FDA Art of Games Design

Clearing vacancies available

Course details

UCAS Course code W280

September 2016, 2017 - Brampton Road campus

Apply now

One of the key factors of a successful video game is the art style. Having a unique presentation can set a game apart from its competitors, and that means having a team of skilled and talented designers at every stage of production. Whether you're interested in becoming a concept artist who shapes the look of a game, or the 3D modeller who makes the finished product look perfect, our course will give you the skills and knowledge you need to break into the games industry. We are proud to say that graduates of our course have gone on to work on major projects in gaming and animation, so you can rest assured that the skills you learn can lead to big things.

We structure our course with input from games developers to ensure that you're being taught the right skills for the trade, and with our small class sizes taught by industry professionals, your work will be given the attention it deserves. We have a great mixture of assignments that will not only develop your core skills, but give you a chance to try real world tasks from the gaming industry. You'll also be allowed the chance to let your imagination run wild with creative briefs where the only goal is to make your ideas come to life.

You will develop the skills relevant to games design, taking a broad range of modules to equip you for a job market where you must be able to master changing skills over the course of your career.

The first year focuses on the basics of concept art, drawing, design, modelling, animation and narrative structure. There is also a personal development module to help equip you for an ever changing workplace. In the second year you are introduced to more advanced concepts in games design, working on projects in more depth.

Your projects will help you learn how to work with a team and prepare you for production pipelines. Critical to success in games design are two complementary attributes. The technical parameters are important, but the artistic and creative aspects are even more so - you will learn how to visualise and develop your ideas before ultimately taking them through to production.

Year one

  • Visualisation: Drawing and Concept Art 1
  • Online Portfolio 1
  • 3D Modelling for Games
  • History, Analysis and Sociology of Games
  • Online Portfolio 2
  • 3D Texturing, Lighting and Modeling for Games
  • From Concept to Prototype

Year two

  • Visualisation: Drawing and Concept Art for Games Design
  • Advanced 3D Techniques
  • Concept for Final Project
  • Personal Development Planning
  • 3D Games Production
  • Final Project

Programme specification

For detailed summary of all course content please read our programme specification for this course.

Download the programme specification (PDF)

2017 entry

40 UCAS tariff points.

The UCAS tariff has changed for 2017, you can find out more about the new tariff and qualification options from the new UCAS tariff table

Please check selection criteria for any additional entry requirements.

2018 entry

40 UCAS tariff points.

Please check selection criteria for any additional entry requirements.

Selection criteria

Potential students are asked for interview and to bring a portfolio of work. This can include examples of your course work, sketchbooks and projects you have worked on in your spare time. Occasionally applicants do not have any work to show and that's fine - it's why you are coming to study here. What we really want to see is work you are passionate about, what interests you and what challenges you.

The actual interview is quite informal. You'll be asked a few questions to help us get to know you and your portfolio will be reviewed. You'll also have the opportunity to ask us questions, view student work and tour our welcoming campus. Feel free to bring family and friends, they are welcome.

Making your application

Full-time courses

Apply online through the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS), between September and January; they will send your application on to us. Applications submitted after this date will be considered late and the course you have applied for might be full by this time; however, we will consider you for alternative suitable courses.

Their website www.ucas.com provides all the information you need about universities, courses, locations, entry requirements and financial support. You are allowed to select up to five course choices. You need to use the correct UCAS campus and course codes as not all courses are offered at every campus. You will be asked for the following information when you apply online:

Institution code name: UoC

Institution code: C99

Campus location:

  • A Ambleside
  • B Brampton Road, Carlisle
  • E University of Cumbria at Energus, Workington
  • F Fusehill Street, Carlisle
  • L Lancaster
  • T University of Cumbria in London
  • Y University of Cumbria at Furness College, Barrow-in-Furness

Part-time courses

Applications should be made online directly to the university; visit our website or contact enquirycentre@cumbria.ac.uk for details and guidance. There is no official closing date but we would encourage you to apply as early as possible, as many courses are competitive.

What makes a good application?

We consider all aspects of your application, not simply your qualifications and grades. We look at your academic background and performance, relevant experience (particularly for professional courses where some voluntary or paid experience is required) and your reference. Above all, we look for motivation, commitment and potential-evidence that you can benefit from study at higher education level.

Make sure you include:

  • Relevant qualifications/evidence of ability: check our website for the specific entry requirements required for each course. Tell us your previous academic results and your projected grades.
  • A supportive reference, from an employer or your school or college.
  • A good personal statement.
  • Explain clearly what attracts you to the course and tell us about your wider interests and experience. If you are applying for a course that incorporates professional training and placements, you should include any relevant experience or visits you have made in the workplace. Highlight your individual strengths and qualities, personal skills, capacity for teamwork, contribution to the community and your enterprise, originality and determination. Select some activities which bring out these qualities.

What next?

When we receive your application, we will send you an acknowledgement and if you are successful at this stage you will get either an offer (with an invitation to visit the campus to which you have applied), or an invitation to interview on a particular date. If we are not able to offer you a place on your chosen course we will usually try to offer you a place on a similar course and will contact you to discuss this. Alternatively, if we think you are suitable, but cannot offer you a place on your preferred campus because of the level of competition, we will offer you a place at another campus if one is available.

And if I accept?

The admissions team will contact you and send further information from February onwards about accommodation, and from May/June onwards about preparing to join the university. If you have any other queries, please telephone the admissions offices for information and advice on 0845 6061144.

Deferred entry

We welcome applications for deferred entry on some courses. If you have specific plans during your year out, indicate these on your personal statement as they may be relevant to your course and could enhance your application.

International students

Applications for full-time undergraduate study are made through UCAS. Please see the international pages of our website for full details of our entry requirements (including English-language skills) as well as contacts for advice and support.

From 2009 the UK Border Agency introduced a Points-Based Immigration System (PBS) for students coming to the UK from outside the European Economic Area (EEA). Students entering higher education will need to obtain a Confirmation of Acceptance (CAS) plus finance confirmation to obtain a Tier 4 student visa. UK education providers are licensed by the UK Border Agency. When students apply for their visa (or entry clearance) they will need a valid Certificate of Acceptance of Studies from the university. Please note that a CAS is not a guarantee that a visa will be issued.

See the following websites for further details: www.ukba.homeoffice.gov.uk/studyingintheuk

Upon completing the course, you will have the opportunity to either continue for an extra year on the BA (Hons) Digital Arts top-up course to complete a full BA with honours or stop your studies and make the transition to industry.

Graduates from our courses have gone on to win major awards including eight regional and national Royal Television Society Awards, as well as work on major projects all over the world in many different subject areas.

Some of our former students were part of the teams that made Fable III, Killzone 2 and Crackdown 2. Others were part of the post productions teams involved in making movies including Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, Happy Feet, Quantum of Solace and the Chronicles of Narnia.

We use the most up to date versions of industry standard software, including 3ds Max, Maya, XSI and ZBrush. You will have primary access to three computer labs to work on your projects and attend classes, which are all equipped with the relevant hardware so that you can produce high quality work in a timely manner.

Students also have access to other dedicated resources including Wacom Tablets, Nikon D80s, HD Video cameras and all current major video game consoles.