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BA/BSC (HONS) GAME ART AND ANIMATION degree

Bring your vision to the gaming world with a 2-year BA/BSC (Hons) Game Art & Animation degree.

Start in January or September.
BA/BSc (Hons) Game Art & Animation Degree
Available at
London, Liverpool, Leamington Spa, Glasgow
Fees
BA/BSC (HONS) GAME ART AND ANIMATION degree
Domestic Fees
London

£11,100 per year

The annual tuition fee is fully funded via Student Finance England for eligible home-fee students.

For UK/Irish students commencing their studies from January 2024.

Glasgow

£9,000 per year

Partial funding is available for eligible home fee applicants who are resident in Scotland via the Students Awards Agency for Scotland (SAAS).

For UK/Irish students commencing their studies from January 2024.

Liverpool

£11,100 per year

The annual tuition fee is fully funded via Student Finance England for eligible home fee students.

For UK/Irish students commencing their studies from January 2024.

Leamington Spa

£11,100 per year

The annual tuition fee is fully funded via Student Finance England for eligible home fee students.

For UK/Irish students commencing their studies from January 2024.

BA/BSC (HONS) GAME ART AND ANIMATION degree
International Fees
London

For international students (non-EU/EEA/Swiss)*, £15,000 per year



For EU/EEA/Swiss students*
: £ 11,100 per year

*Student visa required

For more information regarding SAE’s EU/EEA/Swiss students bursary policy, please read the SAE UK EU/EEA/Swiss students bursary policy.

Glasgow

For international students (non-EU/EEA/Swiss)*, £13,000 per year



For EU/EEA/Swiss students*
: £9,000 per year

*Student visa required

For more information regarding SAE’s EU/EEA/Swiss students bursary policy, please read the SAE UK EU/EEA/Swiss students bursary policy.

Liverpool

For international students (non-EU/EEA/Swiss)*, £15,000 per year



For EU/EEA/Swiss students*
: £ 11,100 per year

*Student visa required

For more information regarding SAE’s EU/EEA/Swiss students bursary policy, please read the SAE UK EU/EEA/Swiss students bursary policy.

Leamington Spa

For international students (non-EU/EEA/Swiss)*, £15,000 per year



For EU/EEA/Swiss students*
: £ 11,100 per year

*Student visa required

For more information regarding SAE’s EU/EEA/Swiss students bursary policy, please read the SAE UK EU/EEA/Swiss students bursary policy.

Duration(s)
2 years full-time
BA/BSC (HONS) GAME ART AND ANIMATION degree
Course Durations
2 years full-time
Start Date(s)
January and September 2024
BA/BSC (HONS) GAME ART AND ANIMATION degree
Start Dates
London
  • January and September 2024

Liverpool
  • January and September 2024

Leamington Spa
  • January and September 2024

Glasgow
  • January and September 2024

Entry Requirements
BA/BSC (HONS) GAME ART AND ANIMATION degree
Domestic Entry Requirements
Domestic students must meet one of the following criteria:
Degree entry Offers will be made to applicants who are expected to meet, or exceed the entry requirements below, in addition to supplying a personal statement:
72 UCAS points
GCSE level A* - C in English 9 - 4 (or equivalent). For students studying in Scotland this is equivalent to National 5, C grade
Personal statement
Non-standard entry routes SAE Institute will accept non-standard entry applications, which do not meet the 72 UCAS points or equivalent, and/or maths/English at level 2 or equivalent as required:
Portfolio of related work - This could include recordings, films, sketch books, a blog or any suitable medium that gives you the best opportunity to show us your creative potential.
Successful pass mark achieved via the SAE UK Maths test
Academic Essay
Further Domestic Entry Information
For more information, please look at our Domestic Entry page
Domestic Entry Requirements
BA/BSC (HONS) GAME ART AND ANIMATION degree
International Entry Requirements
Non-UK Applicants
English language requirements Students whose first language is not English will need a qualification that demonstrates competence in English, equivalent to UK GCSE (Level 2) grade 4 (c) or above. Equivalent qualifications can be accepted, where these qualifications have been verified by ENIC and are adopted widely within the UK Higher Education sector, including:
IELTS (UKVI or Academic) (minimum 5.5 in all components and an overall score of 6.0)
Pearson Test of English (minimum 59 in all subscores)
Cambridge English: Proficiency (CPE) (minimum grade C)
Cambridge English: Advanced (CAE) (minimum grade B)
Cambridge English: Level 1 Certificate in ESOL International (B2 First) – minimum grade C
TOEFL (IBT or IBT Home Edition online) 72 overall with the following component scores: Listening – 17 Writing – 17 Speaking – 20 Reading – 18
LanguageCert ESOL examinations:
  • International ESOL C1 Expert – pass in all four components
  • International ESOL SELT B2 (Listening, Reading, Writing, Speaking) – minimum 33 in all components
  • ESOL Integrated Skills in English II – pass in all components
• IELTS Indicator* (online) – minimum 5.5 in all components and an overall score of 6.0
*Accepted on exceptional basis for the applicants whose local test centres are affected by closures due to Covid-19
Further International Entry Information
For more information, please look at our International Entry page
International Entry Requirements

