MA Advanced 3D Game Art

  • Study Mode: Full Time
  • Location: High Wycombe / BNU based at Pinewood Studios
  • Duration: One Year
  • Start Date: September 2024

You can also study this course:

If you have an undergraduate degree, some industry experience or a genuine love for 3D Game Art, you could take your career to the next level, with this advanced course. Upon graduation you’ll have a high-standard showreel to help you join this ever-growing industry. Split between our High Wycombe campus and BNU teaching base at Pinewood Studios, you’ll have the opportunity to learn the skills and knowledge you need for your future, all whilst studying right in the heart of the famous creative hub.

“The UK has the largest video games sector in Europe with a reputation for attracting and developing world-class talent. Ukie estimates that games companies directly employ 16,140 Full-Time Equivalents, split between 13,840 in games development and 2,300 in games publishing. Including retail, indirect and spillover employment, the games-related workforce is estimated to exceed 47,000 FTE roles. (Source: Think Global, Create Local report, 2020)."

Why study this subject?

The global gaming market is one that continues to expand, and with this so do job opportunities. Gaming offers a world of opportunity and with the right skills and abilities, a degree in 3D Game Art can help you boost a rewarding and creative career.

You could work for companies like Epic Games, Nintendo or Sony, or perhaps set up your own independent company to pursue your passion. Your love of gaming together with your creative and modelling skills could see you in numerous roles - from 3D Artist and Animator to Environmental Artist or Technical Animator.

Why study at Buckinghamshire New University?

This course will offer you the chance to focus on creating high quality game art. During your time with us you will be supported by knowledgeable lecturers and industry professionals while also taking advantage of our excellent resources.

The standard of animation and game art at BNU is very high and this is reflected in the proportion of our students who go on to work successfully in the industry afterwards. We also run small classes which ensures that students gain meaningful access to our tutors.

You’ll also be invited to join additional online groups where you will be able to meet the other students taking our animation, visual effects, game art and visualisation courses, both MA and BA, online and attendance. These help to foster a sense of community and are also places where extra-curricular collaborative projects, such as game jams, take place. You will also be able to meet our alumni in these broader forums. All forums are moderated by the lecturers. 


What facilities can I use?

During your time on this course you’ll spend your time split between our High Wycombe Campus and Pinewood Studio teaching base. On campus you’ll have access to our state-of-the-art library, computer suites and student services.

As well as this you’ll be able to access a range of specialist software and hardware, including:

  • Maya
  • ZBrush
  • Nuke
  • Mari
  • Substance Suite
  • Marvellous Designer
  • Adobe Creative Suite
  • Cinema 4D
  • Redshift Renderer
  • Shotgun
  • Houdini
  • Houdini Engine
  • Unreal Engine
  • Megascans Asset library
  • Advanced Skeleton
  • Ziva

This can all be accessed online through our virtualised computer system which will provide you with all the necessary hardware power to complete the course no matter where you are based. Our licences can also be accessed and used on your own machines by using our Bucks Anywhere service.


This video was our first experiment with our new Xsens motion capture suits. With the help of dancers from BNU’s BA Dance and Performance course, we motion captured a routine on the concourse running though the university and replaced one of the dancers with a version of the Lonely Robot and comped this back into the footage. We also have state of the art Faceware kits for face motion capture.

Female dance student dancing with human-size robot

You will also study in our ASUS ProArt lab which is designed to help you deliver your very best work. The lab features Scan 3XS workstations and a range of high performance display monitors from the Asus ProArt range. These provide excellent colour grading to help you produce colour accurate work for your assessments and showreels.


What will I study?

On this degree you will cover abroad range of topics, from researching into the field of game art, looking at both historical and contemporary practice to generating ideas derived from your findings, we will help you grow your skillset.

After your initial research, you’ll create a small original sample game art of your own derived from your research work which will help to establish and personalise the overall direction of your studies and practice. You’ll then look in depth at character creation and game environments which make up the bulk of the artwork of a 3D game.

This degree is aimed at learners who have already mastered animation tools to a good extent, and are looking to focus their efforts on creating professional standard work that is highly creative and expressive. 

Preproducing and producing a completed game art project comprises the rest of the course. This will cover areas such as:

  • modelling
  • rigging
  • animation
  • texturing
  • lighting
  • game engines

The preproduction phase will help you to explore technical and artistic challenges and prepare to enter the production phase in which you will create your final major project. This may be a continuation of some of your early ideas or something new and may be done individually or in a group.

