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BA (Hons) Computer Games Design

UCAS code: 
GW42 BA/CGD
Institution code: 
S82
Location: 
Ipswich

Duration: 

Three years full-time.

Four and a half to nine years part-time.

Typical Offer: 

2018 entry: 112 UCAS tariff points (or above)

BBC (A-Level), DMM (BTEC).

Please see Entry Requirements below.

  • Get Serious, Get Games.
  • Your lecturers are specialised in game design, with a range of games industry and academic backgrounds.
  • Learn more than just how to use software. Develop an understanding of the psychological approach to games design.
  • Opportunities to work on project briefs set by games companies. Receive feedback on your course work from industry professionals.
  • Free extra-curricular Game Business Start-up course provided by the Ipswich Games Hub.
  • A proven wide range of work placements and employment opportunities across the games and creative industries.

Introduction

A few of the distinctive features of Games Design at the University of Suffolk, Ipswich Campus:

  • You will have access to dedicated game development labs containing high specification, dual monitor workstations, with latest games industry software.
  • Our Visiting Professor of Games Design is David Parlett, who is known internationally as a game designer, author, games historian and consultant.
  • You will work collaboratively with students on the BSc (Hons) Computer Games Programming, and with other year groups on the BA (Hons) Computer Games Design.
  • The academic team and The Ipswich Games Hub will help you apply for £25,000 of Transfuser funding to publish your own game. Re-Pixelated and Ruya have secured £25,000.
  • Join an active student game jam community.
  • You will have access to a range of game development hardware for your projects, including Oculus Rift, Emotiv EPOC+, Leap Motion, Myo, mobile phones, tablets, Phidgets, 3D Scanner, 3D printers, Cintiq Graphics Tablets.
  • You will be enrolled into the Microsoft Imagine X Academic Software Centre. This will allow you to download and use Microsoft Developer software at home for free.
  • You will develop important skills in project management and team working within an agile project management environment.

 

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Course modules

As a first year student, you will be introduced to a range of duties performed by game designers, and will be acquainted with the principles and tools with which you can begin to develop your own games. By the end of your first year, you will have produced a substantial portfolio of digital and non-digital games in which you will have applied those concepts. You will participate in a number of game-jams in which you can collaborate with students from the BSc (Hons) Computer Games Programming degree. In the second year, you will continue to enhance your understanding of these processes and augment your knowledge with key management tools used in professional games production. Having developed games in a team in the first year, you will now manage a small team of first year students, as you oversee the development of games from original concepts and documentation through to testing and polishing. In your final year, you will engage in larger scale individual and group projects, bringing to fruition a significant and carefully curated body of work to showcase to prospective employers. Having assimilated two years worth of knowledge, and had the chance to explore a wealth of design solutions, you will be bursting with ideas for your final group project, and armed to the teeth with the tools and techniques you will need to plan, develop, manage, and give life to an unforgettable interactive experience. You are almost ready to take the game development scene by storm and you will need a professional online presence and curriculum vitae. We have first-hand experience of industry recruitment and with our support you will stand out from the crowd.

With plenty of room to accommodate your own interests and specialism’s, our students progress into the games industry, and related sectors, as game designers, level designers, modellers, artists, animators, scripters, project managers and testers.

Design-Methods-Posters.jpg

Level 4 student designs: Satellite (Joe Wilson) and Pocket Pet Pals (Caitlin White)

Harness the power of fundamental design skills and learn how to craft a wide variety of engaging player experiences. Discover the principles of mechanics, dynamics and aesthetics in their raw form and alchemize them into prototypes, digital and non-digital games. Explore the diverse history of games, and use this knowledge to iterate upon game designs old and new. Learn to construct and texture game-ready models and export them to a real-time engine. Uncover the mysteries of Unreal Engine and bring your game designs to life on a variety of digital platforms. Experimenting with your newly-acquired design skills, develop your projects and test them on your chosen audience. Working in teams, you will adopt a professional pipeline to turn your ideas into realities.

