BSc (Hons) Games Design with foundation year

Want to turn your passion for games into a career? Our Games Design graduates have a proven track record of success. Our experienced games tutors are ready to support and guide you on your mission to develop the technical knowledge and creative skills demanded by this ever-growing industry.

BSc (Hons) Games Design with foundation year

Course details

The UK games industry was worth approximately £3.8 billion in 2016, with over 31 million people playing games in the UK*. If you are seeking a career in a strong sector of the economy, then games is an excellent choice.

The foundation year is the first year of this degree, offering an excellent grounding in the fundamentals of computing, including programming, computer networks and computers in society. It is designed to prepare you for degree level study.

After the foundation year our Games Design course offers a broad study of games, with an emphasis on the technical, design and innovation aspects, rather than programming. Key topics include content production, games and level design as well as platforms and technologies. Our dedicated games team will work to help you develop skills and knowledge in games analysis, usability and playability testing, games production and the business of computer games.

Team-based projects involving regular critique sessions are designed to help you develop the high-level of team working and communication skills that are vital in the games industry. Our intensely practical, hands-on approach aims to encourage and support you to develop a high-quality portfolio of work ready to demonstrate your skills and creative flair to potential employers.

*Newzoo, August 2016 (https://newzoo.com/insights/infographics/the-uk-games-market-2016/)

  • UCAS points: 48
  • Location: The University of Bolton
  • Award: BSc (Hons)
  • UCAS code: G630
  • Duration: 4 years

Course highlights:

  • We share your passion for games. As well as extensive experience playing games (just like you!), our dedicated games tutors offer a vast range of industry experience, a wide network of contacts in the games industry, and knowledge of the latest games research and developments.
  • Industry experts from the leading games studios in the UK, along with Bolton graduates now successful in the sector, are regularly invited to give guest lectures on aspects of games development.
  • Team working and collaboration are essential for games industry success, so we encourage you to work with students from our Games Art and Games Programming courses forming interdisciplinary teams to complete games projects.
  • Our Game Jams are great opportunities to build your social network and practice your communication, project management and problem solving skills.
  • We work with games development companies on games usability and software testing, giving you the opportunity to test games before they go to market. In the past, some of our students have even got their names mentioned in the credits.

Key features:

  • University of Bolton games graduates have been enjoying careers in the games industry for longer than most – we were one of the first UK universities to offer games courses.
  • The course covers both 2D and 3D game environments, concepts and mechanics for traditional gaming (PC and console), mobile gaming (cloud, social and casual), and virtual reality gaming, along with game play analysis and testing.
  • We offer opportunities for you to go on studio visits and field trips, undertake work experience with relevant studios, and network with professionals.
  • The assignments and projects set on the course are based on industry pipelines and standards to give you a real feel for a career in the games sector.
  • Our well-equipped, dedicated games labs feature high-specification PC hardware, HTC Vive VR systems and industry-standard software, along with modern and vintage consoles.

Entry requirements

  • UCAS points: 48
  • Location: The University of Bolton
  • Award: BSc (Hons)
  • UCAS code: G630
  • Duration: 4 years

Any subjects are acceptable at Level 3. You should also have five GCSEs at grade C or above or grade 4 to 9 (or equivalent) including English and Mathematics.

If you do not meet the standard entry requirements, but have non-traditional qualifications and/or relevant experience, we will be happy to consider your application.

You may be required to attend an interview and/or provide a portfolio of work.

If English isn’t your first language you’ll also need IELTS 6.0 with no less than 5.5 in any band (or equivalent). We also accept a range of other English language qualifications – please visit our English Language Requirements web page for more details. Find out more

If English is your second language and you feel you need extra help with your language skills, you have the option of studying specialist language modules during the foundation year. Please contact the English for Academic Purposes team for further information and advice.

Career opportunities

As a games design graduate you will have the ability to work independently, develop games, understand commercial markets, develop your teamwork and communication skills, develop concepts and respond to briefs, and also advance your project management and problem solving abilities. You will also develop a portfolio of work using industry-standard tools. This portfolio will allow you to demonstrate your skills, creative flair and passion for games development.

Moreover, elements of games design are emerging in fields such as business, education and healthcare. These areas offer enormous potential for the ambitious games graduate who can communicate with non-gamers.

What can I do with this qualification?

Within games design there is a great deal of specialisation varying from broader design principles to more specific tasks such as level design and game balance. As a result, there are a number of career options available for graduates including roles within games design, graphic design, 3D modelling, animation, game programming, script writing, production management, level design and in quality assurance and testing.

Alternative career options

  • Multimedia artist
  • Digital animator
  • Software engineer

Professional recognition

Fees & funding

Home/EU fees

  Year of study Total
Entry year 2019/202020/212021/222022/232023/24
2019/20 £9,250£9,250£9,250£9,250-£37,000
2020/21 -nullnullnullnullnull

International fees

  Year of study Total
Entry year 2019/202020/212021/222022/232023/24
2019/20 £9,250£12,450£12,450£12,450-£46,600
2020/21 -nullnullnullnullnull

The fees for a student’s course of study will be set for the normal duration of that course subject only to inflationary increases – measured by the Consumer Price Index (CPI) recorded in March each year to take effect for subsequent start dates.

