Diploma in Game Art and Design


Vancouver Institute of Media Arts

Vancouver, Canada

About Course

Key information
: 1 Year
Study Type
: Full Time
Tuition fees
: 38.00 CAD / Total
Exam Accepted
: IELTS 6.0/9 | TOEFL 80/120 | PTE 60/90
Exam Intake
: Sep | Mar
Conditional Scholarship
: NA
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  • Diploma in Game Art & Design

  • Learn the personal and team skills desired by the world's top gaming developers. You'll learn from instructors with deep experience in gaming, and they will push you to hone your skills and creativity. Make a fully realized working game level and gain incredibly valuable experience.

    Check out our video with Department Head Wade Howie talking about how our program is currently being delivered as blended learning: both on campus and online.

  • The Game Art & Design program begins by teaching the fundamentals of traditional and digital art forms. Within traditional art, life drawing, anatomy, perspective, color theory and composition are the roots of observational skills applying to all forms of art. Simultaneously, we teach the core fundamentals of current digital art programs such as Maya, Zbrush and Photoshop. This combination of balanced instruction in both the traditional and digital art forms lays the foundation for your success as a well-rounded digital artist, including introductions to game engines and mobile gaming.

  • With a foundation in traditional and digital art from Term 1, the focus in Term 2 turns to more advanced techniques and how they apply specifically to the video game industry. You will advance your 3D skills and apply them from concept development to modeling, through to a final professional art asset. Term 2 becomes a vital first run pass through the Game Art Pipeline, and also advances into concept development for mobile games.

    In Term 2, you will also embark on a 6-week “comic book assignment” where you create a game level based on a popular comic character entirely on your own. This exercise helps you identify your strengths and weaknesses as a game artist, and prepares you for a group project in the upcoming Term 3.

  • Term 3 is focused on “combining disciplines” and “bringing it all together”. In this term you will learn more advanced techniques for pre-production and be introduced to the industry production-pipeline and work-flow concepts. Working in a studio-like environment, you begin the term by pitching your project idea for your final demo reel. Once approved, your project is moved through the production pipeline. Industry-style weeklies are introduced where your work is critiqued by the instructors, and constructive criticism is given to ensure quality and to keep you on schedule.

    Students also work as a team in Term 3 to produce a fully-fledged video game demo in 8 weeks, and smaller teams can group up to pitch mobile and console game concepts.

  • The final term is dedicated to the production of an industry-grade demo reel to show potential employers. Under the guidance of our industry-pro faculty, you will apply the knowledge and experience you have gained throughout the year. Post-production techniques such as compositing are introduced, while weeklies and tech support ensure the final quality of your reel, the most important asset and foundation for your entry into the industry. Visit us on YouTube to view samples of student demo reels.

Entry Requirement

  • Applicants must be high school passed. 

Application Process

  • More than half of our student body are international students who contribute greatly to the multi-cultural environment at VanArts, coming from countries all over the world. We are proud of all our graduates who have made their mark in their respective industries worldwide.

  • Students from all countries outside Canada must apply for these documents in advance at the Canadian Embassy office designated for your country. If you are not sure where to apply for your visa, visit the Government of Canada website and search for the specific website for your country’s visa office.

    Please plan ahead and apply for your visa immediately upon receiving your Acceptance or Conditional Acceptance Letter. You must have your student visa and study permit approved no later than 3 weeks before your program starts, or else we may need to defer your enrollment to the next start date. Please keep us informed as to the status of your visa application processing.

    Some countries may also require you to have a medical, police check or other documents before your visa is approved. Failure to submit all of these documents and evidences may result in your visa being rejected, often with little chance of appeal. Before applying for your visa, please read all details carefully on the official Citizen and Immigration Canada website.

    Required Documents

    There is a nominal fee for the Student Authorization/Visa which is paid to Citizen and Immigration Canada. When you apply for your study permit, you will likely require the following for submission:

  • A letter of acceptance for your program of study from VanArts.
  • Evidence of financial support during your study period, i.e., a notarized letter or affidavit from your bank or parents, or student loan documents.
  • Evidence of intentions to return to your country of origin after your studies are complete.
  • Evidence of prepaid tuition fees, your tuition receipt or a certified cheque or bank draft payable to VanArts.
  • Proof of citizenship, i.e., passport or birth certificate.
  • Include the Designated Learning Institution (DLI) number O19331363352 on your study permit application.

Vancouver Institute of Media Arts

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