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Computer Games Technology - BSc (Hons) / MSci

  • UCAS Code: G450 - BSc / I621 - MSci
  • Level: Undergraduate
  • Starting: September 2021
  • Study mode: BSc (Hons) - Full Time (3 years), Full Time (4 years with Professional Placement)
    MSci - Full Time (4 years), Full Time (5 years with Professional Placement)
  • Location: City Centre

Studying with us in 2021/22

It is possible that the 2021/22 academic year may be affected by the ongoing disruption caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. Any arrangements put in place by the University for the 2021/22 academic year will be in accordance with the latest government public health advice, pandemic-related/health and safety legislation, and the terms and conditions of the student contract.

BSc (Hons) / MSci Computer Games Technology is a course that focuses 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 and XBOX development kits, as well as a variety of industry standard software.

Our collaborations with Microsoft 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.

This course aims to develop critical, current, analytical and agile graduates, who:

  • produce computer games in a legal and ethical manner;
  • have a diverse understanding of the key issues that exist in games development;
  • combine the critical faculties that derive from a traditional academic degree with the professional skills and flexibility needed to get the best jobs in the games development industry;
  • can manage their own personal development and lifelong learning;
  • are equipped to be familiar with a variety of contemporary industry tools and agile enough to respond to new technologies and consumer trends.
What is an MSci?
Want to know more?
Find out about our Integrated Master’s

What's covered in the 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.

The Computer Games Technology course taught me how to use game engines and coding for a wide variety of projects both outside and within gaming. I found the modules technically engaging and also great for networking since they are combined with external game jams with major industry partners. Aston Walker

Why Choose Us?

  • 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. 
  • Strong industry links  -  We network with gaming industry giants such as Sony, Microsoft and many local independent studios.   You will have the option to join our Curzon Software House and take part in industry projects to build up skills for your CV.  
  • Exceptional research reputation -  In industries including computer games technology to healthcare and medicine. Our students collaborate and e how computer games can be used when problem solving in a range of fields and disciplines. 
  • 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.  
  • Go abroad - We offer travel scholarships so that you gain work experience overseas.

Students outside Millennium Point

Open Days

Our Open Day for this course will take place in March 2021. Register now and we will contact you when the booking form goes live.

Register your interest

This course is open to International students

I AM BCU

Student Story by Lewis Farrell

As a professional eSports player, Lewis has been able to combine his passion for video games in the technical context of programming, and is now looking to launch his career by creating his very own indie game.

Read in full

Where our students go

Our students have gone on to work with companies such as:

  • Rockstar Games
  • Amazon
  • Unity
  • Jaguar Land Rover
  • Third Kind Games
  • Storm Gaming Technology

And in jobs such as:

  • Quality Assurance
  • Developer Evangelist
  • Technical Evangelist
  • Visualisation Engineer
  • Game Programmer
  • Programmer

Staff Focus

Dr Carlo Harvey

Carlo HarveyDr 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 course leader for BSc Computer Games Technology and the Director of Future Games and Graphics overseeing the research arm for Games and Graphics within the DMTLab at BCU..

