facebook BA/BSc (Hons) Contemporary Arts Practice and Creative Computing – Bath Spa University

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, or four years full-time with professional placement year.
UCAS codes
Institution Code: B20
Course Code: W1I1 or SE45
Campus Code: A,BSU

Entry requirements

We accept a wide range of qualifications for entry to our undergraduate programmes. Typical offers include A levels with grades CCC, with a Grade C in Art, or other Art and Design related subject. Applicants will be invited to interview and will be required to bring high quality portfolio

View "typical offers" for more information.

Experience a broad range of disciplines on this contemporary and creative Art degree.

  • Explore and innovate across disciplines. Study and practise two subject areas, with the option to specialise if you choose.
  • Take an entrepreneurial approach. Translate your practice into industry through opportunities to exhibit, perform and publish.
  • Learn from practising professionals. Your tutors are also visual artists, sculptors, designers, writers, sound artists and performers.

Do you want to be an artist, designer, performer, writer or teacher – or create your own path by combining more than one artistic profession?

On this contemporary creative arts course, you'll gain a practical grounding in a range of disciplines including sculpture, ceramics, drawing, painting, textiles, live art and graphic arts, before specialising in one or two disciplines of your choice. You can choose from a wealth of optional first year practical modules that will introduce you to printmaking, photography, performance, sound, video and word – to build your own unique course of study.

You’ll benefit from support and encouragement from dedicated staff who are practitioners in their specialist fields. You’ll also have access to the School of Art and Design’s superb facilities and excellent technical staff.

What you'll learn

Overview

This contemporary creative arts degree is based on the fundamental principles of professional, practical studio practice supported by theory, interdisciplinarity, and entrepreneurship.

We assume that you're primarily a practitioner, driven by the desire to create in a variety of media. The majority of your time will be taken up with creating in a studio or workshop; however contextual, critical and reflective thinking will be required and encouraged – practitioners don't create work in a cultural vacuum.

The course encourages and supports cross-fertilisation of ideas and collaborative practice across subject areas. The multidisciplinary nature of the course places you in a unique position to combine practice and theory from both areas of study in radical and innovative ways.

Throughout the programme you'll also engage in public exhibitions, publishing or performances. Alongside these professional opportunities, in your final year, you'll be encouraged to develop opportunities relating to your future career.

The Professional Practice modules in years two and three aim to help you develop the practical, professional skills you’ll need to flourish in the industry, including social networking, photographing your work, creating digital portfolios, applying for competitions, marketing, creating a web presence, setting up a business, working on commissions, pricing your work, approaching galleries, exhibiting and fundraising.

The course’s inherent multidisciplinarity and the experiences you will encounter working with a variety of materials and contexts, will broaden your skill-set and enhance your employability, enabling you to work confidently across a range of scenarios.

Course structure

Year one
We’ll encourage you to experiment in a number of disciplines, gaining extensive knowledge and fundamental skills. You’ll also study context and theory, supported by lectures and seminars that will develop your understanding of current and historical debates in art and design practice.

You’ll choose modules from two of the following four core subject areas:

  • 2D (Painting and Drawing)
  • 3D (Ceramics and Sculpture)
  • Graphic arts
  • Mixed Media Textiles
  • Live Art.

Optional modules include Photography, Moving Image, Printmaking and Ceramics. Alongside these subjects you’ll attend contextual studies lectures that will introduce you to the history of creativity and culture.

Year two
You’ll have the opportunity to specialise in one discipline, or continue with two areas of study. Contextual studies lectures continue and will examine current thinking and debates around aesthetic theory. During the second part of the year you’ll begin a programme of professional practice, with opportunities to publicly exhibit your work.

Year three
In your final year you’ll continue to develop your practice to produce a body of work for public exhibition at the school degree show. You'll also complete a dissertation on a subject of your choosing. Professional development opportunities will encourage you to expand your skills in areas such as web design, marketing and project management. By gaining the necessary expertise, you’ll maximise your potential as a creative practitioner after graduation.

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 by practising artists, sculptors, designers, writers and performers who have excellent research profiles in exhibition, publication, recording and performance.

You’ll learn through 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 gallerists.

Course modules

This course offers or includes the following modules. The modules you take will depend on your pathway or course combination (if applicable) as well as any optional or open modules chosen. Please check the programme document (below the main image on this page) for more information.

