Games Design (Foundation Entry) BA (Hons)

Games Design (Foundation Entry) BA (Hons)

School of Journalism, Media and Performance




Under- graduate



Contact UCLan

University of Central Lancashire
Preston, PR1 2HE, United Kingdom

Tel: +44 (0)1772 892400

  • Duration:

    Four years

  • Level:


  • Delivery:

    Campus, Full-time

  • UCAS Code:

    D386; Short form: GD/FE

  • Campus:

    Preston (Campus code: U)

  • Start Date:


  • Award Type:

    BA (Hons)

Why study this course?

Foundation Entry degree courses are designed for students who have the ability to study for a degree, but don’t have the necessary formal qualifications to enter directly onto their chosen Honours degree programme. 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.

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.

Entry Requirements

Our typical offer is 72 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, Pass
BTEC Diploma: Distinction, Merit
Pass Access Course: 72 UCAS Points
International Baccalaureate: Pass Diploma with 72 UCAS points from Higher Level Subjects
IELTS: 6.0 with no score lower than 5.5
GCSE: 5 at grade C/4 including Maths & English or equivalent

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.

Find out more about our virtual open days Find out more about our virtual open days

Course at a Glance

Year 1

Approaches to Photography
Introduction to Filmmaking
Scriptwriting for Production
Film and Media Theory
Web Fundamentals


Extended Media Project
Audio and Video Technologies
Self-images: Identities, Diaries and Documents
Introduction to Animation and Games
Sound recording and Design

Year 2

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

Year 3

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

Year 4

  • Honours Project
  • Professional Game Practice

Further Information

Games design

Games Design and Animation Virtual Degree Show

Welcome to UCLan's first Games Design and Animation Virtual Degree Show, where we will be showcasing the talents of our final year students’ Degree Show projects. Please join us as we celebrate the work of the Class of 2020.

Book here

Study Games Design at UCLan

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.

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Take a tour of our facilities

Games Design Studio - PC Area

Games Design Studio

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"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

"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; such as Game Jam. 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.

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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.


Alumni games designers show they have ‘the force’
Talented alumni games designers from the University of Central Lancashire (UCLan) are proving ‘the force’ is with them, having played major roles in the release of the high profile title: ‘LEGO Star Wars: The Force Awakens’.

UCLan Leaders in Residence: Shaun Mooney

Shaun Mooney from Traveller's Tales Games talks about what skills he thinks students need, and how UCLan's Leaders in Residence programme benefits students, businesses and the university.

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

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

Fees 2020/21

Full-time: The fee for the first year of the course will be £5,500 (UK/EU). Fees for years 2 to 4 will be £9,250* (UK/EU) per year

*Tuition Fees are per year unless otherwise stated.

Further information:

For 2019/20 fees please refer to our fees page.

Scholarships and bursaries

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.

cJAM: Media

Final year undergraduate and postgraduate media students have the opportunity to get involved in our annual cJAM employability event. cJAM shakes-up the traditional career fair format and gives UCLan students face-to-face time with up to 30 successful industry professionals all of whom have come to the event with the offer of valuable work placement opportunities. The cJAM event format consists of four main components:

  • Students hear from keynote industry speakers who share their personal career journey and how they got to where they are now.
  • The industry Q&A session allows students to ask questions to gain further advice and insight.
  • Informal networking opportunities during the breaks and lunch.
  • The key element of cJAM is the giant speed pitching session. The students have eight minutes one-to-one time to pitch to selected industry guests to try and win a placement. Students can choose to pitch an idea, their reasons for wanting a placement with that particular company or to showcase their enthusiasm, skills and talent. Immediately following the pitching session, placements are decided on and the event closes with all the winning students being presented with their placement awards.

In 2018, there were four cJAM events and a total of 320 placements were awarded. All of which enabled our students to establish credible links in line with their career aspirations. To find out more about cJAM: Media, see the video and press release.

Professional Accreditation

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 and Assessment

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.


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

UCLan Games Course Blog

Visit our UCLan Games Course blog.