Creative Computing With Foundation Year BA/BSc (Hons)

Male student in red shirt using virtual reality equipment
UCAS Code
W950, W951
Mode of Study
Full-time
Duration
4 years full-time, 5 years sandwich with work placement
Start Date
September 2021

Overview

The traditional lines between creative artists and programmers are dissolving, with coding skills becoming established as a creative medium in their own right. If you're looking to get the best start as a digital creative, you need a qualification that hones your artistic abilities, while giving you practical experience with the software and technology you'll use in your career.

This Creative Computing degree course (with optional Foundation year) focuses on using the latest skills and concepts from computing to create art, music, animation, apps, websites and games.

You'll learn coding, graphic design, audio production and software skills, preparing yourself for work in a varied jobs market where innovations such as virtual reality and machine learning are increasingly common alongside established technologies.

When you complete the course, you'll graduate with a BA or BSc, depending on which modules you select in years 2 and 3, and your choice of final year project. You'll have a versatile set of skills, practical knowledge and developed artistic ability, making you highly employable in many fields, from game design to music programming, digital marketing to design, or creative practice to IT.

Optional Foundation year

If you don't yet meet the entry requirements for a 3-year Bachelor's degree, you can do a Foundation year before you start your degree.

This gives you the academic grounding and technical experience you need to get the most out of a full undergraduate degree.

TEF Gold Teaching Excellence Framework

Entry requirements​

BA/BSc (Hons) Creative Computing degree entry requirements

Qualifications or experience
  • 48 points to include 1 A Level, or equivalent. Other qualifications such as vocational A Levels (AVCE), BTECs and Access courses will also be considered.

See full entry requirements and other qualifications we accept

English language requirements
  • English language proficiency at a minimum of IELTS band 6.0 with no component score below 5.5.

See alternative English language qualifications

We also accept other standard English tests and qualifications, as long as they meet the minimum requirements of your course.

If you don't meet the English language requirements yet, you can achieve the level you need by successfully completing a pre-sessional English programme before you start your course.

Qualifications or experience
  • 112–120 points to include a minimum of 2 A levels, or equivalent.

See full entry requirements and other qualifications we accept

English language requirements
  • English language proficiency at a minimum of IELTS band 6.0 with no component score below 5.5.

See alternative English language qualifications

We also accept other standard English tests and qualifications, as long as they meet the minimum requirements of your course.

If you don't meet the English language requirements yet, you can achieve the level you need by successfully completing a pre-sessional English programme before you start your course.

What you'll experience

On this Creative Computing degree course you'll:

  • Get practical experience with coding, graphic design and audio production, continually improving your abilities with these vital skills
  • Use the tools, software and devices used by professionals in the industry, preparing you for your future career
  • Hone your creative skill by producing digital portfolios and physical artefacts for exhibitions
  • Learn about programming for games, audio, virtual and augmented reality, and animation
  • Get experience in electronics and interface design
  • Develop transferable skills you can use in your life and career, including critical thinking, academic writing, research, reflective practice, contextual awareness, project management, team work, time management, and peer assessment
  • Participate in Gamejam, a week-long event where you'll make a computer game alongside other students, staff, alumni and professionals – this gives you great experience in collaborating with people from different disciplines
  • Have the option to take a Foundation year before your degree programme, developing your academic abilities to the level you need for successful undergraduate study

You'll get experience with the technology you'll use in your career, some of which aren't available in other institutions. This includes:

  • A virtual reality suite – including our Oculus Rift and HTC Vive kits, heart monitors, facial recognition systems, and Electroencephalograms (brainwave interfaces)
  • A Motion-capture (MOCAP) studio using a Vicon optical system to capture movement
  • Game development kits – including Unreal Engine and Sony Playstation dev kits

The music studios you'll use include:

  • A valve 32-channel TL audio mixing desk
  • SSL Matrix 2 console with Neve 1074 and SSL dynamics and EQ
  • A 7.1 surround studio (Genelec) with a Slate Raven multi-touch console for multichannel work and spatial audio projects
  • A Buchla System 7 synthesiser (1 of only 2 in a European university and the only one in the UK)

Careers and opportunities

Our world is more reliant on technology than ever, there's never been a better time to learn how to use technology as a creative medium.

