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Undergraduate

BA (Hons) Games Design

Portfolio by Craig Green. BA (Hons) Games Design, London College of Communication, UAL. Photograph: Alys Tomlinson
College
London College of Communication
Start date
September 2021
Course length
3 years
UCAS code
I600

BA (Hons) Games Design will teach you how to take the software tools used in game design and development to create new gaming experiences from original concept to finished game.

Open Days

The next online Open Day for this course will be announced soon.

A recording of our latest online Open Day for this course is now available. Watch online now.

Follow on Twitter

@GamesDesLCC

Course playlist

What is BA (Hons) Games Design?

Course Leader, Roy Caseley talks through what BA (Hons) Games Design is and what skills you'll develop as a student at London College of Communication.

Student Voices: Henry Threadwell

Graduate Henry talks about his time and experience on the course, as well as his game 'Too Many Cooks' which he took to one of the biggest gaming conventions in Los Angeles.

Student Voices: Anna Poliakova

Anna is a graduate from the course who created a puzzle game where you can only use each movement once. Here Anna talks about her time on the course.

Student work

  • Screenshot of game showing cartoon player surrounded by dead characters.
    Arthur Audren de Kerdrel. 2020, BA (Hons) Games Design, London College of Communication, UAL.
    Wrath  

    Game by: Arthur Audren de Kerdrel

  • Screenshot of game showing lit up garden in a night time setting.
    Jack McPherson, Arthur Audren de Kerdel, and Jack Roper. 2020, BA (Hons) Games Design, London College of Communication, UAL.
    Nightlight  

    Game by: Jack McPherson, Arthur Audren de Kerdel, and Jack Roper

  • Screenshot of game with players inside a white H arena
    Anthony McCarthy. 2020, BA (Hons) Games Design, London College of Communication, UAL.
    Mono Shift  

    Game by Anthony McCarthy

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.

  • empty workshop space with chairs, tables, tv screen's vr booths and coding area
    Creative Technology Lab

    A multi-purpose space that supports students with: Creative Coding, Physical Computing, Projection Mapping, Games, and Virtual Reality.

Course stories

Course overview

BA (Hons) Games Design will teach you how to take the software tools of games design and create new gaming experiences. Explore skills sought by industry, such as storyboarding, coding and play testing which will enable you to translate your ideas into playable games.

Working from original concepts, you will develop ideas and test them to evaluate their experience of play. You'll not only design the players interaction with the game mechanics but also the visual feedback needed to communicate the player’s progress, the various gamestates and the behaviours of individual game objects and characters.

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 late September 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.

Mode of Study

BA (Hons) Games Design runs for 93 weeks in full time mode. It is divided into 3 stages over 3 academic years. Each stage lasts 31 weeks.

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

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 will define computer games, their history and the subjective nature of play. You will be introduced to practical game design theories and how it effects the design of game hooks and features.

You will develop an awareness of design documents used to communicate game concepts, and the programming skills needed to implement design documents and build game prototypes.

Year 2

Concept and Design 2 (40 credits)
Prototype Development 2 (40 credits)
Contextual and Theoretical Studies 2 (20 credits)
Introduction to Professional Practice (20 credits)

In year 2 you will explore the importance of characters and game environments to aid immersion and enrich the player experience. You will examine the importance of genres in specifying potential target audiences. You will be introduced to 3D modelling and how to construct and texture game elements. Develop your programming skills to control multiple autonomous and dynamic objects.

Year 3

Major Project Practical (60 credits)
Professional Practice (Progression) (20 credits)
Contextual and Theoretical Studies (40 credits)

In your third year you will build on existing 3D knowledge by introducing rigging, and the preparation and creation of animation and the use within a games engine.

You will be introduced to 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.

