Developed in consultation with the games industry, our computer games technology degree focuses heavily on programming and combines in-depth academic knowledge with the practical skills that employers are looking for in computer scientists , games developers and games designers.
We work closely with companies such as Microsoft, Sony and Kwalee, as well as with our fast-growing, local independent game studios which are within a few minutes walk from our City Centre Campus.
On this course, you’ll have the opportunity to study an enviable range of disciplines that include the production of both entertainment and educational ‘serious games’.
We have worked closely with the games industry to develop a comprehensive course that covers the essential subject areas for anyone wanting to work in the sector: computer programming, ‘coding’ and basic programming, as well as the concepts behind game engine development, working with game consoles and associated hardware.
As part of your studies, you will have the opportunity to work with both 2D and 3D game worlds, to learn how to programme game engines, work with augmented and virtual reality and study mobile technologies, graphics programming and artificial intelligence.
Associated with the curriculum is the opportunity for students from all years to participate in internationally recognised game development competitions, for example Global Game Jam and the Microsoft Imagine Cup, which is one of the world’s premier technology competitions. This gives you the chance to showcase your technical and creative skills to a wider audience. Our students have twice gone on to represent the university at the national finals of the Microsoft Imagine Cup, an extremely prestigious contest that sees an incredibly high quality of entries.
The course also prepares you for life in the real world, so you’ll learn how to work effectively as a team player, and develop skills in evaluating and communicating information effectively both verbally and in a written form. Several modules use a work-based learning approach to equip you with the skills needed to work as part of game development teams.
As part of the real-world preparation, you will also have the chance take part in a year-long work placement in the games and associated industries and we have a dedicated placement office who can help you find a suitable post. Having industry experience can really help to boost your CV.
Throughout your course, you’ll receive the support of expert teaching staff, all of who are authorities in their industry, having worked in computer science and software development. We have internationally recognised research and practice based interests which include applying computer games technology to healthcare, engineering and the built environment.
I enjoy spending time with my new found colleagues during and after class. I find working as a team to be a great and enjoyable experience thanks to them. Radu Dumitriu
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Ist year student Liam Sorta won a scholarship to spend the summer studying at the prestigious Hanyang University in Seoul.
Our students have gone on to work with companies such as:
"The hackathon was amazing! Everyone was super helpful to each other and there was a real community atmosphere." Read Computer science student Pandelis' experience at our first 24 – hour hackathon.
We accept a range of qualifications, the most popular of which are detailed below.
At the point of application, you must have GCSE at Grade C or above in English Language and Mathematics. Equivalent qualifications will be accepted.
280 UCAS tariff points from A/AS Level with a minimum of 2 A Levels
|UK Qualification||Requirements 2016/17|
|GCE A Level/ AS Level||BBC at A Level or 280 UCAS tariff points from A/AS Level with a minimum of 2 A Levels, at least one from a Science, Technology, Mathematics or Computing subject.|
|Access to Higher Education Diploma||Pass overall with 60 credits, 45 at Level 3 and 15 at Level 2, including with a minimum of 12 credits achieved from any Technology units awarded at Merit or Distinction|
|BTEC National Diploma (12-units not including early years)||D*D* or combined with other level 3 qualifications to achieve a minimum total of 280 UCAS points|
|BTEC Extended Diploma (18-units not including early years)||DMM - 280 UCAS points|
|BTEC Subsidiary Diploma/ National Award (6-units not including early years)||Combined with other level 3 qualifications to achieve a minimum total of 280 UCAS points|
|BTEC Diploma in Foundation Studies in Art and Design||Distinction|
|International Baccalaureate Diploma||30 points overall|
|Irish Leaving Certificate||280 UCAS points - Higher Levels|
|Scottish Higher/ Advanced Higher||280 UCAS points|
|Welsh Baccalaureate (core plus options)||120 tariff points combined with other level 3 qualifications to achieve a minimum total of 280 UCAS points|
|If you have a qualification that is not listed in the table please refer to our full entry requirements on UCAS.
Further guidance on tariff points can be found on the UCAS website.
|EU/Non-EU (International) Qualifications||Requirements 2015/16|
|IELTS||6.0 overall with 5.5 minimum in all bands|
|International Baccalaureate Diploma (or equivalent, including internationally accredited Foundation courses).||30 points overall
Country-specific entry requirements and qualifications.
