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Undergraduate study
various industrial game design environments, games design course

Games Design (with Foundation Year) BA (Hons)

Ever played a computer game and thought you could design something better? Or been so gripped by one that you wish you had come up with the idea? Then think about a course in computer games design.



Course routes:


Course overview

Work placement

Computer games facilities

See the facilities you use when you study computer games at Teesside University

The games designer makes great ideas become real, designing the rules and structure of a game, and implementing them in a game engine. It involves working with many different people, understanding the roles of specialists who need to work together to create games. You develop 2D and 3D design skills alongside an appreciation of game mechanics and its relationship to game play, including conceptual, story, character, level and visual design. You also study game engines and industry technologies and compare their capabilities.

Top reasons to study this course at Teesside:

  • Industry links: take part in Animex, our annual international animation and games festival featuring experts from Rockstar, Pixar, Disney and Sony.
  • Real-world experience: enter GameJam events, take part in industry competitions and Beta test upcoming games before they are released.
  • Career-ready: our ExpoSeries of events allow you to showcase your skills to industry professionals who are seeking to recruit new and rising talent.
  • Scholarships: you could be eligible for a £9,000 scholarship to support your studies.
  • Quality teaching: 100% of BA (Hons) Games Design students agreed that staff are good at explaining things (National Student Survey 2023,

This course is also offered at our Teesside University London campus. Please note, the structure, content and delivery model is different, visit for full details.

This course includes a foundation year - ideal if you need additional preparation or if you don't have sufficient grades to join Year 1 of a degree.

Download pdf Order prospectus


Course details

Course structure

Foundation year core modules

Case Studies

Focusing on computer games, animation and film, you gain an introductory level of understanding in the context of your chosen field of study. As well as looking at the historical and context of these, you observe how we interpret these types of media historically and materially. Choose a text within your area of interest, undertaking an analytical review in the form of a case study.

This is a 30-credit module.

Foundation Game

You create a small game, which involves writing a proposal document and completing a demo using a contemporary game engine.

This is a 30-credit module.

Non-digital Game Development

You are introduced to non-digital game development. Explore theories and methods for game and spatial designs in board games, card games, escape rooms, games of chance, collaborative play and spaces of outside play. You also hear from non-digital game experts and industry speakers.

This is a 30-credit module.

Visual Scripting Principles

You focus on the visual scripting skills you need to develop modern engine-based interactive content. You are introduced to the fundamentals of blocking out assets or levels for intial design in a current game engine complemented with visual scripting. These include variables, functions and operators.

This is a 30-credit module.


Year 1 core modules

Game Creation

Gain the skills you need for game creation using a contemporary game engine. Understand the fundamentals of modern game development, including scripting, asset creation and level design.

This is a 30-credit module.

Game Design and Mechanics

You learn the core theories involved in designing games. Examine the pre-production stages, focusing on the role of mechanics in designing an engaging and immersive gaming experience.

This is a 30-credit module.

Game Prototyping

Study the fundamental concepts involved in creating game prototypes. Examine core gameplay loops, focusing on interaction and how this creates a tactile and engaging experience.

This is a 30-credit module.

Industry Briefs

You work on an individual artefact related to a game experience using a brief set by industry. Develop your experience of working with a real production brief, targeting specific production skills within your own field of study.

This is a 30-credit module.


Year 2 core modules

Games Business, Marketing and Publishing

You focus on the business, marketing and publishing aspects of the games industry, examining new trends and business models for games development. Look at the process for turning a digital concept into an attractive business proposal to acquire funding and investment, and explore how marketing, publishing and distribution get a game to market.

This is a 30-credit module.


You work with students from across all the games courses to develop a game slice in a team. Experience working in a production environment, and focus on specific skills in your own field of study while gaining valuable teamwork skills.

This is a 30-credit module.

Mission Design

Explore the design and production of gameplay missions, why people play games, what makes them fun and how you can apply this knowledge to add depth and playability to level design.

This is a 30-credit module.

UI and UX Design

You look at the processes for developing frontend and heads-up display interfaces and user experiences for games. Explore design theories, interactivity, accessibility, rational navigation and interface psychology.

This is a 30-credit module.


Optional work placement year

Work placement

You have the option to spend one year in industry learning and developing your skills. We encourage and support you with applying for a placement, job hunting and networking.

You gain experience favoured by graduate recruiters and develop your technical skillset. You also obtain the transferable skills required in any professional environment, including communication, negotiation, teamwork, leadership, organisation, confidence, self-reliance, problem-solving, being able to work under pressure, and commercial awareness.

Many employers view a placement as a year-long interview, therefore placements are increasingly becoming an essential part of an organisation's pre-selection strategy in their graduate recruitment process. Benefits include:

· improved job prospects
· enhanced employment skills and improved career progression opportunities
· a higher starting salary than your full-time counterparts
· a better degree classification
· a richer CV
· a year's salary before completing your degree
· experience of workplace culture
· the opportunity to design and base your final-year project within a working environment.

If you are unable to secure a work placement with an employer, then you simply continue on a course without the work placement.


Final-year core modules

Beta Arcade 

Experience working as a member of a games development team, in a setup that is as close to industrial practice as possible. You work in groups to construct a working game demo in a current game engine. You consider standard industry practices that consider multiplayer gaming threats, user safety, cheating and data security.

This is a 30-credit module.

Games Project

You undertake a large-scale project guided by a member of staff, where you produce a substantial piece of work related to your course alongside a written report. You also present and discuss your project.

This is a 60-credit module.

