Games Technology MSci/BSc (Hons)

 

Course Code

UCAS Code: BSc: G454
UCAS Code: MSci: G455
International Code: BSc: EECU138
International Code: MSci: EECU177

Location

Coventry University (Coventry)

 

Study mode

Full-time
Sandwich

Duration

BSc:
3 years full-time
4 years sandwich
MSci:
4 years full-time
5 years sandwich

Start date

September 2023


Course overview

Study level: Undergraduate

Coventry University’s Games Technology degree is a highly-focused software engineering course with a long history of training specialist programmers and developers for the video games industry world-wide.

The course doesn’t only teach you how to use game engines – it teaches you the programming and scientific skills necessary to extend commercial engines and develop your own from scratch. These are the skills industry looks for in game programmers.

  • Master advanced techniques to leverage and extend industry-standard engines in the creation of immersive, interactive experiences.
  • Understand the engineering and technology which underpins digital artwork and real-time rendered animations.
  • Develop your own game engine systems, from graphics renderers to physics libraries, using high-performance programming techniques.
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Global Ready

An international outlook, with global opportunities

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Teaching excellence

Taught by lecturers who are experts in their field

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Employability

Career ready graduates, with the skills to succeed

Why you should study this course

  • The technology, practices and challenges involved in game development are continually evolving, therefore the course content reacts dynamically to reflect the complexities of this modern and increasingly interconnected sector.
  • The course aims to empower you with the fundamental capabilities needed to pursue independent game development, as well as giving you the opportunity to gain professional tools and wider contextual understanding of game engineering upon successful completion, to succeed in larger studios.
  • Develop your own games and game technologies in our dedicated Game Development Laboratories4.
  • Explore emerging technologies with virtual and augmented reality hardware.
  • Gain experience with console and cross-platform development.

What you'll study

In the first year, you’ll be introduced to the fundamentals of game development.

You’ll learn to program in two languages, explore the mathematical principles which underpin good programming, and become familiar with two popular commercial engines. In addition, you’ll explore game design and computer system architecture, to give you a solid grounding in all areas of games programming.

Modules

  • Games technology, however it is created or applied, revolves around an understanding of the foundations of programming. More than that, game developers must be able to program as part of a team. This module will introduce both core skills. Using industry-standard tools, including IDEs (integrated developer environments) and version control systems, you’ll be taught fundamental programming concepts, such as syntax, abstraction and problem solving. You’ll apply this core knowledge, and an industry-favoured engine, to the creation of a game within a team of your peers.

    Compulsory

  • Fundamental to all programming is the notion of mathematics. Whenever we write software, we are writing algorithms and algebra – and to write them correctly, we need a firm grip of the maths which underpins them. In this module, you’ll gain that understanding, exploring subjects like set theory, algorithms and complexity, and logical arithmetic. Don’t be intimidated, though! Everything is explained from first principles, and you’re supported throughout your mathematical studies by Coventry University’s maths support service.

    Compulsory

  • To apply, extend or enhance information systems, any developer needs a fundamental understanding of the machine, with all its complex, moving parts. This module introduces you to these concepts, taking them from the concept of computation to the twitching transistors which drive its implementation. CPU architectures, memory hierarchies, efficiency, networking and security are all explored. Additionally, the concept of the Operating System is introduced which, combined with the other topics studied, empowers you to begin your journey as a developer.

    Compulsory

  • Games are complicated software projects by nature, with hundreds of communicating, interconnected, moving parts, and are constructed using a programming paradigm called object-oriented programming (OOP). This paradigm is fundamental not only to engine programming, but to the leveraging of existing engines. This module introduces a language built on OOP principles which also empowers the programmer with direct memory access. The fundamentals of OOP are introduced, along with the notion of computer memory, the heap, and the stack. You’ll leverage all this knowledge in the construction of another team-based game, using another industry-favoured engine.

