This year will take you through fundamental games design processes and the technical foundations of 2D and 3D programming, understanding games engines, as well as planning and creating games. You’ll share theoretical units with students on the Games Arts course.
You’ll be introduced to the key digital art and design skills needed to complement your technical skills, with which you’ll transform your research and develop ideas into functional assets for games. You'll learn how to approach problems creatively using a range of sources for reference and inspiration.
Specific to this course, you’ll learn the fundamentals of working in Unreal Engine, using Blueprints, the basics of C++ programming and gain a solid grounding in gaming systems and platforms, the system architecture of these platforms and the similarities between them.
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.
Through the fundamental concepts of gameplay, computer games design, and computer games scripting and C# coding using the Unity games engine, you’ll learn about how games interact with users.
Introduction to Video Game Studies: Image, Medium and Culture
This unit introduces you to a range of key concepts central to developing an understanding of 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 two will build upon your planning, design, asset creation 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.
Games System Design
Through this unit you will further build on your knowledge of digital systems and programming skills. 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’ll be encouraged to be creative – your work may be entrepreneurial or speculative, you might look beyond gaming for entertainment to areas like ‘Serious/ Applied Games’, ‘Games as Social Political Comment’ or ‘Games as Art’.
Contemporary games production practices and workflows are crucial to the success of a game. You’ll learn how to work in small dev teams, iterate and develop to milestones, while creating high-quality work. You’ll learn the process of making a game environment and the roles of those involved, specifically exploring mechanics, environment production techniques and workflows. From there, you’ll work in groups to create a prototype – in an iterative fashion as you would in contemporary game production practice.
You’ll also work in a group to successfully pitch a game concept, and develop a 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
You’ll critically examine the position of computer games and gamers within culture and society, exploring gaming's relationship to gender, ethnicity, conflict and capital. You’ll also discuss ludology and its attendant concepts, including immersion, procedural rhetoric and cyber-individualism.
Your third year will introduce you to the economics and management of the industry, as well as copyright, patents and legal concerns, and also give you the opportunity to showcase your own learning with your dissertation, pre-production project and final games’ prototypes.
Final Major Project: Pre-production
This extended period of study allows you to develop a significant body of work either individually or in a group that demonstrates your skills, interests and your aspiration for your future role within the games industry. You'll 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
From the work you have undertaken in the previous unit, you’ll produce a fully resolved body of work, either individually or as part of a team. It should demonstrate your creativity, skill, knowledge and understanding of recognised games industry practices and pipelines producing outcomes to a professional standard.
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 and additional course costs
The course fees per year for 2021 entry are:
- UK students - £9,250
- EU students - £9,250 (see fee discount information)
- International students - £16,950 (standard fee)
- International students - £16,270 (full early payment fee)
Additional course costs
In addition to the tuition fees please see the additional course costs for 2021 entry.
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.
Taking advantage of our proximity to the UK’s largest games hubs, our course connects directly with some of the best-known names in the industry, including:
- Supermassive Games
- Creative Assembly
- Two Point Studios
- Hangar 13
- Atom Republic
We also regularly welcome input from active industry practitioners, who can offer expert advice and guidance to students about the realities of working in the computer games market.