MA Game Art

Course details

Location

London campus or live online

Start date

20th May 2024

September 2024 start also available.

Application deadline

16th May 2024

Duration

1 year

Mode of study

Full time

Fees

London campus (UK residents): £17,995
Live online: £15,450

Entry requirements

An undergraduate honours degree in a field related to game art

Degree awarded by

Transparent black University of Kent logo
First in the world Rookies award icon for production excellence in immersive mediaTop 10 Rookies award for creative schools in the UKTransparent black Unreal Engine authorised instructor logoTransparent black Unreal Engine academic partner logo
©

Course overview

Create unreal game environments

We created this degree as a response to industry demand for new creative talent. The UK consumer games market was worth a record figure of £7.16bn in 2021 (source Ukie). Games skills can also be applied to other industries, including VFX, virtual production, architecture, real-time immersive media (theme parks and entertainment) or even the medical and engineering professions. The career perspectives are endless.

This postgraduate degree packs in all the content from our popular 18-week course with hands-on tuitions. It then takes you to the next level, with two major projects that will allow you to put everything you’ve learned into practice to create a killer portfolio. A collaborative group project will get you working with other students like a real studio, and an individual final project will be your chance to further specialise, improve your skills and finesse your portfolio, under the guidance of industry professionals and tutors.

You’ll create lifelong connections and start building your network. Our studio connections, industry-trained tutors, Talent Development Team support and Aftercare programme will set you in the right direction for a successful career in video games.

See also Game Art (12 weeks) or Advanced Game Art (18 weeks)

See more student work

Why choose this course 

  • Ranked 1st in the UK - and 9th in the world for Game Design and Development by The Rookies 

  • Partnering with Epic Games - the first Unreal Engine Authorized Training Center in the UK and an Unreal Engine Academic Partner. Our certified tutors also run short courses for studios who want their staff to be trained in Unreal Engine  

  • We’re a member of TIGA, the trade association for the UK video games industry, with the vision to make the UK the best place in the world to develop video games. We were shortlisted for a Best Educational Institution TIGA Award in 2021 and 2022

  • Industry feedback - receive industry-standard critique from an expert in their field. Previous studio partners for our game art course have included Climax Studios, Creative Assembly and Media Molecule 

  • Industry briefs - work on industry-standard briefs and experience real-life scenarios, just like in a professional studio  

  • Professional input - our advisory board of experts, from the likes of PlayStation London Studio, Creative Assembly and Improbable, help develop and keep this degree relevant  

  • Successful alumni - you'll join our community of thousands of Escapees, many of whom have gone on to work at some of the world’s top studios including Rare, Rockstar, Ubisoft, Creative Assembly, Improbable and Framestore   

  • Aftercare package - we'll help you polish your portfolio and find the right job, with access to our studios and showreel clinics for 12 months

  • Industry-standard facilities - you'll work in a studio environment that mirrors current industry practice, using professional software such as Unreal Engine 5, Maya and ZBrush  

  • Flexibility - choose to study live online if you can’t travel or need a visa to study in the UK. The final 24 weeks are project based and can be organised around a part-time job or personal schedule  

  • Recognised degree - graduate with a postgraduate MA qualification from Coventry University which will boost your employability around the world. 

Course modules

This programme is a one-year course including 18 weeks of direct teaching time, a 12-week collaborative project and a 12-week final project. 

The first 12 weeks are common with our 12-week Game Art course and the first 18 weeks are common with our 18-week Advanced Game Art course. 

  • Art direction 

  • Introduction to modelling 

  • Introduction to Unreal Engine 5 

  • Modularity

  • Texturing and materials 

  • Introduction to lighting 

  • Introduction to blueprints 

  • Introduction to digital sculpting

  • Advanced modelling 

  • Advanced Unreal Engine 5 

  • Baked and procedural textures 

  • Advanced materials 

  • Advanced lighting

  • Foliage and SpeedTree 

  • Introduction to FX 

  • Particles in Niagara 

  • Blueprints

  • Photogrammetry 

  • Virtual cinematography 

  • Materials for FX 

For this module, you will work on a project and create a playable level as a group, with feedback from industry professionals, to demonstrate your ability to choose correct techniques and approaches, and to apply them to a specified professional brief. 

For this module, you will work on a final major project with feedback and guidance from your tutors and industry professionals. It will allow you to showcase your in-depth knowledge of your specialism area, ready for use in a portfolio. 

For more details about modules, see the programme and module specifications.

More information

  • Unreal Engine 5

  • ZBrush

  • Maya

  • SpeedTree

  • Quixel Mixer

  • Substance Painter

  • Substance Designer

  • Substance Sampler

  • Reality Capture

  • Photoshop

  • DarkTable

To apply, complete an online application form which includes a link to submit your portfolio. Our Admissions Team will get in touch to take you through the next steps.

If you have any questions about your application, your portfolio or our entry requirements, get in touch!

