School of Engineering, Computing and Mathematics

BSc (Hons) Computing & Games Development

UCAS tariff 112 - 120
UCAS course code G455
Institution code P60
Duration 3 years (+ optional placement)
Course type Full-time
Location Plymouth

Create your own apps, indie releases and serious games and build your profile as a software developer. This course will challenge you to innovate in the games sector while honing your software development skills and working for real clients on live projects. Work individually and as part of a team, prove your capabilities with tech demos and releases. Our course is built on a core of computer science topics, supported by industry veterans and our own in-house Interactive Systems Studio.

You will graduate from a course accredited by the BCS, the Chartered Institute for IT*, entitling you to membership of the society. You’ll draw on the expertise of our Interactive Systems Studio team in your core lectures, games workshops and live projects. You will participate and compete in exhibitions and national events such as the Explay festival, TIGA Game Hack, Explay Gamejam and Global Game Jam.

Computing & Games Development

Key features

  • We’re very proud of our National Student Survey (NSS) 2018 return. 95% of the student respondents said that the course was intellectually stimulating, that staff made the subject interesting and also expressed overall satisfaction with the quality of the course.*
  • Create an impressive portfolio of tech demos, indie game releases, and client projects for multiple platforms.
  • Gain experience of individual and team-based game development using industry standard processes.
  • Experience the full development cycle from initial concept through design and implementation to final project delivery.
  • Develop highly transferable skills as a games and apps developer following an agile approach to deliver projects to client expectations.
  • Graduate from a course accredited by the BCS, the Chartered Institute for IT*, entitling you to membership of the society.
  • Draw on the expertise of our Interactive Systems Studio team in your core lectures, games workshops and live projects. The studio is a member of TIGA, the trade body for the UK Games Industry and a gold sponsor and exhibitor of the Explay Indie Games Festival as featured in Edge, Develop and PSN.
  • Participate and compete in exhibitions and national events such as the Explay festival, TIGA Game Hack, Explay Gamejam and Global Game Jam.
  • Use the final year to build a team and start a company, we have a track record in supporting student enterprise, generating start ups and mentoring graduate developer.
  • Carve your niche in this fast evolving sector and join our national and international alumni.

Course details

  • Year 1
  • In year one, you’ll take part in a substantial games workshop, establishing core gameplay and game mechanics, working towards your first indie release. You’ll also focus on core software development topics including programming, data structures and algorithms, security, databases, interaction design and web development, to build a highly transferable skills base.
    Core modules
    • BPIE111 Stage 1 Computing Placement Preparation

      This module is aimed at students who may be undertaking an industrial placement in the third year of their programme. It is designed to assist students in their search for a placement and in their preparation for the placement itself.

    • ISAD157 Analysis and Design Project

      This module provides an opportunity to apply fundamental analysis and design concepts in the context of a computing project. Skills are developed in creating a common understanding of the needs, priorities and constraints relevant to a software system. Requirements and data are modelled, described and empirically evaluated through implementation.

    • NET112 Computer Systems & Networks

      This module is intended to provide a basic understanding of the operation of the hardware components of computer systems including some assembler level programming and the core underpinning knowledge of networking. The role of a typical multi-tasking operating system is also covered.

    • SEC104 Cybersecurity and Networks

      Modern computing relies on networking and robust cybersecurity. This module is an introduction to Computer Networking and IT Security principles. Key networking concepts include routing and switching at all network levels and geographical scope, as well as wireless networks. Key areas of security include the underlying concepts and threats, as well as specific issues in security design of host systems and networks

    • SOFT152 Software Engineering

      Provides an intensive introduction to Software Engineering for those studying Computer Science or related courses where programming is a core and necessary component. The module includes coverage of problem solving involving abstraction and problem decomposition. At the outset implementation uses an imperative / structured programming approach, before moving onto Object Oriented and Event-driven methodologies.

