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BSc (Hons) Games Design

  • Late
  • UCAS Code:
    G601
  • Institution:
    B50
  • Delivery:
    Full time according to Funding Council definitions

Register for a webinar to find out more about this course on Monday 5 June, 4-5pm (GMT), with Senior Lecturer Dr Charlie Hargood.

Our brand new BSc (Hons) Games Design course focuses on the design aspect of creating contemporary games, be it the theory behind the creation of successful digital entertainment titles or dedicated art and content for them. On the course you will cover level design, interactive storytelling, narrative development, interface design, games analytics, scripting for game creation plus 3D modelling and texturing for games. You will be automatically enrolled on this core Games Design course which covers the practical and theoretical areas of modern game design.

In addition to this, there is an optional route offering a more technical approach, which involves programming whilst retaining some of the creative fundamentals of game design listed above (such as level design, storytelling, games analytics and others) whilst excluding art ones (such as modelling, texturing and animation).

So, the core route is intended for specialising exclusively in the art and design aspects whereas, if you would like to study some of these processes alongside acquiring games programming technical skills and knowledge, the technical route may be more appropriate for you.

At the beginning of your studies you will be enrolled in the core route automatically. If you are interested in taking the technical route instead you will be able to notify us of this during your first week at the start of the course, after a scheduled special informational session we will run to explore whether this choice is appropriate for you. You will be taken through the process of this in your induction week in more detail.

We are currently applying for accreditation for this course with TIGA. This accreditation has not yet been obtained but we will keep you informed in relation to this.

Key information

Next start date:

September 2017, September 2018

Location:

Bournemouth University, Talbot Campus

Duration:

3 years, or 4 years with a minimum 30-week placement

Entry requirements:

For 2017 entry (we will use the new UCAS tariff) : 104 to 120 tariff points, including 3 A-Levels, or equivalent qualifications. BTEC Extended Diploma: DMM. For more information check out our 2017 entry requirements page.

For 2018 entry: 104 to 120 tariff points, including 3 A-levels, or equivalent qualifications. BTEC Extended Diploma: DMM. For more information check out our 2018 entry requirements page.

International entry requirements:

If English is not your first language you'll need IELTS (Academic) 6.0 (with minimum 5.5 in each of the 4 components), or equivalent. For more information check out our international entry requirements page.

Course content

On this course you will usually be taught by a range of staff with relevant expertise and knowledge appropriate to the content of the unit. This will include senior academic staff, qualified professional practitioners, demonstrators, technicians and research students. You will also benefit from regular guest lectures from industry. We have an industrial advisory panel who offer guidance on course content. They regularly host guest talks and Q&A sessions for our students.

Year 1

Core units

  • Games Design Principles: You will discover the basic principles of game design, as well as gain experience in collaborative working and sharing ideas.
  • Digital Technologies: You will gain knowledge of a wide variety of technologies involved in the creation of a computer-based solution to a real world problem using several contemporary tools.
  • Game Modelling Fundamentals: You will explore the theory and practice of 3D modelling with an emphasis on creating assets for real-time rendering, as used in the computer games industry.
  • Level Design Fundamentals: You will explore the theoretical underpinning and good practice of creating functional, visually believable and convincing 3D game levels using an industry standard game engine.
  • Lighting & Texturing: You will learn the specifics of texturing used in a modern game pipeline (e.g. bitmap and procedural texturing) as well as for the lighting design of modern computer games.
  • Game Development Pipeline: You will discover the set of techniques and concepts related to the creation of a modern computer game using leading, industry-standard middleware products.

Option units

  • Introduction to Programming: You will develop a sound understanding of fundamental programming principles and practices involved in implementing computer programs using the games industry standard high-level programming language.
  • Object Oriented Games Programming: You will extend your programming skills gained in the introductory to programming unit in the first semester by using an object-oriented approach to software development.

Optional route

If you have chosen the technical option, you will replace Game Modelling Fundamentals and Lighting & Texturing with:

  • Introduction to Programming
  • Object Oriented Games Programming

Year 2

Core units

  • Storytelling and Narrative Development: You will develop skills in the development of narratives as a fundamental part of game design, and also discover the systems and theories that underpin interactive storytelling systems.
  • Modelling for Animation: You will develop 3D modelling skills by appropriately applying different techniques to the concepts of 3D modelling for games animation (e.g. interpret 2D concepts and create the corresponding 3D models ready for rigging).
  • Interface Design: You will explore interaction techniques as involved in the current and near future computer games, through the principles of human-computer interaction.
  • Animation for Games: You will acquire an overview of the state of the art for contemporary animation approaches for games as well as develop animation skills to animate character models expressing convincing attitudes, under given circumstances and modulated by attributed personality traits.
  • Game Studio Project: You will experience the practicalities of working in a team, simulating a real world games studio, in order to plan, design and implement a computer game from concept ideas and all the way to release stage.
  • Commercialisation & Business Environments: You will develop the fundamental commercial and professional skills and knowledge needed to successfully establish and operate a business within the creative industry sector.