Read in full

Entry Requirements

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

Essential Requirements

112 UCAS tariff points from A/AS Level

Experience in Computer Programming is preferred

LEVEL 2 QUALIFICATIONS
GCSE
  • GCSE English Language and Mathematics at grade C/4 or above
  • Equivalent level 2 qualifications can be accepted
  • Must have been achieved at the point of enrolment
Irish Leaving Certificate (Ordinary Level)
  • See level 3 entry under Irish Leaving Certificate for full details
Scottish Intermediate 2
  • English Language and Mathematics at grade C or above
  • Must have been achieved at the point of enrolment
Scottish Credit Standard Grade
  • English Language and Mathematics at grade 2 or above
  • Must have been achieved at the point of enrolment
Scottish National 5
  • English language and mathematics at grade C or above
  • Must have been achieved at the point of enrolment
LEVEL 3 (and above) QUALIFICATIONS
A level and Advanced VCE
  • BBC / 112 UCAS points
  • Must include one from Technology, Science, Mathematics or Computing at A-level or level 3 equivalent
  • A maximum of 3 subjects are considered. These can be other A-levels or level 3 equivalents.
Access to HE Diploma
  • Pass with 60 credits, 45 of which should be at Level 3. including 12 Techical credits merit or distinction.
  • Must be from Technology, Science, Mathematics or Computing related subjects.
  • Knowledge of Computer Programming is required for BSc(Hons) Computer Games Technology and BSc(Hons) Forensic Computing.
  • Pearson BTEC National Extended Diploma
    (2016 – present)
  • Pearson BTEC Extended Diploma (QCF)
    (2010 - 2016)
  • BTEC Level 3 National Diploma
    (2002 – 2010)
  • DMM / 112 UCAS points
  • Must be in a Technology, Science, Mathematics or Computing related subject
  • Pearson BTEC Level 3 National Diploma
    (2016 – present)
  • Pearson BTEC Diploma (QCF)
    (2010 – 2016)
  • BTEC Level 3 National Certificate
    (2002 – 2010)
  • 112 UCAS points
  • Considered with one A-level or an equivalent level 3 qualification
  • Either this qualification or an accompanying A-level / level 3 equivalent must be a Technology, Science, Mathematics or Computing related subject
  • Pearson BTEC National Foundation Diploma (2016 to present)

  • Pearson BTEC 90-Credit Diploma (QCF) (2010 - 2016)

  • 112 UCAS points

  • Considered with one A-level or an equivalent level 3 qualification

  • Either this qualification or an accompanying A-level / level 3 equivalent must be a Technology, Science, Mathematics or Computing related subject

  • Pearson BTEC Level 3 National Extended Certificate
    (2016 – present)

  • Pearson BTEC Subsidiary Diploma (QCF)
    (2010 - 2016)

  • BTEC Level 3 National Award
    (2002 - 2010)

  • 112 UCAS points

  • Considered with two A-levels or an equivalent level 3 qualification(s)

  • Either this qualification or an accompanying A-level / level 3 equivalent must be a Technology, Science, Mathematics or Computing related subject

Advanced Welsh Baccalaureate - Skills Challenge Certificate (first teaching September 2015)

  • 112 UCAS points

  • Considered with two A-levels or equivalent level 3 qualification(s) one of which must be in a Technology, Science, Mathematics or Computing related subject.

Welsh Baccalaureate Advanced Diploma – Core (awarded until 2016) ESW/KS Combined component

  • 112 UCAS points

  • Considered with two A-levels or equivalent level 3 qualification(s) one of which must be in a Technology, Science, Mathematics or Computing related subject.

International Baccalaureate Diploma

  • Obtain a minimum of 28 points overall and pass one of the following subjects from Group 4 at Higher Level (Computer Science, Chemistry, Design Technology, Physics)

  • 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) English A - Grade 4 or above or English B - Grade 5 from the IB will be accepted.

Other qualifications
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.
Additional information for EU/International students
Essential

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.

EU/Non-EU (International) Qualifications  
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).

1. For students who complete the full IB Diploma: a total of 14 points or above from three Higher Level Subjects.

2. Students who do not complete the IB Diploma will be considered on the basis of their IB Certificates.

Students must have grade 5 in Maths (Standard Level)
AND
English Group A - Grade 4 or above,
OR
English Group B and Ab Initio - Grade 5

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).

Additional Requirements

As part of the application process you will be invited to attend an applicant visit day where you will undertake a short one-to-one interview with an academic member of staff. This is your chance to show us how passionate you are about the subject and it will help us make a decision on your application.

This will provide you with more information about the School and your course. In addition, it will give you a chance to meet and our staff and students to gain a better understanding of what it is like to be a student here.

