Bristol Zoo Gardens Conservation and Education Centre
remains open to students.

You will have private access to the zoo grounds during lectures, to carry out your observations and data collection, but as more animals are moved, this will gradually be carried out at the Wild Place Project. This is a once in a lifetime opportunity.

Games Art Course Description

Our Game Art Foundation Degree programme is an exciting two-year course based in Bristol at our University Centre Wise campus. The course is focused on providing you with the relevant skills to become a game artist, build a thorough portfolio ready to land your first job.

This foundation degree programme will develop professional skills required to create innovative and captivating game content. You will also gain valuable knowledge on how to succeed in the games industry using industry-standard software, methods, and pipelines. Software used includes Unreal Engine game development software; Autodesk Maya 3D modelling software; ZBrush sculpting software; Photoshop image-editing software; Substance Suite and Ableton audio editing software.

Within the course, you will focus on well-established visual elements of games. You will develop your drawing and design skills with intent on applying these to related elements, such as concepting; character and environment art and 3D modelling. Complementing this learning, you will study emerging and specialist areas within the games industry, providing you with insight into the latest trends, preparing you skillset for jobs now and in the future.

Combining creativity with emerging and established technology, you will be part of a foundation degree offering innovation, imagination, and employability at its heart.

Once you have completed this two-year Game Art Foundation Degree programme you can top-up your qualification by completing our BA (Hons) Game Art and Production.

What projects will I work on?

The Game Art Foundation Degree programme is split into 9 modules over two years. Year 1 will ground you in creative design, development and production; alongside, 3D modelling and the fundamentals of game art. Year 2 builds on the skills learned and extends your knowledge base. You will tackle advanced game art practices; alongside extended 3D modelling, sculpting and rendering.

Why SGS Higher Education and University Centre?

We have dedicated specialist tutors and smaller class sizes offering you the support you need to help develop at the pace that’s right for you. Alongside this, we have opportunities for industry professionals providing bespoke lectures within different disciplines.

Get Kraken, our in-house studio offers an exciting opportunity for you to work in a real studio alongside your studies. If selected, you will become part of the team designing and developing a game to be released in the 2nd year of the course! We are part of Bristol Academy of Media (BAM) so can offer collaboration between the two departments: Games and Media. This helps expand the reach of the course and provides the opportunity to learn about the wider avenues surrounding the technologies used. Alongside your study you will have the opportunity to get involved in our Sports Academy. Whether you're a top-level athlete or you just want to give something a go, you can get involved with our sports academies, the competing arm of SGS Sport. Students can 'bolt on' a sports academy alongside their full-time study programme

Understanding the Games Industry

The games industry is rapidly growing globally. Within the UK, over 44 million people play video games; the industry employs over 47,000 people; and is worth upwards of £4 billion. On completion

of the course you can top up to get a BA (Hons) in Game Art and Production or work within the games industry as a freelancer, indie developer, or in a AAA company. Previous students now work for Auroch Digital, Flaming Fowl Studios, Flix Interactive, Double Eleven and many more.

"I cannot recommend this degree highly enough"

"I truly believe I would not have prospered and succeeded to find that course that I am now so enthusiastic about without the constant aid and support of the lecturers as well as the abundance of support that the University Centre has to offer. I like that the classes are smaller as it allows the friendly lecturers to focus on us as individuals and explain what is needed to pass in full detail whilst leaving enough room to research on our own. I cannot recommend this degree highly enough."

FdA Game Art
Study Modules
Creative Design, Development and Production Techniques for Video Games

This module introduces you to the theory and practice of the design, development, and production of video games, including physical prototyping, digital prototyping, and the initial stages of the production pipeline. You will develop your study skills and wider independent research skills by investigating games, genres and technical methods. You'll learn about the legal and technical framework for games, their regulatory bodies and associated organisations. Through lectures, seminars and workshops, you will develop a mixture of technical skills as well as a solid understanding of the theories and principles of design, to enable you to develop successful and compelling game-play experiences. You'll be working in a creative environment, where specialists and peers will regularly view and review your work. The module is assessed by a written assignment and a practical assessment.

