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About the course

Take your creative ideas and turn them into marketable gaming products on this exciting undergraduate degree. Learn the full production pipeline, from initial concept through to final distribution. Find your niche in an industry that is enjoying soaring growth in both economic value and cultural relevance.

As a BA (Hons) Computer Games (Design) student you’ll be working alongside established academics and professionals with experience in every aspect of game production. Starting with fundamental design tools, you’ll focus on creating compelling games that engage players and deliver great experiences.

As you learn the essential programming, design and prototyping skills needed to make this possible, you’ll benefit from access to dedicated studio space in Solent’s video games academy. This open access teaching area provides all the specialised software you’ll need: Visual Studio, Perforce, DirectX, OpenGL, UDK 4.0, Unity, Source, Torque, Cocos2dx, Photoshop, 3D studio max, Maya and Mudbox to name just a few. You’ll also have access to console development kits, a motion capture studio, a mobile devices lab and a range of consumer gaming/VR hardware.

Bringing a modern game to market requires a broad range of skills and specialisms. Throughout your degree you will learn to collaborate in multi-disciplinary teams, bringing these varied specialisms together to create polished and engaging gaming experiences. If you are particularly interested in the project or business management side of the industry, you have the option to undertake a “business of games” unit in your third year of study.

Links with industry are a major component of the course. You’ll be encouraged to take part in game jams, conferences, gaming conventions and networking events throughout your degree; building connections and discovering your niche. An industry advisory board supports the planning for the curriculum, ensuring that you are learning in-demand skills. Companies represented include Sony Computer Games Europe, Unity Technologies, Sumo Digital, Bitmap Bureau, Stainless Games and Aardvark Swift.

Study abroad Foundation year available Specialist facilities Further studies

Students are introduced to key programming, design and scripting skills before moving onto advanced gameplay design, media and UX units.

What does this course lead to?

As a graduate from this course, you will be well prepared for a range of roles within game production. This could be working for an established gaming business, a smaller independent studio or your own start-up.

The course offers many opportunities to specialise, allowing graduates to progress into a variety of paid work. Suitable positions include gameplay design, level design, UX design, simulation design, VR design, game programming, usability, quality assurance and software testing.

There are also a growing number of opportunities outside the computer games industry in areas such as board game design, simulation design and toy design.

Who is this course for?

This course is ideally suited to students who wish to learn the full production pipeline for modern computer, card and board games. Candidates typically come from a range of different academic backgrounds including computing, art, design and media. 

Facts and figures

UCAS codes icon

UCAS codes

Full Time

  • 3 Years Standard Entry ID60
  • 4 Years Digital Arts Foundation Year II63
Fees icon

Fees and costs

Tuition fees

The tuition fees for the 2018/19 academic year are:
UK, EU and Channel Island full-time fees: £9,250 per year
International full-time fees: £12,500 per year

Bursaries and scholarships

Southampton Solent University offers a range of bursaries and scholarships that provide financial assistance or waive fees for tuition or accommodation. Each bursary or scholarship has specific eligibility criteria. Check out our bursaries and scholarships pages to find out more.


Key entry requirements icon

Key entry requirements

112 UCAS tariff points from A-levels or design portfolio

  • A minimum of two A Levels including minimum Grade D in a relevant subjects excluding general studies and key skills, a BTEC Extended Diploma at DMM or BTEC Diploma at D*D* or equivalent.
  • Direct entry to year two may be offered to holders of an HND or HNC in an appropriate subject.
  • Alternative entry is available through the Digital Arts Foundation Year.

We welcome applicants from a diverse range of backgrounds. Applicants who are not in possession of the minimum entry requirements but are able to demonstrate aptitude, enthusiasm and motivation will be considered on an individual basis and may be admitted subject to satisfactory interview and/or portfolio. Please contact us for further details.

English language requirements

Applicants who do not have English as their first language will be required to demonstrate an approved level of proficiency in the use of the English language. The agreed minimum requirements for this course are:

  • IELTS minimum 6.0 overall with a minimum of 5.5 in each individual component
  • TOEFL IBT minimum 80 with a minimum of 19 in each individual component
  • or equivalent.

Qualifications are checked before enrolment, and international students must bring their original certificates or certified copies when coming to study at the University.

The University also offers a pre-sessional English programme for international students who wish to improve their level of English before starting a degree course.


