Digital Media Arts BA (Hons) – 2018 entry
Why choose this course
The video game and interactive entertainment industries are now larger than the film industry and are expected to be larger than the film and television industries combined before the year 2020. The ways we create and deal with media are changing at speeds never before imagined.
This is an extremely exciting time to work in the creative industries and the University of Surrey's Digital Media Arts programme can give you a unique set of skills and approaches to work with these emergent media.
What you will study
This degree gives you expert knowledge of how cutting-edge technology and methods are shaping the creative industries, both in the UK and abroad. By combining theory, practical skills and professional experience, we open up an unbeatable range of career opportunities for you.
Our unique approach combines three principles that are central to our vision:
- Integration of practical technological skills with critical thinking
- Transformation of student experience into career opportunities through Professional Training placements with our leading international partners
- Development of a holistic practice that will enhance your employability, entrepreneurialism and professional adaptability
The University of Surrey has an outstanding reputation for technological advancement, with rich cross-departmental interactions on offer.
In addition to opportunities with departments in the School of Arts (Dance, Theatre, Film, Music and Sound Recording and the Guildford School of Acting), you can also collaborate with our partners in the Computing Department, the Centre for Vision, Speech and Signal Processing (CVSSP), as well as our prestigious academic and research hubs, such as the Digital World Research Centre.
A Digital Media Arts degree from Surrey will provide you with the tools to succeed in twenty-first-century creative industries including video games, experiential design, live performance, advertising, film and television.
It is also a wise choice for creative people who are still considering their career options or who wish to bring modern, creative skills to more traditional organisations.
Digital technologies are transforming community life, culture and the economy. Industries and employment opportunities related to these transformational changes and technologies demand individuals with a mix of creative and critical skills who are able to work across specialisms in flexible and collaborative ways.
The Digital Media Arts programme recognises the challenges of working in this rapidly changing and technically orientated sector. It will equip you with the ability to remain successful amidst a range of portfolio-dominated and highly mobile professional contexts.
The degree is built around the development of your own arts practice. This is supported through an integrated approach combining practical and theoretical knowledge of contemporary digital arts with the development of professional and applied skills.
To promote the flexibility needed to work in rapidly changing fields, the degree places an emphasis on combining and fusing approaches – you will become comfortable working in ways that value and make use of multiple specialisms and perspectives, often working collaboratively.
The result is an unusually dynamic and stimulating environment of creative exploration and innovation.
Programme content covering entrepreneurship, professional training and design will equip you for your career and emphasise applied contexts for arts-based knowledge and skills.
You will be taught by staff with direct industry experience, and teaching and research specialisms in areas of digital culture, arts and technology, new media, and performance and production in creative industries, including:
- Traditional production (television, film, radio, photography, animation)
- Interactive productions (video games, websites, UX design)
- Cultural productions (theatre, dance, music, sound art)
The programme is constructed around three interconnected threads: skills-based learning, historical and cultural studies, and practice. Skills-based learning areas include:
- Academic (for example, study skills, research methods)
- Technical (for example, software, cameras, prototyping,)
- Professional (for example, portfolio development, proposal writing, budgeting)
Historical and cultural studies cover, for example, areas of cultural and critical theory, games studies and emergent media.
Practice is approached through a series of ‘integrative projects’, typically involving:
Collaboration and interface between different colleagues and technologies, combining technical skills, creative development, professional practice and contextual understanding, providing a facilitative space for the application and realisation of the programme content as a whole.
In your first year, you will work with a range of multidisciplinary media, including digital photography and video, web design and audio design.
In subsequent years, you will deepen your knowledge of your chosen media, and also gain wider skills and understanding in mixed-media practices, such as games, net art, virtual worlds and interactive design.
This equips you with the versatility and scope to succeed in an increasingly complex professional environment.
|Qualification||Course length||Professional Training||UCAS||KIS code|
|BA (Hons)||36 months||W212||View KIS data set|
|BA (Hons)||48 months||W213||View KIS data set|
Professional Training placements
As part of this course you have the option to complete a Professional Training placement. These will give you the opportunity to develop your professional, academic and personal potential, equipping you to be adaptable, resilient, globally minded, confident, entrepreneurial and digitally savvy in the workplace. These qualities are widely recognised by employers and a significant proportion of placement students at Surrey are offered graduate-level jobs or go onto postgraduate study.
