BA (Hons) Computer Games Design
Computer Games and Animation at USW is rated top in Wales for teaching and student satisfaction National Student Survey 2022
BA (Hons) Computer Games Design focuses on the creative, artistic, and technical aspects of games production, giving you the theoretical and practical skills to develop, produce and publish game titles. From the first day of the course until the last, you will be designing and making playable games.
Subjects you will learn include, Game Engines & Technology, Level Design, Programming, World Building, Game Design Theory, Game Asset Production and more. You will also gain a variety of other practical skills and experience, such as Project Planning and Management, Teamwork and Pitching. Year 1 introduces you to all these subjects, and as you progress through the course you will have the opportunity to specialise in an area that suits you.
Through our professional live briefs, students will have the opportunity to pitch ideas, present games and gain valuable feedback and advice from industry professionals.
In addition to collaborating with other Game Designers, you will have the chance to collaborate with other creative industries students such as artists, animators, performers and musicians.
Our student designers are talented, entrepreneurial and passionate about gaming. They have had success at competitions such as Tranzfuser and Global Game Jam, and scooped awards at Grads in Games, the Rookies, and BAFTA Cymru. It’s no surprise that our graduates are snapped up by Rockstar, Frontier, Media Molecule, Codemasters, Supermassive, Sumo Digital and many more, while others become leading indie game developers.
On graduation, you'll have a strong portfolio of playable games to present to employers. Typical career paths include Game Designer, Level Designer, Programmer, UI/UX, Writer, Producer, Tester, as well as further study such as MA and MSc.
You can also follow USW Games Twitter
Year one is all about the fundamentals. But that doesn’t mean you won’t be making games. You will make your first game within the first six weeks of starting the course, and at least three by the end of the year.
Practical modules focus on various aspects of games design, such as Level Design, Game Mechanics and World Building with briefs that encourage creative interpretation; an opportunity to express yourself and your ideas.
Practical work is reinforced with Game Studies where you will learn the many theories and principles of games design. You won’t be waiting until your final year before you can make creative, fun and interesting games.
Year One Modules
- Level Design
- Building Worlds
- Game Studies One
- Visual Studies
Year two is all about advanced study. Practical modules will encourage you to design and produce more sophisticated games, with live briefs expecting polished and publishable games for you to pitch and present to industry professionals.
You will also have the opportunity to explore other areas of the game design process and pipeline, such as ‘writing for games’ or ‘game asset production’. Further game design theories and principles are introduced and will lay the foundation for your third-year projects and dissertation.
During the year you will begin to focus on, and specialise in, the areas of games design that interest you the most; such as Level Design, Programming, UI/UX or World Building.
Year Two Modules
- Professional Practice
- Game Studies Two
- Content Creation Techniques
The final year! This year is all about you and what you will become. Over the course of the year, you will be tasked with prototyping and producing a game to a professional level. This, along with your strongest work from Year 2 will lay the foundation for your portfolio.
You will learn how to compile a portfolio to best present yourself and your work. How to find and apply for jobs, and even how to interview for your dream role.
The dissertation is your opportunity to research and discuss a games design topic your passionate about.
There are also opportunities to showcase your games and take part in competitions such as Tranzfuser.
Year Three Modules
- Game Prototypes
- Game Production
As your thinking develops and your skills improve, we push you further by exploring the key ideas that are driving the industry. Longer, group-based, industry focused projects are vital as you develop your own ideas, visual language, technical skills and working methods, as well as meeting industry professionals and presenting your work to them.
In the final year of the Computer Games Design course, we will expect you to deliver a large-scale professional production, supported by advanced workshops, seminars and tutorials. We will want to see you demonstrate your understanding of your work and its context, in your creative design and in your writing.
Enthusiasm for the industry is essential at every stage and throughout the course; professional industry practice will need to be mirrored in attitude and production.
To ensure you have the skills required for industry, we assess you through presentations, group work, development diaries, writing and designing your portfolio, providing feedback as you progress.
