, the UK Sector Skills Council for Creative Media Industries, which ensures you’ll graduate with the skills and knowledge required for a successful career in the creative industries. 

Your Journey Starts Here

Computer art is everywhere ... from film and advertising to gallery installations and computer games. Turn your passion for art into a degree by studying at the top university in Europe for computer games. 

Entry Requirements

Essential requirements: Applicants are required to submit an ePortfolio of work. You can find the Computer Arts ePortfolio Guidelines here. 

Qualification Type Grade Requirements Essential Subjects
Higher AABB Art or Photography or Graphic Communication or Production Design
A-Level BBC Art or Graphic Design or Design and Technology: Production Design (3D Design)
Irish Highers H2H2H3H3 Art
International Baccalaureate 30 Points Visual Arts or Fine Art at S5 or H4
BTEC Extended Diploma DDM -
Qualification Type Grade Requirements Essential Subjects
Advanced Higher AAB Computing and Art
A-Level AAB Computing and Art
HND - Our Coming from College pages list approved HND courses

Information for International Applicants

Please provide certified proof of your English language level. Our accredited International English Foundation Course can help. To further enhance your academic English, Intensive English for Academic Purposes can help you achieve your potential.

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English Language Requirements

Explore English language requirements for entry to Abertay University.

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English Language Courses

Discover the range of English language courses on offer at Abertay University.

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Visa Information

Learn more about visa requirements for studying at Abertay University.

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Not sure if you're eligible for entry?

If you have the potential and motivation to study at university, regardless of your background or personal circumstances, we welcome your application.

We understand some people have faced extra challenges before applying to university, which is why we consider the background in which your academic grades have been achieved when making an offer.

If you expect to receive passes in three Scottish Highers (grades A-C) and have either ...

  • been in care
  • participated in a targeted aspiration-raising programme such as LIFT OFF, LEAPS, FOCUS West, or Aspire North
  • no family background of going to university
  • attended a school or lived in an area where not many people go to university

... we encourage you to submit an application.

Accelerated Degree

If you’re keen to undertake the accelerated degree, you’ll complete the first two years of the degree programme alongside those students following the non-accelerated route.

Acceleration starts in May at the end of second year. The table below illustrates the difference between the two routes.

Academic Year Term Accelerated Route Non-Accelerated Route
Year 1 Term 1 (Sept-Dec) Term 1 Term 1
Year 1 Term 2 (Jan-May) Term 2 Term 2
Year 1 Term 3 (May-Aug) - -
Year 2 Term 1 (Sept-Dec) Term 3 Term 3
Year 2 Term 2 (Jan-May) Term 4 Term 4
Year 2 Term 3 (May-Aug) Term 5 -
Year 3 Term 1 (Sept-Dec) Term 6 Term 5
Year 3 Term 2 (Jan-May) Term 7 Term 6
Year 3 Term 3 (May-Aug) Term 8 (Honours degree completed) -
Year 4 Term 1 (Sept-Dec) - Term 7
Year 4 Term 2 (Jan-May) - Term 8 (Honours degree completed)
Year 4 Term 3 (May-Aug) - -

Key Modules (2017/18)

Visual Literacies (ART101)

This module will focus on developing the student?s observational and creative skills, building their

Digital Media Concepts (ART102)

This module will focus on developing the student?s ability to define contextual domain and map disco

Elementary Animation (ART103)

This module will focus on developing the student's art skills and visual awareness of time based dyn

3D Digital Design (ART104)

In 3D Digital design, the student will be introduced to foundational 3D techniques such as modelling

Interactive and Augmented Places (ART105)

This module challenges student?s notions of the boundaries and relationships between physical and di

3D Production Methods (ART202)

This module develops abilities and awareness within the field of 3D art asset creation, and in doing

Digital Media Contexts (ART203)

This module is designed to enhance students? ability to identify and form a critical argument in rel

Digital Concept Visualisation (ART204)

The focus of this module is to develop an understanding of the artistic and technical processes depl

Interactive Media Production (DES203)