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

Staff

Roy  Caseley

Roy Caseley

Course Leader, BA (Hons) Games Design

Zans  Gurskis

Zans Gurskis

Lecturer, Immersion and Interactive Design

Thom  Kaczmarek

Thom Kaczmarek

Lecturer, BA (Hons) Games Design

David  King

David King

Course Leader, MA Games Design

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 entry requirements for this course are as follows:

104 UCAS tariff points which can be made up of one or a combination of the following accepted full level 3 qualifications:

  • A Levels at grade C or above (preferred subjects include: English; History; Media; Business; Art and Design, or other subjects within Social Sciences).
  • Pass at Foundation Diploma in Art & Design (Level 3 or 4).
  • Distinction, Merit, Merit at BTEC Extended Diploma (preferred subjects: Art and Design, IT & Computing).
  • Merit at UAL Extended Diploma.
  • Access to Higher Education Diploma (preferred subject: Science, Digital and Creative Media, Computing).
  • OR equivalent EU/International qualifications, such as International Baccalaureate Diploma at 24 points minimum

And 3 GCSE passes at grade 4 or above (grade A*-C).

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

Making your application

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.

Please note: This course does not require a portfolio as part of the 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.

Deferring your place

This course allows offer holders to defer. If you have an offer of a place, but you would like to defer starting for a year, please contact our Admissions Service as soon as possible via your UAL Portal. Make sure you check our Admissions Policy before requesting a deferral.

If you are an EU offer holder, it is important to consider that, from 2021-22, you may be charged International fees, which are higher. Read our Coronavirus guidance for prospective students for details.

Transfers

If you are currently studying somewhere else on a course in an equivalent subject area and would like to transfer to this course, you can transfer to:

  • Year 2, if you’ve completed 120 credits in Year 1
  • Year 3, if you’ve completely 240 credits in Years 1 and 2

Apply via UCAS and choose Year 2 or 3 for your POE (Point of Entry)

Please check our Student Transfer Policy for more important information and be ready to provide us with your current course handbook and Year 1/Year 2 unit transcripts.

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

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, and for further advice for international applicants, please visit the UAL International Application page.

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.

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.

Deferring your place

This course allows offer holders to defer. If you have an offer of a place, but you would like to defer starting for a year, please contact our Admissions Service as soon as possible via your UAL Portal. Make sure you check our Admissions Policy before requesting a deferral.

Transfers

If you are currently studying somewhere else on a course in an equivalent subject area and would like to transfer to this course, you can transfer to:

  • Year 2, if you’ve completed 120 credits in Year 1
  • Year 3, if you’ve completely 240 credits in Years 1 and 2

Apply via UCAS and choose Year 2 or 3 for your POE (Point of Entry)

Please check our Student Transfer Policy for more important information and be ready to provide us with your current course handbook and Year 1/Year 2 unit transcripts.

If you are an International applicant and studying outside the UK, please complete your Direct application and then contact us via your UAL Portal to ask to be considered for Year 2/Year 3.

Please be ready to provide an official document (translated into English) from your current university, explaining the learning outcomes of the units you have completed.

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.

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.

International applicants may be invited to an online interview. Interview details will be sent via the UAL Portal.

Please add @arts.ac.uk to your contacts to ensure that you do not miss any important updates re: your application to UAL.

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 London College of Communication 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.

Requesting feedback

This course receives a high number of applications, and we can’t provide feedback to everyone who is unsuccessful. We can only provide feedback after you’ve had an interview.

If you would like to request feedback – please email lcc.ukeu@arts.ac.uk if you are a Home or EU applicant, or lcc.international@arts.ac.uk if International. We are only able to provide feedback to you directly, or to someone you have told us in writing can receive it on your behalf

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

Fees and funding

Home fee

£9,250 per year

This fee is correct for 2021/22 entry and is subject to change for 2022/23 entry. Tuition fees may increase in future years for new and continuing students.

Home fees are currently charged to UK resident nationals . However, the rules are complex. Find out more about our tuition fees.

From 2021/22 entry, most EU students will be charged the International tuition fee rate, depending on your individual circumstances. If you started your course in October 2020 or earlier, you’ll continue to pay Home (UK) fees for the duration of your course. Read more advice for EU students.

International fee

£22,920 per year

This fee is correct for 2021/22 entry and is subject to change for 2022/23 entry. Tuition fees for international students may increase by up to 5% in each future year of your course.

Students from countries outside of the UK are currently charged international fees. The rules are complex so read more about our tuition fees.

From 2021/22 entry, most EU students will be charged the International tuition fee rate, depending on your individual circumstances. If you started your course in October 2020 or earlier, you’ll continue to pay Home (UK) fees for the duration of your course. Read more advice for EU students.

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.