Skip to main content Go to Site Map
concept art of a snowy forest scene, with a character sat on a horse in the far left facing towards a building in the distance for a 3D game

BA (Hons) Games Art and Design

BA (Hons) Games Art and Design creates innovative gaming perspectives. On this course, you'll conceptualise and develop your own computer games while gaining a valuable knowledge of key skills and the industry at large.


BA (Hons) Games Art and Design degree is a new course, in which you'll create and develop innovative gaming perspectives through conceptualising and developing your own computer games.

You'll gain valuable knowledge of the gaming industry, generate original concept art, learn character animation techniques, undertake experimental gameplay and understand emerging technologies – such as AI scripting. By the end of the course, you'll be able to produce your own games via Unity and Unreal.

Artwork: Lauren Kavanagh, “After the Snow” (2022)

BA (Hons) Games Art and Design course information

BA (Hons) Games Art and Design at AUB provides numerous opportunities to interact with the games industry during your three years of study. Through ‘live’ and industry research projects, you'll gain practical experience and industry insight and also receive support with the production of a portfolio and showreel, preparing you for a career in the games industry.

The course includes specially designed units allowing you to have a working knowledge of start-ups, indie games, intellectual property, funding application and freelance opportunities. You may even feel empowered to consider launching your own business after graduation.

BA (Hons) Games Art and Design degree gives you the chance to grow creatively and conceptually, as well as to research games, test out ideas, gain valuable knowledge of the gaming industry. You'll generate original concept art, learn character animation techniques, undertake experimental gameplay and understand emerging technologies such as AI scripting. The direction of the course is to create impactful games, meaning you'll graduate with specialist knowledge required for roles in the gaming industry, and informed perspectives on game creation that considers equality, diversity, and inclusion.

You'll be able to produce your own games via software such as Unity and Unreal and will acquire critical viewpoints on games and their cultural and social relevance. You'll cover topics like power, identity and ethics, as well as the function that games play in social change, health and educational endeavours. Throughout the course, you'll collaborate and undertake different roles in the creation of games, preparing for a career in the games industry or for postgraduate study. As this course is delivered within a specialist Arts University, you'll work alongside other like-minded and creative individuals, who all add to the unique dynamic of the AUB campus.

The course focuses on creating fun but ‘meaningful’ games that showcase concepts with value-driven design to gain critical perspectives on cultural and social significance. They could include issues such as power, identity and ethics, as well as the role of games in education, health, and social change initiatives.

Course duration

3 or 4 years (full-time)

Placement year

Option of a 1-year placement

UCAS course code


UCAS institution code


Placement year

All undergraduate courses at AUB offer an optional placement year, to be taken between your second and third years of study.

If you’re unsure about this optional placement, you don’t need to decide now. Once you’re here and studying with us, the course team will discuss the placement options with you, so when the time comes, you can make a decision that’s right for you.

If you’re required to have a Student Visa to study in the UK, it won’t be possible to undertake the one-year placement option; there’ll be other opportunities for you to engage with industry during your study at AUB.

Level 4 (first year)

The first year of BA (Hons) Games Art and Design degree is an introduction to study at higher education and provides you with the principles of games creation. The course gives an understanding of the concept of identity within gaming, including avatar and character development, which is crucial for creating engaging and immersive games. The first year also introduces concept art and aesthetics, game mechanics and the basics of software, which are essential skills for game design and development.

In addition to technical skills, the course also emphasises research and understanding the history of gaming through its development, both digital and non-digital. You'll gain a thorough understanding of the concept of "play" and how it has evolved over time. The importance of storytelling will also be delivered, as it's an essential aspect of creating successful games.


  • Identity and Avatar
  • Gaming and Play
  • Storytelling Through Games

Level 5 (second year)

In the second year, you'll be challenged to consolidate your skills and knowledge by producing a skills audit. This helps to identify areas where you may need to improve and where your strengths lie. You'll then collaborate in groups on a set project in different roles used in the games industry. Enabling you to gain experience in different aspects of game design and development, preparing for your future careers.

In addition to technical skills, the second year of the course emphasises the importance of gender, identity and values in designing games. You'll explore how these factors influence the design of games and how they can be addressed in game development. This provides a deeper understanding of the role of games in society and how they can be used to promote equality, diversity and inclusion.

The second year of the course also includes a wide range of creative challenges, including undertaking competition briefs, learning how to launch your own games business, writing a self-initiated project and producing a case study of companies or designers that relate to your interests.


