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BA (Hons) Games Design

College
LCC
Start date
September 2019
Course length
3 years
UCAS code
I600

Course summary

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.

Open Days

Follow on Twitter

@GamesDesLCC

Student work

Course Leader Roy Caseley and current students talk about what it's like to study BA (Hons) Games Design at LCC.

Student Voices: Jake Lee

BA (Hons) Games Design student Jack talks us through their work in London College of Communication's Degree Shows 2017.

Course film

Build. Test. Play. Course Leader Roy Caseley and current students talk about what it's like to study BA (Hons) Games Design at LCC.

LCC Game Jam

BA (Hons) Games Design students took part in a Game Jam with industry mentors in Spring 2015.

Facilities

The Digital Space, London College of Communication.
Image © Ana Escobar

The Digital Space

The Digital Space is an open-plan, creative hub with computers set up with specialist software.

A 3D model of a wolf produced by an animation student.
Image © Lewis Bush

Animation and Games Design

Discover the range of resources on offer to students studying Animation and Games Design.

The 3D Printer.
Image © Lewis Bush

Prototype and Code

A multi-purpose space with specialist hardware, that supports students in creative code and physical computing.

Course stories

Course details

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 structure

The academic year for this course is divided into 2 blocks.

The 1st block is of 15 weeks’ duration from early October to mid-February. In accordance with the University timetable, there will be a four week holiday in December.

The 2nd block is also of 15 weeks’ duration from mid-February to the end of June with a four week holiday for Easter.

Showcasing your work

All students are advised to set up a profile on portfolio.arts.ac.uk, UAL’s portfolio platform, which can be done at any point during your time at LCC and will last for up to 12 months after graduation.

This platform is often used to source student work for promotional use on the website, social media and for print and can be a great way of getting your work seen.

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)
  • Introduction to Professional Practice (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)
  • Contextual and Theoretical Studies (40 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.

Learning and teaching methods

  • Supervision
  • Tutorials
  • Peer review
  • Lectures
  • Seminar
  • Tutorials
  • Workshops supporting individual and group needs
  • Guest lectures

Assessment methods

  • Report
  • Presentation
  • Self-assessment document
  • Reflective diary

Changes to course

Information provided by the University is accurate at the time of first publication. Courses, however, remain subject to change. Changes may be necessary to improve the quality of educational services, in order to meet the latest requirements of a commissioning or accrediting body, in order to bring course content in line with best practice activities across the Higher Education sector, in response to student feedback, and/or due to a lack of student demand for certain units or options.

Events may arise outside of the reasonable control of the University which lead to changes to courses. Such events may include industrial action, civil disorder, severe weather, and changes in applicable laws and/or safety requirements.

If you have accepted a place on a course, we shall notify you of any changes as soon as reasonably practicable.

Webpage updates

We will update this webpage from time to time with new information as it becomes available. In the meantime, if you have any questions, use this register your interest form.

Staff

Roy  Caseley

Roy Caseley

Course Leader, BA (Hons) Games Design

Mark  Ingham

Mark Ingham

Design School Learning and Teaching Innovation Lead

Ian  Horton

Ian Horton

Reader in Graphic Communication

How to apply

Opportunities for all

We are committed to making university education an achievable option for a wider range of people and to supporting all of our students in achieving their potential both during and after their courses.

We welcome applications from people with disabilities. If you have a disability (e.g. mobility difficulties, sensory impairments, medical or mental health conditions or Asperger’s syndrome) we strongly encourage you to contact us on disability@arts.ac.uk or +44 (0)20 7514 6156 so that we can plan the right support for you. All enquiries are treated confidentially. To find out more, visit our Disability & Dyslexia webpages.

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/grade 4 or above in at least three GCSE subjects.

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.

APEL - Accreditation of Prior (Experiential) Learning

Applicants who do not meet these course entry requirements may still be considered in exceptional cases. The course team will consider each application that demonstrates additional strengths and alternative evidence. This might, for example, be demonstrated by:

  • Related academic or work experience
  • The quality of the personal statement
  • A strong academic or other professional reference
  • A combination of these factors.

Each application will be considered on its own merit but we cannot guarantee an offer in each case.

English Language requirements (International/ EU)

IELTS level 6.0 or above, with at least 5.5 in reading, writing, listening and speaking. Please check our main English language requirements page.

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.

Selection criteria

The details on your UCAS application (including the academic reference and your personal statement) will be assessed 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

How we assess your application

Your application form is reviewed when you apply to the University. If you have achieved or expect to achieve the standard entry requirements we will consider you for a place on the course. We make our offers based on the strength of the whole application, and therefore don’t routinely invite applicants to interview. To find out more, view our Undergraduate Application Process page.

This course doesn’t require you to provide a portfolio.

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.

Making your application

Apply for this course though Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS):

  • University code: U65
  • Course code: I600

London College of Communication courses are listed under University of the Arts London.

Application deadline

We recommend you apply by 15th January for equal consideration.  However this course will consider applications after that date, subject to places being available.

Making a deferred application (for entry in 2020/21)

Home/EU applicants are permitted to make a deferred application. International applicants are not permitted to make a deferred application.

Entry to Year 2 or Year 3

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.

LCC will consider applications for entry at Year 3 in exceptional cases only.

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.

Erasmus

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

International applicants can apply through either of the following routes:

If you are applying through UCAS you will need the following information:

  • University code: U65
  • Course code: I600

Making a Deferred Application (for entry in 2020/21)

Home/EU applicants are permitted to make a deferred application. International applicants are not permitted to make a deferred application.

Entry to Year 2 or Year 3

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.

LCC will consider applications for entry at Year 3 in exceptional cases only.

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.

London College of Communication courses are listed under University of the Arts London.

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.


After you apply

Communicating with you

After you have successfully submitted your application, you will receive an email confirming we have successfully received your application and providing you with your login details for the UAL Portal. We will request any additional information from you, including inviting you to upload documents through the portal. You should check your UAL Portal regularly for any important updates and requests.

International applicants may be invited to interview in person at LCC, or via Skype if overseas or unable to attend. Details of this interview will be sent via the UAL Portal.

Immigration history check

International applicants, whether applying online via UCAS or through a UAL representative or by direct application, you will need to complete an immigration history check to establish whether you are eligible to study at UAL. If you do not complete the check, we will not be able to proceed with your application.

What happens next?

We will advise you of your application outcome through UCAS Track. If you are an International applicant and have applied directly or through an agent, we will notify you through the UAL Portal.

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.

Deferring your place

If you are offered a place for 2019/20 but wish to defer to 2020/21, 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 in order to defer. In all cases, deferred places will be held for one year.

Fees & Funding

Home / EU fee

£9,250 (2019/20).

Tuition fees for undergraduate degree courses have been set at £9,250 per year for full-time study. This applies from the 2019/20 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

£19,930 (2019/20).

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.

Scholarship search

Careers and alumni

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.

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