Games Design and Development - BSc (Hons)

2024/25 Part-time Undergraduate course

Award:

Bachelor of Science with Honours

Faculty:

Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences

School:

School of Arts and Humanities

Campus:

Derry~Londonderry campus

Start date:

September 2024

With this degree you could become:

  • Game Producer
  • Game Designer
  • Gameplay Engineer
  • Games Developer
  • Games Programmer
  • Level Designer
  • VR Developer

Overview

If a career in designing and development games sounds exciting, this is the degree for you.

The University has robust approval processes to ensure the quality and standards of its new programmes.

Initially the University gives provisional approval of a proposed programme on the basis of an outline  description and that is what is presented in this prospectus entry.

The programme proposal is subsequently developed in detail and is then considered at a formal event, we call evaluation or validation, for final approval and through that process some significant changes may be made to the programme to enhance the final version.

You should therefore expect that some changes will be made to the programme as described in this prospectus.

Summary

Whether it is Call of Duty or Subway Surfers, PlayStation or X-Box, mobile or virtual reality, video games are a huge part of our lives and the biggest entertainment market in the world. Game Designers and Developers are a critical part of the pipeline in the global success of the games industry. This degree is designed to give you the skills and knowledge you need to start your career in Games.

Our BSc in Games Design and Development provides students with specialist knowledge and experience in designing, developing, and programming gameplay experiences using industry standard tools, software languages and practices associated with making games. The course also provides an environment to fully explore opportunities for collaboration and the technical knowledge and insight into the game studio development of marketing strategies and I.P, aligned with development skills for those who wish to pursue independent games development and programming.

This is course will open in September 2023 subject to validation.

We’d love to hear from you!

We know that choosing to study at university is a big decision, and you may not always be able to find the information you need online.

Please contact Ulster University with any queries or questions you might have about:

  • Course specific information
  • Fees and Finance
  • Admissions

For any queries regarding getting help with your application, please select Admissions in the drop down below.

For queries related to course content, including modules and placements, please select Course specific information.

We look forward to hearing from you.

About this course

About

Our BSc in Games Design and Development will provide students with specialist knowledge and experience in designing, developing, and programming gameplay experiences using industry standard tools, software languages and practices associated with making games. This course will be based in our Northwest campus at Magee bringing an exciting option to combine game design and highly sought-after game development skills in one programme. The Northwest region has seen huge growth in the games sector. This course provides a supportive environment to fully explore your potential, and opportunities for collaboration. The programme allows students to study the craft of game design and development both critically and technically to enable students to locate their work in contemporary commercial and cultural contexts. The course also offers technical knowledge and insight into the game studio, development of marketing strategies and I.P aligned with development skills for those who wish to pursue independent games development and programming.

This course aims to:
• Expose students to a professional set of tools, methods, processes, and knowledge related to computer games design and development in support of the development and enhancement of their own creative, academic, and game making skills.
• Develop practical, professional, and transferable skills to contribute for their chosen profession or to pursue further study.
• Enable students to acquire a high degree of knowledge, understanding and experience in game design and development disciplines and studio development.
• Simulate game studio experiences that enhance skills in teamwork, through a number of group projects.
• Enable students to pursue a high level of intellectual enquiry, independence and critical awareness through academic conventions and creative practice of game design and development.
• Offer the opportunity to work on live projects, industry generated initiative and competitions, in order to gain essential work-based learning experience and develop the transferable skills essential to succeed in the creative and cultural industries.
• Enable students to acquire experiences, technical skills and knowledge appropriate to the professional contexts of game design and development disciplines.

Objectives
On completion of the programme students will produce and present a body of work, or equivalent output, that:
• Evidence experiences and application of professional practices in games design and development.
• Demonstrates a familiarity with contemporary game making studio processes and practices.
• Shows an understanding of the specific roles of professional Game designers and developers within game studio production.
• Evidence understanding and application of undergraduate research methods which will be implicit in the projects.
• Confirms critical and analytical skills in relation to historical and contemporary game design practice.
• Show that they have acquired skills in communication, presentation, and research.

Example of the modules you will study on this programme are*:

Asset Development for Games

Games Design

Games Studies

Gameplay Scripting

Game prototyping

Mobile Game development

Level Design and Development

Game Studio Development

Programming for Games

*In a progressive and fast paced industry such as Games, our modules are subject to change and iteration throughout your time studying at Ulster to keep pace with best practice and current industry needs.

