Join us in 2019

Apply now

Games Design BA (Hons)

Let games industry professionals teach you how to design and develop computer games from concept art through to asset creation, animation and level design, leading to fully playable games. This Games Design programme will unlock your potential through an exploration of the ways in which design, storytelling, art and coding come together to create unique and memorable games.

UCAS course code
York St John University
Course fees
2019 - 2020: Home & EU students: £9,250 per annum, International (non EU) students: £12,750 per annum
3 years full-time | Part-time options available on request
Study Abroad
Yes - see our study abroad web pages for more information
Start date
September 2019
Art, Design and Computer Science

Course overview

The BA Games Design programme reflects real world of Game Design industry practice. We help you to unlock your potential as a future Games Designer by exploring the complex way in which Game Design and Game art come together with code to create unique games. During your studies you will also take part in a variety of Game Jams and other external events, collaborating on projects with students from other disciplines to create more games for your portfolios.

Learn how to design and develop computer games from initial concepts through to core and advanced design techniques, concept art, digital modelling, animation, and visual scripting. Use your own creative skills to work on live projects from within the games industry using the latest technologies, including Virtual, Augmented, and mixed Reality, utilising our cutting edge facilities to help bring your digital design ideas to life.

Games Design is taught by tutors with many years of genuine game development experience who have worked on well recognised intellectual property for highly respected industry developers and publishers. We also have close connections with the UK’s largest game companies and recruiters and will help develop the skills you need to become an accomplished and sought-after game designer.

89% of Graduates from our Design courses were in employment or further study within six months.

DLHE 2017

Course structure

You will develop your own game design and art skills through a range of mediums and technical practices, learning new approaches to game play, whilst improving your modelling, texturing and animation skills for level design.

You will have the opportunity to model and texture assets such as virtual environments, vehicles and characters, whilst specialising in animation principles and computer dynamics.

You will work alongside other designers, artists and programmers to create your own unique games using industry standard software and cutting edge hardware.

AutodeskAutodesk Maya accreditation

We offer accreditation in Autodesk Maya, demonstrating your skill and knowledge in using computer animation software to future employers.


Level 1

Level 1

Level 1 enables you to develop your creative ideas through a range of different medium and technical practices. You will learn new approaches to game play and nurture both your programming and digital design skills to successfully communicate your creative ideas within game engines.

Modules include:

Introduction to Game Art & Analytical Drawing: Learn perspective techniques, shape and colour theory, and other drawing basics that will help you quickly demonstrate your design ideas to team or client.

Understanding the 3D Digital Pipeline: Understanding the different disciplines is vital to becoming a proficient designer. This module will give you an overview of the pipeline from paper concept to in-game model.

Introduction to Character Rigging: Utilise 3d software to design and rig your character for deployment into a game engine.

Animation Principles: Animate your rigged character with a ‘moveset’ allowing basic in-game actions.

Gaming & Contemporary Culture: An overview of how gaming fits into modern culture that will help inform your design decisions

Level 2

Level 2

Level 2 allows you to expand and explore on your game design skills. You will have the opportunity to apply your knowledge and understanding of animation and design artwork to produce character modelling and virtual environments.  Your skill base will expand building upon the use of digital practices and collaborations for game creation.

Modules include:

Motion Capture and Performance Acting: Script a scene and Capture real time motion. Clean up the data and import into a game engine ready  to trigger!

Introduction to Real Time Engines: An overview of current game engines (integrated development environments) with a view to the most suited for your project.

Storytelling & Narrative for Gameplay: An overview of common story structures, and how to adapt and expand these into various game genres.

Collaborative Projects (Programmers & GUI Designers): Learn how to schedule your project and tasks in a team-based environment from a client brief

Work related learning: Opportunity to work on alive brief or in an industry games studio: Utilise our industry and emergent tech company contacts to secure placements or client briefs to gain core experience and skills for your portfolio.

Level 3

Level 3

Level 3 provides opportunities for you to research and produce innovative proposals to produce a unique game design through to a functioning game. It is an opportunity for you to evolve your own personal development, whilst working with key industry partnerships for graduate success

Modules include:

Innovative Research Proposals for Emerging Game Platforms: Utilise extensive cutting edge hardware of your choice to create a specific focused proposal for further development.

Major Project for Games – Personal Game Development: Focus on the specific skills you would like to showcase within your portfolio in this solo or team based year long game project, with access to publishing opportunities across platforms.

Preparing Pipelines & Production for Games - Utilise time management software and tracker lists to prepare budgets and schedules for game development teams. 

Client Project – working on an industry live brief for real world scenarios: Utilise our industry and emergent tech company contacts to secure a brief that will allow development of your personal chosen skillset.

Working with key industry partnerships: Utilise our industry and emergent tech company contacts to secure a partnership or placement that will allow development of your personal chosen skillset.

Programme specification

Further information on this course is available in the programme specification. Please note that the programme specification relates to course content that is currently being studied by students at the University. For new programmes, the programme specification will be made available online prior to the start of the course.

Disability Advice

York St John University works hard to create an inclusive environment for all our students. We offer a range of disability advice services to assist students throughout their studies.

