School of Computing, Electronics and Mathematics

BSc (Hons) Computing & Games Development

Create your own apps, indie releases and serious games and build your profile as a software developer. This course will challenge you to innovate in the games sector while honing your software development skills and working for real clients on live projects. Work individually and as part of a team, prove your capabilities with tech demos and releases. Our course is built on a core of computer science topics, supported by industry veterans and our own in-house Interactive Systems Studio.

You will graduate from a course accredited by the BCS, the Chartered Institute for IT, entitling you to membership of the society. You’ll draw on the expertise of our Interactive Systems Studio team in your core lectures, games workshops and live projects. You will participate and compete in exhibitions and national events such as the Explay festival, TIGA Game Hack, Explay Gamejam and Global Game Jam.

Key features

  • Create an impressive portfolio of tech demos, indie game releases, and client projects for multiple platforms.
  • Gain experience of individual and team-based game development using industry standard processes.
  • Experience the full development cycle from initial concept through design and implementation to final project delivery.
  • Develop highly transferable skills as a games and apps developer following an agile approach to deliver projects to client expectations.
  • Graduate from a course accredited by the BCS, the Chartered Institute for IT, entitling you to membership of the society.
  • Draw on the expertise of our Interactive Systems Studio team in your core lectures, games workshops and live projects. The studio is a member of TIGA, the trade body for the UK Games Industry and a gold sponsor and exhibitor of the Explay Indie Games Festival as featured in Edge, Develop and PSN.
  • Participate and compete in exhibitions and national events such as the Explay festival, TIGA Game Hack, Explay Gamejam and Global Game Jam.
  • Use the final year to build a team and start a company, we have a track record in supporting student enterprise, generating start ups and mentoring graduate developer.
  • Carve your niche in this fast evolving sector and join our national and international alumni.

Course details

  • Year 1
  • In year one, you’ll take part in a substantial games workshop, establishing core gameplay and game mechanics, working towards your first indie release. You’ll also focus on core software development topics including programming, data structures and algorithms, security, databases, interaction design and web development, to build a highly transferable skills base.
    Core modules
    • AINT152 Games Workshop

      The games workshop introduces core topics for games development including: production and design of assets, game play mechanics and interaction design, iterative development and version control, documentation and planning process, current practice and roles within mainstream and independent games development sectors.

    • BPIE111 Stage 1 Computing Placement Preparation

      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.

    • SOFT152 Software Engineering

      Provides an intensive introduction to Software Engineering for those studying Computer Science or related courses where programming is a core and necessary component. The module includes coverage of problem solving involving abstraction and problem decomposition. At the outset implementation uses an imperative / structured programming approach, before moving onto Object Oriented and Event-driven methodologies.

    • AINT154 Games Development Immersive Introduction

      This module provides an intensive introduction to the concepts, modes of study, technical content and course culture for students studying BSc (Hons) Computing & Games Development, providing a foundation for successful engagement with the programme.

    • SOFT153 Algorithms, Data Structures and Mathematics

      Data structures and algorithms lie at the heart of Computer Science as they are the basis for the 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.

    • AINT151 Web Game Technologies

      Introduction to current technologies used to deliver browser based games content and the associated frameworks and resources for developing simple online games. Students will implement a series of prototypes demonstrating core concepts, resulting in an initial release presented online in their own `developer¿ website.

    Optional modules
    • AINT153PP Intelligent Systems

      Topics covered within this module are selected to be inspirational demonstrators that showcase research topics in the field of Intelligent Systems and provide `hands-on¿ involvement in a lecture/practical setting. This module is suitable both for students form technical degrees (e.g. computer science, robotics, mathematics) and for students from psychology, business and social sciences.

    • MATH1608PP Understanding Big Data from Social Networks

      The amount of data from questionnaires and social networks has grown enormously. Computer tools are needed to understand what these data are telling us. Students will gain valuable experience in questionnaire analysis, and in the use of software for understanding and reporting the underlying messages from data sources such as social networks. They will also meet appropriate high performance computing techniques.

    • SEC102PP Cybersecurity Essentials

      This module provides an introduction to core principles of cybersecurity applicable to the protection of individuals and organisations. The coverage addresses technical and human perspectives, considering the fundamental threats and safeguards that concern both personal and workplace contexts. Candidates will emerge with the knowledge and skills necessary to ensure informed decisions when protecting IT systems and data.

    • SOFT156PP Developing E-commerce Applications

      This module introduces students to the range of issues surrounding the rapid development of an e-commerce application through the use of appropriate frameworks.

  • Year 2
  • In year two, you’ll develop and apply these skills in a dedicated interactive systems workshop supported by our industry speaker programme. You’ll learn about novel interface prototyping, game engine technologies, web and mobile development, 3D modelling and animation techniques. You’ll also develop skills in core games programming and AI. You’ll have the option to enhance your knowledge with additional modules in web development, software engineering and computer networks.
    Core modules
    • BPIE211 Stage 2 Computing Placement Preparation

      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.

