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Games Design
Undergraduate course
BSc (Hons)

Games Design

International Scholarships available

Overview

This course will equip you with the specialist skills and knowledge to enter the games, digital and creative entertainment industries. You will focus on three main areas: programming and software engineering; art, concept and asset production; and game design studies, practice and theory.

You will take products from an initial idea through the design, visualisation and technical implementation stages. The course will foster your individual creativity, and placement opportunities, networking events and guest lectures from industry experts will enhance your awareness of the career opportunities open to you.



Research Excellence Framework 2014
Research Excellence Framework 2014: our University demonstrated strength in five emerging areas of research which it entered into the assessment for the first time, including computer science.
Throughout the course, there is a strong focus on work-based learning and increasing your employability. Our placement scheme gives you the opportunity to gain valuable time in industry, allowing you to enhance your skill in developing content based on professional briefs. Previous students have undertaken placements with Team17 Digital, Dubit, Fusion Unlimited, Jagex, and Omerta Game Ltd. You will also have the opportunity to study abroad in Europe and internationally.

We host regular guest lectures and video podcasts from industry experts. In the past these have included codemasters Team17 Digital and Dan Gray from UsTwoGames. We are also members of Game Republic and every year we take students to the Student Showcase Competition with many winning awards from the industry judges.

Final year students also have the opportunity to showcase their work in front of leading employers at the end of year degree show. Previous years have seen many of our students gain job offers through the showcase opportunities.

Course Features

  • 24/7 Library
  • Placements
  • Sandwich year
  • Specialist facilities
  • Real-life projects
  • Study abroad option
  • TEF Silver Award
  • University accommodation
  • Expert careers service

Student work

Marco Valerio
Marco Valerio
Reeta Kemppinen
Reeta Kemppinen
Thomas Walker
Thomas Walker
Thomas Walker
Thomas Walker
Thomas Walker
Thomas Walker
Play School of Computing, Creative Technologies & Engineering - End of Year Show 2017 Video
School of Computing, Creative Technologies & Engineering - End of Year Show 2017
Play BSc (Hons) Games Design - Che John, Course Director Video
BSc (Hons) Games Design - Che John, Course Director
Play BSc (Hons) Games Design - Alex Reid, Student Video
BSc (Hons) Games Design - Alex Reid, Student

Entry Requirements

96
POINTS REQUIRED
If you're applying via UCAS, find out more about how your qualifications fit into the UCAS tariff.
UCAS Tariff Points: 96 points required. (Minimum 64 from two A Levels or equivalent, excluding General Studies).
If you're applying via UCAS, find out more about how your qualifications fit into the UCAS tariff.
Additional Requirements:
GCSEs:
GCSE English Language and Maths at Grade C or above (Grade 4 for those sitting their GCSE from 2017 onwards) or equivalent. Key Skills Level 2, Functional Skills Level 2 and the Certificate in Adult Literacy/Numeracy are accepted in place of GCSEs.
Access to HE Diploma:
Pass overall with a minimum of 96 UCAS tariff points.
Scottish Awards:
Minimum of 5 subjects at Grade B at Higher Level.
Irish Leaving Certificate:
Minimum of 5 subjects at Grade C1 or above at Higher Level of which at least 3 must be at B2.
Selection Criteria:
We may use selection criteria based on your personal attributes; experience and/or commitment to the area of study. This information will be derived from your personal statement and reference and will only be used if you have met the general entry requirements.
International Baccalaureate: 24 Points
IELTS:
IELTS 6.0 with no skills below 5.5, or an equivalent qualification. The University provides excellent support for any applicant who may be required to undertake additional English language courses.
Mature Applicants
Our University welcomes applications from mature applicants who demonstrate academic potential. We usually require some evidence of recent academic study, for example completion of an access course, however recent relevant work experience may also be considered. Please note that for some of our professional courses all applicants will need to meet the specified entry criteria and in these cases work experience cannot be considered in lieu.

If you wish to apply through this route you should refer to our University Recognition of Prior Learning policy that is available on our website.

