Digital Arts with a Year in Industry - MArt

Overview

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.

This exciting programme provides you with practical skills and design expertise in digital arts, opening up career opportunities in a range of areas within the creative industries. The course gives you a broad grounding in digital photography, graphic design, 3D modelling and animation, compositing, tangible media and video games design. 

Teaching at the School of Engineering and Digital Arts has been rated as excellent. The course is taught by a team of experts and industry professionals in the areas of web design, photography, graphic design, 3D modelling & animation, post-production effects and artistic video installations. Most modules consist of a mixture of lectures, seminars, workshops and computer sessions and all modules are continuously assessed.

Applicants for September 2020 entry can apply for a scholarship of a £2,000 one-off payment. For more information and to apply, see DA VINCI Academic scholarship

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 third years, you go on to explore digital filmmaking, 3D modelling, 3D animation, compositing, digital portfolio production and video games design.

In your third year, you also complete a 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.

In your fourth and final year, you cover specialised topics in depth. For example, you could choose to study animation principles and also look at action and acting in animation. You take part in group projects where a professional studio environment is simulated so that you become familiar with standard industry practice.

For your Master’s project you draw on all the skills you have learnt to produce a video short in high definition, demonstrating your technical and creative skills and your flair for innovation.

Year in industry

Your Year in Industry takes place between your second and third 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.

BA (Hons) programme

We also offer a three-year Digital Arts degree. For details, see Digital Arts.

MArt programme

You can take this course without a year in industry. For details, see Digital Arts MArt.

Student work

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:

Study resources

You have access to industry standard equipment, such as

  • Nikon DSLRs
  • Sony video cameras
  • 3D printers.

Kent School of Engineering and Digital Arts is undergoing a £3 million redevelopment and modernisation which is due for completion in July 2020. You gain state-of-the-art engineering and design facilities which include

  • a virtual reality suite
  • a production studio (including photography, video and green screen facilities)
  • a large teaching and design studio
  • engineering workshop and fabrication facilities
  • a dedicated makerspace. 

Extra Activities

There are a number of student-led societies at Kent which you may want to join. These include

  • UKC Digital Media
  • Kent Engineering Society
  • TinkerSoc – Kent’s Maker Society.

Professional networks

We have close links with those working in the creative industries and have worked with industry practitioners including:

  • the BBC
  • Warner Bros.
  • Disney
  • the Moving Picture Company (MPC)
  • BAFTA award-winning documentary filmmakers.

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. 

Please note that meeting this typical offer/minimum requirement does not guarantee an offer being made.Please also see our general entry requirements.

New GCSE grades

If you’ve taken exams under the new GCSE grading system, please see our conversion table to convert your GCSE grades.

  • Certificate

    A level

    ABB

  • Certificate

    GCSE

    English Language grade C

  • Certificate

    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.

  • Certificate

    BTEC Level 3 Extended Diploma (formerly BTEC National Diploma)

    Distinction, Distinction, Merit

  • Certificate

    International Baccalaureate

    34 points overall or 16 points at HL

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. 

However, please note that international fee-paying students cannot undertake a part-time programme due to visa restrictions.

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. 

Form

Stay connected

Sign up here to receive all the latest news and events from Kent.  

Sign up now

This field is required
This field is required
Please enter a valid email address
This field is required

You're almost there...

Just a little more information and we'll keep you up-to-date with everything that's happening at the University of Kent.

This field is required
This field is required
This field is required
This field is required
This field is required
This field is required
This field is required
This field is required
This field is required
This field is required
This field is required

View our Privacy Notice

Course structure

Duration: 5 years full-time

The course structure below gives a flavour of the modules available to you and provides details of the content of this programme. This listing is based on the current curriculum and may change year to year in response to new curriculum developments and innovation.  Most programmes require you to study a combination of compulsory and optional modules. You may also have the option to take ‘elective’ modules from other programmes offered by the University in order that you may customise your programme and explore other subject areas of interest to you or that may further enhance your employability.

For the first four years, you follow the course structure of the BA in Digital Arts with a Year in Industry.

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.

In the fifth year (stage 4), you take seven 15-credit modules based on our existing MSc provision, with the opportunity to specialise by taking optional modules from our Computer Animation or Digital Visual Effects MSc programmes. An additional 15-credit project module runs in the spring term. 

Stage 1

Compulsory modules currently include

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.

Find out more about EL542

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.

Find out more about EL313

This module is concerned with the techniques and technology required to build web sites using HTML to define page structure and CSS to define page style. Topics include HTML, CSS, web design basics, web graphics, adding media, tables and forms. The module also looks at developing interactivity with JavaScript.

Find out more about EL331

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.

Find out more about EL338

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).

Find out more about EL339

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.

Find out more about EL340

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.

Find out more about EL341

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.

Find out more about EL342

Stage 2

Compulsory modules currently include

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.

Find out more about EL532

This module introduces the techniques required to design and develop interactive on-line portfolios, using HTML5/CSS/JavaScript, and the software tools which support their implementation. There is extensive practical work supporting the development of the on-line portfolio. Topics include: information architecture, responsive design, web accessibility, web frameworks and website usability testing.

Find out more about EL537

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.

Find out more about EL574

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.

Find out more about EL576

Year in industry

You spend a year working in industry between Stages 2 and 3. 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, you need to achieve an overall mark at Stage 1 of at least 60%.

Compulsory modules currently include

Students spend a year (minimum 30 weeks) working in an industrial or commercial setting, applying and enhancing the skills and techniques they have developed and studied in the earlier stages of their degree programme. The work they do is entirely under the direction of their industrial supervisor, but support is provided via a dedicated Placement Support Officer and Placement Tutor within the School. This support includes ensuring that the work they are being expected to do is such that they can meet the learning outcomes of the module.

