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Computer Games Technology with a Foundation Year - BSc (Hons)

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BSc (Hons) Computer Games Technology is a course that focusses on the technical expertise required to develop computer games. The core modules deep-dive into 2D and 3D graphics rendering, physics, artificial intelligence and human-computer interaction required for the development of high-end computer games platforms....

  • Level Foundation
  • Study mode Full Time
  • Location City Centre
  • School School of Computing and Digital Technology
  • Faculty Faculty of Computing, Engineering and The Built Environment

Overview

BSc (Hons) Computer Games Technology is a course that focusses on the technical expertise required to develop computer games. The core modules deep-dive into 2D and 3D graphics rendering, physics, artificial intelligence and human-computer interaction required for the development of high-end computer games platforms. The course will also involve working in small and large multi-disciplinary (creative and technical) teams for the development of computer games.

While studying your computer games degree, you will use our state-of-the-art computer games technology lab, which is kitted with high-performance PCs with dual monitors and cutting-edge GPUs, Sony PlayStation, Nintendo Switch and XBox development kits, as well as a variety of industry standard software.

Our collaborations with Microsoft, Unity and Sony, coupled with our state-of-the-art technology will help you develop the skills you need to be successful in the games industry and beyond.

About the Foundation Year

The Foundation Year course option enables you to study for our BSc (Hons) degree over an extended full-time duration of four years by including a Foundation Certificate (year one of four). The Foundation Certificate provides a broad study programme that underpins the follow-on degree. In order to progress to the next year of your degree, it is necessary to achieve a pass in all of the modules of the Foundation Certificate.

STEAMhouse building exterior

Introducing STEAMhouse

STEAMhouse is a centre for technology, innovation, creative thinking, prototyping and business development. Our brand new £70 million pound building is the new home for the School of Computing and Digital Technology.

Find out more

This course is open to International students.

What's covered in this course?

On the course, you will learn a range of technical and professional skills, including understanding fundamentals and advanced coding practices, graphics programming, network communications and artificial intelligence. You will work independently and in teams, as well as develop strong written and oral communication skills.

The course philosophy highlights the importance of going beyond your studies – therefore, we encourage you to participate in many extracurricular activities. As we are located in the heart of Birmingham City Centre, we are close to many independent game studios, who host events throughout the year. We also regularly participate in international game development competitions such as Global Game Jam and Microsoft’s Imagine Cup, all of which give you the opportunity to showcase your talent on a wider stage, and network with others in the industry.

You will not only learn about mainstream and traditional video game development, but also explore allied and emerging disciplines such as serious and educational game development, augmented and virtual reality, as well as simulations.

You’ll have the opportunity to execute a 30-week work placement in the industry, which you can complete at home or overseas. The experience allows you to place the specialist knowledge and skills acquired on the course in a real world working context. The experience will allow you to create a network of professional contacts, and build your CV, both of which are essential for entering the job market.

Upon graduation, you could progress into a range of careers in the game industry, for example game or graphics programmer, tools programmer or QA tester in either larger companies or independent studios. You will also have the skills to enable you to work in allied disciplines such as a serious or educational game developer. Alternatively, you could work in more traditional computing or software engineering roles, start your own company or progress into further education.

Accredited By

This course is accredited by:

  • Tiga Accreditation

The state-of-the-art hardware and software combined with astounding teaching, has fast tracked my games development skills, I am now going into my second year with an independently published title.

Nadia Nadeem

Why Choose Us?