What you can expect from your degree

If you see a career in games development as a game art and animation professional in your future, SAE’s pioneering game art degree combines fundamental games theories with practical projects to set you up for success. This accelerated game art degree is structured across 2 rather than 3 years, allowing you to launch into the industry sooner than you would studying at a traditional university.

As you progress through your games art degree, you’ll master a range of both technical and practical industry-relevant skills. With access to our cutting-edge computer labs, you’ll grasp industry-standard software packages including Autodesk Maya, Substance Painter, Unreal Engine, SideFX Houdini, Foundry NukeX, Pixologic ZBrush and the Adobe Creative Suite.

Throughout the course you’ll be guided and mentored by SAE’s Experts – successful industry professionals with a wealth of specialist knowledge to share. As well as gaining practical game art and animation skills, you’ll develop well-rounded abilities as you prepare research reports, explore intellectual property and learn to problem solve across a range of real-world creative projects.

Game on

As part of your degree in game art you’ll collaborate with peers from within your course, as well as those across other SAE disciplines, gaining a strong understanding of operational dynamics within the creative industries. Embracing a teamwork mindset, you’ll complete projects that showcase your technical skills as you gain tangible experience in a professional environment and create art you’ll be proud to add to your portfolio.

From modelling to rendering and everything in between, you’ll cover the full spectrum of SAE’s signature game art degree before graduating career ready. Whether your dream is to work as an artist, designer, animator, technical director or something else entirely, your journey towards a rewarding games career starts with SAE.

A student looking at game art and animation on a computer screen.

What you'll learn

At the end of your 2-year Game Art & Animation degree you will:
  • Explore 2D and 3D fundamentals and gain a solid foundation in game art and animation theories and practice.
  • Confidently operate the latest industry software, including Unreal Engine, Maya, Substance and ZBrush.
  • Design and build animations from start to finish using industry-standard techniques and workflows.
  • Team up on innovative projects with peers from other SAE creative disciplines, such as filmmakers, musicians, marketers and sound engineers.
  • Hone your problem-solving and teamwork skills.
  • Specialise in a chosen area of interest while refining your skills through a broad range of practical projects.
  • Develop a significant portfolio of work to present to industry.
  • Establish a strong network of peers and professionals across the creative industries.
  • Dive straight into a rewarding career with a degree in game art from a recognised creative institute.
  • Game animation degree courses start in January and September.

YOUR CAREER IN ANIMATION BEGINS NOW

COURSE STRUCTURE

The BA/BSc (Hons) degree in Game Art and Animation is a fast-tracked 2-year course, taking place across 6 trimesters. Each trimester, you’ll gain skills and knowledge in industry-relevant areas of game art and animation and apply these to a number of dynamic projects. This ensures you graduate ready to take the first steps on your new career path with confidence.

