Video Game Digital Art – BA (Hons)
Attendance Full Time (2 years)
The BA Video Game Art undergraduate degree course responds to the growing demand for skilled, team-orientated, reflexive graduate professionals ready to succeed.
Interactive entertainment and video games development are key sectors for contemporary culture, economic growth and employment locally in the Midlands, nationally and globally.
This accelerated two-year course gives you a guaranteed video game development placement in our in-house studio, which will take place over the summer term of the course. The workplace simulation approach of our department (NTI Birmingham) has been championed by the influential 2009 Livingstone Next Gen Report, which cited us as a national best practice example for developing new talent for the games industry.
What’s covered in the course?
The course covers both core and technical art skills. It starts with helping you develop your core art skills, so expect to be doing a lot of drawing and studying topics including colour theory, composition, value and tone. Once we’ve covered the fundamentals we’ll move onto supporting you develop your technical and digital art skills. You will focus on 2D and 3D graphics covering, texturing, user interface design, environment art, character art, animation and art pipelines for interactive products.
Your first position in the video game industry
Building upon your core and technical art skills, in the first year you will be tasked with a specific role within our in-house game development studio over the summer term. This work experience gives you the opportunity to apply the knowledge and professional practices you’ve learnt on the course in a safe and supportive environment. Typically for these projects you’ll be using industry-standard game development tools such as Unity and Unreal. These summer projects have in the past been mentored and supported by external partners such as Red Bee Media, FreeStyleGames and Codemasters. The work you’ll produce during these summer placements can act as excellent portfolio pieces, demonstrating your ability as both a professional artist and effective team member.
Putting you in control of your final project
Throughout the two years of your course, you will be provided with a structured programme of learning, in line with your chosen specialism of video game art. The course culminates with a project you define yourself which targets a specific subsector of the games industry, such as character art, concept art, environment art or user experience (among others). You have the choice of either proposing your own individual project or collaborating with other students to create another video game project for your portfolio.
Best in class facilities and staff
Teaching takes place in a modern production studio based in Birmingham City Centre where you’ll be provided with studio space to complete projects and a laptop with all the software you’ll need for the duration of the course.
You will be taught by staff with significant experience in the video game development industry, having worked with game developers including, Free Radical Design, Codemasters, Freestyle Games, Sega and EA Games.
So, by the time you graduate, a whole year before most students, you’ll have two years of tangible, games development studio experience under your belt, ready to launch your dream career as a games developer.
Alternatively, you can choose to apply for one of our one-year Gamer Camp courses, to gain even more in-depth skills and experience.
“I have been fully supported throughout my journey to become a professional artist. I found the practical, studio simulations to be particularly useful as they both helped me in my art practice and gave me tangible production and development experience.” Mark Sutcliffe, 2014-16
Why Choose Us?
- Students are satisfied with this course! We scored 100 per cent for overall satisfaction in the National Student Survey 2018.
- This fast-track programme provides a rare opportunity to secure a BA (Hons) degree in only two years.
- Guaranteed summer placement in in-house development studio (Year One).
- Teaching is delivered by industry practitioners with over 20 years of industry experience, creating products such as ‘Star Wars Battlefront’ and ‘Goldeneye Reloaded’.
- During the two-year course you’ll work on a number of live projects with industry partners. Previous partners and mentors have included, Red Bee Media, FreeStyleGames and Codemasters.
- On the course you’ll learn a range new skills and art disciplines relevant and appropriate for careers in the field of video game development, such as concept, environment, character, GUI and animation.
- This course is part of Gamer Camp, a finishing school for game developers (coders, artists and producers) based at Birmingham City University. In short, you will:
- Get intensive, practical training from top developers
- Tackle real game briefs set by major developers
- Experience all stages of the games development process