Computer Gaming Technology BSc (Hons)

Full-time undergraduate (3 years, 4 years with foundation year, 4 years with placement)

Cambridge

September

 

Overview

Turn your love of computer games into a career, on our full-time Computer Gaming Technology degree. Play, design and build games at our development studio in Cambridge, and create a portfolio to launch your career as a games developer. Choose to take a placement year to get more experience of the gaming industry.

Full description

Careers

We work with employers to make sure you graduate with the knowledge, skills and abilities they need. They help us review what we teach and how we teach it – and they offer hands-on, practical opportunities to learn through work-based projects, internships or placements.

Find out more about our placements and work experience, or the faculty's employability support.

It can take three years to create a game, all the way from initial concept to the finished product. One game can involve up to 200 professionals working as a team.

Our BSc (Hons) Computer Gaming Technology degree will provide you with relevant skills to pursue careers in games programming, quality assurance and independent game development. The core programming skills are also transferable to the wider IT industry, or possibly to a career teaching programming/computer science, giving you extra flexibility.

Graduation doesn’t need to be the end of your time with us. If you’d like to continue your studies we offer a wide range of full-time and part-time postgraduate courses. We offer an innovative MSc Computer Games Development, which focuses on developing skills through intense, collaborative, industry-focused projects.

Modules & assessment

Level 3 (foundation year)

  • Foundation in Engineering, Computing and Technology
    This module will provide students with the necessary skills to begin studying at level 4 in Engineering, Computer Science and related courses. Students will be introduced to the core skills necessary to succeed in higher education, including thinking critically, researching and referencing appropriately, demonstrating appropriate numeracy and ICT skills, and communicating effectively verbally and in writing. In addition to these fundamental skills, Students will cover the subjects underpinning the technological disciplines. Fundamental mathematical skills will be covered, alongside pre-calculus, followed by an introduction to calculus and vector and matrix arithmetic. Students will also be introduced to Classical mechanics, and its application to real-world scenarios. Students will be introduced to the fundamentals of computer science, learning about the principles behind programming and applying them through a series of practical coding exercises. Students will undertake a multi-disciplinary group project as they learn about the collaborative nature of engineering, and design from a broader perspective of business. The module is made up of the following eight constituent elements: Interactive Learning Skills and Communication (ILSC); Information Communication Technology (ICT); Critical Thinking; Maths for Scientists; Maths for Engineers; Physics for Engineers; Fundamentals of Computing; Engineering Design.

Year one, core modules

  • Programming for Game Developers
    This module will introduce you to the high-level programming knowledge a game developer needs to programme games. You will understand the principal components of high-level programming code, laying the foundation for subsequent game development modules which require structured programming ability. It will emphasise the principles of good programming practice and introduce the techniques required to develop games with modular and reusable code. You will learn to create games that are robust and efficient, which is a critical requirement of the video games industry. You will initially be introduced to industry-standard tools and techniques needed to design, implement, test and document simple video game programs using a current programming language. You will then cover the core pillars of object-oriented programming methodology: Encapsulation, Inheritance, Polymorphism and Interfaces.
  • Video Game Design
    This module will introduce you to the study of video game design. Starting with the fundamentals of game design theory, you will then move on to the process of conceptualising a game. You will learn about the iterative design process and documentation needed to illustrate and refine an idea so it can be shared within a development team. The module will also introduce you to the technologies used to implement game designs. Across the games industry there are many development environments within which games and interactive experiences can be developed. The primary environment used is a game engine, and therefore a working knowledge of this software is essential for employment in the industry. This module will help you gain an understanding of the common and transferable concepts within game engines that allow a design idea to be developed into a digital prototype.
  • Video Game Development
    This module will introduce you to the development lifecycle of video games and in particular the importance of Quality Assurance (QA) within that process. Creating video games is an extremely complex task requiring the co-operation of designers, programmers, artists, audio designers, and many other professions. Integrating assets from all these inter-dependent fields into an environment in which players can interact in unpredictable ways, inevitably creates a situation where errors or design flaws are discovered. You will learn how to test games effectively and learn how to communicate issues clearly so those errors can be reproduced by other developers. You will also learn how to use common bug tracking software and the common terminology used within QA departments. This module also builds upon previous learning of the features of a commercial game engine so you will be able to match specific project requirements to the most appropriate engine. You will also gain working knowledge of a game engine that uses a high-level programming language to script game mechanics and gameplay. You will learn through first-hand experience the typical tools and techniques for working effectively within that engine. These core skills will be transferable across a range of technologies and will serve as a strong foundation for future technical studies on the course as well as future employment.
  • Applied Science for Games
    This module will help you develop the core mathematical and physics knowledge needed for successful study to become a game developer. The knowledge of fundamental mathematical and physics concepts will help you implement enhanced mechanics and improve the complexity of your games, taking them to the next level. This may include 2D or 3D spatial operations, solving complicated combat or logical equations, and calculating trajectories. The module will also introduce you to key techniques which help game developers analyse and solve practical challenges in game development. It will provide a solid background in relevant basic techniques while also providing an environment in which to solve typical game development problems.

