Developed with leading industry partners, this accelerated full-time two-year degree has been designed to challenge ambitious and talented programmers looking for a career as a games, mobile or web app developer.
Throughout the course, team working, communication and other transferable professional skills are both taught and learned through experience.
If you’re looking to start this course in 2017, it's important to know that the content and structure are undergoing a substantial review and are likely to be different to what is outlined here. Next year’s course will also have a new name: Video Game Development - BSc (Hons). We’ll publish more detailed information about the changes over the next few months. If you’re starting in 2016, the course content/structure won’t be affected by the review.
The course has been designed to challenge ambitious and talented students and prepare them for a career in either high-quality AAA or independent video games development. Other career options, involving software development for TV, advertising, film and other fields of interactive entertainment, are also available.
Interactive Entertainment (Games Development) is a broader, undergraduate version of the popular Gamer Camp: Pro games programmer route, and taught by the same mix of experienced industry professionals, providing you with professional-level, practical games development experience.
You will be provided with a structured programme of learning in line with your chosen specialism of games development, which encourages an ability to design imaginatively in response to market intelligence and audience insight, while developing efficient production skills and processes to create programming that complies with the technical constraints of interactive entertainment hardware.
You will be taught by staff with experience in the industry, having worked with game developers such as, Free Radical Design, Codemasters, Freestyle Games and EA Games, while Programme Director Zuby Ahmed founded his own company, Smash Mouth Games.
The same experience-led, educational journey we pride our postgraduate courses on is also at the heart of Interactive Entertainment BSc (Hons).
Unlike other courses, we treat this like your first games industry job, to give you the experience you really need.
This means you’ll study and work 9am - 5pm, Monday to Friday, for two years, including over summer. You'll also be given your own free laptop, for the duration of the course, plus a two year course also means only two years of course fees.
So, by the time you graduate, a whole year before most students, you’ll have two years of tangible, games development studio experience under your belt, ready to launch your dream career as a games developer.
Alternatively, you can choose to apply for one of our one-year Gamer Camp courses, to gain even more in-depth skills, and experience working on an even greater level of console games.
If you are a student looking for practical hands-on coding experience which combines in-depth computer science with actual studio development, then you should consider this course. Oliver Williams, Course Director
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Visit our School site for more student work and extra information.
We accept a range of qualifications, the most popular of which are detailed below.
Applicants will also need a good portfolio and example of written work to bring to interview at an Applicant Visit Day. See Portfolio Guidance tab.
At the point of application, you must have GCSE at Grade C or above in English Language and Mathematics. Equivalent qualifications and/or experience will be accepted
|UK Qualification||Requirements 2016/17|
|GCE A Level/ AS Level||BBB at A Level, excluding General Studies and Critical Thinking (300 points)|
|Access to Higher Education Diploma||Pass overall with 60 credits, 45 at Level 3 and 15 at Level 2, including merit or higher in 20 credits at Level 3. Media related Access courses only.|
|BTEC National Diploma (12-units not including early years)||D*D* combined with other level 3 qualifications to achieve a minimum total of 320 UCAS points|
|BTEC Extended Diploma (18-units not including early years)||DDM (320 points)|
|BTEC Subsidiary Diploma/ National Award (6-units not including early years)||Combined with other level 3 qualifications to achieve a minimum total of 320 UCAS points|
|BTEC Diploma in Foundation Studies in Art and Design||Distinction|
|International Baccalaureate Diploma||30 points overall|
|Irish Leaving Certificate||300 points, including 4 higher level passes|
|Scottish Higher/ Advanced Higher||300 points, including 3 higher level passes|
|Welsh Baccalaureate (core plus options)||120 tariff points combined with other level 3 qualifications to achieve a minimum total of 300 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 2016/17|
|IELTS||6.5 (no less than 6.0 in any bands) or equivalent|
|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).
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 BBC or above)
predicted DMM at BTEC level
You will also be required to attend an interview.
