Computer Arts

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



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

Award Title

BA (Hons)



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. 

Missed the 15 January UCAS deadline or changed your mind about where you want to apply? Don't panic! Our applications close for Scottish and EU students on 24 April 2019. For English, Welsh, Northern Irish and international students, our applications close on 30 June 2019.

Start a Degree in September 2019

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 Art & Design or Creative Digital Media Production or Creative Media Production
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.

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. 

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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Entry Requirements by Country

Discover whether you're eligible for entry and learn more about the country-specific qualifications you need to study at Abertay.

Find out more

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English Language Requirements

Explore English language requirements for entry to Abertay University.

Find out more

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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.

Find out more

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 (2018/19)

Digital Media Concepts (ART102)

An understanding of the current thinking, issues and tensions within the field of computer arts which enables you to identify and evaluate the work of practitioners which serve as creative responses to these issues. Module content includes: lectures relating to current thinking, history and trends; the field of digital media and its roles and domains of practice; discourse mapping – issues, debates, and tensions in digital arts and media; critique techniques; dissemination techniques of research finding and apply appropriate techniques to meet the needs of the project brief.

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.

Life and Observational Drawing (ART106)

Foundation skills and techniques to observe, capture and communicate a visual subject. You are encouraged to experiment and explore to find your own visual expressive style. Through practical drawing sessions, you explore line, form, proportion, tone, colour, texture, scale, perspective and apply skills to consider character, narrative, mood and tone of your work. You produce a curated folio of drawings that demonstrate your skills.

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.

3D Visualisation (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.

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 you with a set of academic tools to analyse and evaluate issues, trends and work which sit within your 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.

Concept Design and Development (ART204)

An understanding of the artistic and technical processes deployed in the field of concept art and production design for entertainment such as computer games, film, comics or animation. You explore your field through visual research, observational and digital concept design skills, while employing industry standard applications to aid the creative process. You produce a portfolio of evidence to show a firm grasp of two dimensional digital production methods through conceptual and practical skills development.

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)

The skills and knowledge to develop your understanding of your field through theoretical and critical underpinning of academic writing. Module content includes: surveys of literature – identify and critically analyse existing literature; critical frameworks; disaggregation as an analysis technique – identify and deconstruct existing artwork interpreting the decisions made by the artist; identify the research question and research methods; 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)

Learn to engage critically with the creative industries. Discuss the global marketplace for creative media, the development of business ideas, and the demonstrable knowledge, expertise, and planning expected by employers and investors. Consider which creative industries align with your own personal ambitions for employability or entrepreneurship such as Games, Animation and Visual Effects, Film and Television, Graphic Design, Web and Digital Media, and Installation Art. Module content includes: the creative industries; understanding the marketplace; creative industries development lifecycles; people, roles and professional expectations; legal and financial understanding; ethics; entrepreneurship; personal branding and preparing for employment; career routes and development; self-employment in the creative industries.

Honours Project (3) (ART403)

You undertake an extensive creative research project fusing theory and practice to create a large-scale portfolio of work, sensitive to critical theories, concepts and practices within a specialist area of enquiry. This module will have its own discrete assessment criteria and deliverables as set out in a learning contract and agreed by project tutors, but will be an expression of the theme(s) addressed by your research aim. You’ll have regular progress meetings with your project supervisor. The output material for your project should reflect the full process from inception to completion. It will culminate in a professional well-developed presentation by you that demonstrates a full and considered answer to the research question.

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.


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.


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


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


Industry accreditation from Creative Skillset - the quality mark for excellence

Programme Fees for 2019

Scottish & EU students


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


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


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

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



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 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.


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.


Abertay student creating digital art


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)).

Get inspired

Meet some of our Computer Arts graduates and find out what they've gone on to do.

A picture of Amrita Bharij smiling

Amrita Bharij

Amrita focuses on creating a great player experience in Triple-A games at Rockstar Games.

Find out more

Male wearing a baseball cap standing in front of a Ubisoft sign

Liam Wong

From graduating to Ubisoft’s youngest director in two and a half years...

Find out more

Caitlin Goodale delivering a presentation

Caitlin Goodale

Caitlin works as a UX Designer for King working on casual mobile games like Candy Crush.

Find out more

Games Showcase

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

Be Inspired

Game screenshot - among the stones

Programme Leader - Computer Arts

Dr David Lyons

Dr David Lyons

School of Design and Informatics | Lecturer

View profile

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Explore our Dundee Campus

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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Why Abertay?

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.

Open Days

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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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Non-country specific qualifications


International Baccalaureate

English B at S5 or H4 (If doing English A – no need for any result)

European Baccalaureate

6 (English L1) or 7 (English L2)


Country Specific Requirements

We accept a wide range of qualifications from applicants from over the world. Select your country from the below options.