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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.

Learn about the history of games, the current state of the games industry, emerging trends and technologies.

On course completion, 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 four-year 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.

During the first year you will study the fundamentals of computer games development principles, including understanding the current state of the games industry and games mechanics.

This process continues into second and final year where you will learn more about graphics and 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.

Associate awards

Diploma in Professional Practice DPP

Diploma in Professional Practice International DPPI

Diploma in International Academic Studies DIAS

Find out more about placement awards

Attendance

Four years, including placement.

Each student must complete 120 credits (usually six modules) in each academic year, with the exception of placement year (60 credits). Years 1, 2 and 4 are spent in the University. Modules are taught on campus and are web-supplemented. In Year 3, students undertake a year's work experience.

Start dates

  • September 2017
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. Please contact the course team for the most up to date module list.

In this section

Year one

Programming 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

Programming II

Year: 1

This module is a direct follow-on to Programming 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.

Computer hardware and organisation

Year: 1

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.

Introduction to Computer Games

Year: 1

This module will provide 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. Lectures are used to introduce ideas and techniques, and practical skills are developed through practical sessions.

Games Design

Year: 1

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

Mathematics for Engineering

Year: 1

The module covers topics that are suitable for a first year BEng course. These include algebra, trigonometry, matrices, calculus, sequence and series.

Year two

Visual Programming

Year: 2

A large number of software have to be deployed on various platforms, and they have to provide a graphical user interface. This module will introduce the key concepts and principles of C# application development using Visual Programming and Event-driven programming techniques in the context of rapid application development of modern, high quality software solutions with Graphical User Interfaces. Programming for both pc windows and mobile platforms will form a core element of the module.

Object oriented programming

Year: 2

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: 2

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.

Professional Practice - Computing

Year: 2

This module enables students who have secured a placement job to complete a period of appropriate work experience in a supportive environment. Students will have opportunities to gain employability skills, reflect upon the applicability of their subject specific skills, and gain insight into the graduate job market. Students who successfully complete the module are eligible for the award of Diploma in Professional Practice (DPP) or Diploma in Professional Practice International (DPPI).

Professional Issues

Year: 2

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.

Mathematics II

Year: 2

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: 2

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: 2

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.

Year three

Research Studies and Project Management

Year: 3

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: 3

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: 3

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: 3

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: 3

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: 3

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: 3

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: 3

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

The GCE A Level requirement for this course is grades BBB 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).

BTEC

The requirement for this course is successful completion of BTEC Level 3 Extended Diploma in Computing (not ICT/IT), Electronics or an Engineering discipline, with overall award profile of DDM to include at least 9 unit distinctions.

The Faculty of Computing and Engineering 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 T: +44 (0)28 9036 6305 or E:compeng@ulster.ac.uk.

Entry equivalences can also be viewed in the online prospectus at http://www.ulster.ac.uk/apply/entrance-requirements/equivalence.

Irish Leaving Certificate

Overall Irish Leaving Certificate Highers requirement for this course is H3,H3,H3,H3,H3 (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 BBBCC to include minimum of grade B in a science subject.

Scottish Advanced Highers

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

International Baccalaureate

Overall International Baccalaureate Diploma requirement for this course is a minimum of 26 points (13 at Higher Level) to include 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 70% and 70% in NICATS Mathematics (level 2). Equivalent Mathematics qualifications considered for the Mathematics requirement.

Other Access courses considered individually, please contact the Admissions Office 028 9036 6305 or email compeng@ulster.ac.uk

GCSE

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

Please check the following link http://www.ulster.ac.uk/apply/entrance-requirements#ger.

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.

Additional Entry Requirements

OCR/Cambridge Technical Combinations
The Faculty of Computing and Engineering accept a range of alternative combination of qualifications such as OCR Nationals and OCR Cambridge Technicals.

HND/HNC
HNC requirement is overall Distinction in a relevant subject area for year 1 entry only.

HND requirement is overall Merit in a relevant subject area. HND applications may be considered for year 2 entry where the curriculum sufficiently matches that of Ulster University full time year 1 course.

Ulster Foundation Degree
Pass in Foundation Degree with an overall mark of 55% and minimum 55% in all taught level 5 modules. Applicants will normally be considered for entry to an associated Honours degree (normally Year 2 entry).

For further information regarding all of the above qualifications please contact the Faculty admissions staff by T: +44 (0) 28 9036 6305 or E: compeng@ulster.ac.uk. Entry equivalences can also be viewed in the online prospectus at http://www.ulster.ac.uk/apply/entrance-requirements/equivalence.

The General Entry Requirements must also be met including English Language minimum GCSE grade C (or equivalent). Please check the following link http://www.ulster.ac.uk/apply/entrance-requirements#ger.

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.

Work placement / study abroad

All students normally spend one year on industrial placement (Year 3) working in some aspect of the games or software industry for a minimum period of 25 weeks. On satisfactory completion of the placement period you are eligible for the award of Diploma in Professional Practice (DPP). Students who complete their industrial placement abroad receive the award of Diploma in Professional Practice (International).

Alternatively, students may apply to study abroad in another academic institution for a year. Satisfactory completion leads to the award of Diploma in International Academic Studies (DIAS).

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

How to apply

Start dates

  • September 2017

Fees and funding

In this section

Fees (per year)

Northern Ireland & EU:
£4,030.00
England, Scotland & Wales:
£9,000.00
International:
£12,890.00 - Please note that International tuition fees shown are for last year's entry.

Scholarships, awards and prizes

Faculty Prizes can be viewed at: www.ulster.ac.uk/academicoffice/prizes.html.

Follow the links to the Faculty of Computing and Engineering.

Additional mandatory costs

Tuition fees and costs associated with accommodation, travel and normal living are a part of university life. 

Where a course has additional mandatory expenses we make every effort to highlight them in the online prospectus. 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.

Contact

Course Director: Mrs Mairin Nicell

T: +44 (0)28 7167 5148

E: ma.nicell@ulster.ac.uk

Faculty Office

T: +44 (0)28 9036 6305

E: compeng@ulster.ac.uk