Computer Games Design BA(Hons)

2019-20 (also available for 2018-19)

Games and level design, games art, planning, artwork and graphical assets – we cover a range of creative aspects of games design and development.

Start date

23 September 2019

Duration

3 years full-time
4 years inc. placement year

Entry requirements

A Level - ABB

See full entry requirements

UCAS Code

G4W6

Places available (subject to change)

40

Phone contact: +44 (0)1484 473116

About the course

If you enjoy exploring what’s possible with digital design and games development, we could help you really get to know the subject. Our course gives you the chance to take a broader and deeper look at games development, and explore what you can do. We’ll encourage you to get creative and ambitious with your designs, and develop some visionary ideas. It’s all designed to help you move on to a career in your chosen field.

We explore some of the more complex aspects of game and level design, and games art during the course. We aim to cover all the bases, including how to develop, design, plan and create game ideas and concepts.

You’ll also have the chance to produce and integrate artwork and graphical assets for computer games. And we’ll broaden things out to look at the subject in context, introducing current issues and ideas. During your three years of study, we’ll also aim to introduce emerging technologies that are coming up through the gaming industry.

Your course is very much designed for the real world – it carries the Creative Skillset Tick which identifies courses best suited to prepare you for a Creative Industries career. We never forget you’ll leave here with the hope to gain a job in the industry, so we maintain active links with business and industry figures. During your course you could have the chance to hear an industry guest speakers – in the past we’ve hosted art directors, animators, illustrators and designers from the freelance world and from companies like Rockstar, Formerdroid and Realtime UK.

During your studies you’ll also have the chance to take part in lots of internal Game Jams. We’ll also encourage you to get involved in externally organised events like the Global Game Jam.

If you’d like to take what you’ve learnt out into the real-world, we also give you the opportunity to spend a placement year working in the industry. Our Placement Unit team can help you find a position that’s right for you. Alternatively, we have a small number of placements available in our in-house games development studio, Canalside Studios, where you could find yourself working as part of a team developing games for a range of platforms including Xbox Live Arcade, iPhone and Android. Previous students have also developed software with the NHS, The Royal Armouries and the West Yorkshire Fire Service.

Finally, if you’re a student from within the UK or the EU, you could even think about starting your own small business while you’re here by applying for the Enterprise Placement Year (EPY).

You might like to hear what Dayna has to say about studying Computer Games Design BA(Hons) at the University of Huddersfield.

As the world’s largest entertainment sector, the video games industry is always looking out for talented, creative people to design and develop the next generation of games.
Our course offers the opportunity to develop skills in game design and games art, with an emphasis on making commercially viable products. Our graduates go on to form their own studios or to work for many of the world’s most successful games developers.

Dr Daryl Marples

Dr Daryl Marples, Course Leader, Computer Games Design

Placements


This course offers you the chance to undertake an optional placement in Year 3. This opportunity helps you to build on the knowledge and skills developed on the course. You will be employed by the company for 12 months, but the actual number of weeks worked will be dependent on the annual leave entitlement you are given in line with the placement company’s policy.

The placement year is a valuable tool that can enhance your employability and help you to develop as an individual. It is acknowledged that graduates with industry experience are generally much more attractive to employers.

Our Placement Unit will be on hand to support you in finding suitable placement opportunities. They will assist you with preparing your CV and with interview techniques. They'll also be in contact with you during your placement so that you'll be fully supported while you gain the experience that employers value so highly.

The Placement Unit team are regularly in contact with local and national companies. Previous students have spent their placement year at companies including Sega Europe Ltd and Rebellion Studios. In addition to external organisations, we have a number of placement opportunities available in the University’s Canalside Studios, giving you an opportunity to work as part of a team undertaking research and developing games for a range of platforms.

Alternatively, if you are a student from within the UK or the EU, you could consider starting your own small business by applying for the Enterprise Placement Year in conjunction with the University’s Enterprise Team. You’ll have the opportunity to benefit from business advice, mentoring and networking sessions. You can find out more information on the Enterprise Placement Year here.

I'm on the Enterprise Placement Year, setting up my own Games Studio with three classmates. We get office space in the Duke of York Young Entrepreneur Centre, plus business advice and support. So far my experience has helped greatly in terms of making new contacts within the games community.

Danyl Jones

Dan Jones, Enterprise Placement Year, setting up his own games studio

Entry requirements

ABBat A Level (General Studies is not accepted)

128 UCAS tariff points from a combination of Level 3 qualifications (General Studies is not accepted).

  • DDM in a BTEC Level 3 Extended Diploma in Art and Design or a games related subject.
  • 128 UCAS tariff points from International Baccalaureate qualifications.
  • A Foundation course in Art and Design: Distinction

In addition you must have GCSE English and Maths at grade 4 or above, or grade C or above if awarded under the previous GCSE grading scheme.

Other suitable experience or qualifications will be considered.

