Creative Coding Foundations
Salford School of Arts, Media and Creative Technology
In a nutshell
People who can both design and prototype interactive technology are in high demand within the creative industries. There are many opportunities that span from web and user experience work, all the way through to corporate research and development, marketing and branding, museum and galleries, E-Commerce, gaming, simulation, virtual production, extended reality (XR) - these are just some of the sectors you might choose to enter with a Creative Computing degree.
According to the World Economic Forum, “We stand on the brink of a technological revolution that will fundamentally alter the way we live, work, and relate to one another”. The emergence of digital technology and its impact on the creative economy is having a disruptive effect on society. These changes make an urgent call for the development of professionals with “createch” skills, able to effortlessly blend creative and technical proficiency in solving real-world problems.
This programme has been designed to develop professionals equipped with the skills and the confidence to use computing technology as a creative and expressive medium.
Over the course of three years, you will develop into a digital maker, equipped with creative problem-solving skills and an in-depth understanding of well-established and emergent technologies.
- use computing technology as a creative and expressive medium to solve real-world problems
- develop your understanding of the key debates and future directions of computing technology
- develop entrepreneurial and managerial skills, working in multidisciplinary teams
- have opportunities to engage with leading creative computing industries in collaborative projects and briefs
- develop your professional identity, network and community
This is for you if...
You like to experiment and get things working
You are passionate about digital technology and interaction design
You are creative, inquisitive and inventive
All about the course
The curriculum within this Creative Computing programme will hone your creative and technical abilities by equipping you with the capability to solve a range of challenging design problems:
Modules focused on technical and specialist skills will provide you with proficiency and confidence in a range of cutting-edge technologies, coding, programming languages and development techniques.
Industry-led collaboration briefs will develop your design thinking, team-based and management skills, working on complex briefs set by our industry partners. These briefs will open opportunities for industry placements along with a strong portfolio showcasing your work.
Modules centred on critical contextual skills will provide you with the conceptual tools and research skills to critically analyse your creative practice, leading to the production of a dissertation in your final year.
Lastly, the module ‘Professional Development’ will help you to form a professional identity, clear strategy, and online portfolio for the successful start of your career.
The Creative Computing degree runs over three years and is designed to progressively build competence across both skill-based technologies and creative problem solving. The modules are intertwined and provide both theoretical and practice-based learning opportunities, building confidence as you progress. Don't worry if some of these concepts are new to you - you will be supported by your tutors along the way, helping to prepare you for rewarding professional employment when you graduate.
This module is a gentle introduction to computer science from a creative perspective. Coding principles will be conveyed through practical examples in our designated labs, allowing you to develop understanding of programming principles, structures, and patterns through rapid tangible outputs. A great deal of support and guidance will be offered to all students within this module.
Maths for Computing
A fundamental knowledge of the mathematical principles required for creative computing is an important part of the journey and development of foundation competence. These sessions are engaging, fast paced and enjoyable, and aim to convey understanding through practical, creative workshops. All of our receive considerable support so you can get the most out of this module.
Introduction to Creative Play
This module encourages you to develop an understanding of playfulness and creative risk taking in broad contexts of digital design. It will aim to show links between risk-taking and innovation and present case studies outlining the value of ‘failure’ in optimising success.
Web Design and Development
An understanding of both historical and contemporary web develop is a critical part of your learning. This module conveys through practice an understanding of web architecture, the core technologies and frameworks, and the pipelines required to go from concept through to prototype, testing and product release. The module looks at cross platform development as well as the integration of emergent technologies in the surfing experience.
This module explores the process of generating artforms using code. From pixel art and interactive painting effects to live interactive video processing. Building upon foundation coding skills this module applies a host of maths algorithms to solve complex visual processes. The module also considers the use of shader technology with GPU rendering for special effects. Following this module, you will have a strong foundation knowledge of how computing can power artist endeavours across varied applications.
The module will develop your awareness of the benefits of collaborative practice between different specialisms and the relationship between design and business. Where possible, the module will allow you to work on an engaging project alongside a live client and/or collaborate with other programmes within the school or wider University.
A solid understanding of data, format, processing, and storage is a critical part of designing quality interactive experiences. This module is a general introduction to data science, dealing first with fundamental server technologies and architecture, before exploring emergent cloud-based solutions and services. This module will allow you to develop a practical project which will help you build the competence to design and build efficient backend foundations for your applications.
This module introduces the concept of artificial intelligence, the history and the future direction. The huge positive impact of the technology is explored as well as the concerns raised by some that caution needs to take precedent as we move forward. The module is more theoretical in nature and considers AI from a both a philosophical as well as a technical prospective. It explores the prospect for advances and the disruptive nature of AI technologies, the opportunities, limitations, and ethics.
