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BSc (Hons) Games Design

£10,000 scholarships available
  • Late
  • UCAS Code:
    G601
  • Institution:
    B50
  • Delivery:
    Full time according to Funding Council definitions

Our newly developed BSc (Hons) Games Design degree focuses on the design aspect of creating contemporary video games; exploring everything from the theory behind the creation of successful digital entertainment titles to the generation of dedicated art and content for them.

Currently being considered for accreditation by The Independent Games Developers’ Association (TIGA), the course covers level design, interactive storytelling, narrative development, interface design, games analytics, scripting for game creation, plus 3D modelling and texturing for games.

The degree follows a curriculum that is intended for specialising exclusively in the art and design aspects of video games creation. However, if you decide you would like to learn more programming skills and knowledge, there is the option of studying a more technical route within this curriculum. By following this technical path you’ll attain some of the creative fundamentals of game design through scripting, by replacing some of the more art-focused units such as modelling, texturing and animation. You’ll receive further information on all these choices and more during your induction.

To complement the skills and knowledge acquired on the course, those undertaking the four-year course have the opportunity to complete at least 30-weeks in an industry work placement; designed to give you a competitive edge when seeking employment.

Find out more about this course with Senior Lecturer Dr Charlie Hargood in the BU Webinar Undergraduate Degrees in Games.

Key information

Next start date:

September 2018, September 2019

Location:

Bournemouth University, Talbot Campus

Duration:

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

Entry requirements:

For 2018 entry: 104 - 120 tariff points including a minimum of 2 A-levels or equivalent. 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

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

  • 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.

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

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

  • 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.

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:

How you will be assessed

You will be assessed by coursework culminating in your final year research project, and you will also undertake group work and written exams. The assessment methods for each unit can be found on the programme profile in the programme specification for your course. As an indication,94% of the most popular units on a similar course in 2016/17 were assessed by coursework.

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

Applicants who are predicted to achieve strong academic results will be eligible for BU’s Unconditional Offer Scheme in recognition of their academic performance and potential to succeed at university. If you are selected for the scheme and commit to us as your firm choice of university, then we will match this commitment by making your offer unconditional, which will guarantee your place at BU.

You will receive a standard conditional offer based on the entry requirements for your course via UCAS Track and your offer letter – it will advise that you are eligible for the unconditional offer scheme. We will then update your offer to unconditional should you choose BU as your firm choice on UCAS Track. We believe that unconditional offers reduce pressure on applicants who will continue to strive to achieve the best grades possible, and we will reward you with an Academic Excellence scholarship of £1,000 in your first year if you achieve AAA or above at A-level or equivalent.

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 - 120 tariff points including a minimum of 2 A-levels or equivalent. BTEC Extended Diploma: DMM.

Excluded subjects: General Studies

GCSEs: A minimum of GCSE English and Mathematics grade C (or grade 4 in the reformed GCSE grading) 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 Future Students 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 Future Students Enquiry Service. It may be that we can still consider it.

Access courses: 102 - 112 tariff points with any combination of Distinction, Merit, Pass grades

BTEC qualifications:

  • Extended Diploma: This course requires a Distinction, Merit, Merit (112 tariff points)
  • Diploma: Accepted as part of the overall tariff
  • BTEC National Foundation Diploma/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
  • BTEC National Extended Certificate/Subsidiary Diploma: This course requires a Distinction in addition to two A-levels or equivalent to achieve the overall tariff

Cambridge Pre-U Diploma: 104 - 112 tariff points including a minimum of 2 Principal Subjects

Cambridge Technical qualifications:

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

International Baccalaureate Diploma: 28 - 31 overall including grade H5 from 2 Higher Level subjects

Scottish Advanced Highers: 104 - 112 tariff points including a minimum of 2 Advanced Highers

Welsh Baccalaureate: Accepted as part of the overall tariff but it must be accompanied by an A-level or equivalent

Extended Project Qualification: Accepted as part of the overall tariff but it must be accompanied by 2 A-levels or equivalent

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.

84% of students from our Games courses are working in professional/managerial positions within six months of finishing their course.

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

Dr Carlo Harvey is the course leader for BSc (Hons) Games Software Engineering; his research interests include perceptually-aware multi-modal rendering, and he has won numerous best paper awards at international conferences.

Christos, Fred and Carlo have been instrumental in the development of our games courses to make sure they are up-to-date and reflect the needs of industry professionals. Register online to come to an open day and meet us!

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.

Course changes

The table below indicates the latest changes to this course.

Date Changes to this course Where the change was made Previous text
15/11/17

After an annual review of the placement year tuition fee,  a price increase in line with current inflation, equating to 3% has been introduced.

Fees £790
6/9/2017

2018 entry requirements have changed to 104 - 120 tariff points including a minimum of 2 A-levels or equivalent

Key facts and 2018 entry requirements 

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

6/9/2017

2018 GCSE entry requirements have changed to This course requires GCSE English and Mathematics grade C (or grade 4 in the reformed GCSE grading) or equivalent qualifications. 2018 entry requirements

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