International Students

Entry requirements here

Don’t meet our entry requirements?

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:

Home student International student

  • UK students
  • International students

Award: BSc (Hons)

Starting: Sep 2021

  • Mode
  • Duration
  • Fees
  • Full Time
  • 4 years with Professional Placement
  • £9,250 per year
  • Apply via UCAS

Award: MSci

Starting: Sep 2021

  • Mode
  • Duration
  • Fees
  • Full Time
  • 5 years with Professional Placement
  • £9,250 per year
  • Apply via UCAS

Award: BSc (Hons)

Starting: Sep 2021

  • Mode
  • Duration
  • Fees
  • Full Time
  • 3 years
  • £13,200 per year

Award: MSci

Starting: Sep 2021

  • Mode
  • Duration
  • Fees
  • Full Time
  • 4 years
  • £13,200 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. 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

UCAS

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
 Register with UCAS
 Login to UCAS
 Complete your details
 Select your course
 Write a personal statement
 Get a reference
 Pay your application fee
 Send UCAS your application

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.

Get more information on writing personal statements.

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

Additional costs

There are no compulsory additional costs or charges associated with studying on this course. While you may choose to purchase personal copies of text books, all our key text books are available from our library or online (subject to normal library loan and online access arrangements). If your course includes a residential study session, the accommodation costs for this are already included in your course fee.

Based on the past experience of our students, you might find it helpful to set aside about £50 for each year of your studies for stationery and study materials. All our students are provided with 100 free pages of printing each year to a maximum total value of £15.

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.

Worried about personal statements?

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

Loans and Grants

Financial Support

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.

Year One

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

20 credits

This module will introduce you to the basic principles behind programming for example language syntax, structure of a computer program, development of algorithms and use of object oriented programming. You will use an appropriate professional game engine in order to develop your skills in 2D game development.

20 credits

This module will complement and build upon the programming skills that you learnt in CMP4264 2D Game Programming. This time you will focus on learning the principles behind programming and developing a simple 3D computer game using a professional game engine. You will explore working with 3D scenes and cameras; implementing a range of media assets for example 3D models, meshes, 3D animations as well as sound and audio.

20 credits

This module will equip you with the necessary background knowledge about common data structures and algorithms. It will develop your skills for writing them, and analysing their efficiency and correctness. You will cover topics such as how computers represent and operate on arrays, lists, sets, queues, stacks, graphs and networks, as well as how to write and analyse algorithms.

20 credits

This module provides students with the technical skills and experience to produce 3D models and turntable renders for use in visual effects.The skills developed in this module will inform and underpin the use of 3D models throughout the rest of your course.

The module aims to develop your modelling skills to a highly competent standard, developing your knowledge of the fundamentals of 3D modelling as well as providing you with experience of using industry-standard modelling tools. By the end of the module you will be able to approach modelling productions by drawing on a suite of 3D modelling methods and tools. The module will also provide an overview of how 3D assets are used in a variety of industries.

20 credits

As modern game development moves toward creating richer, more detailed worlds than ever before, so do the demands on the systems for managing and processing the vast quantities of digital resources used in these worlds. This module will interrogate the problems and potential solutions that can be employed to tackle these issues. In this module, we'll analyse the game asset pipeline. 

The asset pipeline, simply put, is the steps it takes to get a game asset into the game. Students will use a game engine to develop their own 3D game, managing assets for the game accordingly. This unit covers the set of techniques and concepts related to the creation of a modern computer game using industry-standard middleware. You will be introduced to game programming skills related to asset management (pre-production, production and integration). We will also cover plugin tools designed to facilitate export from art creation tools and their import into middleware. Often bespoke solutions are required and programmers have to create their own tools from scratch (known as Tools Programmers), this module introduces the premises that are required for most games.

20 credits

This module will help you to develop important academic and professional skills. Team work, project and time management, as well as research, verbal and written communication skills are core skills that a graduate will need to demonstrate. In order to help you develop these types of skills the module will be delivered using a problem based learning approach.

