School of Art, Design and Architecture

BA (Hons) Digital Media Design

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 creative focus with the BA - 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.*

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A top 10 UK Young University for Art, Design and Architecture

Times Higher Education Young University Rankings 2019

Apply through Clearing for September 2019

Clearing is the last opportunity to achieve a place this September.

If you are yet to apply to the University of Plymouth you can pre-register for Clearing to receive priority treatment on results day.

Apply through Clearing

Careers with this subject

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 course 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 MTV or Disney 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 Sony, IBM, Virgin Media and Kaspersky.
  • Get exclusive insights with talks from guest speakers from the creative arts and technology industries, such as Hannah Wood, Jaromil and Luke Jerram.

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.

    • 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.

    • DAT406 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.

    • DAT411 Disruptive Design Strategies

      This module introduces students to practical and creative processes that encourage experimentation and foster critical thinking. Through conceptual understanding of artistic practice combined with technical production skills in a range of areas, such as 2D and 3D design, digital fabrication, and physical computing (electronics and microcontrollers), students are expected to develop physical prototypes and media outputs that demonstrate innovative thinking within a multi-disciplinary context. Induction is given to a fully-equipped maker space, digital fabrication suites, and a 360° Immersive Vision Theatre.

    • DAT413 Media Design Practice

      This module offers 100% digital media design 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, such as Adobe Creative Cloud and Autodesk. Topics such as workflows, pipelines, assets, procedural creation, compositing, rendering, and more, are covered, providing rich content for producing professional media animations 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
    • DAT632 BA Final Year Project

      The Final Year Project is student-led, negotiated through close liaison with an allocated supervisor. Students are expected to develop a creative, practical industry-standard project, accompanied with a written work that demonstrates sophisticated research methods, a critical engagement to theoretical discourses and debates, an understanding of production processes, and a developed awareness of markets, audiences, and industrial contexts. The practical element needs to comprise of a significant digital media production that is innovative and experimental in its approach and placed within a contemporary framework. Resources such as software, hardware, and labs, as well as tutorials in research and writing are given to the students to ensure they are fully-equipped to produce a sophisticated result. The final works are exhibited on the Degree Show at the end of the school year.

    Optional modules
    • DAT621 Realtime Performativity

      This module prepares students for the future of web and Internet systems by introducing them to state-of-the-art and currently emerging technologies in this area, with an aim to develop practical and theoretical techniques that inform the production of complex web systems. The module makes extensive use of the IBM WebSphere and its applications on the Smarter Planet initiative, which presents innovative solutions for industries, cities, and whole societies by utilizing intelligent connectivity, cognitive computing applications, automation, and optimized data-driven systems. The module is optional, and it is recommended for students that are interested in pursuing specialization on web development.

    • DAT624 Venture Cultures

      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. By the end of this module, students have in place a business plan for a start-up company of a digital product or service related to their field of expertise, i.e. interactive design, web development, immersive media, gaming, Internet of Things, etc. Industry experts are invited frequently to provide guidance for the students¿ projects, and to give valuable advice and feedback for the final project outcomes. The module is optional.

    • DAT625 Machine Learning for Artistic Practice

      This module covers machine learning and its applications within the areas of digital media, such as big data and visualization, automation, conversational agents, and voice, face, and sentiment recognition systems. The students are given a comprehensive historical overview of ¿intelligent¿ computational agents, from cybernetics to DeepMind, Microsoft Cognitive Toolkit, Baidu AI, and IBM Watson, and they focus on understanding and implementing contemporary development practices in machine learning and Artificial Intelligence, with an emphasis on creative applications for artistic practice. The module is optional, and it is recommended for students that are interested in pursuing a BSc degree and a specialization on information design.

    • GAD621 Gameplay and X-Reality

      This module explores contemporary frameworks for gameplay and virtual environments (AR, VR, XR), with a focus on production methodologies and the broader field of ¿play¿ within a creative and technological context. It provides a grounding in relevant cultural, social, psychological, and economic theories, as well as strategies for synthesis of design and production of experimental prototypes. Practical workshops cover game development platforms (3D modelling and animation, game engines, motion capture systems), as well as speculative and emerging environments for AR/VR/XR development, including headsets, tracking technologies, and sensory-based systems. The module is optional, and it is recommended for students that are interested in pursuing specialization on game design and immersive media.

    • INDE621 The Future Web

      This module prepares students for the future of web and Internet systems by introducing them to state-of-the-art and currently emerging technologies in this area, with an aim to develop practical and theoretical techniques that inform the production of complex web systems. The module makes extensive use of the IBM WebSphere and its applications on the Smarter Planet initiative, which presents innovative solutions for industries, cities, and whole societies by utilizing intelligent connectivity, cognitive computing applications, automation, and optimized data-driven systems. The module is optional, and it is recommended for students that are interested in pursuing specialization on web development.

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 2019 20 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.

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.

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

Portfolio

Applicants must attend share their portfolio with us. 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

EU applicants should refer to our dedicated Brexit webpage for details of the implications of the UK’s plans to leave the European Union.

New Student 2018 2019
Home/EU £9,250 £9,250
International £13,000 £13,400
Part time (Home/EU) To be confirmed To be confirmed
Full time fees shown are per annum. Part time fees shown are per a number of 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.

Additional costs

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

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

**The results of the National Student Survey (NSS) and the Destination of Leavers from Higher Education survey (DLHE) are made available to prospective students and their advisors through the Unistats website.