Whether you are interested in developing games for entertainment or for serious applications, our BSc (Hons) Computer Games Programming will take you to the next level with your career plans. Our foundation year route will also give you a solid platform for success.
- Join a course with an outstanding reputation within the gaming industry
- Gain both the theoretical knowledge and the practical skills you need to develop first-rate games
- Choose to take an optional industrial placement year which will add substance to your CV and broaden your professional networks
- Become a member of the Microsoft Developer Network Academic Alliance, allowing you to use Microsoft products at home.
You can also take the BSc (Hons) Computer Games Programming without a foundation year. Find out more.
Computing - your questions answered
In the below video, Kim Smith, Course Director, answers some of the most frequently asked questions about Computing at the University of Derby. You can also watch exclusive subject content by signing up to Derby on Demand.
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
Our BSc (Hons) degree delivers 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. Your studies will be carefully structured:
- At the first stage of the honours degree, you will discover the foundations of computer science and software development, learning about computer programming and vital mathematics
- In the second stage, you will explore the core topics of computer science that are particularly relevant to games development such as software engineering practices and principles; databases and large-scale data management; algorithms and data structures; and computer graphics. You will also develop employability skills, especially useful if you need to find a work placement after your second year
- You can then take an optional work placement which gives you valuable real-world experience and will help to inform your final year of study
- In the final year, you can concentrate on advanced topics including systems level programming, code optimisation and low-level development; modern AI techniques and implementations; applying physics to games and simulations; and integrating art and artists into the development process.
Well placed for success
We encourage and support you to take the optional industrial placement year. This is your opportunity to work alongside other software professionals and to see at first-hand how the knowledge and skills you have learned on the course are put into practice.
Our students have enjoyed placements at companies such as Kuju, Frontier Developments and Sumo 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, multi-level AI for elastic difficulty scaling, and many more!
Strong employer links
Our distinctive approach has won widespread praise from employers and leading industry figures:
"The new Computer Games Programming degree at Derby is harnessing leading-edge technologies such as DirectX and .Net to teach students the 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
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.
You will study three modules per semester, each delivered through a mixture of lectures, tutorials and laboratory work.
We also provide a considerable amount of e-learning support material. Class contact time varies from 10 to 15 hours per week, depending on the level you are studying at. You can choose to spend the third year on an optional supervised work placement.
How you will be assessed
In the first and second stages, assessment is largely by coursework exercises and the formal examined component increases in the final year. You will undertake a mixture of group and individual assignments and 25% of the final year is assessed through a personal project.
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
September 2021 typical entry requirements
|Requirement||What we're looking for|
|Specific requirements at A-level|
No specific subject requirements
|Specific requirements at GCSE||GCSE Maths and English Grade 4/Grade C (or above) or equivalent qualification|
|IELTS||6.0 (with 5.5 in each skills area)|
|Interview / Audition||N/A|
Alternative entry qualifications:
- BTEC - MPP
- Pass Access to HE Diploma with 60 credits: 45 at Level 3 and 15 at Level 2
We usually consider an A-level in General Studies as a supplementary qualification. A good application/performance will be taken into account if you do not meet the criteria/offer conditions.
Our entry requirements for this course should be read together with the University's general entry requirements, which details subjects we accept, alternative qualifications and what we're looking for at Derby.
2021/22 Fees (August 2021 - July 2022)
£9,250 per year
£14,045 per year
Further information about our fees and support you may be entitled to.
Additional costs and optional extras
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.
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 below is correct for entry in the academic year September 2020 - August 2021 only. Entry for future academic years may be subject to change.
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.