BSc (Hons) Games Development

BSc (Hons) Games Development

Institution code: N39
Course 3 Year UCAS code: I610
Course 4 Year UCAS code: I611
Course length: 3 or 4 year options

You will learn the end-to-end process of making games and prepare for a successful career on our Games Development degree – at a university ranked in the global top 10 by industry veterans at The Rookies in 2018.

“Ask why and ask why does it have to be that way and can it be better?” – Charles Reeves, Director of User Experience Design at Aviva and previously at Call of Duty gives a guest lecture at NUA. 

Our BSc (Hons) course is all about hands-on games development and you’ll explore the mechanics of playful interaction, whether you are building your technical expertise in 2D, 3D or forms of artificial intelligence.

You will see what it takes to create software engineering that delights, excites and challenges users.

You’ll develop your skills through workshops, technical demonstrations and live briefs.

And your understanding of professional practice will grow through engagement with our network of digital creative business that helped shape the course.

With an established reputation for excellence, NUA was ranked as the UK’s best educational institution by the games industry body TIGA in 2017.

Games development – your way

You will be exposed to a variety of industry-standard platforms and technologies – including virtual, augmented, mixed and extended reality – but will always focus on your own personal and professional interest.

Applying computer science, and knowledge of emerging technologies to the creation of prototypes, you’ll create different types of game for different audiences, based on evidence gathered through research, observation and practical experimentation.

You’ll evolve how you think, make decisions, and develop ideas, to ultimately code games that give users an exceptional experience.

Indie or in-house: games career options

You will acquire and develop the creative tools to develop unique and innovative games – and we’ll teach you how to make them successful. You’ll get a thorough grounding in the business of games, learning how to develop, distribute and licence games products as an independent producer.

Typical careers paths include

  • Games Designer
  • Game Programmer
  • DevOps Engineer
  • Game Developer
  • UI Programmer
  • Product Designer
  • Web Designer
  • Software Researcher
  • Engineer
  • Software Developer
  • AI Programmer

You’ll also get specialist creative careers advice from our Careers Team in the Ideas FactoryNUA to help support you as you plan your career.

Course content

  • Year 1
  • Gain core Games Development skills through the design and development of a 2D game for a specific platform and audience
  • Research and develop aspects of game interface design through the application of digital design principals and frameworks
  • Learn the fundamental skills associated with software engineering for games and build core technical competency
  • Undertake development projects using industry standard practices and frameworks, incorporating relevant coding languages and libraries
  • Develop techniques for the collection and analysis of user interaction data and explore industry standard research methods
  • Develop prototyping, user testing skills and gain understanding of the role of cognitive science within game design
  • Develop awareness of the digital project lifecycle, key milestones and processes by designing and developing a fully functional web-based game project.
  • Year 2
  • Gain a deeper understanding of applied games development through the design and development of a 3D game for a specific platform and audience
  • Work within an industry standard integrated development environment (IDE) to develop more sophisticated programming techniques
  • Examine the principals of physics and mathematics that underpin games to simulate real-world environments
  • Examine the principles of data structures to push the boundaries of what is possible in 3D.
  • Investigate the use of algorithm and system design within the context of games
  • Identify and develop a technical specialism and area of interest
  • Deepen your project management experience using digital tools for developing and tracking progress, delivery and results
  • Develop awareness of issues concerning professional practice, funding structures, curation/display, enterprise and entrepreneurship
  • Consolidate and develop games testing processes.
  • Year 3
  • Develop advanced technical skills and demonstrate proficiency in your chosen specialism
  • Undertake work with non-traditional interface technology to deliver an experience to the player, e.g. using augmented reality, virtual reality or motion sensing
  • Opportunities to pitch ideas to industry professionals
  • Develop awareness of how to publish, license and create profitable games
  • Refine and apply advanced research skills toward the completion of a final project that will demonstrate craftsmanship and mastery of games development techniques as you enter the industry.

Student work

Tap to expand

Typical UK offers

A / AS Levels – GCE

3 A-level qualifications at grades BBB to include a science/technical subject (e.g. maths, physics, computer science). Where candidates are not taking 3 A-levels, NUA will consider combinations of A-level/AS-level and other Level 3 qualifications.

BTEC Extended Diploma (QCF or RQF)
Distinction, Merit, Merit in a science/technical subject (e.g. maths, physics, computer science)

BTEC Diploma (QCF or RQF)
Distinction*, Distinction in a science/technical subject (e.g. maths, physics, computer science)

UAL Extended Diploma
An overall Merit in a science/technical subject (e.g. maths, physics, computer science)

Access to Higher Education Diploma (Art and Design)
Pass in a science/technical subject (e.g. maths, physics, computer science)

International Baccalaureate Diploma
A minimum of 27 points

NUA welcomes applicants of all ages from all backgrounds. For all courses other than BSc Games Development your application will be primarily assessed through interview.

If you are studying at the time of your application and your interview is successful, it is likely that you will receive a conditional offer.

If the qualification that you are studying is not shown, do not worry as we are able to accept other pre-entry qualifications as well as combinations of different qualifications. Please do contact our Student Recruitment Team if you have any queries.

International applications

We accept qualifications from all over the world. To find our entry requirements from a specific country, please check our dedicated international pages.

Most international students are required to hold an English language qualification. Applicants are required to have a minimum UKVI approved IELTS exam score of 6.0 overall, with a minimum of 5.5 in each section. Equivalent English language qualifications are acceptable such as, IB English language syllabus A or B/English Literature (Grade 4).