Be the first to hear about our Clearing 2016 places and access a range of advice from experts on how to forget a bad exam and survive the summer. We’ve got your back.
|BSc (Hons)||Sep 2016||FT||2 years||£9,000 per year||Apply via UCAS|
|BSc (Hons)||Sep 2017||FT||2 years||£9,250 per year||Apply via UCAS|
|BSc (Hons)||Sep 2016||FT||2 years||£12,000 per year|
|BSc (Hons)||Sep 2017||FT||2 years||£12,000 per year|
If you're unable to use the online form for any reason, you can complete our PDF application form instead.
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.
We would like you to bring along some of your work which demonstrates your abilities and interest in the specific discipline you are applying for. This will provide valuable support for your application and enable the academic team to make a prompt and appropriate decision. We are looking for commitment with teamwork, innovation with discipline, empowerment with accountability, and finally enthusiasm.
We require you to bring the following:
Please ensure that any work you bring along is clearly labelled with your name and UCAS number.
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). NTI Birmingham courses aim to connect students with industry locally, nationally and globally, in alignment with student aspirations. Opportunities to engage with industry in an alternative location are always promoted but are never compulsory so students can make a decision based around their individual responsibilities, lifestyle and finances.
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.
UK and EU students applying for most undergraduate degree courses in the UK will need to apply through UCAS.
The Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS) is a UK organisation responsible for managing applications to university and college.
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.
During the first year, you will study five taught modules giving you an introduction to the role of a programmer in game development. Teaching methods may include practical sessions, lectures and group debates, featuring input from both University staff and guest lecturers from industry, providing you with a wide range of practical knowledge and insight. On average, these modules feature around 12 hours of teaching time per week.
In addition, you will undertake two project modules, working on specific tasks in partnership with industry. During the project modules, you will be in the studio every day, from 9.30am to 4.30pm, Monday to Friday, with some Fridays given to you as “Google Fridays” so that you may work on your own projects. There will also be “strategic alignment” periods where you team up with students from the Digital Art and Digital Marketing courses to work on the project as one group.
Interactive Entertainment Technologies Theory
This module provides a grounding in the history of internet and computing technologies and theories, and addresses future trends and the interactive entertainment landscape. You will develop a range of research and analysis skills and will be challenged to form proposals for interactive entertainment business scenarios.
Interactive Entertainment Technologies Practice
This module builds on the grounding gained in the previous module by expanding your knowledge of entertainment technologies and emergent applications; the role of innovation in technology development; tools and techniques for application development; and hacking, ‘modding’ and user-generated solutions. Programming topics include mathematics for 2D games and introduction to 2D rendering.
2D Game Engine Programming for Interactive Entertainment
You will be introduced to C# language and game engines, equipping you with the core skills you will need to actively participate in production in your specialist area. You will be given an introduction to software engineering, game frameworks, software programming and programming with a commercial 2D game engine.
Introduction to Web Based 3D Engine Programming for Interactive Entertainment
This module builds on the grounding gained in the previous module, advancing your programming skills to encompass 3D graphics fundamentals within interactive systems and builds on your HTML5 and Java Script language understanding. You will be given an introduction to 3D maths for interactive applications, 3D rendering, 3D asset pipelines and design patterns.
Further Web Based 3D Game Engine Programming for Interactive Entertainment
Interactive Entertainment Production: One
This module looks at the importance of structured team working, initially within a code team and then within a multidisciplinary team. The project will be split into two sections – an initial research and development phase within code-only teams, followed by the production phase where you will work with digital art and digital marketing students.
Interactive Entertainment Production: Two
This module looks at applying gamification and game design principles during the production of a targeted campaign/interactive entertainment product. You will mix with the digital marketing students and art students to initiate ideas and develop basic team working and time management skills, to take ideas from conception through to completion.
During your second year, there will be a further five taught modules, with more opportunities to learn from guest lecturers. Teaching time during these modules will again be around 12 hours per week.