Stage 1 (T1 and T2) provides a foundation of core technical knowledge.
Stage 2 (T3 and T4) broadens your skills, exploring new areas of game art and animation.
Stage 3 (T5 and T6) is all-encompassing, covering every aspect of game art and animation from conception to completion, including managerial aspects like project management, finance and promotion.
Trimester 1
Your learning journey begins with you developing fundamental 2D and 3D skills that will provide a framework for your studies and future career.
In this module, you’ll explore the basics of classical drawing and digital imaging for the creation of 2D assets, along with associated workflows and pipelines. You’ll also learn the conventions of academic writing, and how the concepts of intellectual property and copyright impact the creative industries.

Topics include:

  • Principles of design and composition
  • Colour theory
  • Image acquisition
  • Drawing
  • Digital image editing
  • Academic writing and referencing
  • Intellectual property and copyright
In this module, you’ll be introduced to the theories and practice of 3D artwork for games. You’ll explore the 3D pipeline, centred on modelling and texturing, along with exploring how to effectively use geometry for performance and workflow optimisation. You’ll also learn how to present your work to others in an engaging manner, plus ways of effectively managing your time when undertaking creative work.

Topics include:

  • Principles of 3D
  • Low-poly and high-poly modelling
  • Texturing and texture baking
  • Asset creation pipeline
  • Presentation skills
  • Time management
Trimester 2
Throughout your second trimester, you’ll broaden your relevant industry skills to include sculpturing, texturing, animation and rendering.
In this module, you’ll explore the technical aspects of the 3D production pipeline, including lighting, texture and camera setups for real-time rendered scenes. You’ll learn to implement digital sculpting techniques and optimise geometry, topology and edge flow, all while developing contemporary workflows across industry-standard software packages. You’ll also create digital assets using AAA and independent console title workflows.

Topics in Trimester 2 include:

  • Digital sculpting
  • Physically based rendering
  • Real-time rendering fundamentals
  • Optimising 3D models for real-time applications
  • Texture baking
  • Asset design and development
  • Production briefs
  • Project management
Across this module, you’ll cover the theory and practice of animation and rendering – including the technical processes involved in lighting and rigging – as you create a simple animation. You’ll gain hands-on insight into the animation process as you explore standard workflows used in 2D and 3D animation, with the result presented in a rendered scene.

Topics include:

  • Rigging
  • Animation
  • Lighting
  • Rendering
Trimester 3
During the third trimester, you’ll be introduced to the professional working environment via real-world project briefs. Our immersive ‘creative studio’ module enables you to advance your skill set with hands-on assessment activities which mirror current industry practices.
In Creative Studio 1, you’ll research and analyse the works of a particular group, individual or movement in the game art and animation industry. You’ll then use this research to implement production techniques, create a game-ready character and build an asset based on an existing game or film franchise. As well as learning the technical process for designing and creating game assets, you’ll explore the importance of working to guidelines, identifying techniques and approaches, and understanding the cultural context of relevant media.

Topics may include:

  • Modelling for environments
  • Texturing for environments
  • Game optimisation techniques
  • Environment texturing
  • Animation
  • Real-time lighting and rendering
  • Teamwork
  • Planning for animation projects
Trimester 4
Your focus this trimester will be on developing your understanding of professional workflows for environment creation and real-time animation.
During your second Creative Studio module, you’ll research industry-relevant techniques for game engine modelling, texturing and optimisation, with a focus on efficiency, aesthetics and style. You’ll also explore marketing and planning considerations for animation projects and will collaborate with your games art degree peers and students from other SAE creative disciplines to bring your projects to life.

Topics may include:

  • Digital sculpting
  • PBR texturing
  • Organic baking
  • Lighting and rendering
  • Hard surface sculpting
  • Organic sculpting
  • Hard surface modelling
  • Texture baking
  • Weapon design
Trimester 5
As you approach the end of your degree in game art and animation, you’ll begin to specialise in your chosen area of the industry and can choose one of 3 optional modules.
In Creative Studio 3, you’ll explore the history of ideas within the games and wider creative media industries. Combining evidence-based decision making and mastery in creative media practice, you’ll develop a proposal for your final Major Project where, in Trimester 6, you’ll choose to undertake structured industry-based activities or pursue a research project in your area of interest.

