Video Game Development - BSc (Hons)
Do you want to turn your passion for video games into a rewarding career? Apply for one of the only video games degree courses of its kind in Europe, designed to produce ‘work ready’ graduates for the industry. With access to PlayStation 4 developer kits and real games briefs, this two-year fast track degree can prepare you to work for companies such as Sega and Sony....
Studying with us in 2021/22 and 2022/23
The University has put in place measures in response to Covid-19 to allow us to safely deliver our courses. Information about the arrangements for the 2021/22 academic year can be found here.
Should the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic continue in the 2022/23 academic year or subsequent years of your course, any additional and/or alternative arrangements put in place by the University in response 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.
Do you want to turn your passion for video games into a rewarding career? Apply for one of the only video games degree courses of its kind in Europe, designed to produce ‘work ready’ graduates for the industry. With access to PlayStation 4 developer kits and real games briefs, this two-year fast track degree can prepare you to work for companies such as Sega and Sony.
Interactive entertainment and video games development are key sectors for contemporary culture, economic growth and employment, whether that be locally, nationally or globally.
Our BSc (Hons) Video Game Development course responds to this growing and innovative sector by developing skilled, team-orientated, reflexive graduate professionals ready to succeed in the sector. On the course you will learn the most important programming languages for game development, as well as industry-standard game development tools such as Unity and Unreal.
This accelerated two-year course gives you a guaranteed video game development placement in our in-house studio, taking place over the summer term of the course. The work-place simulation approach of our department (School of Games, Film and Animation) has been championed by the influential 2009 Livingstone, Hope Next Gen Report which cited us as a national best practice example for developing new talent.
What's covered in this course?
Developing you as a professional developer
The course covers core programming languages and video game development tools, as well as contemporary agile software development techniques to make you a competent and adaptable programmer, capable of finding employment in the sector or preparing you for further academic study.
Your first position in the video game industry
Building upon your core language and software development skills, in the first year you will be tasked with a specific role within our in-house game development studio over the summer term. This work experience gives you the opportunity to apply the knowledge and professional practices you’ve learnt on the course in a safe and supportive environment. Typically for these projects you’ll be using industry standard game development tools such as Unity and Unreal.
These summer projects have in the past been mentored and supported by external partners including Red Bee Media, FreeStyleGames and Codemasters. The work students produce during these summer placements can act as excellent portfolio pieces, which demonstrate their ability as both a professional artist and effective team member.
Putting you in control of your final project
You have the choice of either proposing your own individual project or collaborating with other students to create another video game project for your portfolio.
Best of class facilities and staff
Teaching takes place in a modern production studio based in Birmingham city centre, where you’ll be provided with studio space to complete your projects.
You will be taught by staff with significant experience in the video game development industry, having worked with game developers including Psygnosis, Rage Software, Codemasters, FreeStyleGames and EA Games.
By the time you graduate, a whole year before most students, you’ll have two years of tangible games development studio experience under your belt, ready to launch your dream career as a games developer.
Alternatively, you can choose to apply for one of our one-year Gamer Camp courses, to gain even more in-depth skills, and experience.
I joined the course having some exposure to programming and a drive to learn more. The course has given me the opportunity to learn new programming languages and work collaboratively with other coders, artists, producers and marketers to develop industry standard projects. Honestly, I can not recommend this course enough if you have a passion for making games.
Joeb Rogers, student, 2015-17
Why Choose Us?
- 90.2% of students are satisfied with the learning opportunities on this course (National Student Survey 2021).
- This fast-track programme provides a rare opportunity to secure a BSc (Hons) degree in only two years.
- Guaranteed placement in our summer development team in your first year of study.
- Teaching is delivered by our team of industry practitioners, who collectively have over 100 years of video game industry experience, having worked on franchises such as EA’s ‘Battlefield’, Codemaster’s ‘Formula 1’ and Sega’s ‘Sonic’. They have also taught, trained and mentored students, graduates and practitioners, who are now successful industry developers, working at studios and publishers which include Ubisoft, Microsoft and Rockstar North.