Assignment: 30% (1,500 words or equivalent)

Practical Assessment: 70 % (3,000 words or equivalent)

Introduction to Rigging and Animation for Video Games?

This module gives you the opportunity to acquire the key skills and underpinning knowledge to rig simple objects, bipeds and quadrupeds. You will develop your skills so that you can produce 3D computer animations using a mixture of theoretical techniques, evaluative techniques, and practical skills, using industry-standard software. You'll be introduced to a range of industry-standard tools and techniques for planning and developing animated 3D content for video games, utilising your own creativity and ingenuity throughout, to develop more responsive and user friendly 3D animation for games. The module is assessed by two short portfolios, which will help you start building a professional portfolio throughout the programme.

Portfolio: 50% (2250 words or equivalent)

Portfolio: 50% (2250 words or equivalent)

Introduction to 3D Modelling and Game Graphics

This module will introduce you to industry-standard modelling software and 3D modelling techniques including texture mapping, scene lighting and material editing/setup. You will have opportunities to develop your creative approach by using reference images to create initial concept drawings which will then be developed into models. By the end of the module you will have a collection of in-game 3D models and textures that form a portfolio of work demonstrating a broad range of skills relevant to 3D modelling and texturing. The module is assessed by two short portfolios.

Portfolio: 50% (2250 words or equivalent)

Portfolio: 50% (2250 words or equivalent)

Fundamentals of Game Art

This module introduces you to the design, development and production of digital video games, including 2D, and the initial stages of the production pipeline process. You will enhance your knowledge and understanding of video games and genres as well as development and production methodologies. You will undertake a broad range of traditional drawings, primarily from life, to develop fundamental anatomy, depth and perspective drawing techniques. This module includes an introduction to industry standard software and equipment, as well as the use of traditional art tools.

Portfolio: 70% (3150 words or equivalent)

Written Essay: 30% (1350 words or equivalent)

Work Experience

This module will give students an insight into the professional responsibilities and practical expectations required of practitioners in the creative industries. Building upon investigation of workplaces and through seminar discussion, students should identify an appropriate context for a work placement / placements, undertake their placement / placements and then critically reflect on their experience and any changes to their future goals. This module will initially introduce students to a range of industrial/professional issues for employment in the creative industries through a series of seminar lectures and lectures by visiting professionals, building on knowledge already gained. Topics will include: professional and environmental ethics, legislation and opportunities for employment and entrepreneurship. Students will also consider opportunities for educational progression. They will undertake a body of research into their chosen profession in order to prepare for future progression.

Assignment: 75% (2,250 words or equivalent)

Assignment: 25% (750 words or equivalent)

Technical Art

Technical Artists are the bridge between the art and programming teams; the role encompasses many advanced game art techniques such as smart materials, particle effects, lighting and post-processing. This module will introduce you to essential skills in modern game development, which when mastered, are competitively sought after, particularly by larger companies and triple-A studios. this module can include many different concepts, including but not limited to: Materials / Shaders, Video Game FX Creation, Optimization, Lighting and development of tools used in assist creation. Technical Art requires a fundamental understanding of how 3D computer graphics work and how games engines render an image to a screen. You'll be able to research a wide range of different / new technologies and techniques to come up with solutions to technical art-based problems.

Portfolio: 100% (3000 words or equivalent)

Game Environments

In this module, you will be given the opportunity to refine and expand your skills by designing and creating a small game environment or diorama. You will explore more advanced processes for environment conceptualisation and production. You'll create higher end works, compared to your previous study within this subject area, by delving into modular level design, photobashing, and terrain tools. By the end of this module, you will be able to plan, design and develop a game environment using industry standard techniques and practises. Skills that should be practised?include; rapid concepting, advanced modelling and texturing, and terrain generation techniques. You will also apply art and design theory to game assets and concept art, enabling effective presentation for the purposes of professional development, as part of a portfolio of work.

