BSc (Hons) Computer Games Technology

Attend an open day How to apply
Attend an open day How to apply

Overview

Our Computer Games Technology degree is designed to turn you into a games programmer and designer – from the word go you’ll be hands-on, designing and programming games as you prepare for an exciting career at the cutting edge of interactive digital content.

In our state-of-the-art facilities, you’ll develop traditional computer science skills, as well as specialist games programming and design techniques. You’ll also study all types of games software, from low-level programming of game engine components to high-level development tools such as Unity and Unreal Engine, while learning about game logic and architecture and the use of 3D graphics libraries to produce game objects and environments.

We’ve designed the course to ensure direct relevance to the computer games industry and to provide you with opportunities to showcase your work to potential employers.

With hackathons, gaming events and lots of opportunities for work experience to hone your skills, by the time you leave us you’ll be well on your way to becoming a player in the action-packed world of computer games. Our Computer Games Technology degree also provides the option of of spending an extra year expanding your horizons by working on a placement in industry.

This course is available with a Foundation Year.

Features and Benefits

  • Gain computer science skills through the innovative vehicle of game programming and design.
  • Develop your project management, digital media production, web and games development skills, increasing your appeal to employers.
  • Take the four-year sandwich route and you’ll spend your third year on industrial placement, boosting your employment prospects.
  • Experience what it’s like to work as part of a professional team, finding solutions to complex problems through group projects.
  • Our excellent facilities include teaching laboratories equipped with high-specification PCs and Apple Macs with specialist, industry-standard software and advanced graphics workstations.
  • We have a games lab equipped with gaming chairs, keyboards and mice used for our eSports events, an animation lab with a green-screen area and a user experience lab with an eye-tracking system.
  • Our dedicated drop-in lab provides an informal social working space with daily support sessions from our programme support tutors.
“Studying at Manchester Met has given me the opportunity to get involved in local games jams where me and my friends had 48 hours to create a game from scratch. I was also part of a virtual reality experience project that was showcased at the Museum of Science and Industry and played by hundreds of people. This was paid work through the University, where I worked in a team for a real client - a very rewarding experience." Zac Cocken, BSc (Hons) Computer Games Technology

Accreditations, Awards and Endorsements

“With computer animation and visual effects, we are focused on delivering the technical subjects that will create and inform future members of a burgeoning digital industry. I find it incredibly rewarding to be a part of this challenging and continually developing subject area.” 

Dr Anthony Bukowski, Lecturer in Digital Media and Entertainment Technology

Career Prospects

The rapidly changing digital, new media and creative industries offer career opportunities in an extremely wide range of roles. A degree in Computer Games Technology will prepare you for a career in games design and games programming, but also in broader roles such as a software developer and web developer, and in roles managing technology to support a range of public and private sector organisations.

In addition, the skills you learn on this degree are highly valued by a range of employers and opportunities may exist in areas such as project management, e-commerce and social media marketing, scientific research, education and many more.

Manchester is a major hub for the digital technology industry. The close proximity of MediaCity and a large number of both established companies and innovative tech start-ups means that the opportunities for technological collaboration are huge. Situated in the “Oxford Road Corridor", innovation district of Manchester, the University and the Department of Computing and Mathematics are perfectly placed to work with key players in the digital technology and new media sectors.

Learn more about graduate careers

Entry requirements

These typical entry requirements apply to the 2019 academic year of entry and may be subject to change for the 2020 academic year. Please check back for further details.

UCAS tariff points/grades required

104-112

104-112 UCAS Tariff points from A Levels (Grades BCC-BBC) to include minimum grade C in IT, Computing, Maths or Science*

BTEC Level 3 National Extended Diploma/Diploma (Grades D*D or DMM) in IT or Computing accepted with a merit grade achieved in specified key units*

BTEC Business (IT) and BTEC Creative Media Production not accepted.

Key IT units as follows: 1 and 4

Key Computing units as follows: 1 and 2

*Applicants who do not meet the subject-specific knowledge requirement may be offered the opportunity to complete an admissions test.

Specific GCSE requirements

GCSE grade C or grade 4 in English Language, Science and Mathematics. Level 2 Functional Skills English also accepted. BTEC Level 2 in Applied Science with grade merit also accepted.

Non Tariffed Qualifications

Pass Access to HE Diploma in a relevant subject (ICT/Computing/Science) with a minimum 106 UCAS Tariff Points.

International Baccalaureate points

26 IB Diploma points (to include IT at HL 5)

IELTS score required for international students

6.0 with no element below 5.5

There’s further information for international students on our international website if you’re applying with non-UK qualifications.

Further information

Applicants studying Level 4 HNC or Level 5 HND or equivalent qualifications in a relevant IT/Computing subject may be considered for direct entry onto the second year of this course if their study profile meets the course’s second year prerequisites. Direct entry onto the final year of this course is not possible.

