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BA single honours or in combination with another subject Games Design 2018/19

Year of entry

Apply from September 2017. Come to an Open Day

*Subject to validation

Games Design has been devised to help you learn the key creative and technical skills necessary to produce videogames, and understand their significance in contemporary society.

You will gain an in-depth knowledge of the design process, aesthetics, and the relationships between industry, players and designers. You will use industry standard software to explore the creative processes and technical skills used in game design.

This new exciting course will be based in new Faculty facilities: an energetic, interdisciplinary, creative space, enabling you to work on genre-defying and innovative designs. You will be taught by games industry practitioners, led by Dr Alan Meades, an internationally renowned videogame, play, and play-cultures researcher.

You will explore areas including:

  • indie game creation from concept to release
  • art, sound, and narrative for games
  • gameplay and game mechanics
  • 2D and 3D game development software
Great news!

We now have planning permission to build a new £12m arts facility in Canterbury, equipped with the latest technology and bespoke learning spaces for our arts and humanities students. We expect our new arts building to open on the main campus in September 2018, with building work starting this summer.

Find out more about these specialist facilities in our video.

BA (Hons) Games Design is a new programme for 2018.

Games are a vital component of modern society. We play mobile phone apps during our daily commute, console and computer games at home and card and board games at social gatherings. Games have become so important to contemporary life that designing games has become an important commercial activity.

Christ Church is considered one of the worldleaders in play-culture research, and the School of Media, Art and Design holds one of only two major archives of arcade photography (the other is in Stanford University).

BA (Hons) Games Design develops your understanding of digital and analogue games and your technical and your skills in creating them, including software, development processes and production methods. You will apply these skills to create your own games in an environment as close to the professional world as we can make it. You will also study games, games players and their wider social, cultural and economic contexts.

BA (Hons) Games Design recognises the significance of games as commercial products, as entertainment, and as forms of creative expression, ways of telling stories, conveying messages and creating art. The course is particularly suited to students who are interested in making, playing, and studying games, but who lack existing computing expertise, including those entering this subject area from another discipline.

Top reason to choose this course

If you are interested in studying games, understanding how and why they work, their role in society and the economy, and then designing creating your own games then this is the course for you. The programme uses games design and development middleware to allow you to focus on the creation of meaningful play experiences that can be applied within a diverse range of different situations – from entertainment to art, and marketing. The course is structured to develop your ability to understand and create games for different purposes. It enables you to develop confidence in your own abilities whilst preparing you for employment.

In Year 1 you will develop the foundational skills, including the fundamentals of coding and creative software that underpin all computer games. As you develop your skills you will apply them to producing games in response to set briefs, both individually and in groups. You will be introduced to the key histories and debates about games and their role in society.

You can study French, German, Italian, Mandarin Chinese and Spanish as part of, or alongside, your course.

more info

In Year 2 you will develop your creative potential and your ability to research and analyse games to enable you to critique existing games and influence future game design. You will also study the commercial context of the games industry.

In Year 3 you will undertake a work-related learning module that includes opportunities for a work placement, freelance commission, or internationalisation project. You will produce a major games-design practical project and undertake a games-studies research project.

Work Experience

BA (Hons) Games Design includes a work-related learning module in which you have the opportunity to undertake a short placement, or similar experience relevant to employment and internationalisation, typically during Semester 1 of Year 3. Placements could be within a commercial games-design environment such as a games-design studio, an advertising or design agency or work as a freelance designer. It is expected that you will take the lead in identify your own placement, with the support of the programme team and the University’s careers service.

In addition to curricular activity, we strongly encourage you to engage in volunteering and we will help you connect with charities and organisations.

Other information

BA (Hons) Games Design makes flexible use of the School of Media, Art and Design’s computing suites and studios in the Powell Building and the new arts building on the university’s city-centre campus in Canterbury. You will be given UKIE membership during your time on the course; membership offers reduced-price entrance to a range of international gaming events and the opportunity to attend game jams.

Year 1

Core modules

Creative Literacy for Games Design

This module introduces you to the creative elements of design, including idea generation, design processes, visual research, critique, thumb nailing, sketching and introductory software skills (e.g. Adobe CS), and to the creative language of design.

