Game Art BA(Hons)
Gain the creative and technical skills to succeed as a digital artist.
On this Game Art degree, study fundamental game art principles alongside traditional art practice, building your expertise to contribute to a major game development project in your second and third year.
You'll be studying at the No. 1 university for game design in England according to the Princeton Review, 2023, and graduate as a confident, industry-ready game artist. You'll be equipped to join one of the fastest growing sectors of the games industry where skills are in high demand.
- Develop expertise in character, concept and environment art, gaining industry skills in 3D modelling, UV mapping, baking, composition and shading
- Work in one of the largest and best-equipped dedicated game-making spaces of any university in the UK
- Study in a studio environment with access to industry standard hardware and software
- Master a range of industry-standard tools used to produce game art including ZBrush, Maya, Substance Painter and Marmoset
- Collaborate in multidisciplinary teams, keeping the Intellectual Property (IP) of games you produce
- Network with industry through our guest speaker programme and end of year Games Expo
Lead images: Daniel Truman, Louis Sullivan, Reidun Rian.
On this Game Art degree, you'll have the opportunity to gain a BA(Hons) degree over three years or study Game Art BA(Hons) with an Integrated Foundation Year and/or a professional placement.
You'll study the principles of game art in the context of traditional art practice, combining subjects like life drawing and composition with digital 2D and 3D modelling. We'll also build your expertise in concept, character and environment art, agile project management, and game development pipelines and processes.
Focused on industry practices, much of your learning will come from working in game development teams – devising and developing real games using real-world practices.
FOR GAME DESIGN IN ENGLAND*
FOR GAME DESIGN IN ENGLAND*
* The Princeton Review, 2023
During the first year of your Game Art degree, you'll build the basic skills demanded by the industry, and learn about game artists' major roles and techniques. Working with industry-standard software, methods and processes, you'll develop your drawing skills, better understand anatomy, and apply these abilities to 3D modelling and related elements.
You'll learn traditional and digital art skills – both 2D and 3D – alongside concept, environment and character art to build digital worlds and characters.
Concept Art 1
In this module, you'll be introduced to the techniques and styles used in the creation of concept art for games.
You’ll explore colour theory and composition, digital painting, storyboarding and graphic design principles while learning about contemporary and historical trends in the history of game art. You’ll also gain an understanding of common visual communication models used in the making of concept art.
Character Art 1
Undertaking a series of practical sessions, including life drawing classes, you’ll learn the core principles of character art, while gaining an understanding of anatomy and proportion.
You’ll then apply these principles to the development of your own character art and explore methods of character sculpting within the game development pipeline.
Environment Art 1
This module introduces you to the basic principles of environment art for games. You’ll undertake a series of practical assignments, exploring key techniques in 3D art, scene setup, modelling, UV mapping, texture creation, materials and shading.
You’ll then apply these methods to produce high-definition assets for use in the game development pipeline.
Concept Art 2
Strengthening your understanding of concept art and visual culture, in this module you’ll undertake practical assignments to develop your 2D art skills.
You’ll learn where concept art fits within the development pipeline, as well as explore methodical approaches of making concept art - such as semiotics.
You’ll also develop key skills in using industry-standard software, digital tools and materials, including collage and digital speed painting to produce effective visual designs.
Character Art 2
Building on your knowledge of creating character art for games, you’ll sharpen your skills in figurative art, anatomy, line, tone and proportion through life drawing sessions.
You’ll also develop your technical and artistic skills in 3D character development using a range of software and digital tools.
Environment Art 2
Through a series of practical sessions, you’ll develop the skills to create technically accurate and exciting environment art for games.
In addition, you'll learn about hardware limitations, export-based pipeline, and baking methodologies for game assets, including texturing techniques, rendering, lighting and shadows.
You'll grow your confidence in game art and your skills in using professional digital tools. You'll provide art assets to a collaborative project with game students of different disciplines, giving you valuable experience in an industry-style development pipeline.