Course details

Digital technology has changed the way we live, work and relate to each other. It’s already fundamental to business and industry and is now becoming just as important in our personal relationships, communications and leisure. In studying this rich subject area you’ll not only learn the techniques in demand across the rapidly changing digital world but also develop the ability to create exciting and interactive content and valuable problem solving and creative skills that will open doors in a wide range of industries.

The Department of Computing and Mathematics has a reputation for academic excellence and you’ll learn from research-active staff working at the forefront of their specialist fields – well placed to support and guide you as you discover yours. Manchester is a major hub for digital media and our strong industry links help to shape and inform our curriculum, so your skills and learning will be fully up to speed in one of the fastest-moving industries around – a must-have for your career.

The University is also part of the well-funded CityVerve ‘internet of things’ project, designed to transform our day-to-day lives in the digital age and make Manchester a world leader in smart city technology. MediaCityUK is nearby and has been attracting key players in the sector as well as smaller web design and UX agencies to the area.

Study Computer Games Technology with us and you’ll be at the heart of this thriving tech community, qualified and ready to take advantage of all the opportunities both close at hand and further afield.

In Year 1 of our BSc (Hons) Computer Games Technology degree, you will study a core set of skills which includes programming, web design and development, computer systems fundamentals. You will be designing and programming computer games from the outset using a variety of game programming languages and tools.

Please note that the following list of units is indicative and may be subject to change.

Read more about this year of study

Core Units

Computer Games Fundamentals

This unit provides a practical and theoretical overview of programming for computer games, games design, industries and audiences. Students will learn how to critically evaluate current debates in games design and apply practical production skills. Includes industries and gaming cultures, narrative and storytelling in games, alternative and serious games, design strategies, game rules and prototyping, the architecture of a computer game, game flow and logic, user interaction, device input and game state feedback, 2D and 3D game environments, game characters, animation, sound, scene control and scripting, introduction to game physics, introduction to artificial intelligence for games, controlling behaviour of non-player characters, chasing and evading, simple pathfinding.

Introduction to Web Design and Development

Introduces the modern context of web design and development, the core development technologies and standards and design methods that cater for different current platforms. The key theme of the unit is the efficient design and development of effective and robust websites for the range of popular platforms using the most modern technologies and techniques.

Topics include:

  • Introduction to the client-server model, web standards, HTML5 semantic mark up, control of presentation via style sheets, interactivity via JavaScript on the client side and PHP on the server side
  • The use of high-level tools for design and development
  • DOM element selection and manipulation via script libraries such as jQuery
  • The production of standards compliant HTML5 video. Students will create dynamic web pages with AMP systems and script on the server side using PHP with MySQL. The key theme for scripting will be the understanding and development of readable code that listens for and responds to browser and user events by manipulating DOM elements.
Programming (Java)

This unit introduces computer programming in a high level programming language and includes principles and practice in problem solving, program design, solution implementation and testing, including:

  • Introduction to programming using Java
  • Software life cycle: importance of correctly identifying the problem, iterative nature of software development, software maintenance
  • Design methodology: the application of the top-down design method using step-wise refinement to produce pseudo-code solutions to problems, incorporating constructs for sequence selection, iteration, abstraction and re-use
  • Verification and testing: the use of desk-top execution, simple debugging strategies and more formal approaches to testing eg black box white box boundary analysis and equivalence classes
  • Applications of standards and conventions: software maintenance and developing a professional approach to coding
  • Constructs and features of a structured high level programming language: control constructs, operators, procedural abstraction, simple I/O and use of libraries
  • Data types – primitive types: constants, variables, arrays and simple structured data
  • Object orientated design and implementation: inheritance and polymorphism
  • Software support environment: use of an IDE editors compiler/linkers and operating systems
Computer Systems Fundamentals

This unit provides an introduction to the fundamental principles and mathematics underpinning the design and construction of computer systems, including:

  • Digital Logic and Boolean Algebra: digital logic gates and circuits, Karnaugh maps, use of a digital logic circuit simulator, components of a CPU, processor model, Fetch execute cycle, hardware interrupts
  • Assembly Language Programming: relationship between high level languages and assembler, instruction sets, registers, debugging
  • Discrete Mathematics: matrices and vectors, matrices as linear transforms
  • Functions: definition, properties
  • Sets: subsets, set algebra
  • Logic: propositions, predicates, propositional algebra, proof of simple results

In Year 2 you will further enhance your games design and development skills through the use of the C++ language and OpenGL 3D graphic libraries. You’ll be developing game objects and environments and examining the games design process by learning about various models of game logic, architecture, interaction and level design.