Logic for Games Design

You will be introduced to the semantics, syntax, and logic of software code, which is fundamental to using code to create content.

Games Design Histories and Contexts

This module explores games from a historic perspective, exploring their evolution, form and dynamics. You will deconstruct existing games and use these as the basis to reimagine, develop or reboot aspects of their design. This enables you to put creative processes and code into use, but in a way that shows an understanding of the cultural significance of games.

Games Design Tools

You will explore the aesthetics of games design, evaluating art, sound, animation, pure design and writing. The module will shift your focus from manipulating an existing game framework into the realm of authorial control. The module will also help you to identify your specific creative interests.

Games Design Project 1

Building upon theories of “persuasive games” or “games for change” you will work in small groups to create a game that promotes a message or creates an argument. There is scope for alternate games to be proposed, analogue, card-games, ARGs, providing they meet the module learning outcomes.

Year 2

Game Arts

This module explores creative disciplines that contribute towards games design, including illustration and visualisation, animation, sound design, game mechanics, writing and marketing. You will be introduced to these different subject areas and produce a portfolio of practical work linked to them.

Storytelling and Interactive Narrative

This is a theory/practice module in which you will learn and then apply the concepts of interactive fiction (IF) and narrative, with the production of a game / bot / narrative environment. You will explore the potential offered by games for telling stories and to offer alternative narrative forms, including IF, generative narratives, and other mechanisms for emergent storytelling. You will study a range of outputs including traditional text adventures, speech bots, ‘walking sims’ and mobile games (e.g. Lifeline, Reigns).

Industry Perspectives

This module focuses on employability and is built partly around presentations and workshops delivered by industry practitioners. It introduces you to critical issues related to working as a games designer including working practices, funding, developing portfolios, studio setup, working as an indie, tax returns and bidding for funding. You will produce a portfolio of work including a ‘sector scan’ of an aspect of games design that interests you, identifying practitioners and processes and potential work placement openings.

Games and Players

This module explores some of the key aspects of game studies as an academic discipline. You will learn about user-research methods including auto ethnography, play diaries, and the wider contexts of user-centred design and rapid iterative design. This module highlights the importance of the player within the reception, adoption and success of a game, alongside introducing you research methods for understanding games and the ways people play them.

Games Design Project 2

You will work in a group on a substantial games project, sharing expertise from staff and other students.

Year 3

Work-Related Learning

Like Industry Perspectives in Year 2 this module also focuses on employability, Module content includes lectures and workshops from industry practitioners; developing business ideas and industry analyses. You will also have the opportunity to broaden your understanding of work in the creative industries by undertaking a short work placement, exploring internationalisation, or an appropriate freelance commission. Students will be expected to keep a diary of your experience and writing a reflective commentary about it.

Mixed Media Dissertation

Under the supervision of a tutor you will produce a dissertation on a subject of your choice relevant to games design. This can take the form of a written dissertation or an alternative practical form, for example a game that introduces theoretical concepts. Supervision could be managed at a distance through blended learning and the use of digital tools, if you were undertaking a work placement away from the university in Semester 1.

Pre-Production

You will engage with industrial games design planning and pre-production processes and produce a game-design-document (GDD) for a game of your choice, alongside a proposal suite (e.g. a Kickstarter page), that explains your proposal.

Final Major Project

Under the supervision of a tutor you will complete the creation of a game based upon the pre-production submission. There is scope for you to work in a group on larger projects.

A degree in Games Design would help you to enter the games design and development industry, which is a growth sector in the UK. The skills you develop on the course would also open up opportunities in advertising, marketing, events, museum and exhibition design, and the creative sector more generally.

Tuition Fees for 2018/19 have not yet been finalised - please read the 2018/19 Tuition Fee Statement for further information regarding 2018/19 tuition fees and year on year fee increases.

Fees

The 2017/18 annual tuition fees for this course are:

 UK/EUOverseas
Full-time £9,250 £11,000*
Full-time (Year in North America) £1,385 (Additional costs apply for studying in North America) N/A
Part-time £4,625 N/A

Tuition fees for all courses are payable on an annual basis, except where stated.