90%

of students feel they have had the right opportunities to work with other students

Study location

East Park Terrace

Got a question about this course?

Contact our Ask Solent team:

ask@solent.ac.uk 023 8201 3039

How to apply

Any student applying for the first year of a full-time/sandwich undergraduate course must apply through UCAS (University and Colleges Admissions Service). This includes mature, overseas and EU students.

Nearly all schools and colleges offer their students the facility of applying electronically through the UCAS website using 'Apply'; it may also be used by those applying independently in the UK and overseas. This facility and all course information can be found on the UCAS website: www.ucas.com.

Your application should reach UCAS by January if you hope to enter a course the following autumn. Early application is advised for the most popular subject areas. Late applications may be made until June. The UCAS Code for the University is S30, code name SOLNT.

How to apply

What you'll study

Year one

Core units
  • Introduction to Computer Games
  • Computer Graphics and Game Systems
  • Programming Fundamentals
  • Introduction to Design and Prototyping
  • Media Design
  • Object-Oriented Programming
  • Scripting for Game Engines

Year two

Core units
  • Gameplay and Game Design
  • Media Creation for Games
  • User Centred Design
  • Digital Game Design and Prototyping
  • Advanced Media Creation
  • Producing Games

Year three

Core units
  • Project Research and Preparation
  • Computer Games Design Project
  • Professional Development

Options

  • Experiential Design
  • Futureproof Design
  • Artificial Intelligence for Games
  • The Business of Games
  • Video Game Design
  • Curriculum Plus

Please note: Not all optional units are guaranteed to run each year.

Support

Web-based learning

Solent's virtual learning environment provides quick online access to assignments, lecture notes, suggested reading and other course information.

The Student Hub

The Student Hub is a central space where you can access all of the information and support you need during your time at University.

Professional and experienced staff can help resolve any query, and if they cannot answer the question themselves they will find the person who can.

Career support

Key figures

100%

Assessment by coursework

Meet the course team

James TerKeurst academic profile James TerKeurst Senior Lecturer View profile
Arran Langmead academic profile Arran Langmead Lecturer View profile
Nick Hampton academic profile Nick Hampton Lecturer View profile
Christian Brindley academic profile Christian Brindley Associate Lecturer View profile

The university cannot guarantee any particular members of staff will teach specific aspects of the course in the future, but will endeavour to ensure the teaching team maintains their balance of experience and qualifications.

Facilities

All game design students benefit from access to our dedicated video games academy. This open access teaching area fosters a community spirit amongst students from all our gaming art, design and programming courses; encouraging the kind of multi-disciplinary collaboration that graduates will encounter in the professional workplace.

The video games academy comes equipped with all the specialised software you’ll need: Visual Studio, Perforce, DirectX, OpenGL, UDK 4.0, Unity, Source, Torque, Cocos2dx, Photoshop, 3D studio max, Maya and Mudbox to name just a few. You’ll also have access to console development kits, a motion capture studio, a mobile devices lab, VR headsets and a range of consumer gaming hardware.

Multi-disciplinary collaboration is a key theme throughout the course. Group projects bring together artists, programmers and sound designers from across the University, mirroring industry practice.

Your future

Graduates will have a strong understanding of the games development cycle, from initial concept right through to final product.

You will have many opportunities to learn about these different stages of development, building a broad portfolio before specialising in a particular discipline.

Suitable roles for graduates include:

  • game designer,
  • level designer,
  • UX designer,
  • simulation designer,
  • VR designer,
  • game producer,
  • game usability specialist,
  • game tester,
  • and many more.

89%

of students go on to work and/or study

74%

of students are in a professional or managerial job

Industry links

Members of the teaching staff have wide-ranging experience in the games industry and can help you to build your own contacts.

Solent is the founder member of the Southern Independent Games Network (SIGN), providing students with many crucial networking and knowledge sharing opportunities. SIGN focuses on the business aspects of the video games industry, offering support in areas such as funding, tax, marketing and copyright law.

The course has very strong links to gaming via the teaching staff’s industry experience, proximity to the UK’s game development capital in London, and regular visits from industry professionals. Recent visitors have included staff from Codemasters, Climax, Aardvark Swift and Stainless Games.

Further study

Enhance your career prospects by continuing your study at Solent.

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