International students who cannot meet the direct entry requirements can begin their degree studies at Birmingham City University International College (BCUIC).
As part of the application process you will be invited to attend an applicant visit day where you will undertake a short one-to-one interview with an academic member of staff. This is your chance to show us how passionate you are about the subject and it will help us make a decision on your application.
This will provide you with more information about the Faculty and your course. In addition, it will give you a chance to meet and our staff and students to gain a better understanding of what it is like to be a student here.
If you're considering applying for this course to start in September 2017 onwards, it's important to know that the UCAS tariff system is changing.
UCAS tariff points – the points system most universities use to compare different qualifications – will be introducing a new system on how points are calculated.
From A/AS Level with a minimum of 2 A Levels
If you are a full-time undergraduate applicant for 2016/17, and show particular potential, we may be able to make you an unconditional offer if you make us first choice and satisfy certain criteria.
To be considered you must hold, or be predicted to achieve:
300 points or above from three A levels (equivalent to grades BBB or above)
predicted DDM profile at BTEC level
You will also be required to attend an interview.
We’ve created a range of advice from experts and our students, including next steps if your exams don't go that well.
|BSc (Hons)||Sep 2016||FT||3 years||£9,000 per year||Apply via UCAS|
|BSc (Hons)||Sep 2016||SW||4 years||£9,000 per year||Apply via UCAS|
|BSc (Hons)||Sep 2017||FT||3 years||£9,250 per year||Apply via UCAS|
|BSc (Hons)||Sep 2017||SW||4 years||£9,250 per year||Apply via UCAS|
|BSc (Hons)||Sep 2016||FT||3 years||£12,000 per year||Apply via UCAS|
|BSc (Hons)||Sep 2017||FT||3 years||TBC||Apply via UCAS|
The University reserves the right to increase fees broadly in line with increases in inflation, or to reflect changes in government funding policies or changes agreed by Parliament.
There are no compulsory additional costs or charges associated with studying on this course. While you may choose to purchase personal copies of text books, all our key text books are available from our library or online (subject to normal library loan and online access arrangements). If your course includes a residential study session, the accommodation costs for this are already included in your course fee.
Based on the past experience of our students, you might find it helpful to set aside about £50 for each year of your studies for stationery and study materials. All our students are provided with 100 free pages of printing each year to a maximum total value of £15.
Application for 2016/17 will be available soon.
There are three ways to apply:
You will need to complete our International Application Form and submit it together with scan copies of your original academic transcripts and certificates.
Our in-country representatives can help you make your application and apply for a visa. They can also offer advice on travel, living in the UK and studying abroad.
If you are applying for an undergraduate degree or a Higher National Diploma (HND), you can apply through the UK’s Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS).
You can request a printed form from your school or nearest British Council office. You will be charged for applying through UCAS. Birmingham City University’s UCAS code is B25 BCITY.
Your personal statement is a highly important part of your application. It gives you a crucial opportunity to say why you’re applying and why the institution should accept you.
Here are the key areas you’ll need to address:
Why does this course appeal? What areas are of particular interest?
If you have a specific career in mind, say how your chosen course will help you pursue this goal.
Mention any work that is relevant to your subject, highlighting the skills and experience gained.
Highlight skills gained at school/college, eg summer schools or mentoring activities.
eg Duke of Edinburgh Award, Young Enterprise scheme.
You should also mention your future plans – if you’re planning to take a year out, don't forget to give your reasons. Talk about any subjects you’re studying that don’t have a formal assessment and any sponsorships or placements you’ve applied for. And don't be scared to add in details about your social, sports or leisure interests.
Get more information on writing personal statements.
Search our Frequently Asked Questions for a range of information about our courses and studying here.
We offer further information on possible undergraduate financial support. This includes the type of loans, grants and scholarships available both from the government and from Birmingham City University.
Your first year comprises seven modules: games engines, game design, introduction to 2D games programming, introduction to 3D games programming, professional context of technology, data analysis, and computer systems technology. This wide-ranging curriculum gives you the chance to explore topics across the five key course themes.
You will work to develop your skills in game development using a range of 2D tools such as GameMaker, Construct2 or Stencyl. You’ll work in groups to research game engine functionality, and you’ll implement game mechanics and assess human factors in game development.
You’ll explore how different game mechanics are used in the development of games and work in teams to develop skills in game design and prototyping. You’ll investigate different game mechanics in the development of game prototypes and assess human factors in the development of games.
