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BA (Honours) Games Design

Prepare for your creative career in the games, graphics or multimedia industry.

Course length 3-4 Year(s)
Location City Campus
UCAS W280 Course code

Course description

There are two distinct types of careers in games development – the technical programming side, and the creative art and design side. This course prepares you for the creative type of career, giving you all the skills you need to work as a creative in games, graphics or multimedia industries.

You may be able to study abroad as part of the Erasmus programme.

If you are interested in the more technical side of games development, see our BSc (Hons) Games Software Development course.

What you study

This course is for creative people who want to work in games, graphics or multimedia industries. You develop new game concepts and create game ready assets, learning to use industry standard tools and practices to produce exciting projects.

Key areas include • games design theory • concept art • digital animation • 3D game prototype development • 3D game modelling • games mechanics • game environment creation • 2D game art • 3D character design.

You learn about game design theory and narrative, applying this knowledge to gameplay and art-based game design projects. This enables you to develop interesting and interactive media that visually excites and engages people.

Projects allow you to develop specialist skills, whilst offering you creative freedom within an industry-focused framework. On this course, theory is integral to informing any practical work created.

Work experience and placements

On this course you work alongside programming students to create new games from scratch in a commercial context, and experience what it’s really like to work as a professional games designer.

Working in our commercial games studio Steel Minions, you can work on a project over the duration of your course, taking a game from concept to final product – and, thanks to our partnership with Sony, potentially seeing your game launched on the market. We are the only university in the UK to produce a game on a Sony platform in the UK.

As well as building up an impressive portfolio of work for your CV, you gain skills like presentation and teamwork that set you up for a huge range of careers.

Throughout the course you have the opportunity to work on real projects with businesses, preparing you for a career in games design. Previous students have designed game levels and concepts for Pixel Bullies and Sumo Digital, and worked with English Heritage to create a virtual tour of Conisbrough Castle.

In year three, you have the opportunity to take a one-year paid work placement. Games design is a very competitive industry, and there are a limited number of placements available in games companies. We have a dedicated placement team who will support you in applying for placements.


We have the largest PlayStation™ teaching facility in the world. Our PlayStation™ lab has over 50 professional PlayStation™ development kits where you gain professional development skills.

Our core teaching team have worked in games design companies and know what it takes to build a successful career in this area.

We also invite leading figures from the games industry to give guest lectures and deliver specialist sessions focusing on the latest industry developments. They also offer insights into the industry and invaluable career advice.

Previous guests have included designers from Sumo Digital and Guerilla Games, and artists from Epic Games, Sony and Just Add Water.

You use the latest game development software and hardware in industry-standard platforms, including 3D modelling packages, game engines and 2D graphics tools to create next generation environments, characters and props.

You work with 3Dstudio Max, Maya, ZBrush, Unreal Engine, Unity, Marmoset Toolbag, Photoshop, Substance and Quixel Suite.

You can also use our motion capture studio and the latest Oculus Rift and PlayStation VR virtual reality technology.

Professional recognition

This course is recognised as meeting the British Kinematograph, Sound and Television Society's accreditation criteria of industrial relevance and professional practice.

Entry requirements

2017 entry requirements

Normally GCSE English language and mathematics at grade C or grade 4 or above, plus one of the following

• 112 UCAS points including at least 64 points from two A levels or equivalent BTEC National qualifications. We accept AS levels. We accept General Studies.


• 96 UCAS points from three A levels or equivalent BTEC National qualifications. We accept General Studies.

New UCAS tariff points system for courses starting from September 2017. This is significantly different to the current points system and uses an alternative method of calculation. You can find information about these changes on the UCAS website and use the UCAS tariff calculator to work out your points.

• Access – an Access to HE Diploma with at least 45 credits at level 3 and 15 credits at level 2. At least 15 level 3 credits must be at merit grade or above, in an art or media-related programme from a QAA-recognised Access to HE course, or an equivalent Access to HE certificate

If English is not your first language you must have an IELTS score of 6.0 with a minimum of 5.5 in all skills or equivalent. If your English language skill is currently below IELTS 6.0 we recommend you consider a Sheffield Hallam University Pre-sessional English course which will enable you to achieve an equivalent English score.

If your application is successful, you will be invited to submit a portfolio of work to demonstrate your ability. Find out about the selection process and how to produce a strong portfolio.

We welcome applications from people of any age. We may be flexible in our normal offer if you can show a commitment to succeed and have the relevant skills and experience. This must show that you will benefit from and finish the course successfully.

International and European entry qualifications

If you are an International or non-UK European student, you can find out more about the country specific qualifications we accept on our international qualifications page.

Course structure

Four years full-time (including one year work placement) or three years full-time

Typical modules may include

Year one modules

• games design theory • visual concepts for games • 3D modelling • game world mechanics • game design project

Year two modules

• real-time environment creation • 3D animation • 2D game art • 3D character modelling • game group project • elective module

Year three

• optional work placement

Final year modules

• 3D game art • major game project • game development • elective module • professional development

  • coursework
  • portfolios
  • projects


Creative and skilled games artists and designers are in demand to meet the need for new and exciting products, as the industry relies on them to develop the next generation of games. Areas to work include • 2D and 3D art • animation • concept design • mobile, console and PC based platforms.

Our graduates have found jobs in art and design roles at top games companies, including • Rare • Electronic Arts • Sumo Digital • Rockstar North • Forsaken Studios • SEGA Europe • Framestore • Jagex • Lightning Fish.


Home / EU student

We do not charge course fees during a placement year.

Please note tuition fees may increase in each subsequent academic year of your course, subject to government regulations on fee increases and in line with inflation. More information can be found in the ‘Tuition Fee Increases’ section of our Fees Regulations (PDF, 2.10 MB)

For the course fee and further information on scholarships and bursaries please visit our fees and funding pages.

International student

We do not charge course fees during a placement year.

2016/17 academic year

Typically £12,250 a year

2017/18 academic year

Typically £12,750 a year

Additional course costs

This link allows you to view estimated costs associated with the main activities on specific courses. These are estimates and, as such, are only an indication of additional course costs. Actual costs can vary greatly depending on the choices you make during your course.

Additional costs information

How to apply

You apply for this course through UCAS.

Any offer of a place to study is subject to your acceptance of the University’s Terms and Conditions and student Regulations.

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