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Contemporary Arts Practice and Creative Computing

BA (Hons)

Undergraduate degree - combined honours

Key facts

Award
BA/BSc (Hons) Contemporary Arts Practice and Creative Computing
School
College of Liberal Arts
Campus or location
Newton Park
Course length
Three years full-time.
UCAS codes
Institution Code: B20
Course Code: W1I1
Campus Code: A,BSU

Entry requirements

We accept a wide range of qualifications for entry to our undergraduate programmes. Typical offers include A Levels grades BCC required with a Grade B in Art, or other art/design related subject. Applicants will be invited to interview and will be required to bring high quality portfolio.

View typical offers for more information.

For individuals who want a broad educational experience across the visual arts.

  • Work across a range of subjects, media and materials.
  • Taught by practising artists and makers.
  • Scope to specialise in the latter stages of the course.

Designed for individuals with more than one field of interest, through this course you can study a combination of visual art disciplines. With emphasis on making and thinking, you’ll cover a range of subjects.

The first year of the course is structured and project based; you’ll be taught in a shared studio or workshop with academic and technical staff. You’ll learn new practical skills as well as developing those you already have.

As the course progresses, we’ll encourage you to explore your own individual studio practice in the areas of study you choose. You’ll benefit from support and encouragement from staff who are practitioners in their specialist fields. In addition you’ll have access to the range of technical facilities the School of Art and Design offers.

What you'll learn

Overview

In your first year we’ll encourage you to work in a number of disciplines, gaining extensive knowledge and fundamental skills. You’ll experiment, focusing on broadening your making and thinking skills.

You’ll study context and theory within practice-based modules, supported by lectures and seminars that will introduce you to contemporary arts practice theory.

In years 2 and 3 you’ll have the opportunity to specialise in one discipline, or maintain a broader portfolio through to graduation. Specialist strands of study include: drawing, painting, ceramics, sculpture, graphic art, mixed media textiles, printmaking, photography, performance and moving image.

Running in parallel to your study, you’ll take advantage of professional development opportunities – you can expand your skills in areas such as web-design, marketing and project management. By gaining the necessary expertise, you’ll maximise your potential as an artist or maker after graduation.

Course structure

Year one
You’ll choose modules from two of the following four core subject areas. Subject areas are 2D (painting and drawing), 3D (ceramics and sculpture), graphic arts and mixed media textiles. Optional modules are photography and moving Image, printmaking (etch) and screenprint. Alongside these subjects you will attend contextual studies lectures.

Years two and three
You can continue with two areas of study, or specialise in any of the subjects you studied in year one. Contextual studies lectures continue and you’ll also begin a programme of professional practice, with opportunities to publicly exhibit your work. In your final year you’ll complete a dissertation. You’ll be able to develop your professional practice, in preparation for your career after your degree.

How will I be assessed?

You’ll be assessed entirely by coursework such as portfolios, exhibitions, written papers and live presentations. There are no written exams.

How will I be taught?

You’ll be taught through practical workshop sessions, individual supervision, seminars and lectures. You’ll also have access to an extensive weekly programme of visiting lectures from practising artists, curators, critics and gallery owners.

Opportunities

Study abroad

You’ll have the opportunity to study in a wide range of locations around the world. Our students have completed Erasmus+ and Exchange programmes in a variety of countries including Norway, Germany, Japan, Australia and the USA.

Field trips

You’ll have opportunities to participate in regular field trips across all the course modules. Subject areas also organise international study visits to places like Berlin, Paris, New York and Venice (please note that you’ll have to pay for some study visits).

Work placements, industry links and internships

There are opportunities for you to undertake work placements as part of the professional practice programme.

Careers

Graduate careers include:

  • self employment as practising artists and makers;   
  • curatorship;  
  • gallery administration;  
  • teaching;  
  • art administration; 
  • community based art work.

Competitions and awards

We’ll encourage you to participate in competitions such as the Porthleven Prize and the Gane Trust Travel Grant among many others.