You will undertake one major project module, where you will go through the process of scoping, defining and pitching the creation of your own project, which may include your code project, a new product, or even working with an industry partner to create digital content for them. If you are creating your own product, you may wish to partner up with the Digital Art students, with periodical help from Digital Marketing students, where “strategic alignment” periods will help you to then go through the planning, production management and testing phases.. During the project module, you will be in the studio every day, from 9.30am to 4.30pm, Monday to Friday (again with some Fridays given to you as “Google Fridays” so that you may work on your own projects.).
Introduction to High Performance Languages For Interactive Entertainment
This module equips you with the core skills you will need to actively participate in production modules in your specialist area. This module focuses on learning the C++ programming language and its application within interactive entertainment. You will use a game engine to develop a simple interactive software application.
High Performance Software Research and Development for Interactive Entertainment
You will build on the C++ programming foundation within the previous module to produce a functioning game using the tools provided. You will learn about C++ game system architecture, working with game engines in C++, working with third party libraries and tools, and asset pipelines.
High Performance Software Production For Interactive Entertainment
Professional Research and Development for Interactive Entertainment
This module focuses on defining product specifications and process protocol within a creative development team, and prototyping as a vital development phase. You will develop skills in creating digital asset management documentation and build your understanding of artwork requirements for prototyping purposes, agile production processes, cross-platform development and multidisciplinary workflow.
Professional Technical Production Planning for Interactive Entertainment
This module looks at Scrum, an agile framework for managing developmental projects, and the potential benefits of adopting this self-organising approach for appraising and refining ongoing work practices in relation to a project’s overall progress. You will be challenged to review outputs and be responsive to emerging situations and quality issues.
Interactive Entertainment Production Three
This module looks at the feasibility of bringing a complex interactive entertainment product to market, taking you through the process of scoping, defining and pitching a new game through to the planning, production management and testing phases. You will focus on producing quality digital art assets in line with the product’s strategy and target audience.
Unlike other courses, we treat this like your first games industry job to give you the experience you really need. This means you’ll study and work 9.30am – 4.30pm, Monday to Friday, for two years, including over the summer. You'll also be given your own laptop for the duration of the course.
You'll be assessed in a variety of different ways, including practical project work – both group and individual – presentations, written reports, practical portfolios and oral exams.
Assessment is embedded into the course, which will mean your learning experience isn't constantly interrupted by assessment. You are also assessed on your work within a project delivery team while you are based in our simulated studio environment.
All students on the programme will be issued with a laptop to use whilst on the course, this computer will be preloaded with all the industry-standard software required to complete the assignments and roles within the studio.
On the course, you’ll be taught by established industry professionals with a wealth of expertise and enthusiasm, who are experienced at recognising and responding to the rapidly changing demands within the industry.
You'll be assessed in a variety of different ways, including practical project work – both group and individual, presentations, written and practical portfolios as well as traditional written and oral exams.
You are also assessed on your work within a project delivery team whilst you are based within our simulated studio environment.
Assessment is embedded into the course, which will mean your learning experience isn't constantly interrupted by assessment; allowing you to concentrate on becoming an effective team member.
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.
This undergraduate course has been specifically designed to follow on to our the following postgraduate courses at NTI Birmingham:
Alternatively, Birmingham School of Media at Birmingham City University offers a wide range of MA courses, allowing you to specialise in such areas as online journalism, social media, photography, television or event management.
Within the wider School of Media, we also invest significantly in our postgraduate provision as we recognise that more specialist and professional courses are required across the media industry.
By the time you graduate, a whole year before most students, you’ll have two years of tangible, games development studio experience under your belt, ready to launch your dream career as a games developer.
On successful completion of the programme, you will be able to:
Our track record for graduate employment at NTI Birmingham and Birmingham School of Media is excellent, with the majority of graduates going into a media/advertising/games-related role.
Alternatively, you can choose to apply for one of our one-year Gamer Camp master’s courses, to gain even more in-depth skills, and experience working on an even greater level of console games.
Students on the Interactive Entertainment degree courses at Birmingham City University work on live briefs with real clients.