Option units

  • 3D Graphics Programming: You will develop technical knowledge and skills in computer graphics programming and apply these for 3D graphics rendering, as commonly used in computer games.
  • AI Game Programming: You will look at fundamental artificial intelligence algorithms needed for computer games and also explore their implementation.

If you have chosen the technical option you will replace Modelling for Animation and Animation for Games with:

  • 3D Graphics Programming
  • AI Game Programming

Year 3

Core units

  • Individual Project: You will apply the methods and techniques to develop your major individual project, through surveying research literature to identify suitable topics for investigation, developing of a formal specification; and critically evaluating the project.
  • Usability & Games Analytics: You will discover the essential user experience principles allowing one to draw firm conclusions on the game players' experience for future game design by effectively evaluating a variety of game-derived data.
  • Pervasive Gaming: You will develop knowledge of current and emerging gaming technologies for various types of pervasive games by exploring their supporting platforms and contexts.
  • Innovation, Enterprise & Business Development: You will discover the possibilities of developing your own innovative business ideas, by exploring opportunities for enterprise and innovation through preparing a detailed, professional business proposal.

Scheduled learning and teaching activities

Contact hours

The hours below give an indication of how you can expect to spend your time during each year of this course. You will learn through a combination of lectures, seminars, tutorials, workshops and practical sessions. Your independent learning could include reading books and journal articles, working on group projects, preparing presentations, conducting library research and writing your assignments.

In addition to the taught units on this course you will spend time in our dedicated studios using the latest software. Your third year is spent in an industry environment if you choose the optional placement. In your final year, you will spend a significant amount of time on self-directed learning in order to create a unique and substantial project.

Year 1 –  33% of your time will be spent in timetabled learning & teaching activities

  • Learning and teaching: 240 hours
  • Independent learning: 660 hours
  • Non-credit bearing learning and teaching:

Year 2 – 27% of your time will be spent in timetabled learning & teaching activities

  • Learning and teaching: 240 hours
    Independent learning: 660 hours
    Non-credit bearing learning and teaching:

Year 4 - 16% of your time will be spent in timetabled learning & teaching activities

  • Learning and teaching: 140 hours
    Independent learning: 660 hours
    Non-credit bearing learning and teaching:

100 % of the course is assessed by coursework

  • Year 1: 100%
  • Year 2: 100%
  • Final year: 100%

Throughout the course you will be assessed by coursework culminating in your final year research project, and you will also undertake group work..

Programme specification

Programme specifications provide definitive records of the University's taught degrees in line with Quality Assurance Agency requirements. Every taught course leading to a BU Award has a programme specification which describes its aims, structure, content and learning outcomes, plus the teaching, learning and assessment methods used.

Download the programme specification for BSc (Hons) Games Design

Whilst every effort is made to ensure the accuracy of the programme specification, the information is liable to change to take advantage of exciting new approaches to teaching and learning as well as developments in industry. If you have been unable to locate the programme specification for the course you are interested in, it will be available as soon as the latest version is ready. Alternatively please contact us for assistance.
 

All statistics shown are taken from Unistats, Destination of Leavers from Higher Education (DLHE), BU institutional data and Ipsos MORI (National Student Survey) unless otherwise stated.

Placement opportunities

At BU, we recognise that placements are extremely valuable and can give you a head start when it comes to your future career; so we offer every student the opportunity to undertake a work placement as part of their course. The placement provides an excellent opportunity for you to gain first-hand industry experience. Why not read about some of our students’ experiences?

We have regular contact with games developers across the UK and overseas, including Jagex, Lionhead, Marmalade, Goodgame Studios and Climax Studios, some of whom act as industry advisers, offering guidance on course content. They regularly host guest talks and Q&A sessions for our students. Amuzo recently mentored a student group, offering them office space and support on their premises.

How long is my placement?

You will begin your placement after completion of your second year of study and you must complete a minimum of 30 weeks.