Facilities and resources

Where the subject is taught

Most of the strands within the Contemporary Arts Practice course (Art, Ceramics, Graphic Arts, Mixed Media Textiles, Photography and Print) are taught at Dartmouth Avenue and Sion Hill campuses.

Resources

You’ll have access to an excellent range of studios and workshops in painting, sculpture, textiles, photography and printmaking.

Fees

UK and EU students full time

2017/18 Entry

Course fees
Year 1 £9,250
Year 2 Published Jan 2018
Year 3 Published Jan 2019
Material fees
Year 1 £160
Year 2 £165
Year 3 Published Jan 18

2018/19 Entry

Course fees
Year 1 Published Jan 2018
Year 2 Published Jan 2019
Year 3 Published Jan 2020
Material fees
Year 1 £165
Year 2 Published Jan 18
Year 3 Published Jan 20

2019/20 Entry

Course fees
Year 1 Published Jan 2019
Year 2 Published Jan 2020
Year 3 Published Jan 2021
Material fees
Year 1 Published Jan 18
Year 2 Published Jan 19
Year 3 Published Jan 20

UK and EU students full time - with placement year

During the placement year, the fee is reduced to 20% of the full time fee. Otherwise, fees are the same as for full time study.

International students full time

2017/18 Entry

Course fees
Year 1 £13,500
Year 2 Published Jan 2018
Year 3 Published Jan 2018
Material fees
Year 1 £160
Year 2 £165
Year 3 Published Jan 18

2018/19 Entry

Course fees
Year 1 Published Jan 2018
Year 2 Published Jan 2019
Year 3 Published Jan 2021
Material fees
Year 1 £165
Year 2 Published Jan 18
Year 3 Published Jan 20

2019/20 Entry

Course fees
Year 1 Published Jan 2019
Year 2 Published Jan 2020
Year 3 Published Jan 2021
Material fees
Year 1 Published Jan 18
Year 2 Published Jan 19
Year 3 Published Jan 20

Interested in applying?

What we look for in potential students

We’re looking for individuals who are curious, reflective and interested in their subject areas. You should be able to take risks and have an open mind.

We value the ability to think critically and reflectively just as much as we value the ability to create and make.

Typical offers

We accept a wide range of qualifications for entry to our undergraduate programmes. The main ones are listed below:

  • A Level - Grades BCC required with a Grade B in Art, or other art/design related subject. Applicants will be invited to interview and will be required to bring high quality portfolio
  • BTEC - Overall Merit, Merit, Merit (MMM) required. Applicants will be invited to interview and will be required to bring high quality portfolio.
  • International Baccalaureate - A minimum score of 27 with HL Art subject at grade 6 or above preferred
  • Access to HE courses - Typical offers for applicants with Access to HE will be the Access to HE Diploma or Access to HE Certificate (60 credits, 45 of which must be Level 3, including 30 at merit or higher). Any selection procedure/further requirements will also apply.
  • Diploma in Foundation Studies (Art & Design) - We recommend that applicants undertake a pre-degree foundation diploma in Art and Design in combination with the above qualifications. A Merit Grade is preferred.

English Language Requirements for International and EU Applicants
IELTS 6.0 - for visa nationals, with a minimum score of IELTS 5.5 in each element.

How do I apply?

Ready to apply? Click the 'apply now' button in the centre of this page.

Need more guidance? Head to our how to apply webpages.

Portfolio and interviews

Applicants will be invited to interview at our Sion Hill campus and will be required to bring high quality portfolio in support of their application. More details will be supplied to applicants who meet the entry criteria for the course.

Admissions service: +44 (0)1225 876 180
Email: admissions@bathspa.ac.uk
Course leader: Martin Thomas

Join the next generation of digital creatives with our hands-on, industry-focused course.

  • Learn by making. Build imaginative games, web apps, digital interfaces and interactive artworks.
  • Network and collaborate. Work with like-minded students, software specialists and creative partners.
  • Become future-proof. Graduate as an in demand fusion of creative thinker and technical expert.

Excited by the collision of computing and creativity? Ever wondered how to code beautiful web apps, bring stories to life through animation, or build those intuitive little smartphone games that you just can’t seem to put down? Our Creative Computing course could be for you.

