BA (Hons) 3D Games Art & Design

Key information

Why choose this course?

  • no. 1 in the UK for Animation and Game Design (2023 Guardian League Table)
  • No.1 in the world for Game Design & Development (The Rookies 2020)
  • Our students have won The Rookies Game of the Year four times

The next big game has your name on it

You dream of being a key player in the video game industry. You may want to work for companies like Epic Games, Nintendo or Sony. Perhaps you want to work on triple A games like Fortnite, Sea of Thieves and Assassin’s Creed, just like some of our graduates? You may not be sure yet where you want to end up, but one thing’s for certain. You love gaming. You crave adventure. Gaming allows you to escape to another realm. It’s a place where you can be different. Where you can connect with people just like you. Nothing else gives you the same rush. Your perspective of gaming has evolved beyond that of a user. Now you’re analysing your experience. You’re curiously creative and you have stories to tell. When you daydream it’s about scenarios, characters and environments that your fans will enjoy. Your sketch pad is full of playable worlds that you’ve created. Advancements in technology make this a growing industry with game developers in high demand. Now it’s your turn. The next level is within your grasp.

Study a world-famous degree

Described by The Rookies as an ‘innovative and enterprising university’ our students regularly achieve critical acclaim for their work. Four of our students have won The Rookies Game of the Year award. We’re No.1 in the world for Production Excellence in Game Design and Development (The Rookies 2020). At Herts, you’ll learn in a real-world studio environment. We’ll teach you to create concept art, model and texture within real-time restrictions. You’ll gain a thorough understanding of the production process. Our teaching combines passion with experience. We’ve worked as artists and game developers for years and have insights to share. We’ll help you to thrive in a demanding and exciting industry by giving you the artistic and technical skills you’ll need. The games industry’s own trade association, TIGA, rates the University of Hertfordshire as being the Best Educational Institution in the UK (2019). We have strong links to industry so you can benefit from real world briefs, guest speakers, work placements and knowledge of current trends.

Learn in a stimulating environment

You’ll have access to dedicated PC labs, kitted out with everything you need to bring your characters and environments to life. The Learning Resource Centre contains clones of our animation labs (software and hardware) so if you want to continue your animation studies late at night or during the weekend you can. Plus, you can use our motion capture suite, digital photography and filmmaking equipment to work on your projects.

What's the course about?

We’ll teach you the artistic and technical skills needed to work in the games industry. We deliver a mix of teaching methods, from project work to software and art-based workshops and lectures. You’ll be assessed on group and individual project work. We’ll ask you to submit portfolio submissions, sketches, storyboards, 3D game assets and presentations. Plus, you’ll develop your analytical thinking, critical curiosity and easy writing skills.

In your first year, you’ll benefit from common modules within the wider animation programme, gaining valuable knowledge of the digital media industry. You’ll study alongside peers on 2D and 3D animation, comics and concept art and visual effects, expanding your network from day one. We’ll teach you the latest software and digital illustration techniques. You’ll practice life drawing, designing characters and environments. You’ll write engaging stories with a strong narrative arc. You’ll explore comics, animation and film history, bringing cultural context to your craft. We’ll teach you key skills in texturing, character animation and rigging. Together we’ll explore real-time skills such as procedural modelling and level construction. At the end of this year you’ll have the choice to switch to a different animation degree course if your passion has led you in a new direction.

In your second year, we’ll teach you modular environment construction and level design. You’ll explore gameplay design, gameplay mechanics and coding. You’ll also try your hand at real time lighting and special effects. You’ll take the leap from creating individual art, models and images to developing playable worlds that intrigue and excite. You’ll grow in confidence as you see how these environments compliment the stories you want to tell and the game worlds you want to create. You’ll work on live projects with industry and design a playable level as part of a team. We’ll encourage you to use this industry project to identify the job role you want to work towards. Whether you want to be a game designer or a character, environment or technical artist, by the end of this year you’ll know where your passion is guiding you.

In your third year, you’ll focus your dissertation on an area of popular culture, linked to 3D games art and design, that fascinates you. You’ll also get stuck into an ambitious final games project. You’ll take this project through all stages of production, from concept and storyboarding to post-production. You’ll prove your project management and leadership qualities. We’ll encourage you to engage in real-world practices so you’re ready for employment. Your games project will be screened at our Animation Exposé show where you can enter it for different awards, judged by a panel of industry experts. View the show’s live stream from 2020. Previous judging panels have included companies such as Creative Assembly, Rare, Rebellion, Jagex, Airship Images and Space Ape Games. Plus, we’ll encourage you to enter your work into The Rookies and other international competitions. Our students have won The Rookies Console and PC Game of the Year for 3 consecutive years in 2018, 2019 and 2020! When you graduate, you’ll have an impressive professional portfolio, showreel and website to launch your career. This is your chance to showcase your creativity and technical expertise. Capture our imagination. What world will you create? 

Your main campus is College Lane 

This is where the creative arts, science and health-related subjects are based. This means you’ll share the campus with future nurses, scientists, artists and more. You can use the common rooms to relax with friends, work out in the 24-hour gym or have a drink in our on-campus pub or cafes. We also have restaurants for you to eat in or grab something on the go. Our Learning Resources Centres are open 24/7, which means you can study whenever suits you best. Want to pop over to the other campus? You can take the free shuttle bus or walk there in just 15 minutes.    

What will I study?

Degree programmes are structured into levels, 4, 5 and 6. These correspond to your first, second and third/final year of study. Below you can see what modules you’ll be studying in each.   

The staff are so supportive it’s just unreal. Unbelievably hardworking.

Callum Tweedie-Walker, digital animation graduate

Technical lead artist, Montebearo