Your application

Background and experience

For Games Design we are looking for applicants who:

  • Have a strong interest in games development with particular emphasis on the design aspects of the medium
  •  Are looking to develop a career in the games industry
  •  Are looking to use technology for the creation of games and game assets.

Selection methods

We’ll be selecting the candidates for this course by looking at their UCAS applications. For that reason, make sure your application really stands out from the crowd, and leave us in no doubt as to why you should be joining BU. You can find some handy hints about filling in your UCAS form on our how to apply webpages.

Our offer making process

Our offer making will typically be based on your main graded qualifications, including any required subjects. Additional study may be valuable for breadth of study, and we will look at a range of qualifications and subjects, including the Extended Project Qualification and General Studies, although these may not be part of our offer.

If you do not meet the criteria of your original offer, we may still offer you a place. We will review your whole application and consider all academic qualifications (including those not in the offer) and the rest of the application to see if you have the academic potential to succeed on the course. If we feel the answer is yes, we will still confirm your place.

How we'll assess your application

We look at individual applications and make a tailored offer based on your potential to succeed on the course considering a range of factors, including your academic achievements, work and other experience, predicted grades, reference and personal statement, and in some cases, your performance at an interview/selection test.

If you meet one or more of our contextual data indicators for educational disadvantage (such as being in care, living in a low participation neighbourhood or in an area with less advantaged socio-economic characteristics), your offer could be between 6-20 points below the published tariff.

Unconditional offer scheme (2017 entry)

Our Unconditional Offer Scheme seeks to reward exceptional applicants who are predicted to achieve top academic results. The scheme is offered to applicants on all courses who are predicted AAA at A-level/triple Distinction in BTEC Extended Diploma, or above, or equivalent, subject to any course selection measures and meeting other entry criteria (i.e. required qualifications). What’s more we’ll recognise your achievement if you meet these grades with an Academic Excellence Scholarship from £1,500 when you arrive*.

We believe that unconditional offers will reduce pressure on applicants who will continue to strive to achieve the best grades possible. Excellent grades will become a part of applicants’ CVs and are also required for BU’s scholarships. International qualifications are considered in the scheme; however applicants must satisfy the English language requirements. *Our scholarships are subject to terms, conditions and eligibility criteria, detailed on our scholarships pages.

2017 entry requirements

The new UCAS Tariff will be used for September 2017 entry.

The entry requirements for this course are 104 to 120 tariff points, including 3 A-Levels, or equivalent qualifications. BTEC Extended Diploma: DMM.

UCAS have created a helpful calculator so you can calculate points to use for courses starting from September 2017 onwards.

Excluded subjects: This course does not accept General Studies

GCSEs: A minimum of 4 GCSEs grades A* - C (or grade 4 or above in the newly reformed GCSE grading) including a Maths and English or equivalent qualifications

Numeracy and Literacy: We need to be sure that you can express yourself in written English and have basic numeracy skills. We look at Level 2 of the National Qualifications Framework, which includes, but is not limited to, GCSEs, iGCSEs, Key Skills and Functional Skills Level 2.If you do not have formal qualifications to this level or have alternatives, we may still be able to consider your application – please contact the askBU Enquiry Service to find out more.

Other qualifications

We have outlined below other qualifications that we consider for this course. If you are studying a qualification that is not listed, please contact the askBU Enquiry Service. It may be that we can still consider it.

Access Courses: We welcome Access to HE Diploma applicants. This course requires applicants to Pass the Access to HE Diploma in ICT/Science/Business (with 60 Credits - at least 45 at level 3, remainder at level 2 or equivalent). Any combination of grades to meet the overall tariff is acceptable.

BTEC Qualifications

  • Extended Diploma: This course requires a Distinction, Merit, Merit.
  • Diploma: This course requires at least Distinction, Merit in addition to an A-Level or equivalent to achieve the overall tariff.
  • 90-credit Diploma: The 90-credit Diploma will be accepted as part of your overall tariff but it must be accompanied by A-Levels or equivalent qualifications.
  • Subsidiary Diploma: This course requires a Distinction in addition to two A-Levels or equivalent to achieve the overall tariff.   

A combination of BTEC qualifications to meet the overall course tariff is also acceptable.

Cambridge Pre-U Diploma: We welcome applicants studying the Cambridge Pre-U Diploma or a combination of Pre-U subjects and A-Levels.

European Baccalaureate: Applicants are required to achieve a minimum score of 71 - 75% overall.

