8 best universities to study game design in the UK

By Cassandra Evangeline Benjamin• Last updated: Feb 19, 2024
8 best universities to study game design in the UK
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A career in the gaming industry sounds exciting and it's every bit as lucrative. It has become a booming sector with a predicted net worth of over 180 billion dollars in 2021. With an estimated 2.2 billion people playing video games across the world, the growth in this industry has spiked the need for professionals. The UK has some of the best universities for game design, and with its culture, lifestyle, and vibrant Indian community makes it the perfect place to study.

Let's look at the best universities in game design in the UK to get you started on your international journey. 

Read on to discover our round-up of the 8 best game design universities in the UK in 2024 for international students.

1. Staffordshire University

There are many great reasons for choosing this university such as experienced professors, excellent education (TEF Gold) and good graduate employability. 

The game design course offered by them is accredited by TIGA, one of the UK's gaming authorities. Plus, the department incorporates both development and programming in their curriculum. You can develop both these skills through this single course. 

Training in a place like this will set you up with the skills to get right into your job from day one. 

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2. Manchester Metropolitan University

MMU is Manchester's top university with over 300,000 successful alumni in more than 140 countries. And it’s the best university for game design in Manchester and is ranked second in the world. 

Their curriculum focuses on mobile gaming alongside the traditional game design. If you want to be the creator of the next Subway Surf or Ludo king, this is your university. 

You can also defer from the course after your third year and take up a placement year in one of the top game development firms. Stepping into the real job market with one year of experience as soon you graduate is better than perfect. 

The location is also apt, as it is a hub for upcoming creative industries with cheerful locals. 

3. Falmouth University

Falmouth University, located on the south coast of England in the stunning county of Cornwall, has an international reputation for the arts.

This makes it a highly desirable place to study, with its campuses only a short commute from the stunning scenery of the Cornish coastline.

The MA in Game Design is a full-time one-year course where students will get the opportunity to make the most of Falmouth University's excellent facilities, as well as work under leading academics.

You will also work on a major project towards the end of the year, with assessments being submitted as coursework.

  • Course details:  MA Game Design
  • Duration: 1 Year (IELTS of 6 points)
  • Fee: £17,460

4. University of Bolton

The University of Bolton is a thriving university located on the outskirts of the bustling northern metropolis of Manchester.

It was one of the first universities in the UK to offer games courses and its graduates have gone to work for leading games developers. There are plenty of opportunities for students to go on studio visits and field trips, as well as undertake valuable work experience placements. 

The BSc (Hons) Games Design course includes modules on Scripting, Narratives, Technical Art and the Fundamentals of 3D. It is a practical course, with group projects and hands-on approaches to learning, with students assessed predominately through coursework.

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5. Heriot-Watt University

Heriot-Watt are a leading university located in the Scottish capital of Edinburgh. With a stunning campus in the heart of one of the most beautiful cities in the UK, they're a popular choice for international students.

Computer Science at Heriot-Watt is also ranked 6th in Scotland by The Complete University league tables in 2021.

This Master of Design (MDes) course in Games Design and Development is a new degree offered by the university. It allows students to design and develop their own computer game, alongside gaining practical hands-on experience with products.

Students also benefit from the recent launch of the new purpose-built Games Studio inside the £19m innovation and entrepreneurship GRID building.

6. De Montfort University

De Montford is known for its teaching Excellence (TEF), accredited courses and work-placement opportunities. It is also a students’ favourite because of its traditional campus combined with a modern approach and its friendly atmosphere. 

They focus on three key areas: game production, visual design, and critical game studies. 

The department is accredited by ScreenSkills (Industry-led skills body for screen-based creative industries in the UK), and the university has solid ties with industry leaders like Codemasters, Crytek, Ubisoft and the BBC. As proof for their effectiveness, their alumni have worked on famous games like Grand Theft Auto V, F1 2012 and Assassin's Creed.  

7. Brunel University

Brunel is a university that has walked alongside innovation and advancement since 1966. With a motto to change the world through education, it equips its students with all the skills needed for an upwardly mobile career path.