  • Brand new facilities at STEAMhouse - This state-of-the-art building will become the new home for its School of Computing and Digital Technology from the start of the 2022 academic year. Based at our expanding City Centre Campus, this unique centre will give you access to outstanding facilities and teaching spaces, as well as opportunities to collaborate with people and businesses across multiple sectors and work on real industry-based projects
  • We are a TIGA accredited course - The TIGA (The Independent Game Developers Association) accreditation is awarded to the very best undergraduate and postgraduate university courses that produce industry ready graduates
  • Access to developer kits - We are proud to be one of the first University's that can offer access to developer kits from the three major video game platforms - PlayStation, Xbox and Nintendo
  • We work in partnership with Unity and Unreal - This means that we have met strict standards of excellence and are authorised to offer training courses and Unity Certification Exams on behalf of Unity Technologies
  • State-of-the-art facilities  - Our computing facilities include a dedicated computer games development lab which houses high specification game development PCs, VR and AR headsets, Sony PlayStation Dev Kits and Xbox controllers
  • 100% of students are satisfied with this course (NSS 2022)
  • Strong industry links  -  We network with gaming industry giants such as Sony, Microsoft and many local independent studios
  • Gain employability skills - You will be exposed to current industry standard technology to develop your practical computer programming skills, making you highly employable across the many computing sectors
  • Professional placement options - You will have the option to take a 30-week placement in industry to gain work experience either in the UK or overseas to enhance your CV 

Similar Courses

Open Days

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Next Open Day: March 2023

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Entry Requirements

These entry requirements apply for entry in 2024/25.

All required qualifications/grades must have been achieved and evidenced at the earliest opportunity after accepting an offer to help confirm admission and allow for on-time enrolment. This can also include other requirements, like a fee status form and relevant documents. Applicants can track their application and outstanding information requests through their BCU mySRS account.

We accept a range of qualifications, the most popular of which are detailed below.

Essential

96 UCAS Tariff points, from three A Levels or equivalent

Level 2 qualifications

GCSE

GCSE English Language or English Literature and GCSE Maths at grade C/4 or above. If you do not have these or are not undertaking them, we accept other Level 2 equivalents, or we may ask you to pass BCU's GCSE equivalency tests.

Irish Leaving Certificate (Ordinary Level)

See level 3 entry under Irish Leaving Certificate for full details.

Scottish National 5

English Language or English Literature and Maths at grade C or above. If you do not have these or are not undertaking them, we accept other Level 2 equivalents, or we may ask you to pass BCU's GCSE equivalency tests.

Plus one of the following Level 3 (and above) qualifications

A Level and Advanced VCE

  • CCC / 96 UCAS points

Access to HE Diploma

  • Pass with 60 credits overall in a related subject. At least 45 credits at Level 3

BTEC Extended Diploma

  • MMM

OCR Cambridge Technical Extended Diploma

  • MMM

International Baccalaureate Diploma

  • Obtain a minimum score of 24 overall, including Computer Science, Chemistry, Design Technology, Physics or Maths at Higher Level
  • For students who do not already hold a GCSE in English Language at Grade C/4 or above, we will accept Standard Level English Language (not literature) English A - Grade 4 or English B - Grade 5 from the IB Diploma
  • For students who do not already hold a GCSE in Mathematics at Grade C/4 or above, we will accept grade 5 in Maths (Standard Level) from the IB Diploma

Irish Leaving Certificate (Highers)

  • Pass the Irish Leaving Certificate with a minimum of 96 tariff points, achieved in five Higher level subjects
  • This must include English Language and Maths taken at either Ordinary Level (minimum grade O4) or Higher level (minimum grade H4)

Scottish Higher/Advanced Higher

  • Achieve a minimum of 96 tariff points achieved in either three Advanced Highers or from a combination of two Advanced Highers plus two Highers
  • Where three Advanced Highers have been taken achieve a minimum of grades DDD
  • Where a combination of Highers and Advanced Highers have been taken, you must achieve grades of CDDD

Welsh Baccalaureate

  • 96 UCAS points
  • Considered with two A Levels or equivalent level 3 qualifications

T-Levels

  • Pass overall (C or above on the core)
  • All T Level subjects are accepted for our foundation year degrees in Computing and Digital Technology
Other qualifications

Further guidance on tariff points can be found on the UCAS website.

Additional information for EU/International students

Please see your country page for further details on the equivalent qualifications we accept.

In additional to the academic entry requirements listed above, international and EU students will also require the qualifications detailed in this table.

