BSc (Hons) Games Design with foundation year

Want to turn your passion for games into a career? Our Games Design graduates have a proven track record of success. Our experienced games tutors are ready to support and guide you on your mission to develop the technical knowledge and creative skills demanded by this ever-growing industry.

Games Design with foundation year

Key information

Award:

BSc (Hons)

Mode of Study:

Full-time

Duration:

4 years

Location:

The University of Bolton

UCAS points:

48

UCAS code:

G630

Start date:

To be confirmed

Course Details

The market value of the UK games industry was approximately £5.35 billion in 2019, and 86% of people aged 16-69 say they have played computer or mobile games in the last year*. If you are seeking a career in a strong sector of the economy, then a career in games is an excellent choice. From PC, console and mobile games, through to serious games for education and training and the emerging virtual reality games market, software developers are seeking highly qualified games specialists.

The first year of our 4-year BSc (Hons) Games Design with foundation year degree offers an introductory study into games. The emphasis is on creativity, with specialisation on the route that you want to follow. Key topics include simple games production using industry recognised platforms and technologies. Our dedicated games team will work to help you develop your skills preparing you for your degree. The aim of our teaching is to develop you to be able to work in the games industry.

The foundation year constitutes a “bridge” between further education and higher education. There is a greater emphasis on practical work, with dedicated support to help you to prepare for the more demanding academic tasks on the degree programme proper.

Once you've successfully completed the foundation year, you'll automatically progress onto the main degree programme where your studies will focus specifically on games design (though you'll have the chance to transfer streams to BA (Hons) Games Art or BSc (Hons) Games Programming on completion if you prefer**). Throughout the degree you will undertake a broad study of games, with an emphasis on the technical, design and innovation aspects, rather than programming. Key topics include content production, games and level design as well as platforms and technologies. Our dedicated games team will work to help you develop skills and knowledge in games analysis, usability and playability testing, games production and the business of computer games.

Team-based projects involving regular critique sessions are designed to help you develop the high-level of team working and communication skills that are vital in the games industry. Our intensely practical, hands-on approach aims to encourage and support you to develop a high-quality portfolio of work ready to demonstrate your skills and creative air to potential employers.

*Ukie - https://ukiepedia.ukie.org.uk/ accessed on 10 September 2020

**Subject to approval by the relevant programme leader

Highlights
  • Our Computer Science courses are top in the UK for student satisfaction, according to The Complete University Guide 2022.
  • Interdisciplinary projects with students from our other game’s courses give you opportunities to learn the vocabulary, production pipelines and work cultures of these disciplines along with valuable team working skills.
  • We frequently collaborate with games development companies on games usability testing and offer you the opportunity to test upcoming games before they go to market. Previous students have been credited for their work in some of these testing sessions.
  • Our game jams are great opportunities to build your social network and practice your team working, problem solving and project management skills.
  • In your final year, you can focus your studies on the area of games design in which you wish to specialise, giving you the chance to create a suitable portfolio piece for your website.
  • During your final year, you’ll work with students from our other games courses to produce a complete game demo that will be available for industry employers to view at the end-of-year degree show.
Key Features
  • University of Bolton games graduates have been enjoying careers in the games industry for longer than most – we were one of the first UK universities to offer games courses.
  • The course covers both 2D and 3D game environments, concepts and mechanics for traditional gaming (PC and console), mobile gaming (cloud, social and casual), and virtual reality gaming, along with game play analysis and testing.
  • Our dedicated games tutors have a vast range of industry experience and an extensive network of contacts in the games industry. Members of our team have worked in AAA studios, run their own studios, authored books and are actively conducting research.
  • Team working and collaboration are essential for games industry success, so we encourage you to work on games projects in interdisciplinary teams with students from our other games courses.
  • Industry experts from the leading games studios in the UK, along with Bolton graduates now successful in the sector, are regularly invited to give guest lectures on aspects of games development.
  • We’ll help and support you to develop a portfolio of work that demonstrates your skills in preparation to impress potential employers.
Professional recognition


  • 48 UCAS points. Please see our guide to the UCAS Tariff for examples of how to achieve these points.
  • Any subjects are acceptable at Level 3.
  • You should also have five GCSEs at grade C or above or grade 4 to 9 (or equivalent) including English and Mathematics.
  • We’re happy to consider your application if you have non-traditional entry qualifications provided you can demonstrate relevant experience or a suitable portfolio of work that is deemed a reasonable substitute for the above qualifications. We'll consider your application in line with the University’s Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) and Recognition of Prior Experiential Learning (RPEL) procedures.
  • You may be required to attend an interview and/or provide a portfolio of work.
  • If English isn’t your first language you’ll also need IELTS 6.0 with no less than 5.5 in any band (or equivalent). We also accept a range of other English language qualifications – please visit our English Language Requirements web page for more details.
  • If English is your second language and you feel you need extra help with your language skills, you have the option of studying specialist language modules during the foundation year. Please contact the English for Academic Purposes team for further information and advice.

