Games Design and Development BA (Hons)

Study level: Undergraduate
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This course will prepare you for a range of career options across this vibrant industry. You will develop all-round workflow skills and a clear understanding of the design treatment, preliminary design, development and production pipeline, enabling you to focus on a specialist area in your final year.

Year of entry

Location

Coventry University (Coventry)

Study mode

Full-time

Duration

3 years full-time
4 years sandwich

Course code

W285

Start date

September 2025

The information on this page is for 2024-25 entry and should be used as guidance for 2025-26 entry. Please keep checking back on this course page to see our latest updates.


Course overview

You will explore the multi-faceted world of games design and development, from storyboarding, concept development and prototyping to creative development, quality assurance and testing, enabling you to translate your ideas into playable games.

  • Industry-led practice across all aspects of games design and development.
  • Collaborative project development to understand the entire games pipeline.
  • Studio-based approach to teaching and learning that emulates industry best practice.
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Joint Top Modern University for Career Prospects

Guardian University Guide 2021 and 2022

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5 QS Stars for Teaching and Facilities

QS Stars University Ratings

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Top 10 UK Student City (Coventry)

QS Best Student Cities Index 2024

Why you should study this course

  • This course focuses on games design and development, aiming to equip you with the skills and knowledge to conceptualise, build and test your own playable games.
  • The concept-to-playable prototype approach aims to give you industry applicable skills. The course aims to equip you with the skills for employment with developers of all sizes, working across various technologies and platforms. Alternatively, graduates should be able to design, produce and distribute their own games or to establish their own studio.
  • Integration of logical and visual design elements means you can test graphical content in gaming environments and develop original mechanics, freeing you from the constraints of genre-specific software tools thus aiming to improve your employability.
  • Real-world practices include pitching, prototyping, workable games design documents and testing
  • Industry links embedded in the course, from master classes and guest lectures to field trips2 (subject to availability).
1st

for Overall Satisfaction in Computer Games and Animation Compared to other HEI’s that offer this subject

National Student Survey (NSS) 2022


What you'll study

This course has a common first year.

The common first year enables you to work alongside students doing similar courses to you, to widen your knowledge and exposure to other subject areas and professions. You will have the opportunity to collaborate with other students, so you can share your insights and experience which will help you to develop and learn.

If you discover an interest in a specific subject you have studied, so upon successful completion of your first year, you could swap degrees with another course in your common first year (subject to meeting progression requirements). Once you learn more about your industry, you’ll be more prepared and more clued up on how you may want to progress your education.

Common first year courses:

  • Animation BA (Hons)
  • Digital Media BA (Hons)
  • Games Art BA (Hons)
  • Visual Effects (VFX) BA (Hons)

In the first year, you will develop skills across a range of areas in the creative technologies sector, working collaboratively with students from Animation, Games Art, Digital Media, and Visual Effects (VFX). You will engage with concepts of design in both 2D and 3D, explore narrative and storytelling within the context of creative technologies, and develop experience of the iterative development process.

Modules

  • This module aims to develop your skills in a range of specialist fields through applied practice. It will introduce you to analogue and digital tools and methods used to produce artefacts in the creative industries. You will receive specialist skills training in your field of study.

    Compulsory

  • This is an intensive real-world simulation module where you will address a live industry brief (either commercial, artistic, social or cultural) with a problem to solve. By the end of the module, you will create a ‘rapid prototype’ solution that can be presented to the client or wider public. You will learn project management techniques, working to a creative brief, collaboration and problem-solving, while applying specialist skills within a larger project.

    Compulsory

  • This module will investigate the effects of evolving forms of media and technology on storytelling across the creative industries. It will examine traditional approaches to narrative in the context of new and emerging forms of storytelling such as games, virtual production, interactive web experiences, and immersive production. The learning will enable you to think about the way that networked culture has enabled new forms of storytelling and creative design.

    Compulsory

  • This module will introduce you to the contemporary creative industries landscape, exploring theoretical and professional foundations in the practice of digital design and development in games, digital media, animation, VFX, and related fields. The module will explore approaches to production within the context of the creative industries, focusing on roles and responsibilities, production processes, and pipelines and workflows.

