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BSc (Hons) Computer Games Technology

Course Overview

Developed in consultation with the games industry, our computer games technology degree focuses heavily on programming and combines in-depth academic knowledge with the practical skills that employers are looking for in computer scientists, games developers and games designers.

On this course, you’ll have the opportunity to study an enviable range of disciplines that include the production of both entertainment and educational ‘serious games’.

This course covers the essential subject areas for anyone wanting to work in the sector: computer programming, ‘coding’ and basic programming, as well as the concepts behind game engine development, working with game consoles and associated hardware.

As part of your studies, you will have the opportunity to work with both 2D and 3D game worlds, to learn how to programme game engines, work with augmented and virtual reality and study mobile technologies, graphics programming and artificial intelligence.

Associated with the curriculum is the opportunity for students from all years to participate in internationally recognised game development competitions, for example Global Game Jam and the Microsoft Imagine Cup, which is one of the world’s premier technology competitions. This gives you the chance to showcase your technical and creative skills to a wider audience.

The course also prepares you for life in the real world, so you’ll learn how to work effectively as a team player, and develop skills in evaluating and communicating information effectively both verbally and in a written form. Several modules use a work-based learning approach to equip you with the skills needed to work as part of game development teams.

Key information

    Course name

    BSc (Hons) Computer Games Technology

    Total academic credits

    360 credits

    Qualification awarded

    BSc with honours

    Awarding body

    Birmingham City University

    Professional recognition

    No

    Academic level

    Undergraduate (QCF_NQF Level 6)

    Study mode

    Full time – Classroom & Laboratory based

    Duration

    3 or 4 years

    Tuition fees

    £12,000 per year

    Intakes

    September

    Work placement

    Yes

    Course location

    Birmingham

Academic entry requirements

At the point of application, you must have GCSE at Grade C or above in English Language and Mathematics. GCE A Level/ AS Level with BBC at A Level or 280 UCAS tariff points from A/AS Level with a minimum of 2 A Levels. Equivalent qualifications will be accepted.

English entry requirements

Students for whom English is not the first language must satisfy the University requirement for IELTS currently at 6.0 overall, with no less than 5.5 in any component.

Progression route

Further academic study at postgraduate level or professional career.

Career opportunities

Graduates find employment as games, graphics and network programmers in a wide variety of different areas including creating console games for Sony PlayStation, Nintendo and Microsoft XBox, to programming the latest mobile devices.

Modules

Year 1

  • Game Engines (15 credits)
  • Game Design (15 credits)
  • Introduction to 2D Games Programming (15 credits)
  • Introduction to 3D Games Programming (15 credits)
  • Professional Context of Technology (15 credits)
  • Data Analysis (15 credits)
  • Computer Systems Technology (30 credits)

 

Year 2

  • C++ Programming for Games (15 credits)
  • Computer Networks and Distribution (30 credits)
  • Programming Game Engines (15 credits)
  • 3D Game World Development (30 credits)
  • Open Systems (15 credits)
  • Media Industry (15 credits)

 

Placement year

You'll be encouraged to further enhance your career prospects by including an industrial placement in your course. This takes place after the second year of study and extends the course duration to four years.

As well as providing the workplace experience sought by many employers, a placement provides an invaluable opportunity for you to further develop your practical expertise, earn money and try out a potential career path. 

 

Year 3

  • Game Graphics Programming (15 credits)
  • Game Console Programming (15 credits)
  • Artificial Intelligence (30 credits)
  • Mobile and Web Technology (30 credits)
  • Individual Project (30 credits)

 

Assessment methods
A range of assessment methods is used throughout the course including continuous assessment, in-class tests, examinations, laboratory exercises and project work. Assessment breakdown: written exams (11%), coursework (89%).

