School of Art, Design and Architecture

BA (Hons) Game Arts and Design

BA (Hons) Game Arts and Design is a new and exciting course that focuses both on the creative and technical side of gaming. Working with experienced game designers and researchers you will be designing game mechanics, interactive stories and playful experiences. In this course you will explore game design and development using a variety of media and technologies including analog, web, mobile and VR/AR.

Moreover, you will get the opportunity to study alongside experts in illustration where you can hone your character and environment art skills. In addition to this, you will be introduced to a wide range of topics and skills like experimenting with sound design, studying the psychology of games and gamification, creating your own novel game controllers, and learning how to make a successful entry into the games business from insiders and industry experts.

Key features

  • Stay one step ahead with a course designed in close collaboration with games developers and researchers to ensure technologies, skills and techniques are bang up to date.
  • Access all areas – keep working into the evening in our dedicated lab space open until 10pm, and take advantage of our other amazing facilities, including a 35 seat, 360° immersive vision theatre.
  • Your assessments are 100 per cent coursework – no exams.
  • Be inspired by lecturers who are experts in their field, with backgrounds in both industry and research. The exciting work going on in our research groups, i-DAT and Planetary Collegium, feeds back into the teaching on this course.
  • Get ready for work - take an optional additional year and secure a paid placement with a games company. 
  • Broaden your horizons with great enrichment activities including overseas field trips in Berlin, Helsinki and New York to attend conferences and game jams. 
  • Get exclusive insights with talks from guest speakers from the creative arts and technology industries.

Course details

  • Year 1
  • Core modules
    • DAT406 Digital Making

      This module introduces students to a key set of digital technologies that are core to the production of current digital artwork. This will include exposure to a wide range of software, hardware and networking components commonly used by digital artists and designers. This is a Plymouth Plus module.

    • GAD401 Strategies for Game Design

      This module introduces students to the theory and practice of game design through the creation of a tabletop game. Students are asked to reflect on the history and culture of game-playing in human society, and analyse the dynamics behind a range of games. Students work in small teams to create a game, using analogue and digital processes, with an emphasis on creativity and experimentation.

    • GAD402 Immersive Experience

      This module introduces issues and techniques involved in designing and developing immersive experiences. This module takes a user-centred approach to the production of virtual and blended reality environments (including a wide range of different styles and types of game. The key to this module is the combination and integration of sensory stimuli to produce an engaging and compelling, whilst at the same time coherent user experience.

    • GAD405 Creative Coding

      This module provides an introduction to programming for digital artists and designers. The syllabus, topics, examples and style of teaching are designed to support interaction, graphics, video, animation, sound, embedded systems and integration with live data sources.

    • GAD412 Narrative Sequence

      You will explore interactive storytelling and animation / sequence creation within your work via a range of traditional and digital media and formats. Storytelling, narrative pacing, creative writing and animation are features of this module. Critical reflective writing underpins practical work.

    • ILLGA400PP Character

      Students visually explore character creation within their work via a range of traditional and digital media and formats. Understanding and utilising character development, narrative and creative writing are a feature. Critical reflective writing underpins practical work. Reflection and planning help to identify strengths and weaknesses. Potential collaborative practice is also a feature.

  • Year 2
  • Core modules
    • DAT502 Creative Industries

      This module explores the dynamic changes that are sweeping through traditional media and communications industries, brought about by the impact of new technologies. It explores, through group production projects, the practical issues underpinning the management of distributed organisations. The module includes an international field trip

    • DAT503 Reflexive Design

      This module provides students with an introduction to contemporary design processes from conception through development, to realisation. Supported by a critical examination of cultural artefacts, the module demands students synthesise a design practice with an understanding of historical, human-centred, environmental and educational principles.

    • DAT505 Advanced Creative Coding

      This module addresses advanced topics in programming for digital artists. This includes coverage of different development paradigms, advanced algorithms and essential APIs for effective creative software development. The module engages students on how code is used in a 'generative' or creative fashion - such as a-life and artificial intelligence.

    • GAD501 Game Programming

      This module builds on the generic programming skills developed to this point, and applies them to working with a professional game engine. Students work individually to produce a game that demonstrates the application of animation, physics, artificial intelligence, user interface, and game state management.