    • PRCO203 Live Integrating Project

      The module provides students with the opportunity to engage in a team-based online/offline software development project. The project integrates the various aspects of software development encountered on the course (analysis, design, construction and project management).

    • AINT255 Artificial Intelligence for Game Development

      An overview of current issues and techniques in Artificial Intelligence (AI), focusing on their use in software game development. Students will gain an understanding of theoretical and applied game AI, as well as an appreciation of current research and practical experience in developing AI Game techniques using a contemporary high level programming language and appropriate game and / or physics engines.

    • SOFT252 Object-oriented Software Engineering with Design Patterns

      This module aims to develop object-oriented software engineering principles and practices in including encapsulation, abstraction, aggregation and inheritance. It will introduce issues such as progression from analysis to design, implementation, testing and documentation and it includes the use of design patterns (proven solutions to common problems) and software quality principles for enhanced software development.

    • AINT253 Design Process

      A production based workshop exploring design principles for Game Developers. Creative process, production methods for art assets including Interface design, 3D modelling and Sound. Integration and optimisation of assets for game development for a variety of formats and platforms. The lecture series introduces practical techniques, case studies and related cultural influences to inform project work.

    • AINT254 Interactive Systems Workshop

      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 tools and methods used in industry, developing Professional practice. Personal enterprise and ethical issues are also covered.

    Optional modules
    • SOFT253 Embedded Programming, Compilers, Languages and Grammars

      This module aims to lift the lid of a computer and show how computers really work. A simple embedded microcontroller is used because such devices are simple enough to really understand how they work. The process of how source code is converted into executable machine code (compilers), and the structure of language and grammar is examined.

    • SOFT254 Mobile Device Programming

      This module looks at the differences between coding for a desktop computer and for a mobile device, and the creation of apps that operate in a multi-tiered and/or distributed environment. Students will create apps that are focused, robust, safe and that conform to the user interface conventions of their platform. The module uses a native development framework; it is not about high-level tools that create an app for you.

  • Optional placement year
  • You have the opportunity in year three to enhance your technical know how, personal and professional skills, business understanding and future employability with an optional paid year or short internship in a games related sector. We have a growing network of companies who visit the course to snap up raw talent in return for presentations, guest lectures or master classes. Our placement office will also help you make the most of this experience.
    Core modules
    • BPIE330 Computing Related Placement (Generic)

      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
  • In the final year, you will experience working as a development team, establishing working processes and creating your own solutions as you work towards a release or creating a start up company. We have a track record in supporting student enterprise, generating start-ups and mentoring graduate developers. You'll also develop a substantial individual software development project, your own game, development tools, a live client project or a training or visualisation application using games technology . You’ll have the opportunity to showcase this work at national and international events. After graduating, you can carve your niche in this fast evolving sector and join our national and international alumni.
    Core modules
    • AINT354 Design for Entertainment Systems

      The module follows a small developer model facilitating company formation around an Entertainment prototype, from initial concept to product launch. Work as part of an interdisciplinary team, develop a commercial pitch and understand your position in the value chain. Make a games product, smart toy or robot system to generate a start-up company. Use online management and version control following an agile methodology.

    • PRCO304 Computing Project

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

    • AINT355 Industry Engagement

      The module provides a contextual framework for developers seeking to release games, APPs, software products 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 program and opportunities for individual mentoring.

    Optional modules
    • AINT352 Computational Intelligence

      Computational intelligence is the approach within artificial intelligence that covers nature-inspired computational methodologies such as evolutionary computation, neural computation and fuzzy logic. This module provides an in-depth introduction and discussion of the main theoretical and methodological approaches to computational intelligence with practical lab sessions.

    • AINT353 Brain-inspired Cognitive Systems

      The module develops an understanding at a systems level of how the brain performs the functions of vision, hearing and movement control, and how novel artificial cognitive systems might use brain-inspired sensory and motor mechanisms to achieve human-like levels of performance.

    • ISAD351 Software Project Management

      To enable students to acquire a critical understanding of the management and methodological issues associated with software development.

    • ISAD355 Internet Psychology and Pervasive Technology

      This module aims to introduce students to the psychology and societal implications of Internet use. To evaluate the variety of issues related to the implications of pervasive technology on the individual and wider society.

    • SOFT351 Programming for Entertainment Systems

      This module introduces the concepts and programming techniques for high performance real-time graphics using an graphical API such as DirectX or OpenGL. The module has a very bottom-up view of graphical programming; it is not about the use of game engines and high-level prototyping tools. Students also learn many highly transferrable software engineering skills, e.g. programming in an un-managed environment.

