MA Concept Art (Online)

Why choose Herts?

  • Excellent reputation: Ranked 1st in the UK as Top Games Development School (10th worldwide) and 1st for Games Design & Development Production Excellence (Rookies World School Rankings® 2020)
  • Employment prospects: Graduates work for most major games' companies including BAFTA winning UK games studio Creative Assembly, Frontier, Splash Damage, Guerrilla Games, Epic Games and Rare
  • Work-related learning: There are work related learning opportunities on this course, all students complete a live external brief as part of their coursework.

Professional Accreditations

We are a Rookies Certified School. 

Find out more about Herts being a Rookies Certified School

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About the course

This online MA Concept Art course will enable you to... 

  • produce a commercial-standard personal portfolio that reflects the forefront of current practices in the games, film and animation industries 
  • you can choose to study parts of this course online or on campus 
  • explore the theoretical and contextual understanding of concept art, its audiences and significances in our contemporary media culture 
  • develop professional-level enquiry, research, creative invention, project planning and management practices 
  • develop your concept art skills and knowledge, to a professional level 
  • have access to additional technical training by auditing undergraduate skills modules 
  • have the opportunity to specialise in one area, such as character or environment design, or develop a broadly-based concept art practice 
  • study specialist modules in your chosen discipline area, as well as studying modules that are shared with other awards in the postgraduate media programme such as MA Animation and MA Games Art and Design 
  • have a personal tutor who you will see throughout your study and also have regular opportunities for advice on preparing for your future career and developing your portfolios. 

This course is also available to study on campus. Find out more about the on-campus MA Concept Art course.

Why choose this course?

This MA Concept Art degree meets the needs of the film, games and animation industries which have evolved dramatically over the years; moving away from the days of the solo practitioner to become a growing global market where large teams of artists work in unison to create content for the next generation of technologies. This degree facilitates contemporary approaches as it combines technical knowledge of the software used by concept artists working within current games and film production pipelines, with the aesthetic and traditional skills essential for a professional concept artist. 

On this MA Concept Art course, you will also delve into thinking about the cultural resonance of your work and about the audiences it is made for, about the nature of creativity, and the role of the cultural industries in a modern knowledge economy. Enquiry, research and clear communication being key elements that underpin this course. 

In addition to specialised theory and skills taught on this course, you will develop a range of project management skills, an ability to identify and manage your own learning while also exploring the opportunities and constraints inherent in commercial, professional and social environments. The MA Concept Art course structure promotes cross-disciplinary discussion while maintaining the focus of discipline specialists, allowing you to gain a wealth of knowledge while exploring different options. Studying this course will also set you up with crucial key transferable skills of postgraduate study such as research, project management and group working through activities that prepare you for your future creative career in the entertainment industry. 

Learning experience 

This degree offers you a coherent learning experience as one of several awards within the digital media area. It enables you to develop creative practical skills in the discipline of your choosing while also mirroring current commercial practice, allowing you to work closely with students from allied disciplines such as animation and games art. That work may extend your existing skills, knowledge and understanding, or it may mean a change of direction, new learning, and new experiences. 

Induction, seminars and social events for students mean that while studying and after you graduate, you will be part of a friendly and supportive postgraduate community, which includes film makers, musicians and professionals working in other areas of creative media. Senior research staff and internationally renowned professionals also work with postgraduate students, helping you to develop an original individual approach. 

What will I study?

This concept art programme focusses on the generation of innovative visual identities; you will work on visual research and reference skills to inform your creative idea generation and then develop your drawing and other graphic skills (including digital tools) so that you can communicate your ideas to others in the production team. You will also develop some facility with 3D sculpting tools and Games Engines as increasingly concept artists are asked to produce reference models or scenes to paint over. You will also learn about the pace of concept art in overall production pipelines and how concept artists work with others in the professional games, animation and film industries. 

On this degree, teaching and learning is mainly based around enquiry-led project work, allowing you to develop the independence and autonomy that is required at the postgraduate level. This degree will be delivered through a mix of lectures, seminars and workshop where you will participate in multi-disciplinary group discussions to share, challenge and develop ideas, as well as being able to grow and expand specific discipline centered skills and understanding. You will also receive tutorials to develop your individual study trajectories and responses to assignment tasks and briefs. 

Online students are integrated with the on-campus cohort for class teaching and seminars (which are scheduled within normal UK working hours). Individual teaching will be arranged flexibly so as to try and accommodate online students’ needs. 

For the majority of this course, you will be engaged in self-managed independent study, undertaking enquiries and research, developing skills, inventing and developing ideas, realizing project outcomes and exploring the cultural resonance of their work. All students on the postgraduate media programme engage in an interdisciplinary project as a part of their MA study, giving them an opportunity to work with students from other disciplines in an experimental and creative way. 

  • Level 7
    Module Credits Compulsory/optional
    Practice 1: Developing Skills (Online) 30 Credits Compulsory
    Digital Media: Sources and Significance (Online) 30 Credits Compulsory
    Practice 2: Creative Project Development (Online) 30 Credits Compulsory
    Exploring Professional Practice (Online) 30 Credits Compulsory
    Major Study: Concept Art (Online) 60 Credits Compulsory
  • Key staff

    Leonardo Scazzocchio

    Neil Gallagher

    Find out more about Neil Gallagher

    Further course information

    Course fact sheets
    MA Concept Art (Online) Download
    Programme specifications
    MA Concept Art (Online) Download
    Additional information

    Sandwich placement or study abroad year

    n/a

    Applications open to international and EU students

    Yes

    Student experience

    To enjoy a high-quality student experience, you will need to have access to a quiet place to study, a reasonably powerful computer and a network connection that supports reasonable quality video conferencing.

    At the University of Hertfordshire, we want to make sure your time studying with us is as stress-free and rewarding as possible. We offer a range of support services including student wellbeing, academic support, accommodation and childcare to ensure that you make the most of your time at Herts and can focus on studying and having fun.

    You can also read our student blogs to find out about life at Herts.