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Do you love computer games? Kick-start a career designing the animations that bring them to life with a degree in 3D Game Art. You’ll have access to purpose bought, up-to-date hardware and use industry standard software, ensuring everything you learn is current and relevant.
Taught by industry experts and split between our High Wycombe campus and BNU teaching base at Pinewood Studios, you’ll study this dynamic course in the heart of a world-renowned working studio and graduate with a portfolio of work to display your talent.
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, 3D Games Art can help you kick-start 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.
This course is also offered as a four-year programme, including an initial Foundation Year. The Foundation Year will allow you to develop your academic study skills and build confidence in your abilities, identifying your own strengths and development needs for progression onto an undergraduate programme.
Why study at Buckinghamshire New University?
At Buckinghamshire New University we focus on preparing you for work in the industry, helping you to stand out to employers when you graduate. With the right teaching and learning opportunities, it’s possible to turn your passion for gaming into a rewarding and successful career.
Led by our enthusiastic and dedicated team of industry-savvy practitioners and experienced academics, you will have the freedom to explore all areas of 3D Games Art. During your time with us you may also get direct access to guest lectures and can benefit from live project briefs, masterclasses, and plenty of networking opportunities.
On this dynamic course you’ll have access to all the industry standard software you need to bring your ideas to life, in our state-of-the-art computer labs. You will also study at our BNU teaching base at Pinewood Studios. Here you’ll have the opportunity to learn the skills and knowledge you need for your future, all whist studying right in the heart of the famous creative hub.
Our small group sizes enable staff and students to work together as a friendly and collaborative community of learners. It also means you’ll benefit from more one to one support with your lecturer.
With London only a short journey away, you can take the opportunity to visit some of the world’s best exhibitions, galleries and museums for inspiration.
Opportunity modules are a key part of the BNU curriculum. You’ll choose modules in both your first and second year from a broad selection in areas such as sustainability, entrepreneurship, creativity, digital skills, personal growth, civic engagement, health & wellbeing and employment. Opportunity modules are designed to enable you to develop outside the traditional boundaries of your discipline and help you to further stand out from the crowd to future employers.
BNU have been collaborating with Final Pixel Academy to train our staff and students in the technology and workflows required for virtual production. In January 2023, our final year BA Animation, BA VFX and BA 3D Game Art students worked with Final Pixel to learn about virtual production at our High Wycombe campus using Final Pixel’s portable LED wall. Here is a film showing how our students collaborated with Final Pixel.
What facilities can I use?
We’ve made sure you have access to industry-standard equipment, which we review yearly to ensure we are producing industry-ready graduates. During your studies you will work in our Computer Labs and have access to specialist software, some of which includes:
- State-of-the-art Motion Capture Equipment
- Unreal Engine
- 3DS Max
- Substance Suite
Amongst a range of other software.
Whilst studying with us you will also use our BucksAnywhere web service, which provides access to many of the software applications you use for learning and studying. BucksAnywhere can be used from your own device or from a University owned PC or laptop, from any location. You will also be able to remotely access our VDI, which is a powerful computer that will give you access to both sufficiently powered hardware and the software relevant to the course.
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.
In your final year 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 final projects and showreels.
What will I study?
On this course you will be taught the fundamentals of 3D modelling and animation, and as your studies progress, your skills with modelling will also improve, and you will also learn about games engines and design.
The focus of this course is on professional workflows for creating 3D assets such as characters, props and environments. You will learn how to export and set these up in a games engine and learn the fundamentals of interactivity and gameplay elements. The course has been intentionally designed to be flexible, to allow you as a student to select and pursue your own specialism within the field.
During your time with us you’ll discover both the animation and modelling aspect of the field, which you will then develop to include more advanced aspects such as organic sculpting, hair and clothes.
You’ll undertake individual and project work, having the opportunity to take a set industry style project and a creative project to develop your specialist skills and build an industry ready portfolio.
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.
How will I be taught and assessed?
On our course the teaching will feature a variety of approaches and technology, blended together to engage your learning in class and beyond, and to encourage your full participation. The teaching and learning strategies have been designed to ensure that there is progression from formal teaching through to independent learning as you progress through the levels of the programme.
You will be taught by tutors and lecturers who are current or former industry practitioners, meaning they have in depth knowledge and experience that you can benefit from and in addition, you will experience industry guest masterclasses.
You will be supported with workshops, lectures and seminars that introduce you to a range of topics around 3D development. What you learn will be assessed through a variety of means including coursework that is created with 3D software, presentations and writing a series of reflective journals.
You’ll spend time learning and practicing the skills required by each unit before undertaking summative assessments the form of projects which will enable you to apply and combine their newfound skills together in a meaningful way while tackling tasks commonly found in the industry.
Classes will take place in appropriate computer labs which are equipped with advanced computers and will allow you to explore the subject to the standard that a junior professional will be able to achieve. You’ll attend classes each week with a lecturer present and during these sessions you will have the opportunity to ask questions and get real time responses and feedback from both lecturers and other learners. Normally these will begin with a group seminar or demonstration and then break into 1:1s where you will have the opportunity to discuss your individual progress directly with your lecturer. Sometimes these seminars will be used for presentations and review in a manner that mimics the dailies process in industry.
In addition to this there will be video based lecture content that will be focused on the demonstration of essential skills and clarification and expansion of key concepts and techniques. This will be facilitated via our online learning platform, where you will be able to access sets of recorded lectures which will each be on average 10 minutes long.
Other learning techniques that will be employed appropriately to the situation include:
- Demonstrations for new techniques
- Group work
- Video feedback
- Peer review
- Use of books, magazines, video and online resources
- Research methods
What are the course entry requirements?
A typical offer will require a UCAS tariff score of: 88 - 112 (Full-time) or 32 - 56 (Foundation Year)
A minimum of two full A-levels (or equivalent) is required. Every application is considered on an individual basis.
For further details of our international English entry requirements, please visit our international pages.
Applicants who do not meet the minimum requirements for the three-year undergraduate programme, or those who do not feel fully prepared for a degree course, can apply for a four-year programme including a Foundation Year; find out more.
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.
This course has Opportunity modules.
Opportunity modules are a key part of the BNU curriculum. You’ll choose modules in both your first and second year from a broad selection in areas such as sustainability, entrepreneurship, creativity, digital skills, personal growth, civic engagement, health & wellbeing and employment. Opportunity modules are designed to enable you to develop outside the traditional boundaries of your discipline and help you to further stand out from the crowd to future employers. Find out more.
What are the tuition fees
Home, Academic Year 2023 - 2024
£9,250 per year
Overseas/International, Academic Year 2023 - 2024
£15,000 per year
What are my career prospects?
Throughout your time with us we’ll support you on the route to your chosen career. We’ll help you to develop crucial skills, encouraging you to become enterprising, employable and good leaders. We also help you find employment after graduation. Have a look at our Careers and Employability pages to find out more.
Our 3D Games Art course will help prepare you for a range of career possibilities, such as:
- 3D Artist
- Character Artist
- Environment Artist
- Technical Animator
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.
Graduates can also choose to study for a postgraduate course.