Are you excited by design and the creative possibilities of new technology? Digital Design at Kent combines both, allowing you to solve design challenges whilst gaining expertise to work in the creative industries.
You'll take a practical and theoretical approach to digital design, allowing you to design and build interactive products and services of the future whilst equipping you with skills sought after by employers.
Creativity is at the heart of our course. You develop your design and technical skills allowing you to showcase your creativity. Using the latest technology, you can work with a broad range of design assets and immersive technologies including audio, still and moving image, 3D, and interactive interfaces; creating new experiences for audiences, while setting yourself up for an exciting and fulfilling career in the creative industries.
In your final year you undertake a major project based on your own interests and career aspirations. This could be an interactive or immersive experience, 3D project, or web-based application
It is possible to take this course with a year in industry. For details, see Digital Design with a Year in Industry.
It is possible to take this course with a year abroad. For details, see Digital Design with a Year Abroad.
Make Kent your firm choice – The Kent Guarantee
We understand that applying for university can be stressful, especially when you are also studying for exams. Choose Kent as your firm choice on UCAS and we will guarantee you a place, even if you narrowly miss your offer (for example, by 1 A Level grade)*.
*exceptions apply. Please note that we are unable to offer The Kent Guarantee to those who have already been given a reduced or contextual offer.
The University will consider applications from students offering a wide range of qualifications. All applications are assessed on an individual basis but some of our typical requirements are listed below. Students offering qualifications not listed are welcome to contact our Admissions Team for further advice. Please also see our general entry requirements.
The University welcomes applications from Access to Higher Education Diploma candidates for consideration. A typical offer may require you to obtain a proportion of Level 3 credits in relevant subjects at merit grade or above.
Distinction, Merit, Merit
30 points overall or 15 points at HL
Pass all components of the University of Kent International Foundation Programme with a 50% overall average (plus 50% in LZ013 Maths and Statistics if you do not hold GCSE Maths at 4/C or equivalent).
The University will consider applicants holding T level qualifications in subjects closely aligned to the course.
If you are an international student, visit our International Student website for further information about entry requirements for your country, including details of the International Foundation Programmes. Please note that international fee-paying students who require a Student visa cannot undertake a part-time programme due to visa restrictions.
Please note that meeting the typical offer/minimum requirement does not guarantee that you will receive an offer.
Please see our English language entry requirements web page.
Please note that if you do not meet our English language requirements, we offer a number of 'pre-sessional' courses in English for Academic Purposes. You attend these courses before starting your degree programme.
Register for Priority Clearing at Kent to give yourself a head start this results day.
Duration: 3 years full-time
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.
This module provides an introduction to human-computer interaction. Fundamental aspects of human physiology and psychology are introduced and key features of interaction and common interaction styles delineated. A variety of analysis and design methods are introduced (e.g. GOMS. heuristic evaluation, user-centred and contextual design techniques). Throughout the course, the quality of design and the need for a professional, integrated and user-centred approach to interface development is emphasised. Rapid and low-fidelity prototyping feature as one aspect of this.
This module introduces design thinking; how design principles are embedded everywhere: from electronic devices to objects, commercial products, visual and audio communication, advertising (digital / print), online systems, services, and built environments.
Considering current and historical design approaches, students will learn about design processes as they apply to different domains of design (e.g. audio-visual, graphic, 3D, systems, interaction, electronic devices) and to evaluate the context for the design and the stakeholders that engage with the designed artefact.
Indicative topics include: basic design concepts, current and future trends, design in digital mediated society, speculative design, design for humans/non-humans/things.
This module introduces the stages of the workflow of 3D rigging and animation to familiarise students with what is involved in 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. Indicative topics include; inverse kinematics, forward kinematics, joints system, Maya Embedded Language (MEL), scripting for rigging, skinning, mechanical rigging, humanoid mechanical rigging, character rigging, facial rigging, animal rigging, modelling for rigged bodies.
This practice-based module introduces key principles of Digital Content Creation. Students will learn to conceptualise design problems and produce work using industry-standard software tools. Indicative topics include: audio and visual (still and moving) content creation, use of colour and typography, design fundamentals.