Find out more about Professional Training placements and discover how these have transformed our students’ lives and career choices.
Digital Media Arts placements
You can spend your third year working in a professional role for a digital media arts organisation, with help from the Senior Professional Training Tutor to choose an appropriate host organisation and prepare you for the placement period.
Types of placement are varied and can take place anywhere in the UK or overseas, but they all give you experiences that will help you get that all-important graduate job or move on to postgraduate study.
Partner organisations will be drawn from a list, which includes:
- BuzzSocial (Social Media, Marketing and Design Company)
- Figment Productions (VR, 3D, Animation Company)
- Sanofi (Digital Marketing Department)
- St. Thomas and Guys Hospital (3D design in Ophthalmology Department)
The placement experience helps you to get that all-important first job or move on to postgraduate study.
Applying for placements
Professional Training placements are usually applied for and secured via an open and free-to-all process, within which students can select and apply for numerous opportunities. Placement providers use their own recruitment and selection procedures and the majority of students will secure their placement in this way. However, support is also provided to students wishing to source their own placement, subject to university requirements being met.
Students are generally not placed by the University, however they are given thorough support and guidance alongside access to a vacancy portal representing thousands of placement opportunities each year. Please be aware there may be travel costs incurred when attending interviews and assessment centres at the placement provider’s premises.
Careers and graduate prospects
We offer careers information, advice and guidance to all students whilst studying with us, which is extended to our alumni for three years after leaving the University.
The personal, professional and technical skills that you acquire will enable you to succeed in almost every area of the cultural and creative industries.
Graduates over the last few years have secured roles such as:
- Channel Planning Assistant, UKTV
- PR Coordinator, NBC Universal
- Media Analyst, Kantar Media
- Production Secretary, Comic Relief
- Social Media Executive, Hotelplan
- Creative Solutions Project Manager, First Radio Sales
- PR Account Executive, Catalyst PR.
Study and work abroad
We give our students the opportunity to acquire international experience during their degrees by taking advantage of our exchange agreements with overseas universities or by completing a Professional Training placement abroad. In addition to the hugely enjoyable and satisfying experience, time spent abroad adds a distinctive element to your CV. Visit our global exchanges pages to check where you can go.
You have the option of studying abroad for one or two semesters in your Professional Training year. Our partner universities include:
- University of Cincinnati (USA)
- North Carolina State University (USA)
- University of Central Florida (USA)
- University of North Texas (USA)
- Texas Tech (USA)
- Monash University (Australia)
- Swinburne University (Australia)
- La Trobe University (Australia)
- University of Sydney (Australia)
- University of Victoria (New Zealand)
If you choose to spend time working or studying in another part of Europe you may be eligible for an Erasmus+ grant.
The programme is supported by lab facilities containing:
- Specialised workstations for video games and digital media production
- Cameras and edit suites for post-production work
- Motion capture facilities
- Broadcast television studios
- Electronics workshops
- Multiple performance spaces (the Lewis Elton Art Gallery, the Ivy Arts Centre, the Performing Arts and Technology Centre).
Academic year structure
The academic year is divided into two semesters of 15 weeks each. Each semester consists of a period of teaching, revision/directed learning and assessment.
The University operates a credit framework for all taught programmes based on a 15-credit tariff. All taught modules are 15 credits. Project modules and dissertation modules can be either 15, 30, 45 or 60 credits.
The structure of our programmes follows clear educational aims that are tailored to each programme. These are all outlined in the programme specifications which include further details such as the learning outcomes.
Modules listed are indicative, reflecting the information available at the time of publication. Please note that modules may be subject to teaching availability and/or student demand.
Optional modules for Year 2 - FHEQ Level 5
All modules are compulsory.
Optional modules for Year 3 - FHEQ Level 6
Students must complete the 4 compulsory/core modules and either:
Dissertation A (30 credits) or Dissertation B (15 credits) plus one of the other 15 credit optional modules offered in semester 2
Timetables are normally available one month before the start of the semester. Please note that while we make every effort to ensure that timetables are as student-friendly as possible, scheduled teaching can take place on any day of the week (Monday–Friday). Wednesday afternoons are normally reserved for sports and cultural activities. Part-time classes are normally scheduled on one or two days per week, details of which can be obtained from the course administrators.