As part of the application process, you will need to agree to our terms and conditions for your place on the course to be secured.

Minimum requirements

An undergraduate honours degree in art and design, architecture, computing or engineering-related subjects. 

Applicants without a degree who have significant industry experience in game or related creative subjects will be considered. 

Suitable applicants will be asked to submit a creative portfolio.  

Non-UK students

Currently you must be living and have the right to study in the UK to study a postgraduate degree on campus. International students can choose our live online mode of study. 

We are hoping to accept international students for on-campus study in the near future - sign up here to receive the latest updates on international applications.

English language requirements

All our courses are taught in English. If your first language is not English, you may need to complete an English language test, such as a Pearson English language test (PTE Academic) or International English Language Testing System (IELTS) test, to demonstrate you have the language skills needed to complete your degree.

QualificationScore required
IELTS 6.5 IELTS (with a minimum of 6.0 in Reading and Writing and 5.5 in Speaking and Listening)
PTE 62 including 60 in each subtest
Cambridge English: Advanced & Proficiency176 (with a minimum of 169 in Reading and Writing and 162 in Speaking and Listening)
Internet-based TOEFL90 Overall including at least 22 in Reading, 21 in Writing, 17 in Listening and 20 in Speaking

If you’d like to discuss your circumstances before applying, contact us on courses@escapestudios.ac.uk or +44 (0)203 441 1303.

We can provide remote access to our workstations during teaching time. Due to availability restrictions, we highly advise you to have your own set up at home to study in your own time.

More things you’ll need:

  • A strong internet connection

  • An external hard drive (minimum 2TB) to back up your work during the course

  • A three-button mouse (or optionally graphics tablet)

  • A computer microphone (and optionally a webcam)

  • Note-taking materials

If you have any questions about learning online or if you need help with what to buy, get in touch at courses@escapestudios.ac.uk.

Fees

London campus: £17,995

Live online: £15,450

Our postgraduate fees are payable within the first 18 weeks of the course, with a deposit to be paid before the start of the course. Please note, we review our fees every year.

Fees include:

  • Escapee Aftercare and career support, including help and advice on your CV, showreel and job applications for 12 months after the end of your course.

  • Free Autodesk student registration allowing access to educational versions of software such as Maya and Arnold.

  • 18 weeks of classroom study followed by 12 weeks of remotely directed learning and a 12 to 15-week remotely directed final project. All with feedback from your lead tutor and from an industry professional.

Funding for UK students

To be eligible for funding from Student Finance England, you must be studying on an eligible course at a provider registered with the Office for Students (OfS). Escape Studios is registered with the Office for Students and our Master’s programmes are eligible for funding.

Visit www.officeforstudents.org.uk for more information.

Payment plans

We offer a range of payment plan options for all courses. Following an initial deposit at registration stage, your chosen payment plan will break down your remaining fees into up to six equal instalments, to be paid over the course length.

Scholarships

We want anyone with great creative potential to have the opportunity to succeed on our degrees. That’s why we offer an £8,000 scholarship to one applicant per discipline for each cohort of our postgraduate courses.   

You’ll automatically be considered for a scholarship if you apply for a postgraduate degree and submit a creative portfolio by the announced deadline. Check out our creative portfolio guide to know what we expect to see in those. 

Find out more information about our scholarship offer and how to apply.

Contact our Admissions Team on courses@escapestudios.ac.uk or +44 (0)203 441 1303 or visit our admissions page for any questions about fees, funding, payment plans and scholarships.

“London is now the largest cluster for games studios in Europe. In the next three years, Games London is expected to bring in a further £45m for games businesses and create an extra 270 jobs.” (source Film London)

You’ll graduate with a degree, a mix of strong creative, technical and soft skills, include communication and teamwork, and a killer portfolio put together with advice from tutors and industry professionals. Ready to apply to your first job in the industry!

Some of the opportunities you can consider once you’ve finished your studies include:

  • Game Artist

  • Environment Artist

  • Prop Artist

  • Material Artist

  • FX Artist

  • Level Artist

  • Lighting Artist

  • Foliage Artist

  • Technical Artist

  • Visualisation Artist

  • Real-Time Generalist

  • Real-Time Generalist in Virtual Production

  • Real-Time FX Artist

  • Real-Time Cinematic Artist

  • Unreal Engine Artist

  • Producer

Our students have gone to work as both specialist and generalist artists in studios creating games and real-time graphics, including PlayStation London Studio, Rare, Rockstar, Ubisoft and Improbable. Those not only apply to video games but are also used in VFX (film and TV production, virtual production), real-time immersive media (augmented reality, theme parks, rides, entertainment), cinematics, architecture visualisation, VR visualisation, simulations for medical professions and the automotive and engineering industries. Read some of our games Escapee success stories.

Check out our Careers Guide for more information about career opportunities and progression routes.

