Course details

Study options

Full-time: 4 years

UK/EU fee

£9,250 per year* (2020/21)

International fee

£14,045 per year (2020/21)

UCAS points

72 (September 2020 entry)

UCAS code

G45F

Course level

Undergraduate

Qualification

BSc (Hons)

Start date

September

Location

Markeaton Street, Derby Campus

Course description

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.

You can also take the BSc (Hons) Computer Games Programming without a foundation year. Find out more.

Peter Innes, BSc (Hons) Computer Games Programming, talks about his course's excellent industry placement scheme, which provides opportunities with companies including Microsoft and Sony

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:

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 

What you will study

Foundation YearFoundation YearYear 1Year 1Year 2Year 2Optional Placement YearOptional Placement YearYear 3Year 3

Code: 3EJ502

Preliminary Mathematics

This module is an introduction to Mathematics in an engineering/technical context. It will concentrate on the principal mathematical tools of Algebra, Trigonometry, Geometry and Calculus and will introduce you to the fundamental use of Maths in understanding and predicting the behaviour of engineering and technical processes and systems work.
20 Credits
core
Coursework

Code: 3EJ503

Scholarship for Technologists

A crucial stage in the development of the student is in the assumption of responsibility for learning. The student must be self-motivated, organised and independent. The development of critical thinking and meticulousness is fundamental to university study. This module provides the student with a variety of scholarly and communication competencies necessary for a successful career in the engineering and technology fields. The module aims to develop the ability of the student to investigate, analyse and communicate technologic concepts effectively.
20 Credits
core
Coursework

Code: 3EJ504

Technology Project

The module will develop your ability to work independently and safely, to carry out effective investigation within this technical field, and to apply relevant practical techniques.
40 Credits
core
Coursework

Code: 3MA501

Introduction to Computational Mathematics

The module is designed for students who have studied post-GCSE maths previously. It extends students’ knowledge and understanding of concepts core to the study of computer based courses. It will develop understanding of concepts associated with statistics and discrete mathematics.
20 Credits
core
Coursework

Code: 3MA502

Programming Fundamentals

This module develops basic problem solving skills and applies them to programming, which will introduce students to the fundamental principles, concepts, and practice of computer programming, and develops the skills needed to design, implement, and test basic computer programmes to control robots to solve the given problems. No prior computer programming experience is assumed, and all practical work is done using an industry-standard programming language and software development environment.
20 Credits
core
Coursework

Code: 4CC503

Computational Mathematics

This module introduces, and in some cases reviews, the mathematical foundations of computer science.
20 Credits
core
Coursework

Code: 4CC505

Foundations of Computer Science

This module explores two related, and yet very distinct, foundations of the practical application of computer science: The first is human-computer interaction; the second is data. Computer systems do not exist in isolation; they are used by human beings for entertainment – such as videogames – and as tools to support human activities, such as mobile telephones or Web browsers. Therefore, the one half of this module explores how computers and computer software are built to entertain and assist humans by drawing upon research and industry practice in human-computer interaction, including interfaces to computer systems, software design, interaction design, product design, and research into the social impact of computing.

Whilst computers are used by humans as tools and entertainment devices, fundamentally they are nothing but data-processing machines. Indeed, in a very broad sense, the only practical application of computer science is to help build systems that manipulate data. Therefore, the other half of this module explores Data, including its definitions and philosophical underpinnings; its representation in computer systems including data types and an introduction to type theory; various techniques for modelling the storage and movement of data.

More information
20 Credits
core
Coursework

Code: 4CC509

Introduction to Computer Science

This module introduces students to the concepts, contributors, terminology, sub-fields, and history of computer science, whilst encouraging students to develop academic skills in reading, writing, research, and presentation.
20 Credits
core
Coursework

Code: 4CC510

Programming 1

This module introduces students to the fundamental principles, concepts, and practice of computer programming, and develops the skills needed to design, implement, and test simple computer programs. No prior computer programming experience is assumed, and all practical work is done using an industry-standard programming language and software development environment.
20 Credits
core
Coursework

Code: 4CC511

Programming II

This module builds on the concepts introduced in Programming I by covering the theory and practical techniques needed to develop usable, robust, and reliable end-user software applications.
20 Credits
core
Coursework

Code: 4CC523

Networking Fundamentals

This module will provide an introduction to computer networks based on the Cisco CCNA 1 curriculum. The module will cover the fundamentals of network operation including OSI and TCP/IP models, IP addressing, protocol operation, routing and basic LAN design. Additionally, the module will also discuss Ethernet operation in a LAN environment and the requirements for designing and building a small enterprise network. The course content will be a combination of theoretical and practical work underpinned by Cisco learning materials and simulation software.
20 Credits
core
Exam
Coursework

Code: 5CC503

Application Development

This module consists of a practical exploration of current and emerging technologies used to implement public and enterprise applications, particularly those underpinned by database systems. Relevant tools, technologies and programming languages will be examined and evaluated.
20 Credits
core
Coursework

Code: 5CC507

Databases

This module explores the concepts, technology, and theory that underpin industrial-strength multi-user database systems. Students will be required to develop the practical skills necessary to design and implement robust and scalable databases, and they will develop critical understanding of the issues related to multi-user database development, such as choosing suitable database management systems and tuning them to achieve acceptable performance.
20 Credits
core
Coursework

Code: 5CC509

Graphics I

This module provides students with an in-depth technical and theoretical understanding of the techniques used in producing computer graphics. 2D graphics will be covered, but particular emphasis is placed on understanding 3D graphics and the fundamental requirements for implementing a 3D rendering solution. The module considers current concepts and practical applications, as well as the mathematics underlying computer graphics.
20 Credits
core
Coursework

Code: 5CC510

Graphics II

By building on the foundations established in Graphics I, this module aims to provide students with the principal skills and knowledge required for real-time, dynamic 3D graphics programming such as that used in videogames, scientific visualisations, and simulations.
20 Credits
core
Coursework

Code: 5CC515

Networks and Security

This module covers two important areas of network communication; information and data security, and network programming. The first part of the module will introduce the concepts, theory and practice of information and data security. The module will establish i) the importance of sound, effective, and practical security policies; ii) an understanding of the structure and implementation of security protocols; and iii) the effects of security policies and implementations on the local network environment and the wider Internet.

