The University of Hertfordshire (UH) has been ranked ‘Best Art School in the World’

By September 23, 2019 Industry News

The University of Hertfordshire (UH) has been ranked ‘Best Art School in the World’ at this years The Rookies 2019. We won the award for ‘Game Design & Development Schools – Production Excellence 2019’. The Rookies is a community for digital artists aspiring to work in film, games, animation, immersive media, archviz, motion graphics, product design that help the next generation of artists get their foot in the door. To say the UH team are proud is an understatement. It is great to have the award back in the UK with us again as it helps showcase and prove to the world how truly brilliant Art Schools at Universities in the United Kingdom can be.


We believe the reason we have won ‘Game of the Year’ three times over the years and is the only course in the world to have achieved this accolade is that we are able offer four core courses in the Digital Animation Programme. This allows the students to become the artists they want to be and allows for a lot of cross pollination of subject areas. Our first years can choose a BA Honours in any of the following subject areas, 3D Games Art & Design, 2D & 3D Digital Animation and Visual Effects and then go onto to do a Masters and even a PhD. By setting up the course in this way the students make informed decisions about their award certificate and future career path by trying all the different subject areas in the screen cultures disciplines. When the students arrive back for the second year of study the staff focuses their efforts for the next two years helping the students build a focused portfolio they can be proud off. We believe it’s for this reason it has really helped with our rankings this year when we won 1st place Game of the Year: Spire, 2nd place Runner up: Project Star Bounty, Visual Effects Film of the Year:Downfall, and many more awards. It’s made even more rewarding when our efforts are recognised by a leading industry judging panel at The Rookies.


Another aspect that helps our students grow is by bringing in industry experts at the forefront of their field, not just in the student’s normal industry interest of ‘films and games’. We broaden students minds to the endless possibilities of screen based cultures. Many students don’t comprehend the idea of working outside of the digital entertainment industry. Once they graduate and are in those industries they are very happy with their trained discipline and have gone on to become industry leaders in the areas. Here are some examples of the many cross over subject areas in our core teaching – Automotive, Architectural, Aeronautic, Film Pre Visualization, Military Simulation, Medical Simulation, Theatrical Production, Virtual Production, Virtual Reality and these areas are expanding for recruitment every year, especially helped by games engines such as Unreal.


The academic team who came from industry, built all of the Animation courses from the ground up. We have had to be retrained to become academics and have undertaken various qualifications over the years. We also have a team of part time visiting lecturers who run their own companies or are senior members of staff in the games and immersive technologies. The staff understand that training artists in screen cultures based production practices is complex, time consuming and requires a lot of experience but it’s very rewarding to see the students and alumni grow.


We would like to end with a thanks to Andrew McDonald, Alwyn Hunt and the Advisory Board Members for making The Rookies. The team have helped set up countless students career’s with internships, scholarships and support the next generation of digital creators. And finally a huge thanks to The Rookies industry sponsors that have raised millions in prize money and awards for the students over the years.


Go Herts 2020!



Best Art Schools in the World 2019


Console & PC – Production Excellence

No 1 in the world


Top VFX school – Production Excellence

No 2 in the world


VR, Immersive Media – Production Excellence

No 3 in the world


Top 2D animation school – Production Excellence

No 5 in the world


Best Animation Schools

No 7 in the world


Best Visual Effects Schools

No 7 in the world


Best Game Design Schools

No 8 in the world





Rookie Awards 2019


Game of the Year:

Winner: Spire


Runner up: Project Star Bounty Visual Effects Film of the Year:

Winner: Downfall


Motion Graphics:

People choice: Diana Verba:


Visual Effect Internship (Europe):

People choice: Maria Tsanti


Vancouver Film School Educational Scholarship Winner: William Jaravaza


3D Motion Graphics – Studio Internships Sarofsky United States People’s Choice: Diana Verba






Here is a full list of our finalists for 2019


Visual Effects:


Maria Tsianti:



Games Design and Development:


Jonathon Ivall:


Marleen Vijgen:



Immersive Media:


Marleen Vijgen:


Kieran Young:


Film of the year:



2D Animation:





3D Animation:






Visual Effects:









Game of the Year:


PC & Console:


Takashi’s Curse:


Project Bounty:




Star: Mabel & Friends:




Ginko: Jungle Rumble:





Immersive Media:







Games Design & Development – United Kingdom:


Shahan Miah:


James Robinson:


Ben Stefanyszyn:



Visual Effects – Europe:


Jansen McCord:


Shahan Miah:


James Robinson:


Elpida Kyriakou:


Maria Tsianti:



Studio Internship:


Verba Diana:



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