    • SOFT153 Algorithms, Data Structures and Mathematics

      Data structures and algorithms lie at the heart of Computer Science as they are the basis for the efficient solution of programming tasks. In this module, students will study core algorithms and data structures, as well as being given an introduction to algorithm analysis and basic Mathematics for Computer Science.

    • SOFT166 Programme Introduction and Development Workshops

      This module provides an introduction for students to the concepts, modes of study and technical content relevant to their programme of study. It also provides a grounding in the basics of iterative development, version control, testing and documentation. Workshop sessions cover the essentials towards prototype release in either Games or Web development fundamentals

  • Year 2
  • In year two, you’ll develop and apply these skills in a dedicated interactive systems workshop supported by our industry speaker programme. You’ll learn about novel interface prototyping, game engine technologies, web and mobile development, 3D modelling and animation techniques. You’ll also develop skills in core games programming and AI. You’ll have the option to enhance your knowledge with additional modules in web development, software engineering and computer networks.
    Core modules
    • AINT253 Design Process

      A production based workshop exploring design principles for Game Developers. Creative process, production methods for art assets including Interface design, 3D modelling and Sound. Integration and optimisation of assets for game development for a variety of formats and platforms. The lecture series introduces practical techniques, case studies and related cultural influences to inform project work.

    • AINT254 Interactive Systems Workshop

      This module provides a series of workshops in interactive systems for game developers with a core lecture series resulting in a substantial individual student project. The workshop series will also introduce students to tools and methods used in industry, developing Professional practice. Personal enterprise and ethical issues are also covered.

    • AINT255 Artificial Intelligence for Game Development

      An overview of current issues and techniques in Artificial Intelligence (AI), focusing on their use in software game development. Students will gain an understanding of theoretical and applied game AI, as well as an appreciation of current research and practical experience in developing AI Game techniques using a contemporary high level programming language and appropriate game and / or physics engines.

    • BPIE211 Stage 2 Computing Placement Preparation

      This module is aimed at students who may be undertaking an industrial placement in the third year of their programme. It is designed build on the Level 1 module (BPIE111) and to assist students in their search for a placement and in their preparation for the placement itself.

    • PRCO204 Integrating Project

      This module consolidates and integrates knowledge gained in earlier stages of the computing BSc (Hons) degrees. Students work in teams to manage and complete a substantial project for a given scenario. The project integrates the various aspects of software development encountered on the course (project management, analysis, design, construction, security and/or networking).

    • SOFT252 Object-oriented Software Engineering with Design Patterns

      This module aims to develop object-oriented software engineering principles and practices in including encapsulation, abstraction, aggregation and inheritance. It will introduce issues such as progression from analysis to design, implementation, testing and documentation and it includes the use of design patterns (proven solutions to common problems) and software quality principles for enhanced software development.

    • SOFT262 Mobile Application Development

      This module looks at the differences between coding for a desktop computer and for a mobile device, and the creation of apps that operate in a multi-tiered and/or distributed environment. Students will create apps that are focused, robust, safe and that conform to the user interface conventions appropriate to the platform.

  • Optional placement year
  • You have the opportunity in year three to enhance your technical know how, personal and professional skills, business understanding and future employability with an optional paid year or short internship in a games related sector. We have a growing network of companies who visit the course to snap up raw talent in return for presentations, guest lectures or master classes. Our placement office will also help you make the most of this experience.
    Core modules
    • BPIE330 Computing Related Placement (Generic)

      A 48-week period of professional training spent as the third year of a sandwich course, undertaking an approved placement with a suitable company. This provides an opportunity for you to gain relevant industrial experience to consolidate the first two years of study and to prepare for the final year and employment after graduation. Please note this placement is optional but strongly recommended.