Year one, optional modules

  • C++ for Game Developers
    This module will introduce you to the widely used programming language of C++ to complement previously taught high-level programming languages. Industry places huge importance on the efficiency with which programming languages are used to develop the games. Therefore, you will learn how explicit types of memory allocation can be used within C++ to manipulate data and how this can influence computer resources. This module will place particular importance on object-oriented style of programming, including some design considerations. Code will be written using an appropriate development environment but confined to the use of the standard library so as to promote source code portability to other platforms. You will also gain an understanding of the underlying architecture behind how programming languages manage their data. The insight and experience of C++ you gain will be further used in a gaming context in future modules.
  • Game Design Theory
    This module focuses on the key concepts required to design games that offer players a challenging, enjoyable and balanced experience. By studying design theory you will be able to assess the construction of the inner workings of gameplay, seeing how different elements within a game environment interact with one another to form the whole. You will analyse this for a range of features including player input, the mechanical processes within the game and the outputs from the game. You will then be introduced the skills and techniques required to effectively communicate ideas. Finally, you will explore a range of methods and techniques for prototyping game mechanics and gameplay from these design concepts.

Year two, core modules

  • Collaborative Game Development
    You will learn about the formally rigorous approach to the design of computer games, and a sound understanding of the development and delivery technologies which underpin modern high-performance games. You will come to understand the development and management processes required to create a modern computer game as a team. You will develop a game from a specified genre, using a carefully-managed production cycle, and become familiar with the range of tools which underpin games production: level editors, game engines and scripting languages. This rigorous approach is central to the skill set of contemporary professional games developers.
  • Advanced Game Development
    Games engines are used within the video games industry to make the development cycle of computer games faster and more economical. This module aims to introduce you to the advanced components of game engine development including, but not limited to, animation, game physics, and post processing. This module also aims to develop knowledge and understanding of the recent advancements in gaming-related hardware and visualisation technology, such as mobile devices and augmented/virtual reality. You will investigate and evaluate these emerging trends in computer games using critical, cultural and contextual studies.

