Games Design BA

  • Overview
  • Course Content
  • Special Features
  • Teaching & Assessment
  • Employability
  • Fees
  • Entry Criteria

About the Course

This intensive, game-design only course is aimed at students who want to develop a comprehensive understanding of the factors which shape the games industry and the techniques and principles used in the design of games. You will have the opportunity to design and prototype your own games, as well as analyse and think more deeply about how games work as a medium. You’ll meet key figures from the UK games industry and even pitch your own ideas in front of them. By the end of the course you’ll have a range of skills sought after by the games industry for roles including game design, game production and game analysis, as well as transferable skills relevant to broader fields.

Aims

This single honours games design programme is geared to equip graduates with a range of skills that prepare them for employment within the digital games industry. Game design is at the core of what we teach on this programme, but you will also engage with digital asset creation, web design and prototyping. This degree is designed to take those with an interest in games and creative thinking and provide them the skills to communicate their ideas effectively as game designs. No 3D modelling, programming or computer science background is necessary, just a passion for games and desire to study or become involved in creating them.  You will learn to prototype, write games design documents, pitch games and develop skills in image manipulation, animation and 3D modelling relevant to design roles during the degree.

Enquiries

Please send any questions or requests for further information to:

Justin Parsler
Admissions Tutor, Games Design
Department of Social Sciences, Media and Communications
College of Business, Arts and Social Sciences
Brunel University London
Uxbridge
Middlesex
UB8 3PH

Email:  Justin Parsler

Course Content

In each year of your degree, you will study theory modules aimed at developing your analytical understanding of the cultural and social significance of games and their historical contexts. Design modules will aid your ability to produce creative, realisable strategies in relation to set briefs. Application modules will provide you with a comprehensive knowledge of the communication skills currently used in the games industry, including presentation and prototyping skills.
At each level you’ll take modules in:

Theory, which develops your understanding of methods and approaches used in the analysis of games, their cultural and social significance, and historical contexts.

Design, which will aid your development of creative strategies for generating game design ideas and game design projects. You undertake design projects, developing a practical understanding of creative game design.

Application (industry relevant skills and contexts), which will provide you with a comprehensive knowledge of the skills used currently in the games industry.

Asset and Story Creation, which builds skills with image creation and manipulation programs, basic 3D modelling with Maya and a focus on development of both your game’s looks and narrative.

Additional modules in Animation, Game Rule Design and Analysis and Creative Computing will sharpen key skills relevant to work in the games industry and further deepen your design projects, allowing for them to be executed to the fullest.

Typical Modules

Level 1

  • Theory 1: ‘Reading’ Games – methods for, and practice of, analysing the formal components of games
  • Design 1: Introduction to Game Design – practical exercises, working to set briefs
  • Application 1: Methods for, and practice of, communicating design concepts and ideas
  • Creative Computing – gaining confidence with software commonly used by the creative industries as well as web design
  • Asset and Story Creation 1 – getting to grips with image manipulation and 3d modelling tools.
  • Academic Practice

Level 2

  • Theory 2: Approaches to analysing games and players
  • Design 2: Large game design projects, working to a brief, World design and the building of games within those worlds
  • Application 2: Prototyping game designs and understanding the games industry
  • Asset and Story Creation 2 –  Cementing Design 2’s world and game designs with 3D models, storyboarding and optional animation
  • Game Mechanics – Looking in-depth at game mechanics and how they function as the core of the gaming experience
  • An elective module from a wide choice of subjects offered

Level 3

  • Theory 3: Socio-Cultural Contexts – analysing the social and cultural implications of games
  • Asset and Story Creation 3 – Intensive module supporting your practical games dissertation projects
  • Major Design Project
  • Major Theoretical Project
  • Asset Creation Project

Typical Dissertations

In your final year on the course, dissertations will comprise a game design with a working prototype as well as  a section of working assets. Also, at level three you will write an in-depth investigation into an element of games theory which has drawn your attention. You will pitch your game designs to an invited industry panel for specialist feedback.
One student’s final project video (of his fully working game) is available here as an example: http://pixelpowerluke.tumblr.com/search/video

Special Features

This intensive version of the Games Design programme is taught by a team who specialise in research into the theoretical analysis of digital games or who are professionals who have worked or who currently work as game designers in the industry. The composition of the teaching team will introduce you to ideas at the forefront of the discipline as well as providing a knowledge and understanding of professional practice.

Teaching and Learning

Lectures, workshops, seminars, play sessions and tutorials will provide you with different ways of engaging with relevant materials. Use will be made of the programme’s online forum to aid in the development of knowledge and to solicit discussion.

Assessment

Practical work is assessed by a range of projects throughout the programme, some of which are carried out in groups. Throughout the programme, assessed practical exercises and projects require increasingly more complex knowledge of markets, parameters and techniques. Written essays which accompany projects require evaluation of your own work using a range of theoretical and critical tools. The project modules enable a more sustained engagement in which detailed knowledge and understanding is tested.

Employability

You will acquire core transferable skills of effective communication, leadership, self-management, initiative and personal responsibility.
Our undergraduate programmes are designed to sharpen creative and analytical skills and develop confidence in working in teams and in problem-solving techniques.

Careers

Destinations of Leavers from Higher Education (DLHE) survey

Games Design is a relatively new course producing our first year of graduates in 2011/2.

These statistics relate to graduates who studied Games Design combining Creative Writing, Drama, Sonic Arts and Film and Television Studies. 

In 2011/12, six months after graduating:

  • 75.0% of graduates with a first degree were in employment
  • 8.3% were in full-time further study

Read more about graduate destinations for this subject area

The course will prepare you for a career in the digital games industry or allow specialisation within the field of Digital Games. Specifically, this course is tailored to fit the role of ‘games designer’ and provide you with the communication, critical thinking and production skills suitable for that specific role in the games industry.

Placements

There are no official placement programmes, but industry guest speakers have been known to offer internships or other work opportunities on an ad hoc basis. 

At Brunel we provide many opportunities and experiences within your degree programme and beyond – work-based learning, professional support services, volunteering, mentoring, sports, arts, clubs, societies, and much, much more – and we encourage you to make the most of them, so that you can make the most of yourself.

» More about Employability

Fees for 2014/15 entry

UK/EU students: £9,000 full-time; £6,750 part-time ; £1,000 placement year

International students: £13,000 full-time

See our fees and funding page for full details of scholarships available to Brunel applicants

Fees quoted are per annum and are subject to an annual increase.

Entry Requirements for 2014 Entry

  • GCE A-level BBB.
  • BTEC Level 3 Extended Diploma DDM in a related subject
  • BTEC Level 3 Diploma DD in a related subject with an A-Level at grade B.
  • BTEC Level 3 Subsidiary Diploma D in a related subject with A-Levels grade BB.
  • International Baccalaureate Diploma 32 points.
  • Access to Higher Education Diploma Complete and pass a related subject Access course with 45 credits at level 3 and 15 credits at level 2 with Merits in all units.

GCSE Mathematics grade C and GCSE English grade C are also required.

International and EU Entry Requirements

If your country is not listed here please contact Admissions

English Language Requirements

  • IELTS: 6.5 (min 5.5 in all areas)
  • Pearson: 58 (51 in all subscores)
  • BrunELT: 65% (min 55% in all areas)

Brunel also offers our own BrunELT English Test and accept a range of other language courses. We also have a range of Pre-sessional English language courses, for students who do not meet these requirements, or who wish to improve their English.

Our International Pathways and Language Centre offers a range of foundation and pre-masters courses to provide you with the academic skills required for your chosen course.

Page last updated: Wednesday 13 August 2014