    Compulsory

  • Databases are fundamental to modern, digital life – whatever we’re doing, we’re either generating, using, sharing or erasing data. The technologies, ethics and laws behind these processes are a fascinating and fundamental element of software development in the 21st century. In this module, you’ll explore all these concepts, mastering the elements of data handling, storage, and management which you’ll have to apply in later study.

    Compulsory

  • In this module, you’ll be presented with a range of issues related to Game Design, with a particular focus on the ethical, social and legal aspects of game development. As interactive computing increasingly permeates our day-to-day life, it's crucial that developers keep in mind how our design and engineering decisions can impact the experience of players. Bringing together these aspects of psychology, ethics, sociology and technology, the module will help you develop a reflective, compassionate approach to ideation and presentation of novel game concepts. You’ll go on to explore the creation of design documentation and pitching of ideas, preparing you for the next stage of your studies.

    Compulsory

In your second year you’ll learn about computer graphics, real-time physics, and artificial intelligence. In addition, you’ll become familiar with the fundamentals of professional software engineering and the creation and optimisation of game assets.

Modules

  • Players demand a seamless, immersive gaming experience which combines rich, high-fidelity content with lightning-quick responsiveness. To meet these expectations requires the efficient, optimised programming of dedicated hardware designed with those goals in mind. In this module, you’ll be introduced to the graphics processing unit as a concept and common software and hardware features which underpin modern rendering. You’ll explore the key algorithms and mathematical principles of computer graphics, the core concepts of texturing and lighting, and how to program the shader cores which make it all possible.

    Compulsory

  • Being a game developer means constantly staying at the cutting edge of both hardware and software, reacting to new trends, technologies and paradigms in both the game industry and wider technology sector. Moreover, it means evaluating these developments to select the most viable and entertaining ones to incorporate into our own video game designs and mechanics. Technologies such as Virtual Reality (VR), Augmented Reality (AR) and natural motion controllers are just some of the many technologies this module explores, with the focus on evaluation for game development. You’ll use industry-standard tools to then integrate emergent technologies into your own software.

    Compulsory

  • The games industry has an expanding expectation of the realism and aesthetic detail presented in modern games, making roles such as technical artist increasingly common. Tasked with the job of producing ever more convincing digital assets, these artists are required to understand the programmatic skills with an appreciation of aesthetics, often creating tools or technologies to accelerate the creative process. In this module, you’ll cover a range of 3D modelling concepts and learn to create game-ready assets. As part of this, you’ll be expected to demonstrate an understanding of the core requirements of technical art, reflecting artistic vision and computational efficiency in a portfolio of practical work.

    Compulsory

  • The use of physics is a staple in video games to engage and immerse players in our virtual worlds and simulations - without it, games would be, at best, movies and, at worst, static tableaus. From movement and interface detection to collision response and particle systems, this module will introduce you to the science which drives (in many cases, literally) games. During the module you’ll explore Newtonian mechanics and the general motion of objects in three-dimensional space, collision detection and impulse-based response. You’ll also cover the fundamentals of multi-threaded programming, to put the theory into practice when creating your own physics simulations.

    Compulsory

  • With the increasing scale and complexity of modern games, the industry needs developers who can work as part of a team to produce enjoyable game experiences. This module aims to emulate this multidisciplinary environment, along with some of the pressures and workplace challenges you’ll face when you move into the industry. You’ll participate in a collaborative game development project requiring project management and coordination. The module will introduce you to the notion of continual professional development and enhancing employability, alongside commonly-employed software engineering practises, and other key professional skills you need to bring your team’s creative vision to life.

    Compulsory

  • In this module, you’ll explore the principles and application of fundamental Artificial Intelligence techniques relevant to game development. You’ll learn to select appropriate AI algorithms for specific game design patterns and implement them using commercial game engines. The module covers fundamental data structures related to AI, such as node graphs, finite state machines, and binary trees, and the implementation of effective and efficient sorting, searching, and state management strategies. The module focuses specifically on the implementation of AI in the context of a gameplay experience, which often requires AI to be performant, stable, challenging, and plausible, but can also afford specific opportunities for optimisation and illusion.