    Compulsory

  • Developing an idea into a testable concept or prototype that can be learned from is an important part of work in the creative industries. This module aims to encourage you to explore ideas development through practical exercises in concept development, prototyping, and design.

    Compulsory

  • This module explores complex specialist skills development in the creative field of study, developing an understanding of professional approaches to processes through the application of skills. In addition, you will be introduced to personal development planning and will be supported to become reflective learners.

    Compulsory

In year two, you will continue to develop the skills and knowledge you’ve learnt. We do this by embedding the following four principles into the curriculum and developing your:

  • Technical skills – digital fluency, backed with the right academic knowledge
  • Study skills – to be an adaptive, independent and proactive learner
  • Professional skills – to have the behaviour and abilities to succeed in your career
    Global awareness – the beliefs and abilities to be a resilient, confident and motivated global citizen

You will develop more advanced knowledge and skills to do with: games design, concept development, prototyping and pitching.

Modules

  • This module is designed to introduce you to the skills and knowledge needed to develop and pitch a concept for a digital game, outlining all elements and taking account of ethical, situational, and legal contexts. Developing a games concept for a mobile, console or other digital game requires developing a blueprint for the ludology, aesthetics, and narrative of the game. Plotting out conceptually how your game will work requires an understanding of gameplay, mechanics, dynamics, elements, and assets. You will examine ludological and narratological approaches to concept development in games design and engage with new and emerging technologies as part of your concept development.

    Compulsory

  • Game engines are where your ideas suddenly come alive, through interactivity, response and player feedback. Game engines allow you to rapidly prototype your ideas into a playable demo and test this on your audience, using their feedback to reshape and refine our game. This module is designed to introduce you to the skills and knowledge needed to develop, iterate, and refine a working game prototype, using a range of feedback to improve and enhance the player experience.

    Compulsory

  • Gameplay is often described as the sum of what a player does and what a player experiences. The player experience is central to game design and comprises immersion, social presence, embodiment, interface and engagement among other things. This module is designed to introduce you to the skills and knowledge needed to critically engage with the design and phenomena of player experience across a range of platforms, contexts, and game genres. It examines the impact of ludological and narratological approaches on player experience and explores approaches to addressing ludo-narrative dissonance. The module addresses the implications of new and emerging technologies on player experience and engages with diversity and inclusion in the context of games design and development.

    Compulsory

  • Game worlds are rich and diverse landscapes with physical, temporal, environmental, emotional, and ethical dimensions to support both storytelling and gameplay. This module is designed to introduce you to key tools and methodologies in the production of games art and asset development. You will develop your knowledge of a range of design software relevant to games development and explore professional creative approaches and working practices relating to your use in the context of creating and developing your game worlds.

    Compulsory

  • Experimentation in concept development for digital games allows you to explore the creative application of your ideas and skills to better understand and assess your competencies in the broader production context. This module provides you with the opportunity to refine your practice by developing and executing a response to a self-initiated brief.

    Compulsory

  • Professional experience through either project-led work or placement allows you to develop an understanding of your role within the games industry and to reflect on your skills and competencies. This module provides you with the opportunity to develop your professional practice in contemporary games design or development, through undertaking external briefs and/ or work placement opportunities2.

    Compulsory

There’s no better way to find out what you love doing than trying it out for yourself, which is why a work placement2 can often be beneficial. Work placements usually occur between your second and final year of study. They’re a great way to help you explore your potential career path and gain valuable work experience, whilst developing transferable skills for the future.

If you choose to do a work placement year, you will pay a reduced tuition fee3 of £1,250. For more information, please go to the fees and funding section. During this time you will receive guidance from your employer or partner institution, along with your assigned academic mentor who will ensure you have the support you need to complete your placement.

Modules

  • This module2 provides you with an opportunity to reflect upon and gain experience for an approved placement undertaken during your programme. A placement should usually be at least 26 weeks or equivalent; however, each placement will be considered on its own merits, having regard to the ability to achieve the learning outcomes.

    Optional

  • This module2 provides you with an opportunity to reflect upon and gain experience for an approved international study/work placement undertaken during your programme. A work/study placement should usually be at least 26 weeks or equivalent; however, each placement will be considered on its own merits, having regard to the ability to achieve the learning outcomes.

