Areas of study
- Multi-disciplinary practice across digital and analogue mediums
- Animation and motion design for story-telling and visual communication
- Experimental image making, visual effects and video editing
- Applied principles of graphic design and illustration in a digital context
- Experimentation with augmented and virtual reality
- Brand development and promotional design campaigns
- Screen-based typography and its potential applications
- Professional practice opportunities including live briefs and placements
- Narrative and storytelling through documentary and fiction-based projects using both linear and non-linear narratives.
Briony Keay on why she chose Design for Digital Media at Brighton and her experiences of her time here.
In year 1, you will explore the practical and analytical uses for screen-based graphic design, through a series of projects. Your work will be nurtured and developed through both group and personal tutorials, and inspired by a series of lectures from visiting industry professionals.
Under the guidance of expert teaching staff, you will immerse yourself in an exciting programme of lectures and workshops, shaping your projects and building your portfolio as you progress through the year.
- Design Principles and Practice
This module will introduce you to the basic concepts and components of image making and design for digital media, with a focus towards the principles of screen-based illustration and graphic design. You will investigate practically and analytically, the relationship between composition and form through a series of projects that will establish a fundamental understanding of digital visual communication. The module will introduce you to basic working methods and studio practices whilst exploring emerging digital delivery formats.
This module introduces the basic concepts, components and practices of graphic design, illustration, animation and games art, focusing on imaginative and targeted visual communication through a digital outcome. You will investigate fundamental design principles through a series of projects that will explore and define working methods and studio practices.
- Sequence and Narrative
This module introduces the basic concepts and components of sequence and narrative within illustration, graphic design animation and games art. Project briefs enable you to explore story telling, form, pacing, play, presentation and audience interaction. You'll also be introduced to basic working methods and studio practices whilst exploring emerging digital delivery formats.
- Motion Principles and Practice
This module introduces the foundations of 2D computer motion graphics, and animation principles and techniques enabling you to create simple animated graphic sequences for multiformat delivery.
- Historical and Critical Studies
This module includes a broad history of visual communication. You'll focusing on new technologies and digital media, the impact the digital revolution has on the culture of graphic design, illustration, art, film, as well as the development of animation, games art, and social media.
Making sure that what you learn with us is relevant, up to date and what employers are looking for is our priority, so courses are reviewed and enhanced on an ongoing basis. When you have applied to us, you’ll be told about any new developments through Student View.
Subjects you will explore include:
- moving image, design history and new developments in digital graphic design
- how to storyboard ideas and sequence complex graphic information
- how to use a range of digital and analogue cameras, professional-standard digital editing facilities (including those for sound production), green-screen studios and animation techniques
- how to create and code online applications.
In year 2, you will focus on developing your creative potential, building on knowledge gained during your first year.
The projects you will be set have strong links with industry, so that the skills you learn and practise reflect those that employers are looking for.
You will be encouraged to work collaboratively with your fellow students to develop ambitious, large-scale projects within the local and wider professional community. Your research and analytical skills will be developed through group discussion and documentation of project outcomes.
You will also be able to experiment with image production and alternative content; exploring a broader approach to source material such as 16mm film, found footage, staged environments and animated sequences.
- Virtual Studio
- Visual Language and Personal Voice
- Expanding Motion Principles and Practice
- Historical and Critical Studies 2
- Option module programme
*Option modules are indicative and may change, depending on timetabling and staff availability.
In your final year, the knowledge and skills that you have developed so far come together as you work on a final personal project. You will also write a dissertation in conjunction with Historical and Critical Studies.
Final year lectures and tutorials are taught by teaching staff and by visiting industry professionals. They include practical information about professional development, preparing you for your professional or academic life after university, and one-to one personal tutorials offering in-depth, personalised support for your continued development.
- Context and Consolidation
- Virtual Studio – Design for Digital Media
- Professional Practice
- Extended Research Project.
Sara Ehrlichova, 2019 graduate, won the Nagoya University of the Arts Incentive Award for her final-year project.
Meet the team
Our course tutors are active industry professionals, including graphic designers, film-makers, video artists, animators, installation artists, writers and game developers, who will guide you and enable you to create innovative and experimental work in new media fields.
Vanessa Marr, course leader
Vanessa is a graphic designer, illustrator writer/researcher and auto-ethnographer. She is also teaches on Animation BA(Hons) and Games Art and Design BA(Hons). She has taught for over 10 years and is passionate about supporting her students to become skilled and imaginative designers.
Her professional design experience includes working for a number of design agencies to produce print, web and motion design; as an Art Editor for Dorling Kindersley in London; and running her own design agency for over 10 years.
Her academic work takes a critical view of the hidden language of objects and fairy tales, which she explores primarily through embroidery and creative writing. Her work is underpinned by visual design theory and process, yet embraces an intuitive and physical approach that facilitates self-authorship and her continuing exploration of narrative and sequence. Read Vanessa Marr's full profile.
Other members of staff include:
Ewan Kirkland, principal lecturer
Ewan is a specialist in animation history and a video game scholar focussing on horror gaming. He is the author of Children’s Media and Modernity exploring children’s film, television and video games. He is a frequent guest speaker at fan conventions and the lead academic on Historical and Critical Studies and Extended Research Project.
Since joining the university in 2010, Ewan has taught extensively in film, media and cultural studies, including popular television, screen histories, new media, merchandising and fantasy cinema. In addition. Read Ewan's full profile.
Kate Jessop, senior lecturer
Kate is a multi-award winning animation film maker who has had multiple exhibits and international distribution deals including with Shorts International and Amazon Prime.
She represented the UK in the Best of Women in Film and TV and was selected for the Berlinale Talent Lab both with her portfolio as a director and her with her comedy series chosen for development in the Project Lab. She had her first retrospective at the Gilbert Baker Film festival in USA 2019.
She has worked across narrative film, comedy, illustration, live visuals, music video and motion design and undertaken international artist residencies. Her areas of interest and expertise include satirical comedy, visual music/music video, kinetic typography and motion graphics, artists film, documentary, Dada, Bauhaus and feminist film. Favourite directors include Michel Gondry and Miranda July and favourite animated shows include Daria and Bojack Horseman. Read Kate's full profile.
Judith Ricketts, lecturer
Judith is an artist and creative coder specialising in mobile, screen based and immersive serious games. Her areas of expertise include photography, moving image, creative coding, augmented reality, virtual reality and data analysis with a focus on immersive interactive storytelling.
She has been a guest speaker at events such as FACT//University of Sussex, Heritage Network Brighton and Hove, Brighton Digital Festival and Digital Inequalities on subjects related to digital humanities and digital geographies.
She is also a visiting lecturer on the university's Photography BA(Hons) and is board member of the Centre of Digital Cultures and involved in outreach as a STEM Ambassador.