Narrative Design and Integration

Explore the theory and integration of games narrative concepts. Investigate elements of storytelling including narration, character creation, story arcs, point of view, voice, tense, cutscene, narrative wash and texture, backstory, storytelling using affordances and signifiers, world building, emergent storytelling, and found text and audio.

This is a 30-credit module.


Modules offered may vary.


How you learn

For each module you learn in a series of lectures and tutorials. Lectures provide you with specific theoretical information related to the subject while the tutorials focus on developing your practical skills. In the later tutorials you work on assessments and use this time to get feedback and advice from tutors. Further support is offered online in the form of extra learning material. You are expected to manage your time to complete work outside the tutorial sessions.

In your second year you take part in our unique Journeyman module, highly praised by industry, in which all games design students work with games artists, programmers and animators in a simulated game studio experience, outsourcing various essentials such as assets and animation to specialist teams. You work on games in Unreal and Unity to strict milestones in a scenario that is as close to industry practice as possible within an academic environment.

Learn using our industry-standard facilities including multiple games development labs, virtual reality lab, and state-of-art motion capture facilities.

How you are assessed

We believe that it is essential for you to learn through the experience of doing. Assessment for all modules is in the form of practical projects, which you work on throughout the year. You develop a portfolio of design work throughout the course. In Year 2, the Journeyman module provides you with essential teamwork skills ready for industry. The final year project allows you the freedom to set your own project based on your skills and interests.

Our Disability Services team provide an inclusive and empowering learning environment and have specialist staff to support disabled students access any additional tailored resources needed. If you have a specific learning difficulty, mental health condition, autism, sensory impairment, chronic health condition or any other disability please contact a Disability Services as early as possible.
Find out more about our disability services

Find out more about financial support
Find out more about our course related costs


Entry requirements

Entry requirements

Any combination of level 3 qualifications. Each application is considered on a case-by-case basis.

We may also be able to help you meet the entry requirements through our Summer and Winter University modules.

For general information please see our overview of entry requirements

International applicants can find out what qualifications they need by visiting Your Country

You can gain considerable knowledge from work, volunteering and life. Under recognition of prior learning (RPL) you may be awarded credit for this which can be credited towards the course you want to study.
Find out more about RPL



Career opportunities

This specialist degree offers the skills you need for a career in the games industry and provides generic skills which open up numerous other career paths. Some of our graduates have been recognised as being among the world's best young games development talent, and feature in Develop magazine's annual 30 under 30.

Employment opportunities include creative director, games designer, scriptwriter, level designer, interface designer and games tester.

Graduates from our games degrees have gone on to work as level designers, junior game designers, mission designers and artists in a wide range of companies including 3rd Dimensions, Atomic Planet, Bizarre Creations, Creative Assembly, Eutechnyx, Halch, Media Molecule, Microsoft Rare, Naughty Dog, Ninja Theory, Frontier Rebellion, Rockstar North, Sega, Streamline, Supermassive Games, Traveller's Tales, Ubisoft, Venom, Virtual Playground, Volatile, Weta Digital and many more.


Information for international applicants


International applicants - find out what qualifications you need by selecting your country below.

Select your country:


Useful information

Visit our international pages for useful information for non-UK students and applicants.

Talk to us

Talk to an international student enrolment adviser


Other course routes

Work placement

Study this course with an optional work placement year, at no extra cost. Alongside this, you can gain valuable experience and engagement with the sector through our shorter work placements, internships and work experience opportunities.

Work placements


Entry to 2024/25 academic year

Fee for UK applicants
£9,250 a year

More details about our fees

Fee for international applicants
£17,000 a year

More details about our fees for international applicants

What is included in your tuition fee?

  • Length: 4 years (or 5 with a work placement)
  • UCAS code: GWL2 BA/GDFY
  • Start date: September
  • Semester dates
  • Typical offer: Offers tailored to individual circumstances

Apply online (full-time) through UCAS



  • Not available part-time

Choose Teesside

  • Student and graduate profiles
    Miles Nelson

    Miles Nelson

    BA (Hons) Games Design

    Miles now owns an independent bookshop, BookWyrm, and is preparing for the release of his third novel.

    Meet Miles

  • Student work

    Computer Games showreel

    See some of the work our computer games students produce.

  • News

    Nick Marshall, pictured far left, with some of the Emmy winning team Emmy success for Teesside University graduate
    A successful Teesside University graduate who recently returned to the region to inspire guests at Animex is celebrating an Emmy Award for his work on a flagship HBO series.

    Read the full story

    Teesside Launchpad, home of the PowerUp Games Accelerator Indie games studios to attend prestigious conference
    Indie games developers based at Teesside University’s enterprise hub are to be given the opportunity to network with some of the industry’s biggest names when they attend a prestigious conference this month.

    Read the full story

    Toby Cotton and Courtney Pattison, front, with other Double Eleven placement students Leading games studio helping students gain industry experience
    A leading games studio is helping to nurture the future careers of eleven talented Teesside University students.

    Read the full story

  • On video

    Animex 2023

    Animex 2023 round-up, our international festival of animation, VFX and games.

    Women in Games

    Find out more about studying computer games at Teesside University


ExpoTees 2021 animation, visual effects and computer games showreel

Our ExpoSeries of events allow you to showcase your skills to industry professionals who are seeking to recruit new and rising talent.


Get in touch

UK students


Telephone: 01642 738801

Online chat (general enquiries)

International students


Telephone: +44 (0) 1642 738900

More international contacts


Open days and events

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