Attendance

The course is available in Full-time or part-time modes.

This is a studio-based programme. Seminars, lectures, and workshops are all timetabled. At other times you will be able to work in dedicated studios, experience the collaboration, and dialogue that are essential in ideation and in an effective games design and development pipelines.

The programme is based on a modular structure. You are encouraged to take an optional placement year between years two and three. Over the duration of the course, you will develop your knowledge of the creative, technical, theoretical, and historical contexts which have led the evolution of a dynamic and innovative games sector.

Start dates

  • September 2024

Teaching, Learning and Assessment

An appropriate blend of established and effective teaching delivery methods will be employed to enhance your learning experience and to achieve the learning outcomes of the course. Typically, large group teaching will include lectures, studio practice, demonstrations and small group teaching in the form of seminars, teamwork /projects, critiques (feedback).

The Aims and Learning Outcomes of the BSc Hons Games Design and Development course will be achieved through a variety of teaching and learning methods, including:

Tutorials – 1-1 and team will help to develop communication skills and verbally process problems and tasks in hand. These are essential to support student learning and pastoral care.

Lectures – will impart essential information in traditional format. Case studies and the introduction of learning exercises within the lecture format will consolidate learning and introduce an opportunity for discussion and engagement. Guest lecturers from industry and academia will be invited throughout the programme to develop student engagement and understanding of the subject area.

Workshop and Studio Practice – will encourage the importance of problem solving, testing and refining, whilst also have the opportunity to learn new skills, ideas and approaches from experts in order to become experts within games design and development.

Practicals and Demonstrations – will introduce a process, technique, or technologies to students by either a member of academic staff or a technician. These are a method employed to make you aware of the characteristics of transferable skills and technologies.

Critiques – will encourage effective communication, reflection, sharing of opinions, evaluation of information, skills and ideas and provide opportunities for peer learning.

Seminars – will encourage debate, reflexive thinking, and effective communication skills. They can facilitate deep learning: analysis, synthesis, evaluation of complex issues and construction of argument.

Teamwork projects – Collaborative learning provides the platform on which independent learning is nurtured. Giving you the opportunity to gain confidence, become aware of your strengths, and develop your own ideas. Tutorials, workshops and seminars will provide academic staff and students opportunities to discuss team progress, dynamics and evaluate member activity. These will be particularly useful in Level 4 and Level 5 as they mirror current industrial studio practice, preventing isolation and assisting retention.

Blended learning – will offer the opportunity to consolidate and support face-to-face learning, communicate, and share information with the wider cohort developing essential digital skills. The course team will supplement and enhance module content including providing additional delivery of practical workshops, creating links to sources of further information, encourage online discussion groups the development of web-based portfolios.

Diagnostic, formative and summative feedback – Diagnostic feedback is valuable in the initial stages of learning; it allows you to reflect throughout your learning rather than viewing it retrospectively. Ongoing formative feedback is given in tutorials, critiques, and studio seminars in verbal form on a regular basis and is crucial to student progress. Formative feedback is also offered when part of the coursework is submitted for assessment during the semester. Summative feedback is presented after assessment in written and verbal forms and offers a chance for you to reflect on progress and achievement and to receive suggestions for future direction. The course team consider feedback crucial to both student and staff progress in that it:

  • Identifies and clarifies good performance
  • Encourages positive motivational beliefs and self-esteem
  • Give assessment choice (where appropriate)
  • Encourages 'time and effort' on task
  • Encourages interaction and dialogue (peer and teacher-learner)
  • Provide opportunities to act on feedback
  • Develop self-assessment and reflection
  • Informs and shapes teaching

The course ethos is based on the University, Faculty and School’s Teaching and Learning strategy. The course team aim to enhance the quality of the student learning experience by:

  • Providing a student-centred approach to teaching, learning and assessment
  • Providing increased opportunities for small group teaching
  • Providing a safe, yet challenging learning environment, which supports students to engage and learn with fellow students from diverse backgrounds and identities
  • Providing courses and programmes which are scholarship-informed, and where appropriate, research-informed, and taught and supervised by those engaged in research and/or scholarship
  • Focussing on assessment as a means of promoting student learning as well as providing evidence of that learning
  • Developing personal tutoring/studies advice/peer mentoring systems which meet the needs of students
  • Ensuring that learning resources in support of teaching and research degrees are accessible to all students

The University’s first year undergraduate teaching policy puts in place best practice for teachers and learners. The course team and the Level 4-year coordinator understand the importance of a fully integrated first year experience, which is evidenced by:

  • Induction (throughout the 1st Year)
  • Attendance Monitoring
  • Progressive study skills development
  • Small group teaching
  • Self & peer assessment
  • Early & regular timely feedback.