When you finish this Creative Computing degree course, our careers and employability service can help you find a job that puts your diverse set of skills and abilities to work in the industry.

Areas you could work in include:

  • Film/TV special effects and post-production
  • Visual interface design
  • Computer graphics design
  • Video game development
  • Music production
  • Multimedia systems analysis
  • Mobile app development
  • Web development
  • Computer music/sound engineering
  • Interface design
  • Database management

What job roles can you do with a Creative Computing degree ?

This degree is the ideal preparation for many professional roles, including:

  • Visual interface designer
  • Computer graphics designer
  • Video game developer
  • Multimedia systems analyst
  • Mobile app developer
  • Web developer
  • Sound engineer
  • Interface designer
  • Database manager

You can also go on to study at postgraduate level, or set up a successful business with help and support from the university.

After you graduate, you can get help, advice and support for up to 5 years from our Careers and Employability service as you advance in your career.

Work experience and career planning

To give you the best chance of securing a great job when you graduate, our Careers and Employability service and Creative Careers Centre can help you find relevant work experience during your Creative Computing degree course. You'll also get career planning help and support from your personal tutor.

We can help you identify placements, internships, voluntary roles and freelancing opportunities that will complement your studies and build your portfolio.

​What you'll study

Each module on this course is worth 20, 40 or 60 credits.

In each year (apart from your optional placement year), you need to study modules worth a total of 120 credits. For example, 4 modules worth 20 credits and 1 module worth 40 credits.

Whether you graduate with a BA or BSc depends which modules you choose in year 2 onwards. We'll help you choose the modules that reflect your interests and ambitions.

Due to changing circumstances as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, we may need to make changes to courses to ensure your safety and to ensure compliance with Government guidelines. We'll provide you with as much notice as possible of any such changes. Your course leader will inform you of these. Changes may include things such as modules being taught in teaching block 2 instead of teaching block 1 and teaching activities occurring in smaller group sizes.

Modules

Core modules

  • Computational Creativity – 40 credits
  • Using Creative Technologies – 40 credits
  • The World of Creative Technologies – 40 credits

Core modules

  • Tools for Games and Animation – 20 credits
  • Digital Culture and Creative Industries – 20 credits
  • Fundamentals of Creative Electronics – 20 credits
  • Responsive Design and Development – 20 credits
  • Generative Art – 20 credits
  • Creative Computing Project – 20 credits

Core modules

  • Creativity and Resilience – 20 credits
  • Creative Coding Practice – 20 credits
  • Creative and Critical Research Design – 20 credits
  • Advanced Creative Computing Project – 20 credits

Optional modules

  • Gameplay Programming – 20 credits
  • Mobile Application Development – 20 credits
  • Virtual Reality Development – 20 credits
  • Advanced Creative Computing for Music and Sound – 20 credits
  • Augmented Reality Development – 20 credits
  • Sound Design and Music for Games – 20 credits
  • Engaged Citizenship Through Interdisciplinary Practice – 20 credits
  • Institution Wide Language Programme – 20 credits
  • Professional Experience – 20 credits
  • Student Enterprise – 20 credits
  • Study Abroad – 60 credits

On this course you can do an optional work placement year between your 2nd and 3rd years to get valuable experience working in the digital creative industry.

Placement locations could include companies such as:

  • BBC
  • Ico Design
  • Focusrite/Novation

Common roles to take during placement include:

  • Data visualiser
  • Programmer
  • Audio designer

You can also start your own business in your placement year.

