EXPERT TEACHING

Learn from expert academics with real-world experience in the games industry

INDUSTRY STANDARD

Facilities and software, including 3DS Max, Substance and Unreal engine

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Take advantage of work experience opportunities in the European capital of technology.

Course Overview

Develop the skills you need to become a professional in computer games design. Our Computer Games Design degree explores the creative and technical aspects of games production, giving you the necessary skills to develop, produce and publish games titles. We work closely with industry partners to ensure that course content remains relevant, giving our students excellent networking opportunities in the games industry.

You’ll explore the creative and technical aspects of games production and have access to an industry-grade computer suite and software such as 3DS Max, Substance and Unreal engine as well as the Twine narrative games engines. Using professional techniques acquired through lectures, tutorials, seminars, and industry workshops, you will develop a portfolio of industry standard work.

KEY DETAILS

UCAS Code

I732
I733 (with Placement Year)
Institution Code: S72

Location

London

Study Option

Full Time

Duration

3 Years
4 Years (with Placement Year)

Start Date

21 September 2020

Course Modules

This map is an indicative list of compulsory modules for 2020/2021 full-time undergraduate courses only. The range of modules available and the content of any individual module are subject to change in future years, and according to the mode of study, entry date, award type. In the event of any full-time 2020/2021 compulsory modules changing, we will contact offer holders as soon as possible to inform or consult them as appropriate.

Introduction to Games Design
This module focuses on the theoretical side to games design and covers a wide variety of topics ranging from level design and development to mechanic exploration and breakdown. The assignment consists of a series of task-based learning and problem solving as well as covering some of the essential software in games design.

Introduction to 3D Games Engines
Students will cover the basics of a games engine, how they have evolved over time and how all the elements of a games engine function as one entity. They will also be introduced to a games engine’s software development kit (SDK) toolset that will cover the following elements whilst relating to resources and balanced functionality.

Introduction to 3D Modelling for Games
This module introduces you to the pipeline for creating games art assets. You’ll learn how to model and texture assets using the latest industry standard techniques and software. You’ll be introduced to high detail modelling and the painting of PBR materials. By the end of the module you’ll be modelling assets ready for today’s PC and console games.

Narratology for Games
Within this module, you’ll be looking at understanding narrative in games, from analog and table top roleplaying games, to modern character driven games, along looking at the history of interactive fiction and its future. Well also be developing interactive narrative games in twine, as well as looking at the role of the narrative designer in the industry today.

Junior Collaborative Game Development and Testing
Students will work in a junior role in a team comprised of departments as in a games studio. They will work with other juniors and level 6 seniors to make a vertical slice of a game as either an artist, designer or tech/scripter.

 3D Games Design and Development
This module covers the skills required to produce games industry style documentation, planning workflows and Game Engine skills. The module also covers design documentation, high concept documentation, game mechanics design, game prototyping, testing and balancing games, iterative game development, using game frameworks, working with game genres and developing blueprint for prototypes.

Advanced 3D Games Engines and Scripting
Modern game engines offer a comprehensive platform from which to build radically new games by utilising in-built scripting languages and custom assets. This module covers learning advanced scripting techniques to create a novel game type using the power of an existing engine and development environment.

Game Interface Design and Implementation
In this module you will analyse current user interfaces and heads up displays being used in modern games and investigate the design process for menus, options and other elements of user interface design. You will then design and create a user interface for a specific game genre before implementing your design into a game engine.

The placement year is a chance for you to get into industry with the full support of Staffordshire University London.

There will be no standard teaching modules during your placement year, however you will be required keep a journal of your activities and produce a reflective report.

Senior Collaborative Games Development & Testing
Students will work in a senior role in a team comprised of departments as in a games studio. They will work with other seniors and Level 5 Juniors to make a vertical slice of a game as either an artist, designer or tech / scripter. The senior roles carry additional focus on mentoring and project management.

