BA (Hons) Computer Games Design

This degree is based at USW’s purpose-built campus, in the creative centre of Cardiff.

This Computer Games Design degree focuses on the creative and artistic aspects of games production, giving you the practical skills to develop, produce and publish game titles. On this course, you'll learn how to develop your game in such a way that it could form the basis of a start-up games company. On graduation, you'll have a strong portfolio of playable games to present to employers. Based in USW’s Cardiff campus, we pride ourselves on great facilities, enthusiastic staff and providing support so you can realise your creative vision.

Our student designers are talented, entrepreneurial and passionate about gaming. They have had major competition success at Tranzfuser, Dare to be Digital, Ffresh and Global Game Jam, scooped BAFTA nominations and BAFTA Cymru awards. It’s no surprise that our graduates are snapped up by Electronic Arts, Rockstar, Codemasters, Rare, The Chinese Room and many more, while others become leading indie game developers.

Studying the Computer Games Design course in Cardiff, you’ll have the chance to collaborate with other creative industries students such as actors, writers and musicians. What’s more, thanks to all the small games companies in and around the city, Cardiff has been identified as an entrepreneurial hub for games. See student and graduate work at our USW Games blog. 

USW is Top 25 in the UK for Design and Crafts, Guardian League Table 2021.

Follow our USW Creative Instagram and USW Creative Twitter.

You can also follow USW Games Twitter




2022/23 update: Blended learning approach for USW courses.

[Update excludes online-only courses].

The wellbeing and health and safety of our students and staff is paramount to us. We are committed to delivering all of our courses and services as safely as possible. Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the methods and activities adopted for delivering our courses in the coming year may differ from those previously published and may be subject to change during the course of your study if such change is necessary due to public health concerns, health and safety guidance or in response to Government Guidelines. Whether you’re on-campus full time, part-time with online study, or full-time online, USW is committed to providing you with a fantastic student experience and a wealth of support, and you can hear how students have benefitted from this approach here: Learn more about blended learning.

UCAS Code Study Mode
Duration Start Date Campus Campus Code
WGF4 Full-time 3 Years September Cardiff (ATRiuM) B

We aim to challenge you right from the outset on this Computer Games Design degree. You’ll be involved in group and individual projects, in addition to lectures, talks, seminars, weekly drawing sessions and technical workshops.

You'll study key elements of games design, from concept sketching, games culture and game mechanics, to 3D modelling, game engine and prototyping, as well as pitching, project management and development. Working individually and as part of a team, we'll help you develop examples of working games that you can present to industry in a portfolio of your best work.

In your second year, you'll work on larger industry-focused projects, with a major project in your final year. This will be a professional production you can present to industry and develop into a strong portfolio that will enhance your employability.

Year One: Computer Games Design degree

  • Game Studies 1
  • Game Studies 2
  • Drawing
  • Character Performance
  • Making Games
  • Making Digital Games

Year Two: Computer Games Design degree

  • Game Assets
  • Game Engine
  • Professional Practice
  • Experimental Games
  • Digital and Visual Culture
  • Literature Review

Year Three: Computer Games Design degree

  • Project Prototypes
  • Project Production
  • Project Promotion and Professional Portfolio
  • Dissertation


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 to cope in the industry, we assess you through presentations, group work, development diaries, writing and designing your portfolio, providing feedback as you progress.


Our Computer Games Design students benefit from several industry-standard games labs. These provide access to common games engines such as: Unreal Engine 4, Unity 3D, GameMaker, CRYENGINE and tools such as Adobe CS, Maya, 3DS Max, Mudbox and ZBrush along with other more specialist software packages.

Our games labs have been configured to support the latest technologies such as VR and have plenty of RAM, SSD boot drives, and secondary storage to handle your creative ambitions. Many of our computers come equipped with ultra-wide monitors too, excellent for improving your productivity and workflow.

We are investing in the future of gaming with our recent purchases of several Vive and Oculus Rift VR kits, some of which can be borrowed. We also have games controllers, graphics tablets, Cintiq screens, a 3D scanner, retro consoles, and our stand-up arcade cabinet containing 100s of classic games.

To support your creative use of gaming tech we have an extensive catalog of games related books and online ebooks within our library, where you can learn the secrets of being a successful games designer. 



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.


Dann Rees, Course Leader
Corrado Morgana, Academic Subject Manager
Richard Hurford, Senior Lecturer
Gina Carpenter, Lecturer
Brian Fagence, Lecturer
Pierre Laffoux, Lecturer

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. Most offers we make are at the top of the range, but we take all aspects of an application into consideration and applicants receive a personalised offer. 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 and attendance at an interview with successful outcome. You may also be required to provide a portfolio of your work prior to attending interview where your course requires this, and full details of what is required will be provided once your application has been processed.

Applicants outside the UK

Selection for this course is based on a suitable application and submission of a portfolio of your work which the Course Leader confirms is suitable for an offer to be made.


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

Additional Requirements

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.

English Requirements

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 2021 - July 2022 Fees

  • Full-time UK:  £9000

  • Full-time International:  £13500 

August 2022 - July 2023 Fees

  • Full-time UK: TBC

  • Full-time International: TBC

Additional Costs

Students have access to a wide range of resources including textbooks, publications, and computers in the University’s library and via online resources. In most cases they are more than sufficient to complete a course of study. Where there are additional costs, either obligatory or optional, these are detailed below. Of course students may choose to purchase their own additional personal resources/tools over and above those listed to support their studies at their own expense. All stationery and printing costs are at a student’s own expense.

* Obligatory

Item Cost
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
Art Materials
Kit (Uniform and Equipment) £100 - £150
Additional Materials
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

UK students

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. 

Admissions statement

Computer Games Design graduates find employment in the games industry, primarily in games design, but also developing concept art, animation, level design and play-testing. Our graduates have also found success in contemporary advertising, motion graphics, VR, and illustration.

Graduates of our Computer Games Design course have entered employment with industry notables such as Electronic Arts, Rocksteady, Rare, Creative Assembly and Aardman, 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.