On our degree programme, you attend a mixture of lectures, seminars, workshops and tutorials. Practical projects make use of group discussion to review and develop work. Workshops and lab sessions are also integral to the programme.
This course is taught by academic staff from the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences.
WEINBREN J Mr (Music & Med)
All taught students are assigned a personal tutor before beginning a programme of study. Personal tutors offer support and advice to students in the areas of:
- Academic progress
- Pastoral/welfare issues
- Personal/professional development and employability.
Modules are assessed individually and credits are awarded for the successful completion of each one. Assessment takes place through a combination of examination and/or coursework, practical examinations and reports. Check individual module information to see full details at a module level.
Contact hours can vary across our modules. Full details of the contact hours for each module are available from the University of Surrey's module catalogue. See the modules section for more information.
Policies and regulations
Learning and disability support
We have two services, the Student Personal Learning and Study Hub (SPLASH) and Additional Learning Support (ALS) which can help develop your learning.
Student Personal Learning and Study Hub
SPLASH is a learning space in the Library where our learning development team is based. It comprises dedicated Student Learning Advisers and Information Skills Librarians who can help you develop your academic and research skills, including writing, presenting, revision and critical thinking.
Find out more about the study support available.
Additional Learning Support
ALS is the University’s disability and neurodiversity service which supports students with disabilities, long-term health conditions, specific learning differences (for example: dyslexia and dyspraxia) and other neurodiverse conditions (for example: autism spectrum and attention deficit disorder).
If you have a disability, we encourage you to disclose your condition and register with the service so you can be appropriately supported during your studies.
The ALS team can arrange exam and learning support adjustments, give advice on applications for the Disabled Students' Allowance and screen students for dyslexia and dyspraxia. Regular study skills and mentoring support is also available.
See the Additional Learning Support website for more information.
What qualifications do you need?
English language requirements
IELTS Academic: 6.5 overall with 6.0 in each element.
View the other English language qualifications that we accept.
If you do not currently meet the level required for your programme, we offer intensive pre-sessional English language courses, designed to take you to the level of English ability and skill required for your studies here. The University of Surrey is also an IELTS test centre.
Suitable applicants will be invited to interview and asked to bring a portfolio on the day. During the visit to the University the candidate can find out more about the programme and meet staff and students. Offers are normally made in terms of grades.
Recognition of prior learning
The University of Surrey recognises that many students enter their higher education course with valuable knowledge and skills developed through a range of professional, vocational and community contexts. If this applies to you, a process called recognition of prior learning (RPL) may allow you to enter your course at a point appropriate to your previous learning and experience, or to join the start of a course without the formal entry requirements. This means that you may be exempt from certain elements of study in the course for which you have applied and be awarded credit based on your previous qualifications/experience. There are restrictions on RPL for some courses and fees may be payable for certain claims.
Please see the Code of practice for recognition of prior learning and prior credit: taught programmes (PDF) for further information. Please email Admissions with any queries.
|Qualification||Course length||Professional Training||UK/EU fees||Overseas fees||Professional Training fees|
|BA (Hons)||36 months||£9,250||£17,500||Not applicable|
|BA (Hons)||48 months||£9,250||£17,500||£1,800|
The University will assess your fee status. If you are unsure whether you are likely to be considered a home, EU or overseas student for fees purposes, the UKCISA website offers more information.
Professional Training placement fees
Programmes marked with a tick in the table above include a Professional Training placement.
A reduced fee is charged for Professional Training placements.
Fees will not have to be paid up front for those eligible students who decide to take up the Government's loan for higher education fees. The Professional Training placement is a key factor in the high employability rates achieved by students with Surrey degrees.
How to apply
Learn how to apply for an undergraduate course, see details about the UCAS application process and determine the steps you need to take if you receive an offer to study.
Our undergraduate admissions policy provides the basis for admissions practice across the University and gives a framework for how we encourage, consider applications and admit students.
Scholarships and bursaries
We're committed to making sure that we offer support for students who might need it.
Scholarship for Pioneers of Tomorrow 2018 entry
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The Full Surrey Award 2018 entry
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Surrey Prestige Scholarship 2018 entry
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