Digital Arts

Digital Arts with a Year in Industry - MArt

UCAS code W284

2018

Our integrated Master's in Digital Arts with a Year in Industry offers you the opportunity to develop in-depth knowledge in areas such as interaction design, web design, digital film-making, computer animation and special effects.

2018

Overview

Digital technology has had a tremendous impact on all forms of communication in the 21st century. Using computers, visual artists can manipulate all forms of artefacts, whether video, photographic images, sound clips or text, to create exciting new experiences for audiences.

This programme combines the content of our Digital Arts with a Year in Industry BA with additional modules from our MSc programmes. You have the option to specialise by choosing selected modules from the MSc in Computer Animation or Digital Visual Effects.

Our computer animation content has been developed jointly by the School and our industrial partner, Framestore CFC and is oriented towards current industrial needs, technology and practice. Our digital effects content is steered towards careers such as: Technical Director in  creature development or lighting effects; Compositor; Modeller and Tracker/matchmover. In smaller environments target roles include 3D generalist/artist, effects artist or compositor. 

Between your second and third years of study, you undertake a paid industrial placement, providing you with real commercial experience and enabling you to evaluate a particular career path. Your placement might take place at a large corporation or a smaller independent company. In the past, some students have chosen to work at the BBC and Warner Bros.

The programme is also available without the industrial placement, see Digital Arts MArt.

Alternatively, we also offer a four-year BA (Hons) programme, where you spend a year on an industrial placement. For details, see Digital Arts with a Year in Industry.

Student profiles

See what our students have to say.

Independent rankings

Design Studies at Kent was ranked 3rd overall in The Guardian University Guide 2018.

Design Studies at Kent was ranked 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 5th in The Complete University Guide 2018.

Course structure

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 ‘wild’ 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, 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

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

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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.

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15

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

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15

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.

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15

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

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15

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

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Why interactive and tangible media

Processing motion

Tangible user interfaces

Creativity with curves

Mixed reality

Web and wireless communication

Gestures

Sensing environment

Advanced topics

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15

Stage 2

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%

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The module is divided into two sections, which are aligned with the Autumn and Spring terms:

Autumn term

Introduction to audio (recording & editing).

Combining audio and visuals (fixed media & interaction).

Controlling audio-visual environments (digital/physical interfaces).

Spring term

Analysis of media installations and digital artworks;

Reading, discussion and reflection of seminal texts and practices (e.g. media architecture, glitch, projection mapping, sonic environments, surveillance, panorama, digital fabrication).

Design of media environments.

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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.

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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.

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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%.

Modules may include Credits

Lecture Syllabus

Not applicable.

Coursework

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 within the department. 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 department in the year 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.

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Stage 3

Modules may include Credits

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.

.

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60

This module is a very practical module where short video clips integrating live video footage, 3D animations and special effects are developed. Each technical workshop session includes hands-on training in visual effects and compositing software. Theoretical lectures include camerawork, real-world and digital lighting techniques, primary and secondary colour grading, digital cinema and visual effects production pipelines.

Theoretical Lectures

Camerawork: framing, composition, and movement through space in real-world and digital environments.

Lighting: real-world and digital lighting techniques

Colour: primary and secondary grading

Industry structure: digital cinema and visual effects production pipelines.

Technical Lectures

Pre-production: Design, Layout and Storyboard Animatics

Design of an 8 second sequence using a static photographic plate, design two 3d elements- vehicle (with motion) & a building structure. Design approval (Photoshop PSD) will lead directly into the pipeline to model and texture the elements.

Production of an 8 second Animatic using after effects. Animatic should clearly demonstrate accurate positioning of 3d elements in the Photographic plate.

Model building. Texture building. Creation of render layers for building such as beauty pass, shadows & ambient occlusion.

Model vehicle & rig using attributes and motion curves. Utilise graph editor where appropriate. Texture painting assets with Mudbox and Photoshop. Produce bump maps/normals where appropriate.

Fluid and dynamic simulation cross-platform to establish feasible VFX pipeline.

Shooting live action plates of crowd scenes, individuals and cloud tank to create smoke atmospherics- Element shoot.

Match-moving cameras and digital objects to seamlessly integrate cgi assets into a live-action environment.

