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 even learn how to develop your game in such a way that it 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. We pride ourselves upon having great facilities, enthusiastic staff and in providing support so that you can realise your creative vision.

Our student games designers are talented, entrepreneurial and passionate about gaming. They have had major competition success at Tranzfuser, Dare to be Digital, Ffresh and Global Game Jam, scooped BAFTA nominations and BAFTA Cymru awards. It’s no surprise that our graduates are snapped up by Electronic Arts, Rockstar, Codemasters, Rare, The Chinese Room and many more, while others become leading indie game developers. Studying the Computer Games Design course 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.

See student and graduate work at our USW Games blog.

Follow us @USWgames

 

 

 

UCAS Code Study Mode
2017
Duration Start Date Campus Campus Code
WGF4 Full-time 3 Years September Cardiff (ATRiuM) B
UCAS Code Study Mode
2018
Duration Start Date Campus Campus Code
WGF4 Full-time 3 Years September Cardiff (ATRiuM) B

We aim to challenge you right from the outset on this Computer Games degree. 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: Computer Games Design degree

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

Year 2: Computer Games Design degree

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

Year 3: Computer Games Design degree

  • 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.

Facilities

Our Computer Games Design students benefit from several industry-standard games labs. These provide access to common games engines such as: Unreal Engine 4, Unity 3D, GameMaker, CRYENGINE and tools such as Adobe CS, Maya, 3DS Max, Mudbox and ZBrush along with other more specialist software packages.

Our games labs have been configured to support the latest technologies such as VR and have plenty of RAM, SSD boot drives, and secondary storage to handle your creative ambitions. Many of our computers come equipped with ultra-wide monitors too, excellent for improving your productivity and workflow.

We are investing in the future of gaming with our recent purchases of several Vive and Oculus Rift VR kits, some of which can be borrowed. We also have games controllers, graphics tablets, Cintiq screens, a 3D scanner, retro consoles, and coming soon... our stand-up arcade cabinet containing 100s of classic games.

To support your creative use of gaming tech we have an extensive catalog of games related books and online ebooks within our library, where you can learn the secrets of being a successful games designer. 

 

Industry

Our Computer Games design course is closely connected with the games industry in Wales. Our lecturers run Cardiff’s contribution to the annual Global Game Jam, are involved in Games Wales and participate within the Wales Games Development Show every summer. Providing numerous opportunities for our students 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
Gina Carpenter, Lecturer
Brian Fagence, Lecturer
Pierre Laffoux, Lecturer
Madelon Hoedt, Lecturer


The entry criteria below shows the qualification range within which the University will make offers. Most offers we make are at the top of the range, but we take all aspects of an application into consideration and applicants receive a personalised offer. Combinations of qualifications are acceptable and other qualifications not listed here 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 - CDD to include a relevant art and design subject (this is equivalent to 104-80 UCAS tariff points).

Typical Welsh BACC Offer

Pass the Advanced Welsh Baccalaureate Diploma with Grade C/D in the Skills Challenge Certificate and BC - CD at A Level with a relevant art and design subject (this is equivalent to 104-80 UCAS tariff points).

Typical BTEC Offer

BTEC Extended Diploma Distinction Merit Merit - Merit Merit Pass in a relevant subject (this is equivalent to 112-80 UCAS tariff points).

Typical IB Offer

Pass the International Baccalaureate Diploma with higher grades of between 655-445 to include a relevant higher subject (this is equivalent to 112-80 UCAS tariff points)

Typical Access to HE Offer

Pass the Access to HE Diploma with 60 credits overall – the credits should equate to between 106-80 UCAS tariff points (examples below)

45 Level 3 credits equating to 15 Distinctions, 24 Merits and 6 Passes in a relevant subject (106 UCAS Tariff Points)

45 Level 3 credits equating to 12 Distinctions, 6 Merits and 27 Passes in a relevant subject (80 UCAS Tariff Points)

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: TBC
  • Full-time International: TBC

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 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 one 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. 

Admissions statement

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

Graduates of our Computer Games Design course have entered employment with industry notables such as Electronic Arts, Rocksteady, Rare, Creative Assembly and Aardman, amongst others. Many of our students have started their own companies, a few of note are, Bithell Games, Toxic Games and Fiddlesticks.

 

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.