Our BA (Hons) Video Game Design and Production undergraduate course responds to the growing and innovative sector by developing skilled, team-orientated, reflexive graduates ready to succeed in the field. Interactive Entertainment and Video Games development are key sectors for contemporary culture, economic growth and employment locally in the Midlands, nationally and globally.
This accelerated two-year course gives you a guaranteed video game development placement in our in-house studio. The work-place simulation approach of our department has been championed by the influential 2009 Livingstone, Hope Next Gen Report which cited us as a national best practice example for developing new talent for the games industry.
The course focuses on digital media asset production and communication. You will gain a grounding within the industry’s design and production principles while developing your creative and teamwork skills.
Building upon your design and production skills, in the first year you will be tasked with a specific role within our in-house game development studio over the summer term. This work experience gives you the opportunity to apply the knowledge and professional practices you’ve learn on the course in a safe and supportive environment.
Throughout the two years you will be provided with a structured programme of learning, in line with your chosen specialism of video game design and production. The course culminates with a project you define yourself which targets a specific subsector of the video games industry.
So, by the time you graduate, a whole year before most students, you’ll have two years of tangible, games development studio experience under your belt, ready to launch your dream career as a games developer.
“The BA Video Game Design and Production course will give you the opportunity to learn all about games design and production, helping you to get your foundation of experience that you will need to decide upon which is the correct career path for you.” Zuby Ahmed – Programme Director
Our Virtual Open Day for this course will take place on 17 October 2020. Book now and we will email you with a link to the Virtual Open Day for your subject area of choice.
On completing the course, you will have the opportunity to pursue careers within video games development, wider interactive entertainment the following design and production roles:
(or equivalent) is the minimum you will need to be considered for this course in Clearing. Use the UCAS Tariff Calculator to work out your points.
We accept a range of qualifications, the most popular of which are detailed below.
In addition to qualifications, applicants will also need a good digital or physical portfolio.
At the point of application, you must have GCSE at Grade 4 (C) or above in English Language and Mathematics. Equivalent qualifications and/or experience will be accepted
|GCE A Level/ AS Level||BBB at A Level, excluding General Studies and Critical Thinking (120 points)|
|Access to Higher Education Diploma||Pass overall with 60 credits, 45 at Level 3 and 15 at Level 2, including merit or higher in 20 credits at Level 3. Information, Communication Technology and Business subjects preferred but other subjects also considered.|
|BTEC National Diploma (12-units not including early years)||D*D* combined with other level 3 qualifications to achieve a minimum total of 120 UCAS points|
|BTEC Extended Diploma (18-units not including early years)||
DDM (120 points)
|BTEC Subsidiary Diploma/ National Award (6-units not including early years)||Combined with other level 3 qualifications to achieve a minimum total of 120 UCAS points|
|BTEC Diploma in Foundation Studies in Art and Design||Distinction|
|International Baccalaureate Diploma||
Obtain a minimum of 30 points overall. Students who do not complete the IB Diploma will be considered on the basis of their IB Certificates if they achieve a total of 15 points or above from three Higher Level subjects alongside other acceptable level 3 qualifications to meet 120 UCAS Tariff Points
|Irish Leaving Certificate||Pass the Irish Leaving Certificate with a minimum of 120 tariff points, achieved in four Higher level subjects|
|Scottish Higher/ Advanced Higher||Achieve a minimum of 120 tariff points achieved from either five Highers or a combination of two Highers offered with two Advanced Highers.|
|Welsh Baccalaureate (core plus options)||Pass plus grades BB at A-Level (or equivalent qualifications) combined with other level 3 qualifications to achieve a minimum total of 120 UCAS points|
|If you have a qualification that is not listed in the table please refer to our full entry requirements on UCAS.
Further guidance on tariff points can be found on the UCAS website.
In addition to qualifications applicants will also need a good portfolio.
|EU/Non-EU (International) Qualifications||Requirements|
|IELTS||6.5 (no less than 6.0 in any bands) or equivalent|
|International Baccalaureate Diploma (or equivalent, including internationally accredited Foundation courses).||
In addition to the above, applicants will also need:
English Group A - Grade 4 or above
International students who cannot meet the direct entry requirements can begin their degree studies at Birmingham City University International College (BCUIC).
Applications from mature students (21+) with alternative qualifications and/or considerable work experience will be considered on their merits.
