- Start dateSeptember 2017
- Course length3 years
- UCAS codeI600
BA (Hons) Games Design
Clearing places available
This course has places available for 2017/18 entry. If you are interested in applying for this course, please call us on +44 (0)20 7514 7514. For a full list of UAL courses open for 2017/18 entry, visit the UAL Clearing page.
BA (Hons) Games Design will teach you how to take the software tools of games design and create new gaming experiences from concept to finished game.
About this course
You will be expected to explore code and programming, enabling you to translate an idea into playable prototypes and to use software to achieve your design goals rather than have software decide your creative direction.
Graphics development, storyboarding and the conceptual framework underpinning games design are covered in depth and you'll focus on the challenges presented by the game, as defined by the rules of play. You will design and build dynamic systems, which develops player experience as mental processing, physical input, and emotional response.
Student work and profiles
- Film producer Lord Puttnam launches LCC Screen School with a message for creatives in Brexit and Trump era
BA (Hons) Games Design will teach you how to take the software tools of games design and create new gaming experiences from concept to finished game. Explore skills sought by industry, such as coding and programming; enabling you to translate an idea into playable prototypes and use software to achieve your design goals and creative direction.
The focus of the course looks at the challenge presented by the game, as defined by the rules of play. You will design and build dynamic systems, which develops player experience as mental processing, physical input and emotional response.
Working from original concepts, you will develop ideas into playable games and test them to evaluate their experience of play. You'll not only design the visual feedback, but also the player interaction with the game mechanics.
This concept-to-game approach is supported by the growing theoretical area of games studies.
You can expect...
To be taught in a way that encourages you to regularly generate new concepts and to remain innovative in your practice. You'll learn the design and development skills necessary to put you at the forefront of this growing profession and which are sought after by leading design and software companies worldwide.
Key topics covered include: interactive design, the psychology of games, designing the experience of play, computer programming and 3D modelling. You'll learn how to write game design documents starting from the initial concept, before mastering the various stages of development.
Put your newly acquired skills into practice as you continually build playable games throughout the course. During this process, you'll demonstrate storyboarding and visualisation techniques to communicate ideas with linear or non-linear content. You will also be expected to analyse gaming trends and identify unique selling points to build into the game's hooks and features; to create your own animated content, adding functionality with scripting before testing for performance and usability.
The final major project gives you the opportunity to research an aspect of games design that is of particular interest to you and to present your findings in a dissertation.
In common with all courses at University of the Arts London, this course is credit rated. The course is 3 years, levels 4-6. Each year requires you to achieve 120 credit points. To be awarded the BA (Hons) Games Design qualification, you need to accumulate a total of 360 credits.
- Introduction to Games Design (20 credits)
- Concept and Design 1 (40 credits)
- Prototype Development 1 (40 credits)
- Contextual and Theoretical Studies 1 (20 credits)
The units in Year 1 aim to:
- Define computer games, their history and the subjective nature of play
- Introduce practical game design theories and how it effects the design of game hooks and features
- Develop an awareness of design documents used to communicate game concepts
- Develop the programming skills needed to implement design documents and build game prototypes
- Concept and Design 2 (40 credits)
- Prototype Development 2 (40 credits)
- Contextual and Theoretical Studies 2 (20 credits)
- Collaborative Project (20 credits)
The units of Year 2 aim to:
- Explore the importance of characters and game environments to aid immersion and enrich the player experience
- Examine the importance of genres in specifying potential target audiences
- Introduce 3D modelling and how to construct and texture game elements
- Develop your programming skills to control multiple autonomous and dynamic objects.
- Major Project Practical (60 credits)
- Professional Practice (Progression) (20 credits)
- Route A: Contextual and Theoretical Studies 3 (40 credits)
- Route B: Contextual and Theoretical Studies 3 (20 credits)
- Route B: Concept Prototyping (20 credits)
The units of Year 3 aim to:
- Build on existing 3D knowledge by introducing rigging, and the preparation and creation of animation and the use within a games engine.
- Introduce the integrated development environment: the use of the content pipeline to import graphical images and 3D models, as well as testing and evaluating concepts.
The final year gives students the opportunity to specialise in an area of games design which they are particularly interested in. It supports the acquisition of specialist knowledge for their Major Project dissertation and aids in the development of specialist skills for the Major Project practical, via personal study and supervision.
