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About the course

Fascinated by the technology behind computer games? This professionally-focused degree empowers you to develop the skills to design, plan and “code” games. You will learn the tools and methods used by professionals, and how to combine them with the latest technologies to publish completed games – helping prepare you for a fantastic career at the forefront of the gaming industry.

Alongside programming, you’ll study the areas that build up the problem solving and logic skills you need to succeed, including computational thinking, designing gameplay systems, and maths for games. You’ll also have plenty of opportunities to collaborate with students studying games art and design in studio modules that simulate industry practice, and in the Video Games Academy. All this gives you the breadth and depth in all aspects of game development that puts you in the best possible position to start your career in this growing industry after graduation.

Throughout your studies you will learn in our industry grade computing labs, enabling you to learn the tools and techniques of professional game developers. These labs offer all the specialist software you’ll need, including: Visual Studio, Unreal Engine UDK, Unity, DirectX, Vulkan, Photoshop, 3D Studio Max and more. You’ll also have access to motion capture, VR/AR and console development systems – all the resources you need.

You’ll be taught by highly experienced academics with vast experience of the gaming industry, and excellent industry links. These close links enable you to benefit from a range of guest lectures throughout your studies and gain valuable critiques and guidance. Recent speakers have included representatives from Stainless Games, Unity and Aardvark Swift. 

Special events are a valuable part of the student experience. There are opportunities to attend conferences, guest lectures, even occasional trips to industry venues. We encourage participation in Game Jams and host a few every year. All these events help you to build vital industry contacts and hone your skills.

 

If you apply for this course with a placement year, you have the opportunity to undertake a year in industry between your second and third years.
Placement year
If you're not quite ready for a full undergraduate degree, there's alternative entry through one of our foundation years.
Foundation year available
This course has access to Solent's specialist facilities.
Specialist facilities
If you have an appropriate Level 5 qualification, you can top it up to a degree in just a year.
Top-up option

Students learn from a team with a broad range of academic and industry experience.

What does this course lead to?

Graduates go onto a range of roles including; games programmer, engine programmer, graphics programmer, gameplay programmer, build engineer, game tester, tools programmer and technical director.

Developers and technologists are also in high-demand outside of gaming, and this course enables you to develop the skills that can be transferred to a range of industries.

Who is this course for?

Students work in industry appropriate labs with professional level hardware, including console development and virtual reality kits.

Facts and figures

Fees icon

Fees and costs

Tuition fees

The tuition fees for the 2020/21 academic year are:
UK, EU and Channel Island full-time fees: £9,250 per year
International full-time fees: £13,260 per year
UK, EU and Channel Island placement year fees: £1,385
International placement year fees: £1,800

For further information, please visit our tuition fees page.

Bursaries and scholarships

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

Graduation costs

For graduates in 2020, there is no charge to attend graduation, but you will be required to pay for the rental of your academic gown (approximately £45 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. Extra guest tickets will go on sale after results publication and will be sold on a first-come-first-served basis. The cost per ticket was £15 in 2019, but this fee is subject to change for future years. Please note, we do not guarantee there will be any extra tickets available to purchase.
Key entry requirements icon

Key entry requirements

96 - 112 UCAS tariff points from A-levels or equivalent

  • A minimum of two completed A-levels , a BTEC Extended Diploma at MMM or BTEC Diploma at DM in an Art and Design subject, or a combination of qualifications which comply with the minimum entry requirements of 96 UCAS points.
  • Applicants who aren’t studying a STEM or Computing subjects are still welcome to apply, but will be required to submit a software project portfolio for consideration.
  • Direct entry into the second or third years may be considered for this course.
  • Applicants over the age of 21 may be considered based on relevant experience, without having the required tariff points.
  • Alternative entry to this course is available through the Foundation Year in Digital Arts
  • If you are applying from outside the UK, find information about entry requirements, visas and agents for your country here.
  • For further information about UK, EU and international qualifications, please refer to our course entry requirement statement.

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
  • 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.


Study location

East Park Terrace

Got a question about this course?

Contact our Ask Solent team:

admissions@solent.ac.uk 023 8201 5066

How to apply

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 15 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 the end of June. The UCAS code for the University is S30, code name SOLNT.

Please click the links below to apply through UCAS:

Mode of study
Duration
Apply
Full-time 3 years Apply
Placement year 4 years Apply

Digital Arts Foundation Year route:

Mode of study
Duration
Apply
Full-time 4 years Apply
Placement year 5 years Apply

Top-up route:

We welcome applications from students currently studying a Foundation Degree, DipHE, HNC, HND or modules of an undergraduate degree course at another university, who wish to enter directly into Years 2 or 3 of one of our undergraduate degree courses. Please contact our admissions team for more information: contact us

How to apply

What you'll study

Year one

Core modules
  • Programming Fundamentals 
    The module concentrates on basic programming skills using the C++ language, problem solving skills and a basic understanding of software development principles.
  • Maths for Games
    This module is designed to develop mathematics skills needed for computer games development, providing a foundation for all students, no matter what their previous maths experience might be. 
  • Introduction to Digital Entertainment 
    This module aims to raise your awareness and appreciation of digital arts and underpinning technologies, specifically focusing on game development.
  • Object-Oriented Development
    This module builds on fundamental programming skills to further incorporate develop an object-oriented approach to the design and implementation of computer programs. 
  • Scripting for Game Engines 
    This module aims to give a basic introduction to a selection of third-party development environments and involves learning about the engine’s interface, developing a simple game and how to find help should they encounter issues.
  • Computational Thinking
    The module enriches your understanding of programming constructs, and the mathematical concepts behind many of them. The knowledge gained is essential for writing efficient code and architecting the larger programs you will build in your second and third years. 

