BA (Hons) in Games Development (Full Time)
If you have a passion for digital games, creative media or digitally extended reality Pulse College can help you develop the skills required to enter this innovative sector.
Through hands-on experience, learners are introduced to critical aspects of the game industry from non-digital games to indie games to the latest video games and professional studio environments. Learners will engage with game theory, technical programming and the creative skills involved in digital media and art, giving the learner a spectrum of skills to apply to specialist sectors.
Roles and responsibilities within the game development team are discussed and practiced through in-class exercises, and genres are critically introduced, discussed and explored. Learners are also encouraged to explore, apply and discuss the core principles of game design, including the game space, game mechanics, the game player and the design decisions that create the game state.
Through play and design exercises, the learners examine the process needed to build today’s games. Exploring player agency, immersion, goals and challenges, whilst learning the rules of play and how to apply those principles to in-class game design projects.
Taught by practising industry professionals, Pulse College ensures that you receive the very highest levels of learning. A key part of the course involves the continual development of a portfolio of work that will help you enter the exciting and rapidly developing games and technology industry.
This course covers a wide range of topics from game production techniques to concept art, character design, 3D animation, game audio and programming, and a key part of the course involves you producing a portfolio of work that will help you to get into the exciting and rapidly developing games industry.
Whether you want to be a games designer, storyboard artist, concept artist, 3D modeller or animator, kickstart your games development career with Pulse College.
Detailed Course Content
- Developing and prototyping game concepts for a variety of platforms and player types.
- Analysis and deconstruction of popular games to gain an understanding of the fundamental elements of games.
- User testing and feedback for games.
- Using game scripting to create gameplay scenarios.
- Developing games using C# and the Unity 3D game engine.
- Integrating 2D and 3D art in games.
- Understanding the importance of narrative in games.
- Creating realistic characters and worlds through the use of interactive narrative.
2D Game Art
- Working with preliminary designs and ideas, determining the overall look of the world in which a game takes place using sketches and colour schemes and creating atmosphere.
- How and when to use reference images.
- Creating game assets in 3D Studio Max.
- Texturing and animating 3D models for use in games.
- High polygon 3D workflows for games.
- Assessing game audio requirements.
- Studio and location recording techniques.
- Game audio development workflows.
- Non-linear audio for games.
- Teamwork and management for the games industry.
- Business fundamentals for game companies.
- Regular talks from game industry professionals.
- Creating usable and believable animations for use in game.
- Bringing a game world to life with rich motion and visual effects.
- Bringing life to models with real-world images and textures.
- Learning the basics of UV unwrapping, physically based rendering and material-lighting interaction.
- Optimising UV tiles to minimise in-game resource usage and maximise efficiency.
Project and practical time is held Monday-Friday and equates to 20 hours per week.
These are indicative course modules and are subject to change.
Head of Games & Animation Department
David Williams is currently involved in PhD research in Gaming Methodologies for Technology Enhanced Learning and has an MA Learning and Teaching, a PGDip Learning and Teaching, a BSc(Hons) Computing in Multimedia Systems, a BSc Computing in Multimedia Programming and a Dip IT Network and System Administration. Prior to Pulse College, David worked with project management and interactive education. In the past decade his clients have listed some of the largest corporate network and IT solution providers in the world as well as the world’s largest search engine provider. Over recent years David has worked with multiple startup companies including accounting firms, film production and a variety of retailers, providing consultation, design and development solutions.
Marc Diamond is a Designer with over 18 years experience working on International Games, educational Apps, animated elearning courses and books. (BBC, Playfirst, Nicklodeon, HMH, Folens.). He primarily leads Art teams steering production through from the initial concept stage to final release – Art Directing, writing, Designing UI and animating. Marc heads up the delivery of the 2D Game Art Module at Pulse College, bringing his mentoring skills and broad knowledge of the medium to a fun but professionally focused studio workshop setting.