- During the two-year course you’ll work on numerous projects with periodic input from industry partners. Previous partners and mentors have included Codemasters, Pixel Toys, Sony Interactive Entertainment Europe, Microsoft’s Rare Studio and Rockstar North.
- On the course you’ll learn a range of new skills and programming disciplines relevant and appropriate for careers in the field of video game development such as gameplay, tools, VFX, AI and UI programming.
- This course will develop you to be able to move into employment, or further study, for example on our Industry-recognised Master’s Courses, Gamer Camp, which is a finishing school for game developers (coders, artists, designers and producers) based at Birmingham City University. On our Masters courses, you’ll get intensive, practical training from our top industry-experienced team, you’ll tackle real game briefs set with input from globally recognised developers/publishers, and you’ll experience all stages of the games development process, ultimately providing you with a great portfolio of work to get a job in AAA Video Game Development.
We accept a range of qualifications, the most popular of which are detailed below.
120 UCAS points
Successful applicants also must complete an online test
|LEVEL 2 QUALIFICATIONS|
|Irish Leaving Certificate (Ordinary Level)||See level 3 entry under Irish Leaving Certificate for full details|
|Scottish National 5||
|IELTS||6.0 overall with no less than 5.5 in each band.|
|Plus one of the following Level 3 (and above) Qualifications|
|A Level and Advanced VCE||
|AS and AS VCE||Considered with a maximum of 3 other Level 3 qualifications (AS Levels must be in different subject to A-Levels) to obtain 120 pts|
|Access to HE Diploma||
|Foundation Studies (Art and Design, and Art, Design & Media)||Considered with a maximum of 3 other Level 3 qualifications to obtain 120 pts|
|IBO Certificate in Higher Level||
|International Baccalaureate Diploma||
|Irish Leaving Certificate (Highers)||Pass the Irish Leaving Certificate with a minimum of 120 tariff points, achieved in five Higher level subjects. This must include English Language and Maths taken at either Ordinary Level (minimum grade O1-O4 (or A-C/A1-C3)) or Higher level minimum grade H1/H7 (or A-D / A1-D3 up to and including 2016|
|OCR Cambridge Technical Extended Diploma||DDM|
|Scottish Advanced Higher||
|UAL Extended Diploma in Art & Design||Merit overall / 120 UCAS points|
|If you have a qualification that is not listed in the table please refer to our full entry requirements on UCAS.
Further guidance on tariff points can be found on the UCAS website.
Additional information for EU/International students
Please see your country page for further details on the equivalent qualifications we accept.
|EU/Non-EU (International) Qualifications||Requirements|
6.0 overall with no less than 5.5 in each band.
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).|
International students who cannot meet the direct entry requirements can begin their degree studies at Birmingham City University International College (BCUIC).
Applications from mature students (21+) with alternative qualifications and/or considerable work experience will be considered on their merits.
Fees & How to Apply
- UK students
- International students
Award: BSc (Hons)
Starting: Sep 2022
- Full Time
- 2 years
- £11,100 per year
- Apply via UCAS
Award: BSc (Hons)
Starting: Sep 2022
- Full Time
- 2 years
Access to computer equipment
You will require use of a laptop, and most students do prefer to have their own. However, you can borrow a laptop from the university or use one of our shared computer rooms.
You will receive £5 print credit in each year of your course, available after enrolment.
All essential field trips and associated travel costs will be included in your course fees.
Access to Microsoft Office 365
Every student at the University can download a free copy of Microsoft Office 365 to use whilst at university and for 18 months after graduation.
You will be able to download SPSS and Nvivo to your home computer to support with your studies and research.
Subscriptions to key journals and websites are available through our library.
Free access to Rosetta Stone
All students can sign up to the online learning language platform for free through the Graduate+ scheme.
Excess printing (optional)
Once you have spent your £5 credit, additional printing on campus costs from 5p per sheet.
Accommodation and living costs
The cost of accommodation and other living costs are not included within your course fees. More information on the cost of accommodation can be found in our accommodation pages.
Guidance for UK students
UK students applying for most undergraduate degree courses in the UK will need to apply through UCAS.
The Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS) is a UK organisation responsible for managing applications to university and college.
Applying through UCAS
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
There are three ways to apply:
1) Direct to the University
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.
You will be required to submit a digital portfolio to complete your application. This can be submitted via your applicant portal. Please see our portfolio guidance page for tips on putting your portfolio together.
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.
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.
Course in Depth
During the first year, modules may include practical sessions, lectures and group debates, featuring input from both University staff and guest lecturers from industry, providing you with a wide range of practical knowledge and insight.
In order to complete this course you must successfully complete all the following CORE modules (totalling 160 credits):
The purpose of this module is to give you, the students, the opportunity to get to grips with the basic foundations of computer-science and understand program-flow such as conditions and loops. It will also allow you to gain an appreciation of what video games are and how they generally work, from a high-level perspective.
The purpose of this module is to give you the opportunity to learn the C# programming language, and to gain a deeper understanding of programming concepts such as object-orientation.
The purpose of this module is to give you the opportunity to learn about some of the mathematics required to create games in a 3D world.
The purpose of this module is to give you the opportunity to learn about Physics and Physics engines required to create games in both 2D and 3D worlds.
The module is an opportunity to learn and critically reflect on the skills of collaboration by enabling you to create an interdisciplinary project with students from complementary disciplines. You will be tasked with completing a project over a short development / production period. This project may be set either by an academic or course industry-partner.
In order to complete this course you must successfully complete at least 20 credits from the following list of OPTIONAL modules.
The module is an opportunity to learn about the nature of interaction within game products and experience the challenge and thrill of developing a fun, gaming experience.
The module is an opportunity to learn about the nature of storytelling, audience engagement and the variety of methods and tools a writer or communicators has at their disposal to engage, inform, excite and elicit emotional response from the audience.
Core modules are guaranteed to run. Optional modules will vary from year to year and the published list is indicative only.
In order to complete this course you must successfully complete all the following CORE modules (totalling 180 credits):
The purpose of this module is to give you the opportunity to learn about programming in the High Performance language C++.
The purpose of this module is to give you the opportunity to learn about and apply a C++ Library to help with the development of a software artefact.
The purpose of this module is to give you experience in the field of using a 3D library to aid the development of a 3D software artefact using the High Performance language C++.
The module is an opportunity to learn and critically reflect on the skills of collaboration &/or your own professional practice. The module enables you to create either an interdisciplinary project with students from complementary disciplines or your own self-defined project.
The purpose of the module is to enable you to undertake a sustained, in-depth and theoretically informed research project exploring an area that is of personal interest to you. It is important that we can support you appropriately, so you will be guided towards choosing a research topic which is relevant to your discipline and in which your lecturers have expertise. The outcome may take the form of a written dissertation or a practice-based portfolio.
The course is structured around teaching you new skills and allowing you the freedom to experiment and experience putting your new skills into practice through live projects.
Typically, this means modules are split into taught modules and studio-based project modules.
Guaranteed in-house placement (Project Modules)
The video game development course is all about providing you with crucial experience-based learning you'll need for your career. To this end during the summer term you will be required to attend an in-house work placement. It is during these modules you’ll be using development tools such as Unity & Unreal.
This is a two year accelerated undergraduate degree course with professional game development studio experience embedded as part your learning journey. You'll be assessed in a variety of different ways, including practical project work – both group and individual – presentations, written reports and practical portfolios.
Assessment is embedded into the course, which will mean your learning experience isn't constantly interrupted by assessment. You are also assessed on your work within a project delivery team while you are based in our simulated in-house studio environment.