Render out layers and passes with mental ray including Z-depth pass for depth of field.

Composite layers in after effects adding motion graphics and appropriate Visual effect breakdowns of shot. Motion graphics to include manipulation of Vector files and use of Ray-trace 3D rendering. Compositing to include mask layers and Rotoscoping.

Final composite production in H264 mpeg4 resolution.

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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

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15

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.

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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

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15

Stage 4

Modules may include Credits

Each student uses all the experience gained on the course to produce a digital short in high definition which showcases his or her professional skills in CGI and forms a suitable entree to a professional career.

The subject, script, models and soundtrack of the piece are agreed with the academic staff.

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15

Animation Setup is an intensive 4-week, 15 credit module at the start of the Programme which has been designed to get all students up to speed regarding the complicated technical processes that surround current animation practice. This module is concerned with the skills and procedures employed professionally including modelling, rigging, skinning, muscle dynamics, texturing and lighting and is undertaken as a set of practical exercises where the student creates a scene with four organic characters and a machine, to be composited in a DV shot.

Delivery is by means of Lectures, Demonstrations, Workshops and Assessed Practical Assignments.

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15

Coursework

1. Production of a character design portfolio illustrating adaptation to various professional briefs, backed up by life drawing sessions.

2. Intensive research into surface anatomy and detail for the modelling project.

3. Production of a clean, animateable, basic 3D model with an even structure of vertices, quadratic face surfaces and form reflecting edge loops.

4. Production of image displacement, bump and normal maps in a sculpting programme using paint and sculpt tools and upon the previous model.

5. Application, rendering and final compositing of all maps upon the model resulting in a professional turntable render to create a final high resolution film.

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This module is a group project which allows the student to work on a model of an actual animation job provided by our industrial partner. Each group produces an animation from established plates and models to a 4 week deadline. The student works with a model of a production pipeline, becoming familiar with the production process, chains of approval and departmental divisions.

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15

Particle dynamics

Particle tool and particle emitters, cycle emission, volume emitters, force fields, lifespan, constraints, adding springs, soft-body dynamics, active and passive rigid bodies, setting static and dynamic friction, damping, mass, bounciness, caching, rendering in software hardware and Mentalray.

Fluid Effects

2d and 3d fluid containers, emitting fluids from objects and curves, colliding

fluids with objects, explosions, creating atmospheric systems, realistic fire, explosion and smoke effects, interacting fluids with particles, combustible fluids.

nCloth

nParticle, nConstraint, nSolver, cloth collision, collision layer, wind and gravity, nCache.

Coursework

Students are required to assemble a portfolio contains various dynamic instances created, simulated and rendered using Maya tools.

Assessed.

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Overall techniques and methodology, modern solution to the problems, examples from productions.

Analysing and creating action - examples of extracting key and timing information from live action.

Biped locomotion 1 - walks and runs. Basic mechanics laid out, walks and runs analysed and discussed.

Biped locomotion 2 - sneaks, scrambles, stairs, climbs, trips, falls, collapses, halts, moving holds.

Quadruped locomotion 1 - walks, trots, runs or gallops.

Quadruped locomotion 2 - scrambles, turns, stumbles, falls, halts, moving holds.

Avian locomotion - flight, flaps, glides, take-offs, landing, falls, walks on ground.

Using clips in the Trax Editor, creating transitions.

Using path animation with cycles.

Creating crowd and herd shots - composition, hero animation, collisions and customisation. Detailed examples with multiple working versions.

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15

Observation and invention. Analysis of a major piece of animation character acting and its sources.

Theory and practice of acting. Acting theories and examples of practical methods.

Film acting - silent and dialogue - analysis of advice and tips from the world's best film actors and directors.

Schools of animated movement matched to acting performance.

Uses of character animation and motion capture techniques. Analysis of animation scripts and special effects uses.

Dynamics and problems of two-character interaction in 3D animation.

Advanced facial animation in Maya.

Animating to dialogue.

Analysis of highest achievements in character animation.

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15

Texturing & Lighting:

The physics of lighting,

Computer lighting models,

Surface shading fundamentals,

Texture,

UV mapping,

Photo realistic texture painting.

Advanced lighting techniques: light shaders, shadow generation, global illumination.