A complete introduction to the processes and purposes of designing and developing a piece of interac

Narrative Animation (ART206)

This module aims to develop students understanding of the relationship between written story, perfor

Professional Project: Planning and Prototyping (DES301)

For this module, students will be required to work together on an interactive media project as part

Computer Arts Practice (ART302)

This module will support the development of a specialist area of practice by challenging the stude

Professional Project: Development and Delivery (DES302)

Working within a multidisciplinary team, students will develop an interactive media prototype based

Critical and Contextual Studies (DES305)

This module is designed to enhance students? ability to set theoretical and critical frameworks to u

Honours Project Proposal and Development (ART405)

This module will allow students to formulate a contextual, theoretical, and practical foundation in

Professional Contexts & Entrepreneurship (DES401)

This module requires students to engage critically with the creative industries. Students should exp

Honours Project (SOC400)

This modules offers the student with the opportunity to conduct and present a simple research inve

Honours Project Dissertation (ART404)

This module approaches research as an active process of inquiry that leads to the production of a di

How the Course Works

Please note: You can tailor your education during your time on the Computer Arts programme, with flexible module briefs and optional modules designed to fit specialist interests and to develop depth in your subject knowledge.

Years 3 and 4 use open project briefs and optional modules to support specialisation in areas such as art and design, animation, game art production, digital illustration, installation and/or time based digital media artwork.

Accreditation

Learning and Assessment

Lectures and practical tutorials are where you’ll work with staff, other students and industry mentors to develop unique solutions to project briefs. Your tutorial sessions will focus on developing innovative ideas, process and technique that lead to a final outcome.

We believe that portfolios of creative work represent artist and designers at their best. Therefore, they form the majority of our assessments, often submitted with supporting documentation to underpin your creative work and intellectual insights. Academic writing also contributes to assessments often in the form of critique or reflective reports to develop your contextual awareness and subject knowledge.

Visual presentations develop critical communication skills and are core to assessment. They will help build confidence and professionalism. You will learn how to best display your work, research and development processes to the programme team and industry mentors.

There are no formal examinations on the programme.

For more information on the course content, please download the Programme information - BA with Honours in Computer Arts.

Your Learning Space

Your learning spaces are designed like modern workplaces, allowing students from across disciplines to work side-by-side with faculty and industry professionals, fostering collaboration and creativity.

Our industry standard software and hardware is updated with the latest versions in unison with games industry innovation.

There are specialist audio, motion capture and virtual reality spaces, as well as one of the largest Sony PlayStation Education Centres in the UK.

Graphics Tablet

This programme focuses on digital media production, so many students choose to invest in a graphics tablet – an interface that better facilitates digital drawing and painting. We provide entry level tablets to students through a loan system, but you may choose to invest in more advanced graphic tablet technology beyond year one. This cost should be factored into your plans.

About Your Modules

The module information shown here describes the modules our students are taking this year. The modules do change over time to keep our programmes up-to-date and relevant. This means the exact modules you take could be different. If you receive an offer to study with us, you will receive a Programme Information document that sets out exactly which modules you can expect to take as part of your Abertay degree programme.

Please note: As well as Key Modules outlined above, you may also be required to choose Elective Modules.

Dare Academy

Abertay University’s Dare Academy games design competition enables students to gain significant industry exposure and international experience. 

Student teams will go through a tough selection process before the best six are chosen to design, test and create prototypes over an intense hothousing period. 

We then showcase the games at EGX, the UK's biggest games event, and the top three teams are flown out to visit international games partners and to be profiled.

This is a unique offer for Abertay games students and it ensures you stand out from the crowd.

If you’re applying from overseas or from outside Scotland, we have scholarships available to make your studies more affordable.

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#1

We're the number one university throughout Europe for computer games

1997

We launched the world's first computer games degree over 20 years ago

TOP

Industry accreditation from Creative Skillset - the quality mark for excellence

Scholarships

Rest of UK Abertay Scholarship - £2,300 per year for four years

This scholarship is intended to support students from England, Wales and Northern Ireland to study at Abertay. Scholarship is paid directly into your bank account in two instalments each year to support you with living and travel costs. No application necessary.