Please note that all applicants to our University are required to meet our standard English language requirement of GCSE grade C or equivalent, variations to this will be listed on the individual course entry requirements.

UCAS Tariff Points:96 points required. (Minimum 64 from two A Levels or equivalent, excluding General Studies).
If you're applying via UCAS, find out more about how your qualifications fit into the UCAS tariff.
Additional Requirements:
GCSEs:
GCSE English Language and Maths at Grade C or above (Grade 4 for those sitting their GCSE from 2017 onwards) or equivalent. Key Skills Level 2, Functional Skills Level 2 and the Certificate in Adult Literacy/Numeracy are accepted in place of GCSEs.
Access to HE Diploma:
Pass overall with a minimum of 96 UCAS tariff points.
Scottish Awards:
Minimum of 5 subjects at Grade B at Higher Level.
Irish Leaving Certificate:
Minimum of 5 subjects at Grade C1 or above at Higher Level of which at least 3 must be at B2.
Selection Criteria:
We may use selection criteria based on your personal attributes; experience and/or commitment to the area of study. This information will be derived from your personal statement and reference and will only be used if you have met the general entry requirements.
International Baccalaureate: 24 Points
IELTS:
IELTS 6.0 with no skills below 5.5, or an equivalent qualification. The University provides excellent support for any applicant who may be required to undertake additional English language courses.
Verify your qualifications
If you are an international student, we can help you to compare and verify your qualifications. Please contact our International Office on +44 (0)113 812 1111 09.00 to 17.00 Mon-Thurs / 09.00 to 16.30 Fri GMT or email internationaloffice@leedsbeckett.ac.uk.
Need to improve your English Language skills?
Don't worry if you don't have the level of English required for your chosen course. We offer a wide range of courses which have been designed to help you to improve your qualifications and English language ability, most of which are accredited by the British Council. Check your English and find out more about our English courses.


More questions?
No matter what your questions, we are here to answer them, visit our International website to get more information and find out about our online open days.

Careers

Laura Whitaker

Careers

Laura Whitaker
Creative Media Manager Dynamic Business Services Ltd

BSc (Hons) Computer Animation & Visual Effects

“My course leaders had great connections. After being talent-spotted at an end-of-year showcase event at the University, I'm now employed as a 3D design specialist and trainer.

Teaching and learning

Acquire the creative, critical and technical skills that will enable to forge a successful career in the digital and creative entertainment industries. You will study the production cycle of a game or computer entertainment product, including identification, design, implementation, production, marketing and delivery. At the end of the course you will have a professional portfolio to showcase your digital entertainment related work.

The tabs below detail what and how you will study in each year of your course. The balance of assessments and overall workload will be informed by your core modules and the option modules you choose to study – the information provided is an indication of what you can expect and may be subject to change. The option modules listed are also an indication of what will be available to you. Their availability is subject to demand and you will be advised which option modules you can choose at the beginning of each year of study.

Download Course Spec Download
Get introduced to fundamental programming/system development methodologies, 2D and 3D asset creation and game design and visualisation principals. You will have the opportunity to apply a unified and integrated approach in developing a game artefact or product. By the end of Year One you will have the confidence and core skills to work creatively and independently in the production of a game prototype.
Overall workload
Clock icon
336 hours Teaching and learning Typically, this will include lectures, seminars, tutorials, supervised studio time or laboratory time and one-to-one meetings with your personal tutor.
Clock icon
864 hours Independent study This is the time outside your timetabled hours when you will be expected to continue learning independently. Typically, this will involve reading, research, completing assignments, preparing presentations and exam revision.
Assessment proportions
Practical This is an invigilated assessment of your practical skills and competencies, such as delivering a coaching session, or a school experience if you are training to be a teacher.
83%
Coursework This could include essays, reports or other written assignments, a dissertation or project, or a portfolio of your work. Assessed work will normally be returned with feedback within four weeks of your submission. When you begin your course, you will be provided with a module handbook for your chosen modules which will provide specific guidelines on how and when you will receive that feedback.
17%
Core Modules

An introduction to the key principles and tools for designing and prototyping games, through hands-on, practical exercises you will learn about modern game production techniques.