*Tuition Fee Scholarship discounts of £1,500 are available to eligible overseas students. Visit the International webpages for further information.

Please read the 2017/18 Tuition Fee Statement for further information regarding 2017/18 tuition fees and year on year fee increases

Further information

Additional course costs

Although we aim to minimise any additional costs to students over and above the course tuition fee, there will be some additional costs which students are expected to meet.

Costs applicable to all students

CategoryDescription
Text books Own purchase text books
Travel to other sites Where travel to other sites is required, this will be payable by the student
Library Fees and Fines Where students fail to return loaned items within the required time they will be responsible for the cost of any Library Fees and Fines applicable
Printing & Photocopying The cost of printing and photocopying undertaken by students to support their individual learning are payable by the student
Graduation ceremonies It is free for the student to attend the ceremony itself. Guest tickets and robe hire / photography are additional costs payable by the student

Course specific costs

CategoryDescription
Accommodation costs for Placements

Some additional costs to the student are associated with the participation in archaeological fieldwork placements. The cost of the placement itself (training, supervision, equipment, and PPE) is provided by the University. However, travel to and from the placement, accommodation, and food and drink during the placement are generally not provided by the University or fieldwork placement provider. 

Clothing / Kit

Some fieldwork placements involve camping, and in these cases camping gear is not provided by the University or fieldwork placement provider.

Clothing and kit that is essential for Health and Safety reasons are provided by the University and/or fieldwork placement provider at no extra cost to the student. Clothing and kit that is kept by the student and not essential for Health and Safety reasons are not provided by the University or fieldwork placement provider.

General principle policy

The University’s general principles policy for additional course fees are set out here

CategoryIncluded in the tuition feeAdditional cost to student
Field trips (including trips abroad and trips to museums, theatres, workshops etc) Yes, if the trip contributes to the course (whether it is part of an optional or compulsory module), but not including food and drink. Yes, if the trip is not an essential part of the course but is offered as an enhancement or enrichment activity, or for a student’s personal development.
Travel and accommodation costs for placements  No

Travel and accommodation costs for professional placements within the Education and Health & Wellbeing Faculties.

Travel and accommodation costs for other work placements. 
Text books No Own purchase text books.
DBS / Health checks No Yes
Professional Body registration No Yes
Travel to other sites (e.g. travel to swimming pool for lessons) No Yes
Clothing / Kit Yes, where the clothing / kit is essential for Health & Safety reasons. Yes, where the clothing is kept by the student and not essential for health and safety reasons.
Learning materials Essential learning materials (excluding text books) in connection with the course. Additional materials beyond the standard provision essential for the course or where the costs are determined by the student’s area of interest and the outputs are retained by the student.
Library fees and fines No Yes
Printing and photocopying No Yes
Social events No, unless the event forms an essential part of the course. Yes, unless the event forms an essential part of the course.
Graduation ceremonies It is free for the student to attend the ceremony itself. Guest tickets and robe hire/ photography are additional costs payable by the student.

Composition of the course

Each 20-credit taught module has up to 50 hours of teaching, including lectures, seminars, workshops, one-to-one and group tutorials and feedback on assignments. Teaching takes place face ­to ­face and online. You are also expected to put in 150 hours of self­directed study and practical work for each 20-credit module.

You will be assessed using a range of methods, including presentations, essays, diaries, reflective analyses and individual and group project work.

We now have planning permission to build a new £12m arts facility in Canterbury, equipped with the latest technology and bespoke learning spaces for our arts and humanities students.

We expect our new arts building to open on the main campus in September 2018, with building work starting this summer.

Our main campus in Canterbury has city centre facilities on its doorstep and, of course, you will benefit from all the new arts building has to offer.

Fact file

UCAS code

  • I600 Games Design

Institutional code

  • C10

Length

  • 3 years full-time

    6 years part-time

Starts

  • September 2018

Entry requirements

Location

School

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Last edited: 28/06/2017 11:42:00