Creative Computing is for inquisitive people who don’t necessarily fit the model of typical degree subjects. These are practical, imaginative individuals who wish to explore how computing can enhance human creativity. We understand that such people aspire to be both the ‘thinkers’ and the ‘makers’, so have designed a course to help them become just that.

This course celebrates digital creativity. We teach you broad computing and design skills, from smartphone app building to VR game development and beyond. You learn your craft from the ground up, through a mix of workshops, tech demos, creative problem solving challenges and collaborative briefs. We believe that in this field you learn best by making, so you can look forward to creating digital work from day one.

What you'll learn

Overview

You’ll study a series of Creative Computing modules, alongside modules from your combination subject. There are three possible routes: Major, where Creative Computing is the lead subject; Minor, where it is the complimentary subject; and Joint, where study time is divided equally between Creative Computing and a combination subject.

In core Creative Computing modules, we teach you skills essential to creative computing and digital creativity more widely. These include programming (C languages, Java), web app deployment (HTML5, JavaScript, PHP), and asset creation (Adobe, Autodesk). If you decide to take the major route, you’ll be able to access our specialist games design and digital animation modules.

Course structure

Year one
Master the basics. Start your journey through Creative Computing by developing key skills in computing and digital design. We provide an induction to computer science (binary, hardware, operating systems, networking) and probe the social and ethical consequences that are distinct to the digital age. Weekly skills workshops expose you to the basics of web development, physical computing (Arduino, Raspberry Pi) and object-oriented programming. Specific modules on creative problem solving, interface design and coding for the visual arts are available to joint or major route students.

Year two
Enhance your digital skill set. Core module, Codelab II introduces the C family of programming languages. We introduce agile methodologies of production and teach you how to deploy event listeners and Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) to create interactive, data driven programs. Joint and major route students can access a suite of modules that include Games Design, Digital Animation, Web and Mobile Application Development, Emerging Technologies, and Industry-Informed Projects.

Year three
Kickstart your career. You’ll enhance your software development knowledge, while setting yourself up for success in the tech / creative industries. One third of your time is spent developing a significant digital artefact. This work becomes the centrepiece of a compelling, industry-focused creative portfolio. Major route students can extend their knowledge of the gaming or animation pipelines in the modules, Games Studio and Advanced Animation. Joint award students are given the opportunity to undertake an industry placement.

How will I be assessed?

Creative Computing is almost entirely coursework assessed. You’ll deliver a varied and balanced collection of artefacts including prototype software, experiment portfolios, digital interfaces, interactive stories and web apps. Project work is supported by contextual essays, reflective commentaries, sketchbooks, reports, pitches, presentations, debates and b/vlogs.

How will I be taught?

You’ll be taught through creative workshops, technical labs, seminars and project drop-ins. These sessions are supported by individual and team tutorials throughout your degree programme. CodeLab modules are delivered in small groups. This provides the tutor contact time you need to learn computer programming effectively.

A network of visiting speakers and mentors keep you in touch with developments in the tech / creative sectors, while a team of technical demonstrators reinforce the ‘skills training’ aspects of your learning.

Opportunities

Study abroad

Creative Computing students across all pathways can apply for Erasmus+ and Exchange programme opportunities offered by Bath Spa University.

Work placements, industry links and internships

We draw on a diverse network of industry partners established by the university’s Digital Academy and Centre for Creative Computing. We collaborate with emerging tech companies, prolific creative media practitioners, and a collective of independent animation and game studios across Bath, Bristol and beyond. Our students are invited to work on these exciting projects, and enjoy the industry contacts and funding that they often provide.

Many of our students take on freelance work and placements during their time with us.

Collaboration

You’ll have access to countless collaborative possibilities. Join forces with students studying storytelling, animation, film-making, publishing, dance, music technology – the list goes on – to create unique and compelling digital work.

Competitions and awards

We encourage you to participate in regional game jams, animation festivals and sandbox events. A programme of internal ‘build’ competitions provide chances for you to test out new ideas and collaborate with peers or creatives pursuing other subject areas.

