BA (Hons) Games Design

Applications closed 2016/17

Applications for 2016/17 entry to this course have now closed. Visit the Places available page for a full list of UAL courses that are open for application.

Build. Test. Play. BA (Hons) Games Design gives you the opportunity to take the software tools of games design and create new gaming experiences. From storyboarded concepts to playable prototypes to user testing and evaluation, you'll design the code as well as the visual feedback systems so you're ready to join the industry and develop new games from scratch.

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

Guest lecture with Mike Bithell, games designer and creator of 'Thomas Was Alone' for BA (Hons) Games Design students at LCC.
Image © Lewis Bush

Industry talk by Mike Bithell, games designer and creator - LCC Blog. 

Students and Course Leader Roy Caseley talk about studying Games Design at LCC.

Funding opportunities

Find out about the range of funding options available for undergraduate study.

Use UAL's fees and funding calculator to estimate how much your studies may cost you in your first year, and what funding may be available to you.

Facts

Course Leader

Roy Caseley

Course Location

London College of Communication 
Elephant and Castle
Find Us

Study LevelUndergraduate
Study ModeFull time
Course Length3 years
Home/EU Fee

£9,000 per year (2016/17 fees)

International Fee

£17,230 per year (2016/17 fees)

Start DateSeptember 2016
Autumn Term DatesMonday 26 September 2016 – Friday 9 December 2016
Spring Term DatesMonday 9 January 2017 – Friday 17 March 2017
Summer Term DatesTuesday 18 April 2017 – Friday 23 June 2017
Application Route

Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS)

Application DeadlineApplications for 2016/17 entry are now closed. Applications for 2017/18 entry will open in Autumn 2016.
UCAS CodeI600
University CodeU65

Content and Structure

Content

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 be 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 modeling. 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 and 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. 

Learning and teaching

Courses in UAL span a broad range of art, design, communication, business, media, science and communication subjects. So the ways in which you learn and how your time is used will vary according to the specific course you are studying; this may be in studios, labs, classes, involve working alone, learning from peers in pairs or groups, or with external partners. Most importantly, no matter which course you enrol on, you will learn not only about your subject but also about how you learn and how to increase your knowledge base.

Our courses will guide you to take increasing responsibility and ownership of your work and your learning. We do this so that you will be ready and able to take full advantage of the full range of opportunities offered by the creative industries in the global economy.

Assessment

We see assessment as a very real part of learning, rather than just a means of looking back at past work and measuring achievement. We believe that assessment helps you plan future work and develop new ideas.

Your work will be assessed through projects or portfolios, with written papers or research journals, and, on some courses, examinations. You will be graded according to a set of marking criteria that relate to such things as research, subject knowledge, methodology, and your capacity to analyse and reflect on your achievements. So don’t be afraid of assessment - it is the way to progress.

Structure:

In common with all courses at the 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.

Outline of the course

Year 1

Units Summary: 

  • Introduction to Study in Higher Education (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
  • Develops 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, and testing and evaluating concepts.

The final year gives students the opportunity to specialise in an area of games design in which they are particularly interested. It supports the acquisition of specialist knowledge for their Major Project dissertation and aids in the development and specialist skills for 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 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 Ingham and Dr. Ian Horton

LCC tutors are practitioners and academics with a wealth of experience in their field. The course is constantly evolving as the teaching team bring new technologies and experiences gained from industry partners. Staff are also engaged in a range of research activities from a variety of disciplines across games studies.

Careers

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.

Student Jobs and Careers at UAL

We know what it takes to be successful in your chosen field. Your tutors are professionals in their own right and understand what you need to help you establish your career. 

Careers and Employability is dedicated to helping students build up work-relevant skills, knowledge, experience and networks throughout your time here. 

Creative Opportunities is the UAL job and work placement website for students and graduates, advertising hundreds of creative opportunities each month. This includes ArtsTemps in-house recruitment agency, placing students and graduates in paid temping roles within the University.

UAL houses a number of organisations which promote aspects of career development in the arts and media, and which hold regular workshops and careers fairs. These include:

  • Own-It (intellectual property issues)
  • ArtQuest (career development resource for artists and designers)

Entry Requirements

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)

For admission to BA (Hons) Games Design, applicants need:

160 UCAS tariff points gained at GCE Advanced (A) Level (or equivalent) plus passes in three subjects at GCSE (or equivalent) Grade C or above. A Level subjects studied may include: English; History; Media; Business; Art and Design, or other subjects within Social Sciences.

A typical applicant might have:

  • Two GCE A Levels (or equivalent) ideally achieved at grade C or above, plus passes in three subjects at GCSE Grade C or above. 
    OR
  • One subject at GCE A Level, plus a Foundation Diploma in Art and Design, plus passes in three subjects at GCSE Grade C or above. 

Applicants might also have overseas qualifications, or others:

  • International Baccalaureate or European Baccalaureate.
  • UAL Awarding Body Level 3 Foundation Diploma in Art and Design. 
  • National Diploma, Access, or NVQ.

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.

Admission Procedures

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.

Student Selection Criteria - What do we look for?

All applications will be considered by the course team and offers will be made based upon the following selection criteria. The team will consider 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.

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.

Portfolio Advice

Your portfolio of work is the most important part of your application.

You must clearly evidence the following, through development work as well as completed projects:

  • A strong 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 to the area of study.
  • An approach suited to the demands of the course and the projected career futures.
  • Creative thinking; how you respond to a brief with originality.

Mini Portfolio

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 twenty 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.

Full Portfolio

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.

Interview Advice

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.

Next steps

You can normally expect to hear from the admissions team within two weeks after your interview. Successful applicants will be guided through the rest of our admissions stages and towards enrolment on the course. 

How to Apply

UK/EU Applicants

You will need to apply through the UCAS online application system.

Go to ‘Apply’ from the UCAS homepage, 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.

  • University code: U65
  • Course code: I600
  • There is no 'campus code' for LCC.

International Applicants

There are three ways international students can apply to an undergraduate course at LCC:

Follow the steps on the UAL International Application page for advice of how to apply.

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.

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