MA Games Art and Design

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.
  • Industry-related learning: There are work related learning opportunities on this course, all students complete a live external brief provided by a major games studio as part of their coursework.

Professional Accreditations

We are a Rookies Certified School.  

Winner of The Rookies Game of the Year 2020 (Uplink).

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About the course

This MA Games Art and Design degree course will enable you to... 

  • develop your Games Art  and Design skills and knowledge to a professional level 
  • choose to study parts of this course online or on campus 
  • produce a commercial-standard personal portfolio that reflects the forefront of current practices in approach, style and vision 
  • explore the theoretical and contextual understanding of games art, its audiences and significances in our contemporary media culture 
  • develop professional-level enquiry, research, creative invention, project planning and management practices 
  • learn in a multi-disciplinary environment through discussion and the exploration of ideas.

See our MA Games Art Vimeo Page for showreels and alumni activity. 

This course is also available to study online. Find out more about the MA Games Art and Design (Online) course.  

Why choose this course?

This MA Games Art and Design degree meets the needs of the games industry. The games industry has developed dramatically from the days of the solo practitioner to become a global market where large teams of artists work in unison to create content for the next generation of interactive game technologies. The current games art and design practitioner is likely to become a specialist in one area, such as character modelling, environment creation, lighting, animating etc. This award fuses technical knowledge of real-time rendering with the aesthetic decisions and traditional skills you will need as a games artist. 

On this MA Games Art and Design course, you will also explore 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. 

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 course supports students who want to specialise in areas such as character design, hard-surface modelling, environment design or lighting and texturing as well as those who want to be generalists. We support all the standard software packages used in the industry and are constantly updating the range of technical instruction we offer. 

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.

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 30 Credits Compulsory
    Digital Media: Sources and Significance 30 Credits Compulsory
    Practice 2: Creative Project Development 30 Credits Compulsory
    Exploring Professional Practice 30 Credits Compulsory
    Major Study: Games Art and Design 60 Credits Compulsory
  • Key staff

    Dr Ian Willcock
    Programme Leader (Postgraduate Media)
    Find out more about Dr Ian Willcock

    Neil Gallagher
    Leader of Games Art and Design
    Find out more about Neil Gallagher

    Further course information

    Course fact sheets
    MA Games Art and Design Download
    MA Games Art and Design Download
    Programme specifications
    MA Games Art and Design Download
    MA Games Art and Design Download
    Additional information

    Sandwich placement or study abroad year

    n/a

    Applications open to international and EU students

    Yes

    Student experience

    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.