  • Gender/Identity/Values
  • Self-Initiated Project
  • Launchpad

Level 6 (third year)

The final year is designed to prepare you to enter the games industry or to consider postgraduate study. The curriculum provides the opportunity to work on industry-set projects, allowing you to gain practical experience and evidence their skills with a professional viewpoint.

In addition to industry projects, the third year of the course allows time to compile a portfolio of work. This includes the Final Major Project, which has significance from a technical and conceptual viewpoint, this project will be the focal point of your portfolio, showcasing skills and abilities to future employers or clients.

To support this, you'll also write an industry-focused report, helping to understand which aspect of the industry you want to progress into, or to see where your business enterprise will lead.


  • Industry/Live Project
  • Industry In Focus Report
  • Final Major Project
  • Reflective Journal

"Our Games Art and Design degree transcends conventional gaming paradigms, embedding principles of meaningful games and showcasing concepts through values driven design. We work with students with a range of skills and talents and prepare them for a future within the ever-expanding gaming industry."

Tim Metcalf, Course Developer and Director of School of Arts and Communication

Application process

Once you've found the perfect Undergraduate course, you can apply to study via UCAS, including direct entry applications to second and third year.

When applying through UCAS, use the institution code A66 for courses taught at Arts University Bournemouth. For courses based at Bournemouth and Poole College, use code B49. We'll then use your completed UCAS form to make decisions about your application. You can find out more on entry requirements in our apply section.

When you apply to one of our courses, it's important that you help us get a good picture of both you and your work – so you'll need a great personal statement. We want to know more about why you're interested in the course, your key influences, and what you hope to do after your studies.

If you're invited for an interview, many of our courses will ask to see a portfolio of your work so we can get more insight into your ideas and abilities. To help you, we've created guidelines outlining what we expect from your portfolio for each course.

The fee that you pay the Arts University Bournemouth provides the necessary equipment and training for you to complete your course.

You may also choose to buy some items of personal equipment such as a laptop or tablet computer, but this is not required; desktop and laptop computers are available for you to use in common study areas, including a loan system in the Library.

If you decide to undertake an optional placement year, the tuition fee is £1,850. This is subject to inflationary increases based on government policy, and providing you progress through the course in the normal timeframe (no repeat years or breaks in study).

For the majority of our courses, we'll ask you to digitally submit a portfolio as part of the application process.

Portfolios should show examples of your work – both finished and work in progress – that demonstrate your interests and skills. We expect to see around 10 slides/images in your portfolio that shows your identity as an artist.

If we ask for a digital portfolio then we'll give you 30 days to submit it. Sometimes we'll need a portfolio submitted quickly if there's a UCAS set deadline approaching, but if you need more time, just let us know and we'll try to help.

We've created specific portfolio guidelines for each of our courses, you can take a look at these below.

If you've applied to study an online postgraduate (MA) degree, please refer to the AUB Online portfolio guidelines.

None of our courses currently require an interview.

The only course requiring an audition is BA (Hons) Acting and if you're invited to one you'll have at least 10 days notice.

Studios and resources

This course has a dedicated, well-resourced games studio, with hi-spec professional level hardware and software. You'll also have online access to a wide range of library resources, including eBooks, downloadable content, and academic journals and articles.

Ten rows of empty seating viewed from the front of a large lecture theatre.

Lecture Theatres and Seminar Rooms

We have a number of lecture theatres and seminar rooms scattered around campus to assist students with their studies.

Students working at computers in a library. A set of stairs leads up to a second landing with a balcony running along.

The Library

The Library at AUB holds an excellent range of print and online collections

A large group of people sitting at tables in a studio space while a person delivers a lecture.

Design Studio

You'll be working in a design studio, complete with computer suite and team workspace

Student wearing safety goggles using a machine in a workshop.

3D Workshop

Our 3D workshops with manual and digital manufacturing equipment and computers

A model sits on a chair in the centre of a room while a group of artists draw them.

Drawing Studio

Our iconic blue Drawing Studio is used by student from all courses and was designed by alumnus Sir Peter Cook​...

Four banks of desks in a computer suite with monitors on them.

Digital Suites

Our Digital Suites offer a digital post-production facility and digital teaching space.

A member of AUB staff talking about a camera with a student at the Central Media Store counter.

Central Media Store

The Central Media store houses a diverse array of equipment, offering students the means to craft and capture...

Innovation Studio, photographed by Richard Bryant. Photo of an exterior wall with two reverse-L shaped windows and three semi-circle panels visible. A person walks past towards the right.

Innovation Studio

The Innovation Studio operates as a lab for creative technologies, a nucleus for start-ups and enterprises and an industry engagement hub.