    Optional

Year three aims to bring you to the level to enter the world of work by consolidating your knowledge and skills from Year one and Two. You could also work on a large final project in an area of your interest, with the support of a mentor.

Modules

  • The Research Investigation module will enable you to apply your skills and knowledge to conduct detailed, useful and instructive research for a thematic game project, gathering information and using this to draw conclusions in the context of your game brief. This module aims to develop your research skills, using a variety of research methodologies to discover, analyse and utilise information from a wide range of sources. You will embark on a process of discovery, researching your theme, professional practices, toolsets, and techniques. You will use this new understanding to inform your creative plans, recorded in a detailed game design document.

    Compulsory

  • This module will enable you to synthesise your experiences of game design and development over the course of your studies, applying skills and knowledge to plan and produce a working, professional game prototype for a PC or console platform, working independently within a set theme. The module will enable you to refine the advanced practical and technical skills required to produce a working prototype of a game, from asset creation and management to creative coding. You will demonstrate advanced skills and techniques, developed over your period of undergraduate study, and refined in a series of workshops and seminars, exploring new toolsets and ways of working.

    Compulsory

  • The Indie Game Project is an assessment -only module bringing together learning developed in Research Investigation and Advanced Game Design and Development. The aim of this module is to enable you to bring together knowledge and understanding developed across the semester into a single piece of assessment that is aligned with the overall course learning outcomes. A game project brief will be provided which requires you to bring together aspects of your learning into an assessed project.

    Compulsory

  • In this module you will develop your ability to negotiate the challenges of working as part of a creative and technical team within and across disciplines in the context of the creative industries. This module addresses the collaborative culture of studio production across the animation, and games art, and games design and development pipelines and responds to the need for collegiate communication in a professional working environment. Starting with a negotiated brief, you will aim to produce work that will demonstrate meaningful planning, time management and high-quality output.

    Compulsory

  • This module aims to immerse you into the games production process. Through an intensive studio-based project you will develop a games concept and build a live games demo product. The module will explore the practical skills required in the development of games whilst developing your collaborative leadership capabilities. You will be expected to work in collaborative inter-disciplinary teams to develop the necessary agile project management and cross-communication skills expected by industry.

    Compulsory


How you'll learn

The teaching and learning on the BA (Hons) Games Design and Development course is predicated upon the general core principle of transforming you into innovative, creative, industry-ready, reflexive games designers over the course of study.

The course will be delivered using a variety of methods including face to face workshops and lectures, and some online digital content such as guest speakers from industry.

Teaching methods will include:

  • Lectures
  • Seminars
  • Technical workshops
  • Studio projects
  • Industry talks2

Course resources are stored on the University’s Virtual Learning environment (VLE), currently called AULA, where you will be able to access a range of digital resources such as learning materials, worksheets, talks, module handbooks and assignment briefs. The VLE also has an in-built chat function where you cane message academics directly about your work.


Teaching contact hours

We understand that everyone learns differently, so each of our courses will consist of structured teaching sessions, which can include:

  • On campus lectures, seminars and workshops
  • Group work
  • Self-directed learning
  • Work placement opportunities2.

The number of full-time contact hours may vary from semester to semester, however, on average, it is likely to be around 12 contact hours per week in the first and second year dropping to around 10-12 contact hours per week in the third and final year as you become a more independent learner.

Additionally, you will be expected to undertake significant self-directed study of approximately 15 hours each week, depending on the demands of individual modules.

Part of university life is undertaking self-directed learning. During a typical week you will have time that allows you to work independently to apply the skills and knowledge you have learnt in taught or facilitated sessions to your projects or assignment briefs. This self-directed learning allows you to use your research skills, consolidate your knowledge or undertake collaborative group work.

As an innovative and enterprising institution, the university may seek to utilise emerging technologies within the student experience. For all courses (whether on-campus, blended, or distance learning), the university may deliver certain contact hours and assessments via online technologies and methods.

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, we are prepared for courses due to start in or after the 2023/2024 academic year to be delivered in a variety of forms. The form of delivery will be determined in accordance with Government and Public Health guidance. Whether on campus or online, our key priority is staff and student safety.


Assessment

This course will be assessed using a variety of methods which will vary depending upon the module.

