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:
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
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.
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.
Dr Carlo Harvey
Dr Carlo Harvey is the Course Leader for Computer Games Technology and Director of Future Games and Graphics, in the School of Computing and Digital Technology. He teaches C++ for Games, Computer Graphics and Artificial Intelligence / Machine Learning.
We accept a range of qualifications, the most popular of which are detailed below.
112 UCAS tariff points from A/AS Level
Experience in Computer Programming is preferred
|LEVEL 2 QUALIFICATIONS|
|Irish Leaving Certificate (Ordinary Level)||
|Scottish Intermediate 2||
|Scottish Credit Standard Grade||
|Scottish National 5||
|LEVEL 3 (and above) QUALIFICATIONS|
|A level and Advanced VCE||
|Access to HE Diploma||
Advanced Welsh Baccalaureate - Skills Challenge Certificate (first teaching September 2015)
Welsh Baccalaureate Advanced Diploma – Core (awarded until 2016) ESW/KS Combined component
International Baccalaureate Diploma
|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.
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|
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)
International students who cannot meet the direct entry requirements can begin their degree studies at Birmingham City University International College (BCUIC).
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.
Award: BSc (Hons)
Starting: Sep 2021
Starting: Sep 2021
Award: BSc (Hons)
Starting: Sep 2021
Starting: Sep 2021
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.
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.
There are three ways to apply:
Our in-country representatives can help you make your application and apply for a visa. They can also offer advice on travel, living in the UK and studying abroad.
If you are applying for an undergraduate degree or a Higher National Diploma (HND), you can apply through the UK’s Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS).
You can request a printed form from your school or nearest British Council office. You will be charged for applying through UCAS. Birmingham City University’s UCAS code is B25 BCITY.
UK / EU students are required to submit a personal statement as part of their application for this course.*
The personal statement gives you a crucial opportunity to say why you’re applying and why the institution should accept you.
Here are the key areas you’ll need to address:
Why does this course appeal? What areas are of particular interest?
If you have a specific career in mind, say how your chosen course will help you pursue this goal.
Mention any work that is relevant to your subject, highlighting the skills and experience gained.
Highlight skills gained at school/college, eg summer schools or mentoring activities.
eg Duke of Edinburgh Award, Young Enterprise scheme.
You should also mention your future plans – if you’re planning to take a year out, don't forget to give your reasons. Talk about any subjects you’re studying that don’t have a formal assessment and any sponsorships or placements you’ve applied for. And don't be scared to add in details about your social, sports or leisure interests.
Get more information on writing personal statements.
*Non-EU students are not required to submit a personal statement when applying for this course.
There are no compulsory additional costs or charges associated with studying on this course. While you may choose to purchase personal copies of text books, all our key text books are available from our library or online (subject to normal library loan and online access arrangements). 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.
The cost of accommodation and other living costs are not included within your course fees. More information on the cost of accommodation can be found in our accommodation pages.
If you've got no idea where to start or just want to check you're on the right track, we’ve got expert advice and real examples from our students to help you nail your personal statement. You can even download our ultimate personal statement guide for free.
We offer further information on possible undergraduate financial support. This includes the type of loans, grants and scholarships available both from the government and from Birmingham City University.
In order to complete this course a student must successfully complete all the following CORE modules (totalling 120 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
In order to complete this course a student must successfully complete all the following CORE modules (totalling 120 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.
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.
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.
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.
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
In order to complete this course a student must successfully complete all the following CORE modules (totalling 120 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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’.
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.
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.
For more information on attendance requirements, course contact time and suggested self-study hours, download the course specification.
Did you know that video games are now bigger than music and movies combined? Join our Director of Future Games and Graphics Carlo Harvey in his online sample lecture and find out how you can be part of this exciting industry.
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.
There are a range of opportunities for you to gain industry experience during your studies examples of activities our students have done include:
Computer Games Technology student Daniel Hind is working as a Code Intern at Rebellion. This is a traditional C++ games industry programming role.
OpportUNIty: Student Jobs on Campus ensures that our students are given a first opportunity to fill many part-time temporary positions within the University. This allows you to work while you study with us, fitting the job around your course commitments. By taking part in the scheme, you will gain valuable experiences and employability skills, enhancing your prospects in the job market.
It will also allow you to become more involved in University life by delivering, leading and supporting many aspects of the learning experience, from administration to research and mentoring roles.
Through our courses we give you the skills and experience needed to get a head start when applying for jobs. But we offer something extra too – Graduate+.
Our unique programme gives you the chance to develop valuable skills outside of the more formal classroom learning. We award points for Graduate+ activities (including firewalking!) and these can be put towards a final Graduate+ award.
Our students have gone on to work with companies such as:
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.
We encourage active participation in game industry sponsored events:
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:
International students who have a serious interest in studying with us but who perhaps cannot meet the direct entry requirements, academic or English, or who have been out of education for some time, can enter Birmingham City University International College (BCUIC) and begin their degree studies.
BCUIC is part of the global Navitas Group, an internationally recognised education provider, and the partnership allows students to access the University’s facilities and services and move seamlessly through to achieving a Bachelor’s degree from Birmingham City University.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.