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Undergraduate Course

Games Design BA (Hons)

This course will unlock your creative potential. Gain the technical skills to create the games you would love to play.

Graphic from student designed game

Explore how design, storytelling, art and coding come together to create unique and memorable games. Our industry professionals will teach you how to design and develop computer games from concept art through to asset creation, animation and level design. By the end of the course, you will have the skills you need to design fully playable games.

  • Available in Clearing

85% of Games Design students felt that their lecturers made the subject interesting. (National Student Survey 2020)

York campus

  • UCAS Code – 620I
  • Duration – 3 years full time, 6 years part time
  • Start date – September 2021
  • School – School of the Arts

Minimum Entry Requirements

    96 UCAS Tariff points

    3 GCSEs at grade C/4 (or equivalent) including English Language.

Tuition Fees

    UK and EU 2021 entry £9,250 per year full time

    International 2021 entry £12,750 per year full time

Discover Design at York St John University

Course overview

This course is your chance to immerse yourself in games design and learn the skills needed to stand out in this competitive industry. When you join us, you will work with other design students in different activities. These will help you develop your skills in drawing, modelling and rigging. You will complete practical projects throughout your degree. These will increase in complexity as you progress. As you work on these, you will gain experience of:

  • Working with real time engines
  • Animating characters
  • Writing game stories and narratives
  • Developing interactive user experiences
  • Considering the limitations of platforms
  • Working with Grey box preproduction
  • Finalising a bug free, distributable build.

 

Alongside your practical work you will study the theory and history of games design. You will debate some of the controversies that exist in the field. This will help you to identify the areas which interest you the most. You can develop this research in your final year research project.

Our team of designers and technical specialists are here to support you. Your tutors will really get to know you, your practice and your ambitions.

You will also gain experiences that make you stand out. We give you opportunities to:

  • Work with students from other courses to enrich your learning, such as Animation or Games Development
  • Complete work placements in industry and learn from visiting professionals
  • Visit international cities to find new inspiration
  • Exhibit your work at our annual degree show, the perfect way to build a professional network.

Course structure

Year 1

Our academic year is split into 2 semesters. How many modules you take each semester will depend on whether you are studying full time or part time. 

In your first year, if you are a full time student, you will study: 

  • 1 compulsory module across semester 1 and 2
  • 1 compulsory module in semester 1 
  • 1 compulsory module in semester 2.

If you are a part time student, the modules above will be split over 2 years.

You can find out which modules are available in each semester on the Course Specifications.

Modules

Credits: 60

Compulsory

On this module you will gain the practical skills you need to progress in Games Design. You will begin with learning how to express and communicate your ideas visually by exploring different drawing techniques. Throughout the year we will then introduce you to different software, techniques and theories help you develop your abilities in games design. Together we will cover:

  • 3D Digital Pipeline
  • Animation Principles
  • Rigging – setting up digital models for animation
  • Modelling
  • Modelling for anatomy
  • Lighting and compositing and more

 

Credits: 20

Compulsory

This module is your introduction to the academic principles of Games Design. You will investigate issues and concepts in design and use the knowledge to make informed judgements about the direction of your creative work and how it can progress. Your exploration of research methodologies will give you the critical and analytical skills to take forward into the rest of your degree.

 

Credits: 40

Compulsory

This module is your chance to apply the knowledge and skills you have gained so far. You will work on 2 Games Design projects over the course of this module. On 1 you will work collaboratively with your classmates and students from other design specialisms. On your other project, you will work independently. Both projects will focus on the fundamentals of games design, prompting you to use your knowledge of:

  • Interactive user experiences
  • Platform limitations
  • Grey box preproduction
  • Finalising a bug free distributable build

 

Year 2

In your second year, if you are a full time student, you will study:

  • 1 compulsory module across semester 1 and 2
  • 1 compulsory module in semester 1
  • 2 compulsory modules in semester 2.

If you are a part time student, the modules above will be split over 2 years.

