School of Art, Design and Architecture

BA (Hons) Digital Media Design

UCAS tariff 96 - 112
UCAS course code W283
Institution code P60
Duration 3 years (+ optional placement)
Course type Full-time
Location Plymouth

Digital Media Design will teach you high-level industry production skills including coding, 3D modelling, UI/UX (user interface and user experience) design, creative practice and design. You’ll get a chance to make games, websites, apps and interactive and virtual reality experiences. At the cutting edge of art and design for 28 years, the Institute of Digital Art and Technology has graduates across digital creative industries worldwide – working for Apple, Nintendo, Spotify and Sony.

Digital Media Design
Careers with this subject

Our students go into careers such as: 

  • Digital media producers
  • Web and app developers
  • Game artists and developers
  • 3D modellers, animators and motionographers
  • User experience and user interface designers
  • Social media consultants
  • Virtual reality producers.

Read more about the career opportunities available to our graduates

Key features
  • Gain invaluable professional experience with the option to take part in a year-long paid work placement.
  • Close links with industry leaders designed in close collaboration with industry leaders to ensure technologies, skills and techniques are up-to-date.
  • Access all areas: keep working into the evening in our dedicated lab space open until 10 pm, and take advantage of our other amazing facilities, including a 35-seat, 360° immersive vision theatre.
  • Our inspiring graduates have gone on to work in some of the biggest tech, design and games companies worldwide, including Electronic Arts, IBM, Yahoo and Reddit.
  • Broaden your horizons with great enrichment activities, including overseas field trips in Amsterdam, Berlin and Barcelona to attend conferences and visit galleries.
  • Informed by the latest exciting research from i-DAT and Transtech.

Course details
  • Year 1

  • In your first year, you get a grounding in the digital media, software, technologies and production techniques needed throughout the course. You also gain a critical understanding of the theory behind digital media and the social, cultural and industrial contexts in which they operate. You are introduced to contemporary graphic and motion graphic tools, web design and web programming technologies, along with the coding skills and creative design strategies that underpin them.

    Core modules

    • Disruptive Design Strategies (DAT441)

      This module introduces students to practical and creative processes that encourage experimentation and prepare for HE workflows. Through conceptual understanding of artistic practice combined with technical production skills in a range of areas, such as 2D and 3D design, facilitate by industry standard design software.

    • Digital Cultures (DAT442)

      This module provides a comprehensive grounding to theoretical and practical contexts for contemporary digital media practice. It explores the history of new media and interactive art, highlighting connections between pre-digital technologies and contemporary media forms. Practical workshops to introduce and induct students to relevant hardware/software for media production, as well as a field trip to a relevant UK-based cultural centre, offer substantial resources to advance students’ work within digital and media culture.

    • Creative Coding (DAT443)

      This module is an introduction to programming and creative coding for digital artists and designers. The syllabus, topics, examples and style of teaching are designed to support contemporary techniques for the development of engaging interactive media projects, with a focus on interaction, graphics, video, animation, sound, and integration with live data sources. During this module, students are asked to develop a project that demonstrates their creativity and coding skills, and to produce a development journal to show deeper understanding of coding techniques and processes.

    • Digital Making (DAT444)

      This module covers fundamental topics on digital making and physical computing, providing an opportunity to develop interactive systems with the use of electronics, sensors, and physical outputs – such as lights and speakers. Through a series of practical lab-based sessions, students get hands-on experience in implementing their own digital systems for creative practice and artistic expression. Full access is given to maker space and digital fabrication facilities, which include design and making tools, such as 3D printers, laser-cutters, and CNC routers.

    • Media Design Practice (DAT445)

      This module focuses on digital media practice with contemporary tools that assist in developing engaging works in 2D, 3D, VFX, and animation formats. Design issues and technical production and distribution processes are investigated, combined with practical work with industry-standard software packages. Topics such as workflows, pipelines, assets, procedural creation, compositing, rendering, and more, are covered, providing rich content for producing professional media animations, 3D environments, and motion graphics.

    • Stage 1 Placement Preparation (FAPY100)

      If you’re undertaking a company placement in your third year, this module helps you find a suitable placement, and prepares you for the placement itself.

