Computer Gaming Technology BSc (Hons)

Full-time undergraduate (3 years, 4 years with placement)

Cambridge

September 2016

code: GW46, GW47

Available in Clearing 01245 686868


Overview

We love computer games. Designing them, building them and making sure they are offer the best player experience possible. If you do too, come and study in our dedicated Games Development Studios. You’ll learn important programming and maths concepts to help you make more interesting and fun games. You'll use the latest game development technology and high end workstations to help challenge yourself in developing the technical skills necessary to work effectively in the video games industry. Over time, you'll create a top quality portfolio to help launch an exciting career. Our course has been validated to include an optional Sandwich Placement year in industry.

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For more information about Sandwich Placement opportunities, please contact the Placements Team.

Our course has a new home in Compass House, which extends our campus along East Road. With the latest technology at your fingertips you'll be able to collaborate with other students on innovative projects to hone your skills.

Full description

Careers

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It can take three years to create a game, all the way from initial concept to the finished product. One game can involve up to 200 professionals working as a team.

The BSc (Hons) Computer Gaming Technology degree will provide you with relevant skills to pursue careers in games programming, quality assurance and independent game development. The core programing skills are also transferable to the wider IT industry, or possibly to a career teaching programming/computer science, giving you extra flexibility.

Graduation doesn’t need to be the end of your time with us. If you’d like to continue your studies we offer a wide range of full-time and part-time postgraduate courses. We offer an innovative, collaborative MSc/MA Computer Game Development which focuses on developing skills through intense collaborative, industry focused projects.

Modules & assessment

Year one, core modules

  • Analytical Techniques for Games Developers
    Game developers regularly face unique challenges in implementing their chosen game mechanics. Many of these challenges cannot be met using existing capabilities within a game engine and must be implemented from first principles. These game mechanics can range from 2D or 3D spatial operations, solving complicated combat or logical equations, and calculating trajectories as examples. Without the knowledge of fundamental mathematical concepts, game developers will be limited in the type of mechanics they can implement and the complexity of their games. In this module you’ll assess your existing analytical and mathematical skills and develop your knowledge and core mathematical skills needed for successful study. We’ll introduce you to the key mathematical techniques that help game developers analyse and solve practical challenges in game development. We’ll assess your learning through in-class tests.
  • Introduction to Game-Engine Technology
    Across the worldwide games industry, there are many development environments within which games and interactive experiences can be developed. These environments, or 'engines' can be complex environments, and act as the core stage in a long and potentially, complex production pipeline. A working knowledge of a game engine is vital in order to be able to implement even the simplest digital video game. Every game engine has its strengths and weaknesses. Some game engines are particularly strong at displaying large continuous open worlds; others may be optimised for the current generation of games consoles, while others are of particular interest when creating multi-platform games at minimal cost. This module provides you with an understanding of the common and transferable concepts within game engines and how such engines integrate into the production pipeline within a commercial games studio. You'll develop this understanding to a level where you will be able to understand the features of a commercial game engine and match these to the requirements of a specific project and in the process, select the most appropriate engine. You'll also gain a working knowledge of a commercial game engine and learn through first-hand experience, the typical tools and techniques for working effectively within a commercial game engine. These core skills are transferable across a range of technologies and will serve as a strong foundation for future technical studies on the pathway. Assessment will involve the implementation of a specified design within a commercial game engine.
  • Introduction to Programming
    This module provides an introduction to high level programming, requiring no prior programming experience. You'll use industry-standard tools and techniques to design, implement, test and document simple programs using a current programming language such as C#, Java or C++. You'll understand the principal components of a high-level program, laying the foundation for subsequent modules requiring structured programming ability. It emphasises the principles of good programming practice and introduce the techniques required to develop software which is robust, usable and efficient. By the end of the module you'll have sufficient mastery of a high-level programming language to allow them to design, implement and test simple programs. The skills taught within the module are directly transferable to the workplace and to provide a suitable foundation to apply programming skills in your later studies and future career.
  • Introduction to Computer Gaming
    You'll be introduced to the study of gaming and development of computer games. We use standard computer platforms suitably equipped with 2D and 3D games development environments in which you'll implement a range of simple games. Teaching and learning covers two separate, but mutually-dependent strands of study and activity. A theoretically-based strand of study looks at the fundamentals of game analysis, design, the requirements of interaction and an outline of game theory with its ideas of states, goals and strategies. These ideas are foundational for both the analysis and design of games and will recur throughout subsequent modules. Alongside this analysis of game genre, forms, their historical and cultural significance provides an informed understanding of the user response to games. The practical strand of activity introduces you to implementing a game using current specialist game development technologies. This practical strand helps (in concert with other modules not specific to gaming) to develop the fundamental skills of computer games development. These strands come together in the assignment, a working game which you'll design and built. Require you to apply knowledge gained from the theoretical aspects of the module to survey and analyse existing games, to produce a theoretically well-founded games design, to plan the practical implementation of the game in a suitable technology, to carry out that implementation and to test and evaluate the result. The final game implementation will also include a design document and report outlining the process of game development and process.
  • Quality Assurance in Game Development
    Creating video games is a complex task requiring the co-operation of gameplay programmers, graphics programmers, AI programmers, artists, modellers, animators, and many other professions. Integrating assets from all these inter-dependent fields into an environment in which players can interact in unpredictable ways, and creates a situation where errors or design flaws are discovered. The first task many players undertake when they first purchase a game is not to play it, but to download a patch to fix all the errors which were discovered in between sending the game to the publishers and for that game to reach the high street shelves. The games industry has, partly due to these challenges, gained a reputation for releasing commercial products which still contain many unresolved or undiscovered errors. Mistakes can also be costly during the development process. Errors or design flaws introduced early on in development can prove extremely expensive to rectify when they are finally discovered later in development. All major game developers and publishers have specialised Quality Assurance (QA) teams who spend many hours checking all aspects of the game to discover as many errors as possible prior to release. QA itself is often undervalued and less well recognised, but is in fact a vital part of the development process to ensure players have an enjoyable experience.This module seeks to introduce students to the importance of Quality Assurance within the development process of games. Here, you’ll learn how to test games effectively and learn how to communicate issues clearly and in a way that those errors can be reproduced by other developers. You’ll also learn the how to use common bug tracking software and the common terminology used within QA departments. Your assessment will see you developing and implementing a test strategy, for a video game.

