Multimedia Technology and Design

Multimedia Technology and Design - BSc (Hons)

UCAS code G4W2

2018

In current technology, communications, computing and entertainment have converged to create completely new media possibilities and experiences. These creative industries need people who can combine digital technology skills with creative ability to meet design challenges.

Overview

Our multidisciplinary course in Multimedia Technology and Design offers the opportunity to develop in-depth knowledge in areas such as web development and design of interactive applications, as well as a broad grounding in digital photography, digital film-making, 3D modelling and special effects.

Teaching in the School of Engineering and Digital Arts has been rated as excellent. The course is taught by a team of experts in design, animation, film-making, photography, web technology and programming. We have a team of senior industrialists who meet regularly with staff to review our courses, and there is an option to spend a year working in industry.

Kent graduates in this field have gone on to work for organisations such as Disney, BBC and Framestore.

You can also take this programme with a year in industry. Taken between your second and final year, this gives you the opportunity to gain new skills and improve your employment prospects. For details, see Multimedia Technology and Design with a Year in Industry.

Student profiles

We are sure you will find your time at Kent enjoyable and rewarding.

See what our students have to say.

Independent rankings

Electronic and Electrical Engineering at Kent was ranked 1st for course satisfaction in The Guardian University Guide 2017 and 2nd for student satisfaction in The Complete University Guide 2017. In the National Student Survey 2016, 90% of students in Electronic and Electrical Engineering were satisfied with the overall quality of their course.

For graduate prospects, Electronic and Electrical Engineering at Kent was ranked 6th in The Guardian University Guide 2017.

Course structure

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.

Stage 1

Possible modules may include Credits

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.

Nested-if statements.

Switch statements.

CORE C

Repetition and loops in Programs. Conditional loops. Nested control structures.

Top-down design with functions.

Modular programming.

Arrays. Multi-dimensional arrays. Strings.

Using indexed for loops to process arrays.

SOFTWARE ENGINEERING WITH C

Programming in the large. Program life-cycle.

Pseudo code.

File input and output.

Recursion.

Binary files.

Case studies

Read more

WEB PUBLISHING

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

Javascript: Objects: document, window, form. Events and Event handlers. Object properties. Operators. Uses of Javascript form validation.

Read more

Lecture Syllabus

THE JAVA PROGRAMMING LANGUAGE

Java applications and applets.

Primitive data types. Operators and precedence.

Object Oriented Programming. Design Notation. UML. Classes, objects and methods.

Control structures. Strings and arrays.

Java Packages.

Constructors. Composition

Data abstraction and information hiding.

Inheritance. Superclasses and subclasses.

Exception handling.

APPLET DESIGN

Anatomy of an Applet. Applets, applet viewers and Web browsers. Security issues.

Colour and Font Control. Drawing lines, rectangles and circles.

Event handling. Layout managers.

Java 2D API.

Swing overview.

Building GUIs. GUI components: text areas, sliders, menus and windows.

Java Media Framework. Loading and displaying images. Animation and audio.

Coursework

ASSIGNMENTS

There will be 6 weekly assignments with scheduled laboratory classes supported by demonstrators.

Assessed.

MINI-PROJECT

There will be a Java Programming mini-project with four two-hour weekly supporting workshops.

Assessed.

Read more

Origins of visual culture

Renaissance art and iconography

Formal analysis

Modern art movements

Critical approaches to image analysis

Spectatorship and representation

Advertising and propaganda

Iconic images

Digital art

Read more

Lecture Syllabus

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.

WORKSHOPS

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

INTRODUCTION TO 3D MODELLING & ANIMATION SOFTWARE

Modelling tools & interface navigation

Reference images

Modelling techniques (i.e. polygons / NURBS)

Material creation and editing basics - application & texture preparation

UV co-ordinate mapping

Procedural textures

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 tools

Read more

LECTURES

Moving Image Theory (Introduction to MI, Film Form, Meaning in Film, Narrative, The

Image, Editing, Filming for the web); Introduction to Editing and Authoring.

SEMINARS

Discussion of practical aspects of film (Research and Treatments; Storyboarding;

Cameras, Safety & Administration; Shooting, Framing and Sequences.)

TUTORIALS

Held during the project

Read more

Why interactive and tangible media

Processing motion

Tangible user interfaces

Creativity with curves

Mixed reality

Web and wireless communication

Gestures

Sensing environment

Advanced topics

Read more

Stage 2

Possible modules may include Credits

Lecture Syllabus

There are three formal lectures concerning project research, planning and proposal presentation.

