Creative Computing with Foundation Year BA/BSc (Hons)

female student with virtual reality goggles and equipment
W950, W951
Mode of Study
4 years full-time, 5 years sandwich with work placement
Start Date
September 2022


If you want to study our Creative Computing degree (or a degree in a related field) but don’t meet the entry requirements for one of our Bachelor's degree programmes, this Creative Computing With Foundation Year course is the best place to start.

You'll study three modules that give you a theoretical and practical introduction to creative computing. You'll also develop the study skills you need for a degree.

When you complete your Foundation year successfully, you'll move onto our BA/BSc (Hons) Creative Computing degree. You could also switch to a related subject in Creative Technologies such as BSc (Hons) Computer Games Technology, BSc (Hons) Virtual and Augmented Reality, BSc Music Technology or BSc Computer Animation and Visual Effects.

With a degree in creative computing, you can start a career in areas such as web development, film/TV visual effects, app development and video game development.

TEF Gold Teaching Excellence Framework

Entry requirements​

Entry requirements

Typical offers

See full entry requirements and other qualifications we accept

English language requirements
  • English language proficiency at a minimum of IELTS band 6.0 with no component score below 5.5.

See alternative English language qualifications

We also accept other standard English tests and qualifications, as long as they meet the minimum requirements of your course.

If you don't meet the English language requirements yet, you can achieve the level you need by successfully completing a pre-sessional English programme before you start your course.

What you'll experience

On this course you'll:

  • Study three foundational modules that prepare you for degree-level study in the field of creative computing
  • Get practical experience with coding, graphic design and audio production, continually improving your abilities with these vital skills
  • Use the tools, software and devices used by professionals in the industry, preparing you for your future career
  • Develop transferable skills you can use in your life and career, including critical thinking, academic writing, research, reflective practice, contextual awareness, project management, team work, time management, and peer assessment
  • Move onto year one of our BA/BSc Creative Computing degree or a related degree when you complete your Foundation year successfully

You'll get experience with the technology you'll use in your career, some of which aren't available in other institutions. This includes:

  • A virtual reality suite – including our Oculus Rift and HTC Vive kits, heart monitors, facial recognition systems, and Electroencephalograms (brainwave interfaces)
  • A Motion-capture (MOCAP) studio using a Vicon optical system to capture movement
  • Game development kits – including Unreal Engine and Sony Playstation dev kits

The music studios you'll use include:

  • A valve 32-channel TL audio mixing desk
  • SSL Matrix 2 console with Neve 1074 and SSL dynamics and EQ
  • A 7.1 surround studio (Genelec) with a Slate Raven multi-touch console for multichannel work and spatial audio projects
  • A Buchla System 7 synthesiser (1 of only 2 in a European university and the only one in the UK)

Careers and opportunities

When you complete your degree, our careers and employability service can help you find a job that puts your diverse set of skills and abilities to work in the industry.

Areas you could work in include:

  • Film/TV special effects and post-production
  • Visual interface design
  • Computer graphics design
  • Video game development
  • Music production
  • Multimedia systems analysis
  • Mobile app development
  • Web development
  • Computer music/sound engineering
  • Interface design
  • Database management

Job roles you could do

A creative computing degree is the ideal preparation for many professional roles, including:

  • Visual interface designer
  • Computer graphics designer
  • Video game developer
  • Multimedia systems analyst
  • Mobile app developer
  • Web developer
  • Sound engineer
  • Interface designer
  • Database manager

You can also go on to study at postgraduate level, or set up a successful business with help and support from the university.

After you graduate, you can get help, advice and support for up to 5 years from our Careers and Employability service as you advance in your career.

Work experience and career planning

To give you the best chance of securing a great job when you graduate, our Careers and Employability service and Creative Careers Centre can help you find relevant work experience during your course. You'll also get career planning help and support from your personal tutor.

We can help you identify placements, internships, voluntary roles and freelancing opportunities that will complement your studies and build your portfolio.

​What you'll study

Each module in your Foundation year is worth 40 credits.


Core modules

  • Human Experience Design – 40 credits
  • Play, Code, Create – 40 credits
  • Sound and Vision – 40 credits

The modules you study in years 2, 3 and 4 will depend on which degree you choose at the end of your Foundation year.

On this course you could do an optional work placement year before your final year to get valuable experience working in the digital creative industry.

Placement locations could include companies such as:

  • BBC
  • Ico Design
  • Focusrite/Novation

Common roles to take during placement include:

  • Data visualiser
  • Programmer
  • Audio designer

You can also start your own business in your placement year.

We'll help you secure a placement that fits your career goals. You'll get support from our Placements Office with applications, interviews and assessment days. To make the most out of your placement year, you'll also get mentoring and support from the Creative Careers Centre team, including visits from lecturers.

Changes to course content

We use the best and most current research and professional practice alongside feedback from our students to make sure course content is relevant to your future career or further studies.

Therefore, some course content may change over time to reflect changes in the discipline or industry and some optional modules may not run every year. If a module doesn’t run, we’ll let you know as soon as possible and help you choose an alternative module.


Teaching methods on this course includes:

  • Lectures
  • Group and individual practical experimentation
  • One-to-one tuition with project supervisors

You'll be taught by staff who have professional experience in the industry, who demonstrate concepts using practical examples.

Many teaching staff are engaged in research, which means you learn about the latest theories and concepts.

You can access all teaching resources on Moodle, our virtual learning environment, from anywhere with a web connection.