 

Main learning outcomes

In this Computer Games Technology course, you will:

  •  work to develop your skills in  game development using a range of 2D tools such as GameMaker, Construct2 or Stencyl. You’ll work in groups to research game engine functionality, and you’ll implement game mechanics and assess human factors in game development
  • explore how different game mechanics are used in the development of games and work in teams to develop skills in game design and prototyping. You’ll investigate different game mechanics in the development of game prototypes and assess human factors in the development of games
  • explore programming environments that can be used to develop 2D computer games, and learn basic ‘coding’ syntax, program structures and the development of algorithms using object oriented programming languages such as C#, Java or C++. You’ll gain an understanding of how computer games are programmed, culminating in the development of a simple 2D game or simulation
  • be introduced to the context of technology in relation to management of business in its competitive environment, and in the process develop the concept of the ‘independent learner’ within a group. You’ll examine the context of business and will also develop learning, study methods and skills as well as appreciation of research methodologies
  • be introduced to the development of 3D computer games and learn syntax, program structures and the development of algorithms using object oriented programming languages such as C#, Java or C++.  You’ll gain an understanding of how 3D computer games are programmed,  culminating in the development of a simple 3D game or simulation
  • study a wide variety of concepts and methods in mathematics, logic and probability/statistics. Among the subjects you’ll learn are: mathematical methods, algebraic representation and use of formulas; graphical depiction of functions, vectors, matrices and set theory
  • gain a holistic view of how a computer system works on this module.  This will underpin your knowledge to help you in understanding how computer technologies can be applied to a range of settings you’ll be introduced to: the design of computer architecture; how software interacts with hardware; electronics; and programming techniques
  • build on the knowledge you gained in the Introduction to Games Programming module. You’ll focus on C++ programming and develop your skills in the use of an object oriented programming language. You’ll examine software development lifecycle models, C++ syntax, data structures and algorithms, and class libraries such as STL as well as memory management and pointers
  • develop the principles taught in Introduction to 2D and 3D Games Programming. You’ll focus on learning how to program a 3D game engine, its underlying functionality and examine how to manage and work with relevant assets including 3D objects, worlds and spaces. You will study 3D scene and object management, working with models, meshes, textures, skins and terrains, as well as transformations, rendering, shaders, lights and effects
  • will work in teams to explore the development of 3D games, using tools such as Unity, Unreal or Crysis game engines. You’ll look at 3D game development environments, and design games for entertainment or educational purposes.Computer Networks and Distribution This brings together key principles for effective data communication that are used in networked games.
  • learn to implement a data communication network and develop a detailed understanding of the issues within a network related to routing and switching. You’ll examine data communications, network design and management, and evaluations of quality of service
  • develop an understanding of an important theme of modern computer systems construction by looking at Open Source community development and applications. You’ll work with Linux, Apache, MySQL and PHP environments, open source licensing, server systems administration, shell programming and security issues
  • look at production management techniques, research skills, data analysis and presentation, report writing, presenting, and develop reflective practice. You will also examine financial models and analysis, financial planning and monitoring business performance as well as entrepreneurship.
  • focus specifically on issues associated with graphics programming, for example Direct X and OpenGL. Particular emphasis will be placed upon on effective and optimal techniques for programmatically manipulating graphics pipeline and associated technologies
  • focus specifically on issues associated with developing games for consoles other hardware devices. Particular emphasis will be placed upon on effective and optimal techniques for programmatically manipulating game technology hardware
  • be introduced to the role of AI in computer games and will examine movement in computer games; networks and path finding; decision making; neural networks and genetic algorithms as well as learning about advanced AI techniques
  • study the theoretical and practical nature of mobile computing and associated web technologies, including mobile infrastructures, mobile client application development and server side support with respect to web-based middleware and database development. 
  • be introduced to mobility and the wireless web; application architectures; middleware and database development; client user interface as well as personalisation and context awareness
  • be asked to complete a project that simulates a typical graduate workplace task. It will require in-depth knowledge and skills in a course specific area, consideration of wider issues, the ability to manage activities and resources and to generate, implement and report on solutions to meet task objectives. It gives you the opportunity to demonstrate technical and general employability skills