Computer Game Design

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Are you creative? Would you like to bring your idea to life by creating computer games for others to enjoy? Luckily, there are courses that can help you do just that! 

If you’re wondering what these courses might entail we have information below that might answer some of your questions. 

What is Computer Game Design?

Computer game design is the process of designing and producing content and rules in creating computer games. It includes everything from storylines to special effects, and characters among every other small element involved in producing a game. 

What 3rd level courses are available?

Universities and colleges in Ireland are offering courses in the following subject areas:

  • Game Design 
  • Computer Game Design and Development (PLC)
  • Computer Games Design (PLC)
  • Computer Systems and Networks with Games Analysis and Design (PLC)

Studying Computer Game Design in college

The majority of courses in this area are PLC courses with all but Computer Game Design and Development – Advanced being the only Level 6 course, the others being Level 5’s. There are also undergraduate degrees in related areas such as Game Design in which you may go straight after your Leaving Cert or you may use your PLC as a stepping stone to find out if this area is relevant to you. PL courses will generally be 1 year long while undergraduate degrees may range from 3-4 years. 

In a Computer Game Design course you will learn all the basics and gain knowledge in the area in your first year or in a PLC course. You will gain an understanding of practical elements involved in game design such as engines, tools, 2D and 3D elements and more. These courses will give you the opportunity to explore and be creative in your idea processes. 

If you take an undergraduate degree, your second and third year will see you look more in depth at material that will be a little more complex. You may look at areas from Game Mechanics and Game Production to Media Ethics prototyping, Gamification and Media Theory and much more. Some courses could be three years while others could be four years long. 

In most cases, your third and/or fourth year will focus on your dissertation as well as complex modules to help prepare you for the world you will be working in. 

Career Options

There are a number of industries where a Computer Game Design course will be helpful. Some may decide to follow the path into the games industry and into roles such as game developers, testers and programmers. While games and applications are used in close to every industry, there may also be openings in the business industry and education. 

Some may decide to continue their study. They may choose to go from a PLC to an undergraduate degree or undergraduate to a postgraduate degree to specialise in a particular area. Or maybe, you could do all of these things to get to where you need to be. There is always the option of working in research within the field and lecture in universities and colleges. 

Important skills to have in this area include excellent programming skills, the ability to work as part of a team, excellent communication skills, an analytical frame of mind, a knowledge of gaming trends, a passion for computer games, artistic and creative. 

Related Jobs

  • Computer Games Designer 
  • Computer Programmer
  • Software Developer
  • Computer Engineer
  • Application designer
  • IT technician 

Further Study

Visit for more information.


Different courses and different colleges will have different entry requirements. It’s always safest to check with the individual higher education institution which is available on their websites. As a general rule Leaving Cert students should have a minimum of six subjects which should include: Two H5 (Higher Level) grades and Four O6 (Ordinary Level) grades or four H7 (Higher Level) grades. Subjects must include Mathematics, Irish or another language, and English. 

PLC courses will accept Leaving Certificate results and in some cases, especially in this area, courses may carry out an entrance interview. Specific courses may have their own requirements. For example, some courses may have a certain interview process or expect a portfolio of sorts so it is always important to look into these things in depth. 

Where can I study?

For other courses in the area you would like to explore, you can do so here.

Did you know?

  • An estimated 2.7 million people played computer games in 2020 alone
  • Spacewar! was the first computer game that could be played on multiple computer installations and was created by Steve Russell in 1962. 
  • Gaming is linked to an increase in brain matter. 


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Aedín Dunne

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