  • Final year
  • In the final year, you will experience working as a development team, establishing working processes and creating your own solutions as you work towards a release or creating a start up company. We have a track record in supporting student enterprise, generating start-ups and mentoring graduate developers. You'll also develop a substantial individual software development project, your own game, development tools, a live client project or a training or visualisation application using games technology . You’ll have the opportunity to showcase this work at national and international events. After graduating, you can carve your niche in this fast evolving sector and join our national and international alumni.
    Core modules
    • AINT354 Design for Entertainment Systems

      The module follows a small developer model facilitating company formation around an Entertainment prototype, from initial concept to product launch. Work as part of an interdisciplinary team, develop a commercial pitch and understand your position in the value chain. Make a games product, smart toy or robot system to generate a start-up company. Use online management and version control following an agile methodology.

    • AINT355 Industry Engagement

      The module provides a contextual framework for developers seeking to release games, APPs, software products or compete in national events. Topics include creating and protecting intellectual property, product placement, revenue models and licensing, investment, social enterprise, and due diligence. The module includes industry case studies, a guest speaker program and opportunities for individual mentoring.

    • PRCO304 Computing Project

      The Computing Project gives an opportunity to tackle a major computing related problem in an approved topic area relevant to the programme of study.

    • SOFT356 Programming for Entertainment Systems

      This module introduces the concepts and programming techniques for high performance real-time graphics using a graphical API such as DirectX or OpenGL. The module has a very bottom-up view of graphical programming; it is not about the use of game engines and high-level prototyping tools. Students also learn many highly transferrable software engineering skills, e.g. programming in an un-managed environment.

    Optional modules
    • AINT351 Machine Learning

      This module introduces machine learning, covering unsupervised, supervised and reinforcement learning from Bayesian, Information Theoretic and decision making perspectives. This includes theory behind a range of learning techniques and how to apply these to build representations of data in systems that make decisions and predictions.

    • SOFT354 Parallel Computation and Distributed Systems

      The module aims to develop skills in understanding and programming parallel and distributed computer system. It will provide an introduction to different parallel architectures, programming techniques and methodologies. Practical training will focus on HPC cluster and GPGPU architectures and programming techniques.

    • SOFT355 Distributed Application Development

      This module explores the production of dynamic web applications with a particular focus on the web environment. Key elements such as object oriented and event-based scripting, asynchronous client-server communication and distributed content representation are explored though practical production. The production of a working prototype uses dynamic web frameworks such as HTML, CSS and JavaScript/JQuery.

Every undergraduate taught course has a detailed programme specification document describing the course aims, the course structure, the teaching and learning methods, the learning outcomes and the rules of assessment.

The following programme specification represents the latest course structure and may be subject to change:

BSc Computing and Games Development programme specification 4230

The modules shown for this course are those currently being studied by our students, or are proposed new modules. Please note that programme structures and individual modules are subject to amendment from time to time as part of the University’s curriculum enrichment programme and in line with changes in the University’s policies and requirements.

Entry requirements

UCAS tariff

112 - 120

Applicants exceeding our entry requirements may be eligible for an offer under our Computing Excellence Scheme.

GCSE: English C/4 and mathematics grade B/5. If you have a grade C/4 in mathematics please contact the admissions team.

A levels:
A typical offer is 112-120 points from a minimum of 2 A levels in any subject. Excluding General Studies.

International Baccalaureate: 27-30 overall .

18 Unit BTEC National Diploma/QCF Extended Diploma: DMM- DDM – related subjects: IT, Humanities, Engineering, Software Development, IT Practitioners, Business, Computing, Science (GCSE English C/4 and mathematics grade B/5. If you have a grade C/4 in mathematics please contact admissions team).  

BTEC National Diploma modules
If you hold a BTEC qualification it is vital that you provide our Admissions team with details of the exact modules you have studied as part of the BTEC. Without this information we may be unable to process your application quickly and you could experience significant delays in the progress of your application to study with us. Please explicitly state the full list of modules within your qualification at the time of application.

All Access courses: 33 credits at merit and/or distinction and to include at least 12 level 3 credits in mathematics with merit. Including a minimum of GCSE English and Mathematics grade C/4. If mathematics not included please contact the admissions team at admissions@plymouth.ac.uk.

Other qualifications will be considered individually; please contact us for information.