Introduction to XR Design and Development
This module explores the background of XR and its emerging application across the broad spectrum of industries. Utilising a range of technologies of emergent and experimental technologies you will learn how to design and build an XR experiences. This module is practice based research culminating that will culminate in a working prototype with self-reflective writing on the XR technology as a whole solution. This module is supported by the purpose build Digital Lab at our MediaCity campus.
The Creative Computing degree provides you with a strong all-round understanding of the field, but it is recognised that developing a deep level of knowledge and understanding in a certain area of interest provides you with a genuine level of expertise and increases the probability of high-level employment. The Dissertation module in the final year provides this opportunity, but you need to hit the ground running. This module allows you to explore the landscape, identity areas of value and develop preliminary research for your final written or practice-based dissertation.
This module explores the way computing has now become ubiquitous within the physical world. It explores the phenomenon of mobile computing that now exists within our pockets, it considers the advent of the internet of things, IoT, where not only humans but devices are now connected and feeding the digital network. The module considers how physical computing can augment our world experiences, how advanced interfaces can expand the way humans interact with the network and the possible opportunities of a future interconnected world.
Games and Virtual Worlds
Within this module you will receive a detailed overview of games technologies, production pipelines, and games engines. You will consider the code required to build interactive experiences alongside the required processes for the generation and implementation of 3D environmental assets. This module will look at the ways game technologies are used within augmented experiences, virtual media production, simulation, and serious applications. This module will aim to equip you with both the knowledge and competence to build gaming experiences through hands on workshops and a practice-based project.
Within this module you will initially focus on the realities of the digital jobs market and creative industries. You will be encouraged to investigate the personas of practicing professionals and the structure of the companies you identify as relevant to your career progression. Subsequent sessions will ask challenging questions of your capability through a positive lens. This process is intended to identify strengths and possible short falls before building a structured plan to develop capabilities and address any gaps. You will be asked to develop a professional persona based on where you would like to be positioned in the coming years. All other learning and project elements will then be built around a persona statement. You will learn how to best communicate your persona and how to align work examples to support your persona statement, and you will learn how to strategically plan a pathway into employment, which will include contingency. This module is designed to build awareness, a focused personal vision, capability, and a road map into employment.
Digital Project Management
Developing contemporary digital products can be challenging, the management of multidisciplinary teams, utilisation and development of emergent technologies, creative software development, governance, legislation, adoption, and ongoing support are but some of the considerations required through the life cycle of a product. This module will help you explore the bigger picture and equip you with a perspective and management methodologies employed by today's software development teams. The module will be project based and deliver a valuable showcase for your professional development.
Creative Industry Challenge
This module is all about live briefs from industry. The University sources projects from industry partners that explores innovative challenges. The module presents the opportunity for you to demonstrate and develop your visionary creative capacity and this module will again form an excellent showcase piece within your professional development.
Within this module you will have the opportunity to develop a purely written or practice-based dissertation. This process has proved invaluable in supporting students to find their first employment opportunities, as it allows you to build a contemporary area of expertise. The module also equips students with the necessary academic skills required to progress to master's degree or PhD. The module is supported through a network of passionate academics. Elements typically covered within the module include practise-based research, qualitative and quantitative research, critical evaluation, advanced academic writing, research strategies and reflective practice.
The major project draws together everything you have learned and experienced during your time at university. With support from academic staff and industry this module allows students to define their own project based on individual interests, aptitude, and trajectory into employment. The project will be practice based and result in a tangible artifact. The project could span from entertainment to the serious application of technology. Expected outputs will include a lightweight creative development document, experimental outputs and a preliminary prototype. Evaluation and testing will be conducted, and communication and marketing materials produced, the flexibility of this project is what makes it so exciting, and students are encouraged to take risks bound in a creative, supportive well-equipped environment.
Please note that it may not be possible to deliver the full list of options every year as this will depend on factors such as how many students choose a particular option. Exact modules may also vary in order to keep content current. When accepting your offer of a place to study on this programme, you should be aware that not all optional modules will be running each year. Your tutor will be able to advise you as to the available options on or before the start of the programme. Whilst the University tries to ensure that you are able to undertake your preferred options, it cannot guarantee this.
What Will I be Doing?
You are taught through a combination of lectures, seminars, and practical workshop sessions. Seminars enable you to discuss and develop your understanding of topics covered in lectures in smaller groups. In addition, you have timetabled meetings with your personal tutor.
You use industry-standard design software and have access to engineering and computer laboratory facilities throughout your course.
At level 4 you typically have around 15 contact hours per week, typically consisting of:
9 hours of lectures.
2 hours of seminars.
3 hours of supervised lab practical.
