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Undergraduate Course

Games Development BSc (Hons)

Our Games Development Course will give you the skills necessary to join the multibillion pound games industry.

students working in the SU with laptops and notebooks

If you think you could create the next big computer game then this is the course for you. Our Games Development course will give you the skills necessary to contribute to game development, from Indie to AAA. We will thoroughly prepare you for employment in the fast paced computer games industry. You will learn the skills and gain the relevant experience needed to succeed in this exciting and evolving industry.

York campus

  • UCAS Code – II62 (2W73 with placement year)
  • Duration – 3 years full time, 4 years full time with placement, 6 years part time
  • Start date – September 2023, September 2024
  • School – School of Science, Technology and Health

Minimum Entry Requirements

    104 UCAS Tariff points

    3 GCSEs at grade C/4 (or equivalent) including English Language and Maths

Tuition Fees

    UK 2023 entry £9,250 per year full time

    International 2023 entry £13,000 per year full time

Discover Computer Science courses at York St John University

Course overview

On this course you will develop a rich understanding of the technical practices involved in the creation of modern video games. You will learn core programming, design and computational skills, including:

  • Game mechanics
  • Programming patterns for games
  • Computational languages acquisition
  • Algorithm design
  • Systems design and analysis
  • Applied mathematics

We will help you to become a skilled and employable graduate with the relevant technical, professional and entrepreneurial skills. We will offer you opportunities throughout the course to apply the skills you learn from our specialist modules to live projects. In your second year you will have the opportunity to work in a professional setting or on an individual entrepreneurial project. You will learn design principles so you can carry projects through from conceptualisation to realisation.

As part of this course you can choose to complete a year long placement in industry. This extends the length of your course to 4 years and is completed between years 2 and 3. It's a brilliant chance to gain work experience and apply your technical skills and knowledge.

Course structure

Year 1

Our academic year is split into 2 semesters. How many modules you take each semester will depend on whether you are studying full time or part time.

In your first year, if you are studying full time, you will take:

  • 3 compulsory modules in semester 1
  • 3 compulsory modules in semester 2.

If you are studying part time, the modules above will be split over 2 years.

You can find out which modules are available in each semester on the Course Specifications.

Modules

Credits: 20

Compulsory module

On this module you will explore the core concepts and models of application development. Through practical exploration and lectures, you will further your problem solving and programming skills. You will develop your abilities in areas such as:

  • Coding
  • Software development and testing tools
  • Problem solving
  • Teamwork
  • Time management

Credits: 20

Compulsory module

On this module you will learn about the mathematical foundations of computer science. You will use mathematics as a tool to model and analyse problems arising in this field.

The purpose of this module is to introduce to you mathematical techniques and skills that are appropriate and used in the industry. You will learn how and when to use these particular techniques.

Credits: 20

Compulsory module

On this module, you will be taught the basics of game development using a game engine. In your teaching sessions, you will cover the history of video games, games vocabulary and critical analysis of games. You will develop skills in areas such as:

  • Game development
  • System analysis
  • Problem solving
  • Design and modelling knowledge
  • Time management

You will learn about the mechanics of computer games and form a conceptual and linguistic framework for discussing games.

Credits: 20

Compulsory module

On this module we will introduce you to Object Orientated Programming (OOP) in the context of software development. You will explore problem solving through programming and algorithm design. You will also learn how to create, and test programmes of increasing complexity in OOP languages. We will guide you through the core principles of Object Orientated Programming including:

  • Encapsulation
  • Inheritance
  • Concurrency
  • Exceptions
  • Debugging
  • Recursion and GUI Development

Credits: 20

Compulsory module

Your transferable and employability skills will develop on this module. You will also gain practical experience in:

  • Linux OS
  • Linux programming
  • Systems thinking
  • Time management
  • Problem solving

You will be exposed to the internal operations of computing hardware and the techniques involved in managing and organising the components of the operating system. Your knowledge of operating systems and your ability to use them will be strengthened on this module.

Credits: 20

Compulsory module

You will learn the fundamental techniques of software engineering used in games development. This will cover assessing the basic issues in games design and development including games frameworks, the game development cycle and play testing. You will gain both practical and conceptual skills required for the computer game development industry.

Year 2

In your second year, if you are studying full time, you will take:

  • 3 compulsory modules in semester 1
  • 3 compulsory modules in semester 2.

If you are studying part time, the modules above will be split over 2 years.

You can find out which modules are available in each semester on the Course Specifications.

If you are studying on the Games Development BSc (Hons) (with placement) variant you will undertake a Year in Industry (also known as a sandwich year or placement year), in between your second and third year.

Modules

Credits: 20

Compulsory module

Gain a greater understanding of high-level programming language and the use of scripts and scripting language. You will be exposed to philosophy of Trustworthy Software development. This will cover the process of designing, developing, implementing, and maintaining a software in a trustworthy manner. You will gain both practical and conceptual skills required for systems software development.