Year two, core modules

  • 3D Modelling and Animation
    This module will give you the skills you’ll need to work in a variety of professional model creating situations. You’ll use industry-standard 3D modeling and animation packages to develop an animated 3D product or model for a specific purpose. This could be a virtual realisation of an existing project or an entirely new concept based on a design brief. You’ll specify, design and develop the product, working to benchmarks agreed with your tutor. Your class time will be spent learning advanced techniques, and your time outside of the classroom will be spent devising and testing visualisation experiments to increase your knowledge and skills, including animated surface and image mapping, creating textures, video, lighting techniques, nurbs and inverse kinematics. Your final product will be assessed against your design goals. Choosing 3D Character Animation as an optional module would build on your learning to give you the skills to work on the design of computer games or in 3D animation for films or advertisements.
  • Software Design and Implementation
    Software design and engineering applies the principles of computer science to achieve cost-effective solutions to software problems. The number, size, and application domains of computer applications have grown and most people depend on the effectiveness of the software development. Therefore software products have to be efficient, of very good quality and to help us to be more efficient and productive. Get real-world experience in software engineering and gain the intellectual tools to be able to design, implement and test software systems. You’ll get to grips with the concepts of a software life cycle, system theory, design methodologies and relational data modelling and apply a design methodology to a case study producing diagrammatic representations of the data and functionality of a system. You’ll understand database design and implementation and use CASE tools to study topics including analysis and design in UML and managing the OO software development process. Finally, you’ll work in team on a specific project to create an application from a case study that showcases a whole software lifecycle.
  • Object Oriented C++
    C++ (and its language precursor, C) is arguably the most common programming language in industry, and graduates who are good C/C++ programmers are often much sought after in the IT sector (systems programming, embedded software, graphics and games programming). The reason for the popularity of C++ is partly historical, partly because the programmer can produce fast, memory-efficient programs, and partly because of its flexibility to support different programming styles. This module provides an introduction to C++ for those already with some programming experience in another language such as Java or C#. Following procedural introduction you'll be using an object oriented style of programming including the necessary design considerations. Code will be written using an appropriate development environment (such as Visual C++, Dev C++, or C++ Builder) and be mainly confined to ANSI/ISO C++ and use of the standard library so as to promote source code portability to other platforms. You'll learn how explicit types of memory allocation can be used to manipulate data and how this can influence computer resources, gaining an understanding of the underlying architecture behind how other high level programming languages manage their data.
  • Games Design and Development
    You’ll learn about the design of computer games, and be provided with an understanding of the development and delivery technologies which underpin modern high performance games. Theory within this module involves the development and management processes required to create a modern computer game. You’ll also gain an understanding of how to represent games in formal, game-theoretic terms, and also the computational models and architectures which underpin modern games. Mathematical aspects include core concepts for implementing interactions within a game environment. These are introduced through the practical needs of simple interactive games which provide a rationale for trigonometry, vector manipulation, algebra and problem-solving with algorithms. An understanding of the architecture and function of modern game engines is a key theory of the module. This knowledge is applied in the practical aspects, you’ll be required to develop a game from a specified genre, utilise a carefully managed production cycle, and become familiar with the range of tools which underpin games production: level editors, game engines and scripting languages. This approach is central to the skill set of contemporary professional games developers. You’ll be assessed through the production of a working game, with an emphasis on the development of a clear underlying game model, the disciplined development of the game from this model, and the production of high-quality documentation. The game will be developed as part of a group project, simulating conditions in the games industry. Our module uses a wide range of resources, since it is important for you to be exposed to a number of different development tools and game engines, as these typically have restricted and specialised functionality. In addition to a proprietary game development environment, extensive use is made of open source development tools.