Note that participation in this module is dependent on students obtaining an appropriate placement, for which guidance is provided through the School in the years leading up to the placement. Students who do not obtain a placement will be required to transfer to the appropriate programme without a Year in Industry.

Find out more about EL791

Students spend a year (minimum 30 weeks) working in an industrial or commercial setting, applying and enhancing the skills and techniques they have developed and studied in the earlier stages of their degree programme. The work they do is entirely under the direction of their industrial supervisor, but support is provided via a dedicated Placement Support Officer and Placement Tutor within the School. This support includes ensuring that the work they are being expected to do is such that they can meet the learning outcomes of the module.

Note that participation in this module is dependent on students obtaining an appropriate placement, for which guidance is provided through the School in the years leading up to the placement. Students who do not obtain a placement will be required to transfer to the appropriate programme without a Year in Industry.

Find out more about EL792

Stage 3

Compulsory modules currently include

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

.

Find out more about EL636

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.

Find out more about EL641

Optional modules may include

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.

Find out more about EL645

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.

Find out more about EL617

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

Find out more about CB302

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.

Find out more about CB612

Fees

The 2020/21 annual tuition fees for this programme are:

  • Home/EU full-time £9250
  • International full-time £19800

For details of when and how to pay fees and charges, please see our Student Finance Guide.

Full-time tuition fees for Home and EU undergraduates are £9,250.

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

Full-time tuition fees for Home and EU undergraduates are £1,385.

Fees for Year Abroad

Full-time tuition fees for Home and EU undergraduates are £1,385.

Students studying abroad for less than one academic year will pay full fees according to their fee status. 

Additional costs

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.

DA VINCI Academic Scholarship

A one off payment for UK, EU and Overseas applicants who meet the criteria set by the School of Engineering and Digital Arts. For more information and to make an application, see DA VINCI Academic Scholarship

The Kent Scholarship for Academic Excellence

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.

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.

Contact Hours

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.

Programme aims

This 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
  • produce high-calibre professional specialists in computer generated imagery (CGI) who are highly skilled in using state-of-the-art 3D modelling and visual effects software.

Learning outcomes

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
  • the computer animation production process and pipeline roles
  • the principles and practices of animated film development
  • the technical terms and methods used in film editing
  • the fundamental concepts of digital motion art
  • current developments in the visual effects industry and related market sectors
  • the relevance of visual effects within the contemporary television and film industries
  • contemporary business practice in the visual effects industry.

Intellectual skills

You gain the following intellectual skills:

  • 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 students should expect to update their knowledge throughout their 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
  • consider and evaluate their 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
  • apply some of the intellectual skills specified for the programme from the perspective of a commercial or industrial organisation
  • analysis and interpretation of animation issues
  • ability to work within an animation process and to contribute to this
  • ability to identify ideas for enhancing a production’s aesthetic quality by the use of CGI
  • ability to undertake constructive research and development of character performance in animation
  • ability to demonstrate independence and creative and critical thinking.

Subject-specific skills

You gain 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
  • ability to apply some of the subject-specific skills specified for the programme from the perspective of a commercial or industrial organisation
  • use of appropriate software tools, techniques and packages to produce and develop CGI
  • ability to use drawing as a way of planning, visualising and explaining work in a time-based 3D medium
  • ability to read and make storyboards and animatics at a professional level
  • ability to apply management techniques to the planning, resource allocation and execution of a visual effects project
  • ability to prepare reports and presentations relevant to the design and production of CGI

Transferable skills

You gain the following transferable skills:

  • ability to generate, analyse, present and interpret data
  • use of information and communications technology
  • personal and interpersonal skills; work as a member of a team
  • communicate effectively (in writing, verbally and in a variety of media)
  • learn effectively 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.

Teaching Excellence Framework

All University of Kent courses are regulated by the Office for Students.

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.

Independent rankings

Art and Design at Kent was ranked 7th for graduate prospects and 16th overall in The Complete University Guide 2021.

Over 94% of Design Studies graduates who responded to the most recent national survey of graduate destinations were in work or further study within six months (DLHE, 2017).

Careers

Graduate destinations

Digital Arts prepares you for careers in areas such as: 

  • web design
  • film
  • games design
  • animation
  • 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 additional experience you gain in your fourth year of working in a simulated studio environment shows employers that you understand how the production process works and are comfortable working in a professional environment.

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.

Career-enhancing skills

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
  • leadership
  • effective communication. 

You can gain extra skills by signing up for one of our Kent Extra activities, such as learning a language or volunteering.

Apply for Digital Arts with a Year in Industry - MArt

Full-time study through Clearing

The Start now button below takes you to Kent's short form, which you need to fill in and submit. We'll review your application and let you know if we can offer you a place. If you wish to accept our offer, you need to confirm this via UCAS Track. To do so, you'll need the following:

  • Your UCAS Track login details
  • UCAS code W284
  • Institution ID K24
Start now

Contact us

bubble-text

United Kingdom/EU enquiries

Enquire online for full-time study

T: +44 (0)1227 768896

earth

International student enquiries

Enquire online

T: +44 (0)1227 823254
E: internationalstudent@kent.ac.uk

Discover Uni information

DiscoverUni logo

Discover Uni is designed to support prospective students in deciding whether, where and what to study. The site replaces Unistats from September 2019.

Discover Uni is jointly owned by the Office for Students, the Department for the Economy Northern Ireland, the Higher Education Funding Council for Wales and the Scottish Funding Council.

It includes:

  • Information and guidance about higher education
  • Information about courses
  • Information about providers

Find out more about the Unistats dataset on the Higher Education Statistics Agency website.