Armed with pen and paper, unlock the power of a wealth of mechanics as you begin to master the cycle of iterative design. Discover the guiding principles of level design and employ design theory to mod your own map in a 3D gaming engine. Design and build your own worlds using contemporary tools and techniques. Discover how triple-A development teams are able to create vast, immersive and detailed worlds from a suite of modular components. Hone your familiarity with scripting techniques as you iterate a range of 2D and 3D games. Discover how games studios are set up and run, and how they promote their products and generate revenue. Apply the potent principles of behavioural psychology to your own designs.

Modular-Assets.jpg

Modular assets designed and constructed by Level 5 student Adam Letch

 

Throughout the degree you will have the opportunity to engage with several project briefs defined by our external partners in the games industry. You will have the opportunity to show your work directly to employers, gain invaluable feedback from them, and perhaps impress them enough that they offer future opportunities to you. During your studies, there are often opportunities to take on internships with games companies or local IT companies which have a demand for your skills. We have a successful track record of Games Design graduates securing jobs outside the games industry. This is due to the nature of the transferable and professional skills which you will develop.

Softlegs.jpg

Softlegs, designed and developed by Level 6 students Brad Smith, Tom Sharman and Wayne Jackson

Full downloadable information regarding all University of Suffolk courses, including Key Facts, Course Aims, Course Structure and Assessment, is available in the Definitive Course Record.

Design Methods (Requisite)

Harness the power of fundamental design skills and learn how to craft a wide variety of engaging player experiences.

Introduction to Critical Games Studies (Requisite)

Explore the diverse history of games and use this knowledge to iterate upon game designs old and new.

3D Modelling for Games (Requisite)

Learn to construct and texture game-ready models and export them to a real-time engine.

Introduction to Scripting (Requisite)

Uncover the mysteries of UnityScript and bring your game designs to life on a variety of digital platforms.

Group Project (Requisite)

Experimenting with your newly-acquired design skills, develop your projects and test them on your chosen audience. Working in teams, you will adopt a professional pipeline to turn your ideas into realities.

Practical Prototyping (Optional)

Armed with pen and paper, unlock the power of a wealth of mechanics as you begin to master the cycle of iterative design.

Level Design (Optional)

Discover the guiding principles of level design and employ design theory to mod your own map in a 3D gaming engine.

3D Modelling for Games (Optional)

Design and build your own worlds using contemporary tools and techniques. Discover how triple-A development teams are able to create vast, immersive and detailed worlds from a suite of modular components.

Digital Scripting (Optional)

Hone your familiarity with scripting development techniques as you iterate a range of 2D and 3D games.

Studio Practice (mandatory)

Discover how games studios are set up and run, and how they promote their products and generate revenue. Apply the potent principles of behavioural psychology to your own designs.

Managing Games Production (Mandatory)

Having developed games in a team, it is now your turn to manage a small team of your own as you oversee the development of games from original concepts and documentation through to testing and polishing.

Final Project (Mandatory)

This module offers you the freedom and support to study in depth a topic of your choice. Whether you have discovered a passion for Artificial Intelligence, character design, immersive worlds, project management, interactive narrative design, or any other contemporary game development skill, you now have the opportunity to focus your studies and define your personal expertise.

Design Masterclass (Requisite)

Working with industry partners, you will have the opportunity to engage with a professional brief and dip your toes into the world of professional game development.

Game Project (Requisite)

Having assimilated two years’-worth of knowledge and had the chance to explore a wealth of design solutions, you will be bursting with ideas for your final group project, and armed to the teeth with the tools and techniques you will need to plan, develop, manage, and give life to an unforgettable interactive experience.

Portfolio (Requisite)

You are almost ready to take the game development scene by storm and you will need a professional online presence and curriculum vitae. We have first-hand experience of industry recruitment and with our support you will stand out from the crowd.

Career opportunities

Our Ipswich-based students have worked on games such as Horizon Zero Dawn, Killzone Mercenary, Watchdogs 2, Ghost Recon Wildlands and Star Citizen.

Graduates from the BA (Hons) Computer Games Design degree have been employed by top games studios in the UK and abroad. Graduate destinations include: Ubisoft (Romania), Guerilla Games, Rockstar,Electronic Arts (Romania), Spil Games (Netherlands), Sony Computer Entertainment Europe, Splash Damage, Sliding Pixel, The Imaginati, Dreadnought Studios, DGForm (Italy), Imaginarium Studios, War Hungry Games, Firelight Games, Betdigital, Aeria Games  (Germany), GmbH, Techland, Hammer Studio (China).