Want some reassurance or advice? Speak to one of our advisors. Email us at admissions@bolton.ac.uk or call us on +44 (0)1204 903 394.

Where changes are made to material information contained in this course description or a decision is taken to suspend a course between the offer of admissions and enrolment, we will inform applicants at the earliest possible opportunity and will outline the various options available to the applicant.


As a BSc (Hons) Games Design graduate you will have the ability to work independently, develop games, understand commercial markets, develop your teamwork and communication skills, develop concepts and respond to briefs, and also advance your project management and problem solving abilities. You will also have developed a portfolio of work using industry-standard tools. This portfolio will allow you to demonstrate your skills, creative air and passion for games development.

Moreover, elements of games design are emerging in fields such as business, education and healthcare. These areas offer enormous potential for the ambitious games graduate who can communicate with non-gamers.

What can I do with this qualification?

Within games design, there is a great deal of specialisation varying from broader design principles to more specific roles such as level design and game balance. As a result, there are several career options available for graduates including roles within games design, technical design, level design, narratives, game scripting, production management, and in quality assurance and testing.

Alternative career options

Not all graduates enter the gaming industry as game designers, since the skills that they gain are transferrable to other creative roles in the film, music and media industry. Another option is a multimedia artist or digital animator which will still allow you to work in computer game creation, but you won't be responsible for the overall design. If you are more interested in the technological side of game production, consider pursuing a career in software engineering. This career will allow you to turn a design team's ideas into a gamer's reality through coding and programming. Please note that for entry to these alternative careers you may need postgraduate study or work experience.

  • Multimedia artist
  • Social media manager
  • Software engineer

Course fees
Home Fees Year of study Total
Entry year2021/222022/232023/242024/252025/26
2021£9,250£9,250£9,250£9,250-£37,000
International Year of study Total
Entry year2021/222022/232023/242024/252025/26
2021£9,250£12,450£12,450£12,450-£46,600

Important note regarding tuition fees for the 2021-2022 academic year: EU nationals who meet residency requirements (have settled or pre-settled status) may be eligible for ‘Home’ fee status. If you do not meet these residency requirements, overseas fees will apply. Irish citizens living in the UK or Ireland will be eligible for ‘Home’ fee status under the Common Travel Area arrangement. Please read the student finance eligibility 2021-2022 policy on www.gov.uk for information.

The fees for a student’s course of study will be set for the normal duration of that course subject only to inflationary increases – measured by the Consumer Price Index (CPI) recorded in March each year to take effect for subsequent start dates.

For 2021-2022 entry, the maximum government approved undergraduate tuition fee for UK students is £9,250 per year. The University is able to charge this fee subject to an approved Access and Participation Plan for 2021-2022 and its current rating in the Teaching Excellence Framework.

Bursaries

Click here for more information about the scholarships and bursaries available to University of Bolton undergraduate students.


For details of how to apply for this course, please choose your status from the options below:

Call Admissions

Please contact Admissions by telephone on 01204 903903 or email enquiries@bolton.ac.uk

Admissions
University of Bolton
Deane Road
Bolton, BL3 5AB
United Kingdom

Tel: 01204 903903
Email: enquiries@bolton.ac.uk

The University welcomes applications from international students from all over the world. We try to make the application process as simple and as fast as possible for our international applicants.

This course is not currently accepting online applications

Please contact Admissions by telephone on 01204 903903 or email enquiries@bolton.ac.uk

Admissions
University of Bolton
Deane Road
Bolton, BL3 5AB
United Kingdom

Tel: 01204 903903
Email: enquiries@bolton.ac.uk

Please contact Admissions by telephone on 01204 903903 or email enquiries@bolton.ac.uk

Admissions
University of Bolton
Deane Road
Bolton, BL3 5AB
United Kingdom

Tel: 01204 903903
Email: enquiries@bolton.ac.uk


Overall, the course is very practical in nature, with group work and team-based projects that encourage you to work alongside our more technical and artistic students (from the Games Programming and Games Art courses) forming an important part of your training. These experiences are designed to help you learn the industry pipelines and terminology used by these specialisms along with the team working, project management, problem solving, organisation and communication skills that are essential in the games and interactive entertainment industry.

