Animation and Game Arts BA (Hons)

Location University Centre at Blackburn College
UCAS Code WW27
Code IA3072A21
Fees View fees and financial information
Study Mode Full Time
Duration: Full time: 3 academic years
Part time: 6 academic years
Start Dates: august 2023
Term Dates: View term dates

Overview

If you want a career as a professional animator or game artist – or a combination of both, then this creative and practical three-year BA (Hons) Animation and Game Arts is right for you. The course is professionally focussed with great links to industry. Teaching staff include professional animators and experienced freelance illustrators. You will use a wide range of techniques and media, ranging from traditional illustration and drawn animation to digital 3D character animation and motion graphics. You will learn about the history and context of animation and game arts to help make your work richer and better informed. We will work closely with you to develop your portfolio, online presence and employer contacts so that you will have the best possible chance of getting a job or becoming a freelancer when you graduate.

This is a three-year Honours degree which aims to equip you for a career in animation and game arts. We will help you find your unique talents and develop your skills in a friendly and supportive environment. As well as being supported to develop your own style and technique, you will also be introduced to a wide range of new concepts, skills and experiences that will broaden your horizons and make you a better artist and a more employable person. The Beehive Student Design Company has been set up to provide our students with paid industry work experience. Working for the Beehive, you can produce real commercial animation and game arts projects whilst meeting employers and clients. The work you produce can be credited against your degree course modules - so you can be rewarded for learning. You will study a range of exciting modules that are designed to give you the knowledge and skills you need for a great career in animation or game arts.

We also offer a Foundation Entry option for this course.

What will I study?

The course is professionally focussed with great links to industry. As well as your core modules, you will also attend guest lectures from a wide range of speakers in industry, go on studio and gallery visits, and have the opportunity to go on trips, including overseas travel.

There are many opportunities for work-based learning through our student design company The Beehive, as well as placements in studios and creative agencies.

At Level 4 study of the course, you will be introduced to a range of approaches through carefully structured technical workshops, lectures and creative assignments with a focus on experimentation.

As you progress through Level 5 and Level 6, you will develop your own personal practice with the emphasis placed increasingly on professionalism and commercial awareness. The course has a strong tradition of competition success and all students in the final year negotiate their assignments from a host of live opportunities and competition briefs. The course has formal agreements with several local studios. This means that you will have lessons in professional design studios, have lots of opportunities to work on real industry projects and get prestigious work placements.

All students take a total of 120 credits per level.

Level 4 Modules (all modules are mandatory) include:

  • Contextual Studies
  • Creative Process 1
  • 2D Animation
  • Drawing Skills
  • Digital Skills
  • Animation and Game Arts

Level 5 Modules (all modules are mandatory) include:

  • Critical Studies
  • Creative Process 2
  • Gaming Concepts
  • Story Craft
  • Character Design and Game Arts
  • Major Project

Level 6 Modules (all modules are mandatory) include:

  • Dissertation
  • External Engagement
  • Professional Practice
  • Final Major Project

Entry Requirements

You should have a minimum 80 UCAS Tariff points.

You should have and be able to verify that you have achieved a pass in English GCSE or Functional Skills Level 2 English or equivalent as an entry requirement. Proof of this should be shown at the interview.

You should have an interest in the practice of animation and/or game arts or an interest in some aspect of the creative arts.

Applicants attend an interview with their portfolio of work as part of meeting the standard entry criteria for the programme. This interview will perform two purposes:

1. To allow the admission tutor(s) to assess your knowledge of the rudimentary elements of animation and/or game arts practice (e.g. drawing skills, basic familiarity with the relevant software).

2. To allow for a supportive discussion surrounding issues such as fees, course structure, support, career ambitions, student and institutional responsibilities.

We welcome applications from mature students without formal qualifications for these courses or from mature students whose Level 3 qualifications were gained more than 5 years ago. In this case, you will attend an interview as part of meeting the standard entry criteria for the programme. If this applies, the interviewer will consider previously gained skills and experience, e.g. through employment or other verifiable source, and any prior formal qualifications. 

For non-native speakers of English you must demonstrate proficiency of English equivalent to B2 of the Common European Framework, specifically IELTS 6.0 (or equivalent) with no more than 2 sub scores below IELTS 5.5 (or equivalent).

We also offer a Foundation Entry option for this course.

Care Leavers or Young Carers

We want students from all backgrounds to have the opportunity to go to University. If you have spent three months or more in local authority care OR are a young carer, you will be eligible for a contextual offer. This is a grade reduction of 1-A Level grade below our standard entry requirements. For example, a standard offer of CCC, would become CCD. MMM at Level 3 Extended Diploma would become MMP. To apply we advise that you tick the box on your UCAS application which identifies you have spent time in care and to help identify you as eligible for our contextual offer.

See our General Entry Requirements.

How will I be assessed?

Assessment will occur at various stages throughout your course and will incorporate a range of strategies. Examples of assessment activity include:

  • Essays and short written tasks
  • Seminar presentations
  • Presentation of a physical or digital portfolio
  • Academic dissertation
  • Sketchbook ideas and development
  • Blog, website or professional social media engagement
  • Evidence of internships, work experience or professional communication
  • Competition entry
  • Design reports on games or animations of your choice
  • Group presentations and design pitches
  • Projects and mini-dissertations
  • Peer critique
  • Group assessment.

Teaching and Learning

Learning and teaching will be delivered through a range of established methodologies including:

  • Lectures: both formal and informal, with an emphasis on participation
  • Seminars: These will include presentations, debates, peer critique, interactive games, idea mapping and quick creative tasks
  • Workshops: Core creative skills such as drawing, printmaking, embossing and laser cutting
  • Audio Visual materials
  • Research: Guided and independent study, team mini-projects and fact-finding missions
  • Archive and Library searches
  • Distance and e-learning (via VLE)
  • Field Visits to museums, studios, galleries and workspaces
  • Attendance at conferences, including online events
  • Research visits
  • Bespoke learning: Collaborative paintings, team games, entries to Illustration Friday and Eleven Second Club, zine production, pop-up gallery. 

What can I do next?

The majority of our graduates go on to relevant employment upon completion of their studies. We work closely with local employers and have a good track record of getting our students into their chosen career. Examples include former students who are now professional illustrators working in local and national design agencies, freelance illustrators, animators and many other graduates who go on to set up their own successful businesses.

Recent graduates include:

  • Ryan Hammond - Animator on BBC Mashup
  • Michael Douglas - Animator for The Illuminated Film Company and DreamWorks
  • Neil Floyd - Managing Director of My Colourful Memories
  • Jo Fox - Children's author

Supplementary Information

Download the Programme Specification. This Programme Specification is subject to change, but will give you further information about the course structure, learning outcomes and detailed information about the assessment you can expect during the course.

Work Placements

Work placements are subject to availability. You are also responsible for any costs in travelling to and from your work placements, for any accommodation costs and in some instances the cost of acquiring a satisfactory Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) report.

What will my timetable be like?

If you choose to study this course in September 2022, your timetable will consist of the following days of study at our University Centre.

The days that have been set for this course, for the first year intake only, are Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday.

You will be required to undertake work in your own time and also undertake private study. This will be in addition to your taught hours in class. You may also be required to undertake a work placement/work-based learning. This is in addition to the taught timetabled classes, please bear this in mind with your planning. 

The University Centre reserves the right to change timetables for the year ahead and this information is provided to you as a guide. The days of study in subsequent years of the course may vary.