BA (Hons) Game Design and Development

Southwark Campus

Mode: Full-time

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Contact information

Overview

Get into the game

This award-winning innovative course will allow you to learn all the key aspects of game design and development. There will be an inter-disciplinary first semester where you will work collaboratively on real world projects with students studying media production, music and sound design and photography & imaging to enhance your digital media production skills and to develop your ability to work effectively in a team and on project planning.

In the second semester of your first year you will then focus fully on game design and development gaining specialist skills but still with opportunities to collaborate with students on other courses in the creative technologies in subsequent years of study. You will be taught by lecturers with more than 20 years’ experience in the games industry offering you the sought-after practical experience of working creatively and collaboratively at the forefront of tech advances.

Real-world application of your skills is essential, and you will have the opportunity to work with external clients and game publishers. On completion of the course you will have the opportunity to showcase your creative production in the creative technologies show which evidences to employers that you are ready for a career in an ever-changing digital and technological landscape.

Why study Games Design and Development at LSBU?

Ranked joint 7th in the UK and 1st in London for Graduate Prospects in Art & Design (Complete University Guide 2021) and ranked 1st in London for graduate prospects in Art and Design (Sunday Times League Table 2020).
We are a centre of excellence for virtual and augmented reality games research in London, offering development experience in pervasive gaming.
Get access to high-spec games systems and tools at our multi-million pound studio facilities, Elephant Studios.
Learn the skills you need to create, release and promote your own games, using design, code, art, animation/modelling, audio, level design, character creation and production.

Volunteering opportunities with the game publishers Ubisoft and Bethesda – and benefit from our connections with Eurogamer, BAFTA, Sony, Eidos, Ubisoft, Bethesda, Nintendo, and video game magazine publishing houses including Future and Imagine.
Start to focus on specialist skills in design and development as early as the second semester in your first year.

This course was previously called Game Cultures.

Awards and accreditations

Key course information - ordered by mode
Mode Duration Start date Location
Mode
Full-time
Duration
3 years
Start Date
September
Location
Southwark Campus

Modules

On this course you’ll learn the essential skills required to work in the games industry, as well as developing your creativity under the guidance of passionate games industry experts.

You’ll learn the technical side of making games and about the gaming industry too – acquiring the creative and organisational skills specific to game production and leadership roles. You can expect to create games for a wide range of gaming platforms: computer games, arcade games, gaming consoles, mobile games and online multi-player gaming. We’ll cover: game and level design, life drawing and anatomy, character design, animation, sound design, scriptwriting, 3d modelling, motion capture – all culminating in a major independent project.

Methods of assessment for course overall: 83% coursework

Year 1

  • Remix. Remake. Recycle.
    This module introduces you to a range of approaches to contextual research and academic critique in relation to contemporary practice in the Creative Industries. By exploring key themes across a range of creative disciplines, you will gain perspective and insight into current debates within the creative sector. By extending your frame of reference, you will gain a better understanding of how to contextualise your own creative practice through the lens of history.
  • Sound and Vision
    One half of this module will focus on developing your visual literacy, so that you can better interpret the meaning or intent behind images. In the other half of this module, you will focus on developing an understanding of the impact sound has on how we perceive events and experiences. Taken together, these explorations will provide you with critical knowledge and understanding that you can apply to the production of your own audio-visual projects, using cameras, recording devices, and audio-visual editing software.
  • Creative Agency
    A creative agency consists of a team of experts with different areas of expertise working together to deliver a project in response to a design brief. In this module, students will work together to deliver creative solutions to a range of creative design briefs. In so doing, you will get a taste of how effective collaboration happens between specialist disciplines within the Creative Industries.
  • 3D Modelling
    3D Modelling introduces the process of creating models in 3D. You will explore the connections between 2D art and 3D modelling, examining issues such as perspective, texturing, rendering and lighting. Skills acquired in the 3D Modelling module will prove invaluable for your second and third year production work.
  • Game Production
    Understanding Games Industry practice in relation to the production process is core to producing high quality game content on time and to budget. In the Game Production module you are introduced to these core concepts via a mobile phone game brief, which you must complete to a full, polished publishable standard to an online platform. Integral to the module is a focus on the production pipelines and processes used in industry to formulate successful projects, which can meet delivery deadlines in a completed and bug free state.
  • Game Specialism 1
    To succeed in Games, students need to be able to identify and build on their specific talents and to understand how these talents align to standard game industry specialisms, such as: game production, game design, game programming, game art, game research, game audio, and game narrative. The emphasis of the module is on seeing a shared game development project through from initial idea to final production, whilst demonstrating specific competency in a specialist discipline.

