University of Cumbria

Degree level: Undergraduate

Games Design

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Course summary

Course Overview Would you love to create the video games you play? Well, bring your fascination and creativity to this course and we'll enable you to develop your skills to turn your ideas into exciting new games. Right from the off, you'll be designing, developing and creating new game experiences to create a portfolio that you can hand to future employers. This is not a programming course; it is all about the art and design work related to video games. So, you'll learn all about art and design work related to video games making you proficient creating story-boarded concepts and turning them into playable prototypes (both 2D and 3D). The Institute of Arts at the University of Cumbria also runs its own Game Jam game design competition every year. In 2019, we had over 30 games and 200 gamers take part in the competition both as groups and individual entries. The aim of this programme is to focus on the artistic, technical and professional knowledge and skills required within the computer gaming industry. You'll develop your own personal iconography and technical skills through a combination of practical work using traditional and online technologies, study of the underpinning principles, work-based and collaborative learning, and authentic work-related assessments with briefs / assignments from industry. The programme provides a well-rounded education in creative application of technology that provides preparation or continuing professional development for a range of career paths including gaming, web design, software development, e-learning and a range of other related industries. Why Choose University of Cumbria Our aim is to see you graduate as a highly-skilled and technical artist that this growing and competitive industry expects of you.

  • 75% of your studies will be designing, developing and creating practically, so you’ll have every opportunity to create a brimming portfolio of quality and playable games
  • Use the 3D and games engine software you will use in the professional industry
  • Tutors are active professionals in the gaming industry and you will benefit from their invaluable first-hand experience
  • Study on a dedicated arts campus, mixing with other creative minds, including actors and writers, who you’ll be able to work alongside on projects
  • Learn entrepreneurial skills to enable you to market yourself and work as a freelance games designer
  • Develop a wide range of essential skills including drawing, 3D modelling, texturing and animation
  • The 3D models that you create can be used in games, films, adverts and TV shows, even in 3D printing and prototyping
  • Develop your own personal iconography
  • Your digital skills will be transferrable to other careers, including film and television
  • Close support from tutors, who will guide you through your studies
  • Art and Design ranks 3rd for Student Satisfaction in the North West (Complete University Guide 2021)
This course can lead to a range of careers, including:
  • Games Designer
  • Art Director
  • Designer
  • Concept Artist
  • 3D Modeller or Animator for Games
Graduates from the previous iteration of the programme were part of the teams that made video games including Grand Theft Auto, Fable III, Killzone 2, and Crackdown 2. Graduates were also part of the post-production teams involved in making movies including Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, Happy Feet, Quantum of Solace and the Chronicles of Narnia. After leaving the programme Peter Roe went on to work for Pixar and has worked on The Bear. Ian Wharton became creative partner in Zolmo who developed the Jamie Oliver Cooking Application for the iPhone. Michael Malinowski worked for Lionhead Studios. Uisdean Ross went on to become an animator at TT Games and spent his time working with Digital Legos.

Course details


Year one - Compulsory modules: The Institution of the Arts in our Time, Reflection/Review, Drawing, Visualisation and Concept Art, 3D Modelling, Gaming For Game Designers. Year two - Compulsory modules: Understanding the Creative Economy, Working in the Creative Economy, Concept To Prototype, Concept Art & Visualisation 2, Texturing. Optional modules (subject to availability and demand): Digital Sculpting, Games Creation - Design to Distribution, Motion Capture and Animation for Games, Digital Painting Techniques. Year three - Compulsory modules: Theory and Research Methods in the Arts, Dissertation, Group Game Project, Markets, Audiences & Exhibition, Major Project.

How to apply

Application codes

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Carlisle - Brampton Road
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Points of entry

The following entry points are available for this course:

  • Year 1

Entry requirements

Qualification requirements

Additional entry requirements



Unistats information

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Student satisfaction
Employment after 15 months (Most common jobs)
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Fees and funding

Tuition fees

EU £9250 Year 1
England £9250 Year 1
Northern Ireland £9250 Year 1
Scotland £9250 Year 1
Wales £9250 Year 1
International £10500 Year 1

Additional fee information

Visit for more information about student fees and finance, and for details about our alumni discount.
Games Design at University of Cumbria - UCAS