School of Engineering, Computing and Mathematics

BSc (Hons) Computer Science (Games Development)

UCAS tariff 120 - 128
UCAS course code I622
Institution code P60
Duration 3 years (+ optional placement)
Course type Full-time
Location Plymouth

Create your own apps, games, virtual and mixed reality solutions to build your profile as a versatile developer. This course challenges you to innovate in the games sector while applying your highly transferable skills using game technologies to solve real-world problems. Work individually and as part of a team, establishing your portfolio and career trajectory.

Computer Science (Games Development)
Call our Clearing hotline: 0333 241 6929

Contact us today to discuss your options and secure your place on one of our courses with vacancies this September.

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Careers with this subject

The course places a strong emphasis on employability with a focus on the technical side of game development. You will gain highly transferable skills for a fast-evolving sector and beyond. As part of the degree you will be able to establish a tailored developer profile and your career path through our professional network, developer community and international partners. Perhaps your dream is to start your own company by yourself or with a team, we will support you with the help of the The Cube’s entrepreneur program.

What can you do with a games development technologies degree?

Key features

  • Build your profile as a versatile developer
    Attract industry attention with an extensive portfolio of tech demos and indie game releases. Explore and reflect your interests and skillset through deep-dive solo projects. Collaborate in team projects to develop bigger games and more expansive systems.

  • Prepare yourself for the real-world work requirements in the industry

    Learn the skills and experience the full development cycle from initial concept through design process and implementation to final project delivery and product release.

  • Dive into game dev and get involved
    Join our active games and developer community, participate and compete in exhibitions and national events such as EGX, Develop, the Tranzfuser and the Global Game Jam. Meet like-minded people, present your ideas and build fun games.

  • Gain professional accreditation
    Get a degree that's accredited by, and entitles membership of, British Computer Society, BCS, the Chartered Institute for IT.
    We are a member of TIGA, the professional body for games developers in the UK.

Course details
  • Year 1

  • In Year 1 you take part in core software development topics that underpin game development: programming, data structures and algorithms, security, and databases to build a highly transferable skills base. You will apply this fundamental knowledge to game development, solving gameplay problems and creating experiences with modern game engines.

    Core modules

    • Stage 1 Computing Placement Preparation (BPIE111)

      This module is aimed at students who may be undertaking an industrial placement in the third year of their programme. It is designed to assist students in their search for a placement and in their preparation for the placement itself.

    • Software Engineering 1 (COMP1000)

      This module exposes students to the principles of software design and construction. The basics of constructing source code to solve a problem will be introduced, exposing students to common control structures alongside concepts such as types and generics. Major programming paradigms such as object orientation and functional programming are introduced. Additionally, key software development tools and methods are explored.

    • Computer Systems (COMP1001)

      This module provides students with an underpinning knowledge of how computers work. Topics include low-level systems and representation of data, operating systems, and an introduction to subjects such as virtualisation, parallelism, state and communications. Students will learn how operating systems manage processes and scheduling, and how memory management works.

    • Cyber Security & Networks (COMP1002)

      Modern computing relies upon networking and robust cyber security. This module provides an appreciation of their core enabling technologies, discussing how they can be applied. Key networking topics include routing and switching, as well as wireless networks. Key areas of security include underlying concepts and threats, and exploring security technologies that can be applied to enable defence in depth.

    • Algorithms, Data Structures and Mathematics (COMP1003)

      Data structures and algorithms lie at the heart of Computer Science as they are the basis for an efficient solution of programming tasks. In this module, students will study core algorithms and data structures, as well as being given an introduction to algorithm analysis and basic Mathematics for Computer Science.

    • Computing Practice (COMP1004)

      This module applies problem-based learning to provide students with the ability to identify problems and derive appropriate and considered solutions. A focus will be given to the early stages of the software development lifecycle to develop the skills of eliciting requirements whilst considering operational and technical trade-offs. The module will culminate in the creation of a simple yet complete software solution.