Assessment methods include:

  • Group work
  • Presentations
  • Reports
  • Projects
  • Coursework
  • Individual assignments
  • Course-based assessment

The Coventry University Group assessment strategy ensures that our courses are fairly assessed and allows us to monitor student progression towards achieving the intended learning outcomes.


Entry requirements

Typical offer for 2024/25 entry.

Requirement What we're looking for
UCAS points 112
A level BBC
GCSE Minimum 5 GCSEs graded 4 / C or above including English
BTEC DMM
IB Diploma 29 points
Access to HE The Access to HE Diploma. Plus GCSE English at grade 4 / C or above.

If you do not have the typical entry requirements, you may want to consider studying this course with a foundation year.

Portfolio

You may be required to attend a portfolio showcase, activity session or audition or submit a portfolio via email (as is appropriate to your course), either virtually or face to face, as is practical to arrange. Invites for these sessions will be sent directly to your contact email.

Each application will be considered on its merits.

Other qualifications and experience

Our students come from a variety of backgrounds, each with a unique story. We recognise a breadth of qualifications. If your qualifications differ from the above, contact our Admissions Team who will be happy to discuss your qualifications and routes into your chosen course.

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Contextual offers and Fair Access Scheme

If you meet the criteria for our Fair Access Scheme, you could automatically receive a contextual offer that may be up to 24 UCAS points lower than our standard entry requirements. View the criteria for our Fair Access Scheme.

Select your region to find detailed information about entry requirements:


You can view our full list of country specific entry requirements on our Entry requirements page.

Alternatively, visit our International hub for further advice and guidance on finding in-country agents and representatives, joining our in-country events and how to apply.

Portfolio

You may be required to attend a portfolio showcase, activity session or audition or submit a portfolio via email (as is appropriate to your course), either virtually or face to face, as is practical to arrange. Invites for these sessions will be sent directly to your contact email.

Each application will be considered on its merits.

English language requirements

  • IELTS: 6.0 overall (with at least 5.5 in each component area)

If you don't meet the English language requirements, you can achieve the level you need by successfully completing a pre-sessional English programme before you start your course.

For more information on our approved English language tests visit our English language requirements page.

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Fees and funding

Student Full-time Part-time
UK, Ireland*, Channel Islands or Isle of Man 2025/26 fees TBC
2024/25 fees - £9,250 per year
Not available
EU 2025/26 fees TBC
2024/25 fees - £9,250 per year with EU support bursary**
2025/26 fees TBC
2024/25 fees - £19,850 per year without EU support bursary**
Not available
International 2025/26 fees TBC
2024/25 fees - £19,850 per year
Not available

If you choose to study this course with a professional placement2 or study abroad year, you will need to pay a tuition fee3 of £1,250 to cover your academic support throughout your placement year.

For advice and guidance on tuition fees and student loans visit our Undergraduate Finance page and see the university’s Tuition Fee and Refund Terms and Conditions.

The university will charge the tuition fees that are stated in the above table for the first Academic Year of study. The university will review tuition fees each year. For UK (home) students, if Parliament permits an increase in tuition fees, the university may increase fees for each subsequent year of study in line with any such changes. Note that any increase is expected to be in line with inflation.

For international students, we may increase fees each year, but such increases will be no more than 5% above inflation. If you defer your course start date or have to extend your studies beyond the normal duration of the course (e.g. to repeat a year or resit examinations) the university reserves the right to charge you fees at a higher rate and/or in accordance with any legislative changes during the additional period of study.

We offer a range of International scholarships to students all over the world. For more information, visit our International Scholarships page.

Tuition fees cover the cost of your teaching, assessments, facilities and support services. There may be additional costs not covered by this fee such as accommodation and living costs, recommended reading books, stationery, printing and re-assessments should you need them.

The following are additional costs not included in the tuition fees:

  • Any optional overseas field trips or visits: £400+ per trip.
  • Any costs associated with securing, attending or completing a placement (whether in the UK or abroad).

Find out what's included in your tuition costs.

*Irish student fees

The rights of Irish residents to study in the UK are preserved under the Common Travel Area arrangement. If you are an Irish student and meet the residency criteria, you can study in England, pay the same level of tuition fees as English students and utilise the Tuition Fee Loan.