The second part of the module will focus on the principles of IP based network interoperation and the implementation of network applications. The module will establish i) an understanding of common network protocols, and ii) knowledge of how to implement applications which communicate over an IP network using standard and non-standard protocols.

More information
20 Credits
core
Coursework

Code: 5CC518

Team Project

This module is intended to foster employability skills by simulating, as accurately as possible, what it's like to work in a given Computer Science specialism.

This will be done in two successive activities:

  • Students will be introduced to the “world of work” via a simulated work environment – they will be put into teams that represent fictional companies, but which need to produce real products or engage in realistic work-related activity. This will give students the opportunity to safely discover and explore their capabilities, strengths, and weaknesses, and inclinations before embarking on real-world employment activities.
  • Students will engage with a real-world industrial brief to develop a small project – such as software, a Web site, a network design, a forensic analysis of a data set, or some similar real or realistic industrial activity – suitable for entry level employees at a relevant industrial employer.

For example, many programmers work as part of a team on large software development projects. Therefore, students working toward a BSc (Hons) Computer Science award will be assembled into fictional software development companies to develop a realistic project, and will thereby experience the challenges that can occur when trying to develop a complicated development project and deliver it on schedule and with high quality. After completion of the fictional-company project, the same teams will work on a small-scale, but real, work-based development project set by a subject-relevant industrial employer, such as a software company.

More information
20 Credits
core
Coursework

Code: 5CC886

Applied Professional Practice

This module provides a framework for the development of “lifelong learning” skills appropriate to all areas of professional practice; including objective setting, planning, negotiating, implementing, demonstrating and reflecting. The emphasis in this module is on the analysis and evaluation of the work completed within the organisation. This module also gives students an opportunity to relate their academic knowledge to the work environment.
40 Credits
core
Coursework

Code: 5CC887

Contemporary Issues in Professional Practice

Students need to be aware of the commercial realities and external factors that influence the success of an organisation. This module provides opportunities for students to acquire an understanding of contemporary issues that may impact on industrial and professional practices relevant to a career within their chosen discipline. During this period of work experience, students can gain a deeper appreciation of the responsibilities arising from both corporate and individual responses to such issues, thus enabling them to relate to the wider world when exploring a personal direction for potential career development.
20 Credits
core
Coursework

Code: 6CC514

Systems Programming

This module provides an in-depth exploration of the concepts and issues related to systems programming, in particular, those related to concurrency, operating systems fundamentals, low-level coding, and developing for dedicated devices such as games consoles, network routers, and embedded systems.
20 Credits
core
Coursework

Code: 6CC528

Game Development

Implementing a video game typically requires the developer to combine images, sound, level or environment definitions, motion specifications, and simulated two-dimensional or three-dimensional objects into a seamless, interactive whole driven by software. This module explores the issues related to the game development process, including current research and emerging developments in the field.
20 Credits
core
Coursework

Code: 6CC529

Game Behaviour

Creating an engagingly realistic and/or immersive experience in modern a video game depends on creating complex, dynamic behaviour of the game characters or objects. This module explores the two fundamental components necessary to implement engaging game behaviour: Physics and artificial intelligence. Particular emphasis is placed on current research in this area.
20 Credits
core
Coursework

Code: 6CC995

Independent Studies

This module enables students to demonstrate the ability to independently develop a substantial piece of work related to their specialism. It can be either a significant piece of research following a recognised research methodology, or it can be a significant “design and development” project to create, test and evaluate an innovative solution in computing. Students will be supported and mentored by a member of academic staff, but the project will be defined and implemented by the student.
40 Credits
core
Coursework

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.

University of Derby student drinking coffee

How you will learn

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.

Entry requirements

September 2020 typical entry requirements

RequirementWhat we're looking for
UCAS points72 (up to 16 from AS-levels)
Specific requirements at A-levelN/A
Specific requirements at GCSEGCSE Maths and English Grade C/Grade 4 (or above) or equivalent qualification
IELTS6.0 (with 5.5 in each skills area)
Interview / AuditionN/A
PortfolioN/A

Alternative entry qualifications:

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.

Fees and funding

2020/21 Fees

 Full-timePart-time
UK/EU

£9,250 per year*

N/A

International

£14,045 per year

N/A

* The fees stated above are for the 2019/20 academic year; fees for 2020/21 have not yet been confirmed by the UK government. We will update this information as soon as it is available.

Further information about our fees and support you may be entitled to.

Additional costs and optional extras

How to apply

UK/EU students

Full-time students applying to start in September should apply for this course through UCAS or you can apply directly to the University for an undergraduate course if you’re not applying to any other UK university in the same year.

Apply through UCASApply directly to the University

Guidance for EU students post-Brexit

International students

Full-time students applying to start in September should apply for this course through UCAS or you can apply directly to the University for an undergraduate course if you’re not applying to any other UK university in the same year.

Apply through UCASApply directly to the University

Guidance for international applicants applying for an undergraduate degree

Careers

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.

Contact us

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.

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Additional information about your studies

Download programme specification

Teaching hours

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.

Included in your fees

Mandatory costs not included in your fees

Optional costs not included in your fees

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.

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