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Graduates from this course are employed in many different roles

  • Game designer
  • Programmer
  • Software Developer
  • Software IT Graduate Developer


Develop essential skills for a rewarding career in game development and programming.


Do you enjoy playing computer games and would you like to turn this passion into a exciting and dynamic career?

If you do then this degree course is for you.

Develop expertise in a variety of programming languages and mobile technologies necessary for the gaming industry.

On completion of the course you will be able to contribute to the development of computer games on a PC, console, mobile and emerging platforms.

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About this course

In this section


This part-time course will provide you with a wide range of knowledge and skills in computer games development where you will be exposed to the entire life cycle of computer game production from initial idea through to final release stage.

You will develop expertise in a variety of programming languages and mobile technologies necessary for the gaming industry. You will learn graphics programming for games, conceptual design, game mechanics and production. This course will help you on your way to a career in the interactive and innovative games sector as well as introducing opportunities for further study.

Topics covered include the fundamentals of computer games development principles, including understanding the current state of the games industry and games mechanics; graphics programming and mobile computing.

An important part of your final year is the individual project where you can work on an agreed project with your project supervisor. Typical projects could involve creating AI for games, augmented or virtual reality games, or modelling and optimising game based virtual economies.


Part-time. Modules are taught along with full-time students, on a module-per-day basis to accommodate day-release from employment, and are web-supplemented.

Start dates

  • September 2017
How to apply


Here is a guide to the subjects studied on this course.

Courses are continually reviewed to take advantage of new teaching approaches and developments in research, industry and the professions. Please be aware that modules may change for your year of entry. The exact modules available and their order may vary depending on course updates, staff availability, timetabling and student demand. Please contact the course team for the most up to date module list.

In this section

Year one

Software Development I

Year: 1

This module provides students of computing with an initial competence in the development of software through the medium of a modern programming language with facilities for both structured and object-oriented programming

Software Development II

Year: 1

This module is a direct follow-on to Software Development I. Students are introduced to more advanced features of both an algorithmic programming language and an object oriented language, and will be expected to acquire a higher level of competence in writing software.

Introduction to Computer Games

Year: 1

This module provides students with knowledge of the fundamental social, business and technical issues associated with the design, development and publishing of computer and video games. The module explores the game development industry in terms of the people, processes, tools and technologies involved in the creation of modern games.

Introduction to Game Design

Year: 1

This module will provide students with a detailed knowledge of the fundamental issues facing designers in creating compelling, engaging games and game play mechanics from a contemporary and historical context. It will provide a theoretical underpinning to practical game design.

Year two

Computer Hardware and Operating Systems

Year: 2

Differences in the internal structure and organisation of a computer lead to significant differences in performance and functionality, giving rise to an extraordinary range of computing devices, from hand-held computers to large-scale, high-performance machines. This module addresses the various options involved in designing a computer system, the range of design considerations, and the trade-offs involved in the design process.

Mathematics for Engineering I

Year: 2

This module provides students with a solid foundation in the fundamental topics in engineering mathematics. The material develops the student?s competencies in the essential mathematics that forms an integral part of an undergraduate honours degree in engineering related disciplines.

Year three

Object oriented Programming & Modelling

Year: 3

This module builds on the programming foundations developed during year one and introduces students to the concepts of object-oriented design and programming. Students learn how to use OO concepts to design and implement software solution using the C++ programming language.

Algorithms and Data Structures

Year: 3

The module builds upon the expertise acquired in Year 1 software development. Students are introduced to the classic data structures and algorithms that are used to process them, the specification of methods and classes and the measurement of algorithm performance.

Games Graphics Programming

Year: 3

This module introduces students to the fundamental technical issues associated with computer graphics programming for modern computer games. The module focuses on providing students with a thorough understanding of the core principles and techniques that underpin computer graphics. The module also aims to develop students' programming skills and introduce them to a range of industry standard tools and techniques employed in the construction of rendering systems for computer games.

Mathematics for Engineering II

Year: 3

This module introduces students to the essential mathematics with appropriate numerical computing and programming required for embarking on further study in engineering, computing or a related discipline. It develops the students mathematical skills required to solve problems that arise in the context of their undergraduate study. The module content is introduced in a pragmatic way and then related to real world problems, which enhances understanding and makes the concepts more meaningful and relevant for the student. The module also aims to generate in the student a spirit of mathematical investigation and discovery leading to the development of mathematical confidence. An introduction is given to MatLab, the multi-paradigm numerical computing environment and fourth-generation programming language; assessment in also partially completed in MatLab.

Year four


Year: 4

This module builds on programming foundations covered in Year 1 and provides a foundation for the Web development modules in Year 2 and 4. In addition, it offers an appreciation of user factors in application design and provides students with the tools to specify and develop high quality user interfaces.

Professional Issues

Year: 4

The module prepares students for professional work including the responsibilities and obligations of employees, employers and clients as determined in codes of professional conducts. Students will have the opportunity to practise the presentation of themselves in, for example, application forms, curriculum vitae, interview and aptitude tests. In addition the module addresses issues such as intellectual property rights and defamation, data protection, computer misuse and other ethical issues related to working as a professional in the software sector.

