Computer Games Design

Our Computer Games Design degree course at Swansea College of Art UWTSD is perfect for creatives who have a passion for computer games design and the computer games industry. Our exceptional facilities and training prepares our students to excel in both the Games and wider Creative Industries.
 
UWTSD is a member of the PlayStation®First Academic Program run by Sony Interactive Entertainment Europe (SIEE), which provides access to professional development hardware and software tools for both staff and students.

PATHWAY OPTIONS & HOW TO APPLY

Pathway Options

BA Computer Games Design
UCAS Code:  CGD1
Apply via UCAS 

MArts Computer Games Design
UCAS Code: CGD2
Apply via UCAS

(The MArt gives students the opportunity to progress from undergraduate to master's level within an integrated programme structure. The fourth year is designed to facilitate the creation of creative enterprises or collaborative working with industry. The programme aims to educate creative individuals proficient in meeting the needs of contemporary and future demand. The programme is underpinned by the Research and Knowledge Transfer activities of the faculty as a whole). 

How to apply

All applications to study for a full-time undergraduate degree programme are made through UCAS - Swansea College of Art UWTSD is part of University of Wales Trinity Saint David

All our course come under the institution code T80

Visit the University's apply section to find out more.


Book an Open Day Book a Taster Day Request Information
Course Length:
3-4 years Full-time
6-8 years Part-time

5 reasons to study this course

  1. Passionate teaching team with industry experience at indie and AAA level production
  2. We have been part of the PlayStation®First Academic Program and an Unreal Engine Academic Partner since 2016
  3. Dedicated studio space exclusively for Games Students
  4. Smaller teaching groups allow for a more personal approach with each and every student
  5. Potential for live project briefs involving local industries

What you will learn

Course Overview

Our philosophy: For students to design and create interactive projects that showcase their knowledge of game development.
 
We pride ourselves on having a personal approach to student learning and development with smaller tutorial groups and dedicated workspaces exclusively for the CCGD course.
 
With industry links, staff experience in game development, as part of the PlayStation®First Academic Program and as an Unreal Academic Partner we intend on equipping students with industry-relevant knowledge that will help them build a career in game development.

This programme gives priority to the creative exploration of computer games design. You are given all the necessary knowledge to develop new and innovative work in the fields of character creation, 3D graphics, animation, motion-capture systems, character and environment modelling, texturing, interface design, and concept art. Games mechanics and rule systems ("ludology") are explored often using paper-based concept mock-ups. You are encouraged to explore and develop your ideas in and around the subject area in a series of thought-provoking contextual study modules.

Student learning is primarily through practice: the degree is focussed on your producing working computer games of your own design, and culminates in a series of personally directed projects which allow you to direct your studies towards a preferred specialist area. The emphasis is on personal expression!
With UWTSD being a member of the PlayStation®First Academic Program run by Sony Interactive Entertainment Europe (SIEE), both students and staff can now take advantage of developing game ideas directly the Playstation 4 console platform.

The School has excellent links with games production companies both locally and nationally. Through dialogue with industry and the application of the latest developments in games, graduates from this programme are suitably equipped to enter their industry as practitioners. Areas of employment might include: Level Artist, Environmental Modeller, Character Artist, Character Modeller, Texture Artist, and Traditional/Digital Concept Artist.

Modules

Year 1 - Level 4 Modules

  • Game Design & History
  • Visual Studies for Film & Digital Media
  • Character Design & Animation
  • Ways of Thinking
  • Ways of Perceiving
  • Creative Practice 1
  • Creative Practice 2
  • Environment & Level Design

In the first year students are introduced to core skills, theories and techniques, working on a range of group and individual projects whilst developing their understanding of professional working practices. The programme will develop the skills of the students taking them from heavily assisted learning at Level 4 to more independent study in the following year.

Year 2 – Level 5 Modules

  • The Game Designer’s Context
  • Creative Practice 3
  • Creative Practice 4
  • Entrepreneurship
  • Creative Research
  • Research Practices
  • Game Design & Asset Creation 1
  • Game Design & Asset Creation 2

In the second year, students continue to develop their skills and techniques and continue to specialize in their areas of interest. In addition, students further develop the assets, characters and techniques created in the first year and start to integrate each element into the Unreal Engine 4 environment along with focused gameplay and game mechanics. This is then developed within their production teams into an interactive vertical slice or game demonstration that is assessed at the end of the academic year.

Level 5 will develop a more student independent approach to learning, utilizing problem solving and experiential methods to gain further knowledge.

Year 3 – Level 6 Modules

  • Dissertation
  • Major Project Stage 1
  • Major Project Stage 2
  • Game Design and Critical Analysis
  • Critical Review

In the third year, students develop their own projects, again within a small balanced production team, and create another demo over the next academic year.

At Level 6 students will be expected to display a far greater amount of autonomy in their approach to research, analysis and evaluation with the goal being production of independent graduates highly conversant in critical and higher order thinking skills. The graduate will also have established, considerable team working practices that will allow ease of integration into the workplace.

Year 4 (MDes/MArt only) - Level 7 Modules

  • Research Methods and Communication
  • Creative Enterprise and Practice 20
  • Creative Venture 1: Development 20
  •  Creative Venture 2: Realisation

Where a student continues their studies on to the MArts Level 7 we would expect the level of autonomy encouraged at Level 6 to develop into either a creative and productive relationship with an external commercial enterprise or to develop a creative output in a self-organized entrepreneurial venture.

