Duration: 3 years full time
UCAS code: W6V1
Institution code: R72
Video Games Art and Design (BA)
Our BA in Video Game Art and Design will give you the tools to create cutting-edge high-fidelity work for the elite level of gaming and at the same time develop your abilities as a digital artist to create smaller bespoke personal Indie game products. As the gaming industry develops a fantastic rate, there is a growing need for new artists, designers, writers, coders, marketing teams, animators and more. The opportunities are infinite and whatever aspects of videogames interest you, you’ll find your place at Royal Holloway.
The most important thing is that we encourage you to find your own voice and your own home in the gaming or digital industries. It may be that you want to create a graduation piece in Unity for a 2D Indie platform game about a social, cultural or representational issue that matters to you. Alternatively, you may want to use our high-end facilities to make real-time ray traced photoreal content in Unreal to be part of a bigger production. Our brilliant technical and academic staff are on hand to teach you the skills you need to succeed. We also have one of the worlds leading Immersive Storytelling initiatives, StoryFutures and there are opportunities for exploring VR and AR content creation, animation and visual effects, screenwriting, location-based games and much more.
The Video Games market in the UK is growing extremely rapidly, the market is valued at more than 5.3bn with over 36.3m game users worldwide. The area around our campus is home to companies at the forefront of the industry and out proximity to and connections with companies here and in London along with our own industry-focussed experience make us the ideal gateway into the games industry..
Whether you want to make games as a lone designer, work collaboratively to design content for ‘AAA’ standard games or even use game engines to build content for Hollywood cinema, we are the department for you. From open access lowtech computing to elite game engines and even LED volume walls and professional TV studio work, with us you can create the games, art and content that you’ve always dreamed of.
Core ModulesYear 1
This module provides a history of the innovations in digital storytelling that have developed over the last several decades, and teaches you the technical skills to produce your own innovative digital stories. From hypertext novels to contemporary video games, we look at how storytelling has changed since the invention of the internet. Then, we learn the skills needed to produce several forms of digital narratives including text-based games, interactive video, location-based experiences and social media storytelling. Students develop a portfolio of both creative and written work.
This module introduces you to the creation of artistic and experimental digital projects based on computer code. The first part of the module critically interrogates ‘code’ as a medium in digital arts practices, with reference to the history and politics of computing. The second half of the module explores how we can creatively and critically rethink human-computer interaction beyond familiar controllers such as the mouse, keyboard, and touchscreen. Under the umbrella of creative code and software art, you will view, interact with, and discuss a range of projects, and draw on their form and content to develop a portfolio of digital artworks.
This module dovetails with 3D Digital Art. You will learn the fundamentals of the Unity Game Engine and how to create a pipeline between the integration of your assets and game engine functionality. You will also learn the coding language C# from the ground up to create engine functionality and understand how code is integral to working in a pipeline in the games industry. This module will allow you to create fun and interesting games and game levels to help you build the skills you need to work in teams as well as the discipline required to be an Indie Developer.
This module will introduce you to the fundamental skills of 3D modelling and the high end texturing and PBR material workflow. We will focus on topology creation skills as well integrating effective UVW skills to create models which are based on solid research and presentation skills. This module is fundamental to scaffold your learning moving into you further modules and years with us at the college. We have excellent facilities and staff to deliver these skills at very high level.
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.
This module is built around a collaborative group gameplay experience, created in Unity and designed to output to the Android platform. You will learn the principles of AGILE and SCRUM and how this way of working is essential when working as part of a team in the games industry. Whilst the games you make could be small in scope we expect you to implement a thorough testing and aesthetic strategy to create a professional and polished product.
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. Here it is your chance to pursue your own passions and our students produce everything from digital magazines, interactive films, 2D and 3D animations, music videos, interactive and immersive websites, digital art installations and curations and augmented and virtual reality.
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: BBB-BBC
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.
We accept T-levels for admission to our undergraduate courses, with the following grades regarded as equivalent to our standard A-level requirements:
- AAA* – Distinction (A* on the core and distinction in the occupational specialism)
- AAA – Distinction
- BBB – Merit
- CCC – Pass (C or above on the core)
- DDD – Pass (D or E on the core)
Where a course specifies subject-specific requirements at A-level, T-level applicants are likely to be asked to offer this A-level alongside their T-level studies.
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.
Undergraduate preparation programme
For international students who do not meet the direct entry requirements, for this undergraduate degree, the Royal Holloway International Study Centre offers an International Foundation Year programme designed to develop your academic and English language skills.
Upon successful completion, you can progress to this degree at Royal Holloway, University of London.
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 & scholarships
Home (UK) students tuition fee per year*: £9,250
EU and international students tuition fee per year**: £22,700
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 2022/23, the fee is £9,250 for that year, and is provided here as a guide. The fee for UK undergraduates starting in 2023/24 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 are classified as an international student. At Royal Holloway, we wish to support a transition for those students affected by this change in status. Please see the fees and funding page for more information.
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.