An additional specialist practice project lets you hone your skills in a particular area of game art and create high quality work for your portfolio.
World Building: Pre-production
Working in a multi-skilled team, you’ll devise a concept for a digital ‘world creation’ project. You’ll also develop a broader understanding of key game art principles, including world-building and exploratory concept work, prototyping, pre-production, and the early phases of production.
Developing Concept Art Vocabularies
In this module, you’ll bring your existing understanding of concept art and visual culture into a game production context. Working in a team, you’ll develop your 2D skills and explore new and experimental media.
You’ll also develop your proficiency in using industry software and tools to improve your skills in collage and digital speed painting as well as explore new 3D approaches to making concept art.
Developing Character Art Vocabularies
Deepening your knowledge of character art for games, you’ll continue to use a combination of digital tools and life drawing sessions to sharpen your observational skills in anatomy and proportion.
You’ll also advance your knowledge of game development pipelines and processes, including using the iterative development model as a method to critically evaluate your own work.
Developing Environment Art Vocabularies
You’ll research and experiment with a range of techniques and practices in the creation of environment art for games.
With guidance from your tutor, you’ll choose an area of focus and produce a research brief proposal. You’ll then create a portfolio and a written analysis of your own work.
Art Research Practice
This module will focus on using practice-based research as a tool to develop your practical production skillset, as well as build skills in pipeline and workflow research.
You’ll choose an area of game art or animation practice to research and identify appropriate technical pipeline resources and workflow examples to inform your development. Research of your chosen production pipeline will be evidenced through a written report and portfolio of work.
World Building: Production
Working in a multi-skilled team, you’ll continue to develop your ‘world creation’ project that you started during the previous study block.
You'll deliver content in line with production milestones and prepare to release your product and reach your target audience.
In this module, you’ll work on a self-devised portfolio piece with a view to submitting it to an industry competition.
From researching to execution, you’ll hone your skills and gain confidence as you develop your project within your chosen specialism. Experimenting with different techniques, you’ll build your portfolio and create a piece of work that conforms to industry norms.
You can choose to take an optional professional placement after your second year on a three-year programme, or after your third year if you’re studying for a degree with an Integrated Foundation Year.
You’ll be responsible for finding your own placement, with support from the Employability team.
Choosing this option will enhance your industry experience and skills while studying.
How you’ll study during your professional placement
You’ll spend time working in a professional context, as part of a business or organisation. This can be in one role, or up to three, and must be for a minimum of 24 weeks.
You’ll develop in-demand workplace skills, deepen your insight into industry and grow your network of contacts, all of which could help you get ahead in your career after graduation.
Throughout this year, you’ll develop a portfolio of work that includes critical self-reflection on what has been learned from the experience. You’ll be required to evidence your experiences, the skills you’ve learned and your professional growth.
With specialism, independence and professional practice at the front and centre of this year, you'll join a multi-skilled team on a game development project. Working in a studio, you'll contribute art assets using industry-standard methods and pipelines.
You'll also create distinctive and polished work for your growing portfolio by working on specialist game art. We'll then help you commercialise this work and prepare you for the transition to professional life.
With your career in mind, you’ll develop a commercial awareness and entrepreneurial mindset.
You’ll explore employability options, including researching the skills required to set up your own business, establish yourself as a freelancer, or for use as an employee in a business or organisation.
Deepening your knowledge of enterprise opportunities within the industry, you’ll receive mentoring on how to apply for work in industry, including CV and portfolio advice to help you graduate with an industry-ready portfolio.
Technical Art Practice
In this module, you’ll explore the role of a technical artist and where they fit in the game production pipeline.
You’ll also delve into the different aspects of technical art, including production processes, tools, 2D, 3D, procedural modelling and VFX.
Future of Games
You'll critically examine the current climate of contemporary games and digital culture, while exploring cultural and technological changes that are likely to influence the future of the games industry.
In doing this, you’ll confront a range of issues relating to sustainability and ethical production, equality and civil rights, and personal identity and ideology.