The content for each course is summarised on the relevant course page, along with an overview of the modules that make up the course.

Each course is approved by the University and meets the expectations of:

Attendance and Independent Study

As part of your course induction, you will be provided with details of the organisation and management of the course, including attendance and assessment requirements - usually in the form of a timetable. For full-time courses, the precise timetable for each semester is not confirmed until near the start date and may be subject to change in the early weeks as all courses settle into their planned patterns. For part-time courses which require attendance on particular days and times, an expectation of the days of attendance will often be included in the letter of offer. A course handbook is also made available.

Courses comprise modules for which the notional effort involved is indicated by its credit rating. Each credit point represents 10 hours of student effort. Undergraduate courses typically contain 10- or 20-credit modules and postgraduate course typically 15- or 30-credit modules.

The normal study load expectation for an undergraduate full-time course of study in the standard academic year is 120 credit points. This amounts to around 36-42 hours of expected teaching and learning per week, inclusive of attendance requirements for lectures, seminars, tutorials, practical work, fieldwork or other scheduled classes, private study, and assessment. Part-time study load is the same as full-time pro-rata, with each credit point representing 10 hours of student effort.

Postgraduate Masters courses typically comprise 180 credits, taken in three semesters when studied full-time. A Postgraduate Certificate (PGCert) comprises 60 credits and can usually be completed on a part-time basis in one year. A 120-credit Postgraduate Diploma (PGDip) can usually be completed on a part-time basis in two years.

Class contact times vary by course and type of module. Typically, for a module predominantly delivered through lectures you can expect at least 3 contact hours per week (lectures/seminars/tutorials). Laboratory classes often require a greater intensity of attendance in blocks. Some modules may combine lecture and laboratory. The precise model will depend on the course you apply for and may be subject to change from year to year for quality or enhancement reasons. Prospective students will be consulted about any significant changes.

Assessment

Assessment methods vary and are defined explicitly in each module. Assessment can be via one method or a combination e.g. examination and coursework. Assessment is designed to assess your achievement of the module’s stated learning outcomes. You can expect to receive timely feedback on all coursework assessment. The precise assessment will depend on the module and may be subject to change from year to year for quality or enhancement reasons. You will be consulted about any significant changes.

Coursework can take many forms, for example: essay, report, seminar paper, test, presentation, dissertation, design, artefacts, portfolio, journal, group work. The precise form and combination of assessment will depend on the course you apply for and the module. Details will be made available in advance through induction, the course handbook, the module specification, and the assessment timetable. The details are subject to change from year to year for quality or enhancement reasons. You will be consulted about any significant changes.

Normally, a module will have four learning outcomes, and no more than two items of assessment. An item of assessment can comprise more than one task. The notional workload and the equivalence across types of assessment is standardised.

Calculation of the Final Award

The class of Honours awarded in bachelor's degrees is usually determined by calculation of an aggregate mark based on performance across the modules at Levels 5 and 6 (which correspond to the second and third year of full-time attendance).

Level 6 modules contribute 70% of the aggregate mark and Level 5 contributes 30% to the calculation of the class of the award. Classification of integrated master's degrees with honours include a Level 7 component. The calculation in this case is: 50% Level 7, 30% Level 6, 20% Level 5. At least half the Level 5 modules must be studied at the University for Level 5 to be included in the calculation of the class.

All other qualifications have an overall grade determined by results in modules from the final level of study. In master's degrees of more than two hundred credit points the final 120 points usually determine the overall grading.

Figures correct for academic year 2021-2022.

Attendance and Independent Study

The content for each course is summarised on the relevant course page, along with an overview of the modules that make up the course.