Developing your skills
Students develop good practice in research, time management and team working. These are integrated with practical skills such as animation, interactive design, computer programming and 3D modelling.
London is a global city offering an exciting and vast range of career opportunities in the creative and cultural sectors. One of the design capitals of the world, the city is both a source of inspiration and extended site of study. The numerous museums, galleries, theatres, libraries, entertainment and exhibition spaces provide opportunities to explore course content at a practical and immersive level.
Students work in a lively studio atmosphere and benefit from access to a wide range of technical resources and facilities. Learning is through lectures, group seminar work, specialist tutor sessions, one-to-one tutorials, technical demonstrations and workshops.
The course teaching team spans a wide range of skills, expertise and experience embracing technical, conceptual and theoretical approaches to design. Associate Lecturers provide subject specific specialist skills and the course has visits from guest lecturers from industry.
How to apply
This section includes information on how to apply, course entry requirements, selection criteria, information about interviews and portfolio advice.
Home / EU applicants
You must apply through Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS), where you’ll need the following information:
- University code: U65
- Course code: I600
- There is no campus code for LCC
Go to 'Apply' from the UCAS home page, where you will be able to register and create a password that gives you unique access as you complete your application form. London College of Communication (LCC) courses are listed under University of the Arts London.
For Home/EU applicants, the Course Leader will determine whether deferred places are available for the course. If you wish to defer your place, it is advisable to indicate this on your application form and/or discuss this with the admissions team and Course Leader before/after applying at the earliest opportunity. In all cases, deferred places will only be held for one year.
This section includes information on how to apply, course entry requirements, selection criteria, information about interviews and portfolio advice.
International applicants can apply through one of three routes only:
Further information on applying via UCAS is provided on the University Applying through UCAS page.
For applicants who want to apply directly to UAL, the direct application form may be found here:
For full details on the application process, visit the Undergraduate application page.
Study Abroad applicants
International undergraduate students can apply to join BA (Hons) Games Design for a period of up to three terms as a Study Abroad student.
Visit the Study Abroad page for details of how to apply.
International applicants are normally permitted to defer entry to any programme of study for one year only, after which they will be asked to re-apply.
Recruitment and admissions
The course team welcomes applicants from a broad range of backgrounds from all over the world. The course attracts students who apply direct from A Level (or equivalent) or from Foundation Diploma in Art and Design, or other art courses, as well as mature students who may have previously worked in industry.
Entry requirements (Home/International/EU)
The standard minimum entry requirements for this course are:
64 new UCAS tariff points (160 old UCAS tariff points) gained at GCE Advanced (A) Level or equivalent. (A Level subjects studied may include: English; History; Media; Business; Art and Design, or other subjects within Social Sciences). Ideally your A levels will be achieved at Grade C or above.
One subject at A Level achieved at grade C or above PLUS Foundation Diploma in Art & Design (Level 3/4).
Alternatively you will be considered if you have achieved a minimum of 64 new UCAS tariff points (160 old UCAS tariff points) from one of the following qualifications:
- BTEC Extended Diploma
- UAL Extended Diploma in Art and Design
- Access to HE Diploma
- International Baccalaureate
- Equivalent EU or Non-EU qualifications
Additionally you will have achieved passes at grade C or above in at least three GCSE subjects including English.
If English is not your first language you will also need an up to date English qualification- see below.
Alternative entry routes
We welcome applicants with relevant professional and vocational qualifications, or mature students who do not have formal qualifications but may have relevant experience in industry.
Students applying on the basis of their previous experience should apply as normal via UCAS and will then be guided by the admissions team on next steps, through either of the Accreditation of Experiential Learning (AEL) or the Accreditation of Certificated Learning (ACL) processes.
English language requirements
All classes are conducted in English. If English is not your first language you will be asked to provide evidence of your English language ability when you enrol.
- IELTS 6.0 with a minimum of 5.5 in each of the four skills.
- You can check you have achieved the correct IELTS level in English on the Language Requirements page.
- International applicants, please visit our International Applications page for further details regarding Admissions.
Student selection criteria - what do we look for?
All applications will be considered by the course team. They will review the following key elements when making a decision on your suitability to join the course:
- Most importantly they will review your personal statement and your portfolio
- They will consider your qualifications (or projected results)
- They will also review your academic or personal references
Offers will be made based upon the following selection criteria, which should be demonstrated in your application:
- A strong interest in games design and an awareness of the business and technology of games
- An approach suited to the demands of the course and the projected career futures
- Creative thinkers who can respond to briefs with originality
Personal statement advice
This is an important part of your application and should demonstrate to the team that you are interested in games design and that you have thought carefully about why you want to study on this course.
You can demonstrate this through your previous work experience or study, personal experience and your ambitions for personal development as a student at LCC.
You should ensure it is written clearly, and free of any spelling mistakes. It is your chance to impress the team by demonstrating your appreciation of what the course can offer you and how you feel it will help you in the future.
State what you personally would bring to the course, and that you are motivated and have a willingness to learn, explore and experiment.
Your portfolio of work is the most important part of your application.
You must clearly evidence development work as well as completed projects.
All applicants will be contacted by the admissions team and asked to submit a mini portfolio via PebblePad.
The mini portfolio should consist of no more than ten images from two or three of your projects.
You can include examples of any of the following:
- Digital assets, 2D sprites or environments
- 3D models, characters, objects or environments
- Interactive design or websites
- Visual communication or graphic design
- Animations or real time films
- Storyboards or conceptual art
- Existing digital or physical (board/card) games
- Game design documents
- Computer programs
After submitting the mini portfolio, applicants could either be made an offer for the course, referred to other courses across UAL for consideration, or invited to attend a full portfolio review and short group interview at LCC.
Applicants successful at the mini portfolio stage may be invited to attend a full portfolio review and interview at LCC.
For the full portfolio review at the College, you should prepare additional examples of your work, including your development and sketchbook work, as well as finished projects.
In exceptional cases, those living outside London can be interviewed by phone or via Skype, and will need to prepare a digital version of their full portfolio.
Interviews will be held with two members of the course team, and will be relatively informal.
You can prepare yourself in advance by thinking of questions to ask the course team and re-familiarising yourself with your UCAS personal statement, from which the course team’s questions to you will probably arise.
Students are admitted to the course having fulfilled the necessary entry requirements and on the basis of their potential to benefit from the programme and their potential to succeed on the course.
The selection procedures for the course adhere to the Equal Opportunities Policy of the University of the Arts London. Applications are normally made through UCAS and are assessed on the basis of qualifications, their personal statement, and portfolio of work.
All applicants will be contacted by the admissions team and asked to submit a mini portfolio of work via PebblePad within two weeks. Depending on the quality of mini portfolio and application, applicants may then be invited to full portfolio review and interview at the College.
In exceptional cases, those living outside London and unable to attend LCC can be interviewed by phone or via Skype, and should also prepare a digital version of their full portfolio.
Applicants are not guaranteed a full portfolio review or interview, and may be offered a place, or informed of an unsuccessful outcome, after the mini portfolio stage.
Successful applicants will be guided through the rest of our admissions stages and towards enrolment on the course.
Fees and funding
Home / EU fee
Tuition fees for undergraduate degree courses have been set at £9,250 per year for full-time study. This applies from the 2017/18 academic year, subject to changes in the law. Tuition fees may increase in future years for new and continuing students, in line with an inflationary amount determined by government. Please visit our Undergraduate tuition fees page for more information.
In addition to tuition fees you are very likely to incur additional costs such as travel expenses and the cost of materials. Please read the information on our additional costs page.
Find out about the accommodation options available and how much they will cost.
Scholarships and awards
There are a number of scholarships and awards available to students on this course. Use our search tool to find out more information.
The aim of the course is to develop graduates who combine an experimental and innovative approach to design with an understanding of the player experience with critical and analytical skills to be able to develop for a chosen platform.
The career opportunities for graduates include games design, level design, content creation, project management, quality management and localisation.
BA (Hons) Games Design graduates have gone on to work within the games industry as designers, producers, developers, 3D/2D content creators, localisation and quality assurance managers. They also excel in roles outside of the games industries as flash developers, web developers and 3D modellers.
UAL Jobs and Careers
UAL has a number of services and networks that hold regular workshops and careers fairs developed to help you establish and promote your career in the arts, design, or media. These include:
Careers and Employability are the University's dedicated careers and professional practice service. We help UAL students and graduates embark on their professional futures in the creative industries, find jobs, set up a business, and sell their work. We run events throughout the year on all aspects of the career journey.
Creative Opportunities jobs board helps graduates and students find job and internship opportunities and connect with organisations and companies in the creative sector. We post jobs and paid internships, part-time work, freelance contracts and full-time opportunities.