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BSc (Hons) Games Programming

Games Technology degree show 2015 video
  • UCAS Code:
    I610
  • Institution:
    B50
  • Delivery:
    Sandwich (Thick) out of college.

Our two games courses encourage you to become entrepreneurial in the way you approach the gaming industry - an important skill given the number of independent games, particularly for mobile phones and tablets that are hitting the marketplace. What's more, this dynamic degree duo share their first year of study, which means you can easily transfer to BSc (Hons) Games Techology at the end of your first year if you feel that your skills and passions would be better suited to the other pathway.

The Games Programming course will see you become a proficient programmer and give you a clear understanding of how to apply those techniques to the games industry. Furthermore you’ll develop your knowledge of artificial intelligence, giving you a broad range of skills that can be put to good use in the context of games programming.

There are five dedicated games labs on campus - one in the brand new Fusion Building which includes 27 new seminar rooms, three lecture theatres, research space, roof-top terraces and numerous catering facilities, and a store from which you can take out equipment for your projects, including Oculus headsets, Leap Motion devices, graphics tablets, iPads and Android tablets. 91% of our final year students said they have been able to access specialised equipment, facilities, or rooms when they needed to – why not come and meet us and see these for yourself?

Key information

Next start date:

September 2017, September 2018

Location:

Bournemouth University, Talbot Campus

Duration:

4 years with a minimum 30-week placement

Accreditations:

The Independent Games Developers Association

Relevant subjects:

Computing, IT, Maths, Physics, Science, Technology

Required subjects:

For 2017 entry: All subjects considered. For 2018 entry at least one of: Computing, IT, Maths, Physics, Science, Technology

Entry requirements:

For 2017 entry (we will use the new UCAS tariff) : 104 to 120 tariff points, including 3 A-Levels, or equivalent qualifications. BTEC Extended Diploma: DMM. For more information check out our 2017 entry requirements page.

International entry requirements:

If English is not your first language you'll need IELTS (Academic) 6.0 (with minimum 5.5 in each of the 4 components), or equivalent. For more information check out our international entry requirements page.

Course details

On this course you will usually be taught by a range of staff with relevant expertise and knowledge appropriate to the content of the unit. This will include senior academic staff, qualified professional practitioners, demonstrators, technicians and research students. You will also benefit from regular guest lectures from industry. We have an industrial advisory panel who offer guidance on course content. They regularly host guest talks and Q&A sessions for our students. Amuzo recently mentored a student group, offering them office space and support on their premises.

Year 1

Core units

  • Creative Business Awareness: An overview of the creative technology industry and how businesses of different sizes work in this sector. You'll take part in business simulations and develop professional skills such as team working, project management, presentation and information communication.
  • Media Devices & Networks: Here, you'll learn about the basic operations of computers and media devices, and network limits and capabilities to merge audio, video and gaming equipment and multimedia content across networks.
  • Software Programming: Learn about the practices of planning, designing and using computer programs for audio and media application.
  • Computer Graphics for Games: The aim of this unit is to introduce students to a number of the fundamental mathematical concepts that are used to underpin the understanding of computer graphics used in game development.
  • Games Production Techniques 1: A double-weighted unit that will introduce you to games development focused on beginner’s level, to develop your understanding of modern game creation for the rest of the course. The unit will look at the history of computer games across the last few decades and hardware and software.

Year 2

Core units

  • Commercial Business Environment: An opportunity to develop commercial and professional skills for operating a business in the creative industry. The unit incorporates teamwork on simulated business projects.
  • Group Project: Develop multidisciplinary team working skills through delivering a project. You'll gain knowledge of production processes and be able to communicate your ideas effectively in person and online.
  • Programming for Graphics & Games: You'll develop a game engine for advanced 2D sprite base games and 3D graphics rendering. There's a particular focus on the mathematical and technical theory needed for gaming software.
  • Mobile Games Programming: Sound and software programming for creating games and 3D graphics for mobile platforms. There will be a particular focus on developing for platforms like the iPhone and the iPad.
  • AI Game Programming: The artificial intelligence needed for games programming. You'll look at key AI algorithms and how they're used in games.
  • Object Oriented Techniques: Gain object oriented analysis and design skills, along with knowledge of algorithms and data structures to create software architectures for object oriented programs. You'll analyse game needs to make rues that separate games into components.

Year 3 (Placement)

You may choose to complete an optional 30-week minimum placement or a short 8 week industrial work placement which can be carried out anywhere in the world. You'll get an opportunity to include a period of academic study during this time. The placement year offers a chance to gain experience and make contacts for the future.

