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Game Programming - BSc (Hons)

Currently viewing course to start in 2025/26 Entry.

Do you aspire to be a master game programmer? Our BSc (Hons) Game Programming course is designed to propel you into the dynamic world of game development. Immerse yourself in our advanced game programming labs, equipped with the latest software and hardware, including high-performance PCs and VR development kits....

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

This course is:

Available with Professional Placement year

Open to International Students

Overview

Do you aspire to be a master game programmer? Our BSc (Hons) Game Programming course is designed to propel you into the dynamic world of game development. Immerse yourself in our advanced game programming labs, equipped with the latest software and hardware, including high-performance PCs and VR development kits.

This course offers a blend of theoretical knowledge and practical skills in areas like AI, mobile and console game development, and graphics programming. Collaborations with industry giants and proximity to game studios provide unparalleled networking opportunities and insights into real-world applications. Get ready to make your mark in the gaming industry, showcasing your skills in prestigious competitions like the Global Game Jam.

Our facilities are specifically designed to provide a real-world gaming development environment. You will have access to cutting-edge game development PCs and console development platforms. We emphasise hands-on learning with tools like Unity, Unreal Engine, and custom game engines developed in-house. The course also fosters a practical understanding of hardware used in game development, from mobile devices to high-end gaming consoles.

Through our partnerships with leading technology companies and game development studios, you will have the unique opportunity to work on collaborative projects, gaining invaluable industry experience. These collaborations enable you to stay ahead of technological trends and learn directly from experts in the field.

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?

  • Deep dive into algorithms, data structures, and software engineering practices essential for game development to uncover core programming concepts.
  • Hands-on experience with industry-standard advanced game development tools such as Unity, Unreal Engine, and in-house custom game engines.
  • Learn to integrate sophisticated graphics and Artificial Intelligence into games for immersive experiences.
  • Engage in real-world projects and complete assessments delivered in partnership and collaboration with leading technology companies and game studios.
  • Optional year in the industry, providing valuable real-world experience and networking opportunities.
 

Professional Placement Year

This course offers an optional professional placement year. This allows you to spend a whole year with an employer, following successful completion of your second year, and is a great way to find out more about your chosen career. Some students even return to the same employers after completing their studies.

If you choose to pursue a placement year, you will need to find a suitable placement to complement your chosen area of study. You will be able to draw on the University’s extensive network of local, regional, and national employers, and the support of our Careers teams. If you are able to secure a placement, you can request to be transferred to the placement version of the course.

Please note that fees are payable during your placement year, equivalent to 20% of the total full-time course fee for that year.

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?

  • Access to developer kits - We are proud to be one of the first universities that can offer access to developer mode or dev 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, and gaming peripherals
  • BCU are winners of 'best educational initiative and talent development' at the TIGA Games Industry Awards 2023 and the Innovative Teaching Award at the TIGA Games Education Award 2023
  • Top 5 in the UK for Animation and Games Design (Guardian League Table 2024).

Open Days

Join us for an on-campus Open Day where you'll be able to learn about this course in detail, chat to students, explore our campus and tour accommodation. In the week before the event, we’ll post you an event programme to plan your day and find your way.

Next Open Day: 29 June 2024

Book Now

Entry Requirements

These entry requirements apply for entry in 2025/26.

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.

Essential requirements

112 UCAS tariff points

Please note: If you qualify for our BCU Accelerate scheme, you could receive an offer that is two grades below our normal entry requirements. Find out more about BCU Accelerate.

If you have a qualification that is not listed, please contact us.

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 2025

  • 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 2025

  • Mode
  • Duration
  • Fees
  • Full Time
  • 3 Years
  • £17,690 in 2025/26
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.

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

Guidance for International students

There are three ways to apply:

1) Direct to the University

You will need to complete our International Application Form and Equal Opportunities Form, and submit them together with scan copies of your original academic transcripts and certificates.

2) Through a country representative

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.

3) Through UCAS

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.