Year two, optional modules

  • Software Engineering for Games
    This module applies the principles of computer science to achieving cost effective solutions to software problems. It will help you gain the intellectual tools to design, implement and test software systems through an understanding of the concepts of a software life cycle, system theory, design methodologies and relational data modelling. In order to gain real-world experience, you will have the opportunity to apply a design methodology to a case study producing diagrammatic representations of the data and functionality of a system. You will use CASE tools to study topics including analysis and design in UML and managing the object-oriented software development process.
  • Level Design for Games
    In this module you will research, analyse, compare and criticise levels from student and commercial games, to inform your understanding of what makes a successful level design. You will understand various tools and techniques that will allow you to design environments that range from low poly and stylised to high fidelity and realistic. There will be a focus on the tools and features within industry standard game engines that are required by developers to create levels that are efficient in terms of file size and frame rate. This will include rendering options, dynamic and static lighting, audio compression, level of detail systems and occlusion culling. An important part of your learning is the ability to adapt the skills that you have gained with one development tool to another, as many game companies use their own proprietary toolsets.
  • Complex Systems in Games
    In this module you will develop a working knowledge of the tools and techniques available to game developers to create complex systems such as Artificial Intelligence (AI). The video games industry uses these systems to create interactive video games and immersive experiences. Systems that involve AI are some of the most complex, given that these systems govern the game world and direct players for the purposes of creating engaging and unique experiences. You will be introduced to the skills that enable the user to model game and world systems within their intended artefact and be given the opportunity to create your own interactive and immersive video game.
  • Game UI and UX
    User experience is a key design issue, where the perceptions and experience of the user is considered. You will develop an understanding of interaction design through the analysis, design, implementation and evaluation of a prototype. You will understand how user mental models can be utilized in design and learn about different methods for user, task and environmental analysis. This analysis will contribute to the development of a design rationale which is then prototyped and subjected to critical reflection and user evaluation. You will document this process to produce the final assignment.
  • Algorithms for Games
    The aim of this module is to build knowledge of efficient programming practice by critically appraising the core data structures and algorithms available to a game programmer. These lie at the heart of commercial game development, as they are the basis for the efficient solution of programming tasks. Therefore, you will use a range of algorithm analysis techniques will be to evaluate the performance of common data structures and algorithms in order to make prudent choices in the assembly of software artefacts with specific performance targets or constraints. You will learn to choose appropriate data structures for representing problems and to convert algorithms expressed non-programmatically into efficient programs that solve the problem at hand.
  • World Building for Games
    On this module you will delve into the elements of game design and development that produce immersive experiences for players. One of your primary focus points will be narrative, and how this can be conveyed to the player directly through story or subtly through sound and environmental design. You will explore forms of narration; interactive storytelling systems; narrative pacing; character development; and other narrative concepts. You will also be introduced to the principles of sound design and implementation within a game engine. You will learn about the variety of methods and tools a game designer has at their disposal to engage, inform, excite and elicit emotional response from their players.

Year three, core modules

  • Final Project for Games
    The individual Final Project module will allow you to engage in a substantial piece of individual research and / or product development work, focused on a topic relevant to your specific discipline. The topic may be drawn from a variety of sources including: ARU research groups; previous / current work experience; the company in which you are employed; a topic suggested by an ARU lecturer; or a professional subject of your specific interest (if suitable supervision is available). The project topic will be assessed for suitability to ensure sufficient academic challenge and satisfactory supervision by an academic member of staff. The chosen topic will require you to identify / formulate problems and issues, conduct literature reviews, evaluate information, investigate and adopt suitable development methodologies, determine solutions, develop hardware, software and/or media artefacts as appropriate, process data, critically appraise and present your findings using a variety of media. Regular meetings with the project supervisor will take place, so that the project is closely monitored and steered in the right direction. The project developed in this module is the most substantial piece of academic work that you will produce during your undergraduate studies. Your choice of project topic and the quality of the work is likely to have a great influence on your career / employability. The successful completion of the module will enhance your employability, evidencing your ability and appropriate skillset to work on real world projects.
  • Studio Practice for Games
    This module gives you the opportunity to work in a team to develop a video game artefact for your professional portfolio. With guidance from an academic supervisor, your team will be responsible for researching, designing, documenting, implementing, testing and then publishing a significant video game product. This project will develop and demonstrate your skills in leadership, team work, project management, planning, communication (both written and oral) as well as technical skills in your chosen technologies. The finished artefact will provide an opportunity for you to critically evaluate your team’s performance as well as the product’s fitness for purpose in the legal, ethical, professional and social context of video games.
  • Professional Portfolio for Games
    This module will allow you to demonstrate your ability to create professional quality artefacts. Based on the necessity of creating a quality portfolio your final work will demonstrate attainment in technical, professional and market knowledge. You will take on a quasi-professional role in the development of substantial pieces of work, which will include research, specification, design, documentation, development and evaluation. A key element will be for you to evaluate your skill set, and, if necessary, identify and undertake a learning programme to gain the skills you need. As far as possible you will use real world market and commercial requirements to guide the development process from initial idea to final deliverable. The module will give you an opportunity to develop new skills or take existing knowledge further within a supportive framework. Throughout the module you will be supported to adopt a professional and real-world approach, and your work can be undertaken for third party clients and practitioners of the industry.

