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About the course

Want to develop your artistic talent and sharpen your technical skills within the digital world? Solent’s digital arts top-up degree is perfectly suited to students who want to upgrade existing HND-level or equivalent qualifications into a full honours degree.

Building upon classical art training, creative problem solving and ideas generation, this one-year course will help you develop a set of core skills that underpin a specialisation of your choice.

You’ll get to work in a variety of media, experiencing both 2D and 3D tools. This will help you produce products to industry formats and standards. You’ll also have the opportunity to develop production skills that diversify your portfolio and broaden your career prospects. This is achieved by choosing specialised optional modules. These are then combined with the core project modules to help turn you into a multi-skilled, well rounded and highly creative graduate who can quickly adapt to the creative workplace.

Dedicated studio spaces and exposure to a high-end suite of industry tools, software and techniques - together with tutoring from industry experienced staff - will help you identify and hone your skills. You’ll also be supported in developing your game production, business and entrepreneurial skills, as well as working with coders and artists in the Video Games Academy.

The course team has a continued commitment to industry engagement, sourcing real world briefs and clients to help students graduate with not only a solid theoretical understanding of the field, but also with practical, tested and industry relevant experience. This will help build a creative and professional edge over your peers, as well as a solid portfolio of diverse works to aid in securing employment.

This course has access to Solent's specialist facilities.
Specialist facilities
After successfully completing your studies, there's an opportunity to continue your studies at Solent.
Further studies
If you have an appropriate Level 5 qualification, you can top it up to a degree in just a year.
Top-up option

Tuition is structured to offer flexible learning experiences in partnership with Solent’s computer games and digital arts programme group.

What does this course lead to?

This top-up degree will help students build the core skills to prepare for a variety of careers in VFX, animation, games and other areas within digital media.

Who is this course for?

This top-up degree is ideal for students who have studied at HND level and who wish to turn this qualification or relevant experience into a full-honours degree in just one year. 

Facts and figures

Fees icon

Fees and costs

Tuition fees

The tuition fees for the 2021/22 academic year are:
UK, EU and Channel Island full-time fees: £9,250 per year
International full-time fees: £13,800 per year

Following the UK government's confirmation that EU students will no longer be eligible for home fee status benefits, we've made the decision to keep EU tuition fees the same as UK tuition fees for 2021 entry.

For further information, please visit our tuition fees page.

Bursaries and scholarships

Solent University offers a range of bursaries and scholarships that provide financial assistance or waive fees for tuition or accommodation. Each bursary or scholarship has specific eligibility criteria. Check out our bursaries and scholarships pages to find out more.

Graduation costs

For graduates in 2020, there is no charge to attend graduation, but you will be required to pay for the rental of your academic gown (approximately £45 per graduate, depending on your award). You may also wish to purchase official photography packages, which range in price from £15 to £200+. Graduation is not compulsory, so if you prefer to have your award sent to you, there is no cost. Extra guest tickets will go on sale after results publication and will be sold on a first-come-first-served basis. The cost per ticket was £15 in 2019, but this fee is subject to change for future years. Please note, we do not guarantee there will be any extra tickets available to purchase.
Key entry requirements icon

Key entry requirements

Relevant HND/foundation degree pass with merit overall (55 per cent average),

  • or 240 CATS points from a relevant three-year degree. 
  • If you are applying from outside the UK, find information about entry requirements, visas and agents for your country here.
  • For further information about UK, EU and international qualifications, please refer to our course entry requirement statement.

English language requirements

Applicants who do not have English as their first language will be required to demonstrate an approved level of proficiency in the use of the English language. The agreed minimum requirements for this course are:

  • IELTS minimum 6.0 overall with a minimum of 5.5 in each individual component
  • TOEFL IBT minimum 80 with a minimum of 20 in each individual component
  • Duolingo English Language Test - 100 overall with minimum of 90 in each component
  • or equivalent.

Qualifications are checked before enrolment, and international students must bring their original certificates or certified copies when coming to study at the University.

Pre-Sessional English programme

The University also offers a pre-sessional English programme for international students who wish to improve their level of English before starting a degree course.

Got a question about this course?

Contact our Solent team:

If you are a UK, EU or EEA applicant please contact 023 8201 5066 If you are an international applicant please contact 023 8201 5066

How to apply

Any student applying for the first year of a full-time/sandwich undergraduate course must apply through UCAS (University and Colleges Admissions Service). This includes mature, overseas and EU students.