    Compulsory

There’s no better way to find out what you love doing than trying it out for yourself, which is why a work placement2 can often be beneficial. Work placements usually occur between your second and final year of study. They’re a great way to help you explore your potential career path and gain valuable work experience, whilst developing transferable skills for the future.

If you choose to do a work placement year, you will pay a reduced tuition fee3 of £1,250. For more information, please go to the fees and funding section. During this time you will receive guidance from your employer or partner institution, along with your assigned academic mentor who will ensure you have the support you need to complete your placement.

Modules

  • This module2 provides you with an opportunity to reflect upon and gain experience for an approved placement undertaken during your programme. A placement should usually be at least 26 weeks or equivalent; however, each placement will be considered on its own merits, having regard to the ability to achieve the learning outcomes.

    Optional

  • This module2 provides you with an opportunity to reflect upon and gain experience for an approved international study/work placement undertaken during your programme. A work/study placement should usually be at least 26 weeks or equivalent; however, each placement will be considered on its own merits, having regard to the ability to achieve the learning outcomes.

    Optional

At this stage in your studies, you understand the fundamentals of game engineering and the technology which goes into game engines. Much of the academic focus this year is on advanced applications – be that addressing security vulnerabilities in an online game or improving a team’s performance by developing useful software tools which improve productivity. Success in this year ensures you graduate as a well-rounded, highly skilled game developer suited to a majority of technical and programming roles.

Modules

  • Contemporary game development requires an understanding of the fundamentals of cybersecurity and data governance. Modern studios act as both harvesters and protectors of vast quantities of potentially sensitive user data. Online games are also, by necessity, the target of hacks intended to bypass gameplay limitations - teleport hacks, 'bots, and similar exploits. This module addresses both elements. You’ll gain an understanding of the fundamentals of cybersecurity and data governance as they apply to modern game development. You will also become familiar with defensive programming at the software design and game design levels, learning how to engineer software which is resistant to unauthorised user activity.

    Compulsory

  • You’ll explore the use of procedural techniques across the digital content creation pipeline to accelerate and enhance the creative process. Through practical, hands-on application of their developing skills, you will create a portfolio demonstrating your skills as a technical artist. On successful completion of the module, you will be able to solve complex technical issues during development and learn to work within the limits of a game engine taking into consideration attributes such as curation of file sizes, polygon counts, and draw calls.

    Compulsory

  • Much of modern game development revolves around the enhancement of existing game engines, be they commercial or bespoke. This can involve extending an existing large codebase (brownfield development), integrating existing software libraries (middleware integration), or creating new apps or extensions which empower developers (tools programming). In this module, you’ll learn how game engines are structured, exploring the subsystems which make up common commercial engines. You’ll seek to learn how to develop modularised extensions to engines, integrate third party libraries to provide extra functionality, and leverage all these skills towards the creation of tools to empower your fellow game developers.

    Compulsory

  • The rapid emergence and proliferation of mobile computing platforms such as Smartphones and Tablets has led to a dramatic shift in the video games industry, with mobile gaming now accounting for roughly half of all game revenue. This drives an industry need for developers skilled in the area, able to design and develop games for low-powered platforms with non-traditional interfaces. In this module, you will explore how to overcome the technical constraints and challenges associated with development of mobile games using modern hardware. In addition, the module will provide you with a practical understanding of popular mobile gaming ecosystems, exploring issues relating to the design, publication, marketing and commercialisation of mobile games.

    Compulsory

  • Working as a group, you will identify an area of potentially marketable development within the domain of games technology. Guided by the course team, you will apply the practical and analytical skills gained throughout your degree to the research and development of an innovative software solution targeted at that area. Your team will undertake background research, any required ethical approvals of the project, document the process, and evaluate both the effectiveness of the collaboration and your software deliverable in written report. This software solution will be feature-complete and ready for public release by the conclusion of the module.

    Compulsory

If you meet the criteria, you could choose to take an additional fourth year master's option, which will deepen your knowledge and expertise.