Teaching & Assessment

Games Design is taught by tutors with many years of genuine game development experience who have worked on well recognised intellectual property for highly respected industry developers and publishers. We also have very close connection with the UK’s largest recruiters and will help develop the skills you need to become an accomplished and sought-after game developer. During the course you will also engage with industry speakers with experiences in writing, interaction and game art development, while immersing yourself in new technologies within Virtual and Augmented Reality.

The programme has been designed to meet the needs of those of you who wish to undertake a degree in a broad range of design related activities and those of you returning to education. Programme delivery will utilise a blended approach incorporating tutor led sessions, group work and individual tutorials, technical support and learning reinforced by virtual learning environments (VLEs).


The programme is concerned with ensuring that you have the opportunity to experience a variety of teaching and learning strategies across the modules offered. These are structured to facilitate successful achievement of the learning outcomes of each module.

You will be provided with a range of teaching and learning strategies across the modules, including:

  • Reflective learning
  • Independent learning
  • Collaborative learning
  • Facilitated learning

It is anticipated that semesters will be divided between periods of intense activity (in practice based activity) and periods of independent reflection, supported by specific tasks, technical workshops, reading and proactive use of VLE (including forums, discussion groups, online portfolios, project briefs ).

Teaching methods

Students will be taught using a wide and varied range of teaching methods, including:

  • Lectures
  • Demonstrations
  • Seminars
  • Individual and group tutorials
  • Group and individual presentations
  • Visiting speakers / lectures
  • Use of audio-visual material
  • Use of e-learning
  • Use of appropriate IT
  • Workshops
  • Technical support


The programme recognises that, as a higher education student, you need to gain and develop a range of graduate attributes which is why the programme places a significant emphasis on your independent learning. The programme thus aims to provide an environment in which you are encouraged to take responsibility for your role in managing your learning and outcomes.

Reflection is central to learning on this degree. It encourages you to relate new material you may encounter to your existing knowledge and expertise. In addition to being a part of good quality knowledge transfer, reflection supports learning by enhancing the whole experience. The new programme will offer you the time to reflect in a variety of ways; such as learning journals, formative feedback, the use of portfolios, reflection on work related learning and internships, tutorial interaction, peer and self-assessment, assignments and a review of your own continual professional development (CPD) plan. It will also facilitate an understanding of your own learning processes and their relationship with and to other creative industries.

You will be encouraged to recognise your learning is not confined to formal teaching situations and encouraged to undertake independent preparation as a follow up to your formal teaching sessions. The programme seeks to offer a range of technical support and independent study that might include both theory and practical sessions. The Technology Enhanced Learning (TEL) team support staff in using some of the core online student services, such as Moodle (VLE) and Mahara (e-portfolio), which you can openly access as part of your online learning experience.

Assessment & feedback

Assessment is varied, including a creative portfolio, client projects and design briefs. We emphasise the importance of having a strong portfolio and show-reel, which is essential for employment. You will not be expected to undertake any examinations whilst on the degree.

Entry requirements


The minimum entry requirements for this course are:

96 - 112 UCAS Tariff points

3 GCSEs at grade C or above (or equivalent) including English Language

Calculate your tariff points.

Personal statement

Essential criteria

As well as a strong standard of written English, the ability to demonstrate knowledge and interest in the subject is essential. This can be done in a variety of ways, for example, visits to design exhibitions, museums or collections. Applicants will also show an ability to 'think outside the box' and have relevant experience of group work.

Valued criteria

We also value the ability to demonstrate a real enthusiasm for the subject that goes beyond achieving good grades in exams. Examples of this include involvement in projects or entering competitions, and being aware of any current issues relating to design, such as sustainability. Candidates will also be able to discuss influences including favourite designers, design product or style of design.

Terms and conditions

Our terms and conditions, policies and procedures contain important information about studying at York St John University. These can be accessed through our Admissions webpages.

Visit York St John.

Discover life as a York St John student by visiting us. You’ll be able to explore our beautiful city-centre campus, meet our friendly staff and find out more about your chosen course.

Visit us

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 will depend on whether you're a UK & EU student or an international (non-EU) student. Tuition fees are charged for each year of your course.

Find out more about funding for Foundation Year and/or Placement Year by visiting the Funding Advice pages of our website.

York St John offer special reductions to students graduating from York St John University Undergraduate degrees in 2019 and continuing directly onto Postgraduate study. Find out more about discounts and scholarships.

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


Tuition fees

UK & EU 2019 / 20

The York St John University tuition fee for the 2019 entry to Foundation Degree, BA and BSc, PGCE Primary and Secondary and UG Health Programme degrees is £9,250 per year for UK/EU, Jersey, Guernsey and Isle of Man students.

Tuition fees may be subject to inflation in future years.

Fees & Funding

Overseas 2019 / 20

The York St John University tuition fee for the 2019 entry to Foundation Degree, BA and BSc, PGCE degrees is £12,750 per year for international students.

Tuition fees may be subject to inflation in future years.

International Fees & Funding

International students

We welcome international students from all over the world at York St John University and have a vibrant international community. You can find out more on our International Pages about how you can study with us and what it’s like to live and learn in York, one of the UK’s most historic cities.

Unistats data for this course

Ask a question

Do you have a question about this course? Fill out our form to send a question to our Admissions team. Alternatively, you can call us on 01904 876598.

Cookie Settings