Portfolios and Interviews

The Computer Games Design course has a two-part selection process which involves viewing uploaded applicant work and also discussing each application among the staff team.

Firstly, all applicants will be required to submit electronic evidence of a portfolio of work as part of the application process. All your work will then

be reviewed by academic staff as part of the offer process. You may be contacted by staff if they require clarification or further information.

Secondly, staff will confirm results of the portfolio review at two main periods, as follows:

For applications received before 1st December, results are formalised before Christmas of the same year; For other applications received prior to the first UCAS deadline, decisions will be formalised before the end of February in the same year You may also be required to attend an interview to determine your enthusiasm and aptitude for the subject. If we invite you for an interview, we’ll let you know what we expect you to bring.

Other suitable experience or qualifications will be considered. For further information please see the University's minimum entry requirements.

Student work showreel


Our Computer Games Design BA(Hons) course gives you the chance to explore various aspects of games design and develop a personal portfolio of work. Watch our student work showreel to find out more.

Course Detail

Core modules:

Concept Development 1

This module aims to introduce you to a broad spectrum of methods and practices, used when generating ideas for games and developing game concepts. You’ll explore topics such as play, game concepts, rules and game mechanics. You’ll be encouraged to evaluate and critique both traditional and digital games, whilst being supported in gaining practical skills in the development and refinement of original concepts. Interactive design methods, design documentation and visual and verbal presentation skills will also be covered in this module.

Digital Media Project 1

The digital media industry relies on professionals who work effectively in multi-disciplinary teams. This module aims to gives you early experience of working in such an environment. Working as part of a team, you will have the opportunity to plan, design and develop a digital media product. The module is designed to provide you with an understanding of industry best practices within the digital media industry. You will be introduced to the product development cycle, technology limitations, and possible future developments relevant to each course. You will also be encouraged to begin exploring the enterprising aspects of the digital media industries, by entering competitions or publishing a game, mobile app, website or other digital media artefact.

3D Games Asset Development

This module has been designed to introduce you to the principles of 3D asset creation for current generation video games and integration into real time rendering engines. Asset development will include things such as environmental props and weapons as well as entire game scenes. You’ll examine workflows and methodologies for artist driven pipelines and technologies to aid in the production of game ready assets. You’ll be offered the opportunity to gain an understanding of the requirements of developing assets to specific design briefs, styles and technical limitations.

Digital Media Studio 1

The module aims to develop your technical skills and knowledge in digital media production, through using appropriate hardware and software to design and develop digital media products and components. Practical studio themes will be developed by tutors which are aimed at helping you to gain an understanding of how the theory fits in with your digital media discipline.This module is shared across different digital media courses, so course specific groups will be formed around these themes, enabling you to focus on the technologies that support digital media production which are most appropriate to your course. You’ll be introduced to the concepts and principles that underpin the creation of digital media and will use a programming or scripting language to control actions, interactions and animations.

Introduction to 3D and Animation

Working with software of an industry standard, this module will introduce you to the principles and techniques involved in the development of 3D objects and environments. You’ll be encouraged to gain skills in developing multilayered textures suitable for animation, computer games, architectural and technical design. You’ll have the opportunity to develop skills in understanding how to create animated characters, materials, lighting, rendering and the production of simple animation solutions.

Visual Studies (for Video Games)

The aim of this module is to give you a broad introduction to the key theoretical principles of visual design for computer games. Using a wide range of traditional and digital tools you'll be supported to develop core practical and software skills in design, development and the asset production processes. The module covers topics including 2D asset production, researching, resourcing and creating 2D textures for 3D objects and presentation techniques (sketchbook development and design layouts).

The course covers visual design, 3D modelling, sculpting, texturing and animation. You'll also be supported in gaining skills in conceptualisation and analysis, level design and prototyping with game engines. A key element of this course is group work; throughout your time on the course we support you in developing your team working abilities.

This course has been designed to develop your abilities to design and plan creative game ideas and concepts, and produce artwork and graphical assets for computer games. We introduce current research, issues and ideas, and developing technologies used by the industry.

To view work from our students, read news from the course and see some of our graduate destinations visit Hud Uni Games

You will be taught through a series of seminars, tutorials, group work, practical experience and lectures.

Assessment will include coursework, presentation, work-based learning and examination.

19.9% of the study time on this course is spent in lectures, seminars, tutorials etc.

Your module specification/course handbook will provide full details of the assessment criteria applying to your course.

Feedback (usually written) is normally provided on all coursework submissions within three term time weeks – unless the submission was made towards the end of the session in which case feedback would be available on request after the formal publication of results. Feedback on exam performance/final coursework is available on request after the publication of results.

Further information

The teaching year normally starts in September with breaks at Christmas and Easter, finishing with a main examination/assessment period around May/June. Timetables are normally available one month before registration. As this is a full-time course, you may have to attend every day of the week.

Your course is made up of modules and each module is worth a number of credits. Each year you study modules to the value of 120 credits, adding up to 360 credits in total for a bachelor’s qualification. These credits can come from a combination of core, compulsory and optional modules but please note that optional modules may not run if we do not have enough students interested.