1 hours of one-to-one meetings.
When not attending lectures, seminars and laboratory or other timetabled sessions you will be expected to continue learning independently through self-study. We advise you should take around 30 hours of independent study per week. Typically, this will involve reading journal articles and books, working on individual and group projects, undertaking research in the library, preparing coursework assignments and presentations, and preparing for examinations. Your independent learning is supported by a range of excellent facilities, including the library, the learning zone, and our engineering and computer laboratories.
This programme is assessed via coursework, not exam. Assessment methods include a range of coursework assessments such as essays, reports, portfolios, performance, presentations, and your final year major project. The grades from formal assessments count towards your module mark.
BE A PART OF A CREATIVE, SUPPORTIVE COMMUNITY
All our Creative Digital Media and Gaming courses are delivered by the Salford School of Arts, Media, and Creative Technology. Our focus is to ensure that you have the skills you need to pursue your dreams, and we encourage our students, past and present, to collaborate with each other and achieve great things.
Each year - through the Create Awards – our School rewards the incredible achievements and successes of our final year and postgraduate students.
Whatever you choose to study with us, you’ll be mentored and supported by experts. And once you graduate, it won’t end there. You’ll join a thriving alumni network across Greater Manchester and beyond, meaning you’ll be supported professionally and personally whenever you need it.
Our MediaCity and Peel Park facilities are industry-standard, so much so that they are used by our industry partners themselves.
When you study with us, you’ll learn from our experienced tutors and demonstrators, who’ll teach you how to use our facilities. These include:
- Digital labs – use the latest XR equipment in an space especially designed for virtual and augmented reality development.
- Fabrication labs - bring your designs to life using 3D scanners and printers, power tools and a range of art and craft materials.
- Computer Suites and Editing Studios – our computer suites are equipped with the latest industry-standard software. You’ll learn from our experienced demonstrators, who’ll teach you the skills needed to turn your concepts into a reality.
- Green screen facilities - these allow you to create effects such as those you see on weather reports and incorporates a camera system and 3D graphics software.
- Equipment stores - we have a fully equipped equipment store available for you to use in your projects.
What about after uni?
Upon graduation, students will apply their skills into a range of existent as well as emerging roles, including but not limited to Web development (Front/Backend), App development, Game Development, Multimedia, Interface Design, XR, VR, AR, and Digital Project Management.
You might choose to pursue Master's or PhD level study.
Our Creative Computing degree course benefits from established partnerships with creative companies in the UK. These industry relationships work on different levels ranging from guest lecturers, live briefs, placement opportunities and extra-curricular activities. These include the BBC, Matmi New Media, Trunk Manchester, Yippee Entertainment and Carbon Digital, among others.
What you need to know
We are looking for students who are passionate about digital technology and interaction design, we want creative, inquisitive, inventive individuals. We are looking for students who are bright and energetic, and who love innovation. We want you to be excited by creative coding and scripting and like to experiment and get things working. This course is for individuals who can think independently and are motivated to deliver and get the job done.
To gain a place on this BSc (Hons) Creative Computing, we will need to see what you can do. As part of your application process, you should provide a portfolio of your previous work. This might include graphic design, interface design, application design or examples of creative programming.
You will also submit a personal statement as part of your submission. A personal statement is a summary (500 words) of your academic, professional/life experience and future goals. We want to understand:
What motivates you and what you have learnt on your academic journey so far
Why you want to work into the digital sector, and
Why the University of Salford and this course is right your future goals
English Language and Maths at grade C/level 4 or above (or equivalent).
You must fulfil our GCSE entry requirements as well as one of the requirements listed below.
96 - 112 points
96 - 112 UCAS points
BTEC National Diploma
MMM - DMM
96 - 112 points
Irish Leaving Certificate
96 - 112 points
We accept qualifications from all around the world. Find your country to see a full list of entry requirements.
If you are an international student and not from a majority English speaking country, you will need IELTS 6.5 with no element below 5.5.
Salford Alternative Entry Scheme (SAES)
We welcome applications from students who may not meet the stated entry criteria but who can demonstrate their ability to pursue the course successfully. Once we have received your application we will assess it and recommend it for SAES if you are an eligible candidate.
There are two different routes through the Salford Alternative Entry Scheme and applicants will be directed to the one appropriate for their course. Assessment will either be through a review of prior learning or through a formal test.
You should also consider further costs which may include books, stationery, printing, binding and general subsistence on trips and visits.
Global Gold Excellence Scholarship - automatic discount of £3,500 for eligible students with A-level grades AAB or equivalent from your country.
Global Silver Excellence Scholarship - automatic discount of £3,000 for eligible students with A-level grades BBC or equivalent from your country.
All set? Let's Apply
Course ID G453