We'll help you secure a placement that fits your career goals. You'll get support from our Placements Office with applications, interviews and assessment days. To make the most out of your placement year, you'll also get mentoring and support from the Creative Careers Centre team, including visits from lecturers.

Core modules

  • Final Year Project: Preparation – 20 credits
  • Final Year Project: Resolution – 20 credits

Optional modules

  • Applied Creative Computing – 20 credits
  • Internet of Things – 20 credits
  • Interface Technologies – 20 credits
  • Artificial Intelligence – 20 credits
  • Collaborative Sound Art Project – 20 credits
  • Hackrobatics – 20 credits
  • Implementing Game Audio – 20 credits

Changes to course content

We use the best and most current research and professional practice alongside feedback from our students to make sure course content is relevant to your future career or further studies.

Therefore, some course content may change over time to reflect changes in the discipline or industry.

Teaching

Teaching methods on this course includes:

  • Lectures
  • Group and individual practical experimentation
  • One-to-one tuition with project supervisors

You'll be taught by staff who have professional experience in the industry, who demonstrate concepts using practical examples.

Many teaching staff are engaged in research, which means you learn about the latest theories and concepts.

You can access all teaching resources on Moodle, our virtual learning environment, from anywhere with a web connection.

How you're assessed

You’ll be assessed through:

  • Practical output, including interactive digital installations, creative software projects, and web and mobile apps
  • Video and in-person presentations
  • Written report
  • Exhibition

You’ll be able to test your skills and knowledge informally before you do assessments that count towards your final mark.

You can get feedback on all practice and formal assessments so you can improve in the future.

How you'll spend your time

One of the main differences between school or college and university is how much control you have over your learning.

At university, as well as spending time in timetabled teaching activities such as lectures, seminars and tutorials, you’ll do lots of independent study with support from our staff when you need it.

A typical week

We recommend you spend at least 35 hours a week studying for your Creative Computing degree. In your first year (and Foundation year if relevant), you’ll be in timetabled teaching activities such as lectures, seminars, tutorials, practical classes and workshops for about 8–10 hours a week. The rest of the time you’ll do independent study such as research, reading, coursework and project work, alone or in a group with others from your course. You'll probably do more independent study and have less scheduled teaching in years 2 and 3, but this depends on which modules you choose.

Most timetabled teaching takes place during the day, Monday to Friday. You may occasionally need to go to University and course events in the evenings and at weekends. There’s usually no teaching on Wednesday afternoons.

Term times

The academic year runs from September to June (with some courses starting in October rather than September in 2020/21 only). There are breaks at Christmas and Easter.

It's divided into 2 teaching blocks and 2 assessment periods:

  • Teaching block 1 – September to December (October to December for some courses in 2020/21 only)
  • Assessment period 1 – January (and early February for some courses in 2020/21 only)
  • Teaching block 2 – January to May (February to May for some courses in 2020/21 only)
  • Assessment period 2 – May to June

Extra learning support

The amount of timetabled teaching you'll get on your degree might be less than what you're used to at school or college, but you'll also get face-to-face support from teaching and support staff when you need it. These include the following people and services:

Personal tutor

Your personal tutor helps you make the transition to independent study and gives you academic and personal support throughout your time at university.

You’ll have regular contact with your personal tutor in learning activities or scheduled meetings. You can also make an appointment with them if you need extra support.

Student support advisor

In addition to the support you get from your personal tutor, you’ll also have access to a Faculty student support advisor. They can give you confidential, impartial advice on anything to do with your studies and personal wellbeing and refer you to specialist support services.

Academic skills tutors

You'll have help from a team of faculty academic skills tutors. They can help you improve and develop your academic skills and support you in any area of your study.

They can help with:

  • improving your academic writing (for example, essays, reports, dissertations)
  • delivering presentations (including observing and filming presentations)
  • understanding and using assignment feedback
  • managing your time and workload
  • revision and exam techniques

Creative skills tutors

If you need support with software and equipment or you want to learn additional skills (including skills not covered on your course), our creative skills tutors provide free workshops, activities and one-on-one tutorials. Skills you can learn include life drawing, film camera operation and video production.

