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Games and Level Design BA Honours

Gain the technical training and overall knowledge you need to succeed in the competitive gaming industry and beyond.
Code
W249
Start
September 2023
September 2023: EU/INT induction
Duration
3 years full-time
Attendance
Full-time
Fees
£9,250 (UK) *
£15,100 (EU / INT) *
Course leader
Penda Tomlinson

Why study BA Games and Level Design with us?

Do you want to design and balance game mechanics as well as tell stories? On this hands on course, you'll be making games with a mix of digital and paper prototyping and planning from week one. You’ll gain hands-on experience that will help you build your portfolio that will set you up for a successful career in a range of creative industries.

The games industry is complex, diverse and spans a variety of old and new technologies from print to computer software to 3D printed game pieces. This BA gives you the transferable skills and knowledge you need to become a successful games designer in this fast-changing industry.

Past students have gone on to work for CD Projekt Red, Creative Assembly, King, Mediatonic, Media Molecule, among many others.

Build your hands-on games design skills

Led by academic staff experienced in AAA, indie, tabletop and mobile gaming, you'll develop your games design and prototyping core skills, as well as experimenting with environment and level design, scripting, game environmental storytelling and non-linear storytelling.

This is facilitated through a blended approach to teaching with a mix of in person and online teaching to help prepare you for the distributed nature of the world of work.

You will be introduced to a range of software and techniques to make playable prototypes quickly, including Adventure Game Studio, RPGMaker, RenPy, Unity and Unreal.

You’ll get plenty of hands-on experience and opportunities for collaborating with students from our 3D animation, art and design, music, computing and graphics departments as part of our coordinated workshop activities.

You’ll develop your employability skills and industry connections with a range of work placements and internship opportunities. Our links with industry partners also give you access to live briefs, guest lecturers, and potential employers.

Year on year, students from this programme produce fantastic, high quality game prototypes. Take a look at some of the games created by our 2022 graduates.

*this course is subject to review. We periodically re-evaluate our programmes to make sure the content and teaching stay up to date and relevant. Please check this page regularly for updates.

Get the support you need to succeed

You’ll be matched with a Personal Tutor and will get support from our Student Learning and Graduate Academic Assistants.


Find out more

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What will you study on the BA Games and Level Design degree?

The overall themes of this degree are project work, analysis, research, reflection, collaboration, making, diversity, play and experimentation. You will learn key skills, such as: game design and prototyping, game engine scripting, environmental storytelling, game writing, idea generation and selection, game prototyping, basic programming, writing and storytelling for games and environmental design.

Modules

  • Year 1

    • Creative Technologies Workshop 1 (30 credits) - Compulsory

      This module develops knowledge and skills in the use of core technologies related to games development. This includes an introduction to programming, essential 3D modelling and the use of games engines.

    • Creative Technologies Workshop 2 (30 credits) - Compulsory

      This module enables you to extend and apply the skills and knowledge developed in the previous module by producing working prototypes of elements of your own game that you've designed.

    • Game Fundamentals 1 (30 credits) - Compulsory​

      An understanding of the fundamental principles and approaches is an essential part of becoming a competent Games Designer. This module will introduce you to a range of topics including design methodologies, idea generation techniques, project planning methods, game mechanics, interaction design, user experience, player types and theories relating to play.

    • Game Fundamentals 2 (30 credits) - Compulsory​

      This module is focused on designing and implementing game elements. This will include taking part in a variety of project-based workshops involving non-digital prototyping, play testing and observation methodologies.

  • Year 2

    • Advanced Creative Technologies Workshop 1 (30 credits) - Compulsory​

      The module builds on your practical skills and knowledge. It introduces different approaches to programming and implementing games on a range of platforms, including mobile, tablet, PC, consoles and AR.

    • Advanced Creative Technologies Workshop 2 (30 credits) - Compulsory​

      Collaboration and teamwork are vital skills for a Games Designer. This module enables you to work in teams from other programmes to design and implement a playable level.

    • Game Culture (30 credits) - Compulsory​

      Games have become a significant part of our lives. This module will explore some of the important cultural aspects that games have including such topics as ludology, ethnicity, gender, addiction, ethics, gamification and serious games.

    • Storytelling for Games (30 credits) - Optional​

      An introduction to how narratives can be used and direct gameplay. You will learn the principles of storytelling, create stories, integrate stories with game mechanics and implement these.

    • Game Technologies (30 credits) - Optional​

      Technical advances are constantly producing new game-related interfaces. This module allows you to explore a range of novel technologies and to produce ways of integrating these into game-play.

  • Year 3

    • Final Project: Technical (BSc only) (30 credits) - Compulsory​

      For those undertaking the BSc, this module will be focused on producing a working level or game via extensive programming and play-testing. Opportunities for live briefs and placements are built in.

    • Final Project: Design-led (BA only) (30 credits) - Compulsory​

      For those undertaking the BA, this module will focus on producing a working level or game using scripting and a games engine. Opportunities for live briefs and placements are built into this module.

    • Project Proposition and Planning (30 credits) - Compulsory​

      This module will enable you to devise and plan a coherent, achievable and innovative final project. A series of presentations and group presentations will help you get your project approved and ready for implementation.

    • Research and Documentation (30 credits) - Compulsory​

      Designing and making a new game requires a good deal of contextual research, design justification, project documentation and reflection. This module will help you develop the documentation to accompany your Final Project.

    • Professional Portfolio (30 credits) - Compulsory​

      Having a professional portfolio is vital in helping you to begin your career, whether you want to start your own studio, join an existing indie studio or a major games company. This module aims to help you consolidate, present and disseminate the work you have already completed in your studies.

More information about this course

See the course specification for more information about typical course content outside of the coronavirus outbreak:

Optional modules are usually available at levels 5 and 6, although optional modules are not offered on every course. Where optional modules are available, you will be asked to make your choice during the previous academic year. If we have insufficient numbers of students interested in an optional module, or there are staffing changes which affect the teaching, it may not be offered. If an optional module will not run, we will advise you after the module selection period when numbers are confirmed, or at the earliest time that the programme team make the decision not to run the module, and help you choose an alternative module.

  1. Overview
  2. Teaching and learning
  3. Assessment and feedback
  1. Standard entry requirements
  2. International (inc. EU)
  3. How to apply
  1. UK
  2. EU fees
  3. EU / International
  4. Additional costs

The programme is well resourced with state-of-the-art facilities - you will have access to over 30 workstations equipped with an impressive array of the latest software including Unity, Processing, OpenFrameworks, Maya, Z-Brush, After Effects, Flash, Final Cut Pro and Photoshop. Students will also have access to a Vicon Motion Capture and Green screen facility.


We’ll carefully manage any future changes to courses, or the support and other services available to you, if these are necessary because of things like changes to government health and safety advice, or any changes to the law.

Any decisions will be taken in line with both external advice and the University’s Regulations which include information on this.

Our priority will always be to maintain academic standards and quality so that your learning outcomes are not affected by any adjustments that we may have to make.

At all times we’ll aim to keep you well informed of how we may need to respond to changing circumstances, and about support that we’ll provide to you.

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Duration: 3 years full-time

Code: WP15

Foundation Year in Media

Start: October 2023

Duration: 1 year full-time +, 3 years full-time

Code: See How to apply tab

Visual Effects BA Honours

Start: October 2023

Duration: 3 years full-time, Normally 5 years part-time

Code: W614

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