Advanced Games Design and Production
In this module, you will focus on the completion of game prototype within a modern industry setting including using design philosophies for indie games, onboarding, core loop and player journey, player personas, reward psychology, lean analytics, monetisation as well as progression and development using the three hooks to the Hayashida method. You will also learn the practical and theoretical techniques necessary to produce documentation, prototypes with production tracking software, production methodologies, online collaboration methodologies and Indie development techniques.

Individual Games Technology Portfolio
This employability focused module looks at a number of specific aspects with web presences, social media and industry engagement, while also allowing you the chance to add more work to your portfolio to fit your future career plans.

Individual Games Technology Project
The module will provide you with the opportunity to build on skills and areas of interest. You will author a written brief in consultation and negotiation with your supervising tutor to produce your own piece of work.

In Year 1 you’ll learn about level development pipelines and games mechanics design and implementation. You’ll cover 3D modelling skills and develop an understanding of 3D games engines.
In your second year, you’ll work on a group project as a junior member of a development team. You will specialise as a game designer through modules covering advanced game engines, scripting and UI design.
Your third year will see you become a senior member of the collaborative development team. Finalising your skillset and portfolio through individual projects and games production modules.
Representatives from games companies come to the University for development and training, providing you with excellent opportunities to network with industry professionals and potential employers.

ENTRY REQUIREMENTS

Typical UCAS offer: 120 points

A levels: BBB

BTEC: DDM

CAREERS

Graduates from our Computer Games Design degree are in great demand, working across the globe as games designers, 3D artists, 3D animators, level designers and technical artists. Our graduates joined the likes of Ubisoft as level designers, working on games like The Division, and several of our recent graduates worked on Grand Theft Auto V and other upcoming Rockstar North titles.

Teaching and Assessment

This course has integrated theoretical, technical, practical and creative modes of study. This means the theoretical underpinning is taught alongside the technical knowledge, community management creative skills and the creative, practical elements of social media, content creation and PR for games.

There are no exams for this course – assessment is based entirely on coursework. We find this is the best way to assess the integrated approach to theory and practice that you’ll engage in. Your coursework, carried out in response to assignments, project briefs or self-initiated proposals, will be presented in forms appropriate to professional practice, such as a portfolio of work or showreel, word-processed reflective evaluations, essays and case studies. Your approach to the coursework for a given module should be individual and distinctive. Tutors see this work throughout its development thus forming a one-to-one professional working relationship with you throughout each module. Formative assessment is carried out in tutorial and critique situations and feedback is usually provided to you orally, with a written record kept either by the tutor and/or yourself. This is sometimes produced as the result of peer- or self-assessment exercises.

In addition to the excellent support you will receive from your course teaching team, our central Academic Skills team provides group and one-to-one help to support your learning in a number of areas. These include study skills (including reading, note-taking and presentation skills); written English (including punctuation and grammatical accuracy); academic writing (including how to reference); research skills; critical thinking and understanding arguments; and revision, assessment and examination skills (including time management).

Never be put off applying for a course because you need additional support. We have a team of specialists who can help. Most importantly, make sure you inform the University of your needs at the earliest opportunity and share any current care/support plans with the student support team so we can make sure we are prepared.

Feedback is an important part of the assessment process and not only justifies the mark you receive but guides you on how to improve. Extensive feedback will be available throughout the course that will be constructive, develop your capabilities and motivate you to continue. Feedback will always be given in a timely manner to allow you to reflect on your progress and be a better critic of your own work.

Assessment feedback comes in a variety of forms throughout your studies and in a written format at the end of each period of study. At the end of modules once assessments are complete you will receive feedback in written comments, completed checklists/mark sheets, and in the case of demos and presentations direct feedback from the tutors.

Your study time will consist of class contact hours, self-directed learning, assessment and placements where appropriate. Your actual contact hours will depend on the subject area and the level of study you are undertaking. As a guide you can expect to be in practical sessions, lectures and seminars for 12 hours per week as well as studying for an addition 18 hours outside of this time if studying full-time.