Personal statement

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:

  • Course choice - Why does this course appeal? What areas are of particular interest?
  • Career plans - If you have a specific career in mind, say how your chosen course will help you pursue this goal.
  • Work experience - Mention any work that is relevant to your subject, highlighting the skills and experience gained.
  • School or college experience - Highlight skills gained at school/college, eg summer schools or mentoring activities.
  • Non-accredited skills or achievement - 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.

Worried about Personal Statements?

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.

Get personal statement advice

*Non-EU students are not required to submit a personal statement when applying for this course.

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):

Download course specification

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In the BSc (Hons) Game Programming course at Birmingham City University, your journey through the realms of game development is structured to ingrain both creativity and technical prowess. Our dynamic curriculum is designed to offer you a robust understanding of game programming alongside practical skills that are crucial for a successful career in the gaming and related or transferrable industries.

Level Four

Your first year lays the foundational stones of your game programming career. You will dive into core modules like Game Programming, Modelling, and Game Asset Pipeline, which are essential for understanding the basics of game creation and development. This level is enriched with practical classes and workshops, where you'll apply theoretical concepts to real-world scenarios, preparing you for more complex challenges.

Level Five

As you advance to the second year, the curriculum deepens your expertise with modules like High Performance Libraries and Game Engine Architecture. Here, the focus shifts to more sophisticated aspects of game programming such as web and mobile game development and computer graphics. This year also emphasises collaborative projects, where you'll work alongside peers to create intricate game systems and learn the nuances of working within a team, mirroring professional game development settings.

Level Six

The final year is your launchpad into the industry. You will undertake an Individual Honours Project that allows you to showcase your technical skills and creative ideas. This capstone project, along with advanced modules like Game Artificial Intelligence and Console Game Development, prepares you to handle professional roles and challenges in the gaming sector. Throughout this level, you will also engage in critical evaluations and optimisations of game performance, ensuring you can deliver polished and engaging products.

Throughout your studies, you are expected to engage actively with all learning activities, from lectures and practical workshops to peer learning and self-directed research. Our approach is to blend these educational experiences with continuous feedback and feedforward sessions, providing you guidance tailored to your personal development needs. This comprehensive educational structure ensures that by the time you graduate, you not only understand game programming but are also proficient in applying your knowledge effectively in any game development environment.

Further studies

You could progress onto a range of postgraduate studies, including an MSc or PGCE. You could also potentially go straight to doctoral research study.

The MSc User Experience Design programme at STEAMhouse is a popular choice among graduating students.

Employability

In the BSc (Hons) Game Programming course at Birmingham City University, we prioritise equipping you with a robust set of skills tailored to enhance your future employability in the fast-evolving gaming industry. Here's how we prepare you to be a highly competent professional in game development:

DEVELOP YOUR OWN PRACTICE

You will learn to refine your programming and design practices through advanced modules and real-world project experiences. This training enables you to critically analyse your work in relation to industry standards and future employment opportunities.

LINK THEORY TO PRACTICE

Our curriculum bridges theoretical knowledge with practical application, allowing you to develop a unique professional identity. You'll understand how various programming theories underpin the technical aspects of game development, enhancing your ability to innovate and solve complex problems.

PROFESSIONAL STANDARDS IN PRESENTATION AND COLLABORATION

You will gain experience in negotiating, planning, and presenting projects to a professional standard. The course emphasises the importance of working effectively both independently and as part of a team, preparing you for the collaborative nature of the gaming industry.

DEVELOP A BROAD SKILL SET

The course covers a wide array of technical skills, from AI programming and network programming for multiplayer games to console game development and mobile game applications. This diverse skill set ensures you can adapt to various roles within the industry.

PROFESSIONAL PRACTICE GUIDANCE

To further enhance your career readiness, we provide guidance on CV writing, utilising social media for professional networking, and promoting your work effectively using various digital platforms. You will also learn to present your projects and ideas professionally, using advanced communication tools and presentation software.

Through this approach, you will emerge from the BSc (Hons) Game Programming course not only as a skilled game developer but also as a well-rounded professional ready to thrive in the global gaming industry.