The University is currently awaiting Government guidelines as to EU fee charges for students commencing study in 2019/20.

UK undergraduate tuition fees are subject to UK government approval and are subject to the outcome of the Teaching Excellence Framework.

How to apply

Home/EU

September start

Please apply through UCAS (the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service) for September entry.

The online application form and guidance notes are available on the UCAS website.

You can apply for up to 5 courses through UCAS (at the same or different institutions) for a fee of £24. Alternatively, if you only wish to apply for a single course at a single institution then a reduced applicant's fee of £13 is applicable.

You will need the following information to complete your UCAS application form:

  • Institution Code Name: BOLTN

  • Institution Code Number: B44

UCAS - Universities and Colleges Admissions Service

Tel: 0870 1122211
Web: www.ucas.com

International

The University welcomes applications from international students from all over the world. We try to make the application process as simple and as fast as possible for our international applicants.

This course is not currently accepting online applications

Please contact Admissions by telephone on 01204 903903 or email enquiries@bolton.ac.uk

Admissions
University of Bolton
Deane Road
Bolton, BL3 5AB
United Kingdom

Tel: 01204 903903
Email: enquiries@bolton.ac.uk

Teaching & assessment

Modules

Modules listed below are a mixture of compulsory and optional. You may not have the opportunity to study all the modules as part of the course.

  • Fundamentals of Programming
  • Logical Analysis and Problem Solving
  • Introduction to Digital Entertainment Technology
  • Foundation Project
  • Computers in Society
  • Networks and Hardware
  • Scholarship
  • Introduction to Level Design
  • Mechanics and Metrics
  • Introduction to Games Programming
  • Introduction to 3D CG
  • Sound for Games
  • Stage C for IFP and Pre-Masters
  • Stage D for IFP and Pre-Masters
  • Employability and Enterprise
  • Portfolio Project
  • Advanced Level Design
  • Intermediate Games Scripting
  • Games Narratives
  • Intermediate 3D for Games
  • Research Methods
  • Major Project
  • Advanced Games Scripting
  • Advanced 3D for Games
  • Advanced Portfolio for Games Design

Teaching, learning and assessment

Overall, the course is very practical in nature, with group work and team-based projects that encourage you to work alongside our more technical and artistic students (from the Games Programming and Games Art courses) forming an important part of your training. These experiences are designed to help you learn the industry pipelines and terminology used by these specialisms along with the team working, project management, problem solving, organisation and communication skills that are essential in the games and interactive entertainment industry.

You can also expect lectures, demonstrations, practical lab sessions, critique sessions (peer and assessed), reflective learning through journals and logs for various activities, as well as online sessions and support. Guided independent study and self-directed learning are equally essential to your success; for instance, library research and background reading, preparing for practical activities and working on projects.

We also encourage and support you to create your portfolio. This provides evidence of your creativity and skills in games design ready to show potential employers, and is considered vital for securing your first job in the industry.

In terms of formal assessment, you can expect written reports, assignments, projects, case study analyses, in-class tests, demonstrations, presentations, and others. These contribute to your final module mark and allow you to demonstrate that you have met the learning outcomes. We also use other forms of assessment to help you learn, especially critique sessions. These provide you with feedback and inform your development, though these do not count towards your final module mark.

Disclaimer

The university will use all reasonable endeavours to deliver your course as described in its published material and the programme specification for the academic year in which you begin your course. Please be aware that our courses are subject to review on an ongoing basis. The content of course modules and mode of associated assessments may be updated on an annual basis. This is to ensure that all modules are up to date and responsive to employment and sector needs. The published course material and the programme specification contain indicative ‘optional modules’ that may be subject to change due to circumstances outside of our control. For this reason we cannot guarantee to run any specific optional module.


Assessment methods

Level Assessment method
Level One Coursework (92%), Practical exams (8%)
Level Two Coursework (93%), Practical exams (7%)
Level Three Coursework (100%)
Level Coursework (96%), Practical exams (4%)

Learning activities

Level Learning activity
Level One Guided independent study (70%), Scheduled learning and teaching activities (30%)
Level Two Guided independent study (67%), Scheduled learning and teaching activities (33%)
Level Three Guided independent study (63%), Scheduled learning and teaching activities (37%)
Level Guided independent study (74%), Scheduled learning and teaching activities (26%)

Contact The University

Key facts

  • UCAS code:
    G630
  • Course type:
    Full-time
  • Location:
    The University of Bolton
  • Award:
    BSc (Hons)
  • UCAS points:
    48
  • Duration:
    4 years

Contact us

Andrew Williams
Programme Leader
Email: A.Williams@bolton.ac.uk
Telephone: +44 (0)1204 903839

Sally Preece
Lecturer in English for Academic Purposes
Email: S.Preece@bolton.ac.uk
Telephone: +44 (0)1204 903613

Enquiry Team
University of Bolton
Email: enquiries@bolton.ac.uk
Telephone: +44 (0)1204 903903