Modules for the integrated Foundation year option are listed on the Integrated Foundation Year for Art and Design page.

Year one (Level 4) modules

  • Introduction to 2D
  • Introduction to 3D
  • Introduction to Graphic Arts
  • Introduction to Mixed Media Textiles
  • Creativity and Culture
  • 2D Practice
  • 3D Practice
  • Graphic Arts Practice
  • Mixed Media Textiles Practice
  • Etching
  • Silkscreen printing
  • Introduction to Sound, Image and Performance 
  • Introduction to Drawing - Practice and Theory
  • Introduction to Photography
  • Introduction to Ceramics - Form and Surface

Year two (Level 5) modules

  • 2D – Practice and Context
  • 3D – Practice and Context
  • Graphic Arts – Practice and Context
  • Mixed Media Textiles – Practice and Context
  • Specialised Studio Practice and Context
  • Aesthetics and Creative Arts
  • 2D - Practice, context and theory
  • 3D - Practice, context and theory
  • Graphic Arts - Practice, context and theory
  • Mixed Media Textiles - Practice, context and theory
  • Specialised Studio – Practice, context and theory
  • Professional Practice – Group Exhibition
  • Publication or Performance
  • Professional Placement Year

Year three (Level 6) modules

  • 2D Individual Studio Practice
  • 3D Individual Studio Practice
  • Graphic Arts Individual Studio Practice
  • Mixed Media Textiles Individual Studio Practice
  • Specialised Individual Studio Practice
  • Visual and Material Culture: Final Study
  • 2D Individual Studio Practice: Final Exhibition
  • 3D Individual Studio Practice: Final Exhibition
  • Graphic Arts Individual Studio Practice: Final Exhibition
  • Mixed Media Textiles Individual Studio Practice: Final Exhibition
  • Specialised Individual Studio Practice: Final Exhibition
  • Professional Practice: independent project

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 the opportunity to undertake group study visits to London and major exhibitions in cities across the country. In recent years, overseas study trip destinations have included Venice, Berlin, Paris and Barcelona. where students have visited international artists and designers' studios.

You can also apply to study abroad as part of the Erasmus+ scheme. Previous students have studied in Japan, China, Australia, the USA, Taiwan, Switzerland and Germany. Please note that study visits and overseas study may incur extra costs on top of your course fees.

Work placements, industry links and internships

There are opportunities for you to undertake work placements as part of the professional practice programme, and you can also take the Professional Placement Year between your second and final years of study.

The optional Professional Practice modules in your second and final years give you the opportunity to exhibit / perform / publish at a host of sites, both in and outside of the University. Our students have done so at Burdall’s Yard, the University Theatre, Walcot Chapel, 44AD Gallery, Royal United Hospital, Sion Hill Gallery, Michael Tippet Centre, American Museum, Bath Artists’ Studios, Holburne Museum, Centerspace Bristol and Bargehouse London.

Careers

You’ll graduate with a broad portfolio of expertise to accompany specialist knowledge in your particular field(s).

The majority of our graduates will progress to art-related employment or self-employment, whether as a studio-based artist, public artist or in the realm of arts management or arts administration.

The course also attracts many students wishing to pursue a career in art education.

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.

Professional placement year

Overview

This optional placement year provides you with the opportunity to identify, apply for, and secure professional experience, normally comprising one to three placements over a minimum of nine months. Successful completion of this module will demonstrate your ability to secure and sustain graduate-level employment.

By completing the module, you'll be entitled to the addition of 'with Professional Placement Year' to your degree title.

Preparation

Before your Professional Placement Year, you'll work to secure your placement, constructing a development plan with your module leader and your placement coordinator from our Careers and Employability team.

How will I be assessed?

On your return to University for your final year, you'll submit your Placement Portfolio, detailing your development on your placement.

Facilities and resources

Where the subject is taught

Our Art and Design courses are based at our Locksbrook Road (2019) and Sion Hill campuses.

