This exciting programme provides you with practical skills and design expertise in digital arts, opening up career opportunities in a range of areas within the creative industries. The course gives you a broad grounding in digital photography, graphic design, 3D modelling and animation, compositing, tangible media and video games design.
Teaching at the School of Engineering and Digital Arts has been rated as excellent. The course is taught by a team of experts and industry professionals in the areas of web design, photography, graphic design, 3D modelling & animation, post-production effects and artistic video installations. Most modules consist of a mixture of lectures, seminars, workshops and computer sessions. All modules are continuously assessed.
Applicants for September 2020 entry can apply for a scholarship of a £2,000 one-off payment. For more information and to apply, see DA VINCI Academic scholarship.
Our degree programme
In your first year, you are given a broad grounding in digital media, including website design, digital photography, moving image, graphic design and special effects.
In your second and third years, you go on to explore digital filmmaking, 3D modelling, 3D animation, compositing, digital portfolio production and video games design.
In your third year, you also complete a project based on your own interests. This could be an interactive web application, 3D animation or a short film, often produced in association with an industrial partner.
In your fourth and final year, you cover specialised topics in depth. For example, you could choose to study animation principles and also look at action and acting in animation. You take part in group projects where a professional studio environment is simulated so that you become familiar with standard industry practice.
For your Master's project you draw on all the skills you have learnt to produce a video short in high definition, demonstrating your technical and creative skills and your flair for innovation.
BA (Hons) programme
We also offer a three-year Digital Arts degree. For details, see Digital Arts.
Year in industry
You can take this course with a year in industry, which can improve your skills and your employment prospects. For details, see Digital Arts with a Year in Industry.
Four final-year students from the School of Engineering and Digital Arts worked with the BBC to produce a five-minute animation documenting mental health treatment as part of Mental Health Awareness Week. It tells the story of Sophie, who suffers from Borderline Personality Disorder, and details her experiences with mental health services in the UK.
In May 2018, the animation won a BBC Ruby Award. The Ruby Awards celebrate outstanding programming from across the country and span a range of categories from news coverage and best programme to awards for individual journalists.
Find out more:
Students work with BBC to produce animation for Mental Health Awareness WeekVideo by Kent students on mental health failings leads to NHS apology
You have access to industry standard equipment, such as
Nikon DSLRs Sony video cameras 3D printers.
Kent School of Engineering and Digital Arts is undergoing a £3 million redevelopment and modernisation which is due for completion in July 2020. You gain state-of-the-art engineering and design facilities which include
a virtual reality suite a production studio (including photography, video and green screen facilities) a large teaching and design studio engineering workshop and fabrication facilities a dedicated makerspace.
There are a number of student-led societies at Kent which you may want to join. These include
UKC Digital Media Kent Engineering Society TinkerSoc – Kent’s Maker Society.
We have close links with those working in the creative industries and have worked with industry practitioners including:
the BBC Warner Bros. Disney the Moving Picture Company (MPC) BAFTA award-winning documentary filmmakers.
The course is taught by a team of experts in communication, animation, filmmaking, photography and website design.
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.
You 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.
Please note that progression thresholds apply.
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
- 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.
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
- 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.
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
- 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.
You gain the following transferable skills:
- ability to generate, analyse, present and interpret data
- use of information and communications technology
- personal and interpersonal skills; working as a member of a team
- communicating effectively (in writing, verbally and in a variety of media)
- learning 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.
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
- 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.