Each course is approved by the University and meets the expectations of:

  • Attendance and Independent Study

    As part of your course induction, you will be provided with details of the organisation and management of the course, including attendance and assessment requirements - usually in the form of a timetable. For full-time courses, the precise timetable for each semester is not confirmed until close to the start date and may be subject to some change in the early weeks as all courses settle into their planned patterns. For part-time courses which require attendance on particular days and times, an expectation of the days and periods of attendance will be included in the letter of offer. A course handbook is also made available.

    Courses comprise modules for which the notional effort involved is indicated by its credit rating. Each credit point represents 10 hours of student effort. Undergraduate courses typically contain 10, 20, or 40 credit modules (more usually 20) and postgraduate courses typically 15 or 30 credit modules.

    The normal study load expectation for an undergraduate full-time course of study in the standard academic year is 120 credit points. This amounts to around 36-42 hours of expected teaching and learning per week, inclusive of attendance requirements for lectures, seminars, tutorials, practical work, fieldwork or other scheduled classes, private study, and assessment. Teaching and learning activities will be in-person and/or online depending on the nature of the course. Part-time study load is the same as full-time pro-rata, with each credit point representing 10 hours of student effort.

    Postgraduate Master’s courses typically comprise 180 credits, taken in three semesters when studied full-time. A Postgraduate Certificate (PGCert) comprises 60 credits and can usually be completed on a part-time basis in one year. A 120-credit Postgraduate Diploma (PGDip) can usually be completed on a part-time basis in two years.

    Class contact times vary by course and type of module. Typically, for a module predominantly delivered through lectures you can expect at least 3 contact hours per week (lectures/seminars/tutorials). Laboratory classes often require a greater intensity of attendance in blocks. Some modules may combine lecture and laboratory. The precise model will depend on the course you apply for and may be subject to change from year to year for quality or enhancement reasons. Prospective students will be consulted about any significant changes.

  • Assessment

    Assessment methods vary and are defined explicitly in each module. Assessment can be a combination of examination and coursework but may also be only one of these methods. Assessment is designed to assess your achievement of the module’s stated learning outcomes.  You can expect to receive timely feedback on all coursework assessments. This feedback may be issued individually and/or issued to the group and you will be encouraged to act on this feedback for your own development.

    Coursework can take many forms, for example: essay, report, seminar paper, test, presentation, dissertation, design, artefacts, portfolio, journal, group work. The precise form and combination of assessment will depend on the course you apply for and the module. Details will be made available in advance through induction, the course handbook, the module specification, the assessment timetable and the assessment brief. The details are subject to change from year to year for quality or enhancement reasons. You will be consulted about any significant changes.

    Normally, a module will have 4 learning outcomes, and no more than 2 items of assessment. An item of assessment can comprise more than one task. The notional workload and the equivalence across types of assessment is standardised. The module pass mark for undergraduate courses is 40%. The module pass mark for postgraduate courses is 50%.

  • Calculation of the Final Award

    The class of Honours awarded in Bachelor’s degrees is usually determined by calculation of an aggregate mark based on performance across the modules at Levels 5 and 6, (which correspond to the second and third year of full-time attendance).

    Level 6 modules contribute 70% of the aggregate mark and Level 5 contributes 30% to the calculation of the class of the award. Classification of integrated Master’s degrees with Honours include a Level 7 component. The calculation in this case is: 50% Level 7, 30% Level 6, 20% Level 5. At least half the Level 5 modules must be studied at the University for Level 5 to be included in the calculation of the class.

    All other qualifications have an overall grade determined by results in modules from the final level of study.

    In Masters degrees of more than 200 credit points the final 120 points usually determine the overall grading.

    Figures from the academic year 2022-2023.

Academic profile

The University employs over 1,000 suitably qualified and experienced academic staff - 59% have PhDs in their subject field and many have professional body recognition.

We require most academic staff to be qualified to teach in higher education: 82% hold either Postgraduate Certificates in Higher Education Practice or higher. Most academic staff (81%) are accredited fellows of the Higher Education Academy (HEA) - the university sector professional body for teaching and learning. Many academic and technical staff hold other professional body designations related to their subject or scholarly practice.

Courses are taught by staff who are Professors (25%), Readers, Senior Lecturers (20%) or Lecturers (55%).

The profiles of many academic staff can be found on the University’s departmental websites and give a detailed insight into the range of staffing and expertise. The precise staffing for a course will depend on the department(s) involved and the availability and management of staff. This is subject to change annually and is confirmed in the timetable issued at the start of the course.

