Games Design

MA - UCA Farnham - 2019, 2020

MA Games Design will challenge and expand your critical understanding and experiential design techniques for the dynamic games of tomorrow. You’ll explore different perspectives on game-play, developing compelling and exciting new work with an entrepreneurial attitude. 

You’ll have the opportunity to examine audience engagement through a variety of approaches in the widening market for games outcomes, and you’ll explore games through the expanding possibilities of interactive entertainment.

You’ll investigate games in other contexts (including applied games), explore the game mechanics of interaction and immersion, employ new technologies and creative approaches (XR), and build upon your existing digital design workflows and technical knowledge. You’ll also take part in UCA Game Jams, as well as attending many external industry events.

You’ll be taught from outstanding studios with dedicated industry hardware and software. You’ll also have access VR Development facilities, allowing games to be deployed to a variety of platforms, and a library of console, PC, board and card games.

Delivering the course is a team of lecturers with games industry experience and experience from related creative industry backgrounds and research. You’ll also hear from visiting lecturers from high-profile gaming companies. Previous visitors included Rocksteady Studios, Supermassive Games, EA, Rebellion, Fireproof Games, nDreams, Two Point Studios, Gears For Breakfast, Supergonk, Failbetter Games and Weather Factory.

The South East of England – where UCA Farnham is uniquely positioned - is home to a significant proportion of the UK games industry, offering many opportunities for off-site visits and trips, games networking events and other cross-course activities. The campus is only 20 minutes away from Guildford – dubbed the Hollywood of computer games – and just 55 minutes from London, locating two of the three largest games industry hubs in the UK. Studying so close to Guildford and London will give you access to the UK’s largest tech conurbation and games and technology start-ups.

Length of study:

One year full-time

Campus:

UCA Farnham

Start month:

September

View term dates

Entry year(s):

2019, 2020

Entry requirements:

Honours degree, normally 2.1 or above, and/or relevant work experience

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Course details

  • Term 1

    You’ll be introduced to the University and the technical workshops and facilities available to you. The first term includes a range of lectures and seminars and you’ll start to explore your creative practice.

    Thinking, Prototyping and Practice
    You’ll examine the advanced specialist tools, methods, concepts and processes relevant to Games and critically examine gameplay, rules and mechanics. You will be encouraged to explore and challenge the expanding discipline through a range of practice-based projects.

    Audiences and Experiences
    Through a series of projects and supporting workshops, you’ll design experiences for specific audiences, having evaluated contemporary games culture in reference to a specific audience, their needs and interests. These experiences might entertain, educate, augment or challenge your audience. It is likely some of the themes explored through this unit will be developed further later in the course.

  • Term 2

    During term two you will be able to experiment with VR and AR technologies, exploring different prototype outcomes and, begin developing your MA project.

    Real and Virtual Worlds
    This unit examines the relationship between the real and virtual world and you will explore different tools, methods, concepts and process to create your own virtual world. You’ll define who this is for, design an experience specific to them and consider the transition between worlds.

    Realisation and Dissemination: Pre-Production
    Through projects, workshops, and lectures you will begin your critical research into an area of personal interest within Games. You’ll produce a creative, challenging, detailed and logical proposal for a body of work that you’ll complete in the final semester. You’ll plan the production of this work using a common industry methodology, the approach of which will be covered during this unit.

  • Term 3

    In the third term of the course, you’ll apply the knowledge gained through your research to create a final body of work and exit portfolio.

    Realisation and Dissemination
    This unit is the culmination of your studies and an exposition of the skills, understanding and creative approach you have developed through your MA. It leads directly from the previous unit, through which you have already defined your interests, tested your ideas and planned the production of a body of work for this unit. Through this unit you will demonstrate your in-depth subject knowledge, understanding of context, creative independence, applied ideas and innovation, technical skills, resolution (appropriate to your intended audience) and personal strategy for presenting work.

  • Fees and additional course costs

    Tuition fees
    The course fees per year for 2019 entry are:

    • UK and EU students full-time - £6,910
    • International students full-time - £15,500 (standard fee)
    • International students full-time - £14,880 (full early payment fee)

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

    Additional course costs
    In addition to the tuition fees please see the additional course costs for 2019 entry.

    Further information
    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.

  • Fee discounts and scholarships

    To support all of our current students and our recent UK and EU alumni to progress to the next level of study, we have developed a new range of fee discounts across a range of courses.

Facilities

Our computer games studios have high-end PCs dedicated to games design with games systems and interactivity software including Maya, Photoshop, Substance, Unity and Unreal Engine. There are also sound production studios, a foley studio and pro tools suites. There is a modern library with a wealth of books, journals, special collections and online resources.

Programme Director

UK/EU applications

Apply for full-time study - starting September 2019:

Apply for part-time study - starting September 2019:

Apply for full-time study - starting September 2020:

Apply for part-time study - starting September 2020:

International applications

If you are applying for more than one course in the UK please apply via UCAS, to apply direct to UCA please use the links below:

Apply for full-time study - Year 1 - starting September 2019:

Apply for full-time study - Year 2 - starting September 2019:

Apply for full-time study - starting September 2019:

Apply for full-time study - starting September 2020:

Apply for full-time study - starting January 2020:

Apply for this course and other courses in the UK - full-time study - starting September 2019:

Due to visa requirements, this course is not available to students that require a Tier 4 (General) visa

If you have another category of visa please contact us: internationaladmissions@uca.ac.uk to find out if you are eligible to study.

If you're interested in joining Year 3 of this course, please contact our Admissions Team on +44 (0) 1252 892 960 or admissions@uca.ac.uk

When to apply:

You can apply throughout the year but we recommend you try and apply as early as possible so you have time to arrange accommodation and visas, if required.

For more information visit our how to apply pages

Entry requirements

UK entry requirements

  • An honours degree or equivalent qualification in the subject or a related discipline

and/or

  • Relevant work experience, demonstrating your ability to study at postgraduate level.

Consideration will also be given to applicants who can make a strong case for admission in relation to a particular project and can demonstrate their potential to satisfactorily complete the course.

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

Don't meet the international entry requirements or English language requirements?

You may be able to enter the course through the UCA International College

Learn more about the UCA International College

Your portfolio

For this course we will require you to attend an Applicant Day and bring your portfolio for assessment. 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.

More portfolio advice

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