Year 3/4 (Final year)

Core units

  • Innovation & Business Development: Develop your own innovative business ideas. You'll gain skills and experience to set up and manage your own business in the creative industry.
  • Individual Project: An opportunity to apply what you've learnt to develop multimedia, network and business systems. You'll practice problem solving for research, synthesis, realisation and evaluation, and present your project using oral, written and modelling techniques to a professional standard.
  • Graphics & Computational Programming: Become an expert in graphics hardware and GPU programming with a focus on the technical theory needed for developing advanced visual graphics. You'll look at the shader technology and GPU programming paradigms.
  • Game Engine Programming: You'll look at theories for designing game engines and investigate the architecture of commercially available engines in the game industry.

Scheduled learning and teaching activities

Contact hours

The hours below give an indication of how you can expect to spend your time during each year of this course. You will learn through a combination of lectures, seminars, tutorials, workshops and practical sessions. Your independent learning could include reading books and journal articles, working on group projects, preparing presentations, conducting library research and writing your assignments.

In addition to the taught units on this course you will spend time in our dedicated studios using the latest software. Your third year is spent in an industry environment. In your final year, you will spend a significant amount of time on self-directed learning in order to create a unique and substantial project that can be exhibited online.

Year 1 – 33% of your time will be spent in timetabled learning & teaching activities

  • Learning and teaching: 392 hours
  • Independent learning: 808 hours
  • Non-credit bearing learning and teaching: 82 hours

Year 2 – 29% of your time will be spent in timetabled learning & teaching activities

  • Learning and teaching: 362 hours
    Independent learning: 838 hours
    Non-credit bearing learning and teaching: 56 hours

Year 4 - 16% of your time will be spent in timetabled learning & teaching activities

  • Learning and teaching: 242 hours
    Independent learning: 948 hours
    Non-credit bearing learning and teaching: 6 hours

64% of the course is assessed by coursework

  • Year 1: 85%
  • Year 2: 85%
  • Year 3: 0% (placement)
  • Year 4: 87%

Throughout the course you will be assessed by coursework culminating in your final year research project, but you will also undertake group work and written exams.

Programme specification

Programme specifications provide definitive records of the University's taught degrees in line with Quality Assurance Agency requirements. Every taught course leading to a BU Award has a programme specification which describes its aims, structure, content and learning outcomes, plus the teaching, learning and assessment methods used.

Download the programme specification for BSc (Hons) Games Programming.

Whilst every effort is made to ensure the accuracy of the programme specification, the information is liable to change to take advantage of exciting new approaches to teaching and learning as well as developments in industry. If you have been unable to locate the programme specification for the course you are interested in, it will be available as soon as the latest version is ready. Alternatively please contact us for assistance.
 

All statistics shown are taken from Unistats, Destination of Leavers from Higher Education (DLHE), BU institutional data and Ipsos MORI (National Student Survey) unless otherwise stated.

Placement opportunities

At BU, we recognise that placements are extremely valuable and can give you a head start when it comes to your future career; so we offer every student the opportunity to undertake a work placement as part of their course. The placement provides an excellent opportunity for you to gain first-hand industry experience. Why not read about some of our students’ experiences?

We have regular contact with games developers across the UK and overseas, including Jagex, Lionhead, Marmalade, Goodgame Studios and Climax Studios, some of whom act as industry advisers, offering guidance on course content. They regularly host guest talks and Q&A sessions for our students. Amuzo recently mentored a student group, offering them office space and support on their premises.

How long is my placement?

You will begin your placement after completion of your second year of study and you must complete a minimum of 30 weeks.

Your application

Background and experience

For this course we are looking for applicants who:

  • Have a strong interest in games technology with particular emphasis on games programming
  • Are looking to develop a career in the games industry
  • Are looking to use programming and technology for the creation of games and game assets.

Selection methods

We’ll be selecting the candidates for this course by looking at their UCAS applications. For that reason, make sure your application really stands out from the crowd, and leave us in no doubt as to why you should be joining BU. You can find some handy hints about filling in your UCAS form on our how to apply webpages.

Our offer making process

Our offer making will typically be based on your three main graded qualifications, including any required subjects. Additional study may be valuable for breadth of study, and we will look at a range of qualifications and subjects, including the Extended Project Qualification and General Studies, although these may not be part of our offer.

If you do not meet the criteria of your original offer, we may still offer you a place. We will review your whole application and consider all academic qualifications (including those not in the offer) and the rest of the application to see if you have the academic potential to succeed on the course. If we feel the answer is yes, we will still confirm your place.

How we'll assess your application

We look at individual applications and make a tailored offer based on your potential to succeed on the course considering a range of factors, including your academic achievements, work and other experience, predicted grades, reference and personal statement, and in some cases, your performance at an interview/selection test.