Rendering:

Software, hardware and mental ray rendering,

Rendering with Render Man.

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15

Mattes:

difference keys, luma keys, chroma keys, garbage mattes.

2D and 3D Tracking:

techniques to track elements from a live action background plate

Video compositing:

blending modes, motion attributes, rotoscoping, using alpha channels.

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15

SCREENWRITING

The fundamentals of screenwriting: managing information and structuring narrative

FILM STYLE AND TECHNNIQUES

The fundamentals of film style: composition, camera movement, lighting/colour, sound, and editing

PRACTICAL WORKSHOPS

Camerawork, sound recording, lighting, and editing

FEEDBACK

Regular meetings for discussion of projects and video production exercises

Coursework

SCREENPLAY WRITING

Students will individually write a 3-5 minute scene for possible production in class. This will not be assessed.

VIDEO PRODUCTION EXERCISES

Students will work together in small teams on two short video production exercises. The first exercise will not be assessed. The second exercise will be assessed.

REFLECTIVE DIARY

A brief reflective analysis (max. 1000 words + illustrations) on students' learning experience across the module. Assessed.

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15

Lecture Syllabus

Introduction to Animation Principles. Rules of Thumb 1: Keys and Breakdowns. Anticipation, Action, Reaction.

Rules of Thumb 2: Breaking up Actions. Successive Breaking of Joints.

Bouncing Ball: Timing, Spacing, Squash and Stretch.

Weight 1: Indicating Force and Mass.

Weight 2: Strain, Judders and Release.

Line of Action: Arcs, Intentionality of Movement.

Secondary Animation. Overlapping actions. Cloth. Hair. Wave motions. Spline Deformations.

Dynamics in Particles and Rigid Bodies. Fields, Fluids.

Critique of student tests.

Coursework

Assignment

There will be series of practical assignments delivered via workshops based on the fundamental animation concepts discussed in the lectures. These animation scenes will make up two assessed final portfolios.

Essay

There will be an essay on Professional Practice. Assessed.

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Lecture Syllabus

Basic figure drawing for animation. Basic perspective and plan views. Observation and invention.

Basic human anatomy for animation.

Comparative anatomy for animation.

Accurate mechanical motion description with simple graphic means.

Pinpointing facial expression and expression changes with drawing for animation.

Planning animation with drawn key poses.

Acting sequences, gestures and blocking with drawing.

Drawn and model animation techniques and tips applied to 3D animation.

Coursework

Portfolio

An assessed portfolio of artwork created over a series of practical assignments in Workshops and Studio Classes, including drawings, sculpture, 2D and 3D sequences.

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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.

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.

Careers

This programme offers a variety of career options, dependent on the course content chosen. Graduate destinations for our Digital Arts graduates include:

  • web design
  • film
  • games design
  • animation
  • internet publishing.

Our Digital Arts MArt with a Year in Industry is a new programme and offers similar career pathways to those followed by graduates of our Master's courses in Computer Animation and Digital Visual Effects. Graduates of these programmes have gone on to work for international companies in areas including television graphics and architectural visualisation, and on major titles in games, television and film for companies such as Sony Games and Framestore CFC.

Alongside the subject-specific skills you gain, you also develop useful workplace skills such as:

  • planning and organisation
  • leadership
  • effective communication.

If you are interested in setting up your own business, Kent's Hub for Innovation and Enterprise is there to offer help and advice.

Independent Rankings

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).


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

ABB

GCSE

English Language at 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)

BTEC National Diploma: Distinction, Distinction, Distinction. 

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.

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 regulated UK/EU tuition fees have not yet been set. The University intends to set fees at the maximum permitted level for new and returning UK/EU students. Please see further information below.

As a guide only the 2017/18 full-time UK/EU tuition fees for this programme are £9,250 unless otherwise stated: 

UK/EU Overseas
Full-time TBC £18400

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 2017/18 entrants, the standard year in industry fee for home, EU and international students is £1,350. Fees for 2018/19 entry have not yet been set.

Fees for Year Abroad

UK, EU and international students on an approved year abroad for the full 2017/18 academic year pay £1,350 for that year. Fees for 2018/19 entry have not yet been set.

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

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.

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.