Modules

  • All game platforms are heterogeneous by nature - this means that they have multiple different types of processing core, accessible by the operating system and applications. In this module, you will be introduced to the concepts of heterogeneous computing, empowering you to further optimise your software, leveraging all of the cores at your disposal, whatever the architecture. Through exploration of contemporary console and computer hardware, and the way commercial engines interact with that hardware, you’ll learn to develop heterogeneous software solutions. You will also learn how to integrate these solutions into libraries which extend and enhance existing commercial engines, which is an increasingly useful skill in game development.

    Compulsory

  • In this module, you will examine the applications of entertainment software and hardware, created by the gaming industry, to ‘serious’ challenges in areas such as education, public health, and sustainability. You’ll relate your existing knowledge of game engines and game development to broader application areas such as training simulation, rehabilitation, and architectural or product visualisation, developing an understanding of iterative and participatory approaches when employing games technology for serious purposes. Alongside the use of leading commercial game engines and digital content creation tools, you’ll explore the advanced application of augmented and virtual reality and other gaming hardware in these application areas.

    Compulsory

  • Driven by a commercial need to maximise market share and aided by increasing industry standardisation in the console space, cross-platform development is attracting increasing attention from game development studios. This has generated high demand for game engineering professionals skilled in the area, able to design and develop games for multiple platforms which provide consistent user experience. In this module, you will learn about the technical issues and challenges associated with the development of cross-platform games using console development kits and high-performance PCs. You should gain practical and theoretical knowledge of manipulation of assets, game prototyping and cross-platform user interface design, as well as explore the hot-button topic of cross-platform play.

    Compulsory

  • As virtual game worlds and player expectations continually increase, reliance upon procedural content generation (PCG) within industry has expanded to offset the growing demands placed upon developers. This algorithmically-generated content, whether an artistic asset or a game level, must be plausible, enjoyable, engaging and, above all, consistent with the game’s developer-generated content. This module will explore contemporary procedural generation techniques and algorithms, both real-time and pre-processed, empowering you to leverage these technologies in your own game development. You will also learn how the outputs of these techniques can be meaningfully evaluated.

    Compulsory

  • Working as a group, you will identify an area of potentially marketable development within the domain of games technology. Guided by the course team, you will apply the practical and analytical skills gained throughout your degree to the research and development of an innovative software solution targeted at that area. Your team will undertake background research, any required ethical approvals of the project, document the process, and evaluate both the effectiveness of the collaboration and your software deliverable in written report. This software solution will be feature-complete and ready for public release by the conclusion of the module.

    Compulsory

We regularly review our course content, to make it relevant and current for the benefit of our students. For these reasons, course modules may be updated.


How you'll learn

A portion of your contact time will be dedicated to course support sessions.

The course support sessions are weekly, timetabled sessions where you can explore areas of the course which you may find challenging or get support with personal projects and employability efforts.


Teaching contact hours

We understand that everyone learns differently, so each of our courses will consist of structured teaching sessions, which can include: 

  • On campus lectures, seminars and workshops 
  • Group work 
  • Self-directed learning 
  • Work placement opportunities2.

If you would like more information, you can request information about teaching hours.

Part of university life is undertaking self-directed learning. During a typical week you will have time that allows you to work independently to apply the skills and knowledge you have learnt in taught or facilitated sessions to your projects or assignment briefs.  This self-directed learning allows you to use your research skills, consolidate your knowledge or undertake collaborative group work. 

As an innovative and enterprising institution, the University may seek to utilise emerging technologies within the student experience. For all courses (whether on-campus, blended, or distance learning), the University may deliver certain contact hours and assessments via online technologies and methods. 

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, we are prepared for courses due to start in or after the 2023/2024 academic year to be delivered in a variety of forms.  The form of delivery will be determined in accordance with Government and Public Health guidance. Whether on campus or online, our key priority is staff and student safety.


Assessment

This course will be assessed using a variety of methods which will vary depending upon the module. 

Assessment methods may include:

  • Formal examinations
  • Phase tests
  • Essays
  • Group work
  • Presentations
  • Reports
  • Projects
  • Coursework
  • Exams
  • Individual Assignments 

The Coventry University Group assessment strategy ensures that our courses are fairly assessed and allows us to monitor student progression towards achieving the intended learning outcomes. 


International Experience Opportunities

Computer game development is considered an international business. Most of the technical subjects you could learn are applicable worldwide and, where they exist, significant regional or country-specific differences are highlighted. For example, the emphasis for different colours in different cultures, such as white being associated with death in Japan.

If you have a desire to travel it is possible to study abroad for a year at universities around the world2. Collaborative Online International Learning (COIL) projects means you may also have the opportunity to work on projects with students in universities which have previously included Brazil and Indonesia2.

Many of the field trips and industry visits we offer take place abroad2. In the past, for example, students have visited Indonesia where students participated in an international games jam, visited local game companies and an exciting cultural program.

Please note that all international experience opportunities may be subject to additional costs, competitive application, availability and meeting applicable visa and travel requirements are therefore not guaranteed2.


Entry requirements

Typical offer for 2023 entry

Requirement What we're looking for
A level BSc (Hons): BBC to include one from Mathematics, Physics, Chemistry, Further Mathematics, Computer Science, Computing or Design Technology. Excludes General Studies.
MSci: ABB to include one from Mathematics, Physics, Chemistry, Further Mathematics, Computer Science, Computing or Design Technology. Excludes General Studies.
GCSE BSc (Hons)/ MSci: 5 GCSEs at grade 4 / C or above to include English and Mathematics.
BTEC BSc (Hons): DMM in IT or a technical subject
MSci: DDM in IT or a technical subject
IB Diploma BSc (Hons): 29 points to include either Mathematics, Physics, Chemistry, Design Technology or IT at Higher level.
MSci: 31 points to include either Mathematics, Physics, Chemistry, Design Technology or IT at Higher level.
Access to HE BSc (Hons): The Access to HE Diploma to include 30 Level 3 credits in either Mathematics, Physics, Computer Science or Statistics. Plus GCSE English Language and Mathematics at grade 4 / C or above.
MSci: The Access to HE Diploma to include 30 Level 3 credits all at merit or above in either Mathematics, Physics, Computer Science or Statistics. Plus GCSE English Language and Mathematics at grade 4 / C or above.

We recognise a breadth of qualifications, speak to one of our advisers today to find out how we can help you.

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Are you eligible for the Fair Access Scheme?

We believe every student should have the opportunity to dream big, reach their potential and succeed, regardless of their background. Find out more about our Fair Access Scheme.

Select your region to find detailed information about entry requirements:


You can view our full list of country specific entry requirements on our Entry requirements page.

Alternatively, visit our International hub for further advice and guidance on finding in-country agents and representatives, joining our in-country events and how to apply.

English language requirements

  • IELTS of 6.0 overall, with no component lower than 5.5.

If you don't meet the English language requirements, you can achieve the level you need by successfully completing a pre-sessional English programme before you start your course. 

For more information on our approved English language tests visit our English language requirements page.

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Fees and funding

2023/24 tuition fees.

Student Full time Part time
UK £9,250 per year Not available
International £19,850 per year Not available

If you choose to do a work placement2, you should consider travel and living costs to cover this. There is also a tuition fee3 of £1,250 that will cover your academic support throughout your placement year.

For advice and guidance on tuition fees and student loans visit our Undergraduate Finance page and see The University’s Tuition Fee and Refund Terms and Conditions.

We offer a range of International scholarships to students all over the world. For more information, visit our International Scholarships page.

Tuition fees cover the cost of your teaching, assessments, facilities and support services. There may be additional costs not covered by this fee such as accommodation and living costs, recommended reading books, stationery, printing and re-assessments should you need them. Find out what's included in your tuition costs.

The following are additional costs not included in the tuition fees:

  • Optional international field trips: £400+ per trip.
  • Any costs associated with securing, attending or completing a placement (whether in the UK or abroad)

Facilities

The School of Computing, Mathematics and Data Science is based in the Engineering and Computing Building, and the attached Beatrice Shilling Building.