Introduction to 2D Games Programming
You’ll explore programming environments that can be used to develop 2D computer games, and learn basic ‘coding’ syntax, program structures and the development of algorithms using object oriented programming languages such as C#, Java or C++. You’ll gain an understanding of how computer games are programmed, culminating in the development of a simple 2D game or simulation.
Introduction to 3D Games Programming
You’ll be introduced to the development of 3D computer games and learn syntax, program structures and the development of algorithms using object oriented programming languages such as C#, Java or C++. You’ll gain an understanding of how 3D computer games are programmed, culminating in the development of a simple 3D game or simulation.
Professional Context of Technology
You’ll be introduced to the context of technology in relation to management of business in its competitive environment, and in the process develop the concept of the ‘independent learner’ within a group. You’ll examine the context of business and will also develop learning, study methods and skills as well as appreciation of research methodologies.
You’ll study a wide variety of concepts and methods in mathematics, logic and probability/statistics. Among the subjects you’ll learn are: mathematical methods, algebraic representation and use of formulas; graphical depiction of functions, vectors, matrices and set theory.
Computer Systems Technology
Students on the Computer Systems Technology module develop their own innovative product for the annual Innovation Fest in the second semester.
You’ll gain a holistic view of how a computer system works on this module. This will underpin your knowledge to help you in understanding how computer technologies can be applied to a range of settings you’ll be introduced to: the design of computer architecture; how software interacts with hardware; electronics; and programming techniques.
In year two you’ll study a further six modules, all of which are designed to build on your knowledge and key skills needed for a career in areas including computer science and games programming.
C++ Programming for Games
This will build on the knowledge you gained in the Introduction to Games Programming module. You’ll focus on C++ programming and develop your skills in the use of an object oriented programming language. You’ll examine software development lifecycle models, C++ syntax, data structures and algorithms, and class libraries such as STL as well as memory management and pointers.
Computer Networks and Distribution
Programming Game Engines
This will develop the principles taught in Introduction to 2D and 3D Games Programming. You’ll focus on learning how to program a 3D game engine, its underlying functionality and examine how to manage and work with relevant assets including 3D objects, worlds and spaces. You will study 3D scene and object management, working with models, meshes, textures, skins and terrains, as well as transformations, rendering, shaders, lights and effects.
3D Game World Development
You will work in teams to explore the development of 3D games, using tools such as Unity, Unreal or Crysis game engines. You’ll look at 3D game development environments, and design games for entertainment or educational purposes.Computer Networks and Distribution This brings together key principles for effective data communication that are used in networked games.. You will learn to implement a data communication network and develop a detailed understanding of the issues within a network related to routing and switching. You’ll examine data communications, network design and management, and evaluations of quality of service.
You will develop an understanding of an important theme of modern computer systems construction by looking at Open Source community development and applications. You’ll work with Linux, Apache, MySQL and PHP environments, open source licensing, server systems administration, shell programming and security issues.
This module explores production management techniques, finance and entrepreneurship in the media industry. You’ll look at production management techniques, research skills, data analysis and presentation, report writing, presenting, and develop reflective practice.
You will also examine financial models and analysis, financial planning and monitoring business performance as well as entrepreneurship.
In the third and final year you’ll move onto an individual project, which will give you the opportunity to undertake detailed, independent research in an area that interests you.You’ll also study game graphics programming, game development using consoles, artificial intelligence, and mobile and web technology.
Game Graphics Programming
You will focus specifically on issues associated with graphics programming, for example Direct X and OpenGL. Particular emphasis will be placed upon on effective and optimal techniques for programmatically manipulating graphics pipeline and associated technologies.
Game Console Programming
In this module, you’ll focus specifically on issues associated with developing games for consoles other hardware devices. Particular emphasis will be placed upon on effective and optimal techniques for programmatically manipulating game technology hardware.
You’ll be introduced to the role of AI in computer games and will examine movement in computer games; networks and path finding; decision making; neural networks and genetic algorithms as well as learning about advanced AI techniques.
Mobile and Web Technology
You’ll study the theoretical and practical nature of mobile computing and associated web technologies, including mobile infrastructures, mobile client application development and server side support with respect to web-based middleware and database development. You’ll be introduced to mobility and the wireless web; application architectures; middleware and database development; client user interface as well as personalisation and context awareness.