You’ll benefit from access to:

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

2019/20 Entry

Course fees
Year 1 £9,250
Year 2 Published Jan 2020
Year 3 Published Jan 2021
Material fees
Year 1 £170
Year 2 Published Jan 2020
Year 3 Published Jan 2021

2020/21 Entry

Course fees
Year 1 Published Jan 2020
Year 2 Published Jan 2021
Year 3 Published Jan 2022
Material fees
Year 1 Published Jan 2020
Year 2 Published Jan 2021
Year 3 Published Jan 2023

2021/22 Entry

Course fees
Year 1 Published Jan 2021
Year 2 Published Jan 2022
Year 3 Published Jan 2023
Material fees
Year 1 Published Jan 2021
Year 2 Published Jan 2022
Year 3 Published Jan 2023

International students full time

2019/20 Entry

Course fees
Year 1 £14,900
Year 2 Published Jan 2020
Year 3 Published Jan 2021
Material fees
Year 1 £170
Year 2 Published Jan 2020
Year 3 Published Jan 2021

2020/21 Entry

Course fees
Year 1 Published Jan 2020
Year 2 Published Jan 2021
Year 3 Published Jan 2022
Material fees
Year 1 Published Jan 2020
Year 2 Published Jan 2021
Year 3 Published Jan 2023

2021/22 Entry

Course fees
Year 1 Published Jan 2021
Year 2 Published Jan 2022
Year 3 Published Jan 2023
Material fees
Year 1 Published Jan 2021
Year 2 Published Jan 2022
Year 3 Published Jan 2023

All students full time - with professional 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. This applies to UK, EU and International students.

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 CCC required with a Grade C 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 26 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 and 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 or Locksbrook Road campuses and will be required to bring a 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
Email: m.thomas2@bathspa.ac.uk

Join the next generation of digital creatives with our hands-on, industry-focused Creative Computing degree

  • 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.

Course modules

This course offers or includes the following modules. The modules you take will depend on your pathway or course combination (if applicable) as well as any optional or open modules chosen. Please check the programme document (below the main image on this page) for more information.

Year one (Level 4) modules

  • CodeLab I
  • Web Development
  • Experience Design
  • Ideation and Creative Problem Solving
  • Introduction to Computing
  • Digital Storytelling
  • Image, Sound and Code
  • Digital Citizenship

Year two (Level 5) modules

  • CodeLab II
  • Emerging Technologies
  • Creative Industry Challenge
  • Computer 3D Modelling and Visualisation
  • Games Development
  • Smartphone Apps
  • Motion Graphics and Sound
  • Games Studio
  • The Responsive Web
  • Professional Placement Year

Year three (Level 6) modules

  • Applied Computing
  • Creative Incubator
  • Cyber Security
  • Web Games
  • Physical Computing
  • Realtime Animation and Interactivity
  • Virtual and Augmented Reality
  • Serious Games
  • Commercial Games
  • Web Apps
  • Tomorrow’s Web

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.

Professional placement year

Overview

This optional placement year provides you with the opportunity to identify, apply for, and secure professional experience, normally comprising one to three placements over a minimum of nine months. Successful completion of this module will demonstrate your ability to secure and sustain graduate-level employment.

By completing the module, you'll be entitled to the addition of 'with Professional Placement Year' to your degree title.

Preparation

Before your Professional Placement Year, you'll work to secure your placement, constructing a development plan with your module leader and your placement coordinator from our Careers and Employability team.

How will I be assessed?

On your return to University for your final year, you'll submit your Placement Portfolio, detailing your development on your placement.

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

2019/20 Entry

Course fees
Year 1 £9,250
Year 2 Published Jan 2020
Year 3 Published Jan 2021

2020/21 Entry

Course fees
Year 1 Published Jan 2020
Year 2 Published Jan 2021
Year 3 Published Jan 2022

2021/22 Entry

Course fees
Year 1 Published Jan 2021
Year 2 Published Jan 2022
Year 3 Published Jan 2023

International students full time

2019/20 Entry

Course fees
Year 1 £14,300
Year 2 Published Jan 2020
Year 3 Published Jan 2021

2020/21 Entry

Course fees
Year 1 Published Jan 2020
Year 2 Published Jan 2021
Year 3 Published Jan 2022

2021/22 Entry

Course fees
Year 1 Published Jan 2021
Year 2 Published Jan 2022
Year 3 Published Jan 2023

All students full time - with professional 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. This applies to UK, EU and International students.

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 - Merit, Merit, Merit (MMM) - Merit, Merit, Pass (MMP) 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 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 two or three 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 and 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