Graduates have been employed in a wide variety of job roles within the games industry, demonstrating the high standard and flexibility of the course content. Positions which our graduates have achieved after graduation include: Level Designer,  Lead Game designer, Technical Designer, Assistant Producer, Game Designer, Gameplay programmer, Quest Designer, Game Designer, QA Games Tester, QA Team Lead, Content Designer, Games Master, Product Co-ordinator, Environment Artist, Games Artist, 3D Artist, Assistant Pipeline Director, Indie Developer.

Games design graduates have been employed in technical and design roles by Derivco, Conga, Coderus, Orbital and Media, Betdigital Ltd.

There are regular opportunities for internships linked to your course of study. These are made available through companies in the video games industry and other creative sectors.

You will have access to a free games business startup course delivered by the Ipswich Games Hub. The course will help you understand the requirements for marketing , accounting and legal issues for starting your own games company. In collaboration with the Ipswich Games Hub, the games course team have a proven track record with assisting students applying for funding to publish their own game.

Take a look at our student successes and industry links information. 

 

What our students say

"I work at Aeria Games currently as a Games Master. During my degree I learnt key skills such as how to effectively test game products and different game structures. I developed an understanding of key terminology that allows me to communicate to our developers in a way they can understand. The university also exposed me to industry standard software which really gave me an advantage over other candidates. This made the transition from university to the workplace effortless which already has made me stand out."  - Nicola Mizon, University of Suffolk Graduate formally Aeria Games now at Spil Games Games Project Manager, Holland.

Fees and finance

2017-18

  • Full-time Tuition fee: £9,250 p.a.
  • Part-time Tuition fee: £1,454 per 20 credits (Please contact the Infozone for further information).
  • International Tuition fee: £10,080 p.a.

2018-19         

Subject to approval of maximum fee by parliament                    

  • Full-time Tuition fee: £9,250 p.a.
  • Part-time Tuition fee: £1,454 per 20 credit module (Please contact the Infozone for further information).
  • International Tuition fee: £13,000 p.a.

Further Information                                                       

  • Detailed information about Tuition Fees.
  • Find out more about Financial Support eligibility.
  • Also see Loans and Grants.
  • At University of Suffolk, your tuition fees provide access to all the usual teaching and learning facilities that you would expect. However, there may be additional costs associated with your course that you will need to budget for. See Course Costs

Entry requirements

Academic Requirements

2018 entry: 112 UCAS tariff points (or above), BBC (A-Level), DMM (BTEC).

Also see How to Apply.

 

International Requirements

IELTS 6.0 overall (minimum 5.5 in all components) where English is not the students' first language.

Also see International and EU.

 

Staff

Before Steve joined University of Suffolk he worked in industry developing command and control systems for the UK military, as well as the training scenarios embedded into the systems.  Today, this area of development is referred to as 'serious games', an area in which Steve mainta...

Before Chris joined the University of Suffolk as the technician for Computer Games Design he spent several years working as a demonstrator on the games degrees at the University of Lincoln, where he also received his MSc in Advanced Games Computing. ...

Dan Mayers holds a BA (Hons) in English from the University of Plymouth and a Post Graduate Diploma in Publishing, also from Plymouth. His background is in games-related writing and games design, with thirteen years experience in publishing and development. ...

Career Overview Dave graduated from Bournemouth University in 1999 with a Masters degree in Digital Media. He then spent over a decade working on big budget PC and console titles as a designer and artist before taking a role as creative director with an independent developer. There,...

Rob qualified with a PGCE in 1992 and an MA in Sociology and Cultural Studies in 1997.  He is Course Leader for the BA (Hons) Computer Games Design and currently acts as the External Examiner for the BA in Computer Games at Middlesex University ...

Eddie Duggan holds a BA (Hons) Humanities from The Polytechnic, Wolverhampton, an MA (Alt) in The Word and The Visual Imagination from St David’s University College, Lampeter, and a PGCE(A) from The University of Surrey. His main contribution to undergraduate teaching at the Univ...