You can also expect lectures, demonstrations, practical lab sessions, critique sessions (peer and assessed), reflective learning through journals and logs for various activities, as well as online sessions and support. Guided independent study and self-directed learning are equally essential to your success; for instance, library research and background reading, preparing for practical activities and working on projects.

We also encourage and support you to create your portfolio. This provides evidence of your creativity and skills in games design ready to show potential employers and is considered vital for securing your first job in the industry.

In terms of formal assessment, you can expect written reports, assignments, projects, case study analyses, in-class tests, demonstrations, presentations, and others. These contribute to your final module mark and allow you to demonstrate that you have met the learning outcomes. We also use other forms of assessment to help you learn, especially critique sessions. These provide you with feedback and inform your development, though these do not count towards your final module mark.

Modules

The modules listed below may be a mixture of compulsory and optional. You may not have the opportunity to study all the modules shown as part of the course.

  • Introduction to Digital Art
  • Introduction to 2D Game Construction
  • Introduction to 3D Game Construction
  • Foundation Project
  • Fundamentals of 3D
  • Level Design
  • Introduction to Games Design
  • Scripting
  • Intermediate Scripting
  • Narratives
  • Intermediate Level Design
  • Technical Art
  • Advanced Games Scripting
  • Advanced Level Design
  • Group Portfolio Project
  • Major Project
Assessment methods
LevelAssesment method
Level oneCoursework 93%, Practical exams 7%
Level twoCoursework 100%
Level threeCoursework 96%, Practical exams 4%
Learning activities
LevelLearning activity
Level oneGuided independent study 67%, Scheduled learning and teaching activities 33%
Level twoGuided independent study 63%, Scheduled learning and teaching activities 37%
Level threeGuided independent study 74%, Scheduled learning and teaching activities 26%

Disclaimer

The university will use all reasonable endeavours to deliver your course as described in its published material and the programme specification for the academic year in which you begin your course. The university considers changes to courses very carefully and the university will minimise any changes. Please be aware that our courses are subject to review on an ongoing basis and changes may be necessary due to legitimate staffing, financial, regulatory and academic reasons. The content of course modules and mode of associated assessments may be updated on an annual basis. This is to ensure that all modules are up-to-date and responsive to employment and sector needs. The published course material and the programme specification contain indicative ‘optional modules’ that may be subject to change due to circumstances outside of our control. For this reason, we cannot guarantee to run any specific optional module.

The academic staff detailed above teach across a range of courses in this subject area and may not teach on this course specifically.

Programme Contacts

Carrie Warwick
Programme Leader

C.Warwick@bolton.ac.uk

+44 (0)1204 903108

Enquiry Team
University of Bolton

enquiries@bolton.ac.uk

+44 (0)1204 903903

Related courses

BSc (Hons) Games Design

Full-time
Mode of study
3 Years
Duration
104
UCAS Points

The University of Bolton

BSc (Hons) Games Design

Part-time
Mode of study
54 Months
Duration
104
UCAS Points

The University of Bolton

BSc (Hons) Games Programming

Full-time
Mode of study
3 Years
Duration
104
UCAS Points

The University of Bolton

BSc (Hons) Games Programming

Part-time
Mode of study
6 Years
Duration
104
UCAS Points

The University of Bolton

BA (Hons) Games Art

Full-time
Mode of study
3 Years
Duration
104
UCAS Points

The University of Bolton

BA (Hons) Games Art

Part-time
Mode of study
6 Years
Duration
104
UCAS Points

The University of Bolton

Postgraduate Options

MA Games Development

Full-time
Mode of study
1 Years
Duration

The University of Bolton

MA (Specialist Title) for Creative Industries

Full-time
Mode of study
12 Months
Duration

The University of Bolton

MSc Entrepreneurship and Innovation

Full-time
Mode of study
12 Months
Duration

The University of Bolton

myBolton

Download the app for your smartphone from:

Help Centre

We have the answers to your questions, find all the advice and support in one place.

Part of the University of Bolton Group

Bolton college
Alliance learning
Anderton centre2
RiSE pos rgb logo
TEF Silver QQA

Help Centre

We have the answers to your questions, find all the advice and support in one place.

Part of the University of Bolton Group

Bolton college
Alliance learning
Anderton centre2
RiSE pos rgb logo
TEF Silver QQA