Basil Lim is the Art Director at BitSmith Games in Dublin, Technical Artist for Janeious Games and holds a Masters in Creative Digital Media. He has worked on multiple titles published on various platforms both digital and physical and has received awards in Visual Design Excellence and Visual Engineering. Basil is responsible for defining and producing the art style of bitSmith Games’ projects where he is currently hard at work on their next title FrankNJohn. Basil teaches Game Design, 3D Game Art and Animation at Pulse College.
With a multimedia design academic training and background, Tiago Roldão is a UX developer working mostly in web applications. After moving to Dublin in 2013 for a Masters in Creative Digital Media, he discovered this city’s game development community. Currently a cofounder of a web service startup.
Eoghan Cowan has been working as a Concept Artist and Illustrator in the games industry for a number of years. He has worked with Clients such as Ubisoft, Square Enix, Fantasy Flight Games and Romero Games. After studying animation where he received full distinctions he went straight into one of the UKs leading AAA video game concept art outsourcing studios, Leading Light Conceptual Design. He has worked in-house in a number of studios and as a Freelance Concept artist with numerous clients around the world.
Joe Roe has been working in games and multimedia for 10+ years and is currently working both as a Senior Unity developer with Janeious Ltd and running his business, “Poke The Bear”. Prior to his current work, he was involved with various startups and spent 3 years working for Folens publishers where he designed and built games, apps and interactive educational content for both web and mobile. He graduated with an MSc in Games Design from Leeds Becket University and specialises in Game Design and Programming in various languages such as C# and C++.
Barry Keating is a screenwriter and game writer with a number of produced credits to his name, including six produced features, video games and comic books. His credits include Mamula, starring Franco Nero (Django Unchained) and Kristina Klebe (Halloween), The Rift, a science fiction horror starring Katarina Cas (Wolf of Wall Street) and Ken Foree (Dawn of the Dead). Recently he has just finished writing the script for Steep, an open-world action sports title for Ubisoft due for release in December 2016. Other game credits include Gun Commando for RipStone, Gods of Rome for Gameloft and WipEout 2048 for Sony Computer Entertainment’s Studio Liverpool, as well as a number of other unannounced projects.
Pete McNally has been working in the Irish game and animation industries for over 14 years and is a Senior Technical Artist/Designer with Havok, an Emmy award-winning game technology company used in over 500 AAA video games such as Battlefield, Call of Duty, Uncharted, Assassin’s Creed and Halo. He has also worked as a 3D Supervisor at twice Academy Award nominated Brown Bag Films. Pete lectures at Pulse College on our advanced game art classes where he brings cutting edge industry skills and workflows to our game development students.
Eoin is an award winning entrepreneur and graduate of Trinity College Dublin. He is the lecturer for Entrepreneurship for 2nd Year Games Development in Pulse College. Throughout his career Eoin has both partnered and consulted for various companies across a range of services including; corporate banking, hospitality and media & entertainment. Currently Eoin is writing a graphic novel detailing the life and exploits of William Lamport funded by a grant by South Dublin County Council.
Jen Carey is a game maker, filmmaker and writer. She has worked in a variety of games companies including Playfirst and Havok and currently works as an independent game developer. She tends towards analog games, and digital games with a narrative focus. As well as making games, Jen writes and directs short films and is a board member of Imirt: The Irish Game Makers Association where she works to progress and promote games made in Ireland.
The skills gained through this course will allow you to move into a variety of careers within the games industries, as well as to progress to further study. At the end of the programme, you will have built up an extensive portfolio demonstrating expert technical, artistic and professional abilities, giving you the cutting edge needed to gain employment in this exciting and varied industry.
Career paths open to graduated include:
- Game Designer
- Narrative Designer
- Level Designer
- Game Developer/Programmer
- Game Artist
- Graphic Designer
- Creative Director
- PreVis Artist
- Technical Artist
- Lead Artist
- Concept Artist
- Environment Artist
- 3D Modeller
- Quality Assurance Tester
- Sound Designer
This course is a direct application course and includes an interview. Applications are currently taken through the Application Form below. Upon receiving your application form our Admissions Team will contact you to schedule your course interview.
