Foundation Year - helping you to achieve more
Including a foundation year as part of your four-year study programme will give you a head start in your academic and professional life. The foundation year offers the chance to strengthen your skills, knowledge and confidence – with extensive support from our expert staff – before you advance to stage one of your honours degree. It could also be beneficial if you are planning a career change and want to get to grips with aspects of subjects which are new to you.
Our degrees with a foundation year are continuous, meaning that you won’t need to apply again once you have successfully completed the first year.
An impressive portfolio of skills
On our dynamic BSc (Hons) degree you’ll be equipped with both the theoretical grounding and the practical skills you need to develop compelling computer games. You’ll gain an in-depth understanding of computer science, the theoretical field that underpins all software development. This knowledge prepares you for long-term employability and success as a computer programmer of any kind but applies in particular to the breadth and complexity of computer games development.
You will study computer science with a strong emphasis on the practical programming skills needed for games development.
In your final year, you'll get to work with students on the BA (Hons) Computer Games Modelling and Animation degree to create a game. The games are then exhibited as part of our Games Expo where there public will get to try out your creation. You’ll also meet and hear from industry professionals. Previous attendees have included Sumo Digital, Mediatonic and Bloc Digital.
Pursue your personal interests
Through the Independent Studies module, we give you the chance to tailor your studies to match your professional interests and career ambitions. You will develop a large-scale project or conduct a research study into an area of your choice. Previous topics explored by our students include point based rendering, procedural generation of realistic game levels and multi-level AI for elastic difficulty scaling.
Benefit from flexibility
You’ll gain fundamental knowledge in year one studying modules alongside students on our other Computing and Mathematics degrees. At the end of your year one, you’ll then have the option to transfer to one of the following courses:
You’ll go on to study more specialist modules in your second year with further options to tailor your studies to an area of your interest in your final year.
You’ll get to use cutting-edge software development tools in our industry-standard laboratories. Facilities include:
- Computer Games Labs: home to our specialist hardware facilities and software including Unreal Engine, Unity Lab, Visual Studio and Steam
- XR Lab (cross-reality): a dedicated space for mixed-course games development as well as providing a flexible space for visualisation and other projects. Hardware includes Vive Pro Eye headsets, Rifts and Wacom drawing tablets
- CAVE Lab: provides data visualisation hardware containing a 270-degree 3D projection set up. Workstations with Tesla graphics cards for data processing and AI projects are also available
- Makerspace: g
Linking up with business
We’re proud of our connections with local and international industries. Our course has been designed in close collaboration with them and professional bodies to ensure it meets the needs of employers.
Undertaking a placement year will give you substantial experience to understand the possible careers open to you. Plus you’ll build your confidence and improve success and progression in jobs or in starting a business. Our students have enjoyed placements at companies such as Kuju, Frontier Developments and Sumo Digital.
Please note that our modules are subject to change - we review the content of our courses regularly, making changes where necessary to improve your experience and graduate prospects.
Your lectures will be intentionally interactive, incorporating questions and answers and simulation. Seminars and tutorials will give you the opportunity to develop understanding and its application in both familiar and unfamiliar circumstances. Practical sessions will give you the chance to develop your skills in both equipment use and the evaluation of experimental procedures and data. In your third year you’ll take an Individual Project module where you’ll be encouraged to use and apply research and innovation tools and approached in a practical context. Team working will also allow you to develop interpersonal and communication skills – an important skill for the workplace.
How you will be assessed
A variety of assessment methods are used. Some modules are assessed through coursework only, others by a combination of coursework, portfolios, assignments, case studies, oral and graphic presentations, collaborative and interdisciplinary teamwork projects, computer testing and examinations, so providing a flexible and effective means of assessing your progress.
Personal academic tutoring
Your personal academic tutor will work with you to help you get the most out of your time at university. Having someone to talk to about your academic progress, your university experience and your professional aspirations is hugely valuable. We want you to feel challenged in your studies, stretched but confident to achieve your academic and professional goals.
Find out more about personal academic tutoring
These are the typical qualification requirements for September 2024 entry. Contextual offers may apply to students who meet certain criteria.
|Requirement||What we're looking for|
|GCSE||GCSE Maths and English Grade 4/Grade C (or above) or equivalent qualification|
|Access to HE||Pass Access to HE Diploma with 60 credits: 45 at Level 3 with a minimum of Distinction: 0, Merit: 24, Pass: 21|
English language requirements
IELTS: 6.0 (with at least 5.5 in each skills area)
How to apply
Please look at our application deadlines before you apply.
Skilled games programmers will discover a wide variety of career opportunities everywhere from small start-up companies to major multinational organisations. This course represents the ideal preparation for roles such as gameplay programmer, tools developer and AI programmer. You might even want to start your own company after graduating.
Because the BSc (Hons) Computer Games Programming has such a solid computing and software engineering focus, it also opens up excellent prospects for our graduates across all software development roles in the computing industry.
- Software Engineer
- Project Manager
- Technical Architect
- Chief Technology Officer
- Product Manager
- Games Developer
If you need any more information from us, eg on courses, accommodation, applying, car parking, fees or funding, please contact us and we will do everything we can to help you.Contact us
Additional information about your studies
Like most universities, we operate extended teaching hours at the University of Derby, so contact time with your lecturers and tutors could be anytime between 9am and 9pm. Your timetable will usually be available on the website 24 hours after enrolment on to your course.
Additional costs and optional extras
We’re committed to providing you with an outstanding learning experience. Our expert teaching, excellent facilities and great employability prepare you for your future career. As part of our commitment to you we aim to keep any additional study costs to a minimum. However, there are occasions where students may incur some additional costs.
The information provided on this page is correct at the time of publication but course content, costs and other individual course details do change from time to time and are updated as often as possible, so please do check these pages again when making your final decision to apply for a course. Any updated course details will also be confirmed to you at application, enrolment and in your offer letter.
Included in your fees
- Access to free software from major software vendors such as SAS, Microsoft, Adobe ), Matlab and VMWare - some are available for student download
- Mandatory field trips
Mandatory costs not included in your fees
- External hard drive and memory card £50 - £100
- Core text books approx. £250
- Some assignments are required to be submitted on CDROM/DVDROM approx. £2
- Independent Study dissertations are normally submitted electronically, but individual supervisors have the right to request bound copies. In that case, printing and binding expenses are covered by the student approx. £6 per copy
Optional costs not included in your fees
- Personal computer or tablet computer approx. £400
- Text books approx. £20
Please note: Our courses are refreshed and updated on a regular basis. If you are thinking about transferring onto this course (into the second year for example), you should contact the programme leader for the relevant course information as modules may vary from those shown on this page.