Do you want to turn your passion for video games into a rewarding career? Apply for one of the only video games degree courses of its kind in Europe, designed to produce ‘work ready’ graduates for the industry. With access to PlayStation 4 developer kits and real games briefs, this two-year fast track degree can prepare you to work for companies such as Sega and Sony.
Interactive entertainment and video games development are key sectors for contemporary culture, economic growth and employment, whether that be locally, nationally or globally.
Our BSc (Hons) Video Game Development course responds to this growing and innovative sector by developing skilled, team-orientated, reflexive graduate professionals ready to succeed in the sector. On the course you will learn the most important programming languages for game development, as well as industry-standard game development tools such as Unity and Unreal.
This accelerated two-year course gives you a guaranteed video game development placement in our in-house studio, taking place over the summer term of the course. The work-place simulation approach of our department (NTI Birmingham) has been championed by the influential 2009 Livingstone, Hope Next Gen Report which cited us as a national best practice example for developing new talent.
The course covers core programming languages and video game development tools, as well as contemporary agile software development techniques to make you a competent and adaptable programmer, capable of finding employment in the sector or preparing you for further academic study.
Building upon your core language and software development skills, in the first year you will be tasked with a specific role within our in-house game development studio over the summer term. This work experience gives you the opportunity to apply the knowledge and professional practices you’ve learnt on the course in a safe and supportive environment. Typically for these projects you’ll be using industry standard game development tools such as Unity and Unreal.
These summer projects have in the past been mentored and supported by external partners including Red Bee Media, FreeStyleGames and Codemasters. The work students produce during these summer placements can act as excellent portfolio pieces, which demonstrate their ability as both a professional artist and effective team member.
You have the choice of either proposing your own individual project or collaborating with other students to create another video game project for your portfolio.
Teaching takes place in a modern production studio based in Birmingham city centre, where you’ll be provided with studio space to complete projects and a laptop with all the software you’ll need for the duration of the course.
You will be taught by staff with significant experience in the video game development industry, having worked with game developers including Psygnosis, Rage Software, Codemasters, FreeStyleGames and EA Games.
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.
“I joined the course having some exposure to programming and a drive to learn more. The course has given me the opportunity to learn new programming languages and work collaboratively with other coders, artists, producers and marketers to develop industry standard projects. Honestly, I can not recommend this course enough if you have a passion for making games." Joeb Rogers, student, 2015-17
We want our students to achieve their full potential. So, if you receive a Special Unconditional Offer from BCU and then go on to Meet or Beat our published entry requirements, you could be eligible for a £1,000 scholarship.
*Term and Conditions apply - some undergraduate courses are not eligible for this scholarship.
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 4 (C) or above in English Language and Mathematics. Equivalent qualifications and/or experience will be accepted
|GCE A Level/ AS Level||BBB at A Level, excluding General Studies and Critical Thinking (120 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 120 UCAS points|
|BTEC Extended Diploma (18-units not including early years)||
DDM (120 points)
|BTEC Subsidiary Diploma/ National Award (6-units not including early years)||Combined with other level 3 qualifications to achieve a minimum total of 120 UCAS points|
|BTEC Diploma in Foundation Studies in Art and Design||Distinction|
|International Baccalaureate Diploma||
Obtain a minimum of 30 points overall. Students who do not complete the IB Diploma will be considered on the basis of their IB Certificates if they achieve a total of 15 points or above from three Higher Level subjects alongside other acceptable level 3 qualifications to meet 120 UCAS Tariff Points
|Irish Leaving Certificate||Pass the Irish Leaving Certificate with a minimum of 120 tariff points, achieved in four Higher level subjects|
|Scottish Higher/ Advanced Higher||Achieve a minimum of 120 tariff points achieved from either five Highers or a combination of two Highers offered with two Advanced Highers.|
|Welsh Baccalaureate (core plus options)||Pass plus grades BB at A-Level (or equivalent qualifications) combined with other level 3 qualifications to achieve a minimum total of 120 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.
