Games Technology

BSc (Hons) - UCA Farnham - 2019, 2020

Our BSc (Hons) Games Technology course allows you to apply your technical skills and creativity within the growing computer games sector and beyond.

Linked to the Sony PlayStation First Academic Development program and founded on the principle of User-Centred Design (UCD), this course can put you at the forefront of new gaming technology.

We’re interested in how games technology can be used for rehabilitation and therapy, training and education, as well as how it can inform other creative disciplines such as film and architecture.

You’ll learn how to consider the user throughout each stage of the game design and development process, and be taught key design processes and software skills.

The ethos of UCD differs from other design approaches, explicitly setting out to design outcomes for how users can, want or need to play and interact with games.

You’ll learn how to establish and refine requirements through investigative methods, including ethnographic study, contextual inquiry, prototyping and usability testing.

Our Games Technology course sits alongside the established and highly regarded BA (Hons) Games Arts course – this provides you with extra opportunities to collaborate with your peers on Games Arts through linked projects that mirror industry team development.

The computer games industry requires individuals with a high level of practical skills, technical knowledge and experience, and our BSc Games Technology degree creates graduates who go above and beyond. 

Career routes are plentiful in the computer games industry, which is growing at a record pace – with London and the South East hosting 48% of the UK gaming industry, our Farnham campus is ideally located at the centre of this exciting industry.

Length of study:

Three years full-time

Campus:

UCA Farnham

Start month:

September

View term dates

Entry year(s):

2019, 2020

Entry requirements:

112 UCAS tariff points

click here for full details

UCAS code:

G450

UCAS institution code:

C93

UCAS campus code:

F

Next event

UCA Open Day Pre-degree & Undergraduate

Saturday 15 June, 2019

All campuses

Course details

  • Year 1

    This year will take you through fundamental games design processes and the technical foundations of 2D and 3D programming, as well as planning. You’ll share theoretical units with students on the Games Arts course.

    You’ll dive straight into learning the practical skills of creating games, and be introduced to key digital art and design workflows, complementing your technical skills with which you’ll develop ideas.

    You’ll gain a solid grounding in gaming systems and platforms, the system architecture of these platforms and their similarities.

    Games Design
    This unit introduces you to key digital art and design skills to complement your technical skills with which you’ll develop ideas into assets for computer games. You'll learn how to approach problems creatively using a range of sources for inspiration and reference. Your outcomes will demonstrate your conceptual approach, a range of design skills and technical understanding.

    Games Programming
    This unit introduces you to the fundamentals of digital systems and programming for computer games; it is explicitly technical and specialist being specific to the BSc (Hons) Games Technology course. You will gain a solid grounding in gaming systems and platforms, the system architecture of these platforms and the similarities between these. You'll be introduced to fundamental mathematics for computing before moving on to Procedural and Object-Orientated Programming. You'll also demonstrate your technical understanding through this unit by producing simple games.

    Interaction
    This unit introduces you to interaction through the fundamental concepts of gameplay, computer games design, and computer games scripting and coding. You'll produce outcomes that demonstrate your technical and conceptual skills through exploration of game interaction.

    Moving Image Culture: Understanding and Interpretation
    You'll be introduced to a range of key concepts central to an understanding of historical and contemporary moving image culture, from celluloid film to computer games and digital media. Exploring influential artworks and relevant theoretical and critical writings, you will analyse some of the cultural and artistic contexts of the moving image and become familiar with technical innovations and conceptual transformations, before and after the so called digital shift. The unit provides an introduction to formal analysis and the aesthetic interpretation of the moving image, as well as to narrative and genre. It also considers the ideologies, institutions and cultural practices that shape the production and experience of cinema, computer games and networked media.

  • Year 2

    Year 2 will build upon your planning, design and prototyping skills. You’ll start to specialise in a defined area, and continue to undertake shared units with students on the Games Arts course.

    As the course progresses, you’ll develop your practical skills further in the programming language C++  alongside contextual studies. 