Year Two

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

20 credits

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, or with academic staff. Collaboration is a vital employability skill within the Creative Industries and this module allows you to develop these skills, making use of University facilities and with the support of academic staff.

20 credits

This module adopts a problem-based learning strategy. You will be assigned to project teams where you will work on developing a game together. Previous examples of this type of work have been submission of games to Microsoft’s international student competition, the Imagine Cup as well as working on ideas provided by industry. In your teams you will work with the tutors to guide the development of your ideas.

20 credits

Computer graphics is a sub-field of computer science which studies methods for digitally synthesising and manipulating visual content. Although the term often refers to the study of three-dimensional computer graphics, it also encompasses two-dimensional graphics and image processing.

Computer graphics is responsible for displaying art and image data effectively and meaningfully to a user. It is also used for processing image data received from the physical world. Computer graphics development has had a significant impact on many types of media and has revolutionised animation, movies, advertising, video games, and graphic design in general.

20 credits

You will learn about the document object model and how you can dynamically manipulate it with JavaScript to create interactive games for the Web. You will consider accessibility and usability issues, and how you can overcome them. You will learn about website deployment and how you can use it to make your websites accessible to other people. The module will also enable you to present your game online in the form of a website for use in your portfolio.

20 credits

This module focuses on C++ programming, helping you to develop your skills in the use of an object-oriented programming language and to learn how to debug, optimise and test C++ programs. The learning and teaching strategy is centred on lab sessions where tutors provide advice, guidance and formative evaluation.

20 credits

This module will build on the principles taught in the level 4 module 3D Game Programming. It will focus on 3D game engine functionality and how they manage and working with 3D objects, worlds and spaces. The programme aims to emphasise the important technical skills associated with making computer games where this module enhances knowledge of game engine concepts and programming skills with a game engine in a number of different contexts such as high-specification and lowspecification PCs and converting (porting) source code to other operating systems

Year Three

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

40 credits

The purpose of the module is to enable you to undertake a sustained, in-depth and research-informed project exploring an area that is of personal interest to you. In agreement with your supervisor, you will decide upon your topic which will take the form of a practical outcome (artefact) with accompanying contextual material. The main consideration when choosing your topic is that it must be aligned to the programme you are studying, and you should consider the relevance of this topic to your future academic or professional development.

At this level, you will be expected to work independently but you will receive additional one-to-one support from your supervisor, who will be familiar with your chosen topic area. As you progress on the module, extra support will be available and this may take the form of group seminars, workshops and online materials that will help to develop your project. 

20 credits

Artificial intelligence is concerned with the goal of building intelligent computing machines. It is multidisciplinary and as such spans several other subjects, such as computer science (of which it is often viewed to be part), robotics, economic behaviour, psychology. AI techniques are also employed in the rapidly expanding field of predictive analytics in data mining. A good grasp of mathematical reasoning and logic is important therefore, and the study of the topics presented here will help further develop these skills.

20 credits

The module will provide students with a theoretical foundation underpinning the design and development of mobile games in combination with practical elements for the implementation of mobile games on mobile platforms (such as iOS). Furthermore, this module will provide students with an insight into the practices of the mobile gaming sector, in particular issues relating to their publishing, marketing and commercialisation.

20 credits

The games console industry is a very lucrative market appealing to consumers of all ages and backgrounds. Game consoles are still one of most important ways of publishing AAA game titles. In recent years, AAA game studios no longer exclusively use commercial game engines with many vendors keen that students get the opportunity to work with them too. This module will provide you with the opportunity to explore how to develop games for consoles working with industry standard technology.

20 credits

This module enables you to gain an understanding of the processes, scope and role when providing guidance or advice in a professional consulting capacity. It will also assist you if you join a larger organisation with the aspiration to become a leader and manager. The module provides awareness on the wider consulting profession and practice, the consulting role in computing and the management of client relationships. The focus will be to analyse and evaluate the frameworks, processes and techniques applied by computing consultants, managers and leaders.

Year Four

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

20 credits

This module will build on the knowledge and skills taught in Programming for Game Engines and Game Development using Console. It will focus on learning how to programme 3D graphics using an industry standard API such as DirectX, OpenGL or Vulkan in order to implement a 3D graphics/game scene. This module aligns with the programme’s philosophy of developing a wider appreciation of how game technologies can be applied in many different disciplines by covering the fundamental principles behind 3D graphics programming.

20 credits

Technology evolves at a rapid pace and as a result its scope for application to applied games research and commercial practice expands too. Examples include the emergence of virtual and augmented reality, neuro-gaming, embodied conversational agents as well as affective computing & gaming. It is difficult to predict future trends therefore this module will be based upon investigative practice. You will work with tutors and peers to identify an emerging research area in games technology. You will investigate how this technology can be used and subsequently implement a minimum viable product to dem onstrate your ‘proof-of-concept’.

20 credits

This module builds on the concepts taught in Quality of Service in Network Environments. It addresses the use of network technology and models in games design to enhance game play in the form of a networked game. This is a practical-based module where you will get ‘hands-on’ experience of network game programming, including low-level network programming and networking middleware, such as RakNet, to implement multi-player game features such as managing teams, message passing, lobbies, synchronising game data, voice data, peer-to-peer vs. client/server, managing connections and dealing with NAT, network games in IPv4 and IPv6 environments, etc. It also considers the impact of network games on the network and covers analysing network game load and issues of scalability. Being programming based this module also enhances your transferable skills to other computing and software engineering disciplines: you develop confidence in gaining important technical skills and become an independent problem solver willing to take on new challenges and experiences.

60 credits

The purpose of the module is to enable you to undertake a sustained, in-depth and research-informed group project exploring an area that is of personal interest to you. In agreement with your supervisor, your group will decide upon your topic which will take the form of a practical outcome (artefact) with accompanying contextual material. The main consideration when choosing your group’s topic is that it must be aligned to the programme you are studying, and you should consider the relevance of this topic to your future academic or professional development.

You will be expected to work as part of a group but you will receive additional support from your supervisor, who will be familiar with your groups chosen topic area. As you progress on the module, extra support will be available and this may take the form of group seminars, workshops and online materials that will help to develop your project. 

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.

Study and work abroad

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.

Find out more

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 Interdisciplinary Project and Industry Project and Practice modules, as well as the third-year Consultancy and IT 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

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

OpportUNIty

OpportUNIty Student Ambassador

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.

Firewalking

BCU Graduate+

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.

More about Graduate+

Careers

Our students have gone on to work at companies such as Codemasters, Rockstar Games, Inspired Gaming Group, Entnet Limited, Sync Interactive, Intouch Games, HELM, Capgemini, HSBC, DepoNet and Signet. Several have also gone on to train as computer science teachers.

The broad scope of the topics covered throughout the programme will also leave you well-equipped to take on a range of technical roles allied to computing, computer science and software engineering.

Trips and visits

We encourage active participation in game industry sponsored events:

  • LAUNCH conference and Innovation Birmingham Campus events
  • Global Game Jam
  • Imagine Cup
  • Brains Eden
  • Dare to be Digital

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:

Birmingham City University International College (BCUIC)

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

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.

Learn more about BCUIC

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

Carlo Harvey

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 course leader for BSc Computer Games Technology and the Director of Future Games and Graphics overseeing the research arm for Games and Graphics within the DMTLab at BCU.