The BSc (Hons) Game Programming course at Birmingham City University boasts robust links with the gaming industry, both domestically and internationally. These connections not only enhance the learning experience but also offer valuable work experience opportunities for our students.

Through these industry partnerships, students gain practical insights and direct exposure to real-world scenarios, which significantly enrich their academic journey and professional growth.

REGIONAL PARTNERSHIPS

We collaborate closely with local game studios, heritage centres and tech companies, providing students with internships and project opportunities right at the heart of the UK's gaming hub. These relationships enable students to work on commercial titles and engage with cutting-edge game development processes.

NATIONAL LINKS

Our national connections extend to major players in the industry, such as TIGA. These partnerships facilitate guest lectures, professional mentorships, and an industry informed curriculum, giving students a broader perspective of the gaming landscape across the UK.

INTERNATIONAL COLLABORATIONS

Internationally, we have established partnerships with game development companies, such as Unity’s Academic Alliance and Unreal’s Academic Partnership schemes. These links offer students the chance to participate in personal development programs, and skills webinars relevant to their career journeys. We also host Global competitions such as the Global Game Jam, enhancing portfolio opportunities.

These industry links are instrumental in ensuring that our curriculum remains current and aligned with industry standards, while also preparing graduates to transition seamlessly into professional roles in the gaming industry and beyond.

They reinforce a practical learning environment that emphasises real-world relevance and equips students with the skills necessary to excel in a competitive global market.

Placements

The BSc (Hons) Game Programming course at Birmingham City University includes an enriching placement year, offering a unique opportunity to gain invaluable industry experience.

This optional placement significantly enhances your employability and professional network. Students have worked with leading gaming companies such as Rare on Sea of Thieves, Double Eleven on Minecraft Dungeons, and Rebellion on Evil Genius 2, with more recent placements at Bulkhead Interactive.

These placements allow you to apply your academic knowledge in professional settings, develop practical skills, and learn from seasoned professionals.

This direct industry engagement is instrumental in deepening your understanding of game development and enhancing your career prospects, making our graduates highly desirable in the competitive gaming industry.

GRADUATE JOBS

Graduates of this course are well-prepared for a variety of roles within the gaming industry and beyond. With a solid foundation in both the theoretical and practical aspects of game development, our alumni have successfully secured positions as game developers, AI programmers, game designers, and project managers.

Additionally, the transferable skills developed during the course, such as problem-solving, teamwork, and technical communication, equip graduates for careers in software engineering, systems analysis, and IT project management.

The broad skill set acquired through our comprehensive curriculum also opens opportunities in emerging tech sectors like extended reality, interactive media, and virtual production where the principles of game design and development are increasingly applied.

Our graduates are known for their ability to adapt and innovate, making them valuable assets in any technology-driven field.

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

At Birmingham City University, the BSc (Hons) Game Programming course boasts cutting-edge facilities designed to mimic a professional game development environment. Our labs are outfitted with high-performance PCs and industry-standard software like Unity and Unreal Engine, ensuring students can tackle game projects with the tools used in top studios.

Motion Capture (Mocap) Labs: A key feature is our mocap lab, which allows students to create realistic animations by capturing real-world movements, vital for developing dynamic game characters and environments.

Texture Creation and Photogrammetry Equipment: Students access high-quality cameras and scanning equipment for texture creation, essential for crafting detailed game visuals. Our photogrammetry tools enable precise 3D modelling of real-world objects, greatly enhancing game realism.

VR and AR Development Kits: We provide resources like Oculus Quest, HTC Vive, and Microsoft HoloLens, enabling students to develop and test pioneering VR and AR experiences.

Dedicated Game Studios: Our studio and project spaces enable a collaborative atmosphere where students can cultivate teamwork and creativity, crucial for successful game design and production.

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 Xi Guo

Senior Lecturer in Computer Games Technology

Dr Xi Guo is currently a Senior 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, and she leads the Web Game Development and 3D Game Programming modules.

More about Xi