Nearly all schools and colleges offer their students the facility of applying electronically through the UCAS website using 'Apply'; it may also be used by those applying independently in the UK and overseas. This facility and all course information can be found on the UCAS website:

Your application should reach UCAS by 15 January if you hope to enter a course the following autumn. Early application is advised for the most popular subject areas. Late applications may be made until the end of June. The UCAS code for the University is S30, code name SOLNT.

Please click on the links below to apply through UCAS:

Mode of study
Full-time 1 year Apply
How to apply

What you'll study

Year one

Core modules
  • Major Project
    This module helps you to develop an understanding of Digital Art production. You will be encouraged to look at areas of specialisation and expertise, demonstrating an understanding to the professional skills required in these key areas.
  • Core Skills
    This module helps you build specialist skills and knowledge within the digital arts arena, including academic skills such as researching, analysing and presenting technical information as well as creative processes, through to professional skills like the accurate recording and reporting of practical testing, to post-project reflective practice.


  • Advanced 3D
    This module helps to expand your knowledge in areas such as texture baking, the high poly pipeline and an overview of current production tools. You will demonstrate awareness and limitations of the aesthetics in real time computer art and how to balance the visual ambition.
  • Freelance Animation
    This module is a simulation of what it means to work as a freelance animator within the often challenging parameters of short form client work. Besides vital guidance in the business of operating as a sole trader, invoicing and negotiating with clients, you will be charged with tackling a wide variety of current industry work.
  • Concept Art
    This module places emphasis on the study of anatomy, how to interpret those observations and apply them to character art in the digital medium. This is classical figure study combined with digital training.
  • Character Animation
    This module follows two threads: The first develops a deeper understanding of character timing and performance. The second is understanding how to use the animation tools to streamline the process and avoid some of the pitfalls associated with bad digital animation.
  • Digital Character
    This module translates conceptual and visual understanding into the digital world. The module will elucidate how aesthetic relates to audience engagement. Technological constraints versus visual detail are also identified.
  • Pre-Production
    On this module you will be required to undertake a simulation of the pre-production and planning process for the production of a complete small-to-medium sized CGI project or a section/part/element of a large-scale project with a focus on professional standards.
  • Advanced Drawing
    Advanced drawing is a drawing of the human figure from observation of a live model and as such this module is based primarily in the life room (studio) along with some location work when appropriate.

Please note: Not all optional modules are guaranteed to run each year.


Web-based learning

Solent's virtual learning environment provides quick online access to assignments, lecture notes, suggested reading and other course information.

The Student Hub

The Student Hub is a central space where you can access all of the information and support you need during your time at University.

Professional and experienced staff can help resolve any query, and if they cannot answer the question themselves they will find the person who can.

Career support

Meet the course team

Ken Pitts academic profile Ken Pitts Course Leader View profile
Alex Scott academic profile Alex Scott Lecturer View profile
Yulia Gleed academic profile Yulia Gleed Lecturer View profile

The university cannot guarantee any particular members of staff will teach specific aspects of the course in the future, but will endeavour to ensure the teaching team maintains their balance of experience and qualifications.


Students are taught in 3D labs or animation studios, where appropriate. These studios are fully equipped with professional digital arts software and equipment, including Autodesk suite (Maya, Mudbox, etc), Adobe Creative suite (Photoshop, After Effects, etc), Z Brush and many more.

Students can top-up their existing qualifications to a full honours degree in one year.

Your future

Although this top-up aims to give students a taste in a wide spectrum of digital art, there is vocational emphasis with core modules such as the major project. You will be required to analyse your skill set against the requirements of your chosen career and then focus on addressing identified gaps:

Possible career directions include:

  • Video games artist
  • Roto artist
  • Animator
  • Motion graphics artist
  • 3D designer
  • Architectural visualiser
  • Digital sculptor
  • CGI illustrator

Industry links

Solent’s computer games and digital arts courses are developed in conjunction with an industry panel that steers the teaching and research within the course portfolio, this ensures the course meets industry and academic requirements.

Further study

Enhance your career prospects by continuing your study at Solent.

Get ready to find your place

You can still experience life at Solent at a virtual open day! Hear from course tutors, take virtual campus and accommodation tours, and chat to us live.

Register for a virtual open day