He is a co-founder of Curzon Software House. Curzon Software House was started as a Birmingham City University initiative to aid students to develop their skills, work on industry projects and gain experience of working in a job in the field. The initiative has been recently funded and is a new micro-placement opportunity. Curzon Software House works with many top local and national companies to produce real-world projects, whilst planning out deliverables, and meeting targets. Curzon Software House benefits from the collaboration with the University, which provides the team with cutting-edge technology. Using Microsoft Hololens, VR equipment, and state-of-the-art PCs with high-end configurations, they produce high-quality content for their clients. This initiative was nominated by TIGA (The Independent Game Developers’ Association) for the Best Educational Initiative and Talent Development award.

Since arriving at BCU in late 2017, he has been shortlisted for best personal tutor and inspiring teacher of the year. He has also seen the course BSc Computer Games Technology nominated for the TIGA award: Best Educational Institution two years running.

He was previously the programme leader for the Games Programming course in the Creative Technologies department of the Faculty of Science and Technology at Bournemouth University. Whilst at Bournemouth University the course won the TIGA Award for the Best Educational Institution. He oversaw the development of the BSc Games Programming course into the redesigned BSc Games Software Engineering. This process was approved by both an internal and external panel, by the Academic Quality team and by the Faculty Academic Standard Committee. He also undertook the role of Unit of Assessment 11 Impact Champion, overseeing the development of case studies being prepared for the Research Excellence Framework 2021 submission process.

Prior to this, Carlo worked with Jaguar Land Rover on an EPSRC funded research proposal, Program for Simulation Innovation (Psi: Theme 7). This project aimed to drive digital prototyping forward for the next generation. His work on this project included visualisation and sound-field manipulation for virtual vehicles. This utilised and integrated a wide variety of technology into one holistic demonstrator.

He completed a PhD in Computer Science at the University of Warwick in 2012. This was entitled Modality Based Perception for Selective Rendering and considered user study evaluated techniques to speed up image synthesis, taking advantage of perceptual artefacts of cross-modal attention under different sensory systems. He has a BSc (Hons) Computer Science from Bristol University (2007) and a Postgraduate Certificate in Academic and Professional Practice from the University of Warwick (2016).

Carlo has published in the fields of perception-aware rendering, simulation, auditory perception, multi-sensory perceptual impact on vision and cultural heritage. He has a number of Q1 journal publications and has won numerous best technical/application and student paper awards at international conferences. 

Read Carlo's full profile

Kira Summers

Kira Summers

Programme Leader, Lecturer

Akira Summers has been working in software and technological development since the year 2000. Starting off in web development and interactive media, she has held many development roles and spent several years working as an embedded game programmer, multimedia developer and learning technologist. 

She now works as a lecturer at BCU and is responsible for the BSc Digital Media Course at BIFCA, in Wuhan China, as Link tutor, a member of the Faculty Academic Ethics Committee (FAEC) and Faculty Equality, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) Committee. 

Read Kira's full profile

Andew Wilson

Dr Andrew Wilson

Associate Professor

Andrew is an Associate Professor at the School of Computing and Digital Technology and has been the programme leader for the BSc (Hons) Computer Games Technology course for the last five years.

As well as teaching he works with local games companies to provide work opportunities for his students and supports international teaching collaborations in games. His research interests revolve around the use of technology to support issues relating to healthcare. This includes how computer games may be used in this field i.e. serious games and games for health.

He is also interested in the human and psychological factors associated with the adoption and use of technology in healthcare settings; publishing numerous journal articles, book chapters and conference presentation in this area.

Harjinder Singh

Senior Lecturer

Harjinder is a Senior Lecturer in the School of Computing and Digital Technology.

He joined Birmingham City University (BCU) in 2000 and has 10 years experience in teaching and consultancy, proir to joining BCU Harjinder worked in Industry as a software developer mainly in C++.

Previously employed as Software Development Engineer (FKI Engineering), Systems Analyst/Programmer (Alcan Plate Ltd.) and IT Consultant (POCL).

Mathew Randall

Programme Leader, Film and Image

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, video systems for concerts and festivals, interactive sonic and video installations and real-time generative art.