How you're assessed

You'll be assessed through:

  • Practical output, including interactive digital installations, creative software projects, and web and mobile apps
  • Video and in-person presentations
  • Written report
  • Exhibition

You'll be able to test your skills and knowledge informally before you do assessments that count towards your final mark.

You can get feedback on all practice and formal assessments so you can improve in the future.

How you'll spend your time

One of the main differences between school or college and university is how much control you have over your learning.

At university, as well as spending time in timetabled teaching activities such as lectures, seminars and tutorials, you'll do lots of independent study with support from our staff when you need it.

A typical week

We recommend you spend at least 35 hours a week studying for your degree. In your Foundation year, you’ll be in timetabled teaching activities such as lectures, seminars, tutorials, practical classes and workshops for about 8–10 hours a week. The rest of the time you’ll do independent study such as research, reading, coursework and project work, alone or in a group with others from your course. You'll probably do more independent study and have less scheduled teaching in following years, but this depends on which modules you choose and the degree you go onto.

Most timetabled teaching takes place during the day, Monday to Friday. You may occasionally need to go to University and course events in the evenings and at weekends. There’s usually no teaching on Wednesday afternoons.

Term dates

The academic year runs from September to June. There are breaks at Christmas and Easter.

See term dates

Supporting your learning

The amount of timetabled teaching you'll get on your degree might be less than what you're used to at school or college, but you'll also get support via video, phone and face-to-face from teaching and support staff when you need it. These include the following people and services:

Personal tutor

Your personal tutor helps you make the transition to independent study and gives you academic and personal support throughout your time at university.

You’ll have regular contact with your personal tutor in learning activities or scheduled meetings. You can also make an appointment with them if you need extra support.

Student support advisor

In addition to the support you get from your personal tutor, you’ll also have access to a Faculty student support advisor. They can give you confidential, impartial advice on anything to do with your studies and personal wellbeing and refer you to specialist support services.

Academic skills tutors

You'll have help from a team of faculty academic skills tutors. They can help you improve and develop your academic skills and support you in any area of your study.

They can help with:

  • Improving your academic writing (for example, essays, reports, dissertations)
  • Delivering presentations (including observing and filming presentations)
  • Understanding and using assignment feedback
  • Managing your time and workload
  • Revision and exam techniques

Creative skills tutors

If you need support with software and equipment or you want to learn additional skills (including skills not covered on your course), our creative skills tutors provide free workshops, activities and one-on-one tutorials. Skills you can learn include life drawing, film camera operation and video production.

IT and computing support

Computing support staff are always available to give technical support in the Faculty's computer suites during normal working hours. There's also some support available from 5pm to midnight at busy times of the year.

Academic skills support

As well as support from faculty staff and your personal tutor, you can use the University’s Academic Skills Unit (ASK).

ASK provides one-to-one support in areas such as:

  • academic writing
  • note taking
  • time management
  • critical thinking
  • presentation skills
  • referencing
  • working in groups
  • revision, memory and exam techniques

If you have a disability or need extra support, the Additional Support and Disability Centre (ASDAC) will give you help, support and advice.

Library support

Library staff are available in person or by email, phone or online chat to help you make the most of the University’s library resources. You can also request one-to-one appointments and get support from a librarian who specialises in your subject area.

The library is open 24 hours a day, every day, in term time.

Support with English

If English isn't your first language, you can do one of our English language courses to improve your written and spoken English language skills before starting your degree. Once you're here, you can take part in our free In-Sessional English (ISE) programme to improve your English further.

​Course costs and funding

Tuition fees (2022 start)

  • UK/Channel Islands and Isle of Man students – £9,250 per year (may be subject to annual increase)
  • EU students – £9,250 a year (including Transition Scholarship – may be subject to annual increase)
  • International (non-EU) students – £17,000 per year (subject to annual increase)

Funding your studies

Find out how to fund your studies, including the scholarships and bursaries you could get. You can also find more about tuition fees and living costs, including what your tuition fees cover.

Applying from outside the UK? Find out about funding options for international students.

Additional course costs

These course-related costs aren’t included in the tuition fees. So you’ll need to budget for them when you plan your spending.

Costs breakdown

Our accommodation section shows your accommodation options and highlights how much it costs to live in Portsmouth.

You’ll study up to 6 modules a year. You may have to read several recommended books or textbooks for each module.

You can borrow most of these from the Library. If you buy these, they may cost up to £60 each.

We recommend that you budget £75 a year for photocopying, memory sticks, DVDs and CDs, printing charges, binding and specialist printing.

If your final year includes a major project, there could be cost for transport or accommodation related to your research activities. The amount will depend on the project you choose.


How to apply

When you apply for this course, you can apply for either the BA or BSc version. Whether you graduate with a BA or BSc depends on which optional modules you choose throughout the course.

You can also switch a related degree after your Foundation year.

Applying through UCAS

To apply through UCAS, you'll need:

  • the UCAS course code – W950 (BA) or W951 (BSc)
  • our institution code – P80

Enter '0' in the 'Point of entry' field when you make your choice.

Applying directly

If you'd prefer to apply to us directly, use our online application form:

You need to tell us you're applying for the Foundation year on the Qualifications tab on the application form.

Open Days and application guidance

You can also sign up to an Open Day to:

  • Tour our campus, facilities and halls of residence
  • Speak with lecturers and chat with our students
  • Get information about where to live, how to fund your studies and which clubs and societies to join

If you're new to the application process, read our guide on applying for an undergraduate course.

Admissions terms and conditions

When you accept an offer to study at the University of Portsmouth, you also agree to abide by our Student Contract (which includes the University's relevant policies, rules and regulations). You should read and consider these before you apply.

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