Based in USW’s Cardiff campus, we pride ourselves on our first-class facilities, with our experienced & enthusiastic staﬀ providing guidance and support so you can realise your creative vision.
Our Computer Games Design students benefit from several industry-standard games labs. These provide access to common games engines and related tools such as: Unreal Engine, Autodesk Suite and Adobe Suite.
Our games labs have all the facilities you need to realise your vision. Including Nvidia RTX graphics cards, Ultra-wide monitors, and a variety of VR kits. We also use an industry standard, cloud-based source control solution so you can collaborate whether you’re in the lab or at home.
Wider facilities are also available for you to use, such as Mocap suites, Green-screens, Sound recording studios and 3D printers.
We also have an extensive catalogue of games related books and ebooks within our library.
Our Computer Games design course is closely connected with the games industry in Wales. Our lecturers run Cardiff’s contribution to the annual Global Game Jam, are involved in Games Wales and participate within the Wales Games Development Show every summer. Providing numerous opportunities for our students to build contacts, find internships and be the first to hear about graduate gaming roles. Our student games designers visit GameCity in Nottingham, attending seminars, meeting games developers and journalists and playing the latest innovative titles. Students have also received industry funding to develop their projects and release their games via Steam and Windows Mobile platforms and been cited in Develop’s 30 under 30 game development rising stars.
We regularly revalidate courses for quality assurance and enhancement
At USW, we regularly review our courses in response to changing patterns of employment and skills demand to ensure we offer learning designed to reflect today’s student needs and tomorrow’s employer demands.
If during a review process course content is significantly changed, we’ll write to inform you and talk you through the changes for the coming year. But whatever the outcome, we aim to equip our students with the skillset and the mindset to succeed whatever tomorrow may bring. Your future, future-proofed.
The entry criteria below shows the qualification range within which the University will make offers. The University has a Contextual Admissions Policy, therefore, whilst most offers we make are at the top of the range, under the Policy we take certain aspects of an application into consideration and eligible UCAS applicants can receive a personalised offer or have results considered individually when you receive them. Here is a link to our Contextual Admissions Policy Statement.
Combinations of qualifications are acceptable and other qualifications not listed here may also be acceptable.
Applicants in the UK
Selection for this course is based on a suitable application. If you do not meet the entry criteria, you may also be required to provide a portfolio of your work to help us assess your suitability for the course.
Typical A-Level Offer
BCC - CDD to include a relevant art and design subject (this is equivalent to 104-80 UCAS tariff points).
Typical Welsh BACC Offer
Pass the Advanced Welsh Baccalaureate Diploma with Grade C/D in the Skills Challenge Certificate and BC - CD at A Level with a relevant art and design subject (this is equivalent to 104-80 UCAS tariff points).
Typical BTEC Offer
BTEC Extended Diploma Distinction Merit Merit - Merit Merit Pass in a relevant subject (this is equivalent to 112-80 UCAS tariff points).
Typical IB Offer
Pass the International Baccalaureate Diploma with a minimum score of 29 overall including 5 or above in English at standard level
Typical Access to HE Offer
Pass the Access to HE Diploma with a minimum of 80 UCAS tariff points
GCSEs: The University normally requires a minimum 5 GCSEs including Mathematics/Numeracy and English at Grade C or Grade 4 or above, or their equivalent, but consideration is given to individual circumstances
International Entry Requirements
We also welcome international applications with equivalent qualifications. Please visit the country specific pages on our international website for exact details.
In general, international applicants will need to have achieved an overall IELTS grade of 6.0 with a minimum score of 5.5 in each component.
However, if you have previously studied through the medium of English IELTS might not be required, but please visit the country specific page on our international website for exact details. If your country is not featured please contact us.