For a full list of all acceptable qualifications please refer to our tariff glossary.

English language requirements

Note:
 we will accept students onto Year 2 or Year 4.  Please contact us for further information.


*Acceptable subjects:  IT, humanities, engineering, software development, IT practitioners, business, computing, science.

Fees, costs and funding

EU applicants should refer to our dedicated Brexit webpage for details of the implications of the UK’s plans to leave the European Union.

New Student 2019 2020
Home/EU £9,250 To be confirmed
International £13,400 To be confirmed
Part time (Home/EU) To be confirmed To be confirmed
Full time fees shown are per annum. Part time fees shown are per a number of credits. Please note that fees are reviewed on an annual basis. Fees and the conditions that apply to them shown in the prospectus are correct at the time of going to print. Fees shown on the web are the most up to date but are still subject to change in exceptional circumstances.

Undergraduate scholarships for international students

To reward outstanding achievement the University of Plymouth offers scholarship schemes to help towards funding your studies.

Find out whether you are eligible and how you can apply

Additional costs

This course is delivered by the Faculty of Science and Engineering and more details of any additional costs associated with the faculty's courses are listed on the following page: Additional fieldwork and equipment costs.

The Plymouth Computing Scholarship

Up to £1,000.

Students can obtain a computing scholarship of up to £500 by gaining two A grades at A level. This is awarded to home/EU applicants who put us as their firm choice before the 1 August 2020. The computing scholarship can also be obtained by students who have put us as their first choice and have acquired three D* at BTEC level (this needs to be an IT and Computing related BTEC). The scholarship is paid during the first semester of the first year.   

How to apply

All applications for undergraduate courses are made through UCAS (Universities and Colleges Admissions Service). 

UCAS will ask for the information contained in the box at the top of this course page including the UCAS course code and the institution code. 

To apply for this course and for more information about submitting an application including application deadline dates, please visit the UCAS website.

Support is also available to overseas students applying to the University from our International Office via our how to apply webpage or email international-admissions@plymouth.ac.uk.

Meet the course team

Our culture

Our culture is a crucial cornerstone to the programme here at Plymouth. A degree course is more than a piece of paper and a set of skills, it is an experience and a journey that we want you to be a part of.

The studio

We deliver the expertise and skills graduates need in a rapidly evolving industry through our dedicated in-house development studio which conducts research into interactive systems including virtual and augmented reality, indie, casual and serious games. This research feeds directly into our core modules delivered by the studio team.


The society

The Games Development Society is run by students for students. Here members get a chance to share new techniques and strategies for developing games whilst also having the opportunity to test out their ideas and prototypes with like minded people. The studio and local developers contribute talks and demonstrations helping society members get the most out of their endeavours.


Labs

For all this to function smoothly we have dedicated infrastructure for the development of both cross platform, mobile and 3D virtual reality applications in our specialist lab. We provide the latest programming and creative tools, 3D engines and mobile platforms to give everyone involved in the course the opportunity to develop core skills that are needed in a rapidly evolving industry.

<p>Computing and games development<br></p>
<p>Computing and games development<br></p>
<p>Computing and games development<br></p>

Games Development Society

A society for students run by students. This is a place where you can come and pitch your ideas, bounce them off like minded individuals, get feedback, play and discuss games, applications and techniques as well as chill out and unwind.

The society organises talks and demonstrations by local industry veterans and the Interactive Systems Studio team.

Topics range from 3D modelling to paper prototyping, version control to GPU shaders, pre-production conceptualisation to post-release marketing. There is something for everyone and gives members a chance to dabble with other parts of the creative process that they may not have had to opportunity to do before.

The society works alongside the Interactive Systems Studio to organise regular game jam events and hackathons (for example: Global Game Jam, Ludum Dare).

Specialist labs

To undertake a highly technical and demanding course we need to make sure you have the right infrastructure to support you in creating amazing projects.

The computing and games development course has dedicated cross platform development labs boasting high end Apple iMac computers that are running both Windows 10 and Mac OS X.