Study the fundamental programming concepts associated with designing and developing for games.

Learn the key principles and tools for creating 2D and 3D assets suitable for use within a games environment, including creation of 2D textures and game objects, different modelling techniques to create objects within polygon limits, and the effective application of materials and textures to these objects.

Build on the skills developed during Game Development 1 as you discover intermediate programming concepts and asset / media pipelining required in integrated game product development.

Develop your skills and competence in drawing and sketching. You will take part in a range of drawing, observation and compositional exercises and explore the colour theory to enable you to create suitable colour schemes for your concept designs.

Study the key principles and tools for designing and producing game assets for use in a game engine. You will look at techniques for developing character assets in a high resolution format, re-topology, rigging and weighting.

Progress and begin to specialise in applying your knowledge and skills developed in Year One, advancing these to include a critical evaluation of games from social, cultural and economic perspectives. You will also develop advanced techniques in programming, ideation or concept design and 3D visualisation, as well as introducing animation systems and motion capture technologies. You will also apply critical, technical & visualisation skills to a group project designed and produced to a set brief.
Overall workload
Clock icon
222 hours Teaching and learning Typically, this will include lectures, seminars, tutorials, supervised studio time or laboratory time and one-to-one meetings with your personal tutor.
Clock icon
978 hours Independent study This is the time outside your timetabled hours when you will be expected to continue learning independently. Typically, this will involve reading, research, completing assignments, preparing presentations and exam revision.
Assessment proportions
Practical This is an invigilated assessment of your practical skills and competencies, such as delivering a coaching session, or a school experience if you are training to be a teacher.
78%
Coursework This could include essays, reports or other written assignments, a dissertation or project, or a portfolio of your work. Assessed work will normally be returned with feedback within four weeks of your submission. When you begin your course, you will be provided with a module handbook for your chosen modules which will provide specific guidelines on how and when you will receive that feedback.
22%
Core Modules

A conceptual and critical overview of the social, cultural and technological impact of games, you will evaluate key developments in the design of games and their role within popular culture.

Study advanced topics in game development. The topics will reflect the current market place and trends - examples could include hierarchical data structures and xml, artificial intelligence and game user interface design.

An introduction to the key principles and tools for creating 3D character animations suitable for use within a games environment, you will focus on several different animation techniques to create character animations that are applicable within a real time, interactive or game environment.

Through hands-on, practical exercises, learn the key principles and tools for designing and producing game environments. You will develop skills in layout and design, 3D content generation and the effective use of mapping and texturing techniques.

Continue to build your skills in drawing, sketching and observational drawing, as you develop a full visual portfolio.

Work as part of a team to design, develop and present a solution to a real-life or case-study based problem. You will adopt professional working practices at an individual and team level and develop your research, design, evaluation and presentation skills.

You will begin to manage your study and research time more independently and specialise in a key area relevant to your career aspirations. You will choose to work either independently or within a group as part of your final project, and have the chance to select advanced optional modules in either programming and systems technologies or modelling and 3D visualisation.
Overall workload
Clock icon
157 hours Teaching and learning Typically, this will include lectures, seminars, tutorials, supervised studio time or laboratory time and one-to-one meetings with your personal tutor.
Clock icon
1043 hours Independent study This is the time outside your timetabled hours when you will be expected to continue learning independently. Typically, this will involve reading, research, completing assignments, preparing presentations and exam revision.
Assessment proportions
Practical This is an invigilated assessment of your practical skills and competencies, such as delivering a coaching session, or a school experience if you are training to be a teacher.
44%
Coursework This could include essays, reports or other written assignments, a dissertation or project, or a portfolio of your work. Assessed work will normally be returned with feedback within four weeks of your submission. When you begin your course, you will be provided with a module handbook for your chosen modules which will provide specific guidelines on how and when you will receive that feedback.
56%
Core Modules

Enhance your skills in the creation of high quality 3D assets suitable for a range of applications, including marketing, game engines and visualisations. You will focus on different modelling, shading, rendering and lighting techniques to create realistic 3D architecture/environments, or 3D vehicles.