Topics may include:

  • Critical evaluation
  • Problem solving
  • Autonomous learning
  • Industry-ready production techniques
  • Character art
  • Environment art
  • Technical art
  • Prop/asset creation
  • Animation
  • Rendering
During this module, you’ll build on what you’ve learned to date, creating professional-standard work in your chosen area. You may decide to engage in live projects through work placements, collaborate with other SAE students from any creative disciplines, work on simulated briefs or develop your own projects. This module is the perfect opportunity to refine your skills, build industry connections and develop a portfolio that showcases your talents.

Topics may include:

  • Character art
  • Environment art
  • Technical art
  • Prop/asset creation
  • Animation
  • Rendering
In this module, you’ll create the proposal for your final Major Project with guidance from our Experts. You’ll also develop a variety of academic and professional skills as you prepare to progress to postgraduate studies or embark on your career journey.
Trimester 6
In the last module of your animation and game art degree, you’ll demonstrate the practical and academic game animation course skills you’ve developed during your 2 years at SAE via a large-scale advanced-level project.
During your last trimester you’ll complete your Major Project, having crafted your project plan in Trimester 5. This module allows you to hone skills within your selected field and create something unique from start to finish. As well as forming part of your impressive portfolio, the Major Project sees you connect with industry professionals and could even lead to employment opportunities further down the track.
UCAS Course Codes
BA (Hons) Game Art & Animation IW63
University of Hertfordshire
Level 6 This program was developed and is delivered and assessed by SAE Institute, awarded by and quality assured by University of Hertfordshire.

Tools & Software

WHY STUDY GAME ART AND ANIMATION AT SAE?

A close-up of a student working with game art and animation tools on a computer.
Accelerated learning
Fast-track your studies and cut down on course costs and living expenses with our accelerated game art degree, so you can graduate career-ready in 2 rather than 3 years.
Our degrees explained
A close-up of a student working with game art and animation software on a computer.
World-class facilities
Our state-of-the-art computer labs are equipped with top-quality equipment and software like ZBrush, Maya, 3ds Max and Unreal Engine.
Explore more
A tutor helping a student in a computer lab.
Expert support
Mentored by SAE’s Experts during your studies, you’ll gain valuable insights into the industry while you learn everything you need to know about game art and animation.
Meet your mentors
BSc (Hons) Game Design & Development Degree
Creative collaboration
Join forces with students from all SAE disciplines, working on immersive projects together and liaising with industry professionals.
A close-up of a student working with game art and animation tools on a computer.

Career Outcomes

What Jobs will this course lead to?

  • Character Artist
  • Environment Artist
  • Technical Artist
  • Production Coordinator
  • Quality Assurance (QA)
  • Motion Designer
  • Lighting Artist
  • Lighting TD
  • Animator
  • Character Animator
  • Illustrator
  • Layout Artist
  • 3D Generalist
  • Concept Artist
  • Graphic Designer
  • 2D Artist
  • Rigging Technical Director
  • Compositor
  • Freelance Artist
  • FX Artist
  • Roto Artist
  • Previs Artist
  • Matchmove Artist
  • Texture Artist
  • Look Development Artist
  • Pipeline TD
  • 3D Modeller
  • Visualisation Artist
  • Matte Painter
  • VFX Supervisor
  • Art Director
A close-up of a student drawing game art.

START YOUR GAME ART AND ANIMATION CAREER TODAY

Apply to study the BA/BSc (Hons) Game Art and Animation degree and secure a rewarding creative career sooner.

Course FAQs

While we recommend that anyone invest in their hardware, our labs are kitted out with high-end PCs that you can access for your classes. Students can also book access to PCs when they aren’t in use.

We are looking to see an applicants’ best and most refined artwork in whatever medium they choose, and should evidence their creativity and technical skill. You are welcome to contact our admissions team for advice on what you should include.

You can provide a PDF document or a personal URL with your artwork. Traditional artwork should be scanned and submitted in a digital image format like JPEG, or as part of a PDF.

FAQs
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