In addition to qualifications applicants will also need a good portfolio.
|EU/Non-EU (International) Qualifications||Requirements|
|IELTS||6.5 (no less than 6.0 in any bands) or equivalent|
|International Baccalaureate Diploma (or equivalent, including internationally accredited Foundation courses).||
In addition to the above, applicants will also need:
English Group A - Grade 4 or above
International students who cannot meet the direct entry requirements can begin their degree studies at Birmingham City University International College (BCUIC).
From A/AS Level with a minimum of 2 A Levels
We've put together a whole host of resources including student tips and expert advice to help you nail your exams. You can even get a free revision guide.
You could apply for a foundation course or a course at our International College. These routes have lower entry requirements and act as the bridge to a full degree. To find out more, please select your status:
If your application is progressed, you will be asked to take a brief 20 minute online assessment. You will be given more details about this as your application is progressed.
|BSc (Hons)||Sep 2019||FT||2 years||£9,250 per year||Apply via UCAS|
|BSc (Hons)||Sep 2019||FT||2 years||£12,300 per year|
If you're unable to use the online form for any reason, you can complete our PDF application form and equal opportunities PDF form instead. Fees for 2019/20 will be published as soon as possible. The University reserves the right to increase fees in line with inflation based on the Retail Prices Index or to reflect changes in Government funding policies or changes agreed by Parliament up to a maximum of five per cent.
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:
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.
UK / EU students are required to submit a personal statement as part of their application for this course.*
The personal statement 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.
*Non-EU students are not required to submit a personal statement when applying for this course.
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.
The cost of accommodation and other living costs are not included within your course fees. More information on the cost of accommodation can be found in our accommodation pages.
If you've got no idea where to start or just want to check you're on the right track, we’ve got expert advice and real examples from our students to help you nail your personal statement. You can even download our ultimate personal statement guide for free.
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, modules 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.
In order to complete this course you must successfully complete all the following CORE modules (totalling 160 credits):
Computer Science and Web Technologies Primer
The purpose of this module is to give you, the students, the opportunity to get to grips with the basic foundations of computer-science and understand program-flow such as conditions and loops. It will also allow you to gain an appreciation of what video games are and how they generally work, from a high-level perspective.
The purpose of this module is to give you the opportunity to learn the C# programming language, and to gain a deeper understanding of programming concepts such as object-orientation.
3D Graphics Primer
The purpose of this module is to give you the opportunity to learn about some of the mathematics required to create games in a 3D world.
Theory and Practice using Physics Engines
The purpose of this module is to give you the opportunity to learn about Physics and Physics engines required to create games in both 2D and 3D worlds.
The module is an opportunity to learn and critically reflect on the skills of collaboration by enabling you to create an interdisciplinary project with students from complementary disciplines. You will be tasked with completing a project over a short development / production period. This project may be set either by an academic or course industry-partner.
In order to complete this course you must successfully complete at least 20 credits from the following list of OPTIONAL modules.
Interactive Entertainment, Development and Implementation
The module is an opportunity to learn about the nature of interaction within game products and experience the challenge and thrill of developing a fun, gaming experience.
Narrative Entertainment Script and Production
The module is an opportunity to learn about the nature of storytelling, audience engagement and the variety of methods and tools a writer or communicators has at their disposal to engage, inform, excite and elicit emotional response from the audience
Please note list of optional modules is indicative only. Students’ choice will not be guaranteed for optional modules but a fair and transparent process will be adopted and shared with students.
In order to complete this course you must successfully complete all the following CORE modules (totalling 180 credits):
High Performance Programming Languages
The purpose of this module is to give you the opportunity to learn about programming in the High Performance language C++.
Application of High Performance Libraries
The purpose of this module is to give you the opportunity to learn about and apply a C++ Library to help with the development of a software artefact.