You’ll be asked to complete a project that simulates a typical graduate workplace task. It will require in-depth knowledge and skills in a course specific area, consideration of wider issues, the ability to manage activities and resources and to generate, implement and report on solutions to meet task objectives. It gives you the opportunity to demonstrate technical and general employability skills.
We think it’s important that you are assessed in a number of different ways during your Computer Games Technology BSc (Hons) studies. These will include continuous assessment, in-class tests, examinations, laboratory exercises and project work.
The bulk of your assessments – 70 per cent – will be via coursework, with 30 per cent being assessed by formal examination.
You will also benefit from industry-led events, on areas such as quality assurance and play-testing, and guest speakers throughout your studies, which give you an additional and valuable dimension to your learning.
This course focuses on computer programming, a skill that is in high demand in the computer games industry.You will start by studying the C# programming language in the first year and move on to C++, the industry standard language, in the second and third years.
You will learn to make games from first principles through to the underlying technologies used in game engine design and you’ll also acquire a range of other computer science skills,as well as maths and physics-based skills,which are applicable to other areas of IT.
The course comprises five main themes:
This theme aims to give you an understanding of market-led innovation planning and management. It also develops your team working skills.
This focuses on the analytical skills you will need for a career in computer game development.
You focus on computer hardware and software, as well as the distribution of data through computer networks with applications to mobile computing. There are further elements associated with operating systems and programming.
As part of this theme, you examine game design concepts, and the processes involved in developing and implementing games that are widely used in industry standard game engines.
This offers an introduction to games programming, together with an understanding of performance and optimisation issues with respect to graphics and audio.
Faculty events include Microsoft X48 Gaming Camp, Game On 2011, Global Game Jam 2011 and Special Interest Group in Intelligent Games Technology.
|33||Time in lectures, seminars and similar||MidnightBlue|
|67||Time in independent study||RoyalBlue|
If you are interested in undertaking part of your studies abroad, the Erasmus scheme may be of interest to you. It allows higher education students to study for part of their degree in another European country.
It is open to undergraduates in their second year (or above) and offers a unique opportunity to enhance your CV and experience new cultures. If you study with us you will have access to an Erasmus co-ordinator, who can provide information about which institutions we have links with.
We offer a range of either taught (MSc) or research (MPhil and PhD) postgraduate programmes that are suitable for graduates of the Computer Games Technology BSc (Hons) course. Details can be found on the postgraduate section of the website.
Your studies will arm you with the practical and academic skills that will help you to stand out when you look for your first professional role.
To break into the industry, you must have a portfolio of games that you have created, which is why alongside your studies you are encouraged to participate in activities such as Global Game Jam, Microsoft’s Imagine Cup or Brains Eden. These students made a game in one weekend at Global Game Jam.
These events offer the ideal platform for showcasing your programming ideas and also give you the opportunity to pick up practical and academic knowledge, and to meet with top employers.
We pride ourselves on our strong links with companies such as Sony, Microsoft Studios, Samsung, Intel and IBM, all of whom you have the chance to work with from early on in your degree studies.
You might even have the opportunity to make incredible contributions to industry while you are still studying, like Jake O’Connor, a second year student who had the opportunity to work with Birmingham City Hospital and developed an innovative virtual reality simulation for teaching doctors to perform eye examinations.
We aim to have you employer-ready by the time you graduate and as part of your Computer Game Technology course, you have the option of undertaking an industrial placement with either a small, independent studio or large commercial team.
You will do your placement after the second year of study, which will extend the duration of your course to four years.
Thanks to our excellent partnerships and working relationships with some of the UK’s leading companies, you have the chance of a work placement with innovative organisations such as Jagex, Sumo Digital, Microsoft Studios, , Rebellion, Kwalee, Sega Hardlight, and Mixed Reality Studios, as well as local independent game studios at Innovation Birmingham Campus, for example Team Football, Sync Interactive, Dojit and Soshi Games.
Placements such as these will give you the workplace experience that many employers look for and will also provide an invaluable opportunity to develop your practical expertise, earn money and try out a potential career path. It will also boost your CV.
The Faculty's placements team will give you every support throughout the placement process.
Learn more about some of the prestigious organisations that our students are placed with:
Full details can be found on the School placements page.
OpportUNIty: Student Jobs on Campus ensures that our students are given a first opportunity to fill many part-time temporary positions within the University. This allows you to work while you study with us, fitting the job around your course commitments. By taking part in the scheme, you will gain valuable experiences and employability skills, enhancing your prospects in the job market.