We also accept some alternative English qualifications. Learn more about our English entry requirements.

You can email us on if you’d like to discuss your application individually.

BSc (Hons) Games Development degree portfolio guidance         

Your portfolio should be relevant to this course, but you can include a wide range of work that shows your technical competence, creative problem solving, industry awareness and career aspirations.   

You may wish to include some of the following:        

  • One or two games or game elements created using any software
  • A coding project that you’ve undertaken (any coding language is accepted)
  • Sketches, interface diagrams or prototypes that demonstrate your design skills
  • A short piece of critical writing (ideally a game analysis, critical review or ‘post-mortem’)
  • Examples of experimental collaborative projects (such as attending Game Jam events)
  • Details of any relevant placement or work-related experience you may have participated in.

Further portfolio advice and tips

Get more advice on presentation formats, layouts and when to submit your portfolio in the application process.

Your interview

After you apply to study BSc Games Development at NUA we’ll invite you to an interview on campus or by Skype or telephone, depending on your circumstance.

If you apply by the UCAS deadline of 15 January your interview will usually take place in February. We’ll ask you to prepare your portfolio ready to bring with you or submit online ahead of your interview.

Read our tips for interviews at NUA

Fees and Funding

The cost of your course is determined by your status as either ‘UK/EU’ or ‘International’, so it’s important to check your fee status. If you’re unsure, the UKCISA website will help you determine whether you’re eligible to pay a UK/EU fee (also called a ‘home’ fee). If you’d prefer to speak to NUA directly, please contact

UK/EU students are eligible for a tuition fee loan from the UK government, meaning you won’t have to pay your fees up front. Further details about tuition fee loans are provided below. International students are not eligible for the UK government tuition fee loan.

2020/21 Tuition Fees For New Entrants

Citizen status



UK/EU nationality

Undergraduate degree (full-time three and four year degree)


International (non-EU)

Undergraduate degree (full-time three and four year degree)


Fees will remain the same for each year of your course. 

International students

Find out more about 2020 fees for international students and the support available.

Financial support for UK/EU students

Tuition fee loans and loans for living costs are available, as well as non-repayable NUA bursaries that take into account family income. Find out how to apply for funding.

Tuition Fee Loan for Undergraduate study

Tuition fee loans are available for UK and EU students.

  • Available to cover the full cost of your tuition
  • You don’t have to pay for your course up front yourself
  • Only start paying back when you are earning over £25,725 per year

Maintenance Loan for Undergraduate study – 2020/21

Student Maintenance Loans are available for UK and eligible EU students to help with living costs such as accommodation, food, clothes, travel and course expenses. The amount students receive is dependent on household income and any maintenance grant received.

  • A loan of up to £9,203 may be available if you live away from home.
  • A loan of up to £7,747 may be available if you live with your parents.

How can you find out more?

To learn more about loans, repayment calculations and other financial support, visit Student Finance. If you have any questions about fees, please email


Find out about scholarship programmes available to NUA applicants.


For new entrants whose household income is assessed as £25,000 or less, the university will offer a contribution towards the costs of studying at NUA (such as equipment, materials and other course-related costs). This will be £200 for new entrants to Year 0 and Year 1, rising to £300 in Year 2, followed by £500 in Year 3. Find out more about bursaries at NUA

NUA alumni, staff and feeder staff discount

All NUA alumni are eligible for a £1,000 discount on NUA postgraduate degree fees. All NUA staff and staff from feeder institutions are eligible for a £500 discount on NUA postgraduate degree fees.

Four year degree* – BSc (Hons) Games Development

Four year degrees offer students a chance to build on their experience within their undergraduate course of choice.

Year 0 will help to build confidence and develop subject specific practical, creative and conceptual skills – making full use of University studios and workshops.

Year 0 is a new option for this course in 2020.

*subject to validation

Typical UK offers and entry requirements for Year 0 entry

GCE A/AS Levels
2 A-level qualifications at grades CC or higher. 

BTEC Extended Diploma (QCF or RQF)
Merit, Merit, Pass in an art, design or media related subject

BTEC Diploma (QCF or RQF)
Distinction, Merit in an art, design or media related subject

UAL Extended Diploma
An overall Pass

UAL Level 3 Foundation Diploma in Art and Design
An overall Pass

Foundation Diploma in Art and Design 

Access to Higher Education Diploma (Art and Design)

International Baccalaureate Diploma
A minimum of 24 points

NUA welcomes applicants of all ages from all backgrounds. For all courses other than BSc Games Development your application will be primarily assessed through interview.

portrait photo of alum Thomas Russell smiling at camera and sitting leaning on desk with long swept back hair and glasses with loose open shirt

Thomas Russell

"I enjoy my contact time with tutors and being surrounded by such creative students and staff. The workshops have shaped my technical skill but for me, self-directed study has been the more rewarding."

BA (Hons) Games Art and Design

portrait photo of alum Josh Allen smiling at looking away from camera with short dark hair and glasses wearing suit jacket with rolled sleeves

Josh Allen

"The games industry is everything I wanted for my career. I’m surrounded by amazing, talented people that inspire me every day. "

BA (Hons) Games Art & Design graduate


  • Tom Haczewski

    The User Story
  • Kris Lavington Woods

  • Ricky Walton

  • Tim Caynes

  • Jake Montanarini

Need help? Chat to our friendly recruitment team

Book a place on an Open Day, or to find out more about how to apply for a course at NUA, please give us a call.