Occasionally, suitably qualified part-time staff (usually qualified researchers) and specialist guest lecturers may supplement teaching. In these cases, all staff are inducted, mostly through our staff development programme ‘First Steps to Teaching’. In some cases, usually for provision in one of our out-centres, Recognised University Teachers are involved, supported by the University in suitable professional development for teaching.

Figures correct for academic year 2022-2023.

The University employs over 1,000 suitably qualified and experienced academic staff - 60% have PhDs in their subject field and many have professional body recognition.

Courses are taught by staff who are Professors (19%), Readers, Senior Lecturers (22%) or Lecturers (57%).

We require most academic staff to be qualified to teach in higher education: 82% hold either Postgraduate Certificates in Higher Education Practice or higher. Most academic and learning support staff (85%) are recognised as fellows of the Higher Education Academy (HEA) by Advance HE - the university sector professional body for teaching and learning. Many academic and technical staff hold other professional body designations related to their subject or scholarly practice.

The profiles of many academic staff can be found on the University’s departmental websites and give a detailed insight into the range of staffing and expertise.  The precise staffing for a course will depend on the department(s) involved and the availability and management of staff.  This is subject to change annually and is confirmed in the timetable issued at the start of the course.

Occasionally, teaching may be supplemented by suitably qualified part-time staff (usually qualified researchers) and specialist guest lecturers. In these cases, all staff are inducted, mostly through our staff development programme ‘First Steps to Teaching’. In some cases, usually for provision in one of our out-centres, Recognised University Teachers are involved, supported by the University in suitable professional development for teaching.

Figures from the academic year 2022-2023.

Modules

Here is a guide to the subjects studied on this course.

Courses are continually reviewed to take advantage of new teaching approaches and developments in research, industry and the professions. Please be aware that modules may change for your year of entry. The exact modules available and their order may vary depending on course updates, staff availability, timetabling and student demand. Please contact the course team for the most up to date module list.

Year one

Fundamentals of Game Programming

Year: 1

This module offers an introduction to the basics of programming, including popular programming languages like C++ and C#. Through hands-on learning, students will gain programming skills to help them create interactive game experiences using Unity, Raylib, or Godot. Coding skills are highly transferable to many industries, including computing-related careers. Moreover, coding can be a fun and engaging skill to learn.

Game Design Theory and Practice

Year: 1

This module begins with a comprehensive review of the history, theory, and practice of game design. Throughout the module, students will gain a deeper understanding of the nature of games, including building awareness of key traditional and digital games. By learning about the core theory of game design, students will explore central ideas from well-known game designers, giving them a solid foundation to design their own games.

Professional Game Development

Year: 1

The Professional Game Development module is an undergraduate degree course that prepares students for careers in the game development industry. The module covers a range of topics related to the theory, practice, and use of tools in game development, with a focus on the professional and practical skills required for success in the industry.

Year two

Game Graphics

Year: 2

This module equips students with key 2D/3D game design principles, and practical skills using tools like Adobe Photoshop, Blender, Maya, and libraries such as OpenGL, and DirectX. It covers texture mapping, lighting, shading, animation, colour theory, visual hierarchy, shader programming, and performance optimization. It emphasizes graphics' role in enhancing player experience and resource management.

2D Game Creation

Year: 2

This module helps students build a 2D game for their portfolio, enhancing their game development skills. Working in small teams, students experience a simulated studio environment, learning teamwork, project management, and industry practices. Topics covered include game design, asset creation, coding, UX, level building, game mechanics, and testing. Additionally, students gain exposure to source control, narrative development, lighting and sound effects.

Year three

Advanced Game Programming

Year: 3

This module helps students learn technical skills to create commercial-grade games. Students learn advanced programming, use industry-standard coding tools like Visual Studio, Git, and study game engine development. The course includes practical labs and exercises for hands-on experience, enabling students to create immersive, high-performance games from concept to testing. It also nurtures transferable skills such as critical thinking and communication, turning gaming passion into a career in game development.

Game Mechanics and Gameplay Design

Year: 3

This module is an advanced course for students with basic game design & programming knowledge. It explores advanced techniques like player psychology, engagement, challenge design, and game atoms. It also covers concepts such as optimal flow, rewards, and mechanics representation, alongside practical skills in player story creation, interface design, and game testing. The goal: a deeper understanding of game design complexities & creating of engaging game prototypes.