Award: BA (Hons)
Starting: Sep 2020
Award: BA (Hons)
Starting: Sep 2020
If you're unable to use the online form for any reason, you can complete our PDF application form and equal opportunities PDF form instead. The University reserves the right to increase fees in line with inflation based on the Retail Prices Index or to reflect changes in Government funding policies or changes agreed by Parliament up to a maximum of five per cent.
If you'd like to start this course full-time this September, you can apply through Clearing.
International and part-time students can apply online as normal using the links above.
Want to start in September 2021?
You can apply via UCAS from September 2020.
If your application is progressed, you will be asked to submit a portfolio of your creative work. This can be submitted digitally or you can physically bring it in. Your portfolio is your opportunity to show us examples of your work and creative interests to support your application.
Please see our portfolio guidance page for tips and advice on putting your portfolio together.
All students on the programme will be issued with a laptop to use whilst on the course, this computer will be preloaded with all the industry-standard software required to complete the assignments and roles within the studio.
UK / EU students are required to submit a personal statement as part of their application for this course.*
The personal statement gives you a crucial opportunity to say why you’re applying and why the institution should accept you.
Here are the key areas you’ll need to address:
Why does this course appeal? What areas are of particular interest?
If you have a specific career in mind, say how your chosen course will help you pursue this goal.
Mention any work that is relevant to your subject, highlighting the skills and experience gained.
Highlight skills gained at school/college, eg summer schools or mentoring activities.
eg Duke of Edinburgh Award, Young Enterprise scheme.
You should also mention your future plans – if you’re planning to take a year out, don't forget to give your reasons. Talk about any subjects you’re studying that don’t have a formal assessment and any sponsorships or placements you’ve applied for. And don't be scared to add in details about your social, sports or leisure interests.
Get more information on writing personal statements.
*Non-EU students are not required to submit a personal statement when applying for this course.
There are no compulsory additional costs or charges associated with studying on this course. While you may choose to purchase personal copies of text books, all our key text books are available from our library or online (subject to normal library loan and online access arrangements). Courses within the School of Games, Film and Animation aim to connect students with industry locally, nationally and globally, in alignment with student aspirations. Opportunities to engage with industry in an alternative location are always promoted but are never compulsory so students can make a decision based around their individual responsibilities, lifestyle and finances.
Based on the past experience of our students, you might find it helpful to set aside about £50 for each year of your studies for stationery and study materials. All our students are provided with 100 free pages of printing each year to a maximum total value of £15.
The cost of accommodation and other living costs are not included within your course fees. More information on the cost of accommodation can be found in our accommodation pages.
The additional costs listed here are to be used for indicative purposes only and are based on the additional costs for the 2018/19 academic year. The additional costs for 2019/20 will be published as soon as possible.
If you've got no idea where to start or just want to check you're on the right track, we’ve got expert advice and real examples from our students to help you nail your personal statement. You can even download our ultimate personal statement guide for free.
We offer further information on possible undergraduate financial support. This includes the type of loans, grants and scholarships available both from the government and from Birmingham City University.
In order to complete this course you must successfully complete all the following CORE modules (totalling 160 credits):
Historical Game Analysis
The purpose of this module is to introduce students to the history of videogames and also provide a basic introduction into game design. By looking at the history of the games industry from a global context; the module will discuss the evolution of video games which will provide students contexts to consider current and future games industry opportunities and market trends. The module also enables development of team and communications skills which are key employability skills.
Game Design Fundamentals
The purpose of this module is to allow students to cover the fundamentals of the process of design for conceptualising a game. There are also sessions on game design theory fundamentals. This will give students an understanding of the development and documentation needed to illustrate and refine that idea to others to then plan, manage and implement the game into production. The module also enables development of communications skills which are key employability skills, which are need to be demonstrable upon graduation.
Contextual Game Design
The purpose of this module is to build upon previous modules and apply more in depth analytical lenses to ascertain on a macro level the role and significance of video games in culture and society, whilst on a micro level students will research, analyse and appraise usability, immersion and emotion in the video games under discussion. The module also enables development of communications skills which are key employability skills, which are need to be demonstrable upon graduation.
2D Game Spaces
The purpose of this module is to cover the fundamentals of the process of 2D game space design for conceptualising gameplay within 2D environments, married with game design theory fundamentals. Students will then gain an understanding of the development and documentation needed to illustrate and refine ideas to others to then plan, manage and implement the 2D game space design and support information into production, followed on by a critical analysis of the development process.