Coursework

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.

ASSESSMENT

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

Lecture Syllabus

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

Shader creation

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

Blend shapes

Manipulators

Automated rigging systems

Skinning techniques

Dynamics – Fluid, Cloth, Particles

Plugin manager

Mel

Compositing Layers

Playblast

Batch Renderer

Coursework

PROJECT

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

Lecture Syllabus

SOFTWARE ENGINEERING

Software Engineering Process: lifecycle models. Software requirements engineering: basic concepts and principles, requirements engineering process, requirements elicitation, requirements analysis, requirements validation, requirements management. Software design: basic concepts and principles, software architecture, design notations, design strategies and methods (object-oriented, function-oriented, real-time systems). Software testing: basic concepts and principles, testing process, test planning, testing strategies and techniques.

PROGRAMMING WITH PHP

Variables and Expressions, PHP Operators,

Conditional Tests and Events in PHP,

Control structures in PHP, Manipulating strings in PHP,

Taking User Input from Forms via PHP,

Functions in PHP, Array storage,

Interfacing to databases with PHP, File and Directory access,

Configuring PHP

Object Oreintation in PHP, Design Patterns in PHP.

Coursework

WORKSHOPS

8 two-hour workshops will allow students to develop their PHP skills:

EXAMPLES CLASS

An assessed examples class supports the Software Engineering course.

Read more

Lecture Syllabus

INTRODUCTION TO THE MODULE

ADVANCED HTML5

Responsive design; progressive enhancement

JavaScript and jQuery revision JavaScript Frameworks Handling Media with HTML5

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.

Coursework

MINI-PROJECT

Production of an online portfolio.

Read more

Lecture Syllabus

Current and future trends in the creative industries

Pitching, time management, costing

Intellectual property rights

Data protection & privacy

Professional identity

Online presence

Self-employment in the creative industries

Read more

Stage 3

Possible modules may include Credits

Lecture Syllabus

MOBILE APP DEVELOPMENT AND DESIGN

This course is concerned with the design, implementation and testing of applications for the Android Platform. Students will work at all stages of the development life-cycle from inception to testing, whilst considering usability and device capabilities for a mobile application capable of meeting a functional specification. Key topics include:

Object Oriented Programming for Mobile Apps

Android Studio and Android Development Tools.

Activities and Intents.

Android User Interface: Views and View Groups.

Basic Views, Picker Views, List Views, Image Views.

UI Navigation.

Data Persistence.

Network communication in Android.

Google services (Maps, location, etc).

MOBILE WEB SECURITY

Introduction to Computer Security

Basic Methods of Security

File and Network Security

Cryptography, Public Key Cryptography, Digital Signatures Web Based Security, Firewalls

Coursework

APP DEVELOPMENT AND DESIGN

Students are asked to design a mobile application for the android platform. This project will be supported by weekly workshops

OBJECT ORIENTED PROGRAMMING

A set of three assessed workshops

SECURITY

Class test

Read more

Lecture Syllabus

There are three formal lectures concerning project research, group work and prototype presentation.

Coursework

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.

ASSESSMENT

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.

.

Read more

Lecture Syllabus

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.

Workshop Syllabus

Production design Storyboarding Outline rendering Animatics

Organic modelling

Nurbs modelling

Polygonal and Nurbs UV mapping Texture and image maps with PSD files Character rigging

Lattices and deformers

Pre-viz - Preview animation

Cloth simulation

Fur and hair

Rigid body Dynamics Particle Dynamics Expressions - Max script

Character performance animation

Light rigs

Fog and volume lights Scanline rendering Mental Ray rendering Compositing shots Final movie formats

Coursework

PORTFOLIO

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

Lecture Syllabus

3D worlds

Scripting Objects

Player behaviours and interactions

Game rules and mechanics

Game physics

User interfaces

AI

Level Design

Advanced topics

Coursework

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-based

Read more

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:

• Scientific Management

• Human Relations School

• Bureaucracy

• Post Bureaucratic Organizations

• Contingency Approach

• Group and teams

• Motivation

• Power and authority

• Managing diversity

Read more

Teaching and assessment

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. Our Digital Media Hub provides a unique opportunity to work alongside industry on client-led projects.

