Foundation Year Zero
Students on all of the Faculty of Arts and Humanities Foundation Year courses will undertake 80 credits of generic core modules introducing them to study in the arts and humanities and university level skills, namely:
- Academic Writing and Study Skills
- Personal and Career Development
- Understanding Arts and Humanities
- Being Human: an Introduction to the Humanities
In addition you will be offered two 20 credit optional modules, one to be studied in each semester. The full list of optional modules is as follows and you will be placed onto the modules which most effectively complement your degree pathway choice and, where applicable, your study interests:
- Dangerous Ideas
- Foundation English Language and Communication
- Foundation English Literature
- Foundation Media and Communications
- Analysing British Cinema
- Historical Foundations
- America and the World (subject to validation)
- Music and Performing Arts in Context
- The Languages and Theory of Music
Creative Literacy for Games Design
This module introduces you to the creative elements of design, including idea generation, design processes, visual research, critique, thumb nailing, sketching and introductory software skills (e.g. Adobe CS), and to the creative language of design.
Logic for Games Design
You will be introduced to the semantics, syntax, and logic of software code, which is fundamental to using code to create content.
Games Design Histories and Contexts
This module explores games from a historic perspective, exploring their evolution, form and dynamics. You will deconstruct existing games and use these as the basis to reimagine, develop or reboot aspects of their design. This enables you to put creative processes and code into use, but in a way that shows an understanding of the cultural significance of games.
Games Design Tools
You will explore the aesthetics of games design, evaluating art, sound, animation, pure design and writing. The module will shift your focus from manipulating an existing game framework into the realm of authorial control. The module will also help you to identify your specific creative interests.
Games Design Project 1
Building upon theories of “persuasive games” or “games for change” you will work in small groups to create a game that promotes a message or creates an argument. There is scope for alternate games to be proposed, analogue, card-games, ARGs, providing they meet the module learning outcomes.
This module explores creative disciplines that contribute towards games design, including illustration and visualisation, animation, sound design, game mechanics, writing and marketing. You will be introduced to these different subject areas and produce a portfolio of practical work linked to them.
Storytelling and Interactive Narrative
This is a theory/practice module in which you will learn and then apply the concepts of interactive fiction (IF) and narrative, with the production of a game / bot / narrative environment. You will explore the potential offered by games for telling stories and to offer alternative narrative forms, including IF, generative narratives, and other mechanisms for emergent storytelling. You will study a range of outputs including traditional text adventures, speech bots, ‘walking sims’ and mobile games (e.g. Lifeline, Reigns).
This module focuses on employability and is built partly around presentations and workshops delivered by industry practitioners. It introduces you to critical issues related to working as a games designer including working practices, funding, developing portfolios, studio setup, working as an indie, tax returns and bidding for funding. You will produce a portfolio of work including a ‘sector scan’ of an aspect of games design that interests you, identifying practitioners and processes and potential work placement openings.
Games and Players
This module explores some of the key aspects of game studies as an academic discipline. You will learn about user-research methods including auto ethnography, play diaries, and the wider contexts of user-centred design and rapid iterative design. This module highlights the importance of the player within the reception, adoption and success of a game, alongside introducing you research methods for understanding games and the ways people play them.
Games Design Project 2
You will work in a group on a substantial games project, sharing expertise from staff and other students.
Like Industry Perspectives in Year 2 this module also focuses on employability, Module content includes lectures and workshops from industry practitioners; developing business ideas and industry analyses. You will also have the opportunity to broaden your understanding of work in the creative industries by undertaking a short work placement, exploring internationalisation, or an appropriate freelance commission. Students will be expected to keep a diary of your experience and writing a reflective commentary about it.
Mixed Media Dissertation
Under the supervision of a tutor you will produce a dissertation on a subject of your choice relevant to games design. This can take the form of a written dissertation or an alternative practical form, for example a game that introduces theoretical concepts. Supervision could be managed at a distance through blended learning and the use of digital tools, if you were undertaking a work placement away from the university in Semester 1.
You will engage with industrial games design planning and pre-production processes and produce a game-design-document (GDD) for a game of your choice, alongside a proposal suite (e.g. a Kickstarter page), that explains your proposal.
Final Major Project
Under the supervision of a tutor you will complete the creation of a game based upon the pre-production submission. There is scope for you to work in a group on larger projects.