Game Design BA (Hons)

Key information


Two students looking at a computer, editing content.

The BA Game Design combines coding, creativity, and critical theory to deliver a distinctive new provision in interactive audiovisual media. This interdisciplinary programme is one of the first of its kind in the Russell Group, combining modules from Computer Science and the School of the Arts to deliver a holistic grounding in how games are made, why they’re made, and what they tell us about the world.

You will develop skills in coding and programming alongside an understanding of creative design principles, through a combination of modules from Architecture, Communication & Media, Computer Science, English, Music, and Philosophy. These individual disciplines are drawn together by a set of bespoke Game Design modules in which you’ll produce work that will form part of your professional portfolio.

Programme in detail

Your first year will establish the foundations for your studies, introducing you to the basics of programming, creative principles, and the academic context for game design.

In your second year, you’ll deepen your understanding of specialisms such as software engineering, artificial intelligence, and communication technologies. A selection of optional modules will allow you to explore some of the more artistic aspects of game design.

During your final year, you’ll undergo advanced study of computer game and app development, consider the philosophical issues associated with play and virtual worlds, and critically evaluate academic studies in games. A year-long module will see you apply your creative, critical, and technical skills to a collaborative project.

Work placement/Year in industry

This programme can also be studied over four years, with the third year spent on a relevant, salaried work placement. 

Study as part of joint-honours at 50:50 Choosing this subject as a combined degree

Game Design Studies is available as a Joint subject in combination with Communication & Media, English, English Language, English Literature, Music, Music Technology, Philosophy, and Popular Music.

Combining Game Design Studies with another subject allows you to focus on the cultural and critical aspects of game design, whilst developing your academic knowledge in another, complementary area.

Department Key Facts

Number of first year students

66 Year One Music undergraduates in 2018

Graduate prospects

94% of our Music graduates are employed or in further study within six months of graduating (DLHE 2016/17)

Facts and figures

We created the Institute of Popular Music in 1988, becoming the first Department of Music in the UK to introduce dedicated, specialist popular music studies and research.

Why this subject?

A unique offering from a Russell Group university

Our BA in Game Design is the first of its kind in the Russell Group, combining existing provision from the School of the Arts and the Department of Computer Science with a bespoke suite of new modules to offer a truly holistic and multidisciplinary programme.

Preparing you for a career in the games industry and beyond

The blend of technical, creative and critical skills will prepare you for a career not just within the gaming industry, but associated industries too. You’ll have opportunities throughout the programme to develop a professional portfolio, as well as various options to gain workplace experience.

Immerse yourself in a vibrant, cultural city

Liverpool – a former Capital of Culture – is a booming hub for art, media and technology. Both the city and the North West are home to several prominent game studios.

Benefit from access to excellent facilities and learning resources

In the School of the Arts, investment in our facilities has provided a games research lab, iMac suites and an Electronic Music Research Studio: take a virtual tour. Students enjoy excellent library facilities, which include online books as well as archive print materials, online services and learning spaces.

Learn from leading experts in a culture of research excellence

The Department of Computer Science is a Centre of Excellence with respect to teaching and research. The latest Research Excellence Framework rated 97% of our research outputs as being world-leading or internationally excellent, the highest proportion of any computer science department in the UK.

The Department enjoys strong funding from a mixture of European, national and industrial sponsors, providing a balanced portfolio of activity that feeds back into teaching. This helps us ensure our programmes go beyond the practical application of the subject to inspire you about the possibilities of computer science. Thanks to our industry partnerships, we can inject a significant practical