BA (Hons) Computer Games Design

This Computer Games Design degree focuses on the creative and artistic aspects of games production, giving you the practical skills to develop, produce and publish game titles. You’ll learn how to develop your game in such a way that your work could form the basis of a start-up games company. Upon graduation, you’ll have a strong portfolio of playable games to present to employers.

Our student games designers are talented, entrepreneurial and passionate about gaming. They have had major success at Dare to be Digital and Global Game Jam, scooped BAFTA nominations and BAFTA Cymru awards. It’s no surprise that our graduates are snapped up by Electronic Arts, Lionhead, Codemasters, Rocksteady and many more, while others become leading indie game developers. Studying Computer Games Design in Cardiff, you’ll have the chance to collaborate with other creative industries students such as actors, writers and musicians. What’s more, thanks to all the small games companies in and around the city, Cardiff has been identified as an entrepreneurial hub for games.

Study Mode 2017 Duration Start Date Location
Full-time 3 Years September Cardiff
Study Mode 2018 Duration Start Date Location
Full-time 3 Years September Cardiff

We aim to challenge you right from the outset. You’ll be involved in group and individual projects, in addition to lectures, talks, seminars, weekly drawing sessions and technical workshops.

In your second year, you’ll work on longer, industry-focused projects, with a major project in your final year. This will be a professional production you can present to industry and develop a strong portfolio that will enhance your employability.

Year 1

  • Game Studies 1
  • Game Studies 2
  • Drawing
  • Character Performance
  • Making Games
  • Making Digital Games

Year 2

  • Game Assets
  • Game Engine
  • Professional Practice
  • Experimental Games
  • Digital and Visual Culture
  • Literature Review

Year 3

  • Project Prototypes
  • Project Production
  • Project Promotion and Professional Portfolio
  • Dissertation

Teaching

As your thinking develops and your skills improve we push you further by exploring the key ideas that are driving the industry. Longer, group-based, industry focused projects are vital as you develop your own ideas, visual language, technical skills and working methods, as well as meeting industry professionals and presenting your work to them.

In the final year we will expect you to deliver a large-scale professional production, supported by advanced workshops, seminars and tutorials. We will want to see you demonstrate your understanding of your work and its context, in your creative design and in your writing.

Enthusiasm for the industry is essential at every stage and throughout the course; professional industry practice will need to be mirrored in attitude and production.

Assessment

To ensure you have the skills to cope in the industry, we assess you through presentations, group work, development diaries, writing and designing your portfolio, providing feedback as you progress.

UCAS Code
WGF4
Institution Code
W01

Placements

We are closely connected with the games industry. Our lecturers run Cardiff’s contribution to the annual Global Game Jam, are involved in Games Wales and host the Wales Games Development Show every summer, giving you numerous opportunities to build contacts, find internships and be the first to hear about graduate gaming roles.

Our student games designers visit GameCity in Nottingham, attending seminars, meeting games developers and journalists and playing the latest innovative titles. Students have also received industry funding to develop their projects and release their games via Steam and Windows Mobile platforms and been cited in Develop’s 30 under 30 game development rising stars.

Lecturers

Adam Martin, Games Design Course Leader
Corrado Morgana, Academic Subject Manager
Richard Hurford, Senior Lecturer
Trygve Bjellvaag, Senior Lecturer
Brian Fagence, Lecturer
Pierre Laffoux, Lecturer
Madelon Hoedt, Lecturer
Gina Carpenter, Technical Demonstrator
Charles Rawlins, Technical Demonstrator

Entry criteria detail typical offers but USW considers all applications on an individual basis which means that we could make offers based on qualifications, personal profile and experience. Combinations of qualifications are acceptable and other qualifications not listed may also be acceptable.

Interview

An interview and portfolio are required for our Computer Games Design degree. Your portfolio should demonstrate strong artistic and design abilities. Your portfolio should be a carefully constructed selection of your work, preferably produced during your most recent course of study, and can include any personal work or projects that you feel are relevant to the course. All work should be well organised and presented. You should be prepared to discuss your work at interview as well as any games designers/artists who have influenced you.