Year three, core modules

  • Artificial Intelligence
    Artificial Intelligence (AI) covers a broad range of disciplines ranging from cognitive science and philosophy to more pragmatic engineering subjects. It takes its inspiration from human and other biological behaviour that exhibit intelligence, such as problem solving, planning, decision making and optimization, and seeks to create systems that can perform similar intelligent tasks. The module covers all the main areas of AI such as behaviour, genetic algorithms, neural networks, fuzzy logic and other topics. The course is intended to be quite practical with an emphasis on interactivity in terms of code development and within a wider context of game development. This reflects that whilst a mainstream approach to the subject is taken the module will also have a gaming emphasis. The module assumes a basic level of mathematical ability and physics background (e.g. equations, trigonometry, vectors, equations of force) and whilst no expertise in any particular language is presumed some familiarity in one common high-level programming language is expected (such as C#, C++ or Java). The assessment will require students to develop an AI solution to a given problem providing suitable documentation for the development process. Additionally students will write a separate critical review on one aspect of AI to include recent research in the area. The practical sessions will involve code development and exploration of basic AI principles. In addition a weekly seminar/laboratory session may involve more specific tools supporting interactive game development dealing with issues such as controlling non-player character behaviour, route finding and other areas where interactive simulation requires advanced problem-solving techniques.
  • Professional Issues: Video Games and Society
    Focus on social, professional, legal and ethical issues within the video games industry and engage in coherent and objective debates on current and future issues to develop a professional attitude towards the video games industry. You’ll cover relevant and current topics within the video games industry such as, Computer Law (e.g. Data Protection; Intellectual Property; Hacking), age restricted content, socially sensitive content, culturally sensitive content and the wider public image of the video games industry. The skills you’ll develop are a key part of professional development for game developers seeking to embody professional values and approaches within the video games industry. You’ll choose topics and lead time-constrained seminars on a selected topic area, which will form part of your assessment, as well as producing a detailed report.
  • Final Project
    You’ll work on a substantial piece of individual research and/or product development work, focused on a topic relevant to your specific discipline. Your topic may be drawn from a variety of sources including: Anglia Ruskin research groups, previous/current work experience, the company in which you are currently employed, an Anglia Ruskin lecturer suggested topic or a professional subject of your specific interest (if suitable supervision is available). Your project topic will be assessed for suitability to ensure sufficient academic challenge and satisfactory supervision by an academic member of staff. Your chosen topic will require the you to identify/formulate problems and issues, conduct literature reviews, evaluate information, investigate and adopt suitable development methodolgies, determine solutions, develop hardware, software and/or media artefacts as appropriate, process data, critically appraise and present your findings using a variety of media. Regular meetings with your project supervisor should take place, so that the project is closely monitored and steered in the right direction. Your project developed in this module is the most substantial piece of work that you will produce during your undergraduate studies. Therefore, your choice of project topic and the quality of your work is likely to bear a great influence on your career/employability. The module also includes aspects of Personal Development Plan and CV preparation. You’ll be strongly advised to allocate appropriate attention, time and effort to this module. The successful completion of the module will increase your employability, as you will acquire skills directly applicable to real world projects. The assessment will normally include an Interim Report, a Poster, and a substantial Final Report.
  • Professional and Entrepreneurial Portfolio
    During your development of a substantial piece of work, you’ll use your skills in research, specification, design, documentation, development and evaluation. You’ll continually use real world market and commercial requirements to guide the development process from initial idea to the final deliverable. You could even undertake work for third party clients and practitioners of the industry. Based on the idea of creating a creative arts show reel, you’ll create a professional quality artefact to demonstrate attainment in technical, professional and market knowledge. You’ll take the opportunity to develop new skills or take existing knowledge further within a supportive framework. This might include the creation of a website, desktop application or complete game, either individually or as part of a small team. You’ll be measured by three deliverables the initial research / feasibility plan; an account of the project process, specification, design, implementation, skills development and professional issues; the finished artefact and presentation.