Development using High Performance Engines
The purpose of this module is to give you experience in the field of using a 3D library to aid the development of a 3D software artefact using the High Performance language C++.
The module is an opportunity to learn and critically reflect on the skills of collaboration &/or your own professional practice. The module enables you to create either an interdisciplinary project with students from complementary disciplines or your own self-defined project.
The purpose of the module is to enable you to undertake a sustained, in-depth and theoretically informed research project exploring an area that is of personal interest to you. It is important that we can support you appropriately, so you will be guided towards choosing a research topic which is relevant to your discipline and in which your lecturers have expertise. The outcome may take the form of a written dissertation or a practice-based portfolio.
The course is structured around teaching you new skills and allowing you the freedom to experiment and experience putting your new skills into practice through live projects.
Typically, this means modules are split into taught modules and studio-based project modules.
Guaranteed in-house placement (Project Modules)
The video game development course is all about providing you with crucial experience-based learning you'll need for your career. To this end during the summer term you will be required to attend an in-house work placement. It is during these modules you’ll be using development tools such as Unity & Unreal.
This is a two year accelerated undergraduate degree course with professional game development studio experience embedded as part your learning journey. You'll be assessed in a variety of different ways, including practical project work – both group and individual – presentations, written reports and practical portfolios.
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 in-house 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.
The end of year summer showcase gives you the chance to showcase some of the work you’ve completed over the past academic year to high profile industry guests. Hear more about the event from Head of the New Technology Institute, Oliver Williams.
For successful graduates there is a natural progression from BA Video Game Art to MA Video Game Development, which is a one-year accelerated Master’s degree focused on initially indie and then AAA video game development. Students taking this option can gain an undergraduate and postgraduate degree within three years.
Victoria tells us what she enjoys most about studying at Birmingham City University’s New Technology Institute.
During project modules industry guests have historically attended during ‘milestone review’ sessions to review and feedback upon students video game development work and provide direction for further development.
During your final major project an industry mentor maybe sought to help you deliver your project. For example in 2016 staff from Microsoft’s Rare studio worked with students to help them complete their major projects.
Our students created a post-apocalyptic game about robots called Xtreme Robot Destruction. Hear more about their process and their favourite features of the game.
NTI courses are built upon workplace simulation and industry-standard work, ensuring you behave less like a student and more as a professional, gaining the workplace experience and attributes you need.
As well as gaining course-specific skills, you could also gain broader tools through our Graduate+ programme, which will help enhance your employment options by helping with careers development, employability activities, volunteering and part-time work experience.
Leading up to and upon graduation
At the end of your studies you’ll complete a final major project, which may lead you to working directly with a client. This direct contact will give you the experience, confidence and freedom to put into action all you’ve learned on your studies. Allied with this course-specific experience, you will also have access to a range of support staff and services from the University’s Careers Service, who can help with:
During the summer term of your first year, you will have the opportunity to work in a video game development team as part of the in-house placement element of the course. Previous, projects have included a ‘Doctor Who’ interactive comic book project with the BBC and Red Bee Media, an integrated web and mobile suite of mini games with The Wellcome Trust and Xtreme Drone Racing with Sony PlayStation First.
Whilst studying with us, you'll have the opportunity 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.
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.
Students progress to roles with video games development, wider interactive entertainment and programming roles, working as gameplay programmers, indie game developers, computer programmers and web application developers.
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:
The UK remains one of the world's leading study destinations for international students.
The first-class experience offered by universities are reflected in the world’s largest survey of international students. International students are more likely to recommend the UK than any other leading English-language study destination.
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.
Discover more about the industry experts you can meet on our two-year fast track degree course.
Zuby Ahmed is one of our lecturers, watch this video to find out more.
Venita has previously worked on a number of titles on a variety of platforms including the mobile hit Sonic Dash and at many games studios from nDreams, SEGA and Jagex going all the way back to old veteran studios such as Team17 in Wakefield.