IT and computing support

Computing support staff are always available to give technical support in the Faculty's computer suites during normal working hours. There's also some support available from 5pm to midnight at busy times of the year.

Academic skills support

As well as support from faculty staff and your personal tutor, you can use the University’s Academic Skills Unit (ASK).

ASK provides one-to-one support in areas such as:

  • Academic writing
  • Note taking
  • Time management
  • Critical thinking
  • Presentation skills
  • Referencing
  • Working in groups
  • Revision, memory and exam techniques

If you have a disability or need extra support, the Additional Support and Disability Centre (ASDAC) will give you help, support and advice.

Library support

Library staff are available in person or by email, phone or online chat to help you make the most of the University’s library resources. You can also request one-to-one appointments and get support from a librarian who specialises in your subject area.

The library is open 24 hours a day, every day, in term time.

Support with English

If English isn't your first language, you can do one of our English language courses to improve your written and spoken English language skills before starting your degree. Once you're here, you can take part in our free In-Sessional English (ISE) programme to improve your English further.

​Course costs

Tuition fees 

These fees are based on courses starting in 2020. We'll confirm 2021 fees here in autumn 2020.

  • UK/EU/Channel Islands and Isle of Man students – £9,250 a year (may be subject to annual increase)
  • International students – £15,100 a year (subject to annual increase)

Additional course costs

These course-related costs aren’t included in the tuition fees. So you’ll need to budget for them when you plan your spending.

Additional costs

Our accommodation section shows your accommodation options and highlights how much it costs to live in Portsmouth.

We recommend that you budget £75 a year for photocopying, memory sticks, DVDs and CDs, printing charges, binding and specialist printing.

You’ll study up to 6 modules a year. You may have to read several recommended books or textbooks for each modules.

You can borrow most of these from the Library. If you buy these, they may cost up to £60 each.

If your final year includes a major project, there could be cost for transport or accommodation related to your research activities. The amount will depend on the project you choose.

Apply

How to apply

When you apply for this course, you can apply for either the BA or BSc version. Whether you graduate with a BA or BSc depends on which optional modules you choose in years 2 and 3.

Applying through UCAS

To apply through UCAS, you’ll need:

  • the UCAS course code – W950 (BA) or W951 (BSc)
  • our institution code – P80

If you want to start in the Foundation year, enter '0' in the 'Point of entry' field when you make your choice.

Applying directly

If you’d prefer to apply to us directly, use our online application form:

You can tell us which year (Foundation or year 1) you're applying for on the Qualifications tab on the application form.

Open Days and application guidance

You can also sign up to an Open Day to:

  • Tour our campus, facilities and halls of residence
  • Speak with lecturers and chat with our students
  • Get information about where to live, how to fund your studies and which clubs and societies to join

If you're new to the application process, read our guide on applying for an undergraduate course.

How to apply from outside the UK

If you're from outside of the UK, you can apply for this course through UCAS or apply directly to us (see the 'How to apply' section above for details). You can also get an agent to help with your application. Check your country page for details of agents in your region.

To find out what to include in your application, head to the how to apply page of our international students section. 

If you don't meet the English language requirements for this course yet, you can achieve the level you need by successfully completing a pre-sessional English programme before you start your course.

How can I prepare for a Creative Computing degree?

Ideal preparation for this course would be to develop skills in art, design and/or IT at school or college. Competency in art, music, coding, animation, web or design will also help. Creativity and passion for the subject are essential.

Good teamwork and organisational skills will help you complete and manage many of the modules on this course. Perseverance and the desire to try new things creatively are also key to getting the most out of study in this field.

Admissions terms and conditions

When you accept an offer to study at the University of Portsmouth, you also agree to abide by our Student Contract (which includes the University's relevant policies, rules and regulations). You should read and consider these before you apply.

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