IELTS

6.0 overall with 5.5 minimum in all bands

If you do not meet the required IELTS score, you may be eligible for one of our pre-sessional English courses.

Please note that you must have a Secure English Language Test (SELT) to study on the pre-sessional English course. More information.

International Baccalaureate Diploma (or equivalent, including internationally accredited Foundation courses).

Obtain a minimum of 24 points overall. Students who do not complete the IB Diploma and who achieve the minimum of 11 points from two High Level subjects, will be considered on the basis of their IB Certificates.

For students who do not already hold a GCSE in Mathematics at Grade C/4 or above grade 5 in Maths (Standard Level) from the IB Diploma will be accepted. For students who do not already hold a GCSE in English Language at Grade C/4 or above Standard Level English Language (not literature) Group A English Group A - Grade 4 or above, OR English Group B Grade 5 from the IB will be accepted.

A combination of GCSEs, A-levels and IB certificates will be considered on a case by case basis.

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).

Fees & How to Apply

Please select your student status to view fees and apply
  • UK Student
  • International Student

UK students

Annual and modular tuition fees shown are applicable to the first year of study. The University reserves the right to increase fees for subsequent years of study in line with increases in inflation (capped at 5%) or to reflect changes in Government funding policies or changes agreed by Parliament. View fees for continuing students.

Award: BSc (Hons)

Starting: Sep 2024

  • Mode
  • Duration
  • Fees

International students

Annual and modular tuition fees shown are applicable to the first year of study. The University reserves the right to increase fees for subsequent years of study in line with increases in inflation (capped at 5%) or to reflect changes in Government funding policies or changes agreed by Parliament. View fees for continuing students.

Award: BSc (Hons)

Starting: Sep 2024

  • Mode
  • Duration
  • Fees
  • Full Time
  • 4 years
  • £16,085 in 2024/25

Access to computer equipment

You will require use of a laptop, and most students do prefer to have their own. However, you can borrow a laptop from the university or use one of our shared computer rooms.

Printing

You will receive £5 print credit in each year of your course, available after enrolment.

Field trips

All essential field trips and associated travel costs will be included in your course fees.

Access to Microsoft Office 365

Every student at the University can download a free copy of Microsoft Office 365 to use whilst at university and for 18 months after graduation.

Key Software

You will be able to download SPSS and Nvivo to your home computer to support with your studies and research.

Key subscriptions

Subscriptions to key journals and websites are available through our library.

Free Adobe Creative Cloud licence

Students studying on this course can request a free licence to install the entire suite of applications on up to two personal devices, including access to Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign, XD, Premier Pro and After Effects.

Learning Tools

Free access to LinkedIn Learning, which offers over 5,000 in-depth and bite-sized courses. This course also provides free access to Pluralsight, which offers a wealth of courses, guides and tutorials aligned to the digital creative industry.

Specialist Software

You will be able to access free licences for game development specific software such as Unity, Unreal Engine, Substance Suite, Maya, Mudbox, Motion Builder and Houdini.

Microsoft Certifications (optional)

The exams required to gain Microsoft Office (MOS), Microsoft Technical Certification (MTC) and Microsoft Technical Associate (MTA) certifications are currently free for our students. We also provide free self-paced resources and access to practice exams via dedicated Moodle pages. Find out more about the exams available, and the objectives covered.

Unity Academic Alliance Certifications (optional)

At BCU CEBE we are part of the academic alliance with game development engine provider, Unity. This allows for students to take exams to accredit and officially certify themselves as Unity approved users. Find out more about this scheme.

Project materials (mandatory)

This course includes project work that requires you to develop and produce a portfolio or collection. You'll be expected to provide the materials for use in your individual major projects; costs will vary depending on the materials selected.

Excess printing (optional)

Once you have spent your £5 credit, additional printing on campus costs from 5p per sheet.

Books (optional)

Some modules may suggest that you purchase a key textbook. All module key texts will be in the University library, but in limited numbers. Many students choose to purchase a copy.

Placement expenses (optional)

If you choose to undertake a placement, you'll need to budget for accommodation and any travel costs you may incur whilst living or working away from home.