During the summer on the first year of your course you’ll have a guaranteed placement in an in-house development studio. Our students previously worked directly with The Wellcome Trust on an interactive, online awareness campaign which involved making, video games, web apps, mobile apps and video material to promote The Crunch initiative.
Students have also worked along postgraduates to make a mobile version of the PlayStation 4 Xtreme Drone Racing game which is being developed as part of the PlayStationFirst initiative. The mobile versions features racing against 40 drones in a variety of locations in Birmingham, geotagged content and extensive drone customisation.
Teaching staff identify periodic job placement opportunities throughout the course. In addition, ‘Gamification’ systems are built into programme delivery, allowing students to earn the chance for work placements.
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.
You will undertake periodic visits to industry partners, including Red Bee Media, Sapient Nitro and independent games companies across the country.
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.
The New Technology Institute (NTI) is a part of Birmingham City University's City Centre Campus at University House.
We help you learn a specific discipline such as digital marketing, programming or art and put that discipline into practice by offering flexible teaching space, dedicated development studios and open access work areas for group projects, as well as course-specific facilities.
Zafar Qamar is a Senior Lecturer and the Technical Director at Birmingham City University’s NTI Birmingham, working as part of the Gamer Camp team teaching the MA/MSc in Video Games Development and BSc in Interactive Entertainment (Games Development).
Graduating from University of Birmingham in the 90’s, Zafar went on to have a successful career in video games for more than 20 years working for companies including; Psygnosis, Codemasters, FreeStyleGames. Zafar has worked on several titles; Hostile Waters, Cold Winter, F1 2010, 50 Cent Blood on the Sand, Blur Overdrive. He recently joined the NTI team in December 2014 and oversees the development of game programmers on Gamer Camp and Interactive Entertainment. Currently, he is lecturing on two levels, for Postgraduates and Undergraduates and helps students focus on the skills needed to become first-class programmers.
"Anyone can play games, or download Apps on their smartphones and tablets and play on them or use them. This is analogous to reading. But how do you write? As technology exponentially develops, the gap between people being able to read and those being able to write is widening.
I’ve always loved computers since the age of 12 when my brother bought a “cutting-edge” 48K Sinclair Spectrum! I want to share my knowledge going all the way back to old-skool retro-games like Pong and Asteroids and vector-based displays all the way up to cutting-edge full HD games of nowadays."
"I love programming, I love mathematics and I love creating games and apps software. I now love sharing those skills with others and injecting my enthusiasm into them and preparing them to jump straight into the games-industry, or even becoming proficient enough to develop their own games studios."
Zafar’s role as Senior Lecturer on Gamer Camp consists of managing the numerous trainees on the course, making sure they are working at an appropriate level that is coherent across all bases. Each trainee on the course is required to meet real briefs in order to enhance their skills as a game developer. Zafar expects a high level of professionalism from all the trainees having previously worked through many games studios from Codemasters, FreeStyleGames and AppCrowd going all the way back to old veteran studios such as Sony/Psygnosis in Liverpool, and Rage Software/Swordfish Studios in Birmingham.
"I’ve had some great times in the games industry and it’s been a real pleasure working with some extremely talented and lovely people."
"In the olden days we had computers that were ‘all-in-one’ units like the BBC Micro, or Commodore64. You just plugged them into a TV. When you switched them on then after a few seconds they prompted you to start typing something in to them. This seemed quite encouraging to make the users type on their keyboards. Nowadays people switch on their PCs or MACs and start clicking things with a mouse.
If you want to learn how to program then there are literally hundreds of ways to do it, all of them requiring you to install some large application or having to go to particular websites. There are many questions from the outset:
So you can see there are many questions to answer before you’ve even started. This presents a bit of a hurdle for anyone wanting to have a ‘quick go’ at programming!"
"Here at Gamer Camp we teach great programming development methodologies based on decades of professional experience, and keep it up to date with the latest technologies, all whilst steering clear of the many bottlenecks and pitfalls that seem to present themselves around us. Work smart and hard."