Assessment

Throughout the course, we’ll use a range of assessment methods to help measure your progress. You’ll demonstrate your learning through the games you produce, but there will also be a mix of exams, personal learning plans and projects.

Where you'll study

Your faculty

The Faculty of Science & Technology is one of the largest of five faculties at Anglia Ruskin University. Whether you choose to study with us full- or part-time, on campus or at a distance, there’s an option whatever your level – from a foundation degree, to a BSc, MSc, PhD or professional doctorate. 

Whichever course you pick, you’ll gain the theory and practical skills needed to progress with confidence. Join us and you could find yourself learning in the very latest laboratories or on field trips or work placements with well-known and respected companies. You may even have the opportunity to study abroad.

Everything we do in the faculty has a singular purpose: to provide a world-class environment to create, share and advance knowledge in science and technology fields. This is key to all of our futures.

Where can I study?

Cambridge
Lord Ashcroft Building on our Cambridge campus

Our campus is close to the centre of Cambridge, often described as the perfect student city.

Explore our Cambridge campus

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Placements

This course gives you the opportunity to take a work placement year between years 2 and 3 of your studies. You’ll get experience of seeking and securing a job and working in an industry relating to your course. You’ll also get the practical experience and industry contacts to benefit your studies and enhance your long-term career prospects.

Although they can’t be guaranteed, we can work with you to find a placement using our contacts with a large number of employers. You’ll have regular contact with one of our course tutors and be supported by a supervisor from your placement company. Together they’ll monitor your performance and give you feedback.

Occasionally, opportunities arise for extra-curricular opportunities with local game developers. In the past, these have ranged from participating in focus groups, user testing, asset development and other short term opportunities. You will be made aware of such opportunities as they arise and work with you to help fit them around your other commitments.

To find out more about placement opportunities, email us at FST-Placements@anglia.ac.uk.


Fees & funding

Course fees

UK & EU students, 2016/17 (per year)

£9,000

International students, 2016/17 (per year)

£11,500

Fees statement 

Tuition fees for UK/EU students 2017/18 are currently set at £9,000. These fees are regulated by the UK government and may increase in line with government policy. There is a possible increase for the 2017/18 intake of 2.8% which would put the fees at £9,250.


How do I pay my fees?

Tuition fee loan

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Most English undergraduates take out a tuition fee loan with Student Finance England. The fees are then paid directly to us. The amount you repay each month is linked to your salary and repayments start in April after you graduate.

How to apply for a tuition fee loan

Paying upfront

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If you choose not to take out a loan you can pay your fees directly to us. There are two ways to do this: either pay in full, or through a three- or six-month instalment plan starting at registration.

How to pay your fees directly

International students

You must pay your fees up-front, in full or in instalments. You will also be asked for a deposit or sponsorship letter for undergraduate courses. Details will be in your offer letter.

Paying your fees
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Funding for UK & EU students

We offer most new undergraduate students funding to support their studies and university life. There’s also finance available for specific groups of students.

Grants and scholarships are available for:

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Funding for international students

We've a number of scholarships, as well as some fee discounts for early payment.

Entry requirements

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Important additional notes

Our published entry requirements are a guide only and our decision will be based on your overall suitability for the course as well as whether you meet the minimum entry requirements. Other equivalent qualifications may be accepted for entry to this course, please email answers@anglia.ac.uk for further information.

All tariff points must come from A levels. Points from AS levels cannot be counted towards the total tariff points required for entry to this course.

Entry requirements are for September 2016 entry. Entry requirements for other intakes may differ.

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International students

We welcome applications from international and EU students, and accept a range of international qualifications.

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English language requirements

If English is not your first language, you'll need to make sure you meet our English language requirements for undergraduate courses.

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Improving your English language skills

If you don't meet our English language requirements, we offer a range of courses which could help you achieve the level required for entry onto a degree course.

We also provide our own English Language Proficiency Test (ELPT) in the UK and overseas. To find out if we are planning to hold an ELPT in your country, contact our country managers.

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Get more information

UK & EU applicants

01245 68 68 68

Enquire online

International applicants

+44 1245 68 68 68

Enquire online