Please note that the following list of units is indicative and may be subject to change.

Read more about this year of study

Core Units

Professional Development

The unit covers professional, legal and career development issues in the Computing and Digital Technology industries and includes a pathway-specific group project.

The current legal framework of Computing and Digital Technology is examined e.g. data protection legislation, intellectual property rights, computer misuse, freedom of information, computer contracts and employment contracts as is an overview and comparison of workable ethical theories eg utilitarianism and duty based approaches. Important issues regarding professional bodies in computing are also addressed including their role, structure, codes of conduct and practice. You will also investigate employability factors and learn about the employment application process and the importance of continuing professional development. A themed case study mini-project linked to the subject pathway, which may include the opportunity to work with an external company. This will help you to develop your skills and understanding of project planning and control concepts, planning techniques (eg Gantt charts) and monitoring, academic research, software prototyping and report writing.

Computer Games Design

This unit provides an introduction to concepts and techniques in computer games design, development and evaluation and a practical overview of programming for computer games, industries and audiences. It includes the history of computer games design, computer games design, documentation, development processes, evaluation procedures, level development, game abstraction and logic, game engines, game balancing, introduction to narrative and interactive fiction and interaction design and games. You will learn how to critically evaluate current debates in games design and apply practical production skills.

Computer Graphics

This unit introduces the theory and practice of computer graphics with modern game programming techniques. It will develop awareness, technical understanding and principles of interactive graphics. Includes C++ programming, programme structure, control structures, functions, overloads and templates, name visibility, compound data types, arrays, character sequences, pointers, dynamic memory, data structures, classes, polymorphism, input/output with files, graphics systems and modules, geometry representation, modelling, 3D transformations, menus and interactions, colour, shading and lighting, digital image representation, image manipulation, texture mapping, rasterisation and fragment processing, compositing, blending and transparency and lighting techniques.

Algorithms and Data Structures

Advanced programming and development techniques focussed on the data structures and algorithms that underpin Computer Science. Static data structures: implementation and use. Problem decomposition, module abstraction. Dynamic data structures: pointers linked lists graphs and trees. Object oriented: design implementation and use. Application implementation and component reuse. Algorithms: sorting searching and graph traversal. Basic complexity issues: time and space complexity. Software development techniques.

If you opt for the four-year sandwich route your third year will be spent on placement.

In your final year, you will undertake a substantial games project in addition to advanced units in 3D graphics, game physics and games development. Optional units include advanced games design or character animation techniques.

Please note that the following list of units is indicative and may be subject to change.

Read more about this year of study

Core Units

Project

Provides experience in the critical review of literature and the design, implementation, evaluation and writing up. Working with your supervisor, students develop their project description and specify aims, objectives, methodology and timetable for completion. Final year projects are normally pathway-specific. For group projects, individual and collective aims, objectives and plans are specified.

Advanced Computer Graphics

The unit covers advanced topics in 3D computer graphics and modelling including graphics programming, procedural and physical modelling techniques and the use of high-level scene-graph management APIs. Game physics, motion in 2D and 3D, rotational motion, intersection testing and collision detection. Parametric curves and surfaces. Terrain Modelling. Scene graphs. Hierarchical modelling. Advanced lighting and texturing techniques. Solid texturing. Procedural texturing and noise. Skeletal animation and hierarchical transforms.

Advanced Games Development

Provides advanced production skills in programming, game design/ technical documentation and the practical planning and implementation of a game utilising professional development middleware tools, including: advanced computer games programming, emergent cross platform gaming technologies, relationship between gameplay, characterisation and narrative in single and multiplayer games, game environment and level design, game design and gameplay mechanics, critically evaluate contemporary gaming trends and implement within game design practice and production of game design specification documentation.

Option Units

Character Animation Techniques

This unit introduces character rigging, animation and motion capture. You will gain experience of using the various technologies for capturing motion from a subject as well as the processing of the data and its application onto a virtual character for a variety of digital applications. These include:

  • The creation of skeletal systems and mesh deformation systems for digital animation
  • Development and implementation of control systems for forward and inverse kinematic animation
  • Calibration and operation of motion capture equipment for capture of human motion
  • Application, retargeting and manipulation of motion capture data
Advanced Computer Games Design

This unit aims to critically assess and evaluate approaches to, techniques for and the inspiration behind computer games design and development. In addition, it considers emerging novel uses of computer games and new frontiers in games design and development. You will cover computer games design approaches, game usability, project management, scripting for level design, game engines and level design, computer games and society, new frontiers in games design, social and on-line games and psychology and games design.