POrtfolio: 100% (3000 words or equivalent)

Advanced Game Art Practices

In this module, you will have the opportunity to refine your skills and expand your knowledge of industry practices, by exploring more advanced techniques of visual communication and game art creation. You will operate with limited supervision and apply your own artistic direction. You'll use peer and tutor feedback to assist in visual problem solving and adapting to an intended audience. The module will guide you in the continued, extensive practice of both traditional and digital art techniques, culminating in the creation of a refined, skilfully developed collection of portfolio pieces.? By the end of this module, you will have a command of specialised Game Art techniques and processes. You'll build upon the art skills acquired during your first year, by incorporating broader fundamental concepts such; as colour theory, composition, and design methods into your work. You'll adapt and use more advanced industry tools and software to supplement and enhance your creative capability, for example using 3D software packages to efficiently block out digital paintings or painting over 3D models.

Portfolio: 70% (4200 words or equivalent)

Written Essay: 30% (1800 words or equivalent)

Sector-based Work Placement

You will have opportunities to enhance your developing creative, technical and professional position in the market by identifying a suitable work placement that will facilitate reflections relating to employability skills. You will take part in a placement of 20 hours and produce a Personal Development Plan (PDP). This will include communication, team work, organisation, independence, initiative, technical skills and wider employability skills, based on feedback and personal reflections whilst on placement. To facilitate your placement experience, sessional content will prepare you for a career in the gaming sector with a clear focus on professional standards, including the Independent Games Developers Association (TIGA), the Business Software Alliance (BSA), the British Board of Film Classification (BBFC) and the Pan European Game Industry PEGI) and underpinning knowledge of fundamental aspects of independent work and employment such as an understanding of Gantt charts and budgeting. By the end of this module you will have acquired valuable professional skills and a comprehensive portfolio that can be used for progression into industry or further studies. ; Although it is the responsibility of the student to identify and manage their work placement, your progress will be overseen by a tutor.

Portfolio: 100% (3000 words or equivalent)

Extended 3D Modelling, Sculpting, Lighting and Rendering

By the end of this module you will have further developed the skills introduced in module GA4003, including lighting and rendering methods.?There will be a clear focus on low to hi-poly asset modelling and texturing for game content. You will use these techniques to create sculpted organic components in the building of video game characters.This module will introduce you to industry standard modelling software and 3D modelling techniques including texture mapping, scene lighting and material editing/setup. You will have opportunities to develop your creative approach by using reference images to create initial concept drawings which will then be developed into models. By the end of the module you will have a collection of in-game 3D models and textures that form a portfolio of work demonstrating a broad range of skills relevant to 3D modelling and texturing.

Portfolio: 50% (3000 words or equivalent)

Portfolio: 50% (3000 words or equivalent)

Emergent Technology

You'll develop your research abilities and investigative skills in the context of emergent technologies and industry trends. Exploring the production pipeline and processes, you will have an opportunity to explore various innovations in the sector. This reflects industry structure and expectations in both content and practical application. Following a period of broad experimentation and negotiating with your team and your tutors - you will identify a specific technology for further research. You will select appropriate methodologies to investigate, and experiment with it, and draw conclusions based on your project findings. Your team will then create an innovative aspect of a game based on your research and experimentation. You will also enhance your prospects for employment through studying the legal and social contexts for your chosen emergent technology.

Portfolio: 100% (3,000 words or equivalent)

There are no modules at this level.
Course Video
Stephen Barton
Programme Lead Game Design, Development, Art & Production, CDO Get Kraken Games
*Programme subject to validation by the University of Gloucestershire
Applications for September 2024 entry open on September 5th 2023.
University Centre WISE
Foundation Degree
Full-time Duration:
2 Years
Full-time Fee (Per Year):
Part-time Duration:
4 Years
Part-time Fee (Per Year):
UCAS Application Code:
UCAS Entry Tariff:
Entry Requirements

The minimum UCAS tariff entry points from a level 3 qualification, GCSE Maths and English at grade C/4. Please submit a portfolio to be reviewed by Programme Lead. Once your portfolio has been reviewed, you may be invited for an interview. Mature students over 24 without the relevant qualifications will be required to demonstrate previous experience and evidence of academic ability.

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Course info last updated:
September 4, 2023
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