Clearing 2016

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BSc (Hons) Computer Games (Software Development)

Turn the games you're imagining into the next generation of gaming

Enquire: 023 8201 5066

Do you love to code? Are you hoping to pursue a career in gaming? With an intensive focus on developing your C++ and object-orientated programming knowledge, as well as units exploring popular game development platforms like 3D Studio Max, Unreal Engine 4 and Unity, this course is ideally suited to helping you develop the broad range of skills needed to kick-start a career. 

  • Students are taught by a team of experienced industry practitioners from various computing and gaming backgrounds.
  • The curriculum covers coding for consoles, mobile platforms and PCs, and allows for in-depth explorations of gameplay and design theory.
  • Southampton Solent is part of the Sony Developers Network. This means that you’ll have access to specialised kit that is usually reserved for development studios. Students also benefit from free access to a dedicated gaming lab with motion-capture studios, extensive hardware solutions and the latest industry-standard software.
  • Students work in a studio environment within the cross disciplinary Solent Video Games Academy, replicating real-life working practices.  
  • Solent is the founder member of the Southern Independent Games Network (SIGN) providing students with many crucial networking and knowledge sharing opportunities.
  • The course team acknowledge the importance of a rich and varied portfolio.
  • Past students have taken part in ‘game jams’ and other national/international collaborations.

The industry

The computer games development sector is now worth more than the film and music industries combined. The UK video games industry is the largest in Europe, generating £2bn in global sales each year. With the growth of the casual games market and the ever increasing popularity of mobile computing devices, this industry growth is only set to continue.

The programme

Alongside the development of advanced programming skills, this course covers computer graphics, the business of games, employability, project management, and the industry-standard Agile software development methodology. This broad comprehension will put you in the best possible position to find a place in this growing industry after graduation.

However, development units still remain the primary focus of the curriculum, where you’ll learn the latest programming and engine-based scripting methods from seasoned industry practitioners. You’ll also learn about game design theory, with a focus on producing fun, innovative games.

At Solent, our excellent industry links play a key part in student development, and past students have had the opportunity to work on live briefs for real clients. In addition, our academic team is formed of expert professionals who have wide-ranging experience in video game technology and the gaming industry.

Additionally, Solent is a founder member of SIGN. This not-for-profit network was established to represent and support independent video games developers and facilitate growth in the south’s independent video games development sector.

The network is focused primarily on providing support in areas associated with the business aspects of the games industry including funding, tax, marketing, law and intellectual property. This is carried out through a series of events and web-based resources, as well as by facilitating connections between members of the network and professionals within (and complimentary to) the video games industry.

Southampton Solent’s membership with the Sony Developers Network provides use of professional PlayStation Vita, PlayStation 3 and PlayStation 4 development kits for students who have an interest in console gaming specifically.

Next steps

If you have a love of coding and see your future in the games industry, this course will equip you with skills and knowledge that you’ll need to turn that desire into a reality. Just as importantly, the commercial focus of the course and the industry contacts of the academic staff help ensure that you have every opportunity to get your work out into the ‘real world’.

Have you got a question about applying?

Email: ask@solent.ac.uk

Don't just take our word for it...

Jack Ward
Richard Bloomfield-Mcgarr
"The best things about my course were the fantastic lecturers, the great equipment and the good software we were able to use."
  More from Jack
"I like the solid grounding to code, as well as including several different disciplines in the one course."
  More from Richard

UCAS codes

Full-time

  • 4 Years Technology Foundation Year I623
  • 3 Years Standard entry I620

Placement (480 credit course)

  • 5 Years Technology Foundation Year I622
  • 4 Years Standard entry I621

Typical entry requirements

2016 entry
280 UCAS Tariff points

2017 entry - New UCAS Tariff
112 UCAS Tariff points

Year one:

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Core units

  • Programming Fundamentals
  • Object-Oriented Development
  • Computer Graphics for Games
  • Introduction to Databases
  • Group Project
  • Introduction to Computer Games
  • Maths for Games
  • Games Physics.

Year two:

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Core units

  • Console Development
  • Computer Games Programming
  • Gameplay and Game Design
  • Mobile Game Fundamentals
  • Engineering Software Systems
  • Personal Development and Project Preparation. 

Year three:

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Core units

  • Advanced Games Programming
  • Software Systems Development
  • Games Development Project.

Options

  • Artificial Intelligence for Games
  • The Business of Games
  • Mobile Applications
  • Video Game Design
  • Sound for Film, TV and Games
  • Process Analysis and Requirements Engineering
  • Curriculum Plus.