    • GAD502 Level Design

      This module focusses on designing virtual environments and game levels. Students will consider the ludic and narrative role of level design and apply these to the production of an interactive game environment. Students will be presented with a variety of theoretical frameworks that will help them better understand human cognitive processes and thus aid them in designing and creating more engaging game levels.

    • ILLUS511 Technique and Approach 2

      Individual research identifies, analyses, and communicates an investigation into the work of an individual or a group of practitioners in illustration or an allied practice. Lectures and research run concurrently throughout the module, to support the writing of an essay. Preparation for dissertation is undertaken. Drawing skills develop along with knowledge of the value of drawing within your illustrative practice.

Every undergraduate taught course has a detailed programme specification document describing the course aims, the course structure, the teaching and learning methods, the learning outcomes and the rules of assessment.

The following programme specification represents the latest course structure and may be subject to change:

BA Hons Game Arts and Design Programme Specification 2018 19 5837

The modules shown for this course are those currently being studied by our students, or are proposed new modules. Please note that programme structures and individual modules are subject to amendment from time to time as part of the University’s curriculum enrichment programme and in line with changes in the University’s policies and requirements.

Entry requirements

UCAS tariff


Applicants must share a portfolio with us.

We would like to see examples of your work if you have them, such as: 
  • a portfolio of drawings, sketches, character designs or game design
  • computer-based and online work: algorithmic artworks, web pages, games, blogs etc.- media: video, photographs, sound pieces, music.
Applicants must demonstrate a commitment to new media/digital production or interactive arts.

A level 
A minimum of 2 A levels, General Studies accepted.

International Baccalaureate
28 points.

18 Unit BTEC National Diploma/QCF Extended Diploma

BTEC National Diploma modules
If you hold a BTEC qualification it is vital that you provide our Admissions team with details of the exact modules you have studied as part of the BTEC. Without this information we may be unable to process your application quickly and you could experience significant delays in the progress of your application to study with us. Please explicitly state the full list of modules within your qualification at the time of application.

All access courses
Pass a named Access to Higher Education Diploma (preferably art and design or combined), with at least 33 credits at merit and/or distinction. 

Mathematics and English Language grade C.

Equivalent qualifications may be considered.

For a full list of all acceptable qualifications please refer to our tariff glossary.

Fees, costs and funding

New Student 2018 2019
Home/EU £9,250 To be confirmed
International £13,000 To be confirmed
Part time (Home/EU) To be confirmed To be confirmed
Full time fees shown are per annum. Part time fees shown are per a number of credits. Please note that fees are reviewed on an annual basis. Fees and the conditions that apply to them shown in the prospectus are correct at the time of going to print. Fees shown on the web are the most up to date but are still subject to change in exceptional circumstances.

How to apply

All applications for undergraduate courses are made through UCAS (Universities and Colleges Admissions Service). 

UCAS will ask for the information contained in the box at the top of this course page including the UCAS course code and the institution code. 

To apply for this course and for more information about submitting an application including application deadline dates, please visit the UCAS website.

Support is also available to overseas students applying to the University from our International Office via our how to apply webpage or email

The games industry offers a wide and diverse range of job opportunities for technically-minded creative professionals. Whether you want be a game designer, character artist, environment designer, user-interface specialist, gameplay developer or producer, BA (Hons) Game Arts and Design will help you develop and hone your skills to ensure your work stands out.

BA (Hons) Game Arts and Design is part of the digital art and technology group at University of Plymouth, a multidisciplinary collective of coders, artists, designers and hackers who work with data visualisation, games, virtual reality, kinects, robotics, interactive installations, sound design and everything else digital. All of our lecturers are practicing games designers, coders and digital artists, and all of our courses combine creative and technical skills with cultural and new media theory - producing graduates who are highly employable while also seeing the world in a new way. The digital art and technology course has resulted in a number of startups including Mutant Labs games company, Play Nicely digital design and TruVision VR who are currently making waves with virtual reality models for architects. We aim to future-proof our students, to prepare them for an ever-changing world, where technologies evolve, but smart thinking is always in demand.