    • SOFT352 Client-side Web Scripting

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

    • SOFT354 Parallel Computation and Distributed Systems

      The module aims to develop skills in understanding and programming parallel and distributed computer system. It will provide an introduction to different parallel architectures, programming techniques and methodologies. Practical training will focus on HPC cluster and GPGPU architectures and programming techniques.

    • AINT351 Machine Learning

      This module introduces machine learning, covering unsupervised, supervised and reinforcement learning from Bayesian, Information Theoretic and decision making perspectives. This includes theory behind a range of learning techniques and how to apply these to build representations of data in systems that make decisions and predictions.

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 Computing and Games Development Programme Specification 4230

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.

Entry requirements

30 points from an International Baccalaureate.

18 Unit BTEC National Diploma/QCF Extended Diploma: DDM in a related subject*.

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: Pass a named Access to HE Diploma - computing/IT/science/humanities/engineering, at least 33 credits at merit and/or distinction to include 12 credits at level 3 in maths with merit.

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

GCSE: English language grade C, mathematics grade B.  If you have a grade C in mathematics please contact us.

For a full list of all acceptable qualifications please refer to our tariff glossary.

English language requirements

Note:
 we will accept students onto Year 2 or Year 4.  Please contact us for further information.


*Acceptable subjects:  IT, humanities, engineering, software development, IT practitioners, business, computing, science.

Fees, costs and funding

New students 2017-18

Full time Home/EU* International**   Islands***
Undergraduate (Classroom based) £9,250 tbc £9,250
Undergraduate (Laboratory based) £9,250 tbc £9,250
Science and Engineering - Year Zero

(Classroom based)
£9,250 tbc £9,250
Science and Engineering - Year Zero

(Laboratory based)
£9,250 tbc £9,250
Management, Government and Law  - Year Zero tbc tbc £9,250
2 year fast-track £9,250 tbc £9,250
Integrated Masters (Classroom based) £9,250 tbc £9,250
Integrated Masters (Laboratory based) £9,250 tbc £9,250
Master of Architecture (MArch) £9,250 tbc £9,250
PGCE £9,250 tbc £9,250
Management Practice (Online) (First year - part time) tbc tbc tbc

Part time (per 10 credits) Home/EU* International**   Islands***
Undergraduate (Classroom based) £770 tbc £770
Undergraduate (Laboratory based) £770 tbc £770
Science and Engineering - Year Zero (Classroom based) £770 tbc £770
Science and Engineering - Year Zero (Laboratory based) £770 tbc £770
Management, Government and Law  - Year Zero tbc tbc tbc
Integrated Masters (Classroom based) £770 tbc £770
Integrated Masters (Laboratory based) £770 tbc £770
PGCE £770 tbc £770

*The tuition fee for UK students transferring to Plymouth University from a partner institution is £9,000.
**Please refer to the policy for capping of international student tuition fees.

***‘Islands’ refers to fees for both the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man.

Continuing students

Please note some fees for continuing students may differ slightly.

For a full listing please visit our fees for continuing students 2017-18 page.

Further information

Download our fees brochure

Read our Student Fee Policy for the Ordinary Degree route

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 international-admissions@plymouth.ac.uk.



Facilities

Our dual boot studio is the base camp for the course - this is a proper development environment with industry-strength tools for cross-platform development. We also run our own servers and infrastructure so we keep pace with industry.
Find out more about our facilities

Projects from our computing and games development students

Watch a selection of student prototypes ranging from first year Kongregate releases, second year co-op prototypes and final stage projects.

Free iPad and eBooks

You'll receive an Apple iPad mini and an eBook package worth over £300 covering core first year modules. You'll have access to resources to support your modules, such as podcasts, videos, eBooks and our iTunes U content.

Receive an Apple iPad mini to support your learning and manage your projects. Test and develop apps for iOS ready for release during your course.

The Tamar Engineering Project

Funding and mentoring for high achievers who might not otherwise consider higher education as a route to a career in engineering.

Learn if you are eligible for this scholarship to study engineering at Plymouth University through the Tamar Engineering Project.

Successful applicants will receive:

  • £5,000 towards living costs per year of study
  • £1,500 course fee waiver per year of study
  • one-to-one mentoring from an industry expert.
Read more about the Tamar Engineering Project.

Optional industry placement year or paid short internship

The placement provides you with an opportunity to embed skills and knowledge developed during the first two years of the degree. We have a network of companies who recruit our students, either for short internship, placement or graduate positions.

While the placement is optional we strongly encourage securing a paid placement or internship prior to progressing to our final year.

Placements

Passionate about games, dedicated to the cause, and skilled enough to back it up. He’s been working on a client-facing project from day one, is revelling in the experience, and is exceeding our expectations as a developer.
Find out more about Playerthree

Where are they now?

  • ] Take a look at some of our graduates' start up companies from the gallery below...

Meet some of your lecturers