Foundation Year Zero
As a student on a Faculty of Arts and Humanities Foundation Year course you will undertake 4 core modules introducing you to study in the arts and humanities and university level skills.
A module introducing you to Life and Study at university, equipping you with the personal management skills you need to make the most of your time here.
- Understanding Arts and Humanities
A module introducing research methods and key skills, such as academic writing, referencing, presentations and critical reading.
A module introducing modernity and how it is identified and researched. You will choose your own individual example of modernism, whether it be an object, a work of art, an idea or a piece of literature.
A module designed to equip you with the skills relating to your chosen subject area, providing you with a seamless transition to level 4/year one.
In addition you will be offered two complementary modules, one to be studied in each semester. For this subject you will study:
- Foundation Media and Visual Communications
You will explore key creative processes, aesthetics and principles that underpin work in the creative sector, such as pre-production, experimentation and the use of these skills to produce work in a suitable format.
- Ways of Seeing Aesthetics
You will be introduced to some of the key ideas and principles that explain the ways we see and understand the world around us.
You will study the key principles of textual film analysis using examples from British cinema. Each lecture will study a different aspect of a given topic, such as History, Genre, Landscape and Politics and be studied via a close analysis of a specific film.
Games Design Tools 1 (20 credits)
Games Design Tools 1 aims to take students with a variety of programming backgrounds, including no prior programming experience, and bring them all to a common level of knowledge and understanding necessary for games design. It aims to develop the students’ understanding of fundamental programming concepts, and provide students with the problem-solving skills to design, implement, test and debug games.
Creative Career 1 (20 credits)
Creative Career 1aims to introduce students to the professional competencies, processes and creative language that underpins the creative industries. This module introduces students to a range of research, development and creative processes necessary to produce games (animations or digital media). This module is intended as a rapid introduction to the core elements of design as a systematic creative activity, including: visual research methods, idea generation, workflows and methodologies, critique and feedback skills, thumbnailing, concept sketching, and introductory software skills).
Games Design: Contextual and Historical Perspectives (20 credits)
Games Design: Contextual and Historical Perspectives introduces students to the key cultural, historic and economic contexts related to games design. It aims to provide students with sufficient understanding of the origins of games as cultural artefacts in general, and with computer games and gaming more specifically. By doing so students will be able to understand how their practice connects with what has gone before, and some of the key creative, economic and ethical considerations of games design.
Games Design Tools 2 (20 credits)
Games Design Tools 2 builds from the first module by further exploring the aesthetics of games design, evaluating art, sound, animation, pure design and writing. The module shifts a students’ focus from manipulating an existing game framework into being prepared to create their own. This module supports students to identify their specific creative interests and supports the Games Design Project I module.
Games Design Project I (40 credits)
Responding to concepts such as of “persuasive games” or “games for change”, and a set creative brief that specifies what a game must do, students work in small groups to produce a game. This is a double-weighted practical module, where students learn to work in teams, break tasks apart, and deliver a game for the deadline. In addition to digital games this module offers scope for alternate outcomes to be proposed, such as analogue games, card-games, board games, ARGs, etc. providing they meet the module learning outcomes.
Game Arts: Mods, Mashups, Machinima (20 credits)
This module specifically encourages students to use and alter games through the application of creative skills, resulting in the creation of artefacts including (but not limited to) mods, mashups and machinima. The aim is that by doing so students will understand the ways that their individual creative expertise can be harnessed towards the generation of assets within a game, and that these assets have potential to radically alter the reception and rhetoric of a game.
Games and Players (20 credits)
This module aims to develop students’ critical and conceptual understanding of game studies theories, debates and research methodologies. It encourages students to shift their focus from practical concerns of making games onto a consideration of the player / audience / community. By learning to study and consider the players, students will be introduced to games research as a discipline, and learn skills which students can be built upon in practical and research projects in L6.
Games Design Project 2 (40 credits)
Games Design Project 2 follows the same module as the module in year 1, but the complexity of the creative brief, and the opportunities for you to propose solutions, are expanded. You will work in a group on a substantial games project, sharing expertise from staff and other students.
Pre-Production for Games Design (20 credits)
This module supports students in developing the pre-production materials for a proposed game of their choice. Students will learn to adopt industry games design planning and pre-production processes, producing an appropriate game-design pitch / concept proposal for a game of their choice, and learn to develop this into a proof-of-concept prototype. This proposal could then be worked on for the final major project if sufficient resources are available to complete it.
Creative Career 3 (20 credits)
The module aims to prepare students for entry into employment in the creative sector by developing awareness of: commercial expectations and practices, presentation and pitching, CV writing, portfolio management and team-working. The module aims to support students in drawing upon the strengths of their subject-specific practical and theoretical work developed over the duration of their studies, to apply this within a work-based learning context, and to reflect upon strengths, weaknesses and opportunities for further development.
Mixed Media Dissertation: Games and Culture (20 credits)
This module aims to develop students’ abilities in research, analysis, construction of an academic argument, and modes of articulation, to produce a mixed media dissertation on a chosen subject relevant to games design. A mixed media dissertation may take the form of a written dissertation or an alternate practical form (for example a game that introduces theoretical concepts).
Final Major Project (40 credits)
The module aims to support students in demonstrating the conceptual and technical expertise they have acquired throughout the programme with specific emphasis placed upon the realisation of a game design previously presented in the pre-production module.
Project Release and Evaluation (40 credits)
This module develops students’ understanding of the ways that games are promoted and articulated to target audiences, including the range of channels for communication and marketing that are available. Students are required to take an active role in the ‘packaging’ and release of a game (individually or as part of a group), including a selection of literature and paraphernalia. In addition to this, students will be required to reflect upon the strengths and weaknesses of their approach, and the process of development over the duration of the degree, notably the need to connect with players and broader audiences.
Likely optional modules
Storytelling and Interactive Narrative (20 credits)
The module aims to develop students’ awareness of games’ ability to tell compelling, meaningful, and notably, interactive narratives. 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 study a range of outputs including traditional text adventures, speech bots, ‘walking sims’ and mobile games (e.g. Lifeline, Reigns).
Creative Career 2 (20 credits)
This module aims to develop students’ understanding of the creative sector as an industry, becoming aware of key dynamics within the sector and specific expectations related to employability. These include discipline specific working practices, geographic spread, working structures, team working and inter-personal skills, freelancing and collaborative work, funding streams, developing portfolios / studio setup, taxation, regulation, law and ethics.
3D Animation (20 credits)
The module aims to provide students with a range of 3D computer animation techniques and skills. It aims to focus these techniques and skills in the production of a short practical project, developing an idea through to fruition.
Global Experience in Media, Art and Design (20 credits)
This module aims to develop students’ potential for intercultural awareness, while also developing their employability and work-related skills for a wide variety of professions related to the media, culture and communication industries. It does so by engaging students in a media project conducted abroad.
2D Animation (20 credits)
This practical module aims to provide students with a range of 2D animation techniques and skills. It aims to focus these techniques and skills in the production of a short practical project, developing an idea through to fruition.