You can find out which modules are available in each semester on the Course Specifications.

Modules

Credits: 20

Compulsory

On this module you will learn to use advanced, industry standard digital applications. We will encourage you to experiment with different digital tools and apply these techniques to your work. We will focus on real-time techniques used in the games industry to deliver assets for engine while working around hardware limitations. You will also explore new methods of interactivity such as Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR) and consider what they mean for the user experience.

Credits: 60

Compulsory

Work on different design projects throughout this module to expand your portfolio. You will apply the knowledge and animation skills you have gained and create a portfolio that demonstrates your technical abilities and creative voice. These projects will help you understand the application of your knowledge and continue to expand your understanding of:

  • Story and narrative
  • Game art and real-time engines
  • Character Animation
  • Interactive characters and environments.

Credits: 20

Compulsory

This module is your chance to gain professional design experience and prepare for life beyond university. Together we will look at your portfolio and ensure it is appropriate for interviews and viewings with potential clients. You will get the chance to find a work experience opportunity to give you valuable industry experience. This could be an internship, placement, or a client project. We will also provide skill sessions that can help you in the future:

  • Using social media
  • Marketing yourself
  • CV writing and interview techniques
  • Online portfolio guidance.

Credits: 20

Compulsory

On this module you will take park in a collaborative group project. You will collaborate across design specialisms and work together to solve a complex problem with design. In doing this, you will explore different models of collaboration and consider the methodologies and challenges of working together. At the end of the project you will reflect individually on the process and its success.

Year 3

In your third year, if you are a full time student, you will study:

  • 2 compulsory modules across semester 1 and 2
  • 1 compulsory module in semester 2.

If you are a part time student, the modules above will be split over 2 years.

You can find out which modules are available in each semester on the Course Specifications.

Modules

Credits: 20

Compulsory

This module will help you develop an understanding of the historical, theoretical and industrial context of design. We will help you use this knowledge in your own work, ensuring you are producing projects that are socially and culturally sensitive and innovative. You will choose an area of design that interests you and design your own research question in this area. Your dedicated supervisor will help you with this and meet with you on a 1 to 1 basis throughout the module to support your independent study.

Credits: 60

Compulsory

This module is your chance to develop a portfolio of work that demonstrates your specialist skills in games design. You will complete a design brief that you have developed, researched and planned in your Independent Research Project module. You will work independently to complete this brief, receiving support in 1 to 1 tutorials with an academic supervisor. This is an opportunity for you to explore what interests you the most and respond to the brief in the way you want to.

Credits: 40

Compulsory

This module is your chance to develop a portfolio of work that demonstrates your specialist skills in games design. You will complete a design brief that you have developed, researched and planned in your Independent Research Project module. You will work independently to complete this brief, receiving support in 1 to 1 tutorials with an academic supervisor. This is an opportunity for you to explore what interests you the most and respond to the brief in the way you want to.

 

Teaching and assessment

Teaching and learning

We deliver your modules through:

  • Lectures
  • Demonstrations
  • Seminars
  • Individual and group tutorials
  • Practical workshops.

Each module has 2 to 5 hours of contact time a week. We schedule our taught sessions between 9:00am and 8:00pm, Monday to Friday.

You will need to conduct independent study outside of this time. This might include design work, reading, writing tasks and research. You can also arrange academic tutorials with your module tutors throughout the year to receive feedback on your work and discuss the course content.

Our teaching draws on both our research and professional experience. This means your learning is informed by the most current thinking in the subject area. You can find out more about our research and backgrounds by visiting our staff pages.

Assessment

There are no exams on this course. Assessment types vary from module to module. Some of your assessments might include:

  • Portfolios of animation work
  • Research reports
  • Essays
  • Exhibitions
  • Individual and group critiques
  • Dissertations and reflective reports.

For each assessment you will have the chance to talk to a tutor about your work before submission. Each assessment will be marked and returned with feedback so you can improve your work.

