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Employability is at the heart of our practical BA (Hons) Independent Games Production degree programme. We ensure our students leave us ‘work-ready’ and well-prepared for a career in this field.
In this fast-moving industry, equipment and software is constantly evolving. Our course reflects this development. We have invested significantly in our games lab and in staff with games industry experience. We have also established close links with a number of household names within the sector and introduced more specialised games modules within the course.
We understand that when it comes to deciding where you’d like to study, there are a lot of things to consider. Come along to our Open Day and discover why BNU could be the place for you. You can find out more about your course, meet the course team, and get all your questions answered.
For everything you need to know about applying, check out our Application Guide. You can find useful information for each stage of your application journey – from before you even apply to what to do if you receive an offer, and everything in between.
At BNU, we believe in putting our students first. That’s why our Students’ Union has been ranked in the top three in the UK in the National Student Survey (NSS 2020). We’re the only university in the UK to offer free access to such a diverse and exciting range of activities – all to enrich your university experience. It’s a big deal!
Why study this subject?
As media and computing advances, so too do the careers in this sector. The growth is being fuelled by the availability of inexpensive commercial grade development tools, and simple third-party digital marketing options.
Combined with an increase in demand for a wider variety of games, the opportunities for independent game developers are increasing.
Why study at Buckinghamshire New University?
Interested in the idea of making the next best-selling games app? Want to create cross-platform games and learn about every area of their production?
This course helps you master the diverse range of skills required from the indie developer working on your own or in small teams. You’ll have the opportunity to develop an area of specialism and generate a portfolio of work to show potential employers and backers.
As well as learning about game design, 2D and 3D asset creation, drawing and programming, we will also look at how to make money from your creations, how to manage your business and successfully market your games. During this course, you’ll develop game assets from conception through to production. You’ll tackle the design issues faced when building games for mobile and discover how to implement game play through scripts.
As the course progresses, you’ll build on your creative skills and improve your programming ability. As you master new technologies used within Artificial Intelligence, you’ll implement advanced game design techniques into your game’s projects.
Working on both individual and team-based projects, you’ll be given the opportunity to specialise in an area of particular interest.
Beyond the creation of exciting new games, you’ll also take business and marketing modules. The entrepreneurial skills acquired in these modules will ensure you have the knowledge to exploit your creative talents to the full.
Our lecturing team have a great depth of experience working in the industry and the course benefits from regular visits from professional artists, game designers and developers. These guests provide a great context for the material being taught.
We are members of TIGA, the trade association representing the UK’s games industry.
We are also a member of the PlayStation® Vita Academic Development Programme run by Sony Computer Entertainment Europe (SCEE), which provides access to professional development hardware and software tools for both staff and students.
Our modules and teaching expertise will help you become more independent and more confident of your expertise, ready for your exciting future within the field of Independent Games Production.
What facilities can I use?
We’ve invested in a range of state-of-the-art facilities across our campuses to support your learning.
Our computing facilities are packed with the latest equipment. We regularly upgrade our computer hardware and software, so you have the equipment and facilities to truly excel.
Our library is the perfect place to find the resources you need and a quiet place to study, filled with four floors of books, journals, computer suites and study rooms. Or, if you’d rather work off campus, e-Journals and resources are only a few clicks away using our Virtual Learning Environment
What will I study?
Our BA (Hons) in Independent Games Production will give you the skills, knowledge and experience to help drive the games industry forward.
You will develop the skills to bring games to new markets and challenge gaming conventions by understanding and redirecting the impact of game culture.
We will also help you to develop your ability to critically evaluate ideas and build key entrepreneurial skills to turn your ideas into commercial game.
You will also understand the professional, legal, moral, cultural and ethical issues facing the Games Industry. We will also help you gain the necessary knowledge and skills to become a productive member of a development team.
Throughout this course, we address the following key subjects:
- Game and level design
- 2D art, 3D modelling
- Creative writing
- Audio production
- Marketing and business.
We place great emphasis on developing your employability skills, providing you with the competence and confidence to help you succeed within this demanding industry.
How will I be taught and assessed?
This course is offered as a four-year programme, including an initial Foundation Year. The Foundation Year will allow you to develop your academic study skills and build confidence in your abilities, identifying your own strengths and development needs for progression onto an undergraduate degree.
We have a strong computing department at the University, with a dedicated team of academics and professionals delivering industry-relevant courses in a suite of well-equipped computer labs.
You’ll benefit from small class sizes that give you a chance to develop close working relationships with the tutors and other students. You will also benefit from guest speakers and valuable networking opportunities.
While you will undertake an individual project in your final year, there will be a strong focus on group work, with dedicated group project modules in your second and third year of study at BNU.
You will develop games for a variety of platforms including mobile, console and PC and will also be encouraged to enter your work into competitions as well as participating in game jams.
Course assignments reflect real-life problems because we believe that’s the best way to learn – and it’s more fun!
We also encourage you to gain work experience whilst studying and actively look for clients for your project work, which provide you with the opportunity to develop your skills in a work-base setting.
BNU is a Placements Plus university. So, whatever degree you do, you can be sure there’ll be plenty of industry-relevant opportunities on offer, to help you get into your chosen field.
We’ll also prepare you for work beforehand, with special skills for work training, further boosting your CV, and building skills employers will value. In recognition of the value we place on these skills we have incorporated this experience into your study time.
Placements Plus is all about helping you get some valuable experience under your belt while you’re a student, to increase your choices later, and help you get the graduate-level job you want.
What are the course entry requirements?
Applicants who do not meet the minimum requirements for the 3-year undergraduate programme, or those who do not feel fully prepared for a Level 4 course, will be considered for the 4-year programme including a Foundation Year. If you wish to enquire further, please send your query along with any academic evidence or references to email@example.com
Find out more about our General Entry Requirements.
This module map provides a list of the modules that make up your course. You can find more information about how your course is structured on our Academic Advice section.
Year 1 Modules
Preparing for Success Knowledge and Creativity
Preparing for Success Self-development and Responsibility
Inquiry and Research Skills
Year 2 Modules
Maths for Games
Concept Visualisation 1
Audio and Special Effects
Game Design Theory
2D Asset Development
Practical Game Design
Mobile Game Development
Year 3 Modules
Mobile Game Project
3D Asset Development
Advanced Game Design
Indie Team Project
AI for Games
Year 4 Modules
Concept Visualisation 2
Business Essentials for Start-ups
Advanced Indie Project
How much does it cost
Home and EU
Home and EU, Academic Year 2021-2022
£9,250 per year
International, Academic Year 2021-2022
£13,750 per year
What are my career prospects?
Throughout your time with us we’ll support you on the route to your chosen career. We’ll help you to develop crucial skills, encouraging you to become enterprising, employable and good leaders. We also help you find employment after graduation. Have a look at our Careers and Employability pages to find out more.
Graduates of the course will be well placed to pursue a career within the growing games and media sectors as independent developers working on their own or within small teams.
Some graduates may go on to be employed within a larger studio or work freelance as specialist game designers, artists or programmers.
You may also choose to stay on at Buckinghamshire New University and study a postgraduate programme.
Did you know?
We are one of the top 10 UK universities mostly likely to produce graduates who go on to own or manage a business (Capital on Tap, 2021), find out more about this excellent news.