International Baccalaureate (Diploma): The International Diploma is welcomed as part of the International Baccalaureate.This course requires 28 - 31 points including 5 points from each of the 3 Higher Level subjects.

Scottish Qualifications: Scottish Advanced Highers, Scottish Highers and other Scottish qualifications are all welcomed providing that your results meet the overall course tariff.

Welsh Baccalaureate: The Welsh Baccalaureate Advanced Diploma is welcomed alongside A-Levels or equivalent, to meet the overall course tariff.

OCR Level 3 Cambridge Technical Qualification: The OCR Extended Diploma or a combination of one Diploma plus one Introductory Diploma is acceptable for entry to this course.

  • Extended Diploma: This course requires Distinction, Merit, Merit.

Other combinations of OCR Level 3 Cambridge Technical qualifications to meet the overall course tariff may be acceptable.

Extended Project Qualification: The grade achieved for the Extended Project may be taken into account when considering whether or not to accept a candidate who has marginally failed to meet the conditions of their offer.

Deferred Entry: We are happy to consider applicants for deferred entry.

2018 entry requirements

We use the UCAS Tariff to show our entry requirements and will accept a combination of grades from your qualifications. You can use the UCAS calculator to see how your qualifications equate to tariff points.

The entry requirements for this course are 104 to 120 tariff points, including 3 A-Levels, or equivalent qualifications. BTEC Extended Diploma: DMM.

Excluded subjects: General Studies

GCSEs: A minimum of 4 GCSEs grades A* - C (or grade 4 or above in the newly reformed GCSE grading) including a Maths and English or equivalent qualifications

Numeracy and literacy: We need to be sure that you can express yourself in written English and have basic numeracy skills. We look at Level 2 of the National Qualifications Framework, which includes, but is not limited to, GCSEs, iGCSEs, Key Skills and Functional Skills Level 2.If you do not have formal qualifications to this level or have alternatives, we may still be able to consider your application – please contact the askBU Enquiry Service to find out more.

Other qualifications: We have outlined below other qualifications that we consider for this course. If you are studying a qualification that is not listed, please contact the askBU Enquiry Service. It may be that we can still consider it.

Access courses: We welcome Access to HE Diploma applicants. This course requires applicants to Pass the Access to HE Diploma in ICT/Science/Business (with 60 Credits - at least 45 at level 3, remainder at level 2 or equivalent). Any combination of grades to meet the overall tariff is acceptable

BTEC qualifications:

  • Extended Diploma: This course requires a Distinction, Merit, Merit (112 tariff points)
  • Diploma: This course requires at least Distinction, Merit in addition to an A-level or equivalent to achieve the overall tariff.
  • 90-credit Diploma: The 90-credit Diploma will be accepted as part of your overall tariff but it must be accompanied by A-levels or equivalent qualifications.
  • Subsidiary Diploma: This course requires a Distinction in addition to two A-levels or equivalent to achieve the overall tariff.   

Cambridge Pre-U Diploma: We welcome applicants studying the Cambridge Pre-U Diploma or a combination of Pre-U subjects and A-levels.

Cambridge Technical qualifications:

  • Extended Diploma: This course requires a Distinction, Merit, Merit (112 tariff points)
  • Diploma: Accepted as part of the overall tariff but it must be accompanied by an A-level or equivalent.
  • 90-credit Diploma: Accepted as part of the overall tariff but it must be accompanied by A-levels or equivalent.
  • Subsidiary Diploma: Accepted as part of the overall tariff but it must be accompanied by A-levels or equivalent.

International Baccalaureate Diploma: The International Diploma is welcomed as part of the International Baccalaureate.This course requires 28 - 31 points including 5 points from each of the 3 Higher Level subjects.

Scottish Advanced Highers: Scottish Advanced Highers, Scottish Highers and other Scottish qualifications are all welcomed providing that your results meet the overall course tariff.

Welsh Baccalaureate: The Welsh Baccalaureate Advanced Diploma is welcomed alongside A-Levels or equivalent, to meet the overall course tariff.

Extended Project Qualification: The grade achieved for the Extended Project may be taken into account when considering whether or not to accept a candidate who has marginally failed to meet the conditions of their offer.

Deferred entry: We are happy to consider applicants for deferred entry.

International entry requirements

English language requirements

If English is not your first language, you will need to provide evidence that you can understand English to a satisfactory level. English language requirements for this course are normally:

  • IELTS (Academic) 6.0 with minimum 5.5 in each of the 4 components, or equivalent.