Assessment weightings and contact hours

10 credits equates to 100 hours of study, which is a combination of lectures, seminars and practical sessions, and independent study. A 3 year degree qualification typically comprises of 360 credits (120 credits per year). The exact composition of your study time and assessments for the course will vary according to your option choices and style of learning, but it could be:

Study
Assessment
Optional foundation year

Additional information about this course

Students are expected to behave in a professional and business like manner when on placement or conducting projects with external partners.

Placement options

The full-time four-year sandwich route provides the opportunity to go on a placement for at least 36 weeks, where you’ll get a taste of professional life. Completing a placement not only develops your core skills and experience, but also shows employers that you’re ready to get to work. Graduate employers report that students who have been on placements tend to be more mature, well organised and better able to apply their skills in a structured way.

Department of Computing and Mathematics

Our Department of Computing and Mathematics is a vibrant community of staff and students, which prides itself on internal and external collaboration.

The department is committed to teaching and research that addresses societal challenges through disciplines like artificial intelligence, big data, computational fluid dynamics, cyber security, dynamical systems, the internet of things, smart cities, robotics and virtual reality.

More about the department

Taught by experts

Your studies are supported by a team of committed and enthusiastic teachers and researchers, experts in their chosen field. We also work with external professionals, many of whom are Manchester Met alumni, to enhance your learning and appreciation of the wider subject.

Meet our expert staff

Fees

Foundation Year students

UK, EU and Channel Island students: Full-time Foundation Year fee: £9,250 per year for the foundation year. This tuition fee is agreed subject to UK government policy and parliamentary regulation and may increase each academic year in line with inflation or UK government policy for both new and continuing students.

Non-EU international students: Full-time Foundation Year fee: £16,500 per year. When progressing from the pre-degree foundation year to the linked degree. Tuition fees will remain the same for each year of your course providing you complete it in the normal timeframe (no repeat years or breaks in study)

UK, EU and Channel Island students

UK, EU and Channel Island students: Full-time fee: £9,250 per year. This tuition fee is agreed subject to UK government policy and parliamentary regulation and may increase each academic year in line with inflation or UK government policy for both new and continuing students.

Non-EU international students

Non-EU international students: Full-time fee: £16,500 per year. Tuition fees will remain the same for each year of your course providing you complete it in the normal timeframe (no repeat years or breaks in study).

Additional Information

A degree typically comprises 360 credits, a DipHE 240 credits, a CertHE 120 credits, and an integrated Masters 480 credits. The tuition fee for the placement year for those courses that offer this option is £1,850, subject to inflationary increases based on government policy and providing you progress through the course in the normal timeframe (no repeat years or breaks in study). The tuition fee for the study year abroad for those courses that offer this option is £1,385, subject to inflationary increases based on government policy and providing you progress through the course in the normal timeframe (no repeat years or breaks in study).

Additional costs

Specialist Costs

All of the books required for the course are available from the library. The University also has PC labs and a laptop loan service. However, many students choose to buy some of the core textbooks for the course and/or a laptop. Students may also need to print their assignments and other documents. Campus printing costs start from 5p per page. Estimated costs are £300 for a laptop up to £100 each year for books and printing.

Placement Costs

Students can choose to go on a placement which might incur additional travel and accommodation costs - these would be offset by salary on a paid placement and will vary by location.

Professional Costs

Students can choose to join the BCS at any point in their study. It is not required but is useful. The annual charge is identified for every year there is also an option to take course membership for £57

Other Costs

Students who do the Department's units that relate to computer games or animation may incur costs for external storage media such as USB or HDD drives. Level 5 students may complete a Live Project on the Professional Development unit - this may incur some travel costs.

Funding

Find out more about financing your studies and whether you may qualify for one of our bursaries and scholarships.

Money Matters

Want to know more?

How to apply

You can apply for this course for 2020 entry once applications open in UCAS.

Visit UCAS for further details, including deadlines.

You can review our current Terms and Conditions before you make your application. If you are successful with your application, we will send you up to date information alongside your offer letter.

MANCHESTER IS YOUR CITY. BE PART OF IT.

Programme Review
Our programmes undergo an annual review and major review (normally at 6 year intervals) to ensure an up-to-date curriculum supported by the latest online learning technology. For further information on when we may make changes to our programmes, please see the changes section of our Terms and Conditions.

Important Notice
This online prospectus provides an overview of our programmes of study and the University. We regularly update our online prospectus so that our published course information is accurate. Please check back to the online prospectus before making an application to us to access the most up to date information for your chosen course of study.

Confirmation of Regulator
The Manchester Metropolitan University is regulated by the Office for Students (OfS). The OfS is the independent regulator of higher education in England. More information on the role of the OfS and its regulatory framework can be found at officeforstudents.org.uk.

All higher education providers registered with the OfS must have a student protection plan in place. The student protection plan sets out what students can expect to happen should a course, campus, or institution close. Access our current Student Protection Plan.

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