Most modules consist of a mix of lectures, seminars, studio work, computer sessions and private study. The computer workstations in our multimedia laboratories are equipped with current industry-standard software.

The majority of the modules contain design and project work, and are continuously assessed; some modules also have an end-of-year examination.

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.

Programme aims

The programme aims to:

  • provide a multidisciplinary education for students who seek professional careers in the field of multimedia technology and design
  • produce graduates who have an informed, critical and creative approach to understanding communication through multimedia 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
  • create an atmosphere of co-operation and partnership between staff and students, and offer the students an environment where they can develop their potential.

Learning outcomes

Knowledge and understanding

You gain knowledge and understanding of:

  • 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
  • computer, 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
  • legal, ethical and regulatory frameworks, which affect the development of multimedia applications
  • the role of technology in terms of multimedia production, access and use.

Intellectual skills

You develop intellectual skills in:

  • how to examine multimedia applications critically 
  • awareness that technologies are rapidly changing and that you should expect to update your knowledge throughout your working life
  • understanding the objectives, constraints and conditions of a commercial environment, including financial and time constraints
  • the ability to design and develop software based on an analysis of system requirements
  • how to carry out research and integrate information and data from a variety of sources for essays, projects and multimedia applications
  • analysing problems and developing solutions based on technical, aesthetic and economic factors
  • evaluating your own work in a reflexive manner with reference to academic and professional issues
  • how to analyse, interpret and exercise critical judgement in the understanding and evaluation of multimedia applications.

Subject-specific skills

You gain subject-specific skills in the following areas:

  • scripting and programming languages in the implementation of interactive applications
  • implementing software solutions using structural and object-oriented languages
  • developing specific proficiencies in utilising a range of multimedia design tools including 3D modelling, animation, video editing, image manipulating and multimedia authoring
  • integrating text, graphics and time-based elements to produce effective websites
  • the ability to initiate, develop and realise distinctive and creative applications which demonstrate the effective manipulation of multimedia assets
  • how to utilise a range of research skills, for example, research into potential audiences and markets, as a production tool
  • the ability to prepare technical reports and presentations as well as storyboards as part of the multimedia project development cycle
  • applying management techniques to the planning, resource allocations and execution of a design project.

Transferable skills

You gain transferable skills in:

  • IT, including word processing, email and the use of information from online and electronic sources
  • communicating effectively with others as a member of a team
  • the effective management of resources and time and the ability to organise and prioritise tasks
  • flexible thinking, including the ability to be open to new and alternative ideas
  • how to manage and carry a project through to delivery.

Careers

Our recent graduates have gone into areas such as:

  • computer-based training
  • web development
  • web mastering
  • multimedia authoring
  • television
  • film
  • electronic games
  • mobile communications
  • electronic commerce
  • internet publishing
  • multimedia marketing
  • computer programming 
  • network management. 

They have gone on to work for companies including:

  • Disney
  • the BBC
  • Framestore.

Some of our graduates choose to go on to postgraduate study, for example on our MSc in Computer Animation or Digital Visual Effects.

In addition to the technical skills you acquire on this programme, you also gain key transferable skills including:

  • presenting complex material in an accessible way
  • working independently and in a team 
  • the confidence to develop your own ideas.

Entry requirements

Home/EU students

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
A level

BBB

GCSE

Mathematics grade C

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, Merit, Merit

International Baccalaureate

34 points overall or 15 points at HL including Mathematics 4 at HL or SL

International students

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.

Fees

The 2018/19 entry tuition fees have not yet been set. As a guide only, the 2017/18 tuition fees for this programme are:

UK/EU Overseas
Full-time £9250 £16480

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

Find out more about accommodation and living costs, plus general additional costs that you may pay when studying at Kent.

Funding

University funding

Kent offers generous financial support schemes to assist eligible undergraduate students during their studies. See our funding page for more details. 

Government funding

You may be eligible for government finance to help pay for the costs of studying. See the Government's student finance website.

Scholarships

General scholarships

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.

The Key Information Set (KIS) data is compiled by UNISTATS and draws from a variety of sources which includes the National Student Survey and the Higher Education Statistical Agency. The data for assessment and contact hours is compiled from the most populous modules (to the total of 120 credits for an academic session) for this particular degree programme. 

Depending on module selection, there may be some variation between the KIS data and an individual's experience. For further information on how the KIS data is compiled please see the UNISTATS website.

If you have any queries about a particular programme, please contact information@kent.ac.uk.