Games Design

BA (Hons) - UCA Rochester - 2019

Our BA (Hons) Games Design course will give you the opportunity to explore the growing indie games industry and how you can apply your creativity to develop a career in the field.

Using top-of-the-range software, you’ll be able to focus on your own individual approach to video game design as you develop a broad range of skills and techniques that will enable you to launch into a career after you graduate.

Learning from experienced lecturers with strong links to the industry, you’ll be able to apply your skills beyond just creating entertainment and explore other areas such as avant-garde games and games with a purpose.

BA (Hons) Games Design allows you to apply your skills within the computer games industry – a sector which is growing at a record pace. According to TIGA, the UK video games industry is the largest in Europe and contributed £1.11 billion to the UK economy in 2014.

From our Rochester campus, you’ll be able to get to London easily to explore this constantly-evolving industry in person.

Through this course we particularly value an entrepreneurial indie attitude, aiming to challenge convention and help form the future of gaming.

Students on our Games Design course take a broad approach and often incorporate games technology and design into other related disciplines.

You’ll be part of a creative community with strong external networks, but there will be a focus on your own individual approach to game design as you develop a broad range of skills that underpin your chosen area of specialism.

Our Rochester campus has excellent facilities dedicated to Computer Games with high-end PCs running software including Unity, CGI Autodesk Entertainment suite and Adobe Master Collection.

The course also has access to shared resources including 3D workshops and laser-cutting, as well as photography and printmaking.

There are fantastic career opportunities for graduates of BA (Hons) Games Design, with the option to develop entrepreneurially into fields beyond the entertainment sector.

Length of study:

Three years full-time


UCA Rochester

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Entry requirements:

112 UCAS tariff points

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Next event

20 Feb 2019

Open Day - all campuses

Course details

  • Year 1

    This year takes you through the fundamental indie game design processes and introduces technical foundations of design and programming as well as planning. Theoretical units give you a critical and conceptual understanding of your discipline.

    Art and Design
    This unit introduces you to key drawing skills, design skills, conceptual approaches and software needed to develop ideas into art assets for indie games development. You will gain a solid grounding in art and design skills and principles that underpin computer games design. You will learn how to approach problems creatively using a range of sources for inspiration and reference. You will be introduced to software, through which you will produce outcomes demonstrating your conceptual approach, drawing skills and technical understanding.

    This unit develops on ‘Art and Design’ and introduces you to key skills, conceptual approaches and software needed to develop ideas into animated assets for indie computer games. You will gain a solid grounding into the principles and processes of real time animation for computer games, from traditional drawing skills to animation in software. You will produce outcomes that demonstrate your technical and conceptual skills.

    This unit introduces you to interaction through the fundamental concepts of gameplay, computer games design, and computer games scripting. You will produce outcomes that demonstrate your technical and conceptual skills and reference the indie games context.

    Moving Image Culture: Understanding and Interpretation
    This unit introduces you to a range of key concepts central to an understanding of historical and contemporary moving image culture, with a focus on video games and the history of their theorisation. Exploring influential video game examples and relevant theoretical and critical writings, you will analyse the cultural and artistic contexts in which the medium has been theorised, produced and played. You will also become familiar with the technological developments and conceptual transformations, before and after the so called digital shift, establishing a firm understanding of the technical and intellectual changes that have influenced the development of the video game as a medium.

  • Year 2

    Year 2 builds on your planning, design and prototyping skills. Approaches to entrepreneurial practice introduced. Theoretical units continue. Study abroad is an option.

    Games Design
    Through this unit you will further build on the skills and contextual knowledge you gained in Year 1. Alongside this you will develop your understanding of professional aspects of the indie games industry and start to define your future role within it. You will undertake this unit individually. This is an opportunity to develop your personal design, technical and intellectual interests in computer games through the production of a body of work for specific audiences (defined through the unit briefs for this unit).

    Games Production
    This unit introduces you to contemporary games production practices and workflows and the roles of those involved. In a team and in response to the unit brief for this unit you will design two games over the year and you will do this in an iterative fashion as you would in a contemporary indie game production studio. Each member of your team will adopt at least one role representative of industry practice for each project. For example your team will need a designer, scripter/programmer, producer, artist, etc. Each member of your team will need to specialise in a specific area appropriate to their skills and interests, however all members should be involved in, and contribute to, all aspects of production. Your production workflow will require you to create concepts, prototypes, design assets, documentation and deliver a pitch presentation of your project.

    Gaming Culture
    This unit explores concepts and issues central to the historical, theoretical and aesthetic dimensions of the gaming practice. It critically examines the position of computer games and gamers within culture and society, exploring gaming's relationship to gender, ethnicity, conflict and capital, before turning a critical eye inwards to discuss ludology and its attendant concepts, including immersion, procedural rhetoric and cyber-individualism.

