Game Development BSc (Hons)

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Course starts: 16 September 2019Apply now

If you are applying for this course from within the UK/EU, click apply now.

Course starts: 16 September 2019Apply now

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Develop expertise in games software design and implementation with Epic Game’s Unreal Engine 4. Master both Microsoft and Sony technologies using Windows machines and Playstation 4 DevKits. Graduate with the skills needed to work in the exciting and growing games software sector.

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Overview

This course equips you with the necessary technical skills to develop games both independently and within a multidisciplinary environment, backed by industry standard practices. You will have the opportunity to develop games for platforms such as PC, mobile and console. With a focus on programming, you will become adept in games programming using industry relevant languages (e.g. C#, C++) and mathematical concepts through popular game engines such as Unity, and the Unreal Engine. You will work with other students to develop games as part of a games studio environment, simulated in our specialised games lab.

Why us?

  • The University is a member of the PlayStation®4 Academic Development Programme, which grants us the licence to Sony games console devkit hardware and software
  • Accredited by BCS, The Chartered Institute for IT for the purposes of fully meeting the further learning academic requirement for registration as a Chartered IT Professional
  • Accredited by BCS on behalf of the Engineering Council for the purposes of fully meeting the academic requirement for Incorporated Engineer and partially meeting the academic requirement for a Chartered Engineer
  • We have an integrative and holistic approach to the first year of our computing courses. You’ll be taught the fundamentals of computing alongside students from other courses in the Faculty of Computer Science. This course structure allows you to easily change courses at the end of the first year, should a different computer science route appeal to you. For example, you may begin studying BSc (Hons) Game Development, but then show a greater aptitude for cybersecurity and decide to change to BSc (Hons) Cybersecurity and Digital Forensics
  • According to the National Student Survey 2018, our Computer Science courses are in the top 25% in the UK for Learning opportunities, Assessment and feedback, Academic support, Organisation and management, and Learning Resources
  • Sunderland has one of the fastest-growing digital technology sectors in the UK according to the Tech Nation 2018 Survey, with a turnover of approximately £118 million, an average salary of £78,000 per employee and over 7,000 digital tech jobs 

Course structure

Teaching methods include lectures, tutorials, seminars and laboratory sessions. We also use the University’s virtual learning environment for group activities, discussions, assignments and links to resources. We encourage you to develop independent study skills as well as to work with other students on the course.

As well as assessments that count towards your degree, there are also on-going assessments for feedback and consolidating your learning. Assessment methods include coursework and exams.

Year 1 (national level 4):

  • Fundamentals of Computing (100 credits)

Software Development and Theory: Software Engineering, Human-Computer Interaction, Formal Methods

Programming: Microsoft C# .NET and programming for Robots

Web and Multimedia Applications: Markup Languages (HTML 5, CSS 3), Adobe Dreamweaver, Adobe Photoshop, Javascript, Web APIs (such as Google Maps and Yahoo APIs)

Database Systems: Database Design, Relational Databases and SQL, Database Integrity and Security, PHP and MySQComputer Systems and Networking: Operating Systems, Networks and Computer Architectures

Specialist Mini Project: Showcase your talents through a project in your chosen area of computing. Past projects have included a Facebook app, a hack challenge and the creation of a retro arcade game.

  • Introduction to Game Development (20 credits)

In the modern games industry, development is facilitated through game engines. This module will teach programming through popular game engines to familiarise you with the industry standard. You will also learn the fundamental principles of game design, teaching you how to view games from as many perspectives as possible. You will apply the knowledge gained from this module to develop a simple game, and to produce a game design document.

 

Some modules have prerequisites. Read more about what this means in our Help and Advice article.

Year 2 (national level 5):

  • Personalised Skills Development (20 credits)

Learn key skills such as self-determination, planning and actioning of goals, time management, independent learning and team working.

  • Software Enterprise Project (20 credits)

Work in a team to undertake a large scale development for a real client or realise an enterprising idea that the group has personally conceived and developed. Learn the principles of software engineering and development in the context of real world and real client needs and demands. Focus on ethics, professionalism and security related issues within the software development and technology management industries.

  • Rapid Game Prototyping (20 credits)

Enhance your game development skills by undergoing an iterative procedure of rapid game prototyping. A series of games will be developed rapidly to not only provide hands on experience with games development, but also improve your abilities in games programming and project management, with an emphasis on your own creativity throughout the process. Throughout the module you will critically evaluate gameplay mechanics in response to a player’s expectations and experience.

  • Object Oriented Game Development (20 credits)

Use C/C++ as the object-oriented programming language to produce the various forms of artefacts associated with video games.

  • Games Programming (20 credits)

The ability to reduce a game down to its core is fundamental for any professional game developer. As such, you will study gameplay elements of well-established titles in order to reduce them to their minimum viable products. Games programming techniques will also be taught in a practical way, giving you hands-on experience with AI, game mathematics and programming design patterns. You will be assessed on your ability to develop a demo that focuses entirely on a gameplay mechanic of your own creation, outlined in a written professional game design document.

  • Game Assets Development (20 credits)

In the games industry, you are working within a multi-disciplinary team. As a programmer, you will often need to communicate with those in other professions throughout development. This module concentrates on the development of digital 3D models using industry standard 3D modelling packages such as Autodesk 3DS Max. To support this, the module also covers the fundamentals of 3D modelling scripting languages and shaders.