Game Audio & Visual Effects

Year: 3

This module teaches students to craft immersive games using audio and visual effects in tandem. It covers a mixture of learning material from sound design, interactive music composition, audio implementation, middleware, voice acting, dialogue editing, mixing/mastering, particle systems, environmental effects, shaders, and VFX animation. Emphasising asset creation and portfolio development using industry standard tools and practices, the course prepares students for a career in the gaming industry.

Year four

Game Character Control and Behaviour

Year: 4

This module teaches the art of creating believable video game characters, covering design, story development, dialogue, and roles. It particularly emphasizes AI for non-player characters, aiming for realistic interaction with the game and player. Students finish equipped to develop well-rounded, memorable characters, a skillset that primes them for success in the immersive, entertaining gaming industry.

3D Game Creation

Year: 4

The "3D Game Creation" module is all about helping students create 3D games their portfolio. This is a great opportunity for students to learn the skills they'll need to work in the gaming industry, like how to come up with a game idea, design characters and environments, write computer code, and test everything to make sure it works.

Creating a 3D game is a significant challenge, and it requires a lot of teamwork and communication to make it all come together. The module will help students build these important skills, which will help them work effectively with others and communicate their ideas. Designing a game is also a chance to be creative and solve problems. Students will learn how to come up with new and interesting ideas for their game, and figure out how to make them work in practice. This is important for a career in the gaming industry, where creativity and problem-solving skills are highly valued.

By the end of the module, students will have created a functional 3D game that they can be proud of and use as a showcase of their skills to potential employers. It's a fun and exciting way to learn about the world of game design and development and to gain valuable experience that will help them in their future careers.

Year five

Games Research and Innovation

Year: 5

This module equips final-year students with insights into the latest game research and development. It covers research methodologies, experiment design, data analysis, and academic writing, alongside hands-on experience with gaming management tools. Through a range of classes, students will explore practical applications of research in real gaming scenarios. The module culminates in a research project, with students producing a research paper or technical report.

Game Development - Business and Entrepreneurship

Year: 5

The "Game Business and Entrepreneurship" module prepares students for working within large commercial companies, small start-ups, or setting up their own game development business. The course covers business aspects of the game industry, including market analysis, business models, and revenue streams, as well as fostering entrepreneurial skills and mindset. Students will develop project management, team building, and communication skills to effectively manage game development projects. They will also learn to create comprehensive business plans and pitch presentations for game projects. By the end of the module, students will be well-equipped to navigate the game industry and pursue a variety of career paths, including working at established companies, contributing to start-ups, or launching their own ventures.

Year six

Project: Game Design

Year: 6

The final year project allows students to create their own game within a supportive student group over the course of two semesters. In this module, the first of two project modules, students undertake research and design to explore a novel game idea, create the game's design, and develop a working prototype with core gameplay (Verticle Slice). This forms the foundation for a second project module that is focused on creating the game from their design and testing it.

Project: Game Development

Year: 6

This module provides students with the opportunity to create their own game product, within a supportive student group, over the course of two semesters. Throughout the module, students will receive guidance and feedback from their lecturers to help them plan, develop, and document their projects. The module focuses on developing essential skills such as project management, teamwork, critical thinking, and game development skills. By the end of the module, students will have created a comprehensive and original game project, ready to showcase to potential employers and collaborators in the game development industry.

Standard entry conditions

We recognise a range of qualifications for admission to our courses. In addition to the specific entry conditions for this course you must also meet the University’s General Entrance Requirements.

A level

Grades BBC

Applicants may satisfy the requirement for one of the A Level grades (or equivalent) by substituting a combination of alternative qualifications recognised by the University.