    Study Abroad (Optional)
    This optional unit will allow you to spend a period of time in an overseas educational institution.

  • Year 3

    Your third year introduces the economics and management of the industry as well as copyright, patents and legal concerns. You will work as part of a team to produce a prototype game. You will write a practice-based dissertation.

    Final Major Project - Pre-production
    You will begin this unit by developing a project proposal through which you will define the concept, scope, audience, and purpose of your Final Major Project, you will present this through a pitch to your tutors and peers. Alongside this proposal you will produce a detailed production schedule committing to project milestones (a significant milestone will be the conclusion of this unit before progression to ‘Final Major Project’).

    Final Major Project
    In this unit you will build upon the work you have undertaken in the previous unit ‘Final Major Project – Pre-Production’ to produce a fully resolved body of work, you will do this either individually or as part of a team. This unit represents the culmination of your study of Computer Games Design at UCA. Through it you will demonstrate your creativity, skill, knowledge and understanding of recognised games industry practices and pipelines producing outcomes to a professional standard.

    This unit consists of a substantial period of sustained, individually negotiated research on a subject that is likely to be related to the contextual and/ or theoretical concerns of your discipline or chosen area of practice, towards the provision of structured written argument.

  • Study abroad

    This course offers the opportunity to study abroad for part of your second year. To find out more about studying abroad as part of your course please see the Study Abroad section:

  • Fees

    Find out all about the fees for studying with us, as well as the grants, loans and other financial support you may be entitled to:


Digital suites with games systems and interactivity software (XNA, Unity and Unreal 3D Editor), CGI Autodesk suite (Maya, 3D Studio Max, Motionbuilder and Mudbox), Adobe Master Collection, ZBrush, Andriod tablet dev kit, Swift for iOS. Shared resources include 3D workshops, laser-cutting and rapid prototyping, as well as photography and printmaking.

Course leader

Course connections

On this course, you'll be exposed to a world of opportunities

  • Industry links

    Rochester is ideally located in the South East of England proximate to 48% of the UK games industry, we’re 45 minutes from London Victoria through which the capital’s indie games and technology start-ups can be accessed.

  • Careers

    Career routes are plentiful in the computer games industry, which is growing at a record pace. According to The Independent Games Developers Association (TIGA), the UK video games industry contributed £1.11 billion to the UK economy in 2014, up from £1.01 billion in 2013. The number of UK games companies is growing at a rate of 22% per annum – London and the South East comprise 48% of the UK games industry.

  • Further study

    You may also like to consider further study at postgraduate level.


How to apply - 2019 entry

I am a UK or EU citizen ...

I am not a UK or EU citizen ...

When to apply:

If applying via UCAS the application deadline is the 15 January. If applying directly to us, you can apply throughout the year but we recommend you apply as early as possible so you have time to arrange accommodation and visas.

More information:

Go to our how to apply pages

Entry requirements

UK entry requirements

The standard entry requirements* for this course are:

One of the following:

  • 112 new UCAS tariff points, see accepted qualifications
  • Pass at Foundation Diploma in Art & Design (Level 3 or 4)
  • Distinction, Merit, Merit at BTEC Extended Diploma
  • Merit at UAL Extended Diploma
  • 112 new UCAS tariff points from an accredited Access to Higher Education Diploma in appropriate subject
  • 27-30 total points in the International Baccalaureate Diploma with at least 15 IB points at Higher level, see more information about IB entry requirements.

And four GCSE passes at grade A*-C and/or grade 4-9 including English (or Functional Skills English/Key Skills Communication Level 2).

Other relevant and equivalent Level 3 UK and international qualifications are considered on an individual basis, and we encourage students from diverse educational backgrounds to apply.

*We occasionally make offers which are lower than the standard entry criteria, to students who have faced difficulties that have affected their performance and who were expected to achieve higher results.

International entry requirements

To view the equivalent entry requirements for your country please select it in the list below.

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Non-UK equivalent qualifications

English language requirements

Your portfolio

For this course we will require you to attend an Applicant Day and bring your portfolio for assessment. We’re looking for emerging artists who are excited about the subject area, keen to learn, and are looking to create amazing digital art and design work. A portfolio should reflect your specialist areas of interest through visual work, which may include 2D or 3D artwork, sketchbooks and drawings, films, and any games or projects you’ve worked on. Portfolio work may also be provided on an external hard drive or memory stick. Further information on how to compile a portfolio and the specific requirements for examples of work to be included will be provided on the Applicant Portal after you apply.

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