Both buildings are high-specification learning environments which benefit from extensive social learning facilities, well-appointed laboratories, lecturing facilities and classrooms, facilitating our innovative teaching methods across a diverse suite of undergraduate and postgraduate courses4.

  • The Game Lab
    High-specification PC lab where the majority of your lectures and laboratories will be delivered. Additionally, you can access these machines outside of class to pursue development projects.
  • The High-Performance Lab
    HPC developer-spec’d machines to encourage students to explore more advanced and demanding software engineering challenges.
  • Motion-Capture Studio
    A bespoke facility complete with green-screen, control room and lighting rig, empowering students to explore advanced human-computer interaction and simulation technologies.

Careers and opportunities

On successful completion, you will be able to:

  • Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of the underlying technology, design methods and programming languages required to practice as an IT professional.
  • Appreciate the cultural, commercial, ethical, and professional issues connected with the IT industry and professional practice within it.
  • Demonstrate awareness of emergent technologies and techniques in the wider computing domain, such as VR implementation techniques, pervasive computing, designing software to be engaging and usable as well as cutting edge graphics programming.
  • Apply appropriate problem-solving techniques and design protocols to computing requirements or issues. 
  • Research the concept, design, and development of a product in the computing domain, providing relevant and useful conclusions in the evaluation of the implementation.

The course sends graduates into the games industry and related sectors every year, and where possible invites students back to give guest talks or participate in extracurricular activities.

In recent years, graduates from companies like Rare and Criterion Games have returned to support our Game Jam events.

As well as careers in the games industry, the course equips students with the technical skills needed to excel as high-performance software developers in many collaborative or independent development environments.

Where our graduates work

  • Unity Technologies
  • Criterion Games
  • Codemasters
  • Rare Ltd
  • Free Radical Design Ltd
  • Flix Interactive
  • Digital Media Technologies
  • Bosch
  • Tesco PLC
  • Totem Learning Ltd

How to apply

  • 1Accreditations

    The majority of our courses have been formally recognised by professional bodies, which means the courses have been reviewed and tested to ensure they reach a set standard. In some instances, studying on an accredited course can give you additional benefits such as exemptions from professional exams (subject to availability, fees may apply). Accreditations, partnerships, exemptions and memberships shall be renewed in accordance with the relevant bodies’ standard review process and subject to the university maintaining the same high standards of course delivery.

    2UK and international opportunities

    Please note that we are unable to guarantee any UK or International opportunities (whether required or optional) such as internships, work experience, field trips, conferences, placements or study abroad opportunities and that all such opportunities may be subject to additional costs (which could include, but is not limited to, equipment, materials, bench fees, studio or facilities hire, travel, accommodation and visas), competitive application, availability and/or meeting any applicable travel COVID and visa requirements. To ensure that you fully understand the visa requirements, please contact the International Office.

    3Tuition fees

    The University will charge the tuition fees that are stated in the above table for the first Academic Year of study. The University will review tuition fees each year. For Home Students, if Parliament permit an increase in tuition fees, the University may increase fees for each subsequent year of study in line with any such changes. Note that any increase is expected to be in line with inflation.

    For International Students, we may increase fees each year but such increases will be no more than 5% above inflation. If you defer your course start date or have to extend your studies beyond the normal duration of the course (e.g. to repeat a year or resit examinations) the University reserves the right to charge you fees at a higher rate and/or in accordance with any legislative changes during the additional period of study.

    4Facilities

    Facilities are subject to availability. Due to the ongoing restrictions relating to COVID-19, some facilities (including some teaching and learning spaces) may vary from those advertised and may have reduced availability or restrictions on their use.

    Student Contract

    By accepting your offer of a place and enrolling with us, a Student Contract will be formed between you and the university. The 2023/24 Contract is currently being updated so please revisit this page before submitting your application. The Contract details your rights and the obligations you will be bound by during your time as a student and contains the obligations that the university will owe to you. You should read the Contract before you accept an offer of a place and before you enrol at the university.

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