If you meet one or more of our contextual data indicators for educational disadvantage (such as being in care, living in a low participation neighbourhood or in an area with less advantaged socio-economic characteristics), your offer could be between 6-20 points below the published tariff.

Unconditional offer scheme

Our Unconditional Offer Scheme seeks to reward exceptional applicants who are predicted to achieve top academic results. The scheme is offered to applicants on all courses who are predicted AAA at A-level/triple Distinction in BTEC Extended Diploma, or above, or equivalent, subject to any course selection measures and meeting other entry criteria (i.e. required qualifications). What’s more we’ll recognise your achievement if you meet these grades with an Academic Excellence Scholarship from £1,500 when you arrive*.

We believe that unconditional offers will reduce pressure on applicants who will continue to strive to achieve the best grades possible. Excellent grades will become a part of applicants’ CVs and are also required for BU’s scholarships. International qualifications are considered in the scheme; however applicants must satisfy the English language requirements. *Our scholarships are subject to terms, conditions and eligibility criteria, detailed on our scholarships pages.

2017 entry requirements

The new UCAS Tariff will be used for September 2017 entry.

The entry requirements for this course are 104 to 120 tariff points, including 3 A-Levels, or equivalent qualifications. BTEC Extended Diploma: DMM.

UCAS have created a helpful calculator so you can calculate points to use for courses starting from September 2017 onwards.

Excluded subjects: This course does not accept General Studies

GCSEs: A minimum of 4 GCSEs grades A* - C (or grade 4 or above in the newly reformed GCSE grading) including a Maths and English or equivalent qualifications

Numeracy and Literacy: We need to be sure that you can express yourself in written English and have basic numeracy skills. We look at Level 2 of the National Qualifications Framework, which includes, but is not limited to, GCSEs, iGCSEs, Key Skills and Functional Skills Level 2.If you do not have formal qualifications to this level or have alternatives, we may still be able to consider your application – please contact the askBU Enquiry Service to find out more.

Other qualifications

We have outlined below other qualifications that we consider for this course. If you are studying a qualification that is not listed, please contact the askBU Enquiry Service. It may be that we can still consider it.

Access Courses: We welcome Access to HE Diploma applicants. This course requires applicants to Pass the Access to HE Diploma in ICT/Science/Business (with 60 Credits - at least 45 at level 3, remainder at level 2 or equivalent). Any combination of grades to meet the overall tariff is acceptable.

BTEC Qualifications

  • Extended Diploma: This course requires a Distinction, Merit, Merit.
  • Diploma: This course requires at least Distinction, Merit in addition to an A-Level or equivalent to achieve the overall tariff.
  • 90-credit Diploma: The 90-credit Diploma will be accepted as part of your overall tariff but it must be accompanied by A-Levels or equivalent qualifications.
  • Subsidiary Diploma: This course requires a Distinction in addition to two A-Levels or equivalent to achieve the overall tariff.   

A combination of BTEC qualifications to meet the overall course tariff is also acceptable.

Cambridge Pre-U Diploma: We welcome applicants studying the Cambridge Pre-U Diploma or a combination of Pre-U subjects and A-Levels.

European Baccalaureate: Applicants are required to achieve a minimum score of 71 - 75% overall.

International Baccalaureate (Diploma): The International Diploma is welcomed as part of the International Baccalaureate.This course requires 28 - 31 points including 5 points from each of the 3 Higher Level subjects.

Scottish Qualifications: Scottish Advanced Highers, Scottish Highers and other Scottish qualifications are all welcomed providing that your results meet the overall course tariff.

Welsh Baccalaureate: The Welsh Baccalaureate Advanced Diploma is welcomed alongside A-Levels or equivalent, to meet the overall course tariff.

OCR Level 3 Cambridge Technical Qualification: The OCR Extended Diploma or a combination of one Diploma plus one Introductory Diploma is acceptable for entry to this course.

  • Extended Diploma: This course requires Distinction, Merit, Merit.

Other combinations of OCR Level 3 Cambridge Technical qualifications to meet the overall course tariff may be acceptable.

Extended Project Qualification: The grade achieved for the Extended Project may be taken into account when considering whether or not to accept a candidate who has marginally failed to meet the conditions of their offer.

Deferred Entry: We are happy to consider applicants for deferred entry.

International entry requirements

English language requirements

If English is not your first language, you will need to provide evidence that you can understand English to a satisfactory level. English language requirements for this course are normally:

  • IELTS (Academic) 6.0 with minimum 5.5 in each of the 4 components, or equivalent.

View further information about our English language requirements.