This module introduces you to the theory, principles and practice behind designing Virtual Environments and enables you to create a real-time application demonstrating the acquired core skills. The module will cover specific production skills needed for the development of assets for various applications, programming concepts for navigating and interacting in Virtual Environments, AI, user interfaces. Theory is followed by practical workshops in different aspects of Virtual Environment design, culminating in project.
This is a practical module which covers the steps for integrating computer-generated elements. Each workshop includes hands-on training in 3D design and compositing software. The module covers 3D modelling and texturing as well as digital camera and lighting techniques. The module introduces the basic 3D design production techniques using the appropriate industry-standard software.
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.
The module provides an introduction to the basic knowledge required to understand, design and write computer programs and the basic principles underlying the process of Software Engineering. No previous programming experience is assumed and the module proceeds via a sequence of lectures supported by simple exercises designed to give practical experience of the concepts introduced in the lectures.
This module introduces you to the theory, principles and practice behind virtual reality. Indicative topics include: perception and action in virtual environments, presence and immersion concepts, 3D interaction techniques, virtual reality systems, human factors in virtual reality, design principles for virtual environments, application domains for virtual reality. Theory is followed by programming workshops where you will be introduced to different software development kits. You will apply the acquired theoretical and practical knowledge in building a substantial project.
This module introduces you to key aspects of media production building on the conceptual and critical skill you developed in the first year (digital asset creation, media analysis, programming). To achieve this, you will develop and produce interactive solutions, learn to work with media ecologies and apply creative thinking.
This module introduces the 3D Design pipeline using industry-standard software packages.Each technical workshop session includes hands-on training in 3D Design and compositing software. Practical sessions cover 3D modelling, texturing, lighting, animation and compositing.
The module is concerned with undertaking a substantial digital media project against time and resource constraints. Topics include: intellectual property rights, privacy, data protection, research methods, project planning and management, working in teams. This module prepares students for the demands of the final year project.
Introduction to entrepreneurship, creativity and innovation, circular design; Team building and effective team collaboration; New technology development, technology lifecycle, technology readiness level (TRL); Financial management of large-scale projects and new ventures, sources of financing; Protecting and securing intellectual properties (IPs); Business planning tools for a new technology and start-up; Prototyping and commercialising a new technology and mitigate market risks.
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.
More information to follow.
This module is concerned with social and cultural transformations brought about by the rapid developments of digital technologies. It will introduce case studies of major technological developments and their impact on culture and society. Topics will include: the digital divide, cybercrime, surveillance, automation and AI, virtual communities and identity in the age of the internet.
More information to follow.
The module explores the current creative industries, particularly focusing on music industry characteristics and structures, music organisations and relevant arts groups. Students will be guided to appreciate a broad range of career opportunities in these areas and they will develop an understanding of the skills and specialisms required for specific areas. This will provide a clear context for their further studies on their chosen degree programme. Students will also develop their critical awareness by examining recent historical trends in music and the creative industries.
The module investigates music for media in both theory and practice. The focus will be on music used in moving image media, including an exploration of musical languages and compositional techniques commonly deployed in relation to moving images. Students also study film music history, gaining insight into critical approaches that have informed the practice.
The module introduces to students the importance of marketing in competitive and dynamic environments.
This module is designed to provide students across the university with access to knowledge, skill development and training in the field of entrepreneurship with a special emphasis on developing a business plan in order to exploit identified opportunities. Hence, the module will be of value for students who aspire to establishing their own business and/or introducing innovation through new product, service, process, project or business development in an established organisation. The module complements students' final year projects in Computing, Law, Biosciences, Electronics, Multimedia, and Drama etc.
This is a practice-based module exploring the photographic medium and the contexts of its use through the production of photographs in response to a project brief and group-based critical discussion of the work produced. Students investigate how the context in which photographs are made affect how the world is represented, and how in turn these images shape perception. Students choose two practical project briefs that are designed to enable them to explore the medium creatively and through informed and reflective practice. The emphasis of the module is upon this creative practice rather than the acquisition of specific technical skills, and as such students are at liberty to use any photographic production and post-production technologies they wish to experiment with or find appropriate. A camera phone and access to a computer and printer are all that is needed for this module, though students who wish to make use of digital image processing or analogue processes, including use of a darkroom, are encouraged to do so. Each of the practical project briefs will be supported through a series of lectures closely examining various genres, styles and other contexts of photographic production through the work of those who have shaped them. In addition students will present the work they have produced in response to their project briefs, and engage in a broad critical discussion or their own and other's work.
