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Video Game Development - BSc (Hons)

Currently viewing course to start in 2024/25 Entry.

September 2024 — UCAS code I573

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 our Game labs and real games briefs, this two-year fast track degree can prepare you to work for companies such as Sega and Sony....

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  • Level Undergraduate
  • Study mode Full Time
  • Location City Centre
  • Award BSc (Hons)
  • Start date September 2024
  • School School of Games, Film and Animation
  • Faculty Faculty of Arts, Design and Media

This course is:

Open to International Students

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Overview

Clearing 2024

120 points (or equivalent) is the minimum you will need to be considered for this course in Clearing.

Use the UCAS Tariff Calculator to work out your points.

Got your results?

If you've already received your results and have enough points for this course you can apply online now.

Apply now

Waiting for results?

Download our guide to Clearing to prepare ahead of results day and find out the top five things you can do whilst you wait.

Get advice

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 our Game labs 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 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.

This course is open to International students.

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.

The course starts with introducing you to computer programming by teaching you the most valuable langue for developing interaction online, JavaScript. You’ll then be introduced to C# and object-oriented software, and will be given a range of interactive products to develop using both languages. As you move into your second year of study, you’ll concentrate on the most powerful and efficient language for game development, such as C++

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

Throughout the two years you will be provided with a structured programme of learning, in line with your chosen specialism of video game development. The course culminates with a project you define yourself which uses a specific programming language and technology you have learned on the course, such as JavaScript, C#, C++, Three.js, SFML, Unity and Unreal.

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.

Real experience

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

Why Choose Us?

  • This fast-track programme provides a rare opportunity to secure a BSc (Hons) degree in only two years.
  • 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.
  • BCU are winners of 'best educational initiative and talent development' at the TIGA Games Industry Awards 2023 and the Innovative Teaching Award at the TIGA Games Education Award 2023.
  • Top 5 in the UK for Animation and Games Design (Guardian League Table 2024).

Open Days

Join us for an on-campus Open Day where you'll be able to learn about this course in detail, chat to students, explore our campus and tour accommodation. Booking isn't open yet for this event, register your interest and we’ll email you as soon as booking goes live.

Next Open Day: 28 September 2024

Register interest

Entry Requirements

These entry requirements apply for entry in 2024/25.

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

120 points (or equivalent) is the minimum you will need to be considered for this course in Clearing.

Use the UCAS Tariff Calculator to work out your points.

Got your results?

If you've already received your results and have enough points for this course you can apply online now.

Apply now

Waiting for results?

Download our guide to Clearing to prepare ahead of results day and find out the top five things you can do whilst you wait.

Get advice

Alternative options

If you do not have 120 points, you may like to look at our other courses available.

View Clearing courses

Or explore your options if you don't have enough points for any of our courses.

Please note: the entry requirements listed below are relevant for main cycle applications and may not be applicable during Clearing.

Essential requirements

120 UCAS tariff points

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

Fees & How to Apply

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

UK students

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

Award: BSc (Hons)

Starting: Sep 2024

  • Mode
  • Duration
  • Fees

International students

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

Award: BSc (Hons)

Starting: Sep 2024

  • Mode
  • Duration
  • Fees
  • Full Time
  • 2 years
  • TBC
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.

Places available to start in September 2024

If you'd like to start this course full-time this September, you can apply through Clearing.

Got your results?

If you've already received your results and have enough points for this course you can apply online now.

Apply now

Waiting for results?

Download our guide to Clearing to prepare ahead of results day and find out the top five things you can do whilst you wait.

Get advice

International and part-time students can apply online as normal using the links above.

Want to start in September 2025? You can apply via UCAS from September 2024.

Personal statement

UK / EU students are required to submit a personal statement as part of their application for this course.*

The personal statement gives you a crucial opportunity to say why you’re applying and why the institution should accept you.

Here are the key areas you’ll need to address:

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

You should also mention your future plans – if you’re planning to take a year out, don't forget to give your reasons. Talk about any subjects you’re studying that don’t have a formal assessment and any sponsorships or placements you’ve applied for. And don't be scared to add in details about your social, sports or leisure interests.

Worried about Personal Statements?

If you've got no idea where to start or just want to check you're on the right track, we’ve got expert advice and real examples from our students to help you nail your personal statement. You can even download our ultimate personal statement guide for free.

Get personal statement advice

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

Course in Depth

Year one

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 180 credits):

Year two

In order to complete this course you must successfully complete all the following CORE modules (totalling 180 credits):

Download course specification

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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.

Taught Modules

In the taught modules the focus is on your personal development as a professional coder. You will take modules which focus on your individual development as a computer programmers for interactive software, for example; Computer Science fundamentals, object oriented programming, maths for game development, physics,  using existing software library & software development practices. It is during these languages you’ll learn the programming languages, JavaScript, C# and C++

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.

Assessment

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.

Employability

Experience on the course

Our courses 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

Placements

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.

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.

International

Birmingham City University is a vibrant and multicultural university in the heart of a modern and diverse city. We welcome many international students every year – there are currently students from more than 80 countries among our student community.

The University is conveniently placed, with Birmingham International Airport nearby and first-rate transport connections to London and the rest of the UK.

Our international pages contain a wealth of information for international students who are considering applying to study here, including:

Facilities & Staff

Curzon with Millennium Point and Parkside
Games, Film and Animation facilities
Games, Film and Animation facilities
Games, Film and Animation facilities

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.

Our staff

Sion Lenton

Course Director

Sion Lenton is the Course Director for BA (Hons) Video Game Design for the Games Film and Animation School at Birmingham City University. In addition he also teaches Game Design & Production at Undergraduate and Postgraduate level. Prior to joining BCU, Sion taught Game Design at the National Film and Television School and Bucks New University.

More about Sion