Applied General Qualifications

QCF Pearson BTEC Level 3 Extended Diploma / OCR Cambridge Technical Level 3 Extended Diploma (2012 Suite)
Award profile of DDD

RQF Pearson BTEC Level 3 National Extended Diploma / OCR Cambridge Technical Level 3 Extended Diploma (2016 Suite)
Award profile of DMM

QCF Pearson BTEC Level 3 Diploma / OCR Cambridge Technical Level 3 Diploma (2012 Suite)
Award profile of DD plus A Level Grade C

RQF Pearson BTEC Level 3 National Diploma / OCR Cambridge Technical Level 3 Diploma (2016 Suite)
Award profile of DM plus A Level Grade C

QCF Pearson BTEC Level 3 Subsidiary Diploma / OCR Cambridge Technical Level 3 Introductory Diploma (2012 Suite)
Award profile of D plus A Level Grades BC

RQF Pearson BTEC Level 3 National Extended Certificate / OCR Cambridge Technical Level 3 Extended Certificate (2016 Suite)
Award profile of D plus A Level Grades BC

Irish Leaving Certificate

112 UCAS tariff points to include a minimum of five subjects (four of which must be at higher level) to include English at H6 if studied at Higher level or O4 if studied at Ordinary Level.

Irish Leaving Certificate UCAS Equivalency

Scottish Highers

Grades BBCCC

Scottish Advanced Highers

Grades CCD

International Baccalaureate

Overall profile is minimum 25 points (including 12 at higher level)

Access to Higher Education (HE)

Overall profile of 63% (120 credit Access Course) (NI Access Course)

Overall profile of 15 credits at Distinction and 30 credits at Merit (60 credit Access Course) (GB Access Course)

GCSE

For full-time study, you must satisfy the General Entrance Requirements for admission to a first-degree course and hold a GCSE pass at Grade C/4 or above in English Language.

Level 2 Certificate in Essential Skills - Communication will be accepted as equivalent to GCSE English.

English Language Requirements

English language requirements for international applicants
The minimum requirement for this course is Academic IELTS 6.0 with no band score less than 5.5. Trinity ISE: Pass at level III also meets this requirement for Tier 4 visa purposes.

Ulster recognises a number of other English language tests and comparable IELTS equivalent scores.

Additional Entry Requirements

Acceptable alternative qualifications include:

Pass HND with overall Merit to include 45 distinctions in level 5 credits/units may be specified.

Pass HNC with overall Distinction to include 75 distinctions in level 4 credits/units may be specified.

You may also meet the course entry requirements with combinations of different qualifications to the same standard as recognised by the University (provided subject requirements as noted above are met)

Possible submission of portfolio

Careers & opportunities

Job roles

With this degree you could become:

  • Game Producer
  • Game Designer
  • Gameplay Engineer
  • Games Developer
  • Games Programmer
  • Level Designer
  • VR Developer

Career options

The Games Industry is a rapidly growing area of media entertainment with the UK being one of the top five regions in the world to develop games with over 12,000 people currently employed in over 2,000 game studios. The UK contains some of the most prestigious developers from around the globe such as Rockstar Games, Rocksteady Studios, Hello Games, EA, Sony, Media Molecule, and many more creating global successes such as the GTA series, Batman Arkham series, No man's sky, Little Big Planet, Candy Crush, Assassins Creed and many more.

Northern Ireland is currently home to many excellent independent developers such as Kippie and Hypixel with a rapidly growing portfolio of games and studios.

This Games Design and Development programme is designed to prepare students for a career in a range of game development related fields such as, Games Designer, Level Designer, Games Developer, Games Programmer, QA Tester, Virtual Reality Developer, Augmented Reality Developer, Systems Designer, UI Designer and 3D Modeller.

You will also gain knowledge and the entrepreneurial skills necessary to develop and set-up your own games studio alongside game industry funding partners.

Work placement / study abroad

Students are strongly encouraged to undertake an optional work placement and/or take advantage of the excellent study abroad programme leading to the award of a Diploma in Professional Practice or Diploma in International Academic Studies. The DPP is generally European-based, and studio orientated. The DIAS allows for further study at an institution in either Europe or in the USA, under the Erasmus scheme, the Study USA scheme, or the Year abroad scheme. You will obtain the appropriate award in addition to your degree's classification on successful completion of your Final Year. The awards available are:

Diploma in Professional Practice DPP

Diploma in International Academic Studies DIAS

Diploma in Professional Practice International DPPI

Apply

Start dates

  • September 2024

Fees and funding

Module Pricing

The price of your overall programme will be determined by the number of credit points that you initiate in the relevant academic year.

For modules commenced in the academic year 2024/25, the following fees apply:

Fees
Credit Points NI/ROI  Cost GB Cost International Cost*
120
£4,750
£9,250
£16,320
60
£2,375
£4,625
£8,160
30
£1,187
£2,312
£4,080
20
£792
£1,542
£2,720

NB: A standard full-time undergraduate degree is equivalent to 120 credit points per year.

