School of Art, Design and Architecture

BA (Hons) Digital Media Design

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 skills. You’ll get a chance to make games, websites, apps, 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 in digital creative industries worldwide – including Apple, Nintendo, Spotify and Sony.

With extensive use of our Immersive Media Lab, Digital Fabrication Lab and high-end computer suites you’ll work across Adobe, full-stack web development and Unity/Unreal game engines. The course includes working on live industry briefs and even launching your own business. Transferable skills like research and analysis are supported throughout and assessment is 100% coursework.

A top 10 UK young university for subjects of art, design and architecture

Times Higher Education Young University Rankings 2020

University of Plymouth ranked top for Design & Crafts in the Guardian's 2021 university rankings

  • 1st for 'Satisfied with Course' (92.5/100)
  • 2nd for 'Satisfied with Teaching' (92.7/100)
  • 7th overall for Design & Crafts (90.8/100)
Register in advance for Clearing

We'll give you a call on A level results day to discuss your place at Plymouth, meaning there's one less thing to worry about.

Find out more about Clearing

Careers with this subject

Our students go into exciting careers 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

Advice from graduate Gavin Jones:

"If you have the opportunity to do a placement as part of your course, take it. Don’t just sit back and expect a placement to come to you: spend time connecting and contacting organisations you are interested in. Real industry experience is a highly valuable thing moving forward after university, and it can have a positive long term effect on your career."

Read more from Gavin in his case study.

Key features

  • Stay one step ahead with a programme designed in close collaboration with industry leaders to ensure technologies, skills and techniques are bang up to date.
  • Access all areas – keep working into the evening in our dedicated lab space open until 10.00pm, and take advantage of our other amazing facilities, including a 35 seat, 360° immersive vision theatre.
  • Your assessments are 100% coursework – no exams!
  • Be inspired by lecturers who are experts in their field, with backgrounds in both industry and research. The exciting work going on in our research groups, i-DAT and Transtech, feeds back into the teaching on this course.
  • Get ready for work - take the optional Placement Year (after your second year) and secure a paid placement in industry. You’ll gain invaluable professional experience.
  • Our 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.
  • Professional networking is vital within the creative industries – we embed our students within local, national and international networks, conferences and festivals such as Digital Plymouth, Art Futura, CodeMotion and Transmediale
  • Get exclusive insights with talks from guest speakers from the creative arts and technology industries.

Course details
  • Year 1
  • In your first year, you’ll get a grounding in the digital media, software, technologies and production techniques needed throughout the course. You’ll also gain a critical understanding of the theory behind digital media and the social, cultural and industrial contexts in which they operate. You’ll be 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
    • DAT441 Disruptive Design Strategies

      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.

    • DAT442 Digital Cultures

      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.

    • DAT443 Creative Coding

      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.

    • DAT444 Digital Making

      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.

    • DAT445 Media Design Practice

      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.

    • FAPY100 Stage 1 Placement Preparation

      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’ll build on your creative profile and improve your technical and critical skills. If you plan to choose the placement year, you’ll get a chance to build your CV and portfolio. You’ll be 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
    • DAT502 Creative Industries

      This module explores the dynamic changes that are sweeping through traditional media and communications industries, brought about by the impact of new technologies. It explores, through group production projects, the practical issues underpinning the management of distributed organisations. The module includes an international field trip

    • DAT506 Emerging Technology

      This module introduces students to a key set of digital technologies that are core to the production of current digital artwork. This will include exposure to a wide range of software, hardware and networking components commonly used by digital artists and designers.

    • DAT511 Experimental Media Lab

      This module offers 100% production skills in developing digital media artworks for the year exhibition. Students have hands-on experience with computational media and experimental technologies, which help them to produce innovative interactive content. 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. For the needs of this module students have full access to a maker space with state-of-the-art prototyping resources, digital fabrication facilities, as well as a 360° Immersive Vision Theatre.

    • DAT513 Data-Driven Design

      This module aims to inform and equip students with computational media and data-driven design skills, highlighting their importance and implications on a wide range of practices and applications within contemporary media environments and industries. Students get to develop from conception through development, to realisation, their own physical and digital prototypes with creative coding, data visualization, locative media, augmented reality, and human-computer interaction. In addition, the module introduces students to the Internet of Things and related systems and technologies, including the IBM Cloud and Bluemix.

    • DAT515 Programming Audiovisual Experiences

      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, APIs and open data services, as well as WebGL, WebAudio and WebVR frameworks. The module expects students to engage with programming and media design practices in creating professional interactive audiovisual compositions.

    • FAPY200 Stage 2 Placement Preparation

      Building on the Level 1 module (FAPY100), this module continues to support you with the search for your placement and preparation for the placement itself.

    Optional modules
    • DAT514 Full-Stack Web Development

      The module equips students with practical skills on ¿full-stack¿ development, creating content for high-end architectures for web applications, utilizing clients, servers, and databases. Students are expected to use appropriate tools and programming languages, test and debug their applications, use tools for version control, and apply their skills and knowledge to design, develop and deploy a web application of professional quality. The module is optional, and it is recommended for students that are interested in pursuing specialization on web development.

    • DAT517 Virtuality and Immersion

      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.

  • Year 3
  • 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, 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
    • FAPY604 Digital Art and Technology/Internet Design Placement

      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’ll 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 will allow you to develop the skills relevant to industry and enhance your employability. You'll also undertake a final year dissertation on a topic of your choice, with the guidance of your personal supervisor.

    Core modules
    • DAT612 BA Final Year Project

      The project is student led, negotiated through close liaison with an allocated supervisor and developed from a student's particular interests. The project comprises of a significant digital media production that should be innovative and experimental in its approach and placed within a critical context. The chosen Project should address one of the four Award themes.

    • DAT613 Dissertation

      This module provides the opportunity to research a topic in depth, using both primary and secondary sources. Students are encouraged to develop research methodologies for collating and synthesising data and concepts in order to present their findings and arguments clearly and persuasively. The outcome will be a dissertation.

    Optional modules
    • DAT661 Realtime

      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.

    • DAT662 Everyware

      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.

    • DAT663 Gameplay

      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.

    • DAT664 Venture Culture

      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.

    • INDE601 Netscapes

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:

BABSc Hons Digital Media Design Programme Specification 2019 2020 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.

English language requirements.

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 designs or game design.
- computer-based and online work: algorithmic artworks, web pages, games, blogs etc.
- media: video, photographs, sound pieces, music.

Applicants must demonstrate a commitment to new media/digital production or 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
Home £9,250 To be confirmed
International £14,200 To be confirmed
Part time (Home) £770 To be confirmed
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.

  • @ Customise your course with unique exit awards
  • ' Access to the dedicated lab space, and a 35 seat, 360° immersive vision theatre
  • , Great enrichment activities including overseas field trips
  • A Close links with industry leaders

Re-construction of a memory

Tom Teague, Digital Art and Technology

@91 - a 3D tactile interactive audio installation

Kate Fierek, Digital Art and Technology

Message Box

Saul Hardman, Digital Art and Technology

Command Control

Sam Billingham, Digital Art and Technology

Graduate success

The most important things I learnt from DAT are thinking outside the box and to become an all-around digital guru. Not many programmers can also be good at ideas and design. It was great to have a course with such variety.

Graduate Kseniya Volkova develops iPhone and iPad applications.

Find out more about our successful students and graduates

People

*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.