Year two

Core modules
  • Computer Games Programming
    This module provides sufficient software design and development skills to undertake a small computer games development software project. The module introduces key concepts in computer games development such as rendering, user input, bitmaps, animation, and collision detection.
  • Software Engineering for Games: Methods and Tools
    This module explores the strategies and techniques that can be applied to meet customer expectations, timescales and budget. This draws on three related themes: the software process, the software quality process and software project management.
  • Console Development
    The module introduces key concepts in console development such as the console development environment, console game specific considerations (e.g. managing a wide range of television types), as well as various cross-platform development considerations. 
  • Engine Architecture and Tools
    Through this module you will gain a solid understanding of how games and other modern software are architected, and the tools are that form the development pipeline. 
  • Producing Games
    This module will concentrate on the knowledge and skills needed for computer game designers to become effective game producers and project managers.  Students will learn the approaches to project management while working on a project, and analyse them based on their experiences working in a large team.   

Options

  • Gameplay and Game Design
    This module will concentrate on the skills needed to produce the concept document and the design document (central to developing a commercial game), with a supporting library of artefacts to generate a comprehensive description of a new 2D game. 
  • Gameplay Systems Programming
    On this module you will improve your gameplay programming skills by building incrementally more complex gameplay systems on multiple game engines.  

Please note: Not all optional modules are guaranteed to run each year.

Year three

Core modules
  • Professional Development
    This module will help you in three areas that are vital for your professional success: 1) graduate skills and employability; 2) professionalism; and 3) career and personal development. The work you put into this unit will enhance your existing knowledge, skills and self-awareness and prepare you to start your career.
  • Software Engineering for Games: Professional Practice
    This module will help you to develop an understanding of the techniques used in the construction of larger-scale software systems and projects built by multi-disciplinary teams.  
  • Game Technology Project
    This module provides you with the opportunity to plan and manage a project of significant scale and complexity. The project should reflect theory and practice drawn from the Computer Games Technology course and reflect your particular interests. 

Options

  • Artificial Intelligence for Games 
    This module explores the role of Artificial Intelligence (A.I.) in delivering software solutions to real world problems. Emphasis is on those subjects that have immediate application, especially in the development of novel solutions within the games industry.
  • Advanced Graphics Programming
    This module extends the computer games programming skills developed at level five, and includes techniques such as; graphics shaders, games-specific object-oriented design patterns, image post-processing, scene management, per-polygon collisions and performance optimisation.
  • Experiential Design
    This module will concentrate on the skills and knowledge needed for computer game designers to effectively utilise experiential design approaches in their work.  Students will iteratively design and prototype games as they develop their experiential expertise.     
  • Studio Practice 
    This unit is the closest you will get to working in a fast-paced and focused studio in the game industry. The entire studio works as one team to build, test and deliver a game to market.

Please note: Not all optional modules are guaranteed to run each year.

Support

Web-based learning

Solent's virtual learning environment provides quick online access to assignments, lecture notes, suggested reading and other course information.

The Student Hub

The Student Hub is a central space where you can access all of the information and support you need during your time at University.

Professional and experienced staff can help resolve any query, and if they cannot answer the question themselves they will find the person who can.

Career support

Meet the course team

James TerKeurst academic profile James TerKeurst Course Leader View profile
Neil Brewis academic profile Neil Brewis Senior Lecturer View profile
Dave Cobb academic profile Dave Cobb Senior Lecturer View profile
Konstantinos Ntokos academic profile Konstantinos Ntokos Senior Lecturer View profile
Philip Alassad academic profile Philip Alassad Lecturer View profile
Mark Bennett academic profile Mark Bennett Lecturer View profile
Sheeba Joshy academic profile Sheeba Joshy Lecturer View profile
Hanan Zakari academic profile Hanan Zakari Lecturer View profile

The university cannot guarantee any particular members of staff will teach specific aspects of the course in the future, but will endeavour to ensure the teaching team maintains their balance of experience and qualifications.

Facilities

We have a dedicated open access teaching area with all the specialised software you’ll need, including Visual Studio, Github, DirectX, OpenGL, UDK 4.0, Unity, Photoshop, 3D Studio Max, Maya and ZBrush. We also have a number of console development kits which you will use during your studies.

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

Students also benefit from access to graphic tablets, a motion-capture studio, a user-experience lab, and a range of consumer gaming/VR/AR hardware.

Students work in industry appropriate labs with professional level hardware, including console development and virtual reality kits

Your future

Suitable roles for graduates include:

  • Gameplay programmer
  • User interface programmer
  • Graphics programmer
  • Systems programmer
  • Tools programmer
  • Gameplay tester
  • Web developer
  • Software engineer
  • Programming/analyst.

Industry links

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.

The subject area has industry advisory board, and extensive links to regional game developers.  Companies represented included: Sony Computer Games Europe, Unity Technologies, Sumo Digital, Bitmap Bureau, Stainless Games, Aardvark Swift. 

Placements

During your studies you will be encouraged to gain work experience alongside your course to hone your practical skills and enhance your future career prospects. The course also offers a one year placement variant between years two and three, and the course team’s close industry links often provide support in organising placements.

Previous placements have included roles at Unity, Double Helix, Scruffalots and Feral Interactive.

Further study

Enhance your career prospects by continuing your study at Solent.

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