Digital Creativity* (with Foundation Year)
UCAS Code: Combined Honours only – see combinations tab|Duration: 4 years|Full Time|Creative Campus
UCAS Campus Code: L46
Work placement opportunities|International students can apply|Study Abroad opportunities
About the course
This course will educate students towards creating work that bridges the gap between traditional creative practices and their modern technologically facilitated counterparts from gaming, to graphic design to music and dance. It responds to the continuing appropriation of emerging digital technologies by artists with the aim of discovering new approaches for creative expression, often referred to under the umbrella term ‘Creative Convergence’. The course responds to the teaching and research interests of staff within the subjects of Music, Performance and Visual Arts, as well as colleagues in the areas related to Computer Science. You will learn how to use a variety of technologies and realise assessed projects; these may include motion capture, haptic feedback, interaction design, data sonification & visualisation, animation & sound design, and coding/scripting in relevant languages strictly for creative output. The practical seminars will act as laboratories to experiment with these technologies and enhance your skillsets, working towards a signature practice that primes them for the digital creative sector. The lectures provide a theoretical basis for you to critically position your work, further developed through student-led discussions in tutorials. The lecture content also informs the seminars, ensuring you are able to perceive the practical application of these ideas. In your first year of study, you will be introduced to the key practitioners and practices who demonstrate the ways digital technologies enrich the creative potential of traditional art forms.
The course will be structured around lectures, practical seminars and workshops and tutorials. There is the expectation of independent study for appropriate research.
Assessment and feedback
Assessment will be by way of digital creative projects; programming and coding design tests and contextual essays.
You will be given written feedback on your assessments, and you will have the opportunity to discuss this with your tutor in more detail.
The syllabus will include training on systems widely used in creative practice, starting from programming languages supported by hardware platforms such as C++ for Arduino & Python for Raspberry Pi, visual/object-oriented programming environments such as Max/Max4Live, Pure Data, Processing, TouchDesigner, and OpenFrameworks, and proprietary software suites aimed at designing sound, visuals, and interaction, such as Reaktor, Isadora, Resolume, and Adobe Creative Cloud. Training on hardware design will concentrate on understanding circuitry and instil students with the ability of compiling systems out of components aimed at expanding existing microcontroller and microprocessor platforms, such as those developed by Adafruit.
Assessment of learned skills for each platform will be project-based, with students devising creative outputs, and developing systems that can facilitate the functionality of each project.
Beyond the technical training, students will learn about key theories and historical developments of technologically facilitated arts, including seminal and contemporary practitioners and works, and philosophical debates on the ethics of technology. Finally, students’ professional development will be reinforced through learning about funding sources, major art research and support centres, and developing a bespoke profile for their practice.
The Foundation Year is a great opportunity if you have the ability and enthusiasm to study for a degree, but do not yet have the qualifications required to enter directly onto our degree programmes. A significant part of the Foundation Year focuses upon core skills such as academic writing at HE level, becoming an independent learner, structuring academic work, critical thinking, time management and note taking.
Successful completion of the Foundation Year will enable you to progress into the first year (Level C) of your chosen honours degree. Further details can be found here.
An introduction to digital creativity through learning about key practitioners and practices that have demonstrated avenues in the ways digital technologies enrich the creative potential of traditional practices, and interpreting the notions of 'interactivity' and 'user experience' through digital tools.
Students will be introduced to the main programming languages and their applications over different software and hardware platforms, taught through a problem-solving approach connected to specific creative projects envisioned by each learner.
The precedent outcomes will be presented with a focus on their utilised technology, with students assessed on analysing and comprehending the design of user experience evident in each outcome.
In the second year, students will learn how to work closely with other practitioners in collaborative environments, and develop hybrid forms of audience and performer experiences, working across a variety of digital creative platforms. Students will be encouraged to work briefly within a professional digital creative context, and seek to specialise in particular areas of practice.
During the second year, continued software and hardware training will include the design of systems responding to external briefs set by tutors and partner practitioners. Students will be assessed on both tangible outcomes of their designs, as well as written reports on the logic fuelling their design approaches.
Students will prepare for their dissertation through writing and research tutorials, aiming to develop subjects for their final year dissertation.
In their final year, students will be able to evidence their proficiency in varying performance technologies and possess the ability to develop creative and original applications for them in their work. This will culminate in selecting either to complete a placement within an arts organisation or to take the lead as project manager of a major performance project of your own devising. This final year will also require you to complete an independent research project on a topic of your own choice.
Final year students will be asked to curate projects closely aligned with the requirements of professional activities, and may collaborate with second year students and/or external practitioners. This will involve the design of technological systems, as well as evidence of appropriate project management and administration, including liaising with external partners and funding opportunities.
The dissertation project will evidence research and reflective analysis skills through practice-based and practice-led methodologies.
There may be some flexibility for mature students offering non-tariff qualifications and students meeting particular widening participation criteria.
Digital Creative is a fast-growing area of employment regionally, nationally and globally from games, installations, through to large-scale performance events, concerts and shows. Career prospects are diverse and significant and, consequently, graduates of Interactive and Immersive Performance will work across a range of important career pathways.
The variety of course combinations for this course affords a greater potential for different career trajectories. Within the creative industries, students will be well-placed to seek employment as freelance creative technologists, production designers and immersive experience designers.
Work Placement Opportunities
All students will be encouraged to uptake work-placements with a regional digital creative company.
The Service and Leadership Award (SALA) is offered as an extra-curricular programme involving service-based experiences, development of leadership potential and equipping you for a career in a rapidly changing world. It enhances your degree, it is something which is complimentary but different and which has a distinct ‘value-added’ component. Find out more on our Service and Leadership Award page.
As part of your degree, you can choose to spend either a semester or a full year of study at one of our partner universities as part of our Study Abroad programme. Find out more on our Study Abroad page.
The tuition fees for the 2023/24 academic year are £9,250 for full-time undergraduate courses.
If you are a student from the Isle of Man or the Channel Islands, your tuition fees will also be £9,250.
The University reserves the right to increase Home and EU Undergraduate and PGCE tuition fees in line with any inflationary or other increase authorised by the Secretary of State for future years of study.
Students will be expected to have access to basic equipment such as computers able to support the taught software platforms.
We have a range of scholarships to help with the cost of your studies. Visit our scholarships page to find out more.
International tuition fees
The International Tuition fees for 2023/24 are £12,500.
Visit our International fees page for more information.
This course is only available with Foundation Year as a Combined Honours degree with the following subjects: