• CollegeLCC
  • Start dateSeptember 2018
  • Course length3 years
  • UCAS codeI600

BA (Hons) Games Design

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

Watch // Students and Course Leader Roy Caseley talk about Games Design at LCC

Watch // BA (Hons) Games Design students take part in a Game Jam with industry mentors

 Games designer and creator Mike Bithell delivering a lecture to LCC students
Image © Lewis Bush

Content

This course is subject to revalidation. Revalidation is a process that makes sure students get a high-quality academic experience. During revalidation, there may be some changes and developments to course content. Please contact us if you have any questions about this course.

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.

What can you expect?

You will 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.

Course units

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.

Year 1

Units summary:

  • 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

Year 2

Units summary:

  • 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.

Year 3

Units summary:

  • Major Project Practical (60 credits)
  • Professional Practice (Progression) (20 credits)

and

  • Route A: Contextual and Theoretical Studies 3 (40 credits)

or

  • 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.

Resources

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.

Staff

Course Leader

Roy Caseley

Contextual and Theoretical Studies Coordinators

Dr. Mark InghamDr. Ian Horton

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.

Erasmus

For further information on Erasmus and UAL exchange schemes, please visit the Erasmus and Non-Erasmus Exchanges section on the UAL website. 

Deferrals

Deferring an Offer

If you are offered a place for 2018/19 but wish to defer to 2019/20, information on how to do this and who to contact can be found in your offer letter.

International applicants will have to pay a deposit and meet any offer conditions in order to defer.

In all cases, deferred places will be held for one year.

Making a Deferred Application (during 2018/19 for entry in 2019/20)

Home/EU applicants are permitted to make a deferred application. Immigration rules prevent International applicants from making a deferred application.

This section includes information on how to apply, course entry requirements, selection criteria, information about interviews and portfolio advice.

International applicants

International applicants can apply through either of the following routes:

Further information on applying via UCAS is provided on the University Applying through UCAS page.

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.

Deferrals

Deferring an Offer

If you are offered a place for 2018/19 but wish to defer to 2019/20, information on how to do this and who to contact can be found in your offer letter.

International applicants will have to pay a deposit and meet any offer conditions in order to defer.

In all cases, deferred places will be held for one year.

Making a Deferred Application (during 2018/19 for entry in 2019/20)

Home/EU applicants are permitted to make a deferred application. Immigration rules prevent International applicants from making a deferred application. 

Entry requirements

Home/EU/International

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 or design courses, as well as mature students who may have previously worked in industry.

The standard minimum entry requirements for this course are:

64 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.

Or

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 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 Diploma
  • 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 you are applying on the basis of your previous experience, you should apply as normal via UCAS. You will then be guided by the admissions team on next steps of the AP(e)L process, through either Accreditation of Experiential Learning (AEL) or Accreditation of Certificated Learning (ACL).  

If you have successfully completed year 1 of a degree course at another institution and wish to continue your studies at LCC, you can identify the point of entry as year 2 on your application, and consideration will be given by the course admissions tutor. 

Language Requirements (International/EU)

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 (or equivalent) is required, with a minimum of 5.5 in each of the four skills.
  • You can check you have achieved the correct IELTS level on our language requirements page.

Student selection - what do we look for?

As part of your application, you will be asked to submit a full portfolio of work. We make our offers based on the strength of the whole application, and therefore don’t routinely invite applicants to interview.

The course admissions tutors 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 the quality of the uploaded portfolio
  • They will consider your qualifications (or projected results)
  • They will review your academic or personal references
  • International applicants may be invited to interview in person at LCC, or via Skype if overseas or unable to attend.

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 explain what motivates you to learn, explore and experiment. 

Portfolio advice

Your portfolio of work is the most important part of your application, and you must clearly evidence development work as well as work from completed projects.

Please provide us with no more than 10 examples of your current work. Within your work sample, please include no more than five minutes of durational work (moving image or sound) along with a contextual statement that explains your contribution to the finished product. It is important that the course admissions tutors are clear about your role within the production of the durational work.

Important Note: You are strongly advised not to delay the upload by trying to create new work; your main aim should be to demonstrate the creativity within your current portfolio. 

Selection Criteria

The portfolio, along with the details on your UCAS application (including the academic reference and your personal statement) will be used by the course admissions tutors to assess your suitability against the following criteria:    

  • Demonstration of a clear interest in games design and an awareness of the business and technology of games
  • An understanding of the need for a critical and analytical approach (through research and practice) to this area of study
  • An ability and desire to think creatively and respond to briefs with originality
  • Quality of ideas and thought processes in the approach to and production of your finished work                     

Referral to alternative UAL courses

The University operates a cross-referral system, where applicants can be considered for and offered a place on an alternative course, if the admissions tutor feels they are more suited to that course. If you wish to opt out of the cross-referral process you can do so at the application form stage. 

What happens next?

We invite all offer holders to come to LCC, from January onwards, to attend one of our Offer Holder events. Offer holders will have the chance to meet the team, find out more about the course, and see our diverse and vibrant student community in action.

Successful applicants will be guided through the rest of our admissions stages and towards enrolment on the course.

Fees and funding

Home / EU fee

£9,250 (2017/18).

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.

International fee

£19,350 (2018/19).

Additional costs

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.

Accommodation

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.

Scholarships search

Career paths

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.

Alumni

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.