Games Design and Development

Year: 4

The module covers the fundamental principles and theory of 2D game design and development and provides practical experience in pitching and developing 2D games using a range of techniques, industry standard tools and technologies. It places a focus on the important role of teamwork, planning, project management and version control in the game development and implementation process.

Year five

Concurrent and Distributed Systems

Year: 5

This module is optional

This module provides a theoretical foundation in the area of concurrent and distributed systems. This is an increasingly important area of computing as these types of systems are now manifest in a wide range of internet/intranet based application domains. The module first covers the key theory and design principles and then provides a learning path for software development in this exciting and evolving area of computing/engineering. As a consequence it facilitates students to develop expertise in the core skills area of multithreaded, networked and web-enabled computer systems.

Enterprise Computing

Year: 5

This module is optional

This module will expose students to the world of heterogeneous enterprise computing with an emphasis on multi-tier, web enabled applications. This is an increasingly important area of computing as these systems are now manifest in a wide range of web based applications. The module will first provide an understanding of the role and function of the core technologies involved and then address the design principles required for developing enterprise computing applications. Consequently this module aims to meet the needs of today's undergraduate students who wish to equip themselves with expertise in implementing enterprise wide computing systems.

Advanced Mobile Technology

Year: 5

This module is optional

This module addresses and develops understanding and knowledge of key and emerging concepts associated with mobile technologies, and fosters related mobile application software design and development principles.

Computational Intelligence

Year: 5

This module is optional

Having completed this module, the student should have an understanding of the research area of Computational Intelligence. The module will address important implementation issues and describe the benefits of intelligent techniques in practical applications.

Year six

Research Studies and Project Management

Year: 6

This module is designed to equip students with the appropriate research and project management skills needed to complete a project within the Computing domain. Firstly, the module provides an underpinning foundation of research concepts, methods and techniques necessary for project development and delivery. Secondly, the different stages of the research process are demonstrated. Thirdly, the students employ skills developed during the module to create a set of project deliverables such as project plan and proposal, critically reviewed literature papers, literature review and project presentation. Embedded in all these activities is the reinforcement of the need for adhering to recognised ethical standards and taking a professional approach to carrying out research.

Mobile Game Development

Year: 6

This module provides students with the knowledge and technical competencies required to design, develop and publish mobile gaming experiences. Significant coverage is also given to the design, social, commercial and technological factors that influence success in this extremely competitive market, providing students with principles of enduring value.

Advanced Games Design and Development

Year: 6

The module provides an in-depth overview into the theoretical and technical issues underpinning 3D game design and development and provides practical experience in pitching and developing 3D games using a range of techniques, industry standard tools and technologies. It emphasises the important role of playtesting and user feedback in the game development and implementation process. The module will explore emerging technologies, business models and market trends in the industry.

Final Year Project

Year: 6

Students are required to undertake an individual project during the final year of the course. Its purpose is to provide an experience of developing a software/hardware/engineering solution to a real-world problem. This work combines skills and knowledge acquired previously on the course with those acquired during the project. In particular, students will have an opportunity to

(i) strengthen their competence in project management, in taking an initial concept through to a successful implementation; and (ii) enhance their communication skills, in producing a dissertation and defending the work.

(ii) enhance their communication skills, in producing a dissertation and defending the work.

Entry conditions

We recognise a range of qualifications for admission to our courses. In addition to the specific entry conditions for this course you must also meet the University’s General Entrance Requirements.

In this section

A level

The GCE A Level requirements for this course are grades CCC, one of which must be in a science based subject (Mathematics, Physics, Chemistry, Biology, Computing (not IT/ICT), Software Systems Development, Technology and Design or Engineering).

The Faculty of Computing, Engineering and the Built Environment does not accept students with Essential Skills in Application of Number as the only mathematics qualification. You must satisfy the General Entrance Requirements for admission to a first degree course and hold a GCSE pass in English Language and Mathematics at grade C or above (or equivalent). If you have other qualifications than those listed, you may be considered for admission at the discretion of the Courses’ Coordinator following an interview.


The requirement for this course is successful completion of BTEC Level 3 Extended Diploma in Computing (not ICT/IT), Electrbbics or an Engineering discipline, with overall award profile of MMM to include at least 15 unit merits.

The Faculty of Computing, Engineering and the Built Environment accept combinations of A Levels, BTEC Subsidiary Diploma and BTEC Diploma one of which must be in the subjects listed above for A Levels or BTEC Extended award. For further information on the requirements for this course please contact Faculty admissions staff by telephone on 028 9036 6305 or email

Entry equivalences can also be viewed in the online prospectus at

Irish Leaving Certificate

Overall Irish Leaving Certificate Highers requirement for this course is H3,H4,H4,H4,H4 (typical grade profile) to include at least one science-based subject (Mathematics, Physics, Chemistry, Biology, Computing, Technology or Engineering).

