Course details

Study options

Full-time: 3 years

UK fee

£9,250 per year (2022/23)

International fee

£14,045 per year (2022/23)

UCAS points

112-120 (September 2023 entry)

UCAS code


Course level



BSc (Hons)

Start date



Derby Campus

If you do not achieve the typical entry points required, you may want to consider studying this course with foundation year.

View with foundation year optionView with foundation year option

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.

  • 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.
Top 10in the UK for student satisfaction with teaching**The Guardian University Guide 2023 - Animation and Game Design subject area
Top 20in Animation and Game Design**The Guardian University Guide 2023 - Animation and Game Design subject area
Portrait of Kriss Barton, a Computer Games Programming graduate

I’ve learned more interpersonal skills that are required for working with people in teams. I’ve learned how to communicate better and communicate my ideas to other people. These skills have hugely benefited me since gaining employment as a Junior Programmer.

Kriss Barton
Computer Games Programming graduate

This dynamic course equips you with both the theoretical grounding and the practical skills you need to develop compelling computer games.

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:

In Year One, you will discover the foundations of computer science and software development, learning about computer programming and vital mathematics.

In Year Two, 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.

In Year Three, you can 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.

You'll also 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. You can see the level of work created by our Computer Games students on our Degree Show 2021 page.


You’ll get to use cutting-edge software development tools in our industry-standard laboratories. Facilities include:

  • Computer Games Labs: These spaces are home to our specialist software access and hardware facilities. Software includes Unreal Engine, Unity Lab, Visual Studio and Steam
  • XR Lab (cross-reality): This dedicated space is for mixed-course games development as well as providing a flexible space for visualisation and other projects. The lab provides specialist games and visualisation hardware, including Vive Pro Eye headsets, Rifts and Wacom drawing tablets. There are eight workstations outfitted with 2080 graphics cards so you can approach raytracing projects and AI workloads
  • Computer Networks Labs: Primarily used for our modules in Networking Fundamentals, Server Infrastructure, Wide Area Networks and Network Routing and Switching, the labs contain specialist software access including Cisco Packet Tracer, VM VirtualBox, VMware Workstation, Wireshark and MS Vision
  • CAVE Lab: This impressive lab provides data visualisation hardware. The pod contains a 270-degree 3D projection set up allowing multiple users to experience a shared virtual environment. Workstations with Tesla graphics cards for data processing and AI projects are also available
  • Makerspace: Get ready to turn your ideas into prototypes! The space includes a whole host of equipment, including 3D printers, CNC machines, and a laser cutter to bring your product to life. It's also a great space to collaborate with students from across the University
A student using a VR head set in the XR lab
Students working the Computer Networks Lab
Computing code reflected on students faces
A female student working on a tablet


Open to all students at the University of Derby the Makerspace is a student-led workshop based at our Markeaton Street site. There is a large range of tools in the Makerspace that you are able to use in your own time to design and develop projects.

Find out more about MakerspaceFind out more about Makerspace

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

A students hands working on a computer

Kriss lands dream job with local games company

After completing his degree in Computer Games Programming, Kriss secured a job as a Junior Programmer at local games company Bulkhead Interactive.

Read storyRead story
Top 10in the UK for student satisfaction with the course**The Guardian University Guide 2023 - Animation and Game Design subject area

What you will study

    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.

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    The best way to find out if studying at Derby is right for you is to experience an Open Day. Get a feel for the city and campus, tour our first-class facilities and see where you could be living.

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    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 year, 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

    Entry requirements

    2023 entry

    These are the typical qualification requirements for September 2023 entry.

    RequirementWhat we're looking for
    UCAS points112-120
    A LevelBBB-BBC
    T LevelMerit
    GCSEGCSE Maths and English Grade 4/Grade C (or above) or equivalent qualification
    Access to HEPass Access to HE Diploma with 60 credits: 45 at Level 3 with a minimum of Distinction: 15, Merit: 24, Pass: 6

    English language requirements

    IELTS: 6.0 (with at least 5.5 in each skills area)

    Fees and funding

    2022/23 Fees (August 2022 - July 2023)


    £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

    How to apply

    Please look at our application deadlines before you apply.

    UK students

    Full-time students applying to start in September should apply for this course through UCAS.

    Apply through UCASApply directly to the University
    International students

    On-campus courses starting in September 2022 and January 2023 are now closed to new applications from international students due to unprecedented demand. Applications for September 2023 will open in October. If you have any questions, please email

    Apply through UCASApply directly to the University


    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.

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    Contact us

    Chris Windmill +44 (0)1332 592962

    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 Contact us

    † Additional information about your studies

    4 years with a placement year

    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.

    Please also note that due to the current Covid-19 situation, if your course offers fieldtrips, the location of these may change or be cancelled. If this happens, you will be communicated to in advance and we will do our very best to seek out other practical opportunities to ensure your experience is not affected.

    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 costs not included in your fees
    • 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
    • External hard drive and memory card £50 - £100
    • Personal computer and or tablet computer. From £100 upwards depending on specification
    • 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.

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