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Graduates from this course are employed in many different roles

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

Overview

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

Summary

Study Computer Games Development at Ulster University in the United Kingdom.

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

About

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.

Attendance

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 2016
How to apply

Modules

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.

In this section

Year one

Object oriented programming

Year: 1

This module provides an introduction to object-oriented software development in C++. At completion of this subject students should have an understanding of object-oriented programming paradigm and appreciate the evolutionary nature of current object-oriented languages; understand the issues involved in implementing a system in an object-oriented language and realise how object-oriented languages impact on program performance, reliability and maintenance; and have mastered a programming paradigm and language relevant to current commercial standards

Algorithms and Data Structures

Year: 1

The module builds upon the expertise acquired in Year I algorithmic programming. 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.

Mathematics II

Year: 1

This module introduces students to the essential mathematics 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.

Games Graphics Programming

Year: 1

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.

Multimedia Games Development

Year: 1

This module provides students with a detailed knowledge of the design of virtual games play spaces. Furthermore, students develop skills required to effectively use multi-media assets used in computer game development. Particular emphasis is placed on the theory, techniques and practical skills required to develop interactive game prototypes.

Research Studies and Project Management

Year: 1

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: 1

This module addresses and develops key and emerging concepts in mobile game development providing students with principles of enduring value.

Interactive Multimedia Games Development

Year: 1

The module provides a thorough understanding of the tools, technologies, techniques and approaches used to create interactive multimedia games. The opportunity to construct non-trivial interactive multimedia games using tools used within the game development industry is provided.

Final Year Project

Year: 1

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 realistic 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.

Concurrent and Distributed Systems

Year: 1

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: 1

This module is optional

This module will expose students to the world of heterogeneous enterprise computing architecture with an emphasis on networked, distributed 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 first gives you an understanding of the role and function of the core technologies involved and then addresses the design principles required for developing enterprise computing applications. As a consequence, it aims to meet the needs of today's undergraduate students who wish to equip themselves with expertise in implementing enterprise wide computing systems.

Mobile Technology

Year: 1

This module is optional

This module addresses and develops key and emerging concepts in Mobile Software Applications Development and is essential knowledge for electronic and computer science graduates

Intelligent systems

Year: 1

This module is optional

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

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

A levels are not a requirement for this course. You must normally have:

I. A Higher National Diploma in Computing;

II. A Higher National Certificate in Computing with typically an all-merit profile;

III. Any equivalent qualification.

The Faculty of Computing and Engineering does not accept students with Essential Skills in Application of Number as the only mathematics qualification. Please contact the Faculty Office directly on Tel: 028 90 366305 if you have a query concerning this matter. 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.

GCSE

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

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 and Engineering 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 and Engineering.

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.

Apply

Part-time applicants can apply directly online. Please follow the "How to Apply" signposting. Further enquiries can be made via the Faculty of Computing and Engineering: Phone 028 9036 6305 or email compeng@ulster.ac.uk

How to apply

Start dates

  • September 2016

Contact

Course Director: Mr Michael Callaghan

T: +44 (0) 28 7167 5771

E: mj.callaghan@ulster.ac.uk

or

Faculty Office

T: +44 (0) 28 9036 6305

E: compeng@ulster.ac.uk