BU offers a well-rounded course dealing with everything you need to become a successful gaming-professional. The modules extend right from the theories of gaming to the practical production elements. They even touch upon the business side of the gaming industry (it goes without saying that just creativity without a business strategy is not going to pay). 

The best part about the Game Design course is that it is taught by working professionals who are known names in the field of gaming. 

  • Course details: BA Games Design
  • Duration: 3 Years (IELTS of 6.5 points)
  • Fee: £19,330

8. University of Southampton

University of Southampton offers a dynamic atmosphere that will challenge your ideas and help you transform them into working models. Cover design, illustration, character creation, animation, storytelling, coding and digital production - these are the core areas that you will be mastering as a game design student at UoS. 

You can also nurture your ideas into a thriving business through their Future Worlds - Southampton's business incubator program. In your free time, you can explore over 300 societies/clubs and experience campus life. 

Similar to other top universities in the list, this course also combines creativity with technical skills. Its uniqueness lies in the flexibility offered with the course. Right through your studies, you can take up interdisciplinary classes from departments like the graphic arts, fine art, fashion and textile design. 

If your inclination is more towards the creative and arts side of gaming than its production process, this is your university. 

Explore Game Design and Game Development courses UK

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Game Design Courses UKVideo Game Design Courses UK
Undergraduate Game Design Courses in UKUndergraduate Video Game Design Courses in UK
Postgraduate Game Design Courses in UKPostgraduate Video Game Design Courses in UK
Doctorate Game Design Courses in UKDoctorate Video Game Design Courses in UK

Overview of 8 Best game design universities in the UK 2024

S. NoUniversitiesCourse detailsDurationFee
1Staffordshire UniversityBSc (Hons) Computer Games Design3 Years (No IELTS required)£16,750
2Manchester Metropolitan UniversityBSc (Hons) Games Design4 Years (IELTS of 6 points)£18,500
3Falmouth UniversityMA Game Design1 Year (IELTS of 6 points)£17,460
4University of BoltonBSc (Hons) Games Design3 Years (No IELTS required)£13,550
5Heriot-Watt UniversityMDes Games Design and Development1 Year (IELTS of 6.5 points)£24,496
6De Montfort UniversityBA (Hons) Game Art3 Years (IELTS of 6 points)
7Brunel UniversityBA Games Design3 Years (IELTS of 6.5 points)£19,330
8University of SouthamptonBA Game Design and Art3 Years (IELTS score of 6 points)£20,340

Entry requirements to study game design in the uk

The expected qualifications of a student varies from university to university. Still, there are a few basic qualifications that you must have in order to get an admission into your dream school. They are,

  • An upper class (A+/A/B) in 12th Grade from a reputed school/institution.
  • A strong statement of purpose and a good student profile.
  • Prior knowledge of graphic designing software.
  • A portfolio showcasing your best work.

Make sure to work on these areas prior to your application. Don’t lose hope if you find yourself lagging back in any of these areas. There are universities that make exceptions in entry requirements for students with impressive applications. Get help in catering your applications for your chosen universities to submit the best application that you can.

Job roles you can take up after the course

The types of jobs you can do are endless when it comes to this field. This degree will also come in handy if you want to specialise and move on into the IT sector after graduation. Here, we have a list of the common roles taken up by game designing graduates for you to get an idea of the professional set up. 

  • Animator - Animation is the art centre of game designing. Once you take up this role you will be drawing and animating the characters, buildings, landscapes and backgrounds. The looks of the game will lie in your artistic hands.
  • Computer games developer - This is where the coding happens. As a programmer, you will give life to the games through your software development.
  • Computer games tester - This is a fun one. You will play the games developed by your company for quality control. You will find out and report the faulty bugs in the games. You will also suggest changes to make the game better for the audience.
  • Game designer - Here lies the brains of the game. As a game designer, you will have a huge part in the storyline of the game. You will also work on the way the game progresses. 

As mentioned earlier, there are so many more interesting and exciting roles that you can take up. If you have an artistic side and are interested in gaming, cultivate the necessary skills and go for it.

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