BA (Hons) Games Art with foundation year

Seeking to turn your artistic vision into breathtaking 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:

University of Bolton

UCAS points:

48

UCAS code:

G651

Start date:

25/09/2023

Course Details

The UK market for video games reached a record £7.16billion in 2021 (1). If you seek a career in a strong economic sector, then a career in games is an excellent choice. From PC, console and mobile games to serious games for education and training and the emerging virtual reality games market, software developers seek highly qualified games specialists.

The first year of our 4-year BA (Hons) Games Art with foundation year degree offers an introduction to the study of games. The emphasis is on creativity, with specialisation in the route 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 build your skills, preparing you for your honours degree. Our teaching aims to develop you to be able to work in the games industry.

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

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 (2)). Throughout the degree, we'll take an intensely practical approach 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 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 the 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.

(1) Ukie - https://ukie.org.uk/consumer-games-market-valuation-2021 accessed on 4 August 2022

(2) Subject to approval by the relevant programme leader

Highlights
  • Our Computer Science courses are top in the UK for student satisfaction, according to The Complete University Guide 2022.
  • Interdisciplinary projects with students from our other games 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 you wish to specialise in, 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. The finished demo will be available for industry employers to view at the end-of-year degree show.
Key Features
  • Games graduates from the University of Bolton 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 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 and 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.
  • By choosing to study with us, you'll have the chance to enjoy Bolton's many shops, bars, restaurants and leisure facilities. Manchester, one of the UK's most multicultural and lively cities, is less than 20 minutes away by train. Not forgetting, the North West of England is renowned for its beautiful countryside, coastline and heritage. This makes Bolton an ideal base from which to explore some of the best cultural and outdoor activities the UK offers.

  • 48 UCAS points. We accept a full range of qualifications that carry UCAS points, including A-levels, BTECs and T levels. Please see our guide to the UCAS Tariff for examples of how to achieve these points. For most courses, we are also able to consider non-tariffable qualifications
  • 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.
  • 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.

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?

As a BA (Hons) Games Art with foundation year graduate, you could secure employment in various fields, 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, bearing in mind that 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
Home Fees Year of study Total
Entry year2022/232023/242024/252025/262026/27
2023£9,250£9,250£9,250£9,250-£37,000
2023-£9,250£9,250£9,250£9,250£37,000
International Year of study Total
Entry year2022/232023/242024/252025/262026/27
2023£9,750£12,950£12,950£12,950-£48,600
2023-£10,350£13,550£13,550£13,550£51,000

Important note regarding tuition fees for the 2022-2023 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 for EU students web page 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.

Bursaries

Click here for more information about the scholarships and bursaries available to University of Bolton students.


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

If you wish to apply for multiple institutions or multiple courses at Bolton for September entry, then apply through UCAS

You can apply for up to 5 courses through UCAS (at the same or different institutions) for a fee of £27. Alternatively, if you only wish to apply for a single course at a single institution then a reduced applicant's fee of £22.50 is applicable.

The online application form and guidance notes are available on the UCAS website.

You will need the following information to complete your UCAS application form:

  • Institution Code Name: BOLTN

  • Institution Code Number: B44

UCAS - Universities and Colleges Admissions Service

Tel: 0870 1122211
Web: www.ucas.com

If you wish to apply for a single course offered by the University of Bolton for any intake, you can apply directly

If you have carefully considered your course and institution choices and decided that this course is the best option for you, you may apply directly to the University using our online application form shown below.

A direct application to Bolton provides the following features:

  • Free of charge to apply

  • Secure, simple and streamlined

  • Contact us directly for any admissions queries

  • Regular updates on your application directly from the University

  • Invites to offer holder events and taster sessions where you can meet your future tutors and get a flavour of university life

NOTE: You cannot apply both through UCAS and directly to Bolton. Submitting an application to any university through UCAS during the same academic year will void any direct application you make to Bolton.

For courses starting in September, please be aware that we are required to share your information with UCAS if we accept you on this course. We will create a simplified UCAS acceptance record on your behalf and return this to UCAS. By submitting your application directly to the University of Bolton, you agree to these terms.

If you are ready to apply directly, please select your chosen start date from the list below.

Before applying, please read the entry requirements section of this page.

