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
Work-based learning opportunities: Creative Professional Development Year (Level 5 diploma) available between years 2 & 3

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 50 by industry veterans at The Rookies in 2021

“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 will explore the mechanics of playful interaction on our BSc (Hons) Games Development degree as you develop skills in prototyping and user testing.

You are a games designer, developer, or coder who wants to learn the end-to-end process of making games and prepare for a successful career in a dynamic and rapidly-evolving industry.

You will work with different technologies and platforms, including console, web, mobile, PC, augmented and virtual reality.

How you think, make decisions, and develop ideas will evolve as you learn to code games that give users an exceptional experience. And you will be part of the NUA Games community, interacting and collaborating with your peers on our sister course, BA Games Art and Design.

Workshops, technical demonstrations and live briefs will help prepare you for a career in the games industry.

NUA Games is a member of the Sony PlayStation First Academic Partnership Programme, and was ranked as the UK’s best educational institution in 2017. The Rookies, a global panel of games industry experts, ranked NUA in the world’s top 50 in 2021.

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 team in the Ideas FactoryNUA to help support you as you plan your career.

All courses run as a blend of on-campus and digital teaching and learning, and follow current UK government safety advice. Applicants and students will be notified directly if any changes need to be made.

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

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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. Your application will be primarily assessed through your portfolio, responses to questions asked and personal statement, 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 application 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 international@nua.ac.uk 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’)
  • Demonstrations of problem solving (sorting glitches)
  • 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.

2022/23 University fees for new entrants

NUA will assess students’ tuition fee status using the guidance provided by the UK Council for International Student Affairs

Students from the UK or Ireland and EU students with ‘Settled’ or ‘Pre-Settled’ status will be charged ‘Home’ fees if they meet the relevant residency requirements.  They will usually be eligible for a tuition fee loan from the UK government, meaning that they won’t have to pay NUA’s tuition fees up front.

Students who do not meet the necessary residency requirements will usually be charged ‘Overseas’ fees and will not be eligible for the UK government tuition fee loan. Since 2021/22, this includes new entrants from the EU, EEA, and Switzerland who do not have ‘Settled’ or ‘Pre-Settled’ status, because the UK has now formally left the EU.

Fee status Course Fee
Home Undergraduate degree (full-time three and four year degree) £9,250
Overseas Undergraduate degree (full-time three and four year degree) £17,500

In subsequent years inflation may be applied to the fees of those who started in 2022/23, at no more than the Office for Students’ recommended measure based on forecast RPI-X.

Financial support for UK students in 2022

Tuition fee loans and loans for living costs are usually available to UK and some EU students, as well as non-repayable NUA bursaries based on family income. Find out more about applying for funding.

Creative Professional Development (1 year, Level 5 Diploma)

The Diploma in Creative Professional Development has been developed to offer undergraduate students the chance to spend a year, between the second and third year of their course, exploring their employability options through a structured programme of input sessions and work-based learning.

Not just an ‘industry sandwich year’ —

The Level 5 Diploma in Creative Professional Development is:

  • Designed around your needs as a creative student, particularly if your personal network does not currently reach creative industry.
  • Based on our award-winning Profile skills framework.
  • Co-delivered with industry partners who share our approach.
  • Supporting you with carefully planned interventions and activities before and after their placements, so that you are ready to undertake placement learning and then equipped to derive the maximum insight from the experience afterwards.
  • Opening a wide range of creative roles that you may not imagine you would be able to apply for after your study at NUA.

It has been designed for:

  • Students who want to work in creative industry but have not yet decided the sort of role they would like.
  • Students who do have a clear sense of career direction but need to develop a structured plan to achieve it.
  • Students who do not have relevant work experience, and want to graduate with a fuller CV.
  • Students who think that business start-up or freelancing may be their preferred option and want to explore it further.

Find out more about the Level 5 Diploma in Creative Professional Development

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.

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 
Pass

Access to Higher Education Diploma (Art and Design)
Pass

International Baccalaureate Diploma
A minimum of 24 points

NUA welcomes applicants of all ages from all backgrounds. Your application will be primarily assessed through your portfolio, responses to questions asked and personal statement, 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 application is successful it is likely that you will receive a conditional offer.

Students
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

Lecturers

  • George Britton

    Games Programming
  • Jake Montanarini

  • Kris Lavington Woods

  • Marzieh Talebpour

  • Ricky Walton

  • Tim Caynes

  • Tom Haczewski

    The User Story

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.

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