This course is 'Subject to Approval' and has not yet completed the University’s approvals process. Whilst we are confident that the course will be approved, there is the possibility that the course may not run or may be subject to alterations. This course is due to be validated by November 2020 after which we will write to all applicants who have applied for the course to let them know the outcome and of any changes. In the event that a course is not approved the University will make reasonable efforts to offer an alternative course at the University.

BA (Hons) Games Art with foundation year

Seeking to turn your artistic vision into breath taking game environments and striking characters? Our BA (Hons) Games Art with foundation year degree offers highly practical tuition designed to develop your skills in digital asset creation for games development, focusing on 3D modelling, texturing and lighting so you can learn to create artwork for the latest AAA games.

Games Art with foundation year

Key information

Award:

BA (Hons)

Mode of Study:

Full-time

Duration:

4 years

Location:

The University of Bolton

Start date:

To be confirmed

Course Details

The market value of the UK games industry was approximately £5.35 billion in 2019, and 86% of people aged 16-69 say they have played computer or mobile games in the last year*. If you are seeking a career in a strong sector of the economy, then a career in games is an excellent choice. From PC, console and mobile games, through to serious games for education and training and the emerging virtual reality games market, software developers are seeking highly qualified games specialists.

The first year of our 4-year BA (Hons) Games Art with foundation year degree offers an introductory study into games. The emphasis is on creativity, with specialisation on the route that you want to follow. Key topics include simple games production using industry recognised platforms and technologies. Our dedicated games team will work to help you develop your skills preparing you for your degree. The aim of our teaching is to develop you to be able to work in the games industry.

The foundation year constitutes a “bridge” between further education and higher education. There is a greater emphasis on practical work, with dedicated support to help you to prepare for the more demanding academic tasks on the degree programme proper.

Once you've successfully completed the foundation year, you'll automatically progress onto the main degree programme where your studies will focus specifically on games art (though you'll have the chance to transfer streams to BSc (Hons) Games Design or BSc (Hons) Games Programming on completion if you prefer**). Throughout the degree, we'll take an intensely practical approach that's designed to mimic the working environment found in the games industry. We'll work together to develop your understanding of the creative and technical possibilities of games art. Our studio-based course will guide you from the basics of digital art, through character and environment modelling, texturing, lighting, level design and concept art, to the latest technologies in traditional and handheld game art.

We share your passion for games and offer a supportive atmosphere where you can show your work and respond to critiques, which may come from staff, your peers or guest experts from industry. These sessions help you learn to develop your ideas and improve your presentation and communication skills ready for a career in this ever-growing industry.

*Ukie - https://ukiepedia.ukie.org.uk/ accessed on 10 September 2020

**Subject to approval by the relevant programme leader

Highlights
  • Interdisciplinary projects with students from our other game’s courses give you opportunities to learn the vocabulary, production pipelines and work cultures of these disciplines along with valuable team working skills.
  • We frequently collaborate with games development companies on games usability testing and offer you the opportunity to test upcoming games before they go to market. Previous students have been credited for their work in some of these testing sessions.
  • Our dedicated games labs feature high-specification hardware and industry-standard software, including Wacom Cintiq tablet displays, Pixologic Zbrush, Autodesk Maya, and Adobe Substance Painter and Designer.
  • Our game jams are great opportunities to build your social network and practice your team working, problem solving and project management skills.
  • In our portfolio modules, you can focus your project on the area of games art in which you wish to specialise, giving you the chance to create a large portfolio piece for your showreel.
  • During your final year, you’ll work with students from our other games courses to produce a complete game demo that will be available for industry employers to view at the end-of-year degree show.
Key Features
  • University of Bolton games graduates have been enjoying careers in the games industry for longer than most – we were one of the first UK universities to offer games courses.
  • Our dedicated games tutors have a vast range of industry experience and an extensive network of contacts in the games industry. Members of our team have worked in AAA studios, run their own studios, authored books and are actively conducting research.
  • Team working and collaboration are essential for games industry success, so we encourage you to work on games projects in interdisciplinary teams with students from our other games courses.
  • Industry experts from the leading games studios in the UK, along with Bolton graduates now successful in the sector, are regularly invited to give guest lectures on aspects of games development.
  • We’ll help and support you to develop a portfolio of work that demonstrates your skills in preparation to impress potential employers.
Professional recognition


  • Any subjects are acceptable at Level 3.
  • You should also have five GCSEs at grade C or above or grade 4 to 9 (or equivalent) including English and Mathematics.
  • We’re happy to consider your application if you have non-traditional entry qualifications provided you can demonstrate relevant experience or a suitable portfolio of work that is deemed a reasonable substitute for the above qualifications. We'll consider your application in line with the University’s Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) and Recognition of Prior Experiential Learning (RPEL) procedures.
  • You’ll be required to attend an interview and/or provide a portfolio of work.
  • If English isn’t your first language you’ll also need IELTS 6.0 with no less than 5.5 in any band (or equivalent). We also accept a range of other English language qualifications – please visit our English Language Requirements web page for more details.
  • If English is your second language and you feel you need extra help with your language skills, you have the option of studying specialist language modules during the foundation year. Please contact the English for Academic Purposes team for further information and advice.

