School of Art, Design and Architecture

BSc (Hons) Digital Art and Technology

Shape the future - break down barriers and see things in a new way. Become a smart thinker, and be ready for wherever this rapidly evolving industry will take you. You’ll experience a vibrant mix of theory and practice, combining creative and technical skills with cultural and new media theory. Choose a technical focus with the BSc - our graduates are among the world’s best game designers, digital artists, web designers, coders and creative thinkers.

Get ready for work - take an optional additional year and secure a paid placement with a company. You’ll gain invaluable experience that could lead to a job in a company such as MTV or Disney when you graduate. You’ll also get your horizons broadened with great enrichment activities including overseas field trips in Berlin, Helsinki and New York to attend conferences and visit galleries.

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 10pm, and take advantage of our other amazing facilities, including a 35 seat, 360° immersive vision theatre.
  • Customise your course with our unique exit awards, and choose from games design, information design and interaction design.
  • Your assessments are 100 per cent 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 an optional additional year and secure a paid placement with a company. You’ll gain invaluable experience that could lead to a job in a company such as IBM or Virgin Media when you graduate. 
  • Broaden your horizons with great enrichment activities including overseas field trips in Berlin, Helsinki and New York to attend conferences and visit galleries. 
  • Network, network, network – we have close links with industry leaders including SonyIBMVirgin Media and Kaspersky.
  • Get exclusive insights with talks from guest speakers from the creative arts and technology industries, such as Hannah WoodJaromil and Luke Jerram.
  • The course has excellent KIS results – 90 per cent of students agreed staff were good at explaining things; 90 per cent of students were satisfied overall and 90 per cent of students were in a professional/managerial job at six months (Unistats).

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
    • DAT402 Digital Culture

      This module introduces a theoretical and practical context for contemporary digital media practice. It explores the history of digital media, highlighting connections between pre-digital technologies and contemporary media forms. Practical workshops and a field trip provide a critical context for students work.

    • 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.

    • DAT403 Digital Media Design

      This module explores the evolution of digital media forms, from a technical and design perspective. Conventional media forms (print, film, photography, video and television), and contemporary 'Digital Media' forms are explored. Design issues and technical production and distribution processes are investigated.

    • DAT404 Web Technologies

      Emphasis is placed on the development of practical and creative web design skills for the production and programming of online interactive multimedia, experimenting with issues such as navigation, hyper media, narrative, representation, game and interactivity.

    • DAT405 Creative Coding

      This module provides an introduction to programming for digital artists and designers. The syllabus, topics, examples and style of teaching are designed to support interaction, graphics, video, animation, sound, embedded systems and integration with live data sources.

    • DAT406PP Digital Making

      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. This is a Plymouth Plus module.

    • DAT401 Strategies for Digital Art and Technology

      This module introduces students to practical and creative processes. Activities foster experimentation and conceptual understanding of design processes, establishing strategies and critical conceptual skills, combined with technical production skills. Students are expected to develop an online presence through this module.

  • Year 2
  • In your second year, you’ll build on your creative profile and improve your technical and critical skills. If you intend 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
    • DAT505 Advanced Creative Coding

      This module addresses advanced topics in programming for digital artists. This includes coverage of different development paradigms, advanced algorithms and essential APIs for effective creative software development. The module engages students on how code is used in a 'generative' or creative fashion - such as a-life and artificial intelligence.

    • DAT501 Strategies for Digital Art & Technology

      This module provides students with further practical and creative methodologies to support their digital practice, developing a critical understanding of the relationship of their work to historical and contemporary contexts. Students develop creative strategies to produce self-directed experimental projects that inform their Final Stage Award Theme choice.

    • 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

    • DAT503 Reflexive Design

      This module provides students with an introduction to contemporary design processes from conception through development, to realisation. Supported by a critical examination of cultural artefacts, the module demands students synthesise a design practice with an understanding of historical, human-centred, environmental and educational principles.

    • DAT504 Advanced Web Technologies

      This module provides students with opportunities to further develop their interactive web-based media design and production skills. Emphasis is placed on a critical understanding of the context and an experimental approach to creative production. A focus is placed on developing creative skills and strategies to deliver professional quality projects.

    • 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.

    • 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.

  • 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, you’re also more likely to receive project sponsorship and immediate employment with your placement company after you graduate. You will 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 an industrial 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
    • 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.

    • DAT611 BSc 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.

    Optional modules
    • DAT602 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.

    • DAT601 Realtime

      This module develops audio and visual production skills with a specific application to the manifestation of information drawn from a variety of sources, disciplines and media. Students will develop techniques for rendering visual and acoustic representations across a range of resolutions through animation, illustration, dynamic data, and immersive dome environments.

    • DAT604 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.

    • DAT605 Premediation

      This module offers students technical and conceptual skills to experiment and innovate with live, immersive 2D and 3D audio-visual media. In workshops, seminars and live projects, students will create applications and projects informed by experimental approaches to live a/v computing in a variety of artistic, cultural and industrial contexts, exploring the use of media technologies to model and shape human perception and expectation, through mediation and premediation.

    • DAT603 Gameplay

      This module explores games design, entertainment systems and the broader field of 'play' within a technological context. Student centred practical projects will be informed through a grounding in relevant cultural, social, psychological and economic theory.

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:

BSc Hons Digital Art Technology 4315

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.

Entry requirements

International baccalaureate
28 points.

18 Unit BTEC National Diploma/QCF Extended Diploma

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

Five passes including Mathematics and English language grade C.

Equivalent qualifications may be considered.

English language requirements.

For a full list of all acceptable qualifications please refer to our tariff glossary.


Applicants must attend an interview. 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

New students 2016-17

Full time Home/EU* International**   Islands***
Undergraduate (Classroom based) £9,000 £12,250 £9,000
Undergraduate (Laboratory based) £9,000 £12,500 £9,000
Science and Engineering - Year Zero £9,000 £12,500 £9,000
Management, Government and Law  - Year Zero £7,500 £10,300 £9,000
2 year fast-track (Business only) £9,000 £12,250 £9,000
Integrated Masters (Classroom based) £9,000 £12,250 £9,000
Integrated Masters (Laboratory based) £9,000 £12,500 £9,000
Master of Architecture (MArch) £9,000 £12,250 £9,000
PGCE £9,000 £12,250 £9,000
Management Practice (Online) (First year - part time) tbc £3,996 tbc

Part time (per 10 credits) Home/EU* International**   Islands***
Undergraduate (Classroom based) £750 £1,025 £750
Undergraduate (Laboratory based) £750 £1,045 £750
Science and Engineering - Year Zero £750 £1,045 £750
Management, Government and Law  - Year Zero £625 £860 £625
Integrated Masters (Classroom based) £750 £1,025 £750
Integrated Masters (Laboratory based) £750 £1,045 £750
PGCE £750 £1,025 £750

*The tuition fee for UK students transferring to Plymouth University from a partner institution is £9,000.
**Please refer to the policy for capping of international student tuition fees.

***‘Islands’ refers to fees for both the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man.

Continuing students

Please note some fees for continuing students may differ slightly.

For a full listing please visit our fees for continuing students 2016-17 page.

Further information

Download our fees brochure

Read our Student Fee Policy for the Ordinary Degree route

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

  • @ 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

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