3 years full-time for BA (Hons) Games Art
Direct entry into year 2 or 3 available with previous HND/FdA
Confetti Institute of Creative Technologies, Nottingham
UCAS course code:
Entry and admissions criteria:
- A-levels – BBC; or
- BTEC Extended Diploma – DMM; or
- 112 UCAS Tariff points from at least two A-levels or equivalent qualifications; and
- GCSE – English and Maths Grade C / 4.
This course is not suitable for international applicants requiring a Student visa.
Please note: This course does not meet the UK Visas and Immigration requirements for Student visa sponsorship. Therefore we cannot progress applications from candidates who require a Student visa. If you require advice on alternative courses please contact our international team.
English language entry requirements
If English is not your first language, you need to show us that your language skills are strong enough for intensive academic study. We usually ask for an IELTS test and we accept some alternative English language tests.
- For a list of our language, requirements please visit our English language page.
- If you need to do a pre-sessional English language course to meet the English requirements, please visit our pre-sessional English course page.
Fees and funding:
Visit our fees & funding page for more information.
Your course fees cover the cost of studies, and include loads of great benefits, such as the use of our library, support from our expert Employability team, and free use of the IT equipment across our campuses.
We advise you to budget £60 - £250 (minimum) for an entry level graphics tablet. You are also recommended to obtain a personal computer to complete digital artwork on. Whilst there are free versions of software and open source art software available it would also advisable to budget for a student Creative Cloud license (starting at £9.88).
Most study modules will recommend one or more core text books, which most students choose to purchase. Book costs vary and further information is available in the University’s bookshop. Our libraries provide a good supply of essential text books, journals and materials (many of which you can access online) – meaning you may not need to purchase as many books as you might think! There may also be a supply of second-hand books available for purchase from previous year students.
All essential field trip costs will be included in your course fees. There may be the opportunity to take part in optional field trips, which do incur additional costs.
If you're undertaking a placement year, you'll need to budget for accommodation and any travel costs you may incur whilst on placement. Many of our placement students do earn a salary whilst on placement which can help to cover these living costs.
Print and copy costs
The University allocates an annual printing and copying allowance of £20 depending on the course you are studying. For more details about costs for additional print and copying required over and above the annual allowance please see the Printing, photocopying and scanning information on the Library website.
How to Apply
This degree is validated by Nottingham Trent University and all applications must be submitted through the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS).
The global games industry is a rapidly expanding technology driven industry with a growing demand for graduates with industry specific creative software skills combined with the ability to be innovative, adaptable, self-directed and demonstrate problem solving abilities within an artistic workflow. This BA (Hons) Games Art degree responds to those needs by giving you the opportunity to focus your study on establishing a career in a practical, industry relevant environment.
The course content is focused on specific software applications vital to games art, which is enhanced by student-focused investigation into industry specialisms. This enables you to develop an understanding of the core areas of games art production including; pre-production visualisation, production concept art, asset production and project management, alongside personal investigation of key artistic technologies such as 2D, 3D, VR and AR.
You'll enhance your academic and professional skills through the use of student-lead research and investigation. Development of your independent learning is essential to forming the qualities and attributes required to complete your studies. You'll learn how to apply your own creative, analytical and critical abilities to the creation of games art and assets for a global audience and to develop communication and problem solving skills to realise your intentions.
You'll research and investigate the global impact and economic value of a commercial games product. As such, you'll be encouraged to consider the importance of current and future legal and economic frameworks, ethical considerations, sustainability and moral choices required in the creation and distribution of games.
The course will also focus on career routes within the modules and help you define an area of focus or job role to enhance your strategy for employment within the global games industry e.g. Working for a games developer, publisher, self-employment or working in a freelance capacity.
The global games industry is continuously evolving to meet consumer needs. New technological advancements in hardware mean that students should be versatile, digitally literate and adaptable in their approach to hardware and software. As such, this course is primarily ran within a specialist Games Art IT lab. Practice based lectures and workshops give you the opportunity to develop specific software and technology skills and evaluate them in regards to your career goals.
The teaching and learning methods used on the course reflect the need for you to develop a wide range of professional skills alongside your academic knowledge. The range of modules gives you the chance to advance your creative skills using the latest industry standard packages.
Alongside the practical hardware and software skills you develop, you will be taught professional project management techniques and how that will influence your time management within your production
There is a key emphasis on self-directed study, with you being encouraged to investigate creative technology, its place within the games industry and how that in turn impacts your career progression.
93% of our degree students would recommend studying at Confetti to others. (National Student Survey 2020)
We arrange some fantastic trips for students throughout the year - recently, these experiences experiences have included a trip to EGX Eurogamer in Birmingham, the Warner Brothers Studio Tour plus many more.
