Duration: 3 years full time
UCAS code: W6V1
Institution code: R72
UK fees: £9,250
International/EU fees: £18,100
Video Games Art and Design (BA)
This course offers a unique focus on the art and design of video games, with an emphasis on developing your creative and critical skills in story form. You will explore new areas of social and immersive gaming while gaining key business skills to forge successful careers in the creative industries.
This course is run by the Department of Media Arts as part of our new Centre of Digital Creativity, fusing collaborations between arts and science students. You will have the opportunity to work in a lab environment alongside computer science and electronic engineering students, where you will develop your understanding of how hardware, art, design, software and narrative interact.
From Angry Birds to the Avengers, you will see how games are fused with other creative media disciplines to create franchises and hybrid forms that span multiple platforms and story experiences. You will develop your creative and critical skills beyond games to explore digital media production, including social media, animation, visual effects, interactive and experimental media forms.
You will collaborate with directors, animators, sound designers and interactive artists to bring your game ideas to life and develop skills in interactive art design and story form that enable you to work across games and the wider creative industries.
Core ModulesYear 1
Digital Storytelling provides you with an entry-level understanding of the emergent relationships between concepts of narrative and digital media, as well as of their histories and pre-histories. The module is imagined as a primarily theoretical study program which will develop your capacity to think critically about the stories you read, watch and play in the digital space.
This module will introduce you to the creation of artistic and experimental digital projects based on computer code. The first part of the module will consist of the analysis and critique of existing projects and practices. Under the umbrella of creative code and digital art, you will view, interact with, and discuss a range of projects that will inform your future practice. The second part will build on this. You will embark in the creation of an interactive art project, learning all the stages from initial design to delivery, while acquiring more advanced coding skills that will enable you to progress to the year 2 and 3 options with a solid foundation to create ambitious and innovative practice work.
You will develop the basic building blocks which form the foundations of design for games and interactive, immersive environments. You will be introduced to the functionality of game engines and will learn the process of setting up projects, importing assets and creating basic functionality. This module will include demonstrations on matching shader output from 3D modelling packages and rendering these in a real-time, game engine environment. It will explore the utilisation of basic interactivity and the use of VR as a tool to allow navigation and exploration of digital environments.
You will create projects set to industry relevant briefs and will pitch and plan your ideas thoroughly. Upon completion of this module you will have the building blocks required for more complex game design and development projects on further years of your study.
This module focuses on the discipline of 3D digital art which is the underpinning skill which feeds the game, vfx and animation industries. You will learn a number of complex, industry standard software packages and will utilise these to create highly detailed and fully realised assets. You will learn about the pipeline used in the games and creative digital industries and will complete assignments which mirror industry practice and set a solid foundation for your further years of study at the College. There will be a focus on presenting ideas both orally and in industry standard 2d and 3d manners. There is also an expectation for continuous group critique and formative feedback which again, mirrors industry practice.
This module is largely individually based enabling students to build their own vision of a game world. The module will involve some honing of technical skills with a view to exposing you to the calibre of work required for high-end or AAA gaming, but such aspects will be fused with an emphasis on storytelling strategies and techniques for interactive, virtual and three dimensional environments. You will thus explore a range of design, technical and narrative approaches to game art and design.
You will begin to work more extensively in 3D and develop game concepts with a specific audience in mind. You will have the opportunity to work with drama and directing students to see their narrative ideas brought to life by performances that can inhabit their game world. The module will thus emphasise the artistic role of the games designer working in collaboration with other technical and creative disciplines.
- Indie and Mobile Game Design
This module is designed to provide an understanding of the process of presenting work to industry professionals, with the overall arch focussed on employability. You will identify the area of the industry you are aiming to enter and will be tasked with creating a series of new works which fulfil your career ambitions with a very structured approach to the means by which you can achieve those ambitions.
In this module you will design, develop and execute a substantial original piece of digital media, combining still and moving image, sound, text and code. You will prepare and write a project proposal and budget and present your ideas in public. You will reflect on and critically analyse your work, showing an advanced understanding of the aesthetic ethical and technical issues involved in digital and social media.
All modules are core
Teaching & assessment
Teaching on this course is delivered through lectures, workshops, labs and one-to-one supervision.
You will be asked to develop game artwork, storyboards and scripts, prototypes and designs alongside a range of written and oral assessments, including social media, reports and essays.
You will have the opportunity to work in agile development labs with students from electronic engineering and computer science where you will rapidly develop your game ideas to prototype.
You will have access to our newly furnished video games and immersive labs, as well as a range of media production facilities, including motion capture, a TV studio, and editing and post-production suites.
A Levels: ABB-BBB
Required: At least five GCSE passes at grades A* to C or 9-4, including Maths and English.
Where an applicant is taking the EPQ alongside A-levels, the EPQ will be taken into consideration and result in lower A-level grades being required. For students who are from backgrounds or personal circumstances that mean they are generally less likely to go to university you may be eligible for an alternative lower offer. Follow the link to learn more about our contextual offers.
English language requirements
All teaching at Royal Holloway is in English. You will therefore need to have good enough written and spoken English to cope with your studies right from the start.
The scores we require
- IELTS: 6.5 overall. Writing 7.0. No other subscore lower than 5.5.
- Pearson Test of English: 61 overall. Writing 69. No other subscore lower than 51.
- Trinity College London Integrated Skills in English (ISE): ISE III.
- Cambridge English: Advanced (CAE) grade C.
For more information about country-specific entry requirements for your country please visit here.
For international students who do not meet the direct entry requirements, the International Study Centre offers the following pathway programmes:
● International Foundation Year - for progression to the first year of an undergraduate degree.
● International Year One - for progression to the second year of an undergraduate degree.
Your future career
Over 120 gaming companies are located within 30 minutes of Royal Holloway. The games sector employing over 12,000 people in the UK, and this course draws on significant industry leadership and experience that spans the Hollywood of gaming in nearby Guildford and Aldershot. You will develop a number of transferable skills which are highly prized by companies working in the creative-technology industries.
Fees & funding
Home (UK) students tuition fee per year*: £9,250
EU and International students tuition fee per year**: £18,100
Other essential costs***: TBC
How do I pay for it? Find out more about funding options, including loans, scholarships and bursaries. UK students who have already taken out a tuition fee loan for undergraduate study should check their eligibility for additional funding directly with the relevant awards body.
*The tuition fee for UK undergraduates is controlled by Government regulations. For students starting a degree in the academic year 2021/22, the fee will be £9,250 for that year. The fee for UK undergraduates starting in 2022/23 has not yet been confirmed.
**The UK Government has confirmed that EU nationals are no longer eligible to pay the same fees as UK students, nor be eligible for funding from the Student Loans Company. This means you will be classified as an international student. At Royal Holloway, we wish to support those students affected by this change in status through this transition. For eligible EU students starting their course with us in September 2022, we will award a fee reduction scholarship equivalent to 60% of the difference between the UK and international fee for your course. This will apply for the duration of your course. Find out more
Fees for international students may increase year-on-year in line with the rate of inflation. The policy at Royal Holloway is that any increases in fees will not exceed 5% for continuing students. For further information see fees and funding and our terms and conditions.
***These estimated costs relate to studying this particular degree at Royal Holloway during the 2021/22 academic year, and are included as a guide. Costs, such as accommodation, food, books and other learning materials and printing etc., have not been included.