It will also allow you to become more involved in University life by delivering, leading and supporting many aspects of the learning experience, from administration to research and mentoring roles.
Through our courses we give you the skills and experience needed to get a head start when applying for jobs. But we offer something extra too – Graduate+.
Our unique programme gives you the chance to develop valuable skills outside of the more formal classroom learning. We award points for Graduate+ activities (including firewalking!) and these can be put towards a final Graduate+ award.
Graduate employers include Codemasters, Team Football, Sync Interactive and Capgemini.
Thanks to our methods of teaching and learning, as well as our industry links and academic staff who can draw on years of relevant industry practice, our graduates typically enjoy very successful careers in computer technology, game programming, and game development. Our graduates have also gone on to work in more traditional computer science and IT roles in private and public sectors.
Because this course has its foundations in computer science, many of the skills learned are transferable to other sectors of the IT industry.
As well as participating in events such a Global Game Jam and the Microsoft Imagine Cup, you’ll go to Innovation Birmingham’s LAUNCH – a conference for gaming professionals – and Games Lab, which is part of Creative England.
Birmingham City University is a vibrant and multicultural university in the heart of a modern and diverse city. We welcome many international students every year – there are currently students from more than 80 countries among our student community.
The University is conveniently placed, with Birmingham International Airport nearby and first-rate transport connections to London and the rest of the UK.
Our international pages contain a wealth of information for international students who are considering applying to study here, including:
Overseas students studying in the UK are happier and have a better learning experience compared to those studying in other countries.
The International Undergraduate Students: The UK's Competitive Advantage report asked 365,754 international students studying outside their home country to give their feedback on what it's like to study in this country. And the UK scored top in every aspect.
So if you're looking at studying with us, you'll be making a good choice.
Overall measures: ranked positions
International students who have a serious interest in studying with us but who perhaps cannot meet the direct entry requirements, academic or English, or who have been out of education for some time, can enter Birmingham City University International College (BCUIC) and begin their degree studies.
BCUIC is part of the global Navitas Group, an internationally recognised education provider, and the partnership allows students to access the University’s facilities and services and move seamlessly through to achieving a Bachelor’s degree from Birmingham City University.
We are constantly investing in our estate and are currently in the process of spending £260 million on new learning facilities.
As a student at the School of Computing and Digital Technology, you have access to networked laboratories equipped to industry standards and running the latest software, giving you the best possible introduction to the technologies you will encounter in the world of work.
Dedicated facilities are provided for systems analysis, computer networks, programming in a wide range of languages, artificial intelligence, modelling and visual programming, e-commerce and .net environments, and business intelligence, as well as supporting the application areas of mechatronics, games technology, electronics and computer forensics.
The laboratories are well-equipped for all our computer networking courses, as well as specialist areas for practical work such as voice-over internet protocol (VoIP), forensic and ethical hacking technologies, wireless and mobile technologies and radio frequency identification technologies to name but a few.
There are a number of open access, software development and computer programming
laboratories that can be used to develop systems and programmes, including database management systems such as MySQL, to name but a few.
Our embedded systems laboratories are used to develop real-time systems, such as specialist hardware training and development resources, and industrial-standard software development and simulation tools. These include microcontroller software and robotics design and development, to name but a few.
Students on SAP-certified courses in Enterprise Systems will have access to the University’s unique SAP Lab, providing an inspirational research and development space for you to use for creative thinking and design.
The SAP lab is equipped with recent SAP softwares from SAP ERP, BI, SAP Configuration, SAP HANA and PI as well providing access to SAP conferences and events.
Our successful development of forensic computing has led to a specialist forensics laboratory that is fully equipped with essential hardware and software for this sensitive area of study. The laboratory includes high-spec PC’s with built-in multi interface Tableau write blockers, EnCase and FTK computer forensic software and steganography detection and analysis software, to name but a few.
Harjinder is a Senior Lecturer in the School of Computing and Digital Technology.
He joined Birmingham City University (BCU) in 2000 and has 10 years experience in teaching and consultancy, proir to joining BCU Harjinder worked in Industry as a software developer mainly in C++.
Previously employed as Software Development Engineer (FKI Engineering), Systems Analyst/Programmer (Alcan Plate Ltd.) and IT Consultant (POCL).