BSc (Hons) Computer Games Programming
Why choose this course?
- Students can become members of the Microsoft Developer Network Academic Alliance, allowing them to use Microsoft products at home.
- Facilities include a Next Generation Development Suite complete with high-specification PCs and connections to gaming consoles and plasma screens.
- Games courses are approved by Sony to be part of their PSP Educational Programme.
- Our games courses are regarded by the gaming industry as some of the best in the country.
- You will spend your third year on a placement. Spending a year in industry is great experience and really sets you apart, after you have graduated, to enter the job market.
UCAS code: G450
Start date: September
Course length: full time: four years (sandwich) (Includes a placement year)
Campus: Kedleston Road site, Derby Campus
This course is available to international students
Whether you are interested in games for entertainment or games for serious applications, the BSc Computer Games Programming course is intended to give you both the theoretical grounding and the practical skills you'll need to develop computer games.
Computer science is the theoretical field that underpins all software development. Knowledge of computer science is a prerequisite for long-term employability and success as a computer programmer of any kind, but is particularly applicable to the breadth and complexity of computer games development. On this course you'll study computer science with a strong emphasis on the practical programming skills needed for games development.
You'll discover the foundations of computer science and software development. You'll learn about computer programming and vital mathematics.
You'll explore the core topics of computer science that are particularly relevant to games development such as:
- Software engineering
- Algorithms and data structures
- Computer graphics
You'll also develop the employability skills you need to find a work placement after your second year.
Year Three Work Placement
This will give you valuable real-world experience, which will help to inform your final year of study.
It is an opportunity to work alongside other software professionals and to see at first hand how the knowledge and skills you've learned are put into practice.
Past students have enjoyed placements at companies including:
- Frontier Developments
- Blitz Games
- Sumo Digital
You will concentrate on advanced topics including systems programming, games-specific areas like integrating art into games, and game behaviour - the combination of game physics and artificial intelligence.
You'll also have the opportunity, as part of your Independent Studies module, to develop a large-scale project or conduct a research study into an area of your choice.
You will study these modules:
- Introduction to Computer Science
- Computational Mathematics
- Programming I
- Subjects in Computer Science
- Foundations of Computer Science
- Programming II
You will study these modules:
Stage three - Placement year
You will study these modules:
Our entry requirements are usually 280 UCAS points, of which at least 240 will be from your core A2s (full A levels) or equivalent qualifications such as BTEC Diploma, International Baccalaureate, Scottish Highers etc.
We'll accept up to 40 points towards the total from level 3 qualifications such as AS levels (where those AS levels are not taken on to A2 level), the Extended Project or Music qualifications.
We don't accept points from Key Skills Level 3. If you have any questions about what is or isn't accepted, please contact our Admissions team.
We also accept the Access to HE Diploma.
Your points at level 3 will be in addition to 5 GCSEs at grade C or equivalent level 2 qualifications.
The UCAS tariff points are a guide - we'll also consider all the information that you've included in your application. We'll also want to see that you're enthusiastic and motivated to take this course and that you have the potential to benefit from coming to university.
- Full time students should apply for this course through UCAS.
- If you want to start in September, you usually need to apply online through the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS).
Information for international applicants
Fees for 2013/14
This is a resource intensive course.
- Full time: £8,250 (each year)
- Full time: £10,225 (per year)
*These fees apply if you're starting this course between September 2013 and August 2014. We recommend you check fee details with us though, as they can change. Costs can increase each year.
How you'll learn
Three modules are studied per semester, each delivered through a mixture of lectures, tutorials and laboratory work mostly in our Next Generation Development Suite. A considerable amount of e-learning support material is also provided.
Class contact varies from 10-15 hours per week, depending on the level of course.
How you're assessed
In the first year, assessment is largely by coursework, with the formal examined component increased in the final year.
There is a mixture of group and individual assignments. 25% of the final year is assessed through a personal project.
The third year is spent on a supervised work placement.
- You'll find a wide variety of opportunities for skilled games programmers, from small start-up companies to major multinational organisations. You might even want to start your own company after graduating.
- The course will equip you for roles such as Gameplay Programmer, Tools Developer and AI Programmer.
- The solid computing and software engineering focus of the programme ensures that employability prospects for our graduates are excellent across all software development roles in the computing industry.
- You can continue your study to masters level on the MSc Computer Graphics Production
"Since starting my placement I've worked on three major projects, ranging from a small simulation to an educational game about nanotechnology. I've also been involved in every aspect of a game's creation including design ideas, program structure and research and development. I've learnt so much since arriving here and have now had experience of public relations, programming, art, management, very tight deadlines and advertising.
I feel that I'm now well ahead of the competition but more importantly I've made good contacts in the industry. I've been to conferences, met industry professionals and I've even had the responsibility of managing the office while my boss was away on trips around the country. "
Matt Henson, who spent his placement year at Playgen
What employers say
"The new Computer Games Programming Degree at Derby is harnessing leading-edge technologies such as DirectX and .Net to teach their students fundamentals, coupled with tried and tested games development techniques and languages used in industry. We believe students graduating will have a solid background in games programming and general software development and will be very successful in their future careers."
Mark Johnston, Microsoft UK