The module is an opportunity to learn and critically reflect on the skills of collaboration by enabling you to create an interdisciplinary project with students from complementary disciplines. You will be tasked with completing a project over a short development / production period. This project may be set either by an academic or course industry-partner.
In order to complete this course you must successfully complete at least 20 credits from the following list of OPTIONAL modules:
Interactive Entertainment, Development and Implementation
The module is an opportunity to learn about the nature of interaction within game products and experience the challenge and thrill of developing a fun, gaming experience.
Narrative Entertainment Script And Production
The module is an opportunity to learn about the nature of storytelling, audience engagement and the variety of methods and tools a writer or communicators has at their disposal to engage, inform, excite and elicit emotional response from the audience.
Core modules are guaranteed to run. Optional modules will vary from year to year and the published list is indicative only.
In order to complete this course you must successfully complete all the following CORE modules (totalling 180 credits):
Advanced Game Design
The purpose of this module is to allow students to the opportunity to generate ideas to become a multiple screen/multiple platform strategy, based on future technologies. This will then be presented / pitched to high level stakeholders at the end of the module. The multiple screen/multiple platform strategy will be supported by the academic team so that the output work will support future modules and also any potential future business development/enterprise opportunities which the student(s) may wish to explore.
3D Games Spaces
The purpose of this module is to cover the fundamentals of the process of 3D game space design for conceptualising gameplay within 3D environments, married with game design theory fundamentals. This will give students an understanding of the development and documentation needed to illustrate and refine ideas, to then plan, manage and implement their own 3D game space designs, supported by production management methodologies, with continued critical analysis of the ongoing development process.
Strategic Game Design
The purpose of this module is to allow students to generate ideas to become a business plan which will be presented / pitched to high level stakeholders at the end of the module. The business proposition will be supported by the academic team and introduces industry approaches to, and application of assessment and evaluation within a business context. Furthermore the practical nature of the module will enable students to apply knowledge gained so that the output work will support any potential future business development/enterprise opportunities which the student(s) may wish to explore.
The module is an opportunity to learn and critically reflect on the skills of collaboration &/or your own professional practice. The module enables you to create either an interdisciplinary project with students from complementary disciplines or your own self-defined project.
The purpose of the module is to enable you to undertake a sustained, in-depth and theoretically informed research project exploring an area that is of personal interest to you. It is important that we can support you appropriately, so you will be guided towards choosing a research topic which is relevant to your discipline and in which your lecturers have expertise. The outcome may take the form of a written dissertation or a practice-based portfolio.
The course is structured around teaching you new skills and allowing you the freedom to experiment and experience putting your new skills into practice through stakeholder-directed live projects.
Typically, this means modules are split into taught modules and studio-based project modules.
In the taught modules the focus is on your personal development as a professional designer. You will also learn professional project management methodologies to help you deliver your design projects. You will take modules which focus on the development of skills for specific roles within the sector, for example, understanding the history and fundamentals of Game Design, looking at 2D and 3D Game Spaces, and advanced and strategic Game Design.
The Video Game Design and Production course is all about providing you with crucial experience-based learning you'll need for your career. To this end during the summer you will be required to attend an in-house work placement. It is during these modules you’ll be using development tools such as Unity & Unreal.
This two-year accelerated undergraduate degree course has professional game development studio experience embedded as part of your learning journey.
You'll be assessed in a variety of different ways, including practical project work – both group and individual – presentations, written reports and practical portfolios.
Assessment is embedded into the course, which will mean your learning experience isn't constantly interrupted by assessment. You are also assessed on your work within a project delivery team while you are based in our simulated in-house studio environment.
The course culminates with a project you define yourself which targets a specific subsector of the video games industry, for example; working as a component and technical designer or even managing a project using Agile Project Management methodologies (note this is not an exhaustive list of roles). You have the choice of either proposing your own individual project or collaborating with other students to create another video game project for your portfolio.
Students created Xtreme Robot Destruction, a post-apocalyptic game about robots, with Sony PlayStation First. Hear more about their process and their favourite features of the game.
The end of year summer showcase gives you the chance to showcase some of the work you’ve completed over the past academic year to high profile industry guests.
For successful graduates there is a natural progression from BA Video Game Art to MA Video Game Development, which is a one-year accelerated Master’s degree focused on initially indie and then AAA video game development. Students taking this option can gain an undergraduate and postgraduate degree within three years.