What our current students think
Advice from our alumni
There are two different types of assessment on the course - ‘formative’ and ‘summative’. During all modules, you'll submit work at varying stages for your formative assessment. This will allow your tutors to make an accurate assessment of your artistic and academic development and provide you with feedback in order for you to plan for your final summative assessment deadlines and overall future development.
Your summative assessment deadline will take place at the conclusion of that module. Assessments will focus on your level of achievement against each of the module learning outcomes. Feedback for these assessment will primarily be in written form, but may also be verbally via digital recording and occurs at the end each module. Summative feedback provides you with an overarching review of your achievements set against the learning outcomes for a module.
You'll also receive significant amounts of informal feedback throughout the course. The feedback is to help you evaluate your progress as you work within sessions or independently. This type of feedback is typically verbal, through discussions with tutors or peer feedback but may also be as part of tutorials, seminars, lectures or workshops, and in response to project presentations.
A three year Bachelor degree is a great choice if you’re looking to gain a full Level 6 qualification. With a higher UCAS tariff – this type of degree is perfect for you if you prefer a more theoretical approach to your studies combined with significant elements of practice. After graduating you will be able to progress onto a postgraduate course or start your creative career.
Topping up your existing qualification
Each case will be considered individually, but if you have passed an FdA from Confetti and decided you want to continue your studies, you’re automatically entitled to enter into the 3rd year of the equivalent BA degree to ‘top up’ to a full honours degree.
What you'll study in year 1
This module introduces you to the principles of drawing and visualisation that form the fundamentals required for a career as a games artist. You will study idea generation and concept development and its essential use within a games development pre-production stage.
You will develop and refine your game art drawing skills from observation and imagination using both traditional hand drawn techniques and digital processes. The aim is to develop a visual language that will allow you to record information for future development of game art concepts. There is an emphasis on exploration and you are encouraged to record visual information within your sketchbooks.
On completion of your exploration, you will refine your concepts by developing them through 2D and 3D digital processes. This module will introduce the use of 2D digital software and 3D modelling and sculpting software to create visual concepts to relevant industry standard specifications.
The module will introduce you to and develop your understanding of anatomy, form, composition and colour theory and how this can be applied in the creation of game art. You will study environments, architecture, figures and objects allowing you to visualise and incorporate these elements in to original game design.
There will be an emphasis on producing innovative 2D and 3D game art with a focus on core art principles, game art processes and practices and the use of specialist software.
An understanding of the context of art and design is vital in the creation of games art assets and concepts. This module aims to provide you with the underpinning knowledge of art and design theory and historical context and how that will impact your professional practice within the modern games industry. You will look at both contemporary and historical art and design and its global impact socially, ethically and economically.
You are encouraged to investigate and research a broad range of art, games genres and the wider creative media industries (design, film, animation, illustration, graphic novels) and your research will be presented through your research journal and case study on art style within games.
On completion of your studies you will be able to deconstruct modern video games and critically analyse their design in terms of aesthetics. This module also aims to develop your understanding of the importance of the role of the audience within the games industry and how, as an artist, you are reponsible for considering the ethical and social context surrounding the creation of games art for commercial release.
What you'll study in year 2
This module aims to build your knowledge and technical skill in the production of game art assets for computer games. You will study the integration of concept art within the computer games production pipeline and its value as part of the development of 2D and 3D art assets. Game art processes taught will include 2D digital software techniques, 2D to 3D workflow and the creation of graphical elements including GUI and HUD creation.
This module will further develop and consolidate your technical knowledge of 2D and 3D visual theory and practice that was initiated in the Concept Art for Games module in year one. This year, you will be introduced to modelling and sculpting techniques specific to the design of 3D game environments including industry standard workflow techniques and pipelines. The techniques taught will be relevant towards the integration of these assets into an industry standard games engine. This will result in you producing innovative environment designs for use within your industry portfolio.
You will be expected to undertake efficient coordination of resources and effective deployment of technology in order to create refined art assets intended for a prescribed professional purpose. You will be required to evaluate your own game art, assess its appropriateness for use within a commercial production and evaluate its suitability in informing your concepts target audience.
At this level you are expected to produce self-directed concepts that follow industry standard requirements and restrictions. Research will be focused on investigating subjects you are personally interested in allowing you to produce individual and innovative responses.
During this module you will undertake appropriate self-directed projects, working collaboratively on creative work, allowing you to directly apply the knowledge and skills learnt throughout the programme in the context of the workplace. This module aims to develop your overall professionalism and provide you with the knowledge and resources to begin a career in the creative industries.
The nature of creative industries is increasingly defined by freelance and self-employed models of work. Consequently, individuals seeking work in industry need to appreciate the pressures of working on multiple projects to strict deadlines and the subsequent demands this place on time and resources.
Similarly, an understanding of professional practice and the legal and economic imperatives in industry is important, as is effective communication, self-efficacy and autonomy. This module aims to develop these skills and knowledge by challenging you to develop a range of self-directed projects.
