Get the skills to thrive in a career you will love in the entertainment industry’s fastest-growing sector.
Using a custom-built £1m studio, you will develop your ability to create rich visuals and vibrant storytelling, alongside learning the technical aspects and professional skills that will help you succeed in the games industry, esports and many other emerging digital careers.
Based at the heart of a specialist arts school, you will be supported as you learn new skills, have the space to explore your own creativity and have the opportunity to join an exciting independent culture at HCA.
The course will teach you how to bring your ideas, concepts and characters to life. You will work on projects alongside other game lovers and have the chance to collaborate with like-minded specialists from other art + design courses, giving you a chance to experience how contemporary design studios operate and how to design, develop and publish games titles.
Through a combination of lectures, tutorials, project work and industry workshops, you will gain the tools to graduate with an industry-standard portfolio of work. When you do, HCA is committed to continue supporting you as you start out in a new exciting, fulfilling career.
Games design is at the forefront of an exciting new frontier for creatives who work in digital media. The skills you can learn on this course – from 3D modelling to visualisation and animation – are applicable and in-demand in industry sectors reaching far beyond gaming and entertainment.
Graduates on this course will receive a BA (hons) Games Design.
Your Creative Career
Career paths include
> Games Designer
> 3D Animator
> Level Designer
> Technical Designer
> 3D Artist
> Games Writer
> Technical Designer
> Mobile Game Designer
> Technical Artist
> Visual Effects Artist
> Character Artist
> Data Visualisation
> 3D Designer
What will you study
Practice in Context 1
Develop your understanding of the history, trends and current context of the gaming industry through research and discussion. Who are the key people, products and relationships that have shaped games design – and what are the big questions shaping the future of the industry, from emerging technology and new platforms to the social impact of gaming.
Practice 1 – Digital Skills Development
Explore the creative cycle that underpins games design, development and publishing – research, ideas development, outcomes and evaluation. Develop your ability to initiate, develop and reflect upon your creative response to design problems using industry software, games engines and software development kit.
Explore creative design processes and apply design principles through project-based learning. Gain an understanding of individual components of a game’s design and techniques like 3D game art, texturing, animation and motion capture.
Foundations for Learning
Work alongside students from other course areas to develop skills essential to becoming a successful creative professional. Improve your ability to research and communicate your ideas, evaluate a project, and build sustainability into your ways of working.
Practice in Context 2
Develop your understanding of the theoretical approaches that underpin the creative practice of games design. Through research and evaluation you will examine topics like the psychology of games, games branding and social identity, theories of style and the impact of Internet Culture.
Practice 3 – Narrative + Storytelling in Games Design
Explore a wide range of storytelling strategies and narrative structures in order to apply that understanding to a variety of briefs yourself. This module will examine how storytelling in games intersects with contemporary culture and other creative media – as well as looking at topics specific to the games industry for example; play and player experience, extended and immersive realities, multi-player game development and interactive narrative games
Practice 4 – Content Creation for Games Design
Further develop your own games design practice through a series of workshops and projects, building creative, technical and design skills. This module introduces more specialist software and the production of elements like level design and demo videos, UI and UX, motion capture and games engine techniques such as lighting, VFX and cinematography. You will work individually to create authorial, original games designs and, if appropriate work as part of a design team.
Professional Practice 1 – Games Design
Develop professional skills through independently negotiating, organising and completing a period of professional work experience. This module also features a series of visiting speakers, ranging from artist to professionals from creative organisations and education, will provide insight and advice into areas such as; how to approach studios or individual creative organisations, working with clients, commercial games and opportunities outside the games industry.
Practice in Context 3
Working closely with an individual supervisor you will undertake a research project into a self-selected topic designed to help you make sense of their own specialist area of studio practice in terms of culture, context and critical theory.
Practice 5 – Preparation for the Extended Major Project
Using an established creative process to produce suitable design development work, you will demonstrate your knowledge and understanding of an area of specialisation within your practice to produce and present work for the purpose of building a graduate portfolio. This may include developing more advanced practice in specific areas of games design or in elements like games studio pre-production, UI or UX design or R+D (research and development).
Practice 6 – Extended Major Project
Undertake a larger-scale design project within a student team to produce a vertical slice of a game, and conceptual branding and marketing for it. This module is designed to be an opportunity for you to further build your own professional portfolio, and create external links with employers. You will also have the opportunity to further develop and showcase your technical and creative skills in areas like advanced motion graphics and VFX.
Why study Games Design at HCA
1 / There are more than 20,000 full-time games developers in the UK – a number that is growing fast. 80 percent of those staff have degrees.
2 / At HCA you will study this exciting area in a true, specialist creative institution. Your fellow students will be graphic artists, animators and actors.
3 / You will be based in a brand new 1 million GBP digital studio, with access to industry-standard games engines and software packages like Unreal Engine. You will be in an progressive, supportive environment where you can build the skills and the portfolio to move on into a fulfilling career.
4 / HCA scored among the highest universities and colleges in the UK in the 2023 National Student Survey – an independent survey that measures how students feel about how they are taught, the facilities they use for their studies and their general student experience.
5 / We empower your creativity. You learn through projects and live briefs, and we support you to develop a portfolio that you can present to employers when you graduate.
APPLICATIONS NOW OPEN
You can apply now via UCAS.