Year 2

  • Organic Modelling and Animation
    Organic Modelling and Animation extends the core art concepts, skills and techniques covered in the first-year. In Organic Modelling and Animation you will embark on an essential game art task: creating an animated story. You will learn advanced organic modelling techniques and get to grips with the animation pipeline. The module gives you a greater understanding of the role of the 3D artist in game production and will also give you substantial material for your portfolio.
  • Re:Creation
    Re:Creation marks the halfway point of the degree by building upon and expanding ideas discussed in the Game Design and Development production modules, in core theory modules and in the first year video game theory modules. To this effect, you will identify a potential area of interest for your final year dissertation and also explore options for your final year major project.
  • Game Specialism 2
    In Game Development Specialism 2, students build on the specialist skills acquired in the year one module Game Specialism 1 module. Each student embarks on a 12-week program of study dedicated to his or her chosen specialism. Each program is taught by a game industry specialist who will set a series of mini briefs based around current industry practice and trends and that will challenge you to progress your specialist skills. Upon completion of the module you will have in your portfolio a selection of game development work that demonstrates advanced skills in your area of specialisation.
  • Game Programming
    In Game Programming you will explore computer programming within the context of game development. This module will better familiarise you with the Unity development environment, a game engine commonly used within the game industry; and GitHub, an industry standard source control service. Within this module, you will develop your understanding of game programming and the game production processes learned in year 1. By the end of the module, you will have created a game prototype.
  • Professional Development and Employability
    This module offers you an opportunity to engage with your professional practice and career expectations in a variety of ways, by offering a flexible approach to exploring the multitude of routes into employment or self-employment within the Creative Industries. You will have the opportunity to further your career ambitions through identifiable activities such as work placements, entrepreneurial activity, business planning, creative collaboration, self-promotion, and industry engagement through organised events such as conferences, festivals or design competitions.
  • Interdisciplinary Practice
    In this module you are encouraged to diversify your core skillset by engaging in either collaborative or independent investigation within the broader Creative Industries. You will be offered the opportunity to choose from a selection of topics for practical exploration that intersect with your own specialist discipline. In this sense the teaching, learning and investigation is geared towards the production of an interdisciplinary practical output, either independently or as a collaborative endeavour, dependant on the nature of the topic being explored.

Year 3

  • Pilot Major Project
    This module develops your individual practice within your specialist area. Research into historic and contemporary theory and practice will enable you to develop a critical framework in which to consider your final year project. The emphasis will be on developing working methods to curate and complete a self-directed project within a specialist area of practice, and to communicate this through a fully formed proposal.
  • Major Project
    This module will provide you with the platform to showcase your abilities and skills through a sustained, self-directed body of work in your chosen discipline. The first part of the module focuses on the development of research and practical skills as a foundation for your final major project. You will then manage your own learning under the guidance of your supervisor. The module is designed to allow you to immerse yourself into a particular area of interest, allowing you the chance to shape your future career through a major piece of authentic work.
  • Research Project
    The final year Research Project module gives you the opportunity to conduct original research in an area of particular interest. It allows you to engage more critically with theories, topics and methods encountered on your course. You will manage your own learning under the guidance of an academic supervisor. The module is organized around lectures, seminars, and one-to-one supervisions. The Research Project form and structure is developed in consultation with your supervisor, who you will meet regularly for 1:1 tutorials.
  • Professional Practice and Portfolio
    The module has been designed to assist you with the transition from university to employment. The focus will be on identifying current opportunities in your sector, through a combination of research, guest lecturers and visits to production facilities. By the end of this module, you are expected to have completed a portfolio of work that you can show to potential employers.

Modules are assessed through individual and group projects, development work related to industry roles (e.g. 3D model or game script), critiques, oral presentations and pitches, written reports and essays.

Employability

The UK was estimated to be the 5th largest video game market in 2017, where the country’s 32.4 million gamers will spend $4.2 billion this year (Newzoo). There is also expanding cross-linking between the games and film industry globally. Read more about the UK games industry.

This course will set you up for a design-related career in the games industry, or game- related jobs in connected industries such as journalism and PR. Recent graduates have become designers, character and environmental artists, and scriptwriters.

Want to hear more about our graduates? Games alumnus Ari Shirazi shares his story of building a career in the games industry; from being a games-obsessed toddler to a Technical Designer at Sony – and on working on some of the world’s most popular video games.