What you'll study in your final year
As 3D modelling or sculpting is a necessity of most creative positions within the games industry, you will create a body of work that evidences your ability to use a variety of industry relevant software tools and techiques. You will learn how to efficiently manage an asset development cycle which will include the planning and designing of multiple game assets, all to self directed brief/s.
This module builds on your previous knowledge and skills with various 3D packages acquired during level 4 and 5. It aims to provide you with the opportunity extend and advance your skills in 3D modelling as the module complements and builds on your existing hard surface modelling skills with soft surface modelling and digital sculpting aimed at creating organic forms to the technical specifications of the concept and the requirements of industry.
This module will allow you to develop your skills in a specific 3D software package suitable to you and help you develop an industry standard workflow and pipeline for asset creation. These 3D assets could be specific to but not limited to characters, props and/or environments.
Whilst your skill set may lean towards 2D artwork this module is aimed towards giving you versatility in your creative skillset. You will look at organic form, artificial and hard edged structures, custom textures and materials alongside realistic lighting and rendering techniques.
This module aims to provide you with the opportunity explore the full pipeline for artists working within the games industry. It is the aim of this module to give you a better insight and understanding of the complex nature of art and design within the games industry.
Throughout this module you will aim to advance your understanding and ability with the principles of games art and design to a professional, industry ready level. This will include initial pitch art, world building, art direction, reference sheets, asset production, promotional art and final key art.
As there are a range of specialist pathways within art production in the games industry this module aims to allow you the opportunities to refine your approach to a number of these potential future employment opportunities.
The conclusion of this module should give you a clear understanding of the professional direction of your game art portfolio.
This module builds on your previous experience and knowledge gained during Level 4 and 5. The module provides you with an opportunity to develop a research based portfolio of work, through self-initiated creative investigation.
The emphasis of this module is to create a dissertation based on your interests and personal study which is negotiated through consultations with tutors. It provides you with the opportunity to develop professional practical work while demonstrating sustained intellectual engagement with a specific form of creative investigation.
In this way the module gives you greater autonomy to define your career direction, produce industry level practical work and demonstrate your potential for professional practice.
The module will provide you with opportunities to demonstrate your ability to research, critically analyse, contextually formulate opinion and produce work on industry related topics.
As part of this investigation you will also enhance your abilities to communicate your findings with an audience and consolidate your skills in project management and self-directed work, both of which are vital for a career within the creative industries and wider world of work.
The module serves to acquaint you with the key skills and practices required to undertake and complete independent project research and to produce creative technological products in response.
On this course you'll study in Confetti HQ - our brand new £9.1million digital media hub:
- Industry Spec Workstation PC’s
- Specialist software including Unreal Engine 4, Autodesk Suite (3DS Max, Maya, Mudbox), Adobe Creative Suite, Zbrush, Quixel 2.0
- Wacom Cintiq 13HD Touch Tablets
- Wacom Cintiq Pro 16: Creative Display Pen
- Games Consoles
Every year we welcome family, friends and industry professionals to watch, listen, test and play the fantastic work of our degree students.
Our Games Art degree students have put together this fantastic exhibition of industry-inspired artwork to raise awareness of SpecialEffect; a UK-based charity who use video games and other technologies to enhance the quality of life for people with disabilities.
At Confetti, we offer students the chance to ‘Do It For Real’ – get out into real industries and experience working in various roles that take their interest.
Our Talent Development team work closely with Course Leaders to link students with opportunities across the games industry. Have a read of one of our alumnus’ stories, and how studying at Confetti helped him land a job as a freelance Colour Commentator in the Esports Industry.
Throughout the year, students are invited to attend various talks and events with visiting industry experts. Not long ago, the British Esports Association visited, along with Head of Education at Twitch, to deliver a fantastic talk for students about the growing industry of gaming.
The British Esports Association also held their 2019 Winter Championship Finals at Confetti’s very own Metronome – have a look through the gallery of images from the event.
Like no other, we go off timetable and invite some of the biggest names in the games industry to deliver talks, workshops and seminars for our students. It’s a great opportunity for our students to gain invaluable insights and industry connections.
Past Industry Week guests have included:
- Rockstar Games
- The Oliver Twins
- Games Workshop
- Splash Damage
- Anna Hollinrake
Continue your education
Your time at Confetti doesn’t have to stop once you finish your undergraduate course. Choose to continue your studies on our postgraduate degrees that can help you further develop your skills and obtain the experience you need to get a head start in your career:
You can also move straight into your career, in areas which might include:
- Concept artist
- 2D/3D artist
- Environment artist
- Weapon designer
- UI designer
- Technical artist
Previous games students are working at companies, such as:
- Rockstar Games
- Riot Games
- Sumo Digital
- Ubisoft Blue Byte
- Quantic Dream
- Splash Damage
- Lockwood Publishing