BSc (Hons)

Computer Games Technology

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

Overview

This degree provides you with specialist games programming and design skills as well as traditional computer science skills. You will study games software at a variety of levels, from low-level programming of game engine components, to high-level development tools such as Unity or Unreal Engine.

This course aims to prepare you for a career as a games programmer, and you will design and program computer games from the outset. Typical areas of study include game logic and architecture and the use of 3D programming language (such as Open GL) to produce game objects and environments.

The course has been designed in association with Codemasters and HandsOn, ensuring content has direct relevance to the computer games industry. We are part of the BUGS (Business and University Games Syndicate) network which includes industry partners such as Microsoft and Sony.

Features and Benefits

Accreditations, Awards and Endorsements

Career Prospects

The rapidly changing digital, media and creative industries offer career opportunities in an extremely wide range of industry sectors including new media, web design, computing and system management, IT consultancy and in roles managing technology to support a range of public and private sector organisations.

In addition, the skills learnt on these degrees are highly valued by a range of employers and opportunities exist in areas such as accountancy, management, communications, technical sales and teaching.

Manchester is a major hub for the digital media industry. The close proximity of MediaCity and local initiatives such as the 100bps Oxford Road "Corridor" broadband project are attracting key players in the digital media sector, along with smaller web design and new media agencies, to the city.

Learn more about graduate careers

Entry requirements

These typical entry requirements apply to the 2018 academic year of entry and may be subject to change for the 2019 academic year. Please check back for further details.

UCAS tariff points/grades required

104-112

104-112 UCAS Tariff Points at A2 (Grades BCC-BBC) to include minimum grade C at A2 in IT, Computing, Maths or Science.

Pre-2016 BTECs:

BTEC Diploma or BTEC Extended Diploma at Level 3 (Grades D*D or DMM) in IT or Computing accepted with minimum 4 units at Merit from the following:
6 Software Design and Development
11 Systems Analysis and Design
14 Event Driven Programming
15 Object Oriented Programming
16 Procedural Programming
18 Database Design
19 Computer Systems Architecture
20 Client Side Customisation of Web Pages
26 Mathematics for IT Practitioners
27 Web Server Scripting
28 Website Production

Post-2016 BTECs:

BTEC National Diploma or BTEC National Extended Diploma at Level 3 (Grades D*D or DMM) in IT or Computing accepted with Merit in the following:

Computing (first teaching from 2016):

1 Principles of Computer Science
2 Fundamentals of Computer Systems

IT (first teaching from 2017):

1 Information Technology Systems
4 Programming

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

Specific GCSE requirements

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

Non Tariffed Qualifications

106-112 UCAS Tariff Points from Access to HE Diploma in a relevant subject (ICT/Computing/Science) with at least 45 credits at Level 3.

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.

Additional Requirements

Applicants who do not meet the subject knowledge requirement may be offered the opportunity to sit an admissions test.

Further information

Applications are considered individually and you are advised to contact our Course Enquires team via the web form www.mmu.ac.uk/course-enquiry

Course details

Typical areas of study include computer games fundamentals, computer systems fundamentals, introduction to web design and development, programming (Java). In your second year, you will cover algorithms and data structures, computer games design, computer graphics, professional development. In your final year, you will study advanced computer graphics, advanced game development and a undertake a project.

In Year 1 you will study a core set of skills which includes programming, web design and development, maths for computing and computer hardware and fundamentals. You will be designing and programming computer games from the outset using a variety of game programming languages and tools.

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 develop your games programming skills on several fronts. Your general programming skills are enhanced to include object oriented techniques; you will develop low level game engine components, and use a 3D programming language such as OpenGL to produce game objects and environments. A specialised game design unit will examine various models of game logic and architecture from a design perspective.

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, software agents and optimization or character animation techniques.

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.

Software Agents and Optimisation

Students will be introduced to the fundamental concepts in evolutionary algorithms and agent-based simulation, and develop their proficiency in the development, application and analysis of these methodologies. The unit includes evolution and natural selection, fitness landscapes and search, optimisation and approximation, encodings and fitness functions, evolutionary search and optimisation, and applications. Software agent concepts, intelligent agent design and implementation of multi-agent systems.

Assessment weightings and contact hours

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.

Placements options

The full-time four-year sandwich route provides the opportunity to spend your third year on placement in industry. The School offers help with finding suitable placements and experience has shown that taking a placement year can lead to improved performance in the final year of your degree as well as improved employment prospects after graduation.

School of Computing, Mathematics and Digital Technology

Our School of Computing, Mathematics and Digital Technology 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

Tuition fees for the 2019/20 academic year are still being finalised for all courses. Please see our general guide to our standard undergraduate tuition fees.

Part-time students may take a maximum of 90 credits each academic year.

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 Schools 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

For further information on financing your studies or information about whether you may qualify for one of our bursaries and scholarships, follow the links below:

Bursaries and scholarships

Money Matters

Want to know more?

How to apply

You can apply for this course through UCAS.

Apply now

UCAS code(s)

GG46

Remember to use the correct institution code for Manchester Metropolitan University on your application: our institution code is M40

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 Office for Students is the principal regulator for the University. For further information about their role please visit the Office for Students website. You can find out more about our courses including our approach to timetabling, course structures and assessment and feedback on our website.

Top