Person stands by a table. Two printing presses are in the foreground.


Our printmaking facilities are a hub of creativity on campus and have been inspiring students since 1964.

Three people working on projects in a print room.

Letterpress and Bindery

The Letterpress and Bindery studio is a central resource, where students can learn and explore bookbinding and letterpress printing.

Teaching, learning and assessment

BA (Hons) Games Art and Design is taught through a blend of theoretical instruction, practical application and understanding the concept of ‘Play’. It utilises a variety of methods, including lectures, workshops, and studio-based practice. Emphasis is placed initially on hands-on learning, developing concepts through to digital construction. Students will frequently engage in individual and group projects that reflect their ideas and concepts.

Industry-standard software and hardware are used extensively to provide students with valuable, up-to-date technical skills. Regular feedback from tutors ensures continuous improvement, while guest lectures from industry professionals provide unique insights. The course encourages self-directed study, fostering creativity and independent problem-solving skills.

Independent learning is integral to BA (Hons) Games Art and Design. It empowers students to explore their unique interests and styles within the gaming industry. Assignments often involve self-guided research, creative concept development, and problem-solving, promoting critical thinking. Students also engage in independent game projects, from conception to execution, providing a platform to apply learned skills.

Beyond studio-based learning, students are encouraged to stay updated with industry trends and software. This self-directed approach cultivates a sense of ownership, resilience, and adaptability, crucial traits for future careers in the ever-evolving gaming industry. Ultimately, it supports the development of well-rounded, independent game artists and designers.

Each unit is assessed separately, and the assessment forms part of the unit. Assessment both provides a measure of your achievement and also gives you regular feedback on how your learning is developing.

You'll receive a final mark for each unit in the form of a percentage, which will be recorded on your formal record of achievement (transcript). Each component of assessment is graded using a notched marking scale, whereby only certain marks are used within each grade. The only marks available within any ten-point band are *2, *5 and *8 (e.g. 62, 65, 68). These marks correspond to a low, mid, and high level of achievement within each grade band.

All learning outcomes must be passed to successfully complete the unit.

On successful completion of your Honours degree course, you'll be awarded a degree classification based on your unit marks. The final classification is determined using all unit marks at Levels 5 and 6 using two different algorithms, which are detailed in the HE Student Regulations. If the two algorithms produce different results, you will be awarded the higher class of degree.

If you've joined Level 6 through either the Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) route or having completed a Foundation Degree (FdA), the final classification is determined using only your unit marks at Level 6.

Firstly, through regular review of coursework you'll receive feedback on how your learning is developing towards the achievement of the learning outcomes – formative assessment. This process is delivered through the tutorial and critique experience; by engaging with this process, you'll develop your knowledge and skills.

You can experience the assessment process from an increased personal perspective and make serious critical decisions in conjunction with the teaching staff regarding their peers’ work.

Formative assessment is provided during tutorials where an action plan is formulated to develop your work. Viewings and critiques offer indications of the quality of work and how it relates to the assessment criteria. Formative assessment points will be outlined in the online unit information and within the scheme of work.

The second purpose is to provide a measure of your achievement, in the form of a mark or classification, at the end of a defined period of study, i.e. unit, level, or final award – summative assessment.

Career destinations

BA (Hons) Games Art and Design graduates can pursue a wide array of career paths within the gaming industry and beyond. These include:

  • Game Designer
  • Concept Artist
  • Game Developer/Programmer
  • 3D Artist
  • Level Designer
  • Game Tester
  • UI/UX Designer

Many graduates may also choose to start their own independent game development studios, while others might find opportunities in related fields like virtual reality, animation or digital media.

Trips and visits

During the academic year, at least one excursion to London or another UK cultural hub is planned on BA (Hons) Games Art and Design. Due to Bournemouth's proximity to London, students can easily plan excursions to the city's art galleries and museums to supplement their academic work. Professional progress as practitioners depends on primary research.

Trips give students confidence, promote independence and present opportunities for future professional and personal development.

Any additional fees are disclosed before the visit.

Visiting tutors will bring you bring diverse perspectives and unique skill sets, enhancing your learning experience and understanding of the creative industries. Industry professionals provide invaluable insights into the creative industry, sharing their expertise and experiences.

They conduct workshops, lectures, and participate in critiquing student work, offering constructive feedback from both an education and industry perspective. Their presence can also offer students the opportunity to network and learn about potential career paths, industry trends, and professional practices.

See more of our student work

Create and develop innovative gaming perspectives through conceptualising and developing your own computer games.

Similar courses