  • Year 2

  • In your second year, you build on your creative profile and improve your technical and critical skills. If you plan to choose the placement year, you get a chance to build your CV and portfolio. You are introduced to industrial-strength project management and planning, helping you develop your individual creative practice. Professional collaborations with industry will give you insights into the benefits of both individual and group ways of working.

    Core modules

    Programming Audiovisual Experiences (DAT551)

    The module addresses advanced topics in programming for digital artists and designers. This includes coverage of a range of development practices including generative art, visualization/sonification and interaction techniques, advanced algorithms for animation. The module expects students to engage with programming and media design practices in creating professional interactive audiovisual compositions.

    Creative Industries (DAT552)

    This module offers a comprehensive analysis of the contemporary creative industries. It explores the dynamic changes in key sectors that are brought about by the impact of new media technologies, quantified by a written response to the given context. Students will also in this module engage through a group research and development project to provide a speculative but achievable solution to a brief. Where possible this will be a live client.

    Experimental Media Lab (DAT553)

    This module primarily focuses on production skills in developing digital media artworks for the year exhibition. Students will take a hands-on approach to the production of innovative interactive content in line with the theme of the exhibition. With the guidance of the teaching staff, the students enhance their creative methodologies and critical understanding of their work situated within contemporary art and media contexts.

    Common Challenge: Virtuality & Immersion (DAT554)

    This module provides a firm introduction to virtuality and immersion – augmented reality, virtual reality, and dome environments. During this module, students explore and utilize a range of immersive technologies and design practices on subjects such as scientific simulation, virtual heritage, architectural visualization, and more. Techniques like 3D capture and photogrammetry are also introduced, and a range of resources are provided, such as AR and VR headsets, for developing complete immersive solutions, applications, and artworks. The module is optional, and it is recommended for students that are interested in pursuing specialization on immersive media.

  • Placement year

  • You have the opportunity to take an optional paid 48-week work placement that offers invaluable practical work experience. We recommend it because it not only enhances your final year of study but you’re also more likely to receive project sponsorship and immediate employment with your placement company after you graduate. You'll typically earn around £15,000–£20,000 pa (or more) during your placement year.

    Core modules

    • Digital Art and Technology/Internet Design Placement (FAPY604)

      An extend period of professional training (at least the duration of both teaching semesters - 36 weeks) spent as the third year of a sandwich programme undertaking an approved placement with a suitable company (either a paid placement or unpaid internship). This provides an opportunity for the student to gain relevant industrial experience to consolidate the first two stages of study and to prepare for the final stage and employment after graduation.

  • Final year

  • In your final year, you focus on your own particular areas of interest, with a creative bias, by following one of our exit pathways in game design, information design, or interaction design. This allows you to develop the skills relevant to industry and enhance your employability. You also undertake a final year dissertation on a topic of your choice with the guidance of your personal supervisor.

    Core modules

    Common Dissertation (ADA600)

    The module engages students in situating practice through research, contextualisation and critical reflection, in relation to their final stage study and post University aspirations. Programmes can offer: a traditional dissertation; preparation for an extended dissertation; situating existing practice; or the construction of a new body of work as practice-based research.

    BA Final Year Project & Showcase (DAT668)

    The Final Year Project (FYP) is student-led, negotiated through close liaison with an allocated supervisor. Students will create a creative, industry-standard and/or experimental piece of work that demonstrates their practical and theoretical skills in a given field or specialism. The students work will then be promoted and displayed at the end of year show, with the students helping to promote and organise the event.

    Optional modules

    Realtime (DAT661)

    This module develops audio, visual, immersive, and interaction production skills with the specific application to a public exhibition space with a predefined theme. Students will draw from a variety of sources, disciplines and media that they have explore to this point on the course.

    Everyware (DAT662)

    Through practical project work the module explores the evolution of the Internet of Things, the emergence of Pervasive Media and the application of Physical Computing. Projects are framed within a critical exploration of space as a cultural, social and technological phenomenon and models of architecture, communities and personal identity.

    Gameplay (DAT663)

    This module develops audio, visual, immersive, and interaction production skills with the specific application to video game design. Students will showcase the developed prototypes at a public games showcase event at the end of term.

    Venture Culture (DAT664)

    This module introduces students to the concepts of entrepreneurship through the practical exploration of individual, collaborative and organisational creative enterprise. Operating as a pragmatic vehicle for generating new ventures within the creative industries, the formation of prototype companies enables students to rehearse the commercialisation of their practice.