Teaching, learning and assessment

Tutor-led workshops, with never more than 25 students per lecturer, provide individualised tuition. Some units also include traditional lectures, and you’ll also be given exercises to do at home. You’ll be encouraged to collaborate with and learn from your peers, mixing across all year groups and disciplines to make games in our games academy and many game jams throughout the year.

Work placements
You’ll be encouraged to take an optional one-year industry placement after the second year, with the course team’s extensive ties to the gaming industry providing help in organising placements.

Previous placements have included an internship at microprocessor manufacturer ARM, as well as a range of other companies.

Assessment
You’ll be assessed primarily through project and practical work, making games. The final-year project will allow you to focus on a topic area that you’re passionate about to add a unique personal flavour to your portfolio.

Our facilities

We have a dedicated open access teaching area with all the specialised software you’ll need, including Visual Studio, Perforce, DirectX, OpenGL, UDK 4.0, Unity, Source, Torque, Cocos2dx, Photoshop, 3d studio max, Maya and Mudbox. We also have a number of console development kits and the latest consoles to experiment on.

For mobile game development we have a dedicated mobile lab with a selection of the latest handheld devices, covering Android, iOS and Windows Phone 8 development.

We also have access to a number of graphic tablets, a motion-capture studio and a user-experience lab that you can use.

Study abroad

If you are a student at one of our Erasmus+ partner institutions in Europe, then you may have the opportunity to come to the UK and study computer games units at Solent for either a single term or a full academic year as part of your degree programme.

For more information, see www.solent.ac.uk/exchange

If you’re studying outside Europe, then you may be able to study with us as an exchange student if there is a partnership agreement in place. If you are studying at a university which does not have a partnership agreement with us, then you could apply to study at Solent under our Study Abroad programme.

Web-based learning

Solent’s virtual learning environment provides quick online access to assignments, lecture notes, suggested reading and other course information. Most units allow flexible working both on campus and off-site.

Meet the Team

Our core programming team has over 40 years of professional development experience, having worked on highly acclaimed games such as the Total War and Lego series, for studios such as TT Games, Creative Assembly, Supermassive Games, Codemasters Guildford and Ideaworks3d.

UCAS codes

Full-time

  • 4 Years Technology Foundation Year I623
  • 3 Years Standard entry I620

Placement (480 credit course)

  • 5 Years Technology Foundation Year I622
  • 4 Years Standard entry I621

What do we offer?

From a vibrant city centre campus to our first class facilities, this is where you can find out why you should choose Solent.

The intensive focus on programming skills means you’ll be well placed for a wide range of development roles both within and outside the gaming industry.

The fast-growing, high-value computer games sector is your chance to launch a career you love, working with enthusiastic, highly motivated individuals to create unique and innovative games for cutting-edge games consoles and mobile devices.

The UK industry is highly advanced, but there are plenty of opportunities abroad, particularly in the US, Canada and Asia.

Suitable roles for graduates include:

  • Independent games developer
  • Tools programmer
  • Artificial intelligence programmer
  • Web developer
  • Software engineer
  • Programming/analyst.

Links with industry

The course has very strong links to gaming via the teaching staff’s industry experience, proximity to the UK’s game development capital in London, and regular visits from industry professionals. Recent visitors have included staff from Codemasters, Climax, Aardvark Swift and Stainless Games.

These visits cover a range of topics, including CV development, project feedback, design and testing, live development projects and paid work, pitching and competitions.

We encourage you to hone your skills in various industry competitions and game jams, such as Dare To Be Digital, Brains Eden and Get Into Games. You’ll also be encouraged to attend events such as Develop, GDC, Eurogamer and relevant British Computer Society (BCS) talks.

Transferable skills

The practical nature of the course provides opportunities to develop your skills in broadly useful areas such as problem-solving, programming, design, project management, teamwork and critical thinking.

Knowledge of time-critical and 3D applications and programming skills are highly sought after in a wide range of sectors, including film and banking.

Examples of employment obtained by recent graduates

Graduates have gone on to find roles at games or business software development companies, including Jagex and Fireproof Games, or created their own companies with help from the University’s business enterprise development scheme; their work includes commercial simulation, creating small games apps and winning contracts from multinational companies.


 

Key facts

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Location of study: East Park Terrace

Study mode: Full-time, Placement (480 credit course)

Entry requirements

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UCAS have updated their tariff points for 2017 entry. Please click here for more information.