Credits: 20

Compulsory module

On this module you will explore the principles of databases. You will also gain practical experience of designing, implementing and managing database systems interfaced to web application systems. We will investigate current and likely future developments in database technology.

Credits: 20

Compulsory module

Develop your understanding of developing video game using game engine to create your own game. You will learn how to use assets such as animated sprites, backgrounds, sound effects and music.

Credits: 20

Compulsory module

On this module you will learn about advanced programming ideas and methods, such as software development and engineering. You will apply this knowledge in Standards of Learning (SOL) sessions, where you will developing intermediate and advanced software. Areas covered may include:

  • Java Programming Language
  • Java Object Model
  • Event Driven Programming
  • Java Multi-Threading
  • Distributed Programming with Java-RMI
  • Software Development Tools – IDE, Junit

Credits: 20

Compulsory module

Our growing focus on work related learning reflects a clear understanding of the relationship between technical knowledge and the need for computing and employability skills. On this module you will take part in collaborative entrepreneurial projects that get you ready for the workplace. You will work with businesses to develop computer based solutions to their business problems. You will gain the core professional skills required for interacting with employers and wider industry.

Credits: 20

Compulsory module

On this module, you will have opportunities to develop skills such as:

  • Game design
  • Teamwork
  • Time management
  • Design and modelling knowledge

You will gain practical experience working on a group project to develop a game with other students. This will involve elements of to designing, developing, testing and delivering a game.

Year 3

In your third year, if you are studying full time, you will take:

  • 1 compulsory major project across semesters 1 and 2
  • 2 compulsory modules in semester 1
  • 2 optional modules in semester 2.

If you are studying part time, the modules above will be split over 2 years.

Optional modules will run if they receive enough interest. It is not guaranteed that all modules will run every year.

You can find out which modules are available in each semester on the Course Specifications.

Modules

Credits: 40

Compulsory module

On this module you will apply your knowledge and practical skills to complete a major project. This will involve producing a software product from the initial idea, through to successful evaluation and a substantial report to demonstrate your research. Your project might focus on the development of a game or research into emerging technologies. This module also gives you the chance to collaborate with students from other Computer Science courses.

Credits: 20

Compulsory module

Games engines are developed and deployed to make the development cycle of computer games quicker and more economical. Developing video games by using games libraries to write code is a key aspect on this module. You will examine the animation, physics simulation and collision detection functionality as you consider the aspects of game programming.

Credits: 20

Compulsory module

On this module, you will focus on the fundamentals of 3D graphics. Explore the mathematics of 3D geometry and transformations and the cover the representation of 3D objects, shading and lighting. You will learn techniques in designing and coding 3D graphics.

Credits: 20

Optional module

On this module you will learn to use artificial intelligence concepts and techniques for game environments and game development. We will explore theories and issues in artificial intelligence and computing science. You will investigate practical techniques for designing and implementing intelligent systems using a variety of high level languages. Topics we will cover include:

  • Search and optimisation, knowledge representation, reasoning systems
  • Machine learning, evolutionary systems, artificial neural networks
  • Collective systems
  • Game theory, design and development
  • Rule design, game balancing
  • Scripting methods and AI evaluation

Credits: 20

Optional module

Develop your understanding of the methods used to generate content in games. You will learn about:

  • Procedural techniques
  • The use of Perlin noise
  • Fractals
  • Growth systems
  • Emergent systems and cellular automata

Credits: 20

Optional module

Agile methodologies are increasingly used in the games development industry. On this module you will gain an understanding of agile development principles, techniques and methods.

You will have opportunities to develop skills such as:

  • Games development
  • Agile methodologies
  • Academic writing
  • Time management

Credits: 20

Optional module

On this module you will explore the core concepts, principles and techniques of game creation for iOS devices. We will guide you through the key principles of programming in specific Apple languages. Starting with an introduction to the Apple programming environment, you will dive into the various specifics of Apple games related frameworks and languages. This will give you will a comprehensive introduction to games programming for iOS enabled devices.

Credits: 20

Optional module

Explore the use of immersive technologies such as virtual reality, augmented reality and 360 degree cameras to examine and evaluate new and innovated computer interaction technologies. Practical experience of working with Virtual Reality (VR) headsets is a key elements of this module as you see how virtual environments are developed.

Teaching and assessment

Teaching and learning

We will deliver your modules through:

  • Combined lecture and practical sessions
  • Seminars and workshops
  • Laboratory sessions
  • Supported Open Learning (SOL)
  • Guest talks and trips

Classes are small, typically limited to 30 students. Each module usually has 4 hours of contact time a week, during which material is presented, discussed and worked on in the labs. We have a dedicated classroom for each year of the degree programme, used only by our students. We schedule our taught sessions between 9.00am and 8.00pm, Monday to Friday.