On the course, you'll be taught by established industry professionals with a wealth of expertise and enthusiasm, who are experienced at recognising and responding to the rapidly changing demands within the industry.
End of year showcase
The end of year summer showcase gives you the chance to showcase some of the work you’ve completed over the past academic year to high profile industry guests.
Experience on the course
Courses within the School of Games, Film and Animation are built upon workplace simulation and industry-standard work, ensuring you behave less like a student and more as a professional, gaining the workplace experience and attributes you need.
As well as gaining course-specific skills, you could also gain broader tools through our Graduate+ programme, which will help enhance your employment options by helping with careers development, employability activities, volunteering and part-time work experience.
Leading up to and upon graduation
At the end of your studies you’ll complete a final major project, which may lead you to working directly with a client. This direct contact will give you the experience, confidence and freedom to put into action all you’ve learned on your studies. Allied with this course-specific experience, you will also have access to a range of support staff and services from the University’s Careers Service, who can help with:
- Reviewing CVs, covering letters and application forms
- Career planning and decision making
- Preparing for interviews and assessment centres
- Developing portfolios
- Networking with employers
- Advice about self-employment and entrepreneurship
During the summer term of your first year, you will have the opportunity to work in a video game development team as part of the in-house placement element of the course. Previous, projects have included a ‘Doctor Who’ interactive comic book project with the BBC and Red Bee Media, an integrated web and mobile suite of mini games with The Wellcome Trust and Xtreme Drone Racing with Sony PlayStation First.
Working on live projects
Whilst studying with us, you'll have the opportunity work on live briefs with real clients.
During the summer on the first year of your course you’ll have a guaranteed placement in an in-house development studio. Our students previously worked directly with The Wellcome Trust on an interactive, online awareness campaign which involved making, video games, web apps, mobile apps and video material to promote The Crunch initiative.
Students have also worked along postgraduates to make a mobile version of the PlayStation 4 Xtreme Drone Racing game which is being developed as part of the PlayStationFirst initiative. The mobile versions features racing against 40 drones in a variety of locations in Birmingham, geotagged content and extensive drone customisation.
OpportUNIty: Student Jobs on Campus ensures that our students are given a first opportunity to fill many part-time temporary positions within the University. This allows you to work while you study with us, fitting the job around your course commitments. By taking part in the scheme, you will gain valuable experiences and employability skills, enhancing your prospects in the job market.
It will also allow you to become more involved in University life by delivering, leading and supporting many aspects of the learning experience, from administration to research and mentoring roles.
Birmingham City University is a vibrant and multicultural university in the heart of a modern and diverse city. We welcome many international students every year – there are currently students from more than 80 countries among our student community.
The University is conveniently placed, with Birmingham International Airport nearby and first-rate transport connections to London and the rest of the UK.
Our international pages contain a wealth of information for international students who are considering applying to study here, including:
The UK remains one of the world's leading study destinations
The UK remains one of the world's leading study destinations for international students.
The first-class experience offered by universities are reflected in the world’s largest survey of international students. International students are more likely to recommend the UK than any other leading English-language study destination.
Facilities and Staff
Our School of Games, Film and Animation is based in the Curzon Building, a £63 million development, located on our City Centre campus.
We help you learn a specific discipline such as digital marketing, programming or art and put that discipline into practice by offering flexible teaching space, dedicated development studios and open access work areas for group projects, as well as course-specific facilities.
Senior Lecturer/Technical Director for Gamer Camp and Interactive Entertainment
Zafar Qamar is a Senior Lecturer and the Technical Director at Birmingham City University’s School of Games, Film and Animation, working as part of the Gamer Camp team teaching the MA/MSc in Video Games Development and BSc in Interactive Entertainment (Games Development).More about Zafar
Venita has previously worked on a number of titles on a variety of platforms including the mobile hit Sonic Dash and at many games studios from nDreams, SEGA and Jagex going all the way back to old veteran studios such as Team17 in Wakefield.More about Venita