If you do not meet the English language requirement for your degree then why not join our Pre-Sessional English course. Successful completion of our Pre-Sessional English course will meet your English language requirement, without the need to re-take IELTS.

Academic entry requirements

You can find details of the international qualifications we accept, and what level of study they apply to, on our entry requirements for non-UK students' page.

We offer a number of preparatory programmes through the Bournemouth University International College. These courses offer you progression from High School in your home country to a Bachelor’s degree at BU.

Options include:

Careers

The computer games industry is continuing to expand at a rapid rate and there is a demand for highly technical programmers with good knowledge of mathematics, physics, artificial intelligence and code optimisation. This course will help you develop all the skills you need to enter this fast-paced and exciting industry.

We have links with games companies locally, nationally and internationally, allowing you to make contacts before you graduate. 86% of our graduates are in a professional/managerial position within six months of finishing their course.

You will be in a position to apply for a range of jobs once you graduate, including:

  • Games Programmer
  • Games Developer
  • Media Designer.

This course is a member of The Independent Games Developers Association  (TIGA), the trade association representing the UK games industry, which will make your qualification stand out in this competitive and ever-evolving industry.

Industries worked in

  • Games
  • Multimedia
  • Technology
  • Digital
  • Entertainment.

*All statistics shown are taken from Unistats, Destination of Leavers from Higher Education (DLHE), BU institutional data and Ipsos MORI (National Student Survey) unless otherwise stated.

Further study

Once you have completed an undergraduate Honours degree, you can further develop your education by studying for a postgraduate degree. Please visit our Postgraduate section for further details about our range of Master's degrees.

No hidden extras

As a student at BU we will provide many things to support you and there will also be additional costs you may encounter whilst studying at BU. The information below will help you understand our provision and what you need to budget for.

What you can expect from us

All of your teaching and assessments are included in your tuition fees including lectures/guest lectures and tutorials, seminars, laboratory sessions and specialist teaching facilities. You will also have access to a wide range of support and services. You will find out more about these if you are offered a place on the course.

  • One set of study-related consumables such as a memory stick/ DVD
  • Materials for laboratory and field-based teaching activity
  • Support for placements (UK or abroad) and fieldwork
  • A range of student services – advisors, help desks, counsellors, placement support and careers service
  • The Library – access to a wide range of electronic resources (databases, e-journals and e-books), print and multimedia collections, subject librarians and study spaces
  • IT labs (some open 24/7), wireless network, AV equipment to borrow
  • Peer Assisted Learning (PAL) scheme
  • Disability and additional learning support
  • The BU Language Centre to help you develop/improve foreign or English language skills
  • 24 hours a day, 365 days a year security team.

Costs of living and other expenses you need to consider

  • Accommodation and living costs: view our price guide
  • Text books: remember that our award-winning library is stocked with a large range of text books for all courses, as well as online resources such as industry journals, free of charge
  • General stationery and other supplies such as print and presentation materials: the Students’ Union shops stock a wide range of stationery supplies on both campuses
  • Travel to, from and between BU campuses: our bus service operates in the local areas offering a subsided travel rate; we also have a large number of secure bike storage compounds
  • SportBU membership: check out our student membership packages, sports events, varsity teams, information about our new facilities and more on the SportBU webpages
  • Fieldwork travel, outdoor wear and footwear (where applicable)
  • Telephone and travel costs incurred when undertaking interviews for coursework/securing placements.
  • A fee will be payable towards the cost of an Educational Psychology Assessment if this is required in connection with additional learning support. BU pays for approximately two-thirds of the cost of this assessment for UK students. For more details and current pricing please visit the Student section of the website

Repeat Units

If you need to repeat one or more units during the course of your studies, you may be required to pay an additional fee of £1,500 per 20 credit unit.  

Financial help available from BU

We offer a range of scholarships and bursaries to students who are beginning their studies at BU. Our website also provides details on living costs, budgeting and paying your tuition fees.

What our students say

Lawrence Barnett

BU is the perfect workspace, where I’ve been surrounded by inspiring individuals - staff and students - and top-of-the-range equipment.

Hear from our staff

Dr Christos Gatzidis

It’s important not to disregard the impact of a BU education on an individual such as attention to deadlines, professionalism, facilitation of organised teamwork, and many others.

Facilities & opportunities

Games development labs

Games development labs

The latest industry-standard software for developing games, regularly upgraded to help you into work.

Additional information

Fees and funding

Fees and funding

Find out about fees and funding, including scholarships and bursaries.

applicant open days

Open Days

We give a warm welcome to anyone who comes to meet us and we love showing off our campuses and Bournemouth to prospective students and their families. 

International students

International students

We have a strong international student community. Find all the practical advice and information you need here.