During project modules, industry guests have historically attended during ‘milestone review’ sessions to review and feedback upon students’ video game development work, as well as providing direction for further development.
During your final major project an industry mentor maybe sought to help you deliver your project.
Workplace simulation and giving student indicative or real industry-standard work to complete while on their course is a core pillar of the approach and success for courses at the School of Games, Film and Animation.
On top of the course-specific experiences, the University has introduced the BCU Graduate+ programme, which is an extra-curricular awards framework that is designed to augment the subject-based skills that you develop through your programme with broader employability skills and techniques that will enhance your employment options.
At the end of your studies, you’ll complete a final major project, which may lead you to working directly with a client. This direct contact will give you the experience, confidence and freedom to put into action all you’ve learned on your studies. Allied with this course-specific experience you will also have access to a range of support staff and services from the University’s careers service, who can help with:
During the summer term of your first year, you will have the opportunity to work in a video game development team as part of the in-house placement element of the course.
Whilst studying with us, you'll have the opportunity work on live briefs with real clients.
During the summer on the first year of your course you’ll have a guaranteed placement in an in-house development studio. Our students previously worked directly with The Wellcome Trust on an interactive, online awareness campaign which involved making, video games, web apps, mobile apps and video material to promote The Crunch initiative.
Students have also worked along postgraduates to make a mobile version of the PlayStation 4 Xtreme Drone Racing game which is being developed as part of the PlayStationFirst initiative. The mobile versions features racing against 40 drones in a variety of locations in Birmingham, geotagged content and extensive drone customisation.
OpportUNIty: Student Jobs on Campus ensures that our students are given a first opportunity to fill many part-time temporary positions within the University. This allows you to work while you study with us, fitting the job around your course commitments. By taking part in the scheme, you will gain valuable experiences and employability skills, enhancing your prospects in the job market.
It will also allow you to become more involved in University life by delivering, leading and supporting many aspects of the learning experience, from administration to research and mentoring roles.
“I’m currently working on a mobile strategy title entitled “Realm War” where I’m responsible for balancing the different units in the game. This involves a deep understanding of all kinds of interactions and mechanics of each unit, as well as being informed in regards to how users are playing the game. The production element of the course has been immensely useful for my role at Pixel Toys, as it gave me a better understanding of how to realistically go through the many steps of content development when I first joined the studio.”
Through our courses we give you the skills and experience needed to get a head start when applying for jobs. But we offer something extra too – Graduate+.
Our unique programme gives you the chance to develop valuable skills outside of the more formal classroom learning. We award points for Graduate+ activities (including firewalking!) and these can be put towards a final Graduate+ award.
On completing the programme, you will have the opportunity to pursue careers within video games development, wider interactive entertainment the following design and production roles:
The course team have excellent links with the following game development studios: Rockstar North, Sony Interactive Entertainment Europe, Codemasters, Exient and Mediatonic.
Birmingham City University is a vibrant and multicultural university in the heart of a modern and diverse city. We welcome many international students every year – there are currently students from more than 80 countries among our student community.
The University is conveniently placed, with Birmingham International Airport nearby and first-rate transport connections to London and the rest of the UK.
Our international pages contain a wealth of information for international students who are considering applying to study here, including:
The UK remains one of the world's leading study destinations for international students.
The first-class experience offered by universities are reflected in the world’s largest survey of international students. International students are more likely to recommend the UK than any other leading English-language study destination.
International students who have a serious interest in studying with us but who perhaps cannot meet the direct entry requirements, academic or English, or who have been out of education for some time, can enter Birmingham City University International College (BCUIC) and begin their degree studies.
BCUIC is part of the global Navitas Group, an internationally recognised education provider, and the partnership allows students to access the University’s facilities and services and move seamlessly through to achieving a Bachelor’s degree from Birmingham City University.
Our School of Games, Film and Animation is based in the Curzon Building, a £63 million development, located on our City Centre campus.
We help you learn a specific discipline such as digital marketing, programming or art and put that discipline into practice by offering flexible teaching space, dedicated development studios and open access work areas for group projects, as well as course-specific facilities.
Discover more about the industry experts you can meet on our two-year fast track degree course.
Zuby Ahmed is one of our lecturers, watch this video to find out more.
Venita has previously worked on a number of titles on a variety of platforms including the mobile hit Sonic Dash and at many games studios from nDreams, SEGA and Jagex going all the way back to old veteran studios such as Team17 in Wakefield.
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