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
Your year in industry takes place between your second and final years. You can apply to companies offering either design or technology-oriented placements, depending on your own interests. As well as gaining invaluable workplace experience, you also have the chance to evaluate a particular career path, and, if your placement goes well, you may be offered a job by that employer after graduation. For further details, see Course structure.
You can also take this course as a three-year degree without a year in industry. For details, see Digital Arts.
We also offer a four-year degree where you can study specialised topics in depth. For details see Digital Arts MArt programme.
Four final-year students from the School of Engineering and Digital Arts worked with the BBC to produce a five-minute animation documenting mental health treatment as part of Mental Health Awareness Week. It tells the story of Sophie, who suffers from Borderline Personality Disorder, and details her experiences with mental health services in the UK.
In May 2018, the animation won a BBC Ruby Award. The Ruby Awards celebrate outstanding programming from across the country and span a range of categories from news coverage and best programme to awards for individual journalists.
Find out more:
- Students work with BBC to produce animation for Mental Health Awareness Week
- Video by Kent students on mental health failings leads to NHS apology
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 printing 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.
We are sure you will find your time at Kent enjoyable and rewarding.
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|
EL542 - Creativity in Interactive and Tangible Media
This undergraduate module introduces the practical techniques for creating interactive visual display using Processing, a Java-based IDE. We will also develop interesting tangible interfaces using Arduino IDE, with a range of sensors and actuators. Students will learn to manipulate images, create realistic motions, use motion sensing and speech recognition, in a series of lectures and workshops.Read more
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
EL338 - Visual Culture
This module provides an introduction to visual culture, an interdisciplinary field of studies that integrates historical knowledge, critical thinking and reflection on visual images, their context of production and consumption. Examples of traditional and modern artefacts from the fields of art history, graphic design and digital media will be investigated using appropriate visual methodologies.Read more
EL339 - Digital Photography
This module introduces you to the theory and practice of digital photography and photographic effects, particularly photo-montage. The theory is followed by practicals and workshops. Having learnt the basics you will then produce a portfolio of digital photographs and a poster (photo-montage).Read more
EL340 - Digital Effects
This is a practical module which covers the steps for integrating computer-generated elements within a photographic back-plate. Each workshop includes hands-on training in visual effects and compositing software. The module covers 3D modelling, texturing and animation as well as digital camera and lighting techniques. The module introduces the basic visual effects production pipeline using the appropriate industry-standard software.Read more
EL341 - Graphic Design
This practice-based module introduces key principles of graphic design for the digital platform. Practical work in the workshop is underpinned by tutorial lectures. Students will learn to conceptualise design problems and produce work using industry-standard software tools. Indicative topics include composition, use of colour and typography, placement of elements on screen, branding and poster and creative CV design.Read more
EL342 - Moving Image
This module is an introduction to digital film-making. Students learn the creative and technical skills in making a short film, whilst working as a member of a production team.Read more
|Modules may include||Credits|
EL532 - Professional 3D and Compositing
This module introduces the basic animation pipeline using industry-standard software packages.
Each technical workshop session includes hands-on training in visual effects and compositing software.
Practical sessions cover 3D modelling, texturing, lighting and animation.Read more
EL537 - Digital Portfolio
EL574 - Designing Media Environments
This module introduces you to key aspects of media production building on the conceptual and critical skill you developed in the first year (photo/video editing, media analysis, programming). To achieve this, you will develop and produce artworks, learn to work with media ecologies and apply creative thinking.Read more
Year in industry
You spend a year working in industry between Stages 2 and 3, gaining valuable experience and improving your employment prospects. Employers are always keen to employ graduates with knowledge of the work environment and some students receive job offers from their placement company.
We have a dedicated Employability Officer who will help you apply for placements; but please note that it is your responsibility to secure a placement, which cannot always be guaranteed. The School has excellent industrial links, providing students with many placement opportunities.
Please note that progression thresholds apply. In particular, in order to be considered for an industrial placement, students are required to achieve an overall mark at Stage 1 of at least 60%.
|Modules may include||Credits|
|Modules may include||Credits|
EL636 - Final Year Project
The final year project is a substantial piece of work based on students' own personal interests. This may be developing an interactive visual experience, creating a 3D animation, producing a motion graphic, or developing a mobile or web application. The project is a largely independent piece of work, with guidance from an academic supervisor
EL641 - Digital Visual Effects and Post Production
This module introduces the tools and techniques for the integration of live video footage and computer-generated elements so that students will become familiar with what is involved in visual effects film production. Weekly module workshops introduce relevant industry-standard applications, and the techniques necessary for production, resulting in a practical understanding of the entire process.Read more
EL638 - 3D Computer Animation Pipeline
This module introduces the stages of the workflow of a 3D animation to familiarise students with what is involved in animation production. Weekly module workshops introduce an array of industry-standard applications and the techniques necessary for production, resulting in a practical understanding of the entire process.Read 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.
The industrial placement year is assessed by a written report and an interview that together count as 10% of your overall 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
- give an opportunity to gain experience as a digital media practitioner working in a professional environment
- develop employment-related skills, including an understanding of how you relate to the structure and function in an organisation, via a year in industry.
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
- aspects of the core subject areas from the perspective of a commercial or industrial organisation.
You develop the following intellectutal skills:
- examining 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
- designing and developing software-based on an analysis of system requirements
- researching and integrating information and data from a variety of sources for essays, projects and multimedia applications
- analysis of a problem and development of a solution based on technical, aesthetic and economic factors
- consideration and evaluatation of your own work in a reflexive manner with reference to academic and professional issues
- analysis, interpretation and exercising critical judgement in the understanding and evaluation of multimedia applications
- applying some of the intellectual skills specified for the programme from the perspective of a commercial or industrial organisation.
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
- apply some of the subject-specific skills specified for the programme from the perspective of a commercial or industrial organisation.
You develop the following transferable skills:
- ability to generate, analyse, present and interpret data
- use of information and communications technology
- personal and interpersonal skills, teamworking
- effective communication (in writing, verbally and in a variety of media)
- effective learning for the purpose of continuing professional development
- ability for working in flexible, creative and independent ways and for critical thinking, reasoning and reflection
- 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
Employers are always keen to employ graduates with knowledge of the work environment and some students receive job offers from their placement company.
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 an award-winning 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 2019/20 tuition fees have not yet been set. As a guide only, 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.
Fees for Year in Industry
For 2018/19 entrants, the standard year in industry fee for home, EU and international students is £1,385.
Fees for Year Abroad
UK, EU and international students on an approved year abroad for the full 2018/19 academic year pay £1,385 for that year.
Students studying abroad for less than one academic year will pay full fees according to their fee status.
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.