If your course runs at multiple locations or has various start dates, please be sure to select the correct application link from the list below.

Before beginning your application, you should have the following information to hand:

  • Details of the educational establishments you attended and dates

  • Your certificates for the qualifications you are using to gain entry to the course – you will need to enter the completion date and upload copies

  • Details of any employment history, including name, address, dates and role

  • Personal statement – this can be either input into the relevant field or uploaded separately

  • Details including e-mail addresses of two referees, at least one of which should be someone who can provide an academic reference

Please make sure any documents you wish to upload in support of your application are in pdf or jpeg format. Personal statements may be word documents.

Please ensure your data is correct at each stage of the application before you proceed to the next page. If you use the back button at any time during the application, you should check the validity of the data you have already inputted.

If you experience difficulties during the application process, contact the Undergraduate Admissions Team on 01204 903394 or UGadmissions@bolton.ac.uk

Thank you for your interest

In order to determine your suitability for this course as an international student and also to confirm you meet any initial eligibility criteria, we need you to answer a few short questions.

Continue

University of Bolton Group Partners

Bolton College
University Collegiate School
Alliance Learning
University of Bolton

For valued members of the University of Bolton Group and progressing students, we try to make our application process as simple and as fast as possible.

If you have carefully considered your course and institution choices and decided that this course is the best option for you, you may apply free of charge to the University. By selecting the appropriate link from the list shown below, you will be taken directly to our online application form. Please read the user guidance before completing this, and ensure you upload all supporting documents such as certificates and your personal statement when you apply.

When you are asked to add a contact email address, please ensure you add your college/university email account address as well as your personal address. If you do not add your college address as your contact address, we will be unable to identify you as a partner and offer you the benefits of being part of our group.

NOTE: You cannot apply both through UCAS and directly to Bolton. Submitting an application to any university through UCAS during the same academic year will void any direct application you make to Bolton.

For courses starting in September, please be aware that we are required to share your information with UCAS if we accept you on this course. We will create a simplified UCAS acceptance record on your behalf and return this to UCAS. By submitting your application directly to the University of Bolton, you agree to these terms.

If you are ready to apply directly, please select your chosen start date from the list below.

Before applying, please read the entry requirements section of this page.

If your course runs at multiple locations or has various start dates, please be sure to select the correct application link from the list below.

Before beginning your application, you should have the following information to hand:

  • Details of the educational establishments you attended and dates

  • Your certificates for the qualifications you are using to gain entry to the course – you will need to enter the completion date and upload copies

  • Details of any employment history, including name, address, dates and role

  • Personal statement – this can be either input into the relevant field or uploaded separately

  • Details including email addresses of two referees, at least one of which should be someone who can provide an academic reference

Please make sure any documents you wish to upload in support of your application are in pdf or jpeg format. Personal statements may be word documents.

Please ensure your data is correct at each stage of the application before you proceed to the next page. If you use the back button at any time during the application, you should check the validity of the data you have already inputted.

If you experience difficulties during the application process, contact the Undergraduate Admissions Team on 01204 903394 or UGadmissions@bolton.ac.uk

We look forward to receiving your application and you continuing your academic journey with us!


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 constructing 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 a high level of visual creativity and softer skills such as teamwork, 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.

Modules

The modules listed below may be a mixture of compulsory and optional. You may not have the opportunity to study all the modules shown as part of the course.

  • Introduction to Digital Art
  • Introduction to 2D Game Construction
  • Introduction to 3D Game Construction
  • Foundation Project
  • Art Fundamentals
  • Fundamentals of 3D
  • Digital Sculpting
  • Level Design
  • Environment Art
  • Advanced Digital Sculpting
  • Technical Art
  • Advanced Environment Art
  • Hard Surface Modelling
  • Group Portfolio Project
  • Major Project
Assessment methods
LevelAssesment method
Level oneCoursework 100%
Level twoCoursework 100%
Level threeCoursework 100%
Learning activities
LevelLearning activity
Level oneGuided independent study 66%, Scheduled learning and teaching activities 34%
Level twoGuided independent study 77%, Scheduled learning and teaching activities 23%
Level threeGuided independent study 77%, Scheduled learning and teaching activities 23%

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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We have the answers to your questions, find all the advice and support in one place.

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Anderton centre2
RiSE pos rgb logo
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