Experience

During the course we encourage you to engage with outside professional bodies as a means of increasing your profile and gaining experience. Our students have worked with TT Fusion, Crytek, THQ, Electronic Arts, Buena Vista (Disney's game development arm), Square Enix, Sega and PlayGen.

One group of our first-year students was commissioned by the BBC to produce freelance games content. And a group of our second-year students was successfully placed in the highly prestigious Dare to be Digital festival, sponsored by the BBC, Channel Four, Microsoft, Electronic Arts, the Scottish Executive and Rockstar.

Employability Service

At LSBU, we want to set you up for a successful career. During your studies – and for two years after you graduate – you’ll have access to our Employability Service, which includes:

  • An online board where you can see a wide range of placements: part-time, full-time or voluntary. You can also drop in to see our Job Shop advisers, who are always available to help you take the next step in your search.
  • Our Careers Gym offering group workshops on CVs, interview techniques and finding work experience, as well as regular presentations from employers across a range of sectors.

Our Student Enterprise team can also help you start your own business and develop valuable entrepreneurial skills.

As one of the most established games courses in the UK, over the past ten years we’ve developed an exceptional international network of contacts. Our lecturers coordinate the London Chapter of the International Game Developers Association (IGDA) and while on the course students’ work on international game development projects with organisations such as UNICEF.

The 'out-of-school' perks of being on this course are great, like all the conventions and conferences we are able to attend or volunteer at. There are a lot of opportunities to experience the games industry, hands-on.

Melissa Larsson

We are also members of UKIE and TIGA, are part of the prestigious university games consortium BUGS, and the course director was one of the founders of the Digital Games Research Association and the London Game Research Group. Each year students have the opportunity to volunteer with the game publishers Ubisoft and Bethesda. Our course staff have strong connections with Eurogamer, BAFTA , Sony, Eidos, Ubisoft, Nintendo, and video game magazine publishing houses including Future and Imagine.

The course has an annual guest lecture programme and we host numerous game industry conferences throughout the year. Each year we host the annual IGDA videogame writing panel and Game Camp.

A selection of previous industry speakers:

  • Rudolf Kremers, Eufloria
  • Rhianna Pratchett, Tomb Raider, Heavenly Sword, Overlord, Mirror's Edge
  • James Swallow, Deus Ex 3, Maelstrom, Star Trek Invasion
  • Andrew S. Walsh, Fable: Legends, Prince of Persia, Harry Potter
  • Tom Jubert, FTL, Penumbra, Talos Principle
  • Mike Bithell, Thomas Was Alone, Volume
  • Dan Pinchbeck, Dear Esther, Amnesia: A Machine for Pigs
  • Ed Stern, Splash Damage
  • Roisi Proven, Supermassive Games Ltd.
  • Rob Bartholomew, Bethesda Softworks
  • Josh Zammit, Electronic Arts
  • Mark Morris and Chris Delay, Introversion.

LSBU was shortlisted firstly in the category of best educational institution and secondly in the category of best education initiative & talent development. The latter nomination is for LSBU’s collaboration with specialist-technology charity Lifelites, which provides games and game hardware designed by LSBU students to terminally-ill children in hospices.

The collaboration between LSBU and Lifelites is explained by GamesAid.

AIM
AIM Awards is the specialist awarding organisation for the Games, Animation and VFX Industries, chosen by major employers to develop this innovative Level 3 Extended Diploma in partnership with them, to prepare students for high level degree courses and Apprenticeships. LSBU currently offers guaranteed interviews to any AIM Awards student wishing to apply for VisualEffects who has successfully passed level 3 or Level 3 equivalent exams.

Facilities

A dedicated Games studio, motion capture studio, green screen, sound studio, photography studio, specialist library resources.

The Game Design and Development modules are predominantly taught in a specialist Games Studio which features custom-built high-spec PCs and game consoles. Students have access to the Game Studio outside of teaching hours for playing games and working on game projects. You'll spend much of your production time planning, designing and prototyping games using applications such as:

  • The Unity Game Engine
  • 3D Studio Max and Maya
  • Zbrush, Adobe Photoshop
  • Motion Builder
  • The Unreal Development Kit
  • Oculus Rift SDK
  • Leap Motion VR SDK
  • Cubase, Logic, Sound Forge, Audacity, Audition and FMod.

Teaching and learning

Your Lecturers are leading practitioners in their fields, so everything we do is industry relevant. Inspiring guest speakers from publishers, production houses and creative studios will give you further industry insight and build your professional connections.