You will need to conduct independent study outside of this time. This might include reading, research and coursework preparation. You can also arrange academic tutorials to receive feedback on your work and discuss the course content.

Our teaching draws on both our research and professional experience. This means your learning is informed by the most current thinking in the subject area. You can find out more about our research and backgrounds by visiting our staff pages.

Assessment

Live projects and work experience are central to our ethos. Assessment types vary from module to module. Some of your assessments might include:

  • Written portfolios
  • Exams
  • Practical work
  • Research reports

Placements

In your second year you will participate in a work placement module. You will work for an established company or work on an entrepreneurial project. If you are taking the year in industry route you will be on placement for a whole year between your second and third year. We will support you with finding a placement which meets your career aspirations. We will help to prepare you for this year by working with you on CV and cover letter writing, as well as interview skills.

Career outcomes

Your future with a degree in Games Development

The technical knowledge and skills you develop on this course can lead to a wide range of career options. You will develop skills in problem solving, collaboration, communication, presentation, programming and more.

This degree could be the first step toward your career as a:

  • Applications developer
  • Cyber security analyst
  • Games developer
  • Multimedia programmer
  • Network engineer
  • Software tester

Discover more career options on Prospects careers advice pages.

You could also progress onto a postgraduate degree and take your learning even further.

Postgraduate courses

Whatever your ambitions, we can help you get there.

Our careers service, LaunchPad provides career support tailored to your ambitions. Through this service you can access:

  • Employer events
  • LinkedIn, CV and cover letter sessions
  • Workshops on application writing and interview skills
  • Work experience and volunteering opportunities
  • Personalised career advice

This support doesn't end when you graduate. You can access our expert career advice for the rest of your life. We will help you gain experience and confidence to succeed. It's your career, your way.

Entry requirements

Qualifications

Minimum Entry Requirements

    104 UCAS Tariff points

    3 GCSEs at grade C/4 (or equivalent) including English Language and Maths

Calculate your UCAS Tariff points

International Students

If you are an international student you will need to show that your qualifications match our entry requirements.

Information about international qualifications and entry requirements can be found on our International pages.

If English is not your first language you will need to show that you have English Language competence at IELTS level 6.0 (with no skill below 5.5) or equivalent.

International entry requirements

Mature Learners Entry Scheme

If you have been out of education for 3 years or more and have a grade C GCSE in English Language or equivalent, you are eligible for our entry scheme for mature learners. It's a scheme that recognises non-traditional entry qualifications and experience for entry onto this course. Information on how to apply can be found on our dedicated page.

Mature entry offer scheme

Terms and conditions

Our terms and conditions, policies and procedures contain important information about studying at York St John University. You can read them on our Admissions page.

Fees and Funding

To study for an undergraduate degree with us, you will need to pay tuition fees for your course. How much you pay depends on whether you live inside the UK, or internationally (outside the UK). Tuition fees may be subject to inflation in future years.

UK 2023 entry

The tuition fee for 2023 entry onto this course is:

  • £9,250 per year for full time study
  • £6,935 per year for the first 4 years if you study part time

These prices apply to all UK, Jersey, Guernsey and Isle of Man students

You can find out more about funding your degree by visiting our funding opportunities page:

Funding Opportunities

Placement year funding

If you choose to take a placement year, and your course offers it, you can apply for the Tuition Fee and Maintenance Loan for your placement year. How much you are awarded is based on the type of placement being undertaken and whether it is a paid or unpaid placement. The tuition fee for your placement year will be reduced.

Tuition Fees

    UK 2023 entry £9,250 per year full time

    International 2023 entry £13,000 per year full time

International 2023 entry

The tuition fee for 2023 entry to this course is £13,000 per year for full time study.

This price applies to all students living outside the UK.

Due to immigration laws, if you are an international student on a Student Visa, you must study full time. For more information about visa requirements and short-term study visas, please visit the International Visa and Immigration pages.

Find out more about funding your degree:

International Fees and Funding

Additional costs and financial support

There may also be some additional costs to take into account throughout your studies, including the cost of accommodation.

Course-related costs

While studying for your degree, there may be additional costs related to your course. This may include purchasing personal equipment and stationery, books and optional field trips.

Study Abroad

For more information on tuition fee reductions and additional costs for studying abroad, please visit our study abroad pages.

Accommodation and living costs

For detailed information on accommodation and living costs, visit our Accommodation pages.

Financial help and support

Our Funding Advice team are here to help you with your finances throughout your degree. They offer a personal service that can help you with funding your studies and budgeting for living expenses. 

For advice on everything from applying for scholarships to finding additional financial support email fundingadvice@yorksj.ac.uk.

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