*Please note our on campus part-time undergraduate courses are not open to international (non-EU) students.

Scholarships, awards and prizes

Diploma in Professional Practice DPP

Diploma in International Academic Studies DIAS

  • International Undergraduate Scholarship

https://www.ulster.ac.uk/international/apply/scholarships/international-undergraduate-scholarship

  • Open to all new international (non-EU) entrants on the first year of a full-time undergraduate course delivered on one of our Northern Ireland campuses, commencing September 2018.

Value

£2,000 scholarship applied as discount to your annual tuition fee.

  • Information on other scholarships available to international students

https://www.ulster.ac.uk/international/apply/scholarships

  • Other awards and prizes:

https://www.ulster.ac.uk/apply/fees-and-finance/scholarships

Information provided is for guidance only as scholarship details are subject to change - please refer to the source website for up-to-date and accurate information.

Transfuser

Tranzfuser is the popular talent development programme brought to you by UK Games Talent and Finance CIC, working with a host of regional contributors and funded by UK Government. Students on the course will have an opportunity to access and apply for this competition with many teams forming successful game studios as a result.

Additional mandatory costs

Students purchase materials for their own coursework.

Field trips may incur additional costs.

It is important to remember that costs associated with accommodation, travel (including car parking charges) and normal living will need to be covered in addition to tuition fees.

Where a course has additional mandatory expenses (in addition to tuition fees) we make every effort to highlight them above. We aim to provide students with the learning materials needed to support their studies. Our libraries are a valuable resource with an extensive collection of books and journals, as well as first-class facilities and IT equipment. Computer suites and free Wi-Fi are also available on each of the campuses.

There are additional fees for graduation ceremonies, examination resits and library fines.

Students choosing a period of paid work placement or study abroad as a part of their course should be aware that there may be additional travel and living costs, as well as tuition fees.

See the tuition fees on our student guide for most up to date costs.

It is important to remember that costs associated with accommodation, travel (including car parking charges) and normal living will need to be covered in addition to tuition fees.

Where a course has additional mandatory expenses (in addition to tuition fees) we make every effort to highlight them above. We aim to provide students with the learning materials needed to support their studies. Our libraries are a valuable resource with an extensive collection of books and journals, as well as first-class facilities and IT equipment. Computer suites and free Wi-Fi are also available on each of the campuses.

There are additional fees for graduation ceremonies, examination resits and library fines.

Students choosing a period of paid work placement or study abroad as a part of their course should be aware that there may be additional travel and living costs, as well as tuition fees.

See the tuition fees on our student guide for most up to date costs.

Contact

We’d love to hear from you!

We know that choosing to study at university is a big decision, and you may not always be able to find the information you need online.

Please contact Ulster University with any queries or questions you might have about:

  • Course specific information
  • Fees and Finance
  • Admissions

For any queries regarding getting help with your application, please select Admissions in the drop down below.

For queries related to course content, including modules and placements, please select Course specific information.

We look forward to hearing from you.


For more information visit

Disclaimer

  1. Although reasonable steps are taken to provide the programmes and services described, the University cannot guarantee the provision of any course or facility and the University may make variations to the contents or methods of delivery of courses, discontinue, merge or combine courses and introduce new courses if such action is reasonably considered to be necessary by the University. Such circumstances include (but are not limited to) industrial action, lack of demand, departure of key staff, changes in legislation or government policy including changes, if any, resulting from the UK departing the European Union, withdrawal or reduction of funding or other circumstances beyond the University’s reasonable control.
  1. If the University discontinues any courses, it will use its best endeavours to provide a suitable alternative course. In addition, courses may change during the course of study and in such circumstances the University will normally undertake a consultation process prior to any such changes being introduced and seek to ensure that no student is unreasonably prejudiced as a consequence of any such change.
  1. The University does not accept responsibility (other than through the negligence of the University, its staff or agents), for the consequences of any modification or cancellation of any course, or part of a course, offered by the University but will take into consideration the effects on individual students and seek to minimise the impact of such effects where reasonably practicable.
  1. The University cannot accept any liability for disruption to its provision of educational or other services caused by circumstances beyond its control, but the University will take all reasonable steps to minimise the resultant disruption to such services.