Investigate the challenges faced by the games industry in developing new and exciting products in a world where markets, delivery methods, technology and design solutions are constantly evolving and being updated.

An opportunity to develop a product, ideally for an external client. You will research, generate ideas, design, create, implement and evaluate your product, reflecting on your own performance throughout the process.

Option modules may include:

Design a range of characters as you explore the tools and techniques available for both high and low resolution characters. You will develop your knowledge of advanced modelling, texturing, and rigging and skinning techniques.

Through hands-on, practical exercises, learn the key skills needed to design and prototype mobile games.

An introduction to developing for specialist gaming platforms and image visualisation technologies, you will learn and apply programming methodologies associated with advanced feature development within middleware game engines, visualisation and integrated/embedded systems.

Learn about the characteristics of game mechanics that promote learning, engagement and retention through positive design, as well as aspects of behavioural game design. You will work to a client brief to produce the concept and prototype 'electronic proof of concept' for a commercial applied game project.

Che John
Che John
Course Director
Che’s career as a game developer and designer began in the 80s home computer games industry. He has worked across several technology and digital entertainment sectors and with clients including Sony Europe, LG, Sky, BBC and Channel 4. His research interests include game and play design, user experience and the cultural impact of digital communication technologies.
Learning to design and develop video games offers exciting career opportunities in the entertainment and technology sectors and contributes to the UK's expanding digital economy workforce. Games development teaches key digital literacy, problem solving and production skills such as programming, analytical thinking, digital art and team working. Social and economic empowerment through the creative use of technologies lies at the centre of what inspires the course and my teaching.
Play School of Computing, Creative Technologies & Engineering - End of Year Show 2017 Video
School of Computing, Creative Technologies & Engineering - End of Year Show 2017
Play BSc (Hons) Games Design - Che John, Course Director Video
BSc (Hons) Games Design - Che John, Course Director
Play BSc (Hons) Games Design - Alex Reid, Student Video
BSc (Hons) Games Design - Alex Reid, Student

Fees & funding

The tuition fee for the year for students entering in 2018/19 is £9250. The amount you will pay may increase each year to take into account the effects of inflation.
See further information on financing your studies or information about whether you may qualify for one of our Bursaries and Scholarships.

Educational visits - The cost for these trips covers travel, accommodation and subsistence. The price varies year by year and attendance is optional.

Study materials - We provide core materials during your studies and you may choose to purchase additional materials. This is not compulsory and will depend upon the projects you undertake.

Tuition fees
Your tuition fees cover the cost of registration, tuition, academic supervision, assessments and examinations.
The following are also included in the cost of your course:

  • 24/7 Library and student IT support
  • Free wifi via eduroam
  • Skills workshops and resources
  • Library membership, giving access to more than 500,000 printed, multimedia and digital resources
  • Access to software, including five free copies of Microsoft Office 365 to install on your PC, laptop and MAC, and access to free high-end software via the Leeds Beckett remote app
  • Loan of high-end media equipment to support your studies

Course specific

  • All software used on the course if a student version is available

Additional costs
In many cases, costs associated with your course will be included in your course fee. However, in some cases there are ‘essential’ additional costs (those that you will be required to meet in addition to your course fee), and/or ‘optional’ additional costs (costs that are not required, but that you might choose to pay). We have included those essential or optional additional costs that relate to your course, below.

Course-specific essentials

  • Accommodation / travel / commuting costs incurred during any placements
    (Payments for these costs should be negotiated as part of the placement itself, or considered as any other normal outgoing while working would be. Placements are usually paid)

Course-specific optional costs

  • A laptop running Windows 10
    (Laptops can be borrowed from the university for free should you choose not to purchase your own and all computer labs at the university run Windows 10)

Other study-related expenses to consider: books (the library stocks books from your module reading list but you may wish to purchase copies for yourself); placement costs (these may include travel expenses and living costs);student visas (international students only); printing, photocopying and stationery; field trips; study abroad opportunities (travel costs and accommodation, visas and immunisations); PC/laptop (provided on campus in social learning spaces and in the library. However, you may prefer to have your own); mobile phone/tablet (to access University online services); academic conferences (travel costs); professional-body membership (where applicable); and graduation (gown hire and guest tickets).