Full-time fees are per year. Part-time fees are per 20 credits. Once enrolled, the fee will remain at the same rate throughout the duration of your study on this course
August 2023 - July 2024 Fees
Full-time UK: £9000
Full-time International: £14100
August 2024 - July 2025 Fees
Full-time UK: TBC
Full-time International: TBC
At the University of South Wales, you’re investing in so much more than a degree. We strive to provide our students with the best possible experience, no matter what you chose to study. Whether it’s access to top of the range mac books and PCs, state-of-the-art facilities packed with industry-leading equipment and software, masterclasses and events led by industry experts, or a wide range of clubs and societies to meet likeminded people, better tomorrows start with extra perks.
Each course also has their own unique student benefits to prepare you for the real word, and details of these can be found on our course pages. From global field trips, integrated work experience and free course-related resources, to funded initiatives, projects working with real employers, and opportunities for extra qualifications and accreditations - at USW your future, is future-proofed.
As a student of USW, you’ll have access to lots of free resources to support your study and learning, such as textbooks, publications, online journals, laptops, and plenty of remote-access resources. Whilst in most cases these resources are more than sufficient in supporting you with completing your course, additional costs, both obligatory and optional, may be required or requested for the likes of travel, memberships, experience days, stationery, printing, or equipment.
|Kit (Uniform and Equipment)||£250 - £300||
Software Subscriptions (per year).
|Kit (Uniform and Equipment)||£50 - £100||
Software purchases. Year 1
|Kit (Uniform and Equipment)||£50 - £100||
|Kit (Uniform and Equipment)||£100 - £150||
|Kit (Uniform and Equipment)||£1500 - £2000||
Gaming PC/ Laptop (All academic years).
|Kit (Uniform and Equipment)||£50 - £100||
Grad Show materials. Year 3
|Kit (Uniform and Equipment)||£100 - £150||
PC Peripherals (per year)
|Field Trips||£100 - £1000||
Extra curricular trips. (All academic years)
|Other: Printing/ Copying||£50 - £100||
Per year, all academic years.
|Other: Misc. travel/ entry costs for visits||£0 - £100||
All academic years
Funding to help pay for (or cover) course tuition fees and living costs
Whilst you’re studying, you’ll have two main financial obligations – tuition fees and living costs. There’s lots of financial help available from the University of South Wales and external funding sources, that may provide loans (which have to be paid back) and grants, scholarships and bursaries (that don't).
To learn about course fees, funding options, and to see if you are eligible for financial support, visit our Fees and Funding pages.
Apply via UCAS if you are a UK residing applicant, applying for year one of a full-time undergraduate degree, Foundation Year, Foundation Degree or HND and you have not applied through UCAS before. If you are applying to study part-time, to top up your Foundation Degree or HND, or to transfer to USW from another institution, please apply directly.
International and EU students
Apply directly to the University if you live outside the UK.
Computer Games Design graduates find employment in the games industry as Game Designers, Programmers, Level Designers, Writers, UI/UX Designers, Testers and more. Our graduates have also found success in other industries such as Film & TV and VR training and simulation.
Graduates of our Computer Games Design course have entered employment with industry notables such as Rockstar, Frontier, Media Molecule, Codemasters, Supermassive, Sumo Digital amongst others. Many of our students have started their own companies, a few of note are, Bithell Games, Toxic Games and Fiddlesticks.
Our Careers and Employability Service
As a USW student, you will have access to advice from the Careers and Employability Service throughout your studies and after you graduate.
This includes: one-to-one appointments from faculty based Career Advisers, in person, over the phone or even on Skype and through email via the "Ask a Question" service. We also have extensive online resources for help with considering your career options and presenting yourself well to employers. Resources include psychometric tests, career assessments, a CV builder, interview simulator and application help. Our employer database has over 2,000 registered employers targeting USW students, you can receive weekly email alerts for jobs.
Our Careers service has dedicated teams: A central work experience team to help you find relevant placements; an employability development team which includes an employability programme called Grad Edge; and an Enterprise team focused on new business ideas and entrepreneurship.