Undergraduate BSc (Hons)

Creative Computing with Foundation Year

Salford School of Arts, Media and Creative Technology

Attendance

Full-time

Course

Four year

Next enrolment

September 2023

Introduction

In a nutshell

The foundation year will introduce you to the creative, technical and entrepreneurial skills and attributes needed to be a creative coder, designer and developer.

The foundation year has core modules which enable you to learn about computer technologies, creative methods, and the creative industries. You will have the opportunity to develop your own ideas and areas of interest in a major project module. 

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. 

Find out more by signing up to our upcoming Open Day, or if you have any generic questions please contact course enquiries.                          

You can also find helpful FAQs, learn more about student life at Salford or explore all our Creative Digital Media and Gaming courses

You will:
  • Start to develop the skills to be effective in a wide range of existing and emerging creative computing roles
  • Learn to build relationships with the digital creative industries, through our industry partnerships 
  • Develop a good understanding of the creative industries and digital sector
Course accreditations
British Council
Course details

All about the course

The foundation year of this course is perfect if you want to explore all of the key principles of digital media and creative computing methods before progressing on to one of our degree programmes. 

The foundation year will provide you with a dynamic, exciting and collaborative environment in which you will become a confident learner, with the underpinning skills and knowledge to apply in your studies. 

Modules will help you to develop your study skills such as note-taking and structuring reports. In the second semester, you will further develop your skills and be introduced to the creative industries.

This programme prepares you to study on a three-year University undergraduate programme, meaning the duration of your degree is four years in total. The foundation year is not a standalone qualification.

This Creative Computing with Foundation Year course has been developed to bridge the demand from industry in developing creative, technical savvy and forward thinking individuals to develop and create engaging digital products and strategies.

You can see the Foundation Year modules below followed by the modules you could expect to take on the BSc (Hons) Creative Computing degree. 

Foundation year

Digital Media Applications

This module helps you to become more familiar and confident with technology. As well as learning the creative software and photography skills, it will allow you to explore a creative subject of your choice and give you essential time management and research skills.

Creative Methods

This module will enable you to examine the creative and professional practice of others as a way of reflecting on your own practice. You’ll create a range of outcomes to help you build a dedicated portfolio as well as learning about major influences in art and design.

Introduction to Creative Coding

This module will provide you with a foundation in computer coding within the context of digital art creation. 

Creative Practice Major Project

This module is designed to allow you to bring together all your prior learning from the previous modules. It gives you the opportunity to propose and create your own brief based on a theme, topic, or issue that you are passionate about. Within this module you’ll be supported by tutors who will guide you in creating in a meaningful body of work that demonstrates confidence in your chosen area. Your work will be exhibited in school of Arts and Media end of year show.

Introduction to the Creative Industries

This module enables you explore the creative industries and its career opportunities, You’ll learn about a range of subjects including responsible design and future trends within your chosen area of art and design. It will allow you to build on the technical skills that you have gained in the first semester to produce a creative publication.

Year one

Creative Coding Foundations

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. 

Generative Art

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.  

Creative Collaboration

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. 

Year two

Backend development

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. 

Artificial Intelligence

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. 

Dissertation Preparation

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.    

Physical Computing

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. 

Year three

Major Project

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. 

Dissertation

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. 

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.  

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.

Professional Development

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. 

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?

100%

Projects and Coursework

TEACHING

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. 

ASSESSMENT

You will be assessed via different methods, including:

  • Projects
  • Coursework
  • Presentations
  • Dissertation

OUR CREATIVE COMMUNITY

All our Creative Digital Media and Gaming courses are delivered by the Salford School of Arts, Media and Creative Technology.    

Our School and University have strong and long-lasting relationships with local and national industry.    

Once you graduate with us, you’ll join a thriving alumni community in Greater Manchester and beyond.

Facilities

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.
Employment and stats

What about after uni?

Upon graduation from the degree, 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.

A taste of what you could become

A Web Developer

A UX Designer

An App Developer

An Interface Designer

A Creative Digital Project Manager

And more...

Career Links

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.

Requirements

What you need to know

This course isn’t suitable for international students. If you are an international student and interested in studying a foundation year, please visit our International Foundation Year course page.

APPLICANT PROFILE

This course is ideal if you don't meet the entry requirements for direct entry to an Honours degree. The course is also attractive if you are a mature person returning to education or if you wish to change career direction.

Applicants normally must have the equivalent of grade C/4 or above, GCSE Mathematics and GCSE English. However, applicants who do not have the required GCSEs may be considered on a case by case basis.  Applicants who do not have the qualification are required to state in their application how they intend to obtain the required GCSEs by the end of their Foundation Year.

As part of the application process for this course, we will need to see some examples of your work as a portfolio. 

Standard entry requirements

GCSE

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.

A levels

64 points, including a relevant subject

T Levels

Pass: D or E in core subject. 

This should be in a relevant subject. 

UCAS tariff points

64 tariff points from A-levels or equivalent, including a relevant subject

BTEC National Diploma 

MPP

Access to HE

Pass Level 3 Access to HE Diploma with 64 points (relevant subject)

Scottish Highers

64 points including a relevant subject

Irish Leaving Certificate

64 points including a relevant subject

International Baccalaureate

24 points including a relevant subject

Alternative entry requirements

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.

How much?

Type of study Year Fees
Full-time home 2023/24 £8,250 for Foundation Year and £8,250 for subsequent years.
Additional costs

You should also consider further costs which may include books, stationery, printing, binding and general subsistence on trips and visits.

Apply now

All set? Let's Apply

Enrolment dates

September 2023

September 2024

UCAS information

Course ID G454

Institution S03