Assessment

Modules are subject to change and availability.

Throughout the course, we’ll use a range of assessment methods to help measure your progress. You’ll demonstrate your learning through the games you produce, but there will also be a mix of exams, personal learning plans and projects.

Where you'll study

Your faculty

In the Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences, we use our expertise and connections in Cambridge and beyond to nurture creativity through experimentation and risk-taking, and encourage critical thinking, in order to educate, entertain, inspire and understand, as well as to improve people’s lives.

Where can I study?

Cambridge
Lord Ashcroft Building on our Cambridge campus

Our campus is close to the centre of Cambridge, often described as the perfect student city.

Explore our Cambridge campus

Placements

This course gives you the opportunity to take a work placement year between years 2 and 3 of your studies. You’ll get experience of seeking and securing a job and working in an industry relating to your course. You’ll also get the practical experience and industry contacts to benefit your studies and enhance your long-term career prospects.

Although they can’t be guaranteed, we can work with you to find a placement using our contacts with a large number of employers. You’ll have regular contact with one of our course tutors and be supported by a supervisor from your placement company. Together they’ll monitor your performance and give you feedback.

Occasionally, opportunities arise for extra-curricular opportunities with local game developers. In the past, these have ranged from participating in focus groups, user testing, asset development and other short term opportunities. You will be made aware of such opportunities as they arise and work with you to help fit them around your other commitments.

To find out more about placement opportunities, email us at Placements@anglia.ac.uk.

Fees & funding

Course fees

UK & EU students starting 2020/21 (per year)

£9,250

International students starting 2020/21 (per year)

£13,500

Placement year (UK, EU, international students)

£1,250

Fee information

For more information about tuition fees, including the UK Government's commitment to EU students, please see our UK/EU funding pages

How do I pay my fees?

Tuition fee loan

UK and EU students can take out a tuition fee loan, which you won’t need to start repaying until after your graduate. Or alternatively, there's the option to pay your fees upfront.

Loans and fee payments

International students

You can pay your tuition fees upfront, in full or in two instalments. We will also ask you for a deposit of £4,000 or a sponsorship letter. Details will be in your offer letter.

Paying your fees

Scholarships

We offer a fantastic range of ARU scholarships, which provide extra financial support while you’re at university. Some of these cover all or part of your tuition fees.

Explore ARU scholarships

Funding for UK & EU students

Most new undergraduate students can apply for government funding to support their studies and university life. This includes Tuition Fee Loans and Maintenance Loans. There are additional grants available for specific groups of students, such as those with disabilities or dependants.

We also offer a fantastic range of ARU scholarships, which provide extra financial support while you’re at university. Find out more about eligibility and how to apply.

Funding for international students

We offer a number of scholarships, as well as an early payment discount. Explore your options:

Entry requirements

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Important additional notes

Our published entry requirements are a guide only and our decision will be based on your overall suitability for the course as well as whether you meet the minimum entry requirements. Other equivalent qualifications may be accepted for entry to this course, please email answers@anglia.ac.uk for further information.

All tariff points must come from A levels. Points from AS levels cannot be counted towards the total tariff points required for entry to this course.

Foundation year entry requirements

  • 5 GCSE passes at grade 3 or D or above and evidence of two years post-GCSE study at Level 3
  • If you have achieved at least grade E in one A level, or equivalent, you are exempt from the two year post-GCSE study requirement, but you still have to meet the GCSE requirements
  • If English is not your first language you will be expected to demonstrate a certificate level of proficiency of at least IELTS 5.5 overall including 5.5 in each band/component
International students

We welcome applications from international and EU students, and accept a range of international qualifications.

English language requirements

If English is not your first language, you'll need to make sure you meet our English language requirements for postgraduate courses.

Improving your English language skills

If you don't meet our English language requirements, we offer a range of courses which could help you achieve the level required for entry onto a degree course.

We also provide our own English Language Proficiency Test (ELPT) in the UK and overseas. To find out if we are planning to hold an ELPT in your country, contact our country managers.

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