International Abertay Scholarship - £2,300 per year for four years

This scholarship is intended to support students from international countries (outside of the EU) to study at Abertay. Scholarship is paid directly into your bank account in two instalments each year to support you with living and travel costs. No application necessary.

In addition, we offer a range of corporate/philanthropic scholarships shown below, which are available to all students to support your studies with us. 

The Lothian Family

A £5,000 award for undergraduate students with financial or social difficulties which may prevent them from studying at Abertay.

The Robert Reid Bursary

Two £500 awards for students who have overcome challenges to attend university.

Nine Trades Innovation Internship Scholarship

A £5,000 scholarship for School of Design & Informatics students.

Ninja Kiwi

The Ninja Kiwi Scholarship is a one-year scholarship of £1,500 and is open to students who are entering Year 4 of Games courses.

Programme Fees for 2018

Scottish & EU students

£1,820

Fees shown are payable annually and may be subject to increase each year.

Please see our Undergraduate Fees and Funding page for further details. 

 

English, Welsh & Northern Irish Students

£9,250

Fees shown are payable annually and may be subject to increase each year.

Please see our Undergraduate Fees and Funding page for further details. 

 

International Students

£14,600

Fees shown are payable annually and may be subject to increase each year.

Please see our Undergraduate Fees and Funding page for further details. 

 

Careers

Computer Arts graduates have gone on to work across the globe in computer games, film, television and animation.

For the last three years, over 10% of graduates have secured related employment before graduation, including roles such as:

  • 3D artists and UI artists at leading console game development companies
  • Character animators and scene prep artists in television animation
  • Character TD and character animators at leading visual effects companies

Several of our graduates – in partnership with other games students – have successfully set up their own games companies, publishing their creations on mobile, console and online platforms.

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Industry Links

Throughout the programme, you’ll work on industry-relevant project briefs, collaborate with industry mentors and receive coaching from programme staff, many of whom are practicing artists with extensive games industry experience.

You can also attend visiting lectures delivered by our industry partners and former graduates from the programme. These lectures relate to game art, illustration, animation and visual effects. 

In the third year of the programme, you’ll work directly with an industry mentor to develop a prototype creative project as part of an interdisciplinary team.

 

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Computer Arts Graduates

Meet Liam Wong and Amrita Bharij, who both graduated with a Computer Arts degree from Abertay and have gone on to enjoy exciting and successful careers with big hitters in the industry.

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Liam Wong

Meet Liam Wong, a Computer Arts graduate from Abertay, and Graphic Design Director for industry giant Ubisoft.

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Amrita Bharij

Meet Amrita Bharij, a Computer Arts graduate from Abertay, who has is a UI/UX Designer at Rockstar Games.

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Games Showcase

Check out a selection of exciting and fascinating games created by students on our world-leading games courses ...

Be Inspired

Programme Leader - Computer Arts

Mr David Lyons

Mr David Lyons

School of Design and Informatics | Lecturer

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Abertay is conveniently located on a city centre campus, with all of its buildings within a quarter of a mile of each other. Shops, recreational facilities and the main bus and train stations are a short walk away.

Our Campus

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We're proud of our students and graduates, and we believe there's no better place to study if you're looking for a degree that helps you stand out as an exceptional candidate in an increasingly competitive job market.

Why Abertay?

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Come to an Open Day

An Open Day is your chance to get an up close experience of the University and the city. You’ll come away with all the information you need about us and the courses you’re interested in.

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Living in Dundee

Dundee is a city of contrasts. It's vibrant and cosmopolitan, but also friendly, compact and affordable. The first UK city to be awarded UNESCO City of Design status, Dundee has a rich history of innovation and creativity, and, in recent years, has become a hub for the digital industries.

Living in Dundee & Scotland

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Unistats

Unistats collates comparable information in areas students have identified as important in making decisions about what and where to study. The core information it contains is called the Unistats dataset (formerly the Key Information Set (KIS)).

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