The assessment methods employed in this programme have been developed to mirror industry practice as far as possible. We balance feedback from tutors and industry experts. It is crucial that, as a student, you learn how to accept and work with feedback from your superiors and peers, as this will be the norm when you work in industry. You also need to develop a keen self-critical eye, to be able to step back from your work and see what you could improve, and to have the ability to look at yourself and your working practices and make changes where necessary.  

Formative assessment

This is one of the most important aspects of your work. You will receive regular feedback from your tutor, studio assistants and peers during your modules. This will often be oral feedback on your work, sometimes on a one-to-one basis, sometimes in a group feedback session or daily. All of this should help you build on your strengths and develop your skills as you progress through the course. 

Summative assessment

This will be specifically designed to measure how well you meet the learning outcomes of the module. They will usually involve a task to meet a brief set by your tutor and will allow you to demonstrate the knowledge and skills that you have learned during the module. You’ll need to decide exactly how to complete the task, choosing particular techniques and approaches, and making decisions on the aesthetics and style to meet the given requirements. 

Each module will have a practical element (usually a practical project, where you make something) and a written element (usually a journal or blog, where you reflect on what you’ve made). Sometimes you will also have to give a presentation to demonstrate your work. All these elements are essential to your development, by showing that you can deliver to a required level and that you understand why you can and how you could improve.

Summative assessment breakdown

For your three pathway modules (foundation development, advanced games development, FX and technical art), you will be assessed as follows: 

  • Practical project – 60% 

  • Production logbook – 30% 

  • Individual presentation – 10% 

For the collaborative module, you will be assessed as follows: 

  • Group project – 80% 

  • Retrospective group presentation – 20% 

For the production project, you will be marked as follows: 

  • Production project – 60% 

  • Written retrospective – 40% 

For more information, see full programme specifications.

Your overall workload will be divided between teaching sessions and independent learning. 

During your course, you’ll be able to develop your knowledge and skills in a number of ways. Some learning time will be closely directed and supervised by your tutors, at other times you’ll be free to organise your own study with guidance. All your scheduled studio time, except for some information sessions and presentations, will be in smaller groups based on specialism. 

For your team project, you’ll be working with a smaller team, collaborating to meet a shared brief. This will give you ample opportunity to get the support and assistance that you need. 

The first three modules have a high contact time (180 hours for each module), as this is where you will learn the knowledge and skills associated with your chosen subject, directed and informed by your tutors’ expertise and experience. These will normally involve a large part of each day with your tutor and studio assistant, following demonstrations and working on set exercises to help you develop your craft. 

The Studio Project and Production Project modules will have a lower contact time (15 hours and 30 hours respectively), with your tutors taking on the roles of supervisors or studio leads. You’ll meet with them regularly to get feedback and help you stay on the right path, but these modules are much more about you managing the learning experience to meet your objectives. You’ll be free to organise your work either as a team or an individual to best suit your project requirements. 

Each module has its own area on our Online Learning Environment (OLE) where you will find information about the module and the resources that are provided to support your learning. Some of this information will be dedicated to the module, other elements may be shared across different modules and some may be external assets that can help with your further study. There may be links to videos, online journals and e-books, and you should take advantage of these to enhance your development and take it beyond the studio experience. Tutors may highlight some of these during their sessions. 

Students with additional needs or disabilities are supported by our Student Services team

Overall workload 

This programme has two entry points each year. It is divided into two stages. Stage 1 comprises modules to a total of 120 credits and stage 2 comprises a 60-credit Production Project module. You must successfully complete each module in order to be awarded the specified number of credits for that module. One credit corresponds to approximately ten hours of 'learning time' (including all classes and all private study and research). Obtaining 180 credits in an academic year requires 1,800 hours of overall learning time. 

The first three modules are taught in intensive blocks of six weeks each, giving a total of 18 weeks. During each of these modules, you will spend around 30 hours per week studying in tutor-led sessions or practice supported by studio assistants. The final two modules are more self-directed. The Studio Project will take around 12 weeks, during which you will have around 15 hours of feedback sessions with your tutor. Finally, you will spend around 18 weeks on the Production Project, including around 30 hours of feedback sessions with your tutor. 

Each 30-credit module on the course requires you to commit 300 hours of study, with one 60-credit module which requires 600 hours of study. Some of these hours will be formally supervised in the learning environment and others will involve private study.  

For more details about modules, credits and workload, see full programme specifications.

Profile picture of Christian Avigni

Meet our industry-experienced tutors

Christian Avigni is the lead tutor on this master’s programme. He worked at Alpha Channel and on Formula Fusion. Our tutors work together to develop our courses. They all have industry experience, at studios such as EA, Climax, Rebellion, Codemasters and Framestore, and are experts in their fields, including certified trainers for Unreal Engine.

Meet your tutors

Student showcase

To be a part of PlayStation and working on their next-gen games has been a thrilling experience! It feels so surreal to be working amongst such talented people, producing games that both myself and friends will love.

Katerina Zacharakis, Game Art Escapee
Producer at PlayStation