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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 Abertay's BA (Hons) in 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. 

Open Days

Our Undergraduate Open Days are 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, and whether you could see yourself studying and living here for the next few years. It's your opportunity to see our city-centre campus in the heart of Dundee, talk to our friendly staff and students, and find out everything you need to know about studying at Abertay.

Open Day Dates

  • Saturday 6 October 2018
  • Wednesday 24 October 2018

 

Register for an Open Day 

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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. 

Please visit our Entry from College pages for suitable College courses.

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 Entry from College pages list approved HND courses

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.

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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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 University degree programme.

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

Key Modules (2017/18)

Visual Literacies (ART101)

Provides students with the foundation knowledge and skills required to understand, apply and communicate, within a cultural context, the conceptual, technical and aesthetic factors used within traditional and digital visualisation.

Digital Media Concepts (ART102)

An understanding of the current thinking, issues and tensions within the field of computer arts which enables students to identify and evaluate the work of practitioners which serve as creative responses to these issues.

Elementary Animation (ART103)

This module extends the understanding of motion and its application to digital imagery in order to convey a convincing illusion of life in animated objects. Students will develop art skills and visual awareness of time based dynamic art forms.

3D Digital Design (ART104)

An introduction to fundamental 3D techniques such as modelling, texturing and lighting, to help students conceive and design many types of 3D assets in order to create prototype demonstration videos to visualise concepts and ideas.

Interactive and Augmented Places (ART105)

This module develops skills and knowledge of a range of technologies and explores their creative implementation in an artwork that examines the relationship between the real and the imagined. It is primarily aimed at artists and designers looking move their work off screens and to integrate it into real space and time.

3D Production Methods (ART202)

This module develops abilities and awareness within the field of 3D art asset creation to identify and use appropriate 3D techniques and processes to create artefacts for games, illustration, animation, digital media and 3D prints.

Digital Media Contexts (ART203)

Provides students with a set of academic tools to analyse and evaluate issues, trends and work which sits within their area of practice, in order to form and disseminate a critical argument. Module content includes: historical traditions of creative practice; creative work in context; histories of related problems surrounding practitioners; art media history and current practices; forming critical arguments; dissemination practices.

Digital Concept Visualisation (ART204)

This module develops an understanding of the artistic and technical processes deployed in the field of concept art and production design for entertainment (computer games, film, comics or animation, etc.). Students will explore their field through visual research, observational and digital concept design skills, employing industry standard applications to aid their creative process.

Interactive Media Production (DES203)

A complete introduction to the processes and purposes of designing and developing a piece of interactive entertainment. Module content includes: historical overview; concept and communication; design process; core design; the development team; rules and mechanics; look and feel; cultural and commercial awareness.

Narrative Animation (ART206)

Develops an understanding of the relationship between written story, performance and visual storytelling in animated sequences. Students will explore narrative and acting theory in relation to the creation of an animated performance and will test these ideas through the creation of and iteration upon animated sequence(s). It is primarily aimed at animation practitioners wishing to develop expressive animated character performances.

Professional Project: Planning and Prototyping (DES301)

Students work together as individual subject specialists on an interactive media project as part of a multi-disciplinary team. Students will communicate with clients and relevant stakeholders, take part in pitching concepts and deliver presentations, contribute to the iterative design and development of the concept, research and test technical pipelines and create project documentation and planning materials.

Computer Arts Practice (ART302)

Students will undertake a project in their chosen specialisation. They will lead (with module tutor support) the project planning, scope and project expectations and will deliver a finalised portfolio of work. This allows them to develop their subject specialised skills towards a professional level.

Professional Project: Development and Delivery (DES302)

Working within a multidisciplinary team, students will develop an interactive media prototype based on the planning and initial prototyping of concepts conducted within the module DES301 Professional Project: Planning and Prototyping. The emphasis is on the development and delivery of a final digital prototype in response to an initial creative brief, taking into account both stakeholder and user feedback.

Critical and Contextual Studies (DES305)

Provides students with skills and knowledge to enhance their understanding of their field through theoretical and critical underpinning of their academic writing. Module content includes: surveys of literature; critical frameworks; disaggregation as an analysis technique; identifying the research question; dissemination of the research findings.

Honours Project Proposal and Development (ART405)

This module allows students to formulate a contextual, theoretical, and practical foundation in a self-selected area of professional practice and research. Students will evaluate existing research, texts and projects with a view to developing a project proposal and will develop a portfolio of practical work pertinent to their own professional practice and the selected honours project topic.

Professional Contexts & Entrepreneurship (DES401)

Provides students with a detailed and critical understanding of the creative industries which prepares them for professional practice and entrepreneurship.

Honours Project (SOC400)

Offers students the opportunity to conduct and present a simple investigation into a sociological topic of their choice, the result of which is a 10,000 word dissertation.

Honours Project Dissertation (ART404)

Approaches research as an active process of inquiry that leads to the production of a dissertation which appropriately communicates research process and findings.

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.

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.

Accreditation

Playstation First Accreditation

Creative SKILLset Accreditation

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) - -

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.

Find out more

#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

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. 

 

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.

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.

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.

male drawing using an easel - live model in background

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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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)).

Games Showcase

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

Be Inspired

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Jess Hider

BA (Hons) Computer Arts, 2015

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Liam Wong

BA (Hons) Computer Arts, 2010

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Amrita Bharij

BA (Hons) Computer Arts, 2006

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A photo of Abbie Smeaton smiling

Abbie Smeaton

BA (Hons) Computer Arts, 2017

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Programme Leader - Computer Arts

Dr David Lyons

Dr David Lyons

School of Design and Informatics | Lecturer

View profile

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