**EU Support Bursary

Following the UK's exit from the European Union, we are offering financial support to all eligible EU students who wish to study an undergraduate or a postgraduate degree with us full-time. This bursary will be used to offset the cost of your tuition fees to bring them in line with that of UK students. Students studying a degree with a foundation year with us are not eligible for the bursary.


Facilities

Coventry University is home to superb facilities, and the new Arts and Humanities building is planned to open in 2023.

Within the new building, you will have access to cutting edge facilities, which features post-production studios, games and animation studios, immersive studios with performance capture facilities, electronic and digital hack labs and much more. The ethos of the building and the Faculty is one of playful, open, collaborative approaches that bring together interesting configurations of people, spaces, technologies, and ideas, and this will provide exciting opportunities for students on the course to collaborate and for staff to develop and adapt approaches to course pedagogy and delivery.

  • The high-end games and animation studios allow you to develop working playable versions of your games using state-of-the-art hardware and software used in industry
  • The immersive studios includes performance capture and audio capabilities allowing you to engage with development methods across the games design and development pipeline
  • The electronic and digital hack labs allow you to experiment with new and emerging technologies in the context of games design and development

Careers and opportunities

On successful completion of this course, you may take on roles ranging from community manager, games producer, or games publisher, to gameplay designer, level designer, UX designer, Quality Assurance (QA) tester or games writer.

You should have developed an understanding of the key priorities for the games industry, such as the recent change in working patterns, equality, diversity and inclusion, talent acquisition and retention, and an understanding of cultural and commercial priorities, by engaging in real-world scenarios and collaborative opportunities and embedding theoretical and applied-practical exploration of sustainability, representation, player experience, and emerging areas of practice.

Further study

Graduates may progress into master's study with courses such as:

You can explore all of your options using our postgraduate course search tool. You may be entitled to an alumni discount on your fees if you decide to extend your time with us by progressing from undergraduate to postgraduate study.


How to apply

  • Coventry University together with Coventry University London, Coventry University Wrocław, CU Coventry, CU London, CU Scarborough, and Coventry University Online come together to form part of the Coventry University Group (the University) with all degrees awarded by Coventry University.

    1Accreditations

    The majority of our courses have been formally recognised by professional bodies, which means the courses have been reviewed and tested to ensure they reach a set standard. In some instances, studying on an accredited course can give you additional benefits such as exemptions from professional exams (subject to availability, fees may apply). Accreditations, partnerships, exemptions and memberships shall be renewed in accordance with the relevant bodies’ standard review process and subject to the university maintaining the same high standards of course delivery.

    2UK and international opportunities

    Please note that we are unable to guarantee any UK or international opportunities (whether required or optional) such as internships, work experience, field trips, conferences, placements or study abroad opportunities and that all such opportunities may be unpaid and/or subject to additional costs (which could include, but is not limited to, equipment, materials, bench fees, studio or facilities hire, travel, accommodation and visas), competitive application, availability and/or meeting any applicable travel, public authority guidance, decisions or orders and visa requirements. To ensure that you fully understand any visa requirements, please contact the International Office.

    3Tuition fees

    The University will charge the tuition fees that are stated in the above table for the first Academic Year of study. The University will review tuition fees each year. For UK (home) students, if Parliament permit an increase in tuition fees, the University may increase fees for each subsequent year of study in line with any such changes. Note that any increase is expected to be in line with inflation.

    For international students, we may increase fees each year, but such increases will be no more than 5% above inflation. If you defer your course start date or have to extend your studies beyond the normal duration of the course (e.g. to repeat a year or resit examinations) the University reserves the right to charge you fees at a higher rate and/or in accordance with any legislative changes during the additional period of study.

    4Facilities

    Facilities are subject to availability. Access to some facilities (including some teaching and learning spaces) may vary from those advertised and/or may have reduced availability or restrictions where the university is following public authority guidance, decisions or orders.

    Student Contract

    By accepting your offer of a place and enrolling with us, a Student Contract will be formed between you and the university. A copy of the current 2024/2025 contract is available on the website for information purposes however the 2025/2026 contract will apply for the 2025/2026 intake. The Contract details your rights and the obligations you will be bound by during your time as a student and contains the obligations that the university will owe to you. You should read the Contract before you accept an offer of a place and before you enrol at the university.

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