280 points (for 2016 entry) or 112 points (for 2017 entry) from:

  • A minimum of two A Levels including minimum Grade D in two relevant subjects excluding General Studies and Key Skills, a BTEC Extended Diploma at DMM or BTEC Diploma at D*D* or equivalent.
  • A BTEC Subsidiary Diploma will be considered in conjunction with other qualifications.
  • Direct entry to year two may be offered to holders of an HND or HNC in an appropriate subject.
  • Alternative entry to this course is available through the Technology Foundation Year.
We welcome applicants from a diverse range of backgrounds. Applicants who are not in possession of the minimum entry requirements but are able to demonstrate aptitude, enthusiasm and motivation will be considered on an individual basis and may be admitted subject to satisfactory interview and/or portfolio. Please contact us for further details.

English language requirements

Applicants who do not have English as their first language will be required to demonstrate an approved level of proficiency in the use of the English language. The agreed minimum requirements for this course are:

  • IELTS minimum 6.0 overall with a minimum of 5.5 in each individual component
  • TOEFL IBT minimum 80 with a minimum of 19 in each individual component- TOEFL is only valid for EU students
  • or equivalent.

Qualifications are checked before enrolment, and international students must bring their original certificates or certified copies when coming to study at the University.

The University also offers a pre-sessional English programme for international students who wish to improve their level of English before starting a degree course.

Note to all international students requiring a visa:

All international applicants need to be aware that the English language requirements to attend Southampton Solent University, and the English language requirements to obtain a visa from the Home Office, may be different. This means that if you meet the Southampton Solent University language requirement to gain a place on the course, you may still have to meet additional requirements to be granted with a visa by the Home Office.

We strongly advise all applicants to visit the Home Office website which outlines all the requirements for a successful visa application and to take a look at this PDF document which outlines both Solent University and Home Office requirements for a number of language tests.  

Non-standard entry

If you do not have these qualifications or are unsure of your eligibility please contact the University using the contact details found at the top of this page.

Costs involved

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Tuition fees

The tuition fees for the 2016/2017 academic year are:

UK and EU full-time fees: £9,000 per year

International full-time fees: £11,000 per year

UK and EU placement year fees: £1,350

International placement year fees: £1,500

Graduation costs 

Graduation is the ceremony to celebrate the achievements of your studies. For graduates in 2015, there is no charge to attend graduation, but you will be required to pay for the rental of your academic gown (approximately £42 per graduate, depending on your award). You may also wish to purchase official photography packages, which range in price from £15 to £200+. Graduation is not compulsory, so if you prefer to have your award sent to you, there is no cost.

For more details, please visit: www.solent.ac.uk/studying/graduation/home.aspx

Bursaries and scholarships

Southampton Solent University offers a range of scholarships that provide financial assistance or waive fees for tuition or accommodation. Each scholarship has specific eligibility criteria. Check out our scholarships page to find out more.

How to apply

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Any student applying for the first year of a full-time/sandwich undergraduate course must apply through UCAS (University and Colleges Admissions Service). This includes mature, overseas and EU students.

Nearly all schools and colleges offer their students the facility of applying electronically through the UCAS website using 'Apply'; it may also be used by those applying independently in the UK and overseas. This facility and all course information can be found on the UCAS website: www.ucas.com.

Your application should reach UCAS by January if you hope to enter a course the following autumn. Early application is advised for the most popular subject areas. Late applications may be made until June. The UCAS Code for the University is S30, code name SOLNT.

Student support and services

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Student welfare

Southampton Solent University is committed to giving you the best possible educational experience during your time with us. As such we have a number of support services and policies set up covering funding, careers and employability, chaplaincy, counselling, international advice, student affairs, key academic skills, disability support and general student advice. Find out more about our approach to student welfare.

University facilities

You will have access to a modern, comfortable and efficient environment in which to study, following our extensive refurbishment and modernisation over recent years. Some key facilities include Mountbatten library, a wide variety of sports and watersports facilities, plus superb IT and media facilities. Find out more about our first-class facilities here.

Living in Southampton

Southampton is a vibrant student city and studying at Solent means that you will be at the very heart of the action. Find out more about being a student in Southampton.

Solent Students’ Union

Run by students for students, Solent Students’ Union is a key part of any student’s time at Solent. Visit the Students’ Union website for more information.

 

UCAS codes

Full-time

  • 4 Years Technology Foundation Year I623
  • 3 Years Standard entry I620

Placement (480 credit course)

  • 5 Years Technology Foundation Year I622
  • 4 Years Standard entry I621



 

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