This list is not exhaustive and costs will vary depending on the choices you make during your course. Any rental or living costs are also in addition to your course fees.

The tuition fee for the year for students entering in 2018/19 is £12000. The amount you will pay is fixed at this level for each year of your course.
See further information on fees and finance on our Financing Your Studies webpage.

Educational visits - The cost for these trips covers travel, accommodation and subsistence. The price varies year by year and attendance is optional.

Study materials - We provide core materials during your studies and you may choose to purchase additional materials. This is not compulsory and will depend upon the projects you undertake.

Tuition fees
Your tuition fees cover the cost of registration, tuition, academic supervision, assessments and examinations.
The following are also included in the cost of your course:

  • 24/7 Library and student IT support
  • Free wifi via eduroam
  • Skills workshops and resources
  • Library membership, giving access to more than 500,000 printed, multimedia and digital resources
  • Access to software, including five free copies of Microsoft Office 365 to install on your PC, laptop and MAC, and access to free high-end software via the Leeds Beckett remote app
  • Loan of high-end media equipment to support your studies

Course specific

  • All software used on the course if a student version is available

Additional costs
In many cases, costs associated with your course will be included in your course fee. However, in some cases there are ‘essential’ additional costs (those that you will be required to meet in addition to your course fee), and/or ‘optional’ additional costs (costs that are not required, but that you might choose to pay). We have included those essential or optional additional costs that relate to your course, below.

Course-specific essentials

  • Accommodation / travel / commuting costs incurred during any placements
    (Payments for these costs should be negotiated as part of the placement itself, or considered as any other normal outgoing while working would be. Placements are usually paid)

Course-specific optional costs

  • A laptop running Windows 10
    (Laptops can be borrowed from the university for free should you choose not to purchase your own and all computer labs at the university run Windows 10)

Other study-related expenses to consider: books (the library stocks books from your module reading list but you may wish to purchase copies for yourself); placement costs (these may include travel expenses and living costs);student visas (international students only); printing, photocopying and stationery; field trips; study abroad opportunities (travel costs and accommodation, visas and immunisations); PC/laptop (provided on campus in social learning spaces and in the library. However, you may prefer to have your own); mobile phone/tablet (to access University online services); academic conferences (travel costs); professional-body membership (where applicable); and graduation (gown hire and guest tickets).

This list is not exhaustive and costs will vary depending on the choices you make during your course. Any rental or living costs are also in addition to your course fees.

Facilities

  • Software suites
    Software suites

    The software suites will give you access to Adobe Creative Suite, Final Cut Studio, 3ds Max, Unreal Tournament and the Unreal Engine. We also have eight specialist labs running Windows and Mac OS X and labs running Oracle and Oracle Apex.

  • Motion capture suite
    Motion capture suite

    You will have access to our motion capture suite as well as sensor-based physical computing, virtual reality and augmented reality technologies.

  • Headingley Campus
    Headingley Campus

    Our historic Headingley Campus is set in 100 acres of parkland with easy access to Leeds city centre.

  • Library and online resources
    Library and online resources

    Our Library is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week, every day of the year, providing you with access to specialist books and journals, learning spaces, computers, multimedia facilities and media equipment hire. Tens of thousands of our Library's digital resources, including ebooks, ejournals and databases, can be accessed online at a time and place to suit you.

Location

Headingley Campus

Headingley Campus

Home to our first-rate sporting facilities – Headingley Campus has a rich and diverse history having played to visitors such as Winston Churchill and Oscar Wilde. Set in 100 acres of parkland, with easy access to Leeds city centre, many of our buildings look out onto our grassy acre – a perfect place for hanging out, playing games and catching up with friends on long summer days. Headingley Campus has modern sport science laboratories, animation and music studios and the latest computing labs, as well as one of our libraries, open 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year.

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