  • Year 2

  • In Year 2, core game programming skills are refined and then expanded upon with artificial intelligence. You learn about novel interface prototyping, game engine technologies, and player communication techniques. Establish your working processes, improve your coding, build exciting prototypes that showcase your passion for games. Knowledge gained in earlier stages of the computing programmes is consolidated and integrated into a substantial project. Students work in teams, champion professional roles, using game technologies to design and develop a solution for a given scenario.

    Core modules

    • Stage 2 Computing Placement Preparation (BPIE211)

      This module is aimed at students who may be undertaking an industrial placement in the third year of their programme. It is designed build on the Level 1 module (BPIE111) and to assist students in their search for a placement and in their preparation for the placement itself.

    • Software Engineering 2 (COMP2000)

      Students’ understanding of software engineering is expanded by introducing a range of topics that instil best practice. Students will learn how to implement faster software using parallelism and consider aspects of human-computer interaction. Object-orientation and functional programming are revisited, while event-driven programming is introduced. Common design patterns used in the construction of software are introduced.

    • Information Management & Retrieval (COMP2001)

      This module introduces students to the fundamental concepts for graphical representation, information management, database systems and data modelling. The capture, digitisation, representation, organisation, transformation and presentation of information is explored using conceptual and physical data models.

    • Artificial Intelligence (COMP2002)

      This module provides students with an introduction to the principles of artificial intelligence and the methods used in that field. Topics covered include search and optimisation, knowledge representation and reasoning, and machine learning. Students will gain experience of modelling and simulation, and will apply analytical tools to evaluating results, and will consider the ethical implications of the introduction of AI.

    • Computing Group Project (COMP2003)

      Knowledge gained in earlier stages of the computing programmes is consolidated and integrated into a substantial project. Students work in teams, champion professional roles, design and develop a software solution for a given scenario. The project integrates and expands upon software development stages covered on the course (project management, analysis, design, construction, communication, security and/or networking).

    • Game Development (COMP2007)

      This module provides a series of workshops in interactive systems for game developers with a core lecture series resulting in a substantial individual student project. The workshop series will also introduce students to the game development pipeline through an iterative process, tools and methods used in industry, developing professional practice.

  • Year 3

  • Take advantage of the wide range of opportunities in related sectors, from small studios to multinationals, based in the UK or overseas.

    Core modules

    • Computing Related Placement (Generic) (BPIE330)

      A 48-week period of professional training spent as the third year of a sandwich course, undertaking an approved placement with a suitable company. This provides an opportunity for you to gain relevant industrial experience to consolidate the first two years of study and to prepare for the final year and employment after graduation. Please note this placement is optional but strongly recommended.

  • Final year

  • Build a team and start a company – we have a track record in supporting student enterprise and generating start-ups. We have a strong developer community with regular game jams, hackathons, career fairs and developer conferences. Focus on your career path, selecting options to enable you to achieve a substantial individual project leading to a position or role in your chosen sector. A substantial individual project showcases your game development skill as you focus on topics such as industry engagement and graphics programming.

    Core modules

    • Computing Project (COMP3000)

      The Computing Project provides an opportunity to tackle a major computing related problem in an approved topic area relevant to the programme of study.

    • Team Enterprise (COMP3013)

      The module follows a small developer model, facilitating company formation around a game-based prototype from initial concept to product launch. You will work as part of an interdisciplinary team, develop a commercial pitch and understand your position in the value chain. You will make a game technology-based product to generate a start-up company and use relevant industry approaches to manage and develop your product.

    • Industry Engagement (COMP3014)

      This module provides a contextual framework for developers seeking to release games, Apps, software projects or compete in national events. Topics include creating and protecting intellectual property, product placement, revenue models and licensing, investment, social enterprise, and due diligence. The module includes industry case studies, a guest speaker programme and opportunities for individual mentoring.

