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Games Design

Games Design BA (Hons)

You will love this course if you want to design the games you play - from the start you will be designing and developing games from design and animation to digital modelling.

BA (Hons) Games Design offers a dynamic and friendly creative environment where students are encouraged and inspired to play, learn and think creatively, to reach their potential for employment in the industry. Many of our graduates have paid work and lead roles in a variety of games design studios.

You will work on live projects from the games industry, working to real deadlines, getting the chance to express your own creative ideas and skills through your project work; all this using the latest games software in up-to-date facilities taught by professionals from the industry.

Why study this course?

BA (Hons) Games Design covers the conceptual, visual and digital development of games and you will be given an industry perspective that will equip you to seek employment in the trade. From the start of the course, you will be designing and developing games. You are actively encouraged to 'play', to question the nature of games/computer games and express the ideas you formulate through your personal project work. As your skills develop you will undertake live projects linked to games developers. The course provides a strong visual and creative base, supported by digital modelling, set within a professional framework for the development of games concepts. You will be encouraged to operate as a games designer and given the creative freedom and necessary skills to develop your own ideas.

The course team have a wide variety of skills and are highly experienced in developing your visualising, creative thinking, digital modelling and games development skills. Team members include Bev Bush, Senior Lecturer who was named in the Women in Games Top 100 (2013) and Associate Lecturers Pete Bottomley and James Burton of White Paper Games. We have an established visiting Industry Speaker programme which includes Lead Designers, 3D Artists, QA, Production and Technical Artists from AAA and independent game development studios throughout the UK who bring with them a broad experience of the games development industry.


Study Games Design at UCLan

What opportunities will I have?

Our own alumni have gained good positions in a variety of highly successful games companies for example Warner Brothers, Ninja Theory, Rare, Naughty Dog, Riot Games, Playdemic and often come back to visit and share their experience so that current students can be inspired from hearing of their success.

There are many opportunities within games for graduates who work hard to create a strong portfolio of work. This can be in the area of games design, concept art, environment art and technical processes.


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Before attending UCLan I had never used a computer to create art of any kind. I would simply not be where I am today without them.

Peter Field
Games Designer at Media Molecule

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Student study is led through a series of games design projects. Some are individual, some are collaborative and some are live briefs set by industry. These projects allow you to explore every aspect of games design and develop your own personal practice. Complementary to the project work are a series of lectures and demonstrations designed to develop and enable the necessary skills a graduate will need to become a successful games designer.

Upon graduating from the course are you will be able to display a rich portfolio of work that will showcase your skills. Core aspects of your graduate work will be visualisation, digital modelling and a solid foundation in game design and documentation. These skills and others developed on the course are those most commonly identified by the games development industry as key talents in modern Games Designers.


Futureproof

This September the Faculty of Culture and Creative Industries is offering Foundation students a unique opportunity to ‘Futureproof’ their ambitions and gain a National qualification free of charge as part of your studies.

Futureproof includes the PEARL qualification, a national GQAL accredited certificate, that will enable you to transfer key skills that can be taken forward into all areas of life, especially employment or further study.

The course will open doors for you with creative businesses and offers you extra coaching and access to high profile industry professionals. You will get additional support to help you recognise your strengths and apply them in creative work environments.

The five areas PEARL focuses on are, self-awareness, social skills, managing feelings, empathy and motivation.

Join us now to be a part of this innovative learning experience!

Key Information

  • Duration:

    Full-time:Three years.

  • Level:

    Undergraduate

  • Delivery:

    Campus, Full-time

  • Award Type:

    BA (Hons)

  • UCAS Code:

    WG24; Short form: BA/Gdes

  • Campus:

    Preston (Campus code: U)

  • Start Date:

    September

  • Fees 2018/19

    Full-time: £9,250* per year (UK/EU)

  • View 2017/18 Fees

Scholarships and Bursaries

The University offers a range of scholarships and bursaries to support you through your studies.

Discover More

Entry Requirements

Our typical offer is 104 UCAS Points.  We operate a flexible admissions policy and treat everyone as an individual. This means that we will take into consideration your educational achievements and predicted grades (where applicable) together with your application as a whole, including work experience and personal statement. General Studies accepted.

BTEC Extended Diploma: Merit, Merit, Merit
BTEC Diploma: Distinction, Distinction
Pass Access Course: 106 UCAS Points  
International Baccalaureate:Pass Diploma with 104 UCAS points from Higher Level Subjects
IELTS: 6.0 with no subscore lower than 5.5
GCSE: 5 at grade C/4 including Maths & English or equivalent 

When it comes to a course in Games Design, it's important to understand the course structure and that it leads to the kind of jobs our students want. It's helpful for prospective students to see the kind of work they'll get to produce on the course by looking at what our current crop of students are working on. That's the exciting stuff that really brings the course to life and can be seen on the games course blog which features news and portfolio work created by the games students! See: Games Design UCLan Blog. In addition to the UCAS points required we also look for a strong portfolio.

