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BA (Hons) - Games Design (with integrated foundation year)

Have alternative qualifications or don't quite meet our entry criteria? No problem.

Whether it's Nintendo's Super Mario Bros, Ion Storm's Deus Ex, or Rockstar's GTA V, all successful games throughout each generation are built on good game and level design, story-telling, 2D and 3D modelling and texturing.

This is the games design course for you, made to enable you to get ready for a career in the multi-billion pound games industry. Spark your imagination and let that creativity run riot at our dedicated arts campus.


Games Design (with integrated foundation year) cover image

Course Overview

Turn your ideas into exciting new games. Seventy-five percent of your course is practical – designing, developing and creating new game experiences to create a portfolio for future employers.

This games design degree is all about the art and design work related to video games, creating storyboard concepts and turning them into playable prototypes. You’ll gain the skills to compete in this growing industry.

Industry-standard 3D and games engine software will help you develop essential skills including drawing, modelling, texturing and using the games engine. Our dedicated arts campus will allow you to mix with other creatives, allowing you to work on joint projects and develop your own network of creative practitioners.

On this course you will...

  • Have access to dedicated Games Design labs with industry-standard software, providing a friendly, collegiate, and supportive environment.
  • You learn games specific topics like drawing & concept art, character design, environment design, 3D modelling, texturing, level design, and game theory.
  • Have the opportunity to take a range of trips outside of the lab to gain inspiration and improve creative thinking. In previous years they have included games expo – EGX and Develop: Brighton.
  • Take part in our annual Game Jam that culminates in an award ceremony featuring Industry experts as judges and delivering a keynote lecture.
  • Develop a wide range of transferable digital skills allowing you to take up a number of internships during your studies.

Course Structure

What you will learn

Our foundation year will help you reach the right level for taking the rest of the degree, building a solid foundation of skills from which to expand upon.

On this programme, you will learn to design, develop, and create new and unique gaming experiences. However, this is not a programming course; it is all about the art and design work related to video games. You will learn all about art and design, developing storyboards and concepts which you will later turn into playable prototypes (both 2D and 3D).

Year one
  • Media in Context
  • Professional Practice
  • Media Narratives
  • Published Media Products
  • Introduction to Drawing for Gaming
  • Creative Technologies for Game Design
Year two
  • Cultural Contexts
    Intro to the cultural, historical and social contexts in which creative work from a range of disciplines will be discussed, examined, and analysed.
  • Collaborative Practice
    Explore and practice the skills involved in creative collaboration.
  • Drawing, Visualisation and Concept Art
    Develop drawing as a fundamental skill in your practice and acquire the knowledge to understand the purpose of concept art as a tool visualising concepts for games.
  • 3D Modelling
    Enhance your knowledge of the professional three-dimensional visualisation for video games and digital media productions.
  • Gaming For Game Designers
    Introduction to the basic ideas and models in Game Theory.
Year three
  • Understanding the Creative Economy
    Contextualise the cultural and economic changes giving rise to the emergence of the creative economy as a leading sector in the UK and global economy.
  • Working in the Creative Economy
    Introduce to the professional practices associated with the creative industries by means of a series of guest lectures, presentations, tutorials and workshops.
  • Concept To Prototype
    Introduction to real-world scenarios in relation to working, in small groups, in the business world, and on client briefs.
  • Concept Art & Visualisation 2
    Explore and develop visualisation techniques appropriate to games design.
  • Texturing
    Enhance your knowledge of the professional texturing techniques used in the Games industry.
  • Digital Sculpting (Optional)
    Develop skills in the more advanced techniques and concepts used within the games industry, with a specific focus on digital sculpting within the production processes.
  • Games Creation - Design to Distribution (Optional)
    Explore and develop an understanding and apply strategies for taking a game to market.
  • Motion Capture and Animation for Games (Optional)
    Develop and produce a computer-based animation in groups or individually.
  • Digital Painting Techniques (Optional)
    Explore and develop digital painting techniques with emphasis to games design.
Year four
  • Theory and Research Methods in the Arts
    Preparation for successfully undertaking your dissertation project.
  • Dissertation
  • Group Game Project
    Develop teamwork and communication skills while you work in small groups on a specified brief to produce a working game.
  • Markets, Audiences & Exhibition
    Develop the skills necessary to identify, generate and successfully access opportunities in the workplace and/or in continuing education.
  • Major Project
    Develop the skills necessary to enable you to produce work for your final project.

Attend an Open Day at Cumbria

An Open Day is your opportunity to explore one of 5 campuses, meet your lecturers, and find out how the University of Cumbria could become your new home.

Take the next step towards achieving your dreams.
A student stands in front of a wall splattered with paint.