    Optional modules

    • Full-Stack Development (COMP3006)

      This module explores the production of dynamic web applications with a particular focus on the web environment. Key elements such as object oriented and event-based development, asynchronous client-server communication and distributed content representation are explored through practical production. The production of a working system uses dynamic web frameworks such as HTML, CSS and JavaScript/jQuery.

    • HCI, Usability and Visualization (COMP3007)

      This module has three main objectives. The first objective is to enhance the students understanding of the topic of Human Computer Interaction (HCI). The second is to emphasise the crucial role of user feedback in the software development life cycle. The final objective is to exemplify this grounding in HCI and usability evaluation using the application area of Information Visualization.

    • Games Graphics Pipelines (COMP3015)

      This module develops core programming skills for game developers, targeting specific elements of graphics pipelines; rendering, shading and optimisation for varied platforms such as AR (mobile) VR and XR platforms. The module focuses on specific skills required to develop tools/solution for emerging game technologies.

    • Immersive Game Technologies (COMP3016)

      This module introduces the concepts and programming techniques for high performance real-time graphics using a relevant graphical API. A bottom-up view of graphical programming is taken, excluding the use of game engines and high-level prototyping tools. Students also learn transferrable skills: programming in an un-managed environment, tools programming, programming for physical interfaces and/or sensors.

Every undergraduate taught course has a detailed programme specification document describing the course aims, the course structure, the teaching and learning methods, the learning outcomes and the rules of assessment.

The following programme specification represents the latest course structure and may be subject to change:

BSc Computer Science Games Development programme specification 7394

The modules shown for this course are those currently being studied by our students, or are proposed new modules. Please note that programme structures and individual modules are subject to amendment from time to time as part of the University’s curriculum enrichment programme and in line with changes in the University’s policies and requirements.

In light of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, the changeable nature of the situation and any updates to government guidance, we may need to make further, last minute adjustments to how we deliver our teaching and learning on some or all of our programmes, at any time during the academic year. We want to reassure you that even if we do have to adjust the way in which we teach our programmes, we will be working to maintain the quality of the student learning experience and learning outcomes at all times.
Entry requirements

UCAS tariff

120 - 128

Applicants exceeding our entry requirements may be eligible for an offer under our Computing Excellence Scheme.

GCSE: English C/4 and mathematics grade B/5. If you have a grade C/4 in mathematics please contact the admissions team.

A levels: A typical offer is 112-120 points from a minimum of 2 A levels in any subject. Excluding general studies.

International Baccalaureate: 27-30 overall – English and mathematics must be included.

18 Unit BTEC National Diploma/QCF Extended Diploma: DDM – science related subjects: IT, Humanities, Engineering, Software Development, IT Practitioners, Business, Computing, Science (GCSE English C/4 and mathematics grade C/5. If you have a grade C/4 in mathematics please contact admissions team).

BTEC National Diploma modules
If you hold a BTEC qualification it is vital that you provide our Admissions team with details of the exact modules you have studied as part of the BTEC. Without this information we may be unable to process your application quickly and you could experience significant delays in the progress of your application to study with us. Please explicitly state the full list of modules within your qualification at the time of application.

All Access courses: 33 credits at merit and/or distinction and to include at least 12 level 3 credits in mathematics with merit. Including a minimum of GCSE English and Mathematics grade C/4. If mathematics not included please contact the admissions team at admissions@plymouth.ac.uk.

T level: Merit to Distinction depending on the Mathematics units studying within the T level pathways.

Other qualifications will be considered individually; please contact us for information.

English language requirements.

We welcome applicants with international qualifications. To view other accepted qualifications please refer to our tariff glossary.

Fees, costs and funding

The UK is no longer part of the European Union. EU applicants should refer to our Brexit information to understand the implications.