At this stage of your Game Art degree, you’ll deliver a substantial collaborative project. Working in a multi-skilled group, you’ll design and build a digital product or service.
Contexts vary, but the project might include enterprise solutions, mobile apps, installations, games, web applications, robots, immersive experiences or software development tools.
Why study an Integrated Foundation Year route?
If you’re taking on a new subject that you haven’t studied in depth before, have been out of education for a while or have a non-standard educational background then an Integrated Foundation Year degree may be the right choice for you. It is a four-year degree with an Integrated Foundation Year to start, which allows you to explore the primary elements of your subject before progressing on to the remaining three years of the BA(Hons) degree.
What you'll study in your Foundation year
If you choose this pathway, you'll study five core modules in your Foundation year. These are all designed to help you explore the foundational elements of your subject. You'll gain relevant technical skills, learn to experiment and take risks, develop an understanding of professional practice, have opportunities to work across disciplines and collaborate with other students on live project briefs.
You'll begin your foundation year by working collaboratively with others to explore themes of the future. You'll take risks, experiment through play and be supported to break through barriers.
You'll take subject-specific workshops and develop essential technical and practical skills in your area of study. You'll also enhance your analytical and organisational abilities.
You'll work with your peer group to think beyond discipline by addressing a societal or global issue. You'll then showcase your work to your peers and deliver and accompanying evaluation of your process.
You'll enhance your creative and practical skills in your subject specialism by responding to typical industry briefs, underpinned by focused research and experiments. You'll also gain industry insights through guest lectures and workshops.
You'll develop your unique identity in your specialism through the production of a self-initiated body of work. Your final project will be the bridge to your next year, fully supported by evaluative reviews and critical analysis of the work you have created.
After the Foundation year, you progress into Year One of the full three-year degree, equipped with a deeper knowledge of your subject, a clear understanding of your strengths, and develop a practical and technical skillset and the confidence to excel in your chosen subject.
If you apply for and enrol onto a degree with an Integrated Foundation Year, you’ll have the option to switch onto a five-year version including a placement year. That means you’ll complete the first three years of your course before completing a placement in industry in your fourth year and returning to Falmouth for the fifth year of your programme.
The modules above are those being studied by our students, or proposed new ones. Programme structures and modules can change as part of our curriculum enhancement and review processes. If a certain module is important to you, please discuss it with the Course Leader.
How you'll learn & be assessed
You'll learn through lectures, seminars, workshops, group and individual tutorials, and tutor and peer feedback on your work.
Both individual and collaborative study are key components to this degree. As you progress through your Game Art degree, you'll focus and develop a distinctive practice. With your basic skills in place, you'll be able to work and experiment within game development teams – meaning you can apply your practice to professional game making.
At Falmouth, we use a 'digitally enhanced learning & teaching' approach. Your experience will always be predominantly in-person, including seminars, tutorials and studio teaching, with some, more targeted elements, being online either live (synchronous) or pre-recorded (asynchronous). You can read more here.
100% of your assessment will be coursework.
- Foundation year assessments are 100% coursework based
- Continuous assessment with no formal examinations
- Visual, verbal and written assignments
- A portfolio of personal and group project work is developed over the course of the degree to boost your employability
- XSens MVN Awinda motion capture suits.
- Large studio equipped with regularly updated, state-of-the-art game development machines.
- Life drawing studio for artists and weekly life drawing sessions.
- Specialised computing hardware for game development, motion capture and immersive experiences.
- Access to standard packages used in software development for the games and visual effects industries, including the Adobe and Autodesk suites and Maxon ZBrush.
- Access to industry-standard game engines including Unity and Unreal Engine 5.
- Attached lab committed to staying at the cutting edge - featuring AR, VR and MR (XR) equipment including HoloLens, HoloLens 2 and Oculus Quest 2.
- Attached lab with access to PS4 development and testing kits.
- Studios open late during term time.
- Access to free software.
- Technicians on-hand during opening hours to assist with the different tools.
