School of Engineering, Computing and Mathematics

BSc (Hons) Games Development Technologies

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.

Our course is based on a core of computer science complemented by industry veterans and our in-house interdisciplinary interactive systems studio.. We will support you to participate and compete in exhibitions and national events such as the Explay festival, TIGA Game Hack, Explay Gamejam and Global Game Jam

Opportunities available...

  • A course-specific scholarship scheme is available: for more information, see the 'Fees, costs and funding' section, below.
  • Excellence schemes: we may make you a personalised offer if you are a strong candidate – visit our webpage for details.

Visit our showcase

Take your skill and passion for games to the next level by fusing core computer science fundamentals with game development skills and knowledge.

Find out more on the GDT

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.

Find out more about Clearing

Careers with this subject

The course places great emphasis on employability, providing highly transferable skills for a fast-evolving sector. Establish a convincing developer profile and your career path through our professional network, developer community and international partners. Alternatively, form a start-up and grow your company in the Formation Zone.

Where could your degree take you?

Key features

  • Create an impressive portfolio of tech demos, indie game releases, and client projects for multiple platforms (working on live projects with real clients). 
  • Experience the full development cycle from initial concept through design process and implementation to final project delivery and product release. 
  • Join our established developer community, participate and compete in exhibitions and national events such as the Explay festival, TIGA Game Hack, Explay Gamejam and Global Game Jam and establish your developer profile. 
  • Seeking accreditation by BCS for 2020, The Chartered Institute for IT. We are a member of TIGA, the trade body for the games industry 

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.

  • Optional placement year

  • 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.

    • 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 Games Development Technologies Programme Specification 6895

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

112 - 120

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.

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 2021-2022 2022-2023
Home £9,250 £9,250
International £14,200 £14,600
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. For more information about fees and funding please visit www.plymouth.ac.uk/money.

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 2021. 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 the first semester of the 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 international-admissions@plymouth.ac.uk.

The perfect platform to prepare for VR and serious games industry

Arron Burch has turned his BSc (Hons) Computing & Games Development (course title now BSc (Hons) Games Development Technologies) placement into a graduate job.

“When I first joined the University I had no prior programming experience at all and didn’t know anything about the process behind building games or software. I am now confident enough to build my own applications and games and work for companies in the industry.”

Find out more about Arron's story

All set for a high score in the games industry

Jack Griffiths' has combined his passions – design and programming – on his BSc (Hons) Computing & Games Development (course title now BSc (Hons) Games Development Technologies) degree.

“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.”

Find out more about Jack's story

Our culture

Our culture is a crucial cornerstone to the programme 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.

The society

The Games Development Society is run by students for students. Here members get a chance to share new techniques and strategies for developing games whilst also having the opportunity to test out their ideas and prototypes with like minded people. Local developers contribute talks and demonstrations helping society members get the most out of their endeavours.


Labs

For all this to function smoothly we have dedicated infrastructure for the development of both cross platform, mobile and 3D virtual reality applications in our specialist lab. We provide the latest programming and creative tools, 3D engines and mobile platforms to give everyone involved in the course the opportunity to develop core skills that are needed in a rapidly evolving industry.

Team projects

Rapid prototypes developed by teams of two to four students in the first semester of the final year; from mobile games to room scale virtual reality, typically released as pre-alpha on itch.io, Viveport or Steam.

<p>Computing and games development<br></p>
<p>Computing and games development<br></p>
<p>Computing and games development<br></p>

Games Development Society

A society for students run by students. This is a place where you can come and pitch your ideas, bounce them off like minded individuals, get feedback, play and discuss games, applications and techniques as well as chill out and unwind.

The society organises talks and demonstrations by local industry veterans and games development technology lecturers.

Topics range from 3D modelling to paper prototyping, version control to GPU shaders, pre-production conceptualisation to post-release marketing. There is something for everyone and gives members a chance to dabble with other parts of the creative process that they may not have had to opportunity to do before.

The society works alongside the Interactive Systems Studio to organise regular game jam events and hackathons (for example: Global Game Jam, Ludum Dare).

Specialist labs

To undertake a highly technical and demanding course we need to make sure you have the right infrastructure to support you in creating amazing projects.

The computing and games development course has dedicated cross platform development labs boasting high end Apple iMac computers that are running both Windows 10 and Mac OS X.

We have a wide range of industry standard software and game engines installed as well as production software typically used by indie developers. This mix of high end and low end software allows our students to develop to the limits of their ideas and not the technologies.

On top of that we have access to a dedicated Nvidia 3D development suite comprising of multi-GPU PCs with a similar range of programming and games design software installed.

Our students use industry standard version control and online project management tools maximising their employability and motivating best practices.

Where our students work...

Corporate industry

Graduate startups

Independent studios

Education and research

“I am simply astounded by the exceptional work around gamification at the University of Plymouth. Their technical expertise is beyond compare to what I have seen at other institutions and the team have taken this in a unique direction. The University have created a commercially focused spin-off agent with the Interactive Systems Studio team threaded with an exemplary focus on student integration and employment.”
Cailean Hargrave – Head of Media at UCAS Media and Senior Leader at UCAS. Former head of IBM UK Education Lead

Award-winning students

<p>2017 Formation Zone Business Challenge winners</p>
<p>International STEM Students Forum 2017<br></p>
<p>2017 BETA programme</p>

Recent award success

Formation Zone announced the winners of the 2016/17 Business Challenge

As well as the overall prize, we had winners in three categories – Creative, Digital and Technology, and Health – with each winner taking home prizes from Formation Zone and our sponsors Santander Universities.

Winners 2017:

  • Nicholas Wade Winner, 'Creative Category' for start up Nikomus Games.

Find out more about the awards


International STEM Students Forum 2017

Hosted by the Vocational Training Council (VTC) of Hong Kong, the International STEM Students' Forum serves as a platform for STEM students and teachers in Higher education in various countries.

Winners 2017:

  • Elliot Blackburn 'Outstanding Individual Project' (Easy Front End services for Web Developers: Scaffold
  • Dan Livings, Matthew James, Jamie Cox 'Outstanding Team Project' (Megaton: Total Destruction)

BETA Enterprise programme awards funding to student start-up

The BETA enterprise programme encourages budding business innovators to develop ideas in partnership with academics and alumni.

Winners 2017:

  • Corrie Barton, Jake Holland, Sam Perriton Branch BETA Challenge Award (start up Feisty Crab Studios)
  • Dan Livings, Jamie Cox, Matthew James BETA Challenge Award (start up Total Distraction)

Find out more about the awards

Megaton: Total Destruction by Dan Livings, Matthew James and Jamie Cox

Athena Swan Bronze

The School of Engineering, Computing and Mathematics was awarded an Athena Swan Bronze award in October 2020 which demonstrates our ongoing commitment to advancing gender equality and success for all.

Meet the course team