Please Note: This course is subject to validation
See specific information on the course requirements below:
Entry onto our BA Hons in Games Programme (subject to validation) is based upon a course interview and achieving a minimum of:
2x H5s (H5 = 50 – 60% in a Leaving Certificate Higher Level subject)
Minimum of 4x O6/H7s (O6 = 40 – 55% in a Leaving Certificate Ordinary Subject / H7 = 30-40% in a Leaving Certificate Higher Level subject).
To include a minimum O6 or higher in Ordinary Leaving Certificate Mathematics and either Irish or English.
To achieve a minimum of 3 distinctions and the full award in a FETAC Level 5/6 or HETAC Level 7 in Games/Animation.
A Minimum of 2 Grade C A Levels as well as 4 subjects from either A levels (Grades A-E) or GCSE (Grades A,B or C). Or NVQ Level 3 in Games/Animation or similar
Students over the age of 23 years of age on 1st January of the year of the course is classified as a Mature Student.Mature applicants are advised to apply directly through the college using the ‘Apply now’ button below. Entry onto our Degree Programme is based upon a course interview. Applicants will be asked for a detailed CV. Applications should be made before the 31st August the year of the course.
Entry onto our Degree Programme is based upon a course interview. International Students below the age of 23 years of age will be required to submit High School Diploma Scripts and any additional Education Certifications.For applications whose first language is not English you will be asked for an original or certified true copy of one of the following:
- TOEFL Paper based 570 with a TWE (test of written English) score of 4.5.
- Computer based 233 with a score of 4.5 in the essay.
- Internet based 90 with a written score of 21.
- Cambridge Proficiency Grade C.
- Cambridge Advanced Grade A.
- IELTS Academic Version 6.5 with no individual band below 6.
Note: Students who do not satisfy Pulse College’s English language requirements for direct entry will be required to take an English language preparatory course before commencing studies. While the College does not offer an English language preparatory course, you will find this information from the Department of Education and Science’s official listing of recognised language schools.
General Course Requirements
- A proven interest in games and/or animation, and an interest in related creative media arts
- Basic knowledge of computers (either Mac or PC) and game design software will be helpful, but not essential before starting the course
- A willingness to explore new ideas is important alongside a positive attitude towards this creative field of study
Note: Applications from individuals with non-standard qualifications, relevant work or life experience will also be considered.
This course requires an interview as part of your applications. Please see the FAQ’s below for commonly asked questions regarding the interview process.
Where do the interviews take place?
The interviews are held in:
Pulse College, The Market Studios, Halston Street, Corner of Mary’s Lane, Dublin 7
How long will the interview be?
The interview will be typically 20–30 minutes long.
What should I bring?
If you could please bring:
– A copy of your C.V. that includes results of any music exams / tests you have completed to date. It should also include details of any groups / associations you have been a member of. It should also list your hobbies / interests
– If you have a portfolio of work, please bring that too. These pieces should demonstrate your abilities as an artist, coder, programmer or designer. Please note this is not a mandatory requirement
– A copy of your passport/drivers licence
– A copy of any previous education transcripts and certificates
How many people will be interviewing me?
The panel typically comprises 2-3 people.
Apart from the minimum requirements, what do they generally look for in a candidate?
Successful candidates have a strong, proven interest in this area. They are passionate about game design and development and are prepared to work very hard towards their goals.
Total Course Fee Per Year
€8,415 per year (3 years duration)
[3% PFL Charge of €203 included in Total Fee Per Year]
Flexible Payment Option Available
3% PFL Charge is included in all of the total course fees above. This charge is incurred to finance arrangements required under Part 6 of the Qualifications and Quality Assurance (Education and Training) Act, 2012 to ensure protection of enrolled learners.