Typical A-Level Offer

BCC to include a relevant art and design subject

Typical Welsh BACC Offer

Grade C and BC at A Level with a relevant art and design subject

Typical BTEC Offer

BTEC Extended Diploma Distinction Merit Merit in a relevant subject

Typical IB Offer

29 points to include 16 points at Higher Level to include a relevant higher subject at grade 5

Typical Access to HE Offer

60 credits overall to include 45 Level 3 credits equating to 12 Distinctions, 18 Merits and 15 Passes in a relevant subject

Additional Requirements

GCSEs: The University normally requires a minimum 5 GCSEs including Mathematics and English at Grade C or above, or their equivalent but consideration is given to individual circumstances

International Entry Requirements

We also welcome international applications with equivalent qualifications. Please visit the country specific pages on our international website for exact details.

English Requirements

In general, international applicants will need to have achieved an overall IELTS grade of 6.0 with a minimum score of 5.5 in each component.

However, if you have previously studied through the medium of English IELTS might not be required, but please visit the country specific page on our international website for exact details. If your country is not featured please contact us.

All fees are per year. Once you have started your course, your fee will remain the same for each year of study.

August 2017 - July 2018 Fees

  • Full-time UK and EU: £9000
  • Full-time International: £11900

August 2018 - July 2019 Fees

  • Full-time UK and EU: TBC
  • Full-time International: TBC

Additional Costs

Students have access to a wide range of resources including textbooks, publications, and computers in the University’s library and via online resources. In most cases they are more than sufficient to complete a course of study. Where there are significant additional costs either obligatory or optional these are detailed below. Of course students may choose to purchase their own additional personal resources/tools over and above those listed to support their studies at their own expense. All stationery and printing costs are at a student’s own expense.

* Obligatory

Item Cost
Kit (Uniform and Equipment) £250 - £300
Software Subscriptions (per year).
Kit (Uniform and Equipment) £50 - £100
Software purchases. Year 1
Kit (Uniform and Equipment) £50 - £100
Art Materials
Kit (Uniform and Equipment) £100 - £150
Additional Materials
Kit (Uniform and Equipment) £1500 - £2000
Gaming PC/ Laptop (All academic years).
Kit (Uniform and Equipment) £50 - £100
Grad Show materials. Year 3
Kit (Uniform and Equipment) £100 - £150
PC Peripherals (per year)
Field Trips £180 - £250
Game City Nottingham. (All academic years)
Field Trips £50 - £100
Field Trips/ Additional Travel. Year 2
Other: Printing/ Copying £50 - £100
Per year, all academic years.

UK and EU students

Apply via UCAS if you are a UK/EU residing applicant, applying for year 1 of a full-time undergraduate degree, Foundation Year, Foundation Degree or HND and you have not applied through UCAS before. If you are applying to study part-time, to top up your Foundation Degree or HND, or to transfer to USW from another institution, please apply directly

International students

Apply directly to the University if you live outside the UK/EU

Apply now 

Admissions statement

Graduate games designers find employment in the games industry, primarily in games design, but also developing concept art, animation and level design. Our graduates have also found success in contemporary advertising, motion graphics and illustration.

Graduates of our Computer Games Design course have entered employment with industry notables such as Electronic Arts, Blitz, Rocksteady, Rare, Creative Assembly and Lionhead, amongst others. Many of our students have started their own companies.

Our Careers and Employability Service

As a USW student, you will have access to advice from the Careers and Employability Service throughout your studies and after you graduate.

This includes: one-to-one appointments from faculty based Career Advisers, in person, over the phone or even on Skype and through email via the "Ask a Question" service. We also have extensive online resources for help with considering your career options and presenting yourself well to employers. Resources include psychometric tests, career assessments, a CV builder, interview simulator and application help. Our employer database has over 2,000 registered employers targeting USW students, you can receive weekly email alerts for jobs.

Our Careers service has dedicated teams: A central work experience team to help you find relevant placements; an employability development team which includes an employability programme called Grad Edge; and an Enterprise team focused on new business ideas and entrepreneurship.