If you achieve 120 credits for the current stage you are at, you may progress to the next stage of your course, subject to any professional, statutory or regulatory body guidelines.

 

 

 

Teaching excellence

  1. Huddersfield is a TEF gold-rated institution delivering consistently outstanding teaching and learning of the highest quality found in the UK (Teaching Excellence Framework, 2017).
  2. We won the first Global Teaching Excellence Award recognising the University’s commitment to world-class teaching and its success in developing students as independent learners and critical thinkers (HEA, 2017).
  3. Here at Huddersfield, you’ll be taught by some of the best lecturers in the country. The University is number one in England for the proportion of staff with teaching qualifications (HEFCE, 2016).
  4. For the past ten years, we’ve been the UK’s leading university for National Teaching Fellowships too, which rate Britain’s best lecturers. It’s all part of our ongoing drive for teaching excellence, which helps our students to achieve great things too.
  5. We’re unique in the fact that all our permanent teaching staff* have, or are completing, doctorates. This expertise, together with our teaching credentials, means that students here learn from knowledgeable and well-qualified teachers and academics who are at the forefront of their subject area.

*Permanent staff, after probation: some recently appointed colleagues will only obtain recognition in the months after their arrival in Huddersfield, once they have started teaching; research degrees applies to those on contracts of more than half-time.

Gallery

Your career


* Percentage of graduates from these subject areas at Huddersfield who go on to work and/or further study within six months of graduating

(Destinations of Leavers Survey 2014/15 and 2015/16 aggregated).

* Source: DLHE 2014/15 & 2015/16

92% Graduates employed

Important information

We will always try to deliver your course as described on this web page. However, sometimes we may have to make changes as set out below.

Changes to a course you have applied for

If we propose to make a major change to a course that you are holding an offer for, then we will tell you as soon as possible so that you can decide whether to withdraw your application prior to enrolment.

Changes to your course after you enrol as a student

We will always try to deliver your course and other services as described. However, sometimes we may have to make changes as set out below:

Changes to option modules

Where your course allows you to choose modules from a range of options, we will review these each year and change them to reflect the expertise of our staff, current trends in research and as a result of student feedback or demand for certain modules. We will always ensure that you have a range of options to choose from and we will let you know in good time the options available for you to choose for the following year.

Major changes

We will only make major changes to the core curriculum of a course or to our services if it is necessary for us to do so and provided such changes are reasonable. A major change in this context is a change that materially changes the services available to you; or the outcomes, or a significant part, of your course, such as the nature of the award or a substantial change to module content, teaching days (part time provision), classes, type of delivery or assessment of the core curriculum.

For example, it may be necessary to make a major change to reflect changes in the law or the requirements of the University’s regulators; to meet the latest requirements of a commissioning or accrediting body; to improve the quality of educational provision; in response to student, examiners’ or other course evaluators’ feedback; and/or to reflect academic or professional changes within subject areas. Major changes may also be necessary because of circumstances outside our reasonable control, such as a key member of staff leaving the University or being unable to teach, where they have a particular specialism that can’t be adequately covered by other members of staff; or due to damage or interruption to buildings, facilities or equipment.

Major changes would usually be made with effect from the next academic year, but this may not always be the case. We will notify you as soon as possible should we need to make a major change and will carry out suitable consultation with affected students. If you reasonably believe that the proposed change will cause you detriment or hardship we will, if appropriate, work with you to try to reduce the adverse effect on you or find an appropriate solution. Where an appropriate solution cannot be found and you contact us in writing before the change takes effect you can cancel your registration and withdraw from the University without liability to the University for future tuition fees. We will provide reasonable support to assist you with transferring to another university if you wish to do so.

Termination of course

In exceptional circumstances, we may, for reasons outside of our control, be forced to discontinue or suspend your course. Where this is the case, a formal exit strategy will be followed and we will notify you as soon as possible about what your options are, which may include transferring to a suitable replacement course for which you are qualified, being provided with individual teaching to complete the award for which you were registered, or claiming an interim award and exiting the University. If you do not wish to take up any of the options that are made available to you, then you can cancel your registration and withdraw from the course without liability to the University for future tuition fees and you will be entitled to a refund of all course fees paid to date. We will provide reasonable support to assist you with transferring to another university if you wish to do so.

When you enrol as a student of the University, your study and time with us will be governed by a framework of regulations, policies and procedures, which form the basis of your agreement with us. These include regulations regarding the assessment of your course, academic integrity, your conduct (including attendance) and disciplinary procedure, fees and finance and compliance with visa requirements (where relevant). It is important that you familiarise yourself with these as you will be asked to agree to abide by them when you join us as a student. You will find a guide to the key terms here, where you will also find links to the full text of each of the regulations, policies and procedures referred to.

The Higher Education Funding Council for England is the principal regulator for the University.

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