Assessment

Assessment is carried out through coursework, both written and practical. There are no exams on this course. Students are formatively assessed throughout a module, summative assessment takes place at the end of a module.
 
In order to maintain academic integrity a range of strategies are adopted. Most practical work includes formal written elements of some sort: everything from the standard essay format through to things like usability reports, product definition documents, responses to/critiques of seminal academic papers, learning journals, business plans, etc. At Level 6 all students will have to complete a Dissertation.
 
From L4 onwards students are also widely assessed in presentations, culminating at L6 in the Major Project. We have found the viva voce style assessment well-suited to the work we do within the School, which, whilst having a technical underpinning, often has strong similarities to fine art practice.

Our Facilities, Graduates and Industry Links

Student and Swansea Life

Key Information

Entry Criteria

We are interested in creative people that demonstrate a strong commitment to art and/or design and therefore we welcome applications from individuals from a wide range of backgrounds. To assess student suitability for their chosen course we arrange interviews for all applicants at which your skills, achievements and life experience will be considered as well as your portfolio of work.

Our standard offer for a degree course is 120 UCAS tariff points. We expect applicants to have a grade C or above in English Language (or Welsh) at GCSE level, together with passes in another four subjects. Plus we accept a range of Level 3 qualifications including:

  • Foundation Diploma in Art and Design, plus one GCE A-Level in a relevant academic subject
  • Three GCE A-Levels or equivalent
  • BTEC Extended Diploma in a relevant subject, with minimum grades of Merit
  • International Baccalaureate score of 32
  • Other relevant qualifications can be considered on an individual basis

Qualifications are important, however our offers are not solely based on academic results. If you don’t have the required UCAS points then please contact the courses admissions tutor or email artanddesign@uwtsd.ac.uk as we can consider offers to applicants based on individual merit, exceptional work, and/or practical experience.

See our Interview Guide for more information.

Career Opportunities

Graduates from our Computer Games Design programme could develop specialisms in any of the following industrial contexts:

  • Web and Mobile Gaming: designer, 2D artist, 3D artist, project director.
  • Console/PC Games Development: level designer, character designer, character modeller, animator, materials artist, lighting artist, storyboard artist, assistant level designer, assistant character modeller, lighting assistant, assistant texture artist, assistant concept artist, trainee game designer, asset modeller, game Q&A.
  • Animation Production House: character designer, character modeller, animator, materials artist, lighting artist, storyboard artist, project director.
  • Game journalist.

Students from the course have worked on a number of critically acclaimed games over the past few years including: Grand Theft Auto 5, Alien: Isolation, and Lego Star Wars 3. The course has links with games companies such as:

  • EA
  • Rockstar North
  • Creative Assembly
  • Media Molecule
  • Traveller’s Tales
  • Fusebox Games
  • Blizzard
  • Creative Assembly
Additional Costs

Our students have access to a diverse range of equipment and resources, which in most cases are sufficient to complete their programme of study. We provide the basic materials necessary for students to develop their practical work within our extensive workshop and studio facilities.

However, it is likely that art and design students will incur some additional costs to extend their investigation of their personal practice. For example, purchasing their own specialised materials and equipment, joining in optional study trips, and printing. 

Students are expected to bring their own personal art and design equipment with them when they commence the course.  We can advise on the correct equipment needed for your programme of studies and signpost appropriate suppliers if you wish to purchase essential items before or during your studies.  

A basic ‘art and design kit’ will cost approximately £100 but you may well already have much of the equipment required so check with us first.  Also, although we have extensive dedicated digital design studios (PC and MAC) for you to undertake your coursework you may wish to bring your own digital devices, again check with us first before making a purchase.

Student Quotes

Sean Ellis

“Throughout my degree, I made some lifelong, like-minded friends and learned what it truly meant to work as part of a production team. Our lecturers infectious passion for games and art helped me to surpass my own expectations, and my newly learned skills landed me a job as a 3D artist straight out of Uni”.

James Penhallurick

“Terrific course with plenty of opportunities to create fun games, push creative skills and get a taste of working in the games industry."

Joe Blanchard

"After completing my first year on this degree, I can confidently say I really enjoyed. I learned a lot of skills with the relevant software, but I found animation the most rewarding. I am looking forward to the next few years of my course.”

Adam Head

"This course is a really fun and rewarding journey through the world of creative games design.  It has, through its fantastic lecturers, taught me the essential skills I'll need to thrive in the games industry."

Connor Furneaux

"Even when I am doing things wrong I am still creating pathways to different means, you are constantly learning new and interesting things on this course."

Ben Long

"The course has helped me improve my communication skills and now I know how to work effectively in a team. Learning to create games has been an incredible learning experience."

Bursary/ Scholarship Information

Swansea College of Art at UWTSD offers two Academic awards:  

  • Swansea College of Art 1853 Scholarship
  • Cert HE Foundation Bursary

Information on these as well as University wide offers can be found here.

Study Abroad Opportunities

Erasmus 
During your time with us, you will have the opportunity to study abroad with the Erasmus exchange programmes currently running with Universities in Norway, Barcelona and Sweden.

Study Abroad 
Students can also take up the opportunity to study a semester in the USA and Canada.

For more information please click here