Projects

Project Pickaxe
An ongoing MineCraft build of our Newton Park campus.

MediaWall
Creative Computing students design and contribute to installations for MediaWall.

Serious Games
Collaborations with Bath Spa’s Institute of Education on multiple games that tackle real-world problems. These projects almost always combine aspects of animation, gaming and software development.

Facilities and resources

Where the subject is taught

You'll have access to our:

  • Commons building
    You're taught within the cutting-edge Commons building, situated at the heart of our stunning Newton Park campus.
  • Apple iMac suites
    Core modules are taught across several Apple iMac suites, each loaded with industry standard digital design packages, prototyping tools and Integrated Development Environments.
  • Virtual Learning Environment
  • Newton Park library

Resources

  • Exclusive access to a collection of top-spec 4K Windows systems with CPU and GPU water cooling. These machines are networked to dedicated external storage and are offered with Unity, Unreal, 3ds Max, Blender and Spine installs.
  • Excellent e-learning provisions and a personal ‘software bible’.
  • An equipment loan service that offers a wide range of audiovisual production gear, interactive devices, and peripherals.

Fees

UK and EU students full time

2017/18 Entry

Course fees
Year 1 £9,250
Year 2 Published Jan 2018
Year 3 Published Jan 2019

2018/19 Entry

Course fees
Year 1 Published Jan 2018
Year 2 Published Jan 2019
Year 3 Published Jan 2020

2019/20 Entry

Course fees
Year 1 Published Jan 2019
Year 2 Published Jan 2020
Year 3 Published Jan 2021

International students full time

2017/18 Entry

Course fees
Year 1 £13,500
Year 2 Published Jan 2018
Year 3 Published Jan 2018

2018/19 Entry

Course fees
Year 1 Published Jan 2018
Year 2 Published Jan 2019
Year 3 Published Jan 2021

2019/20 Entry

Course fees
Year 1 Published Jan 2019
Year 2 Published Jan 2020
Year 3 Published Jan 2021

Interested in applying?

What we look for in potential students

We look for students with a drive to pursue big ideas and a clear willingness to try out new things. Successful applicants will be imaginative, organised and have a keen eye for detail. Programming experience is not an essential prerequisite for this course. We teach coding from the ground up.

Typical offers

Applicants are considered on an individual basis also taking into account any skills and experience that may not be reflected in A-level scores. The most important consideration is for applicants to have the qualities and potential to succeed in this exciting new area of study.

We accept a wide range of qualifications for entry to our undergraduate programmes. The main ones are listed below:

  • A Level -  Overall Grades CCC- CDD are accepted.
  • BTEC -  Extended Diploma in Performing Arts or related subject Merit, Merit, Merit (MMM) accepted.
  • International Baccalaureate - A minimum of 26 points are accepted.
  • Access to HE courses - Typical offers for applicants with Access to HE will be the Access to HE Diploma or Access to HE Certificate (60 credits, 45 of which must be Level 3, including 15 at merit or higher).

English Language Requirements for International and EU Applicants
IELTS 6.0 - for visa nationals, with a minimum score of IELTS 5.5 in each element.

 

How do I apply?

Ready to apply? Using our list of 'possible combinations', choose which Creative Computing combination you'd like to apply for. Click the 'apply now' button on that course's page.

Need more guidance? Head to our how to apply pages.

Portfolio guidance

We recommend that you attach a portfolio of creative work to your application. The portfolio should contain 2 or 3 examples of your digital projects. These may be small games, web designs, asset models, interactive stories or any other type of artwork or creative artefact.

Get ahead

Although we teach coding from the ground up, you can get ahead by learning some basic programming techniques before you join the course. Online tools such as Codecademy (HTML & CSS, Java) and Scratch are excellent starting points for learning to think algorithmically. Good luck!

Admissions service: +44 (0)1225 876 180
Email: admissions@bathspa.ac.uk
Course leader: Lee Scott
Email: l.scott@bathspa.ac.uk

Website feedback to web@bathspa.ac.uk