Two 3d game characters fighting made using CAD
Man with glasses using linux software on computer at desk

How will I be taught and assessed?

This course will be delivered through lecturers, group sessions and 1:1s with tutors. You’ll also take part in a range of workshops, talks and lecturers with current industry professionals. In class, you’ll be challenged to defend your storytelling choices in front of the group, as well as assessing other learners’ work, helping you to become aware of the importance of cultivating your own artistic voice. During workshops, you’ll have the chance to work on projects to dight details and have regular ‘dallies’ sessions, mirroring industry practice.

You will attend classes each week with a lecturer over the full 10 weeks of the modules except for the final production project. During these sessions, you will have the opportunity to ask questions to the lecturers and get answers and feedback. Normally these will begin with a group seminar and then break into 1:1 sessions where you will have the opportunity to discuss your individual progress.  

You will be able to submit your work for asynchronous formative review which will be delivered as a video commentary on your work. 

Each week you will be set a task related to the weekly content or be working towards your own project objective as agreed with the lecturers. You will be able to complete your work using the hardware at the university and will also be able to access the Bucks Anywhere service, which provides remote access, from any location, to a catalogue of University software applications for learners using personal or BNU devices. You will also be able to remotely access our VDI, which is a powerful computer that will give you access to all the software relevant to the course. This will enable you to work as and when suits you outside of the scheduled hours 

You will also be expected to join a closed online group where you will be able to discuss the work and ask questions throughout the week. It is expected that both lecturers and learners will contribute and answer questions. This will also be a place for you to post work for peer discussion and review.  

We encourage you to enter competitions, which will challenge you to produce your best work, and access feedback on your works in progress. We also run a monthly art challenge and provide additional life drawing classes, including online.

You will create detailed and complex projects which you will then present for assessment. During the presentation you will be expected to discuss and critically evaluate your output and production processes. You will be expected to make interim presentations for formative feedback and to ensure work is proceeding on track. You will be expected to keep a formal learning journal of your progress as a source of notes for the final presentation. This will contain not only your progress but also your research and concept work.  

MA Advanced 3D Game Art Programme Specification

What are the course entry requirements?

Graduate entrants to the programme will normally hold an Honours degree or equivalent in a relevant subject.

The University also welcomes applicants who have significant industry experience and no formal qualifications. Applicants with a suitable portfolio can be offered places based on artistic ability and experience.



This provides a guide of the modules that make up your course. You can find more information about how your course is structured on our Academic Advice section.

What are the tuition fees

  • Home, Academic Year 2024 - 2025: £10,500 per year
  • Overseas/International, Academic Year 2024 - 2025: £15,550 per year

Additional course costs and financial support

Most courses will involve some additional costs that are not covered by your fees.
You could benefit from financial support through a bursary or scholarship during your time as a student. For more details visit our financial support, bursaries and scholarships section.

Questions about fees?

If you have any questions about the fees above, contact our Enquiries team by calling 0330 123 2023 or emailing

What are my career prospects?

This course helps you grow and develop your skillset and create an industry-standard showreel. Get to know where your interests and talent lies, ready for the career you desire.

Graduates from BNU’s animation courses have gone on to work in all six of the major VFX houses in the UK, as well as a number of major games houses and smaller companies. We have had winners and runners up in the Grads In Games Competition, which have then led to jobs. Our learners have worked on major films, games and TV productions, including Avengers Endgame.

Our MA Advanced 3D Games Art course will help prepare you for a range of career possibilities, such as:

  • 3D Artist
  • Character Artist
  • Animator
  • Environment Artist
  • Technical Animator


Every July we hold our end of year show at the John Barry Theatre at Pinewood Studios. Professionals from the industry are invited to see students' work from their final year on the MA Advanced 3D Game Art course, providing exciting networking opportunities. These industry experts are always very impressed with the quality of students' work.



Course leader

The silhouette of a white head and shoulders of a person against a grey background
Rob Penhaligon
  • Senior Lecturer
Read full profile
Safa Tharib staff profile photo
Dr Safa Tharib
  • Senior Lecturer
Read full profile
miles skarin
Miles Skarin
  • Lecturer
Read full profile
A headshot of Shaojun Bian, a Senior Lecturer in 3D Design
Dr Shaojun Bian
  • Senior Lecturer
Read full profile