View further information about our English language requirements.

If you do not meet the English language requirement for your degree then why not join our Pre-Sessional English course. Successful completion of our Pre-Sessional English course will meet your English language requirement, without the need to re-take IELTS.

Academic entry requirements

You can find details of the international qualifications we accept, and what level of study they apply to, on our entry requirements for non-UK students' page.

We offer a number of preparatory programmes through the Bournemouth University International College. These courses offer you progression from High School in your home country to a Bachelor’s degree at BU.

Options include:

Careers

The computer games industry is continuing to expand at a rapid rate. This course will help you develop all the skills you need to enter this fast-paced and exciting industry.

We have links with games companies locally, nationally and internationally, allowing you to make contacts before you graduate.

You will be in a position to apply for a range of jobs once you graduate, including:

  • Games Programmer
  • Games Developer
  • Media Designer.

Industries worked in

  • Games
  • Multimedia
  • Technology
  • Digital
  • Entertainment.

*All statistics shown are taken from Unistats, Destination of Leavers from Higher Education (DLHE), BU institutional data and Ipsos MORI (National Student Survey) unless otherwise stated.

Further study

Once you have completed an undergraduate Honours degree, you can further develop your education by studying for a postgraduate degree. Please visit our Postgraduate section for further details about our range of Master's degrees.

Meet our staff

Previously course leader for both of the undergraduate games courses, Dr Christos Gatzidis is now Head of the Department of Creative Technology. He is an active member of TIGA, the games industry's network for games developers & digital publishers and the trade association representing the video games industry, and he collected BU's award for best education establishment at their annual awards ceremony in 2016.

Dr Fred Charles is the course leader, and is also an award winner, having been involved in research on Interactive Storytelling which led to the development of several interactive systems which have won awards.

Fred and Christos led the recent review of our games courses to make sure they are up-to-date, reflect the needs of industry professionals and take into account feedback from our current students and graduates.

Register online to come and meet Christos and Fred!

No hidden extras

Course specific material(s) included in your tuition fee:

  • Standard enclosed headphones

As a student at BU we will provide many things to support you and there will also be additional costs you may encounter whilst studying at BU. The information below will help you understand our provision and what you need to budget for.

What you can expect from us

All of your teaching and assessments are included in your tuition fees including lectures/guest lectures and tutorials, seminars, laboratory sessions and specialist teaching facilities. You will also have access to a wide range of support and services. You will find out more about these if you are offered a place on the course.

  • One set of study-related consumables such as a memory stick/ DVD
  • Materials for laboratory and field-based teaching activity
  • Support for placements (UK or abroad) and fieldwork, and non-financial support whilst on placement
  • A range of student services – advisors, help desks, counsellors, placement support and careers service
  • The Library – access to a wide range of electronic resources (databases, e-journals and e-books), print and multimedia collections, subject librarians and study spaces
  • IT labs (some open 24/7), wireless network, AV equipment to borrow
  • Peer Assisted Learning (PAL) scheme
  • Disability and additional learning support
  • The BU Language Centre to help you develop/improve foreign or English language skills
  • 24 hours a day, 365 days a year security team.

Costs of living and other expenses you need to consider

  • Accommodation and living costs: view our price guide
  • Text books: remember that our award-winning library is stocked with a large range of text books for all courses, as well as online resources such as industry journals, free of charge
  • General stationery and other supplies such as print and presentation materials: the Students’ Union shops stock a wide range of stationery supplies on both campuses
  • Travel to, from and between BU campuses: our bus service operates in the local areas offering a subsided travel rate; we also have a large number of secure bike storage compounds
  • SportBU membership: check out our student membership packages, sports events, varsity teams, information about our new facilities and more on the SportBU webpages
  • Optional fieldwork travel, outdoor wear and footwear (where applicable)
  • Telephone and travel costs incurred when undertaking interviews for coursework/securing placements.
  • A fee will be payable towards the cost of an Educational Psychology Assessment if this is required in connection with additional learning support. BU pays for approximately two-thirds of the cost of this assessment for UK students. For more details and current pricing please visit the Student section of the website

Repeat units

If you need to repeat one or more units during the course of your studies (with or without attendance) you may be required to pay an additional fee of £1,500 per 20 credit unit.  

Financial help available from BU

We offer a range of scholarships and bursaries to students who are beginning their studies at BU. Our website also provides details on living costs, budgeting and paying your tuition fees.