Games Development BSc (Hons)

The Computer Games Industry is as fast paced as the games themselves. This course will give you the skills necessary to contribute to game development from Indie to AAA.

Games Development is part of our suite of computing programmes at York St John University. On this programme you will learn core programming, design and computational systems which can be applied to a range of industries and situations including Games and Gaming. As a Games Development student at York St John you will explore computing in a creative and stimulating environment where personal innovation and technical expertise are valued and developed in all our students. 


UCAS course code
York St John University
Course fees
2019 - 2020: Home & EU students: £9,250 per annum, International (non EU) students: £12,750 per annum
3 years full-time | 4 years full-time with a one-year placement | 6 years part-time
Start date
September 2019
Art, Design & Computer Science

Course Overview 

The Games Development programme at York St John University will give you the core skills you need to build modern video games. It thoroughly prepares you for a career in the game industry either as a member of a larger team or as an independent creator.

In the first year of the course, you will develop a sophisticated understanding of the technical practices that underpin the creation of video games, which is strengthened further through advanced technical modules in year two. In the third year of the course you can elect to specialise in an aspect of game development that interests you most – for instance, artificial intelligence in games, and Serious Games.

Throughout the BSc in Game Development you will receive a significant amount of hands-on training in the programming and mathematical techniques that are central to successful game development. Over the course of three years, you will build a variety of games under the mentorship of a small team of video game experts. This will provide you with the excellent practical development skills that are necessary to make cutting-edge games.


92% of Graduates from our Computer Science courses are in employment or further study.

DLHE 2017

Course structure


Level 1

Level 1 gives you the fundamental core knowledge required for your development as a games programmer, providing you with a broad range of opportunities to develop core subject knowledge in the areas of programming, mathematics, software engineering, gaming and the critical discourses surrounding developments in the field of computing. You will become familiar with common computational and game programming terminology and well versed in discipline specific technical practices, methodologies and theories. Teaching at this level comprises of a range of immersive learning experiences such as lecturers, seminars, workshops, teaching laboratories, Supported Open Learning (SOL), guest talks and trips.  

Modules include: 

  • Programming 1: This module will provide you with the space to learn, explore and absorb the core concepts, principles and techniques of programming in the context of software development. The underpinning rationale is programming and algorithm design as problem solving endeavours.  
  • Mathematics and Problem Solving: Abstraction is fundamental to Computer Science. Hence, a fundamental emphasis of this module is to introduce mathematical techniques and skills to enable you to design and manipulate abstract models of elements from the real-world. These techniques and skills include appropriate mathematical notations and concepts. 
  • Computer Games Fundamentals: This module provides you with a broader understanding of the design, structure and mechanics of computer games. It covers basic issues in games development including concept development, game world design, play styles, character development, immersion and narrative structures. 
  • Programming 2: This module will introduce you to Object Orientated Programming in the context of software development. Ideas of problem solving through programming and algorithm design are further developed, building on semester one modules. You will learn how to edit, compile, run and test programmes of increasing complexity in procedural and object orientated languages.
  • Software Engineering: You will develop a basic understanding of the fundamental techniques of software engineering by focusing on the design and realisation of a web based artefact. The module will emphasise the acquisition of an appropriate balance of software engineering knowledge and the skills necessary to design a web based artefact.
  • Technology in Context: This module is to introduce core skills required of a computing professional as well as fundamental discursive skills for considering and evaluating the wider philosophical implications of current and emerging computing practices, The module will comprise of information gathering, analysis, discursive debate and presentation. It will introduce you to the relevant professional aspects of computing practice and their wider social ramifications.  This includes the role of professional bodies, plus the legal, ethical and social aspects of computing.

Level 2

Level 2 will enable you to further develop your subject knowledge through modules in Databases and Networking, Design Patterns for Games and Mobile Application Development. You will undertake a professional project allowing you to apply your skills in a ‘live’ setting, working for an established company or undertaking a self-initiated, possibly collaborative, entrepreneurial project. This opportunity will enable you to apply and test the knowledge you’ve acquired so far through your degree, affirming your learning through real world experience. In this module you will have the opportunity to work collaboratively with students from the Games Design programme. At level 2 you will also undertake the Philosophies of Technology module which will enhance your knowledge of current relevant subject discourses and qualitative and quantitative research methods, preparing you for your major project at level 3. Teaching at this level incorporates all the previous modes at level 1, but with an emphasis on more self-directed and group project based work.

Modules include:

  • Programming 3: This module develops your programming skills by exposing you to intermediate and advanced programming concepts and methods. Combining formal methods from software engineering with practical software development tasks, students will enhance, evolve, test and consolidate their programming skills, through a series of lecture and practice based labs.
  • Databases and Networks: The aim of this module is to introduce and explore the essential principles and concepts of databases and networks. You will gain practical experience of designing, implementing and managing database systems, as well as the technical detail that underpins the operation of networked and internetworked systems.  
  • Design Patterns for Games: This module introduces you to reusable approaches to the design for game software. It will consider architectures, sequencing patterns, behavioural patterns, optimization patterns and decoupling patterns.
  • Mobile Application Development: This module aims to give you a comprehensive understanding of the technologies used for developing applications for mobile computing devices. It will explore the characteristics of mobile devices and how they affect software engineering decisions; preparing you to work in the area of mobile and ubiquitous software development. 
  • Professional Project: The growing focus on work-related learning reflects a clear understanding and appreciation of the relationship between technical knowledge of an area and the need for computing and employability skills. This module provides you with an opportunity to experience work related learning through a range of self-initiated options including self-initiated or collaborative entrepreneurial projects, or working with businesses to develop computer based solutions to real world problems.
  • Philosophies of Technology:  This module exposes you to key philosophical discourses significant to their field of study eg ethics, ontology, aesthetics, sustainability, ecology of technical systems, post-humanism and virtuality. Through exposure to these discourses you will be encouraged to reflect upon and evaluate the wider ramifications of computer science within a social and political context.

Level 3

Level 3 includes advanced modules in your field, allowing you to specialise and accent your learning via a choice of optional modules, for example: Artificial Intelligence for Games, iOS Games Development, Game Engine Development and Serious Games. The specific optional modules offered each year will vary based on student numbers and available resource thus not all listