On our Digital Arts degree, you develop the technical skills you need to showcase your creativity. Using the latest technology, you can work with video, photographic images, sound clips or text, to create new experiences for audiences, setting yourself up for an exciting career in the creative industries.
Teaching in the School of Engineering and Digital Arts has been rated as excellent. The course is taught by a team of experts in communication, animation, filmmaking, photography and website design, which ensures you gain a range of skills, allowing you to discover the areas that most interest you.
We have a team of senior industrialists who meet regularly with us to review our courses to ensure they keep up to date with industry.
Our degree programme
In your first year, you are given a broad grounding in digital media, including website design, digital photography, moving image, graphic design and special effects.
In your second and final years, you go on to explore digital filmmaking, 3D modelling, 3D animation, compositing, digital portfolio production and video games design.
You also complete a final-year project based on your own interests. This could be an interactive web application, 3D animation or a short film, often produced in association with an industrial partner.
Year in industry
You can take this course with a year in industry, which can improve your skills and your employment prospects. For details, see Digital Arts with a Year in Industry.
We also offer a four-year degree where you can study specialised topics in depth. For details see Digital Arts MArt programme.
Our continued investment ensures you have access to industry standard facilities. These include:
- a production studio with extensive lighting grid and a permanent green screen with infinity curve; the main studio has 100m2 of filming and performance space
- Nikon DSLRs
- Sony video cameras
- 3D scanning and motion capture facilities.
The School also has the latest software, including Maya and Adobe Suite.
We have close links with those working in the creative industries and have worked with industry practitioners including:
- the BBC
- Warner Bros.
- the Moving Picture Company (MPC)
- BAFTA award-winning documentary filmmakers.
Design Studies at Kent was ranked 3rd overall in The Guardian University Guide 2018 and 4th for research quality in The Complete University Guide 2018.
For graduate prospects, Design Studies at Kent was ranked 2nd in The Guardian University Guide 2018 and in The Times Good University Guide 2018 and 5th in The Complete University Guide 2018.
Teaching Excellence Framework
Based on the evidence available, the TEF Panel judged that the University of Kent delivers consistently outstanding teaching, learning and outcomes for its students. It is of the highest quality found in the UK.
Please see the University of Kent's Statement of Findings for more information.
The following modules are indicative of those offered on this programme. This listing is based on the current curriculum and may change year to year in response to new curriculum developments and innovation.
On most programmes, you study a combination of compulsory and optional modules. You may also be able to take ‘wild’ modules from other programmes so you can customise your programme and explore other subjects that interest you.
|Modules may include||Credits|
EL313 - Introduction to Programming
INTRODUCTION TO PROGRAMMING IN C
An introduction to the use computers and the process of programming them.
Variable declaration. Executable statements.
Data Types, Expressions.
Operators, precedence and associativity.
Logical Expressions and the if statement.
Decision steps in algorithms.
Repetition and loops in Programs. Conditional loops. Nested control structures.
Top-down design with functions.
Arrays. Multi-dimensional arrays. Strings.
Using indexed for loops to process arrays.
SOFTWARE ENGINEERING WITH C
Programming in the large. Program life-cycle.
File input and output.
Case studiesRead more
EL331 - Website Design
Introduction: History of the Internet. Web browsers.
Introduction to HTML: HTML tags, tables, forms.
Cascading Style Sheets (CSS).
Graphics for the Web: jpeg, gif, png. File size, image compression, colour palettes, screen resolution, colour matching, transparency
Website Design: Menu organisation. Web work flow: wire frames, mock-up creation, HTML markup. Page layout: page length, use of colour, common page elements, fonts, font size.
INTRODUCTION TO WEB PROGRAMMING
EL338 - Visual Culture
Origins of visual culture
Renaissance art and iconography
Modern art movements
Critical approaches to image analysis
Spectatorship and representation
Advertising and propaganda
Digital artRead more
EL339 - Digital Photography
PRINCIPLES OF PHOTOGRAPHY
Basic optics; the camera; types of camera; lenses; lighting; colour theory; files and processing.
PRACTICAL PHOTOGRAPHY TUTORIAL LECTURES
Use of cameras and lenses, lighting techniques, composition, themes: e.g. People, landscapes, still life, architecture, nature, sport.
PRACTICAL PHOTOGRAPHY CRITIQUE
Drop-in help/feedback sessions on photographic techniques to support the Photographic Portfolio assignment.
Use of cameras, lenses and multi-light set-ups
INTRODUCTION TO PHOTOSHOP
Basic Photoshop skills; photomontage; file formats.
IMAGE EDITING WITH PHOTOSHOP
Image cropping and rotation; colour correction; lens correction; red-eye reduction; resolution; printing. Communication through images; image correction and restoration; image manipulation; layers and layer masks.Read more
EL340 - Digital Effects
INTRODUCTION TO 3D MODELLING & ANIMATION SOFTWARE
Modelling tools & interface navigation
Modelling techniques (i.e. polygons / NURBS)
Material creation and editing basics - application & texture preparation
UV co-ordinate mapping
Introduction to Ray-tracing basics
Introduction to cameras, lights & rendering
Shadow manipulation & colouring
Introduction to animation
Rendering - optimising a scene
Photo manipulation and texture creation in Adobe Photoshop
INTRODUCTION TO COMPOSITING SOFTWARE
Using the interface; alpha channels
Filters, masks, multiple layers, colour correction toolsRead more
EL342 - Moving Image
Moving Image Theory (Introduction to MI, Film Form, Meaning in Film, Narrative, The
Image, Editing, Filming for the web); Introduction to Editing and Authoring.
Discussion of practical aspects of film (Research and Treatments; Storyboarding;
Cameras, Safety & Administration; Shooting, Framing and Sequences.)
Held during the projectRead more
EL542 - Creativity in Interactive and Tangible Media
Why interactive and tangible media
Tangible user interfaces
Creativity with curves
Web and wireless communication
Advanced topicsRead more
|Modules may include||Credits|
EL642 - Project Design
There are three formal lectures concerning project research, planning and proposal presentation.
ORGANISATION AND CONTENT
Students will undertake work in Summer term. The project will reflect students' interests in the area of 2D/3D animation, film-making, software development or special effects and will be supervised by a member of staff, who also sets the initial parameters of the project.
Every student will be individually assessed on their approach to the work as well as their achievement.
Assessment of the project will take the following form:
(a) Proposal presentation - 40%
(b) Research Document 60%Read more
EL574 - Designing Media Environments
The module is divided into two sections, which are aligned with the Autumn and Spring terms:
EL532 - Professional 3D and Compositing
Reintroduction to professional 3D Package (2 workshops, 3 hours per week, Autumn term)
3D MODELLING AND ANIMATION (tutorial lectures, 6 hours per week, Spring term)
Advanced hard-edge modelling- high poly, patch modelling, lathe and free form deformation modifiers
High & low poly asset modeling
Advanced Mental Ray- Caustics, Final gather & Global Illumination
Scene optimisation- Render to texture/texture baking for games
Normal Mapping & Displacement Mapping
Render optimisation for Animation
Physical Sun and Sky for Mental Ray
Volumetrics & Atmospherics
Soft-edge organic Polygon Modelling
Part 1- Organic assets
Part 2- Organic Creature Design
Environmental Render Settings- Exposure control, Lens effects, Brightness & Contrast, Hair & Fur, Film grain,
Fire, fog, volume fog & volume light effects
Animation techniques & Advanced rigging
Curve editor & Dope sheet
Advanced articulated animation focus on show-reel production
Automated rigging systems
Dynamics Fluid, Cloth, Particles
Development of a three dimensional model and its animation around a subject set by the lecturer. Supported by two workshops in Summer term.Read more
EL537 - Digital Portfolio
INTRODUCTION TO THE MODULE
Responsive design; progressive enhancement
HTML5 Sockets and Workers jQuery UI
Typography with CSS HTML5 Canvas and SVG CSS Frameworks
CSS Animations and Transitions
HTML5 Storage and Geolocation
DIGITAL IMAGE MANIPULATION STUDIO CLASSES
Photoshop workflow. Canvas sizing and screen resolution. Masks by pointing to blend layers. Advanced tracing. Using adjustment layers with masks.
Stylistic effects with Photoshop: blend modes through re-creating the vintage polaroid look, blend work with grunge layers and brushes.
Vector shapes in Photoshop: working with shape layers, using in-line with Illustrator, llve tracing with pen tool, intro to stylistic vector tool.
Photoshop for the web, image optimisation, layer effects, background tiling, shadows and gradiants. Text for the web. Using guides and slices. Creating a Photoshop mock-up.
Production of an online portfolio.Read more
EL539 - Professional Practice
Current and future trends in the creative industries
Pitching, time management, costing
Intellectual property rights
Data protection & privacy
Self-employment in the creative industriesRead more
|Modules may include||Credits|
EL641 - Digital Visual Effects and Post Production
This module is a very practical module where short video clips integrating live video footage, 3D animations and special effects are developed. Each technical workshop session includes hands-on training in visual effects and compositing software. Theoretical lectures include camerawork, real-world and digital lighting techniques, primary and secondary colour grading, digital cinema and visual effects production pipelines.
Camerawork: framing, composition, and movement through space in real-world and digital environments.
Lighting: real-world and digital lighting techniques
Colour: primary and secondary grading
Industry structure: digital cinema and visual effects production pipelines.
Pre-production: Design, Layout and Storyboard Animatics
Design of an 8 second sequence using a static photographic plate, design two 3d elements- vehicle (with motion) & a building structure. Design approval (Photoshop PSD) will lead directly into the pipeline to model and texture the elements.
Production of an 8 second Animatic using after effects. Animatic should clearly demonstrate accurate positioning of 3d elements in the Photographic plate.
Model building. Texture building. Creation of render layers for building such as beauty pass, shadows & ambient occlusion.
Model vehicle & rig using attributes and motion curves. Utilise graph editor where appropriate. Texture painting assets with Mudbox and Photoshop. Produce bump maps/normals where appropriate.
Fluid and dynamic simulation cross-platform to establish feasible VFX pipeline.
Shooting live action plates of crowd scenes, individuals and cloud tank to create smoke atmospherics- Element shoot.
Match-moving cameras and digital objects to seamlessly integrate cgi assets into a live-action environment.
Render out layers and passes with mental ray including Z-depth pass for depth of field.
Composite layers in after effects adding motion graphics and appropriate Visual effect breakdowns of shot. Motion graphics to include manipulation of Vector files and use of Ray-trace 3D rendering. Compositing to include mask layers and Rotoscoping.
Final composite production in H264 mpeg4 resolution.Read more
EL636 - Final Year Project
There are three formal lectures concerning project research, group work and prototype presentation.
ORGANISATION AND CONTENT
Students will undertake a single piece of work over Autumn and Spring terms, presenting a prototype of their application mid-way through the project. The work constitutes 60 credits and thus should occupy about 2 days per week. The project will be supervised by a member of staff, who also sets the initial parameters of the project.
Every student will be individually assessed on their approach to the work as well as their achievement.
Assessment of the project will take the following form:
(a) Prototype demonstration - 20%
(b) Project - 80% (Documentation - 20%, Application - 60%)
After project submission students will attend individual assessment interviews, where they will be asked to demonstrate and discuss their projects with two examiners.
EL638 - 3D Computer Animation Pipeline
This module takes students through every stage of 3D production, using a single fully featured "client" brief, starting with storyboards, design, progressing through modelling, texturing, file referencing, rigging, animation, simulation, effects, lighting, rendering, in a close simulation of a professional animation pipeline, resulting in a practical understanding of the entire process.
Production design Storyboarding Outline rendering Animatics
Polygonal and Nurbs UV mapping Texture and image maps with PSD files Character rigging
Lattices and deformers
Pre-viz - Preview animation
Fur and hair
Rigid body Dynamics Particle Dynamics Expressions - Max script
Character performance animation
Fog and volume lights Scanline rendering Mental Ray rendering Compositing shots Final movie formats
A digital collection of rendered 3D stills and movie files covering a wide range of practical 3D solutions to 3D computer animation problems.Read more
EL639 - Videogames Design
Player behaviours and interactions
Game rules and mechanics
Workshop exercises (30%)
Workshop exercises will be assessed in the lab.
Video game design and development (60%)
Design and development of a video game based on student's selected topic and theme. Team-based.
Video presentation (10%)
Creation of a video showcasing the video games and reflection of the design and development process. Team-basedRead more
CB302 - Managers and Organisations
The main strand of the lecture material will establish the foundations of organisational behaviour in the context of the historical development of ideas and theory. The theories will be related to practical examples and thence students will be introduced to modern experience, practice and scholarship. Once the information of the foundation of organisational behaviour is established, at the next level, contemporary topics of management will be touched upon briefly. This will provide students with basic knowledge related to modern management practices. The content of the module will, therefore, be based on the following topics:
Human Relations School
Post Bureaucratic Organizations
Group and teams
Power and authority
Managing diversityRead more
Teaching and assessment
Most modules consist of a mix of lectures, seminars, studio work, computer sessions and private study. The workstations in our computer suites are equipped with current industry-standard software.
All modules contain design and project work, and are continuously assessed. The specialist project at Stage 3 is assessed by a written report, a critique and, of course, the outcome of the project itself. Both Stage 2 and 3 marks count towards your degree result.
Our students have 24-hour access to our extensive air-conditioned computer suites and are able to take advantage of dedicated photographic and production studios, with green-screen, motion-capture and 3D scanning facilities.
The programme aims to:
- provide a multidisciplinary education for students who seek professional careers in the field of digital arts
- produce graduates who have an informed, critical and creative approach to understanding communication through digital media design in contemporary society
- prepare students to meet the challenges of a broad and rapidly changing field while providing them with a wide choice of careers
- provide proper academic guidance and welfare support for all students
- create an atmosphere of co-operation and partnership between staff and students, and offer the students an environment where they can develop their potential.
Knowledge and understanding
You gain knowledge and understanding of:
- the audio, visual and verbal conventions through which sounds, images and words take meaning
- fundamental concepts of IT and software engineering
- the creative processes involved in visual design
- the contextual, historical and conceptual dimensions of the discipline
- audio, video and film technology, including digital television and DVD
- the multimedia authoring process
- fundamentals of 3D modelling and animation
- key production processes and professional practices relevant to the multimedia industry
- the legal, ethical and regulatory frameworks which affect the development of multimedia applications
- the role of technology in terms of multimedia production, access and use.
You develop the following intellectual skills, including the:
- ability to examine multimedia applications critically with appropriate reference to their social and cultural contexts and diversity of contemporary society
- awareness that technologies are rapidly changing and that you should expect to update your knowledge throughout your working life
- awareness of the objectives, constraints and conditions of a commercial environment, including financial and time constraints
- ability to design and develop software based on an analysis of system requirements
- ability to carry out research and integrate information and data from a variety of sources for essays, projects and multimedia applications
- ability to analyse a problem and develop a solution based on technical, aesthetic and economic factors
- ability to consider and evaluate your own work in a reflexive manner with reference to academic and professional issues
- analyse, interpret and exercise critical judgement in the understanding and evaluation of multimedia applications.
You develop the following subject-specific skills:
- ability to use scripting and programming languages in the implementation of interactive applications
- ability to demonstrate creative and technical skills in drawing and design
- ability to develop specific proficiencies in utilising a range of multimedia design tools including 3D modelling, animation, video editing, image manipulating and multimedia authoring
- ability to integrate text, graphics and time-based elements to produce effective websites
- ability to initiate, develop and realise distinctive and creative applications which demonstrate the effective manipulation of multimedia assets
- ability to utilise a range of research skills, for example, research into potential audiences and markets, as a production tool
- ability to prepare technical reports and presentations
- ability to prepare storyboards as part of the multimedia project development cycle
- ability to apply management techniques to the planning, resource allocations and execution of a design project.
You gain the following transferable skills:
- the ability to generate, analyse, present and interpret data
- the use of information and communications technology
- personal and interpersonal skills, team-working
- effective communication (in writing, verbally and in a variety of media)
- the ability to learn effectively for the purpose of continuing professional development
- an ability for working in flexible, creative and independent ways and for critical thinking, reasoning and reflection
- the ability to organise and manage time and resources within an individual project and a group project.
Digital Arts prepares you for careers in areas such as:
- web design
- games design
- internet publishing.
Some graduates choose to go on to postgraduate study, for example our MSc programmes in Computer Animation or Digital Visual Effects.
Help finding a job
The School of Engineering and Digital Arts holds an annual Employability and Careers Day where you can meet local and national employers and discuss career opportunities. Ongoing support is provided by the School’s dedicated Employability Officer.
The University also has a friendly Careers and Employability Service which can give you advice on how to:
- apply for jobs
- write a good CV
- perform well in interviews.
Studying on this degree not only equips you with an in-depth understanding of some of the most exciting technologies of the 21st century, it also helps you to develop useful workplace skills such as:
- planning and organisation
- effective communication.
You can gain extra skills by signing up for one of our Kent Extra activities, such as learning a language or volunteering.
For graduate prospects, Design Studies at Kent was ranked 2nd in The Guardian University Guide 2018 and in The Times Good University Guide 2018.
Design Studies at Kent was ranked 2nd in the UK for the percentage of
students who found professional jobs or further study within six months
of graduation in 2016 (DLHE).
The University will consider applications from students offering a wide range of qualifications. Typical requirements are listed below. Students offering alternative qualifications should contact us for further advice.
It is not possible to offer places to all students who meet this typical offer/minimum requirement.
New GCSE grades
If you’ve taken exams under the new GCSE grading system, please see our conversion table to convert your GCSE grades.
|Qualification||Typical offer/minimum requirement|
|Access to HE Diploma||
The University will not necessarily make conditional offers to all Access candidates but will continue to assess them on an individual basis.
If we make you an offer, you will need to obtain/pass the overall Access to Higher Education Diploma and may also be required to obtain a proportion of the total level 3 credits and/or credits in particular subjects at merit grade or above.
|BTEC Level 3 Extended Diploma (formerly BTEC National Diploma)||
Distinction, Distinction, Merit
34 points overall or 15 points at HL
The University welcomes applications from international students. Our international recruitment team can guide you on entry requirements. See our International Student website for further information about entry requirements for your country.
If you need to increase your level of qualification ready for undergraduate study, we offer a number of International Foundation Programmes.
Meet our staff in your country
For more advice about applying to Kent, you can meet our staff at a range of international events.
English Language Requirements
Please see our English language entry requirements web page.
Please note that if you are required to meet an English language condition, we offer a number of 'pre-sessional' courses in English for Academic Purposes. You attend these courses before starting your degree programme.
General entry requirements
Please also see our general entry requirements.
The 2018/19 annual tuition fees for this programme are:
For students continuing on this programme, fees will increase year on year by no more than RPI + 3% in each academic year of study except where regulated.*
Your fee status
The University will assess your fee status as part of the application process. If you are uncertain about your fee status you may wish to seek advice from UKCISA before applying.
General additional costs
Kent offers generous financial support schemes to assist eligible undergraduate students during their studies. See our funding page for more details.
You may be eligible for government finance to help pay for the costs of studying. See the Government's student finance website.
Scholarships are available for excellence in academic performance, sport and music and are awarded on merit. For further information on the range of awards available and to make an application see our scholarships website.
The Kent Scholarship for Academic Excellence
At Kent we recognise, encourage and reward excellence. We have created the Kent Scholarship for Academic Excellence.
For 2018/19 entry, the scholarship will be awarded to any applicant who achieves a minimum of AAA over three A levels, or the equivalent qualifications (including BTEC and IB) as specified on our scholarships pages.
The scholarship is also extended to those who achieve AAB at A level (or specified equivalents) where one of the subjects is either Mathematics or a Modern Foreign Language. Please review the eligibility criteria.