Full-time 3-year degree

Year 1

Year 2

Year 3

22% of time in lectures, seminars or similar  28% of time in lectures, seminars or similar 20% of time in lectures, seminars or similar
78% of time in independent study 72% of time in independent study 80% of time in independent study
 0% of time in placements  0% of time in placements  0% of time in placements

Full-time 4-year degree (placement) 

Year 1

Year 2

Year 3

Year 4

22% of time in lectures, seminars or similar  28% of time in lectures, seminars or similar  0% of time in lectures, seminars or similar 20% of time in lectures, seminars or similar
78% of time in independent study 72% of time in independent study 0% of time in independent study 80% of time in independent study
 0% of time in placements  0% of time in placements  100% of time in placements  0% of time in placements

Full-time 3-year degree

Year 1

Year 2

Year 3

0% practical exams 0% practical exams 0% practical exams
100% coursework 100% coursework 100% coursework
 0% written exams 0% written exams 0% written exams

Full-time 4-year degree (placement) 

Year 1

Year 2

Year 3

Year 4

0% practical exams 0% practical exams 0% practical exams 0% practical exams
100% coursework 100% coursework 100% coursework 100% coursework
 0% written exams 0% written exams 0% written exams 0% written exams

All students are encouraged to build on their independent capabilities in relation to their own learning routes. Tutors will mentor, support and guide students with clear direction in relation to ‘out of classroom’ activities and expectations in order to allow students the capacity to meet the learning objectives of their modules and course of study.

Fees

For the course starting on 21 September 2020 the tuition fees are:

STUDY OPTION
Full-time

UK / EU / Channel Islands
£9,250 per year of study

International (Non-EU)
£14,000 per year of study

UK, EU and Channel Island students: This tuition fee is agreed subject to UK government policy and parliamentary regulation. If the UK government passes appropriate legislation, the fee for subsequent years of study may increase in each academic year. But this increase will not exceed the rate of inflation as measured by RPIX**. Any change in fees will apply to both new and continuing students. The University will notify students of any change as early as possible. Further information about fee changes would be posted on the University’s website once this becomes available.

**RPIX is a measure of inflation equivalent to all the items in the Retail Price Index (RPI) excluding mortgage interest payments.

International (Non-EU) students: Tuition fees will remain the same for each year of your course, as long as you complete it in the normal time-frame (i.e. no repeat years or breaks in study).

Sources of financial support

If you receive funding from Student Finance you may be eligible to apply for additional benefits. Details can be obtained by visiting: www.gov.uk

Scholarships and additional funding

As an undergraduate student at Digital Institute London, you may be eligible for additional financial support through one of our scholarships and bursaries. You can visit our funding page to find out more and check your eligibility.

Placement Year Fees

Students who started their course prior to 2019/20 and undertake their placement year in 2020/21 will have their fee waived to £0. However, you are responsible for any costs incurred in travelling to and from your placement, as well as accommodation and any other associated costs. For students starting their studies from 2019/20 onwards, a discounted fee of no more than 20% of the normal tuition fee will be payable to Staffordshire University for your placement year.


Not included in the fees:

ACCOMMODATION AND LIVING COSTS
Accommodation and living costs are not included in our fees.


The best thing about the course is that we are able to make games, not just write about them and think about them and forget them, but actually make what you want to make. The lecturers are insightful, knowledgeable and fun. They have made the journey and filled it with character.

Scott Billyeald-Doughty - Computer Games Design student

RULES AND REGULATIONS

If you are offered a place at Staffordshire University London, your offer will be subject to the rules, regulations and enrolment conditions of Staffordshire University, which may vary from time to time.

Students of Staffordshire University London enter into a contract with us and are bound by these rules and regulations, which are subject to change. For more information, please see: University Policies and Regulations

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