Accommodation and living costs

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.

Guidance for UK students

UK 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.

Applying through UCAS

  1. Register with UCAS
  2. Login to UCAS and complete your details
  3. Select your course and write a personal statement
  4. Get a reference
  5. Pay your application fee and submit your application

Course in Depth

Year One

In order to complete this course a student must successfully complete all the following CORE modules (totalling 120 credits):

Year Two

In order to complete this course a student must successfully complete all the following CORE modules (totalling 120 credits):

Year Three

In order to complete this course a student must successfully complete all the following CORE modules (totalling 120 credits):

Professional Placement Year (optional)

In order to qualify for the awards of Bachelor of Science with Honours Computer Games Technology with Professional Placement Year or Integrated Masters of Science Computer Games Technology with Professional Placement Year, a student must successfully complete all of the modules listed as well as the following Level 5 module:

Final Year

In order to complete this course a student must successfully complete all the following CORE modules (totalling 120 credits):

Download course specification

Download now

This is a practical ‘hands-on’ course, which will encourage you to develop a wide range of technical skills needed to develop computer games for mainstream game studios, small ‘indie’ companies or develop your skills as a researcher or entrepreneur in emerging applied game technology fields. The technical and professional skills are also transferable to other computing disciplines.

As the course progresses, you will learn the fundamental principles through to advanced concepts behind computer game and graphics programming. You will learn to use a range of commercial game engines and how to manipulate different game assets. You will also learn about computer communication networks and game distribution, as well as how to implement artificial intelligence.

As you progress through the years you will become more independent in your approaches to learning. You will work both individually and within teams, with the tutors providing expert guidance and mentoring, all of which is designed to develop your confidence so you can undertake progressively more complex and challenging technical tasks.

Our assessment strategy is very reflective of industry needs and therefore will predominantly be coursework based - approximately 70 per cent. You will learn to present your ideas confidently and showcase your work to a variety of audiences, both as members of a team or as an individual. You will also learn to communicate your ideas and findings through written pieces of work, for example by formulating proposals and technical reports.

Guidance in your academic studies will be provided in the form of a range of support mechanisms. This will include formative feedback from tutors, as well as having access to a wide range of excellent support services that exist within the University.

The first year of the course focuses on developing your fundamental skills in designing, developing and programming simple 2D and 3D games. As you progress through to the second year the emphasis moves to developing more sophisticated 3D games and learning to develop more complex solutions to technical problems. The third and fourth year focus more on the fundamental technologies behind how games and game engines are made.

You will also be expected to become more independent in your problem solving, undertaking larger individual and team projects, where you will be required to develop novel and innovative ‘game-based’ solutions to a range of different and diverse scenarios.

Attendance requirements

For more information on attendance requirements, course contact time and suggested self-study hours, download the course specification.

Tiga Accreditation
Accredited by TIGA (The Independent Game Developers' Association)

This course is accredited by TIGA (The Independent Game Developers' Association). TIGA  Accredited courses teach skills required by the games industry. 

Employability

Enhancing your employability

Engaging with industry and gaining work experience during your studies is essential if you are going to be taken seriously in the job market. Getting work experience in the games industry can be challenging, so we encourage you to take advantage of as many of the extra-curricular activities available. These may include industry sponsored talks and events, game jams, voluntary work, internships and placements.

The University is eager to recognise you have made the effort to gain industry experience and stand out from the typical graduate, so we offer a range of options for you to get extra awards and recognition for your work in industry and attain employability skills. All of this has been incorporated into an additional University programme called Graduate+.

You have the option to undertake an assessed sandwich year between your second and third year, which will provide you with valuable work experience and give you the real-life skills you need. It may not always be possible to get a placement in the game industry, so we actively encourage you to broaden your interests to allied sectors, for example software development companies. We also encourage you to gain relevant work experience by taking on short-term internships with local companies.