We have a wide range of industry standard software and game engines installed as well as production software typically used by indie developers. This mix of high end and low end software allows our students to develop to the limits of their ideas and not the technologies.

On top of that we have access to a dedicated Nvidia 3D development suite comprising of multi-GPU PCs with a similar range of programming and games design software installed.

Our students use industry standard version control and online project management tools maximising their employability and motivating best practices.

Interactive Systems Studio

The BSc (Hons) Computing & Games Development course is backed up by an in-house research and development team who contribute their expertise and knowledge to the modules taught across all stages of the course.

Studio expertise ranges from 2D and 3D art through to games design, 3D engine programming, workflows and production processes. When the team is not in the lab teaching they work on research projects in augmented and virtual reality, demonstrating a core principle – we practice what we preach.


Visit the Interactive Systems Studio website

Team projects

Rapid prototypes developed by teams of two to four students in the first semester of the final year; from mobile games to room scale virtual reality, typically released as pre-alpha on itch.io, Viveport or Steam.

The perfect platform to prepare for VR and serious games industry

Arron Burch has turned his BSc (Hons) Computing & Games Development placement into a graduate job.

“When I first joined the University I had no prior programming experience at all and didn’t know anything about the process behind building games or software. I am now confident enough to build my own applications and games and work for companies in the industry.”

Find out more about Arron's story

All set for a high score in the games industry

Jack Griffiths' has combined his passions – design and programming – on his BSc (Hons) Computing & Games Development degree.

“The course gives you every opportunity to show your skills. If you’re good at design, you can show that off. If you’re good at programming, you can show that off. As I am a mix of both the programming and the design sides, this is perfect for me.”

Find out more about Jack's story

Where our students work...

  • @ Games studios
  • @ Creative industry
  • @ Software industry
  • @ Augmented and virtual reality
  • @ Corporate industry
  • @ Graduate startups
  • @ Independent studios
  • @ Education and research

Corporate industry

Graduate startups

Independent studios

Education and research

“I am simply astounded by the exceptional work around gamification at the University of Plymouth. Their technical expertise is beyond compare to what I have seen at other institutions and the team have taken this in a unique direction. The University have created a commercially focused spin-off agent with the Interactive Systems Studio team threaded with an exemplary focus on student integration and employment.”
Cailean Hargrave – Head of Media at UCAS Media and Senior Leader at UCAS. Former head of IBM UK Education Lead

Award-winning students

<p>2017 Formation Zone Business Challenge winners</p>
<p>International STEM Students Forum 2017<br></p>
<p>2017 BETA programme</p>

Recent award success

Formation Zone announced the winners of the 2016/17 Business Challenge

As well as the overall prize, we had winners in three categories – Creative, Digital and Technology, and Health – with each winner taking home prizes from Formation Zone and our sponsors Santander Universities.

Winners 2017:

  • Nicholas Wade Winner, 'Creative Category' for start up Nikomus Games.

Find out more about the awards


International STEM Students Forum 2017

Hosted by the Vocational Training Council (VTC) of Hong Kong, the International STEM Students' Forum serves as a platform for STEM students and teachers in Higher education in various countries.

Winners 2017:

  • Elliot Blackburn 'Outstanding Individual Project' (Easy Front End services for Web Developers: Scaffold
  • Dan Livings, Matthew James, Jamie Cox 'Outstanding Team Project' (Megaton: Total Destruction)

BETA Enterprise programme awards funding to student start-up

The BETA enterprise programme encourages budding business innovators to develop ideas in partnership with academics and alumni.

Winners 2017:

  • Corrie Barton, Jake Holland, Sam Perriton Branch BETA Challenge Award (start up Feisty Crab Studios)
  • Dan Livings, Jamie Cox, Matthew James BETA Challenge Award (start up Total Distraction)

Find out more about the awards

*The BCS accreditation renewal process took place during 2017/18 academic year and the outcome will be confirmed during 2018.