Your practical work will be supported by a team of Technical Demonstrators and you’ll have access to cutting-edge facilities.

Our approach is grounded in the traditions of art and design, but informed by critical theories drawn from the established international field of Game Studies. You'll benefit from dedicated one-to-one guidance by our experienced lecturers who are active in Game Studies research. As a result, you'll have access to a substantial body of cutting-edge research that will help foster your own practical and intellectual development.

Percentage of time spent in different learning activities
Lectures and seminars Self-directed learning
Year 1 28% 72%
Year 2 31% 69%
Year 3 16% 84%

Year Tutoring

As an undergraduate Arts and Creative Industries student, you will be allocated a named tutor during your first three weeks at LSBU.  The role of your tutor is to be your primary contact for academic and professional development support.

Your tutor will support you to get the most of your time at LSBU, providing advice and signposting to other sources of support in the University.

Your tutor should be the first person at the university that you speak to if you are having any difficulties that are affecting your work. These could be academic, financial, health-related or another type of problem.

You will have appointments with personal tutor at least once a semester for 30 minutes throughout your course.   You can contact your tutor for additional meetings or support by email.

Entry requirements

  • A Level BCC or;
  • BTEC National Diploma MMM or;
  • Access to HE qualifications with 9 Distinctions 36 Merits or;
  • Equivalent level 3 qualifications worth 106 UCAS points
  • Applicants must hold 5 GCSEs A-C including Maths and English or equivalent (reformed GCSE grade 4 or above)
  • We welcome qualifications from around the world. English language qualifications for international students: IELTS score of 6.0 or Cambridge Proficiency or Advanced Grade C.

Advanced entry

If you have already completed some studies at another university, we may be able to consider you for advanced entry. Please see our advanced entry page for more information.

Course status

  • Accreditation and Course validation status

    This course is validated by London South Bank University. Applications are being accepted.

How to apply

International students

International (non Home) applicants should follow our international how to apply guide.

Home applicants

Mode Duration Start date Application code Application method
Mode
Full-time
Duration
3 years
Start date
September
Application code
W212
Application method

All full-time undergraduate students apply to the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS) using the University's Institution Code L75. Full details of how to do this are supplied on our How to apply webpage for undergraduate students.

All part-time students should apply directly to London South Bank University and full details of how to do this are given on our undergraduate How to apply webpage.

Accommodation

Students should apply for accommodation at London South Bank University (LSBU) as soon as possible, once we have made an offer of a place on one of our academic courses. Read more about applying for accommodation at LSBU.

Finance

It's a good idea to think about how you'll pay university tuition and maintenance costs while you're still applying for a place to study. Remember – you don't need to wait for a confirmed place on a course to start applying for student finance. Read how to pay your fees as an undergraduate student.

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Fees and funding

Fees are shown for new entrants to courses, for each individual year of a course, together with the total fee for all the years of a course. Continuing LSBU students should refer to the Finance section of our student portal, MyLSBU. Queries regarding fees should be directed to the Fees and Bursaries Team on: +44 (0)20 7815 6181.

Full-time

BA (Hons) Game Design and Development (FT) - Year 1 FT Southwark SEPT

The fee shown is for entry 2022/23
UK fee: £9250International fee: £15400
AOS/LSBU code: 5790Session code: 1FS00
Total course fee:
UK £27750
International £46200

For more information, including how and when to pay, see our fees and funding section for undergraduate students.

Please check your fee status and whether you are considered a Home, EU or International student for fee-paying purposes and for our regulatory returns, by reading the UKCISA regulations.

See our Tuition Fees Regulations (PDF File 391 KB) and Refund Policy (PDF File 775 KB).

Possible fee changes

The University reserves the right to increase its fees in line with changes to legislation, regulation and any government guidance or decisions.

The fees for international students are reviewed annually and the University reserves the right to increase the tuition fees in line with the RPIX measure of inflation up to 4 per cent.

Scholarships

We offer several types of fee reduction through our scholarships and bursaries. Find the full list and other useful information on our scholarships page.

The individual fee for this course is shown above. For more information, including how and when to pay, see our fees and funding section for postgraduate students.

See our Tuition Fees Regulations (PDF File 391 KB) and Refund Policy (PDF File 775 KB).

We have a range of PhD Scholarships available in partnership with businesses and organisations; read notices of PhD studentships.

Contact information

Course Enquiries - UK

Tel: 0207 815 7500

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International team enquiry

Tel: +44 (0) 20 7815 6189

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Full-time