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BSc (Hons) Games Development

BSc (Hons) Games Development

Institution code: N39
Course UCAS code: I610
Course length: 3 years

Our BSc (Hons) Games Development degree is all about hands-on games development. On this course you’ll learn the end-to-end process of making games and discover what it takes to become a successful games developer.

“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. 

You’ll master the mechanics of playful interaction, whether you’re building your technical expertise in 3D or forms of artificial intelligence. Through skills workshops, technical demonstrations, live briefs and professional practice with the network of digital creative businesses that helped shape the course, you’ll see what it takes to create software engineering that delights, excites and challenges users.

Your games development skills

Our undergraduate games development course allows you to focus on areas that interest you, professionally and personally. You’ll be exposed to a variety of industry standard platforms and technologies to understand their differences and how they are best deployed.

Applying computer science, emerging technologies, user experience and interaction design to the creation of new games, you’ll create games 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.

Your games development future

As well as acquiring and developing the creative tools that will enable you to develop unique and innovative games, this degree will also show you how to make them commercially 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
  • Pursue a common first year with fellow BSc routes Interaction Design and User Experience Design, enjoying the wider insights gained from interdisciplinary learning while maintaining a sharp focus on developing core Games Development skills x
  • 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 web game 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
  • Move on from purely browser-based games to working 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
  • Explore the use of networking to create multiplayer games
  • Investigate the use of path finding and artificial intelligence algorithms within 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, such as health and safety, 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
  • Pitch ideas to industry professionals
  • Develop awareness of how to publish, license and monetise 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.

Typical UK offers

A / AS Levels – GCE
3 A-level qualifications at grades BBB, at least one of which must be in 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 32 points

NUA welcomes applicants of all ages from all backgrounds. Your application will be primarily assessed through interview and portfolio review so even if you have no formal qualifications or do not meet our typical offers it can still be worth applying.

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).

You can email us on international@nua.ac.uk if you’d like to discuss your application individually.

BSc (Hons) Games Development degree portfolio guidance

Your interview

After you apply to study course title 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.

Your portfolio

This is your chance to show us what you’re all about. Choose pieces that reflect your creativity and personal interests, as well as demonstrating your technical skills.

How much work should I include?

Choose at least two projects that show the steps you took to develop an idea. This might mean you include experiments, drafts or variations that demonstrate the progression of a project from the earliest stages through to completion. Don’t worry if they’re not perfect drawings, paintings or renderings – we want to understand how you think during the creative process.

What type of work should I include?

Finished projects that you’re excited about! Remember, we’re interested in you. What motivates your choice in discipline? What shapes your creative identity? You can submit assessed projects and coursework, but we recommend including independent work where possible. Self-initiated projects showcase your ability to generate ideas and tell us more about you and your ambition.

Things to consider:

Take your time choosing pieces for your portfolio

You should be confident and passionate talking about each piece. You may not be able to talk us through everything in your portfolio at the interview, so be sure to present the work in a logical way. Choose a layout that tells the story of each project and use a structure that gives a full picture of your creative practice.

Show us the full range of your creative experience and interests

Tell us about contemporary creatives that have influenced your practice. Exhibitions, shows or festivals that have inspired you or influenced your work. Competitions you’ve entered and prizes you’ve won. If you can, avoid too much repetition in style and subject matter.

Your portfolio should be relevant to the course you’re applying to, but you can include a wide range of work that shows your creativity, technical competence and understanding of space.

You may wish to include some of the following:

  • Any coding projects you’ve undertaken
  • Drawings, diagrams and illustrations that demonstrate your skills, including images drawn from observations or from imagination
  • Product designs that demonstrate awareness of user interaction
  • Evidence drawn from a focus group (such UX experience or other data capture techniques)
  • Visual research into similar products or services in the market place
  • Mood boards (showcasing products, statistics and idea developments)
  • Work created using WordPress, Unreal Engine, Unity or other related software
  • Photography
  • Examples of experimental collaborative projects (such as attending Game Jam events)

Hardcopy portfolios

  • If you’re only submitting hardcopy materials you should aim to submit 20-30 pieces. Portfolios should be ring bound or loose boards between A4 and A1 in size.
  • Include 2-3 sketchbooks with the portfolio to demonstrate idea development, contextualisation and your work strategies.
  • Large, intricate or fragile pieces should be shown as good quality photographs.
  • If you’re submitting a showreel you should also present 10-15 images of other work (see digital portfolios guidance below).
  • Labels should be discreet, neat and used in a consistent manner for clear navigation.
  • Ensure your name is on the portfolio.

Digital portfolios

  • Include up to 30 images, including images from sketchbooks, research, experimental work and finished pieces.
  • If you’re presenting a showreel, your work should be no longer than five minutes, but you can include 10-15 accompanying images.
  • Ensure photographs and scans are in focus and in large enough format to see clearly.
  • Digital work should be presented on an online platform such as your own website, Tumblr, Flickr, Prezi, MeMyArt, YouTube, Vimeo or a personal blog. The link should then be submitted through the Applicant Portal or by emailing the relevant address below.
  • Ensure your digital portfolio is accessible before you arrive for interview, as your interviewer will load it in advance of the interview.
  • UK and EU applicants should send their link to admissions@nua.ac.uk
  • Non-EU and EEA applicants should send their link to international@nua.ac.uk

Written submission

As part of your offer you may be asked to submit a piece of written work in addition to your application, usually after your interview.

Typically an essay, report or completed log of between 500 and 1,000 words, your submission should demonstrate your ability to think critically, make informed analysis and communicate confidently in a subject area related to your proposed course of study.

“We’re looking for evidence that you can take on board scientific principles and apply them to a creative endeavour.”

– Saint Walker, Course Leader

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 student.finance@nua.ac.uk

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.

2018/19 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 2018 fees for international students and the support available.

Financial support for UK/EU students in 2018

Tuition fee loans and loans for living costs are available, as well as non-repayable NUA bursaries that take into account family income. Find 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 £25,000 per year

Maintenance Loan for Undergraduate study – 2018/19

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 £8,700 may be available if you live away from home.
  • A loan of up to £7,324 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 student.finance@nua.ac.uk


Find out about scholarship programmes available to NUA applicants.


NUA offers bursaries to new students whose household income is £42,875 or less.

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.


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

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 contact Lynne, Sam, Tom, or Tori:

Call: +44 (0) 1603 610561

Email: studentrecruitment@nua.ac.uk

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