Plus Irish Leaving Certificate English and Mathematics at Grade H6 or above (HL) or Grade O4 or above (OL) if not sitting at Higher Level is also required.

Scottish Highers

The Scottish Highers requirement for this course is grades CCCCD to include minimum of grade C in a science subject.

Scottish Advanced Highers

The Scottish Advanced Highers requirement for this course is grades DDD one of which must be a science subject.

International Baccalaureate

Overall International Baccalaureate Diploma requirement for this course is a minimum of 24 points to include 12 at Higher Level. Grade 4 in HL Mathematics and Grade 4 in another HL Science subject. Grade 4 in English Language also required in overall profile.

Access to Higher Education (HE)

The entry requirement for this course is successful completion of a Ulster University validated Access route in Science/Technology with an overall mark of 60% and 60% in NICATS Mathematics (level 2). Equivalent Mathematics qualifications considered for the Mathematics requirement.

Other Access courses considered individually, please contact the Admissions Office T: +44 (0)28 9036 6305 or E:


GCSE (or equivalent) profile to include minimum of Grade C or above in Mathematics and English Language.

English Language Requirements

English language requirements for international applicants
The minimum requirement for this course is Academic IELTS 6.0 with no band score less than 5.5. Trinity ISE: Pass at level III also meets this requirement for Tier 4 visa purposes.

Ulster recognises a number of other English language tests and comparable IELTS equivalent scores.

Teaching and learning assessment

Lectures are used to present theory and concepts, and are supported through a combination of tutorial discussion and practical, laboratory exercises.

Modules are either assessed by coursework only or by a combination of coursework and formal examinations (January and May). Coursework assessment is carried out using any combination of written assignments, class tests, presentations, and group assignments as appropriate to meet the learning outcomes of each module.

Exemptions and transferability

Transfer between this course and other similar courses within the Faculty of Computing, Engineering and the Built Environment may be possible on the basis of academic performance.

Exemption from parts of the course may be considered based on appropriate performance in a related, designated course or other approved experiential learning (APEL).

The course has been designed to enable students who graduate with a good honours degree to apply for postgraduate study towards a PhD, MSc, MRes or other higher qualification.

Careers & opportunities

In this section

Job roles

Graduates from this course are employed in many different roles. Here are some examples:

  • Game designer
  • Programmer
  • Software Developer
  • Software IT Graduate Developer

Career options

On completing this course successfully, you will be able to choose from a number of career options. For example you might choose to work as a games developer in a multi-disciplinary team within the industry. There are also many opportunities for work in systems programming. Alternatively, graduates may proceed to postgraduate study in computing or related areas within the Faculty of Computing, Engineering and the Built Environment.

Professional recognition

BCS, the Chartered Institute for IT

Accredited by BCS, the Chartered Institute for IT on behalf of the Science Council for the purposes of partially meeting the academic requirement for registration as a Chartered Scientist.

BCS, the Chartered Institute for IT

Accredited by BCS, the Chartered Institute for IT for the purposes of fully meeting the academic requirement for registration as a Chartered IT Professional.

Academic profile

Members of the teaching team are Fellows of the Higher Education Academy and Members of the industry professional body - the BCS, the Chartered Institute for IT. Through their research, knowledge transfer and placement activities, teaching staff are also actively engaged with the local software and IT industry, and many modules on the course are directly informed by staff research activities.


How to apply Request a prospectus

Part-time applicants can apply directly online. Please follow the "How to Apply" signposting to apply online. Further enquiries can be made via the Faculty of Computing, Engineering and the Built Environment:T: +44 (0)28 9036 6305 or email

Start dates

  • September 2017

Fees and funding

In this section

Fees (total cost)

Important notice - fees information Please note fees displayed are for 2017/18 Academic Entry. Fees are correct at the time of publishing. Additional mandatory costs are highlighted where they are known in advance. There are other costs associated with university study.
Visit our Fees pages to find out more

Northern Ireland & EU:

Additional mandatory costs

Tuition fees and costs associated with accommodation, travel (including car parking charges), and normal living are a part of university life.

Where a course has additional mandatory expenses we make every effort to highlight them. These may include residential visits, field trips, materials (e.g. art, design, engineering) inoculations, security checks, computer equipment, uniforms, professional memberships etc.

We aim to provide students with the learning materials needed to support their studies. Our libraries are a valuable resource with an extensive collection of books and journals as well as first-class facilities and IT equipment. Computer suites and free wifi is also available on each of the campuses.

There will be some additional costs to being a student which cannot be itemised and these will be different for each student. You may choose to purchase your own textbooks and course materials or prefer your own computer and software. Printing and binding may also be required. There are additional fees for graduation ceremonies, examination resits and library fines. Additional costs vary from course to course.

Students choosing a period of paid work placement or study abroad as part of their course should be aware that there may be additional travel and living costs as well as tuition fees.

Please contact the course team for more information.


Course Director: Mrs Mairin Nicell

T: +44 (0) 28 7167 5148



Faculty Office

T: +44 (0) 28 9036 6305