Stories from our community
Explore student projects, graduate successes, staff news and industry insights
You’ll be taught and supported by professional artists, game art practitioners and developers, and game-focused academics. Together they provide industry experience from working on titles including Grand Theft Auto, World of Warcraft, League of Legends, Project Gotham Racing and the Total War series.
Some members of staff only teach on specific modules, and your course might not feature every staff member who teaches on the course.
Our Game Art graduates have worked as:
- Character Artist at 10:10 Games
- Environment Artist at Fireproof
- Graduate 3D Artist at Frontier Studios
- Associate Visual Effects (VFX) Artist at Splash Damage
- User Interface (UI) and User Experience (UX) Artist at Firesprite Games
How to apply
|Course route||UCAS code|
|Game Art BA(Hons) three year degree||W280|
|Game Art BA(Hons) with Integrated Foundation Year||FY01|
|Game Art BA(Hons) with professional placement||PY27|
Application advice & interview informationGo to Toolkit
We consider all applications on their own individual merit and potential. We invite all applicants to an interview day or audition to give them the opportunity to demonstrate this along with what inspires and motivates them in their field. Applicants will also be able to show their portfolio or give a performance depending on the course. We welcome applications from all subject backgrounds, whether you’ve specialised in STEM, the arts or humanities.
|Course route||Entry requirements|
|BA/BSc(Hons) three year degree||104 – 120 UCAS Tariff points|
|BA/BSc(Hons) four year degree with professional placement||104 – 120 UCAS Tariff points|
|BA/BSc(Hons) four year degree with Integrated Foundation Year||80 – 120 UCAS Tariff points|
Check the title of your course to see if it's a BA or BSc award. UCAS Tariff points will primarily be from Level 3 qualifications such as but not limited to A-levels, T Levels, a BTEC/UAL Extended Diploma or a Foundation Diploma.
For applicants whose first language is English we require you to have or be working towards GCSE English Language Grade 4 (C), or equivalent.
If English is not your first language you will need to meet the same standard which is equivalent to the IELTS Academic 6.0 overall score, with at least 5.5 in Reading, Writing, Speaking and Listening. We accept a range of in country equivalencies and approved tests.
If you need a student visa to study in the UK, you may need to take a recognised language test. You can read our English Language Requirements for more information.
For starting your studies in 2023
UK applications: 25 January 2023 (for equal consideration)
Applications after the 25 January will be considered on a first-come, first-served as long as there are places available. Apply for this course now.
International fee payers
International fee payers can apply throughout the year. But we recommend applying as early as possible, to make time for visa and travel arrangements.
Fees, costs & funding
|Annual tuition fee||Student|
|£9,250 per year||Full-time UK|
|£17,460 per year||Full-time EU/international|
|£1,850 per professional placement year||Full-Time UK and EU/international|
|Annual tuition fee||Student|
|£9,250 per year||Full-time UK|
|£17,950 per year||Full-time EU/international|
|£1,850 per professional placement year||Full-Time UK and EU/international|
|£1,385 per study abroad year||Full-Time UK and EU/international|
Tuition fees are set annually and are subject to review each year. The University may therefore raise tuition fees in the second or subsequent years of a course, in line with inflation and/or the maximum permitted by law or Government policy. Students will be notified of any changes as soon as possible.
The figures above don't include accommodation and living costs
Typical course costs
- £150 - Recurring annual costs (art materials)
- £70 - Recommended reading
- £30-£150 - Headset with microphone
- £25-£100 - Webcam
- £1500 - Laptop or desktop capable of running 3D modelling software
If you need to bring equipment or materials with you, these will be outlined in your Welcome Letter.
Additional typical course costs for Integrated Foundation Year pathway
- £250 for materials
- A laptop/desktop computer
- Adobe Creative Suite
To engage in the digital learning activity, although you will be able to access IT suites on campus, you will benefit from a laptop to access the platforms and tools we use. Depending on your subject, you may need a specific type of computer. If you're unsure about what you might need, please contact our course advisors.
Ask a student
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