    Creative Coding
    Through this unit you will further build on your knowledge of digital systems and the programming skills you gained in Year 1. Specifically, you will be introduced to C++ gaining understanding of its key concepts and features and demonstrating your understanding in response to briefs. Complementing the explicitly technical focus of this unit you are encouraged to be creative – your work may be entrepreneurial or speculative, you might look beyond gaming for entertainment to areas like ‘serious games’ or ‘games as art’. 

    Games Production
    This unit introduces you to contemporary games production practices and workflows. The first part introduces the process of making a game environment and the roles of those involved, specifically you will learn game environment production techniques and workflows. In groups and in response to the unit brief you will create a prototype, you will do this in an iterative fashion as you would in contemporary game production practice. The second part challenges the group to successfully pitch a game concept, then develop a game prototype or ‘vertical slice’. Each member of your group will need to specialise in a specific area appropriate to their skills and interests, however all members should be involved in the production.

    Gaming in Contemporary 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.

  • Year 3

    Your third year will introduce you to the economics and management of the industry, as well as copyright, patents and legal concerns. 

    You’ll combine your programming and designing skills with the critical thinking and cultural contexts you have learned to produce.

    You’ll exhibit your final games prototypes, alongside submitting your 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.

    Final Major Project
    In this unit you will build upon the work you have undertaken in the previous unit 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 Games Technology 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.

    Dissertation
    You'll undertake a substantial period of sustained, individually negotiated research on a subject related to the contextual and/ or theoretical concerns of your discipline or chosen area of practice, towards the provision of structured written argument.

  • Fees

    The course fees per year for 2019 entry are:

    • UK and EU students - £9,250 
    • International students - £15,500 (standard fee)
    • International students - £14,800 (full early payment fee)

    The fees for 2020 entry have not been confirmed but will be listed here as soon as possible.

    Find out more about our course fees and any financial support you may be entitled to:

    These fees are correct for the stated academic year only. Costs may increase each year during a student’s period of continued registration on course in line with inflation (subject to any maximum regulated tuition fee limit). Any adjustment for continuing students will be at or below the RPI-X forecast rate.

     

Facilities

This course has studios with high-end PCs dedicated to games design with games systems and interactivity software including XNA, Unity and Unreal 3D Editor. On campus there are sound production studios for students from Games Art, Film and Animation with Pro Tools and a modern library with a wealth of books, journals, special collections and online resources.

Course leader

Course connections

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

  • Industry links

    Farnham is ideally located ten miles west of Guildford, described as ‘the Hollywood of video games’ by the Guardian. We value our links to local AAA studios, including Lionhead and Electronic Arts (EA), but also value and nurture an entrepreneurial indie attitude through which we can challenge convention and inform the future of gaming.

  • Careers

    With the UK games market being the fifth largest in the world and growing at a record pace, career routes are plentiful in the computer games industry. According to the Association for UK Interactive Entertainment, the UK video games revenue is expected to overtake total spend on books by 2020 – the sector was valued at a record £5.11 billion in 2017 and is predicted to grow by £8 billion over the next four years.

    London and the South East comprise 47% of the UK games industry, and with 82% of games companies are looking to expand their workforce, there are more career opportunities in gaming than ever before.

  • Further study

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

     

How to apply - 2019 entry

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I am not a UK or EU citizen ...

How to apply - 2020 entry

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I am not a UK or EU citizen ...

When to apply:

We are still accepting applications for 2019 entry via UCAS - get your application in now.
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 five GCSE passes at grade A-C or above, including English Language, Mathematics (grade B) and Science or Physics (grade B).

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.

Pick Your Country

Non-UK equivalent qualifications

English language requirements


Your portfolio

While a portfolio is not required for this course, if you choose to bring supporting material to your interview it should it be on a USB stick and contain work that demonstrates your interest in, and aptitude for, computer games and technology. Be prepared to talk about your interests and why you wish to pursue this course with us.

More portfolio advice

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