Career outcomes

Your future with a degree in Games Design

On this course you will develop the specialist knowledge and creative skill you need to work in the games industry. You will also gain communication, presentation and programming skills that are in high demand in a range of careers.

This degree could be the first step toward your career as a:

  • Animator
  • Games designer
  • Graphic designer
  • Multimedia programmer
  • Software tester
  • Visual effects (VFX) artist.

Discover more career options on Prospects careers advice pages.

You could also progress onto a postgraduate degree and take your learning even further.

 

Whatever your ambitions, we can help you get there.

Our careers service, LaunchPad provides career support tailored to your ambitions. Through this service you can access:

  • Employer events
  • LinkedIn, CV and cover letter sessions
  • Workshops on application writing and interview skills
  • Work experience and volunteering opportunities
  • Personalised career advice.

This support doesn't end when you graduate. You can access our expert career advice for the rest of your life. We will help you gain experience and confidence to succeed. It's your career, your way.

Entry requirements

Qualifications

Minimum Entry Requirements

    96 UCAS Tariff points

    3 GCSEs at grade C/4 (or equivalent) including English Language.

Calculate your UCAS Tariff points

International Students

If you are an international student you will need to show that your qualifications match our entry requirements.

Information about international qualifications and entry requirements can be found on our International pages.

If English is not your first language you will need to show that you have English Language competence at IELTS level 6.0 (with no skill below 5.5) or equivalent.

International entry requirements

 

Portfolio Day

If your application is successful, you will be invited to a portfolio day. On the day, you will show your work with our tutors and share with them your passion for the subject.

Mature Learners Entry Scheme

If you have been out of education for 3 years or more and have a grade C GCSE in English Language or equivalent, you are eligible for our entry scheme for mature learners. It's a scheme that recognises non-traditional entry qualifications and experience for entry onto this course. Information on how to apply can be found on our dedicated page.

Mature entry offer scheme

Terms and conditions

Our terms and conditions, policies and procedures contain important information about studying at York St John University. You can read them on our Admissions page.

 

Fees and Funding

To study for an undergraduate degree with us, you will need to pay tuition fees for your course. How much you pay depends on whether you live inside the UK or EU, or internationally (outside the UK/EU). Tuition fees may be subject to inflation in future years.

UK and EU 2021 entry

The tuition fee for 2021 entry onto this course is

  • £9,250 per year for full time study
  • £6,935 per year for the first 4 years if you study part time.

These prices apply to all UK/EU, Jersey, Guernsey and Isle of Man students.

You can find out more about funding your degree by visiting our funding opportunities page.

Funding Opportunities

Placement year funding

If you choose to take a placement year, and your course offers it, you can apply for the Tuition Fee and Maintenance Loan for your placement year. How much you are awarded is based on the type of placement being undertaken and whether it is a paid or unpaid placement. The tuition fee for your placement year will be reduced.

Tuition Fees

    UK and EU 2021 entry £9,250 per year full time

    International 2021 entry £12,750 per year full time

International 2021 entry

The tuition fee for 2021 entry to this course is £12,750 per year for full time study.

This price applies to all students living outside the UK/EU.

Due to immigration laws, if you are an international student on a Student Visa, you must study full time. For more information about visa requirements and short-term study visas, please visit the International Visa and Immigration pages.

Find out more about funding your degree.

International Fees and Funding

Additional costs and financial support

There may also be some additional costs to take into account throughout your studies, including the cost of accommodation.

Course-related costs

While studying for your degree, there may be additional costs related to your course. This may include purchasing personal equipment and stationery, books and optional field trips.

Study Abroad

For more information on tuition fee reductions and additional costs for studying abroad, please visit our study abroad pages.

Accommodation and living costs

For detailed information on accommodation and living costs, visit our Accommodation pages.

Financial help and support

Our Funding Advice team are here to help you with your finances throughout your degree. They offer a personal service that can help you with funding your studies and budgeting for living expenses. 

For advice on everything from applying for scholarships to finding additional financial support email fundingadvice@yorksj.ac.uk

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