Want some reassurance or advice? Speak to one of our advisors. Email us at admissions@bolton.ac.uk or call us on +44 (0)1204 903 394.

Where changes are made to material information contained in this course description or a decision is taken to suspend a course between the offer of admissions and enrolment, we will inform applicants at the earliest possible opportunity and will outline the various options available to the applicant.


As a BA (Hons) Games Art with foundation year graduate you’ll be able to demonstrate skills in creativity, communication, teamwork, problem-solving and project management. You’ll also be able to work independently, develop concepts and respond to briefs. The key to gaining employment in the games industry is the quality of your portfolio, and developing this, is an integral part of the course. Our expert staff will support you to develop a personal portfolio of knowledge and experiences that reflect industry needs.

What can I do with this qualification?

BA (Hons) Games Art with foundation year graduates could secure employment in a variety of careers including game art design, art direction, video production, visual effects, level design and modelling, and arts management.

Alternative career options

Graduates can also use the qualification as a stepping-stone into a range of other careers. For some of these roles, both relevant experience and/or postgraduate study may be required. Some of these careers include:

  • Film
  • Advertising
  • Marketing
  • Web design
  • Broadcast media
  • Teaching
  • Digital media

Course fees

Important note regarding tuition fees for the 2021/2022 academic year: EU nationals who meet residency requirements (have settled or pre-settled status) may be eligible for ‘Home’ fee status. If you do not meet these residency requirements, overseas fees will apply. Irish citizens living in the UK or Ireland will be eligible for ‘Home’ fee status under the Common Travel Area arrangement. Please read the student finance eligibility 2021/2022 policy on www.gov.uk for information.

The fees for a student’s course of study will be set for the normal duration of that course subject only to inflationary increases – measured by the Consumer Price Index (CPI) recorded in March each year to take effect for subsequent start dates.

Additional costs

There may be some additional or optional costs associated with this course. These will be published after approval of the programme.


For details of how to apply for this course, please choose your status from the options below:


We use a variety of teaching and learning methods to help you achieve your potential, including lectures, demonstrations, practical lab sessions, critique sessions (peer and assessed), reflective learning through journals and logs for various activities, as well as online sessions and support. Creating your portfolio is a vital part of the course, allowing you to demonstrate your creativity and skills in the construction of concept art and 2D and 3D assets such as characters, environments and vehicles.

The course is very practical in nature, offering opportunities for you to develop high-level of visual creativity and softer skills such as team working, problem solving, organisation and communication that are highly valued in the games and interactive entertainment industry. Guided independent study and self-directed learning are also essential to your success; for instance, library research and background reading, preparing for practical activities and working on projects.

In terms of formal assessment, you can expect written examinations and reports, assignments, projects, case study analyses, in-class tests, demonstrations, presentations, and others. These contribute to your final module mark and allow you to demonstrate that you have met the learning outcomes. We also use other forms of assessment to help you learn, especially critique sessions. These provide you with feedback and inform your development, though these do not count towards your final module mark.

In terms of formal assessment, you can expect written examinations and reports, assignments, projects, case study analyses, in-class tests, demonstrations, presentations, and others. These contribute to your final module mark and allow you to demonstrate that you have met the learning outcomes. We also use other forms of assessment to help you learn, especially critique sessions. These provide you with feedback and inform your development, though these do not count towards your final module mark.

Disclaimer

The university will use all reasonable endeavours to deliver your course as described in its published material and the programme specification for the academic year in which you begin your course. The university considers changes to courses very carefully and the university will minimise any changes. Please be aware that our courses are subject to review on an ongoing basis and changes may be necessary due to legitimate staffing, financial, regulatory and academic reasons. The content of course modules and mode of associated assessments may be updated on an annual basis. This is to ensure that all modules are up-to-date and responsive to employment and sector needs. The published course material and the programme specification contain indicative ‘optional modules’ that may be subject to change due to circumstances outside of our control. For this reason, we cannot guarantee to run any specific optional module.

The academic staff detailed above teach across a range of courses in this subject area and may not teach on this course specifically.

Programme Contacts

Col Harding
Programme Leader

c.harding@bolton.ac.uk

+44 (0)1204 903424

Enquiry Team
University of Bolton

enquiries@bolton.ac.uk

+44 (0)1204 903903

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