Final year (national level 6):

Core modules

  • Computing Project (40 credits)

Undertake advanced study, including a literature review, in order to research and develop to completion a substantial piece of work that demonstrates the range of skills you have acquired. You will also submit a dissertation that describes and evaluates the problem and solution. Past examples include an Android audio application, a Trojan detector and a network monitoring tool.

  • Games Platform Programming (20 credits)

This module will introduce fundamental optimisation techniques that are essential for any contemporary professional game developer for you to then apply within the development of your games. With a focus on data structures and algorithms essential to games programming, and game engine architecture, you will acquire the skills to efficiently develop games for a specific platform (e.g. mobile or console).

  • Professional Game Portfolio (20 credits)

To solidify your position within the games industry, it is imperative to develop your own small portfolio of games. Without this, the industry will find it difficult to see your passion for game development. This portfolio should be comprised of at least three to four finished, and polished games. They should be small but to a high quality. This module will give you the freedom to create one substantial piece of work to add to your portfolio. You will be assessed on the initial research of your chosen piece, its feasibility, and the finished product. You will present your game idea in the form of a pitch at the start of the module, and then demonstrate the quality of your final piece through a gameplay session towards the end.

  • Artificial Intelligence (20 credits)

This module develops your knowledge of current AI principles and your skills in this fast-moving area, which is a particular focus of Sunderland’s research.

 

Optional modules (choose one):

  • Android Mobile Development (20 credits)

Analyse, design, develop, test and deploy native mobile applications using Java and Android Studio. You will be introduced to native programming, application build and deployment, the Android ecosystem, security and software engineering in a student led and practical manner. 

  • User Experience Design (20 credits)

You will study principles and practices that ensure users gain the most appropriate experience when interacting with computer-based software and hardware systems.

  • Software Enterprise (20 credits)

Gain the knowledge and skills that will enable you to explore and exploit business opportunities for software enterprises.

  • Students into Schools (20 credits)

Undertake a work-based placement to support computing in a school or equivalent learning environment.

The David Goldman Informatics Centre,
Sir Tom Cowie Campus,
St Peter's Way,
Sunderland,
SR6 0DD

54.912323,-1.373368

  • We’ve got thousands of books and e-books on computing topics, with many more titles available through the inter-library loan service. We also subscribe to a comprehensive range of print and electronic journals so you can access the most reliable and up-to-date academic and industry articles.

    Some of the most important sources for computing students include:

    • British Standards Online which offers more than 35,000 documents covering specifications for products, dimensions, performance and codes of practice
    • Association of Computing Machinery digital library, which includes full-text articles from journals as well as conference proceedings
    • Science Direct, which offers more than 18,000 full-text journals published by Elsevier
    • Archives of publications from Emerald, including over 35,000 full-text articles dating back to 1994 on a range of subjects including technology
    • Business Source Elite from EBSCO Publishing that covers hundreds of journals that include coverage of e-commerce and information management
    Library Services - IT
  • The David Goldman Informatics Centre has been described as a ‘computing cathedral’, and with over 300 computer workstations in one space it’s easy to see why. One of the University’s most striking buildings inside and out, the David Goldman Informatics Centre is home to specialist dedicated computer forensics labs, a game software development lab and a final year project lab.

    Outstanding IT facilities

Facilities

This course is based at the David Goldman Informatics Centre, a high-tech computing environment with strong links to software companies and a constant exchange of ideas and people.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Entry requirements

Our typical offer is 112 UCAS points from a minimum of two A Levels or equivalent (e.g. 1 x AVCE double award).

We accept a maximum of 6 points from Level 3 Key Skills qualifications.

Please note we do not accept AS/A Level General Studies.

We also require three passes at GCSE grade C or above, which must include Mathematics and English Language, or a minimum of Level 2 Key Skills in Communication and Application of Number. If you have studied for a GCSE which has a numerical grade then you will need to achieve a grade 4 or above.

If English is not your first language, please see our English language requirements.

Fees and finance

The annual fee for this course is:

  • £9,250 if you are from the UK or EU
  • £11,500 if you are from outside the EU

If you are not sure whether you qualify as a UK, EU or international student, find out more in our Help and Advice article.

Take a look at the Your Finances section to find out about the scholarships and bursaries that may be available to you.

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This information was correct at the time of publication.

The Sir Tom Cowie Campus at St Peter's by night

Employment

This course has a strong emphasis on real-world learning that boosts employability and equips you to make a bigger contribution in the workplace. You will acquire a high level of software related transferable skills that will make you attractive to local, regional, national and international companies.

Graduate success

Sunderland has a good reputation with employers. 93.4% of our graduates are in employment, further study or training within six months of graduating, according to DLHE 2016/17 (based on full-time, first degree, home leavers). The top type of job gained by our graduates is ‘information and communication technology professional’.

In your final year of the course, you will undertake a major individual project, often working directly with a company. This adds to your hands-on experience and, in some cases, may lead to a job offer that can be taken up as soon as the course ends.

Career options

Our graduates have gone on to become web programmers, IT managers, information analysts and software developers. Employers that have taken on our graduates include Sage, British Airways and the NHS. Other graduates have started their own businesses or become software contractors earning over £50,000 a year.

Meet our academics

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