The second-year Collaborative Practice and Game Studio Production module, as well as the first-year Professional Practice for Game Development module, are all devised to promote employability. These modules give you the opportunity to work on live projects, working across disciplines where you use games to help solve problems in other fields which are not normally associated with games. These modules also encourage you to develop your skills and learn how to commercialise your own game ideas.

Placements

There are a range of opportunities for you to gain industry experience during your studies examples of activities our students have done include:

  • Game developer for local indie studios
  • Web programmer
  • QA in game development
  • Software engineer
  • IT support and administration
  • Internal placements within the University

Some students visit local game studios for tours or tour the Interactive Futures conference in Leamington Spa each year, and these have a profound effect on their personal practices.

Hear from our students

Daniel Hind

Computer Games Technology student Daniel Hind is working as a Code Intern at Rebellion. This is a traditional C++ games industry programming role.

Read about Daniel's placement

Nadia Nadeem

Nadia landed a placement with well-known, Microsoft games studio, Rare. Her gaming passion along with her degree, created a platform for her to take that first step into her dream career of joining an AAA studio as a games developer.

Read about Nadia's placement

International

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:

Facilities & Staff

Our Facilities

We are constantly investing in our estate and are currently in the process of spending £260 million on new learning facilities. This course will be taught at Millennium Point at the City Centre Campus.

The course is supported with a wide range of cutting-edge facilities in the City Centre Campus. We have a state-of-the-art computer games technology lab which contains high-performance PCs, Sony PlayStation development kits and a range of industry standard software including Unity, Unreal and a suite of professional Microsoft development tools.

We also have many open access areas where students can study together and even hire out laptops for use in these spaces and others within the university.

Within the University there are many internationally recognised research teams giving you the opportunity to collaborate with them on exciting interdisciplinary projects.

Computer networking

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.

Software development and computer programming

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.

Systems laboratories

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.

Electronic systems

To underpin the basic principles of electronic systems, we have a well-equipped laboratory of general and specialist test and measurement kits, including powered prototyping development boards, dual power supplies, frequency generators and counters and digital multi-meters to name but a few.

Forensic computing

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.

More on our facilities

Our staff

Dr Carlo Harvey

Associate Professor, Director of Future Games and Graphics

Dr Carlo Harvey is an Associate Professor in Computer Games Technology at Birmingham City University, in the School of Computing and Digital Technology. He teaches C++ for Games, Computer Graphics and Artificial Intelligence / Machine Learning. He is the Director of Future Games and Graphics overseeing the research arm for Games and Graphics within...

More about Carlo

Dr Andrew Wilson

Associate Professor

Andrew is an Associate Professor in the Department of Computing and Data Science,School of Computing and Digital Technology. He has developed and led many undergraduate and post graduate courses. As well as teaching he is an active researcher in the field of digital health,  working across faculties, NHS Trusts and European...

More about Dr Andrew

Xi Guo

Lecturer in Computer Games Technology

Dr Xi Guo is currently a Lecturer in the Centre of Digital Media Technology in the School of Computing and Digital Technology of Birmingham City University. She is the course leader for BSc Computer Games Technology. She leads the Web Game Development and 3D Game Programming modules.

More about Xi

Nathan Dewell

Assistant Lecturer

Nathan Dewell is an Assistant Lecturer in Computer Games Technology at Birmingham City University, in the School of Computing and Digital Technology. He teaches Game Studio Production and Game Asset Pipeline. He is part of the research arm for Games and Graphics within the DMTLab at BCU.

More about Nathan

Lianne Forbes

Senior Lecturer and Course Leader in Visual Effects

Lianne has 14 years of high-end VFX film industry experience. Her focus is on forging strong links between the University and industry. She plans to develop student awareness of industry practices and produce more opportunities for them to engage with industry professionals.

More about Lianne

Mathew Randall

Senior Lecturer in Visual Effects and Computer Graphics

Mathew has been working with computer graphics since the mid-1990s and has been involved in moving image production for over 10 years. Coming from an academic background in multimedia, he has extensive experience in real-time computer graphics and rendering, designing and developing user interfaces, games, systems for visualising data and signals,...

More about Mathew