This module introduces you to the principles and practice of video game design and development. Indicative topics include: game physics, AI, level design, player behaviour and cognition, game rules and mechanics, user interfaces, novel sensor devices, as well as programming concepts for gaming. Theory is followed by practical workshops in game development, culminating in a substantial project.
In taking this module, you will have the opportunity to become a future creator, shaping and changing the landscape of how we tell stories. Whether through multi-platform storytelling, alternate reality games, immersive theatre, locked room experiences, interactive art and gallery exhibitions, virtual and enhanced (augmented, integrated, mixed) realities, cross-media marketing campaigns, or hybrid projects, the possibilities for interactive and immersive narratives are constantly growing and developing, as audiences, readers and users begin to expect more from the ways in which stories are told. This module explores how interactive and immersive fictions enable and empower us to rethink and reshape how stories are told within a range of different contexts. In an interdisciplinary and collaborative environment, students will develop creative skills such as how to build immersive imaginary worlds; how to craft story archaeologies; and how to incorporate user interactivity into different forms of fiction, in order to create experiences that have emotional and psychological value. We will examine questions such as: what makes a meaningful interactive or immersive story? How do interactive and immersive forms change the way we think about terms like narrative and reader? What influences a person's experience of an immersive or interactive story? And what do current, past and future technologies make possible for the telling of stories? To take the module, students need only have an interest in the craft of storytelling and a vivid imagination; previous experience of gaming or programming may be useful but is not essential. With an emphasis on practical creative work and collaborative learning, this module will interest students from a range of backgrounds, including creative writing, game design, arts, marketing and theatre.
The digital sphere has given voice and meeting spaces to communities and activist groups, enabling social action, art and change. It has also been used by reactionaries, nationalists and the far-right groups to amplify hate filled messages. Analysing platforms that may include Facebook, Twitter, Uber and Wikipedia, the module engages with concepts such as participatory and collaborative culture, sharing economies, democracy and surveillance. Students will engage in sourcing, analysing and critiquing social media content by way of a Digital Portfolio. This work will be contextualised by an essay that situates students' multimedia exercises within key debates in online culture. To facilitate this, lectures and seminars will explore various case studies - from mainstream politicians’ use of social media in campaigning, to the intensification of hate speech in the cyber sphere, to the ethics of using unpaid journalists and the economy of sharing - in order to encourage students to engage critically with the relationship between politics, economics, personal expression and art making practices in the digital age.
Optional modules are indicative only and updated yearly depending on availability.
The 2022/23 annual tuition fees for this course are:
For details of when and how to pay fees and charges, please see our Student Finance Guide.
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.*
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.
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.
At Kent we recognise, encourage and reward excellence. We have created the Kent Scholarship for Academic Excellence.
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.
Most modules consist of a mix of lectures, seminars, practical 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, poster, 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, poster, and industrial assessment that together count as 10% of your overall degree result.
The year abroad is assessed on a pass or fail basis.
Our students have 24-hour access to our extensive air-conditioned computer suites and are able to take advantage of a dedicated production studio, with green-screen, VR suite and makerspace.
For a student studying full time, each academic year of the programme will comprise 1200 learning hours which include both direct contact hours and private study hours. The precise breakdown of hours will be subject dependent and will vary according to modules. Please refer to the individual module details under Course Structure.
Methods of assessment will vary according to subject specialism and individual modules. Please refer to the individual module details under Course Structure.
The course aims to:
You gain knowledge and understanding of:
You develop the following intellectual skills:
You develop the following subject-specific skills:
You develop the following transferable skills:
Digital Design prepares you for careers in areas such as:
Employers are always keen to employ graduates with knowledge of the work environment and some students receive job offers from their placement company.
The University also has an award-winning Careers and Employability Service which can give you advice on how to:
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:
You can gain extra skills by signing up for one of our Kent Extra activities, such as learning a language or volunteering.
If you are from the UK or Ireland, you must apply for this course through UCAS. If you are not from the UK or Ireland, you can choose to apply through UCAS or directly on our website.
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