Not got the grades?

If you do not meet the formal entry requirements specified, Foundation Entry offers an alternative route to study for this degree

Foundation Entry Route

Courses at a glance

Year 1

  • Introduction to Games Design
  • Creative Thinking
  • Contextual Studies
  • Drawing for Design

Year 2

  • Game Development
  • 3D Modelling
  • Contextual Studies
  • Character Design 

Year 3

  • Honours Project
  • Professional Game Practice

Open Day (Saturday 18 November 2017) - Register Now

Our Industry Links

The course is supported by visiting lecturers from games development companies and other relevant professionals. You will have the opportunity for a structured work experience opportunity, which may include a work placement, an internship, a live business project and many other opportunities. You will be given the chance to work on live projects with companies, many previous students have been able to gain credits for commercially sold games - a real boost to their CVs as they move into the jobs market.


Professional Accreditation

The course is recognised in the use of UDK (Unreal Development Kit).

james logo

This course is Industry Accredited by JAMES representing APRS, MPG and associate industry bodies. Accreditation of a course by relevant industry bodies provides assurance to students and employers of its potential and value.

The course is part of the new JAMES Integrated Learning Centre (ILC) at UCLan, which is one of only three in the country. The ILC encourages the development of student collaborations as well as working with other courses within the School of Journalism, Media and Performance, reflecting the way that the creative industries operate. Degree transcripts from this course will have mention of the JAMES accreditation, making our graduates stand out from the crowd and an attractive prospect for professional employment. More information is available on JAMES official website.

English Regions Skills Review 2015

UCLan has received a special mention in the English Regions Skills Review 2015 for its investigative work in bridging the gap between education and the workplace. According to the Report:

The bond between education and the industry is far stronger in the regions. The links between the industry and colleges and universities are well forged and productive. Both sides are keen to work together . . . The University of Central Lancashire (UCLan) is investigating a Spark finishing school to concentrate on specific skills gaps identified by this research (and others) around production management (among others).

At the forefront of this is the ‘soap-in-a-week’ collaboration in which ITV Studios and UCLan are partnering up. Cast and crew from Emmerdale and Coronation Street will work with UCLan students from a host of courses to brainstorm ideas, storyline the first episode, script, rehearse, shoot and show it, all in five days. ITV will be there for guidance only and the idea and execution will be done entirely by the students. For further information on this story, to receive a copy of the English Regions Skills Review, or for more details about how UCLan is bridging the gap between education and the creative industries, contact Emma Speed on 01772 895959.


Learning Environment

The course is delivered through a structured series of games development projects supported by lectures concerning game theory, visualisation techniques, digital modelling, and professional practice.

The main teaching activity takes the form of project briefs in a studio environment. These are supported by lectures and workshops which develop specific skills. Lectures are further supported by a programme of visiting lecturers and industry professionals.

The coursework is continually assessed through the project work. There are some specific assignments relating to skill areas. There are no exams.


What our students say ...

"Without the skills learnt and the support from staff, Ether One and White Paper Games would not exist. We have gained a lot of knowledge and experience from the Games Course which has put us in a great position in the games industry to have independent creative freedom."

Pete Bottomley
White Paper Games Co-Founder

View our students work ...

UCLan Games Course Blog

Visit our UCLan Games Course blog.

Important Information

Course Handbook

For detailed information about studying this course at UCLan, please see the course handbook for your year of entry: 2017 Entry | 2018 Entry

For information on possible changes to course information, see our Important Information.

* Tuition Fees

*Tuition Fees are per year unless otherwise stated. Currently the 2018/19 fee level, which is due to increase in line with UK Retail Price Index inflation rates has not been announced by the Government.

Entry Requirements

For changes to 2017 UCAS tariff entry requirements please see our important information. UCLan requires all undergraduate applicants to have a minimum attainment of five GCSEs at grade C and above, or equivalent, (including Maths and English). In 2017 and beyond we will view the new Grade 4 as being equivalent to a C grade and will therefore require students to achieve GCSE Grade 4 or above. However, if the subject is relevant to our degree programme and requires a higher GCSE grade (e.g. GCSE B grade), and/or includes a Professional body that governs the entry requirements, Grade 5 or above may be required.