New Student 2022-2023 2023-2024
Home £9,250 £9,250
International £14,600 £16,300
Part time (Home) £770 £770
Full time fees shown are per annum. Part time fees shown are per 10 credits. Please note that fees are reviewed on an annual basis. Fees and the conditions that apply to them shown in the prospectus are correct at the time of going to print. Fees shown on the web are the most up to date but are still subject to change in exceptional circumstances. More information about fees and funding.

The Plymouth Computing Scholarship

Students can obtain a Computing Scholarship of up to £1,000 by gaining two A grades at A level - that is £500 for each of the two A grades at A level. This is awarded to home applicants who put us as their firm choice before 1 August 2022. The full Computing Scholarship can also be obtained by students who have put us as their first choice by that date and have acquired three D* grades at BTEC level (this needs to be an IT and Computing-related BTEC). The scholarship is paid during your first year.

Undergraduate scholarships for international students

To reward outstanding achievement the University of Plymouth offers scholarship schemes to help towards funding your studies.

Find out whether you are eligible and how you can apply

Additional costs

This course is delivered by the Faculty of Science and Engineering and more details of any additional costs associated with the faculty's courses are listed on the following page: Additional fieldwork and equipment costs.

How to apply
All applications for undergraduate courses are made through UCAS (Universities and Colleges Admissions Service). 

UCAS will ask for the information contained in the box at the top of this course page including the UCAS course code and the institution code. 

To apply for this course and for more information about submitting an application including application deadline dates, please visit the UCAS website.

Support is also available to overseas students applying to the University from our International Office via our how to apply webpage or email admissions@plymouth.ac.uk.

  • @ We ranked 26/106 for student satisfaction in the 2022 National Student Survey
  • @ Our computing courses have all been re-accredited by the BCS, the Chartered Institute for IT
  • @ In the latest REF (Research Excellence Framework) almost 90% of our research was rated internationally recognised or world leading

Student project showreel

Here is some recent student work from all stages to highlight the variety of output our undergraduates engage with to hone their game development skills. First year work is celebrated as much as the more technically demanding final stage projects.

Our path to industry

<p>Games development arcade game</p>

Games industry

“The course gives you every opportunity to show your skills. If you’re good at design, you can show that off. If you’re good at programming, you can show that off. As I am a mix of both the programming and the design sides, this is perfect for me.” 
Jack, who progressed a UX researcher at Frontier Developments, created Slidey Tanks in his second year. It is best played through our arcade machine!

Find out more about Jack's story .

<p>Arron Burch's Bobby's Burgers VR</p>

Creative and corporate industry

“I have gone from knowing nothing to being confident enough now to build my own applications and games and work for companies in the industry.”

Aaron, now a Unity developer at Rescape Innovation Ltd, created his burger flipping game for VR platforms and released it on Viveport.

Find out more about Aaron's story .

Our culture

 

Our culture is a crucial cornerstone to the course here at Plymouth. A degree course is more than a piece of paper and a set of skills, it is an experience and a journey that we want you to be a part of.

Our course is headed by passionate game developers that teach the industry skillset required to make games, release apps, and apply game technologies to a variety of markets. This is complimented by core of computer science fundamentals that enable you to grapple with a large variety of hardware, data flows, and architectural paradigms.

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</p><div>Games Development Technologies</div>

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Game technologies is a fast-moving sector, embedded in a growing set of industries. We don’t just teach technical skills and workflows, but methodologies and processes that allow you to problem solve, design, and take on both known and unknown challenges within the industry.

We will support you to participate and compete in exhibitions and national events such as Transfuser and Global Game Jam. We are industry facing and will guide and support your job trajectory, your start-up dreams, your game launch.

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</p><div>Games Development Technologies</div>

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Labs

Placements

Josie Wood and Alex Pritchard - interns at Unity

“Going on placement has been the best decision ever!”

“We both talked about our uni work a lot in interviews, working with clients, working in a team, project management. It really did put us above the other candidates.”

Research-informed teaching

Meet the team