Every undergraduate taught course has a detailed programme specification document describing the course aims, the course structure, the teaching and learning methods, the learning outcomes and the rules of assessment.

The following programme specification represents the latest course structure and may be subject to change:

BA Hons Digital Media Design programme specification 5928

The modules shown for this course are those currently being studied by our students, or are proposed new modules. Please note that programme structures and individual modules are subject to amendment from time to time as part of the University’s curriculum enrichment programme and in line with changes in the University’s policies and requirements.

In light of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, the changeable nature of the situation and any updates to government guidance, we may need to make further, last minute adjustments to how we deliver our teaching and learning on some or all of our programmes, at any time during the academic year. We want to reassure you that even if we do have to adjust the way in which we teach our programmes, we will be working to maintain the quality of the student learning experience and learning outcomes at all times.
Entry requirements

UCAS tariff

96 - 112

A Levels
96–112 points, from a minimum of 2 A Levels; General Studies accepted.

International Baccalaureate
28 points.

BTEC
18 Unit BTEC National Diploma/QCF Extended Diploma: DMM.

BTEC National Diploma modules
If you hold a BTEC qualification, it is vital that you provide our Admissions team with details of the exact modules you have studied as part of the BTEC. Without this information we may be unable to process your application quickly and you could experience significant delays in the progress of your application to study with us. Please explicitly state the full list of modules within your qualification at the time of application.

Access Course
Pass a named Access to Higher Education Diploma with at least 33 credits at merit and/or distinction.

GCSE
Five passes including Mathematics and English Language grade C.

Equivalent qualifications may be considered.

We welcome applicants with international qualifications. To view other accepted qualifications, please refer to our tariff glossary.

Portfolio
Applicants are not required to share a portfolio with us; however, doing so may allow us to guarantee you a place or consider applications that do not meet the normal academic requirements. Phone or Skype interviews can be arranged if you cannot attend in person.

We would like to see examples of your work if you have them, such as:

- a portfolio of drawings, sketches, character or game designs.
- computer-based and online work: algorithmic artworks, web pages, games, blogs, etc.
- media: video, photographs, sound pieces and music.

Applicants must demonstrate a commitment to new media/digital production or the interactive arts.

Fees, costs and funding

The UK is no longer part of the European Union. EU applicants should refer to our Brexit information to understand the implications.

New Student 2021-2022 2022-2023
Home £9,250 £9,250
International £14,200 £14,600
Part time (Home) £770 £770
Full time fees shown are per annum. Part time fees shown are per 10 credits. Please note that fees are reviewed on an annual basis. Fees and the conditions that apply to them shown in the prospectus are correct at the time of going to print. Fees shown on the web are the most up to date but are still subject to change in exceptional circumstances. For more information about fees and funding please visit www.plymouth.ac.uk/money.

Additional costs

This course is delivered by the Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Business and more details of any additional costs associated with the faculty's courses are listed on the following page: Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Business additional costs.

How to apply
All applications for undergraduate courses are made through UCAS (Universities and Colleges Admissions Service). 

UCAS will ask for the information contained in the box at the top of this course page including the UCAS course code and the institution code. 

To apply for this course and for more information about submitting an application including application deadline dates, please visit the UCAS website.

Support is also available to overseas students applying to the University from our International Office via our how to apply webpage or email international-admissions@plymouth.ac.uk.

Become industry-ready

Experience gained from live industry briefs, practical workshops and engagement with industry leads to highly skilled and employable graduates.

Graduate success

Graduate success
"Without the teaching at University of Plymouth, Elixel just wouldn’t exist... they encourage students to be entrepreneurial and think big."

Where will your future take you?

Where will your future take you?
Creative director, digital consultant, interactive architect, game designer, digital artist, web designer, coder – the possibilities are endless.

Optional industry work placement<span class='gicon-star'></span>

Optional industry work placement
To enhance your degree experience and boost your future employability, you can choose to undertake a one-year paid industry work placement.

Follow our community on Instagram

Learn from experts in their field

* Please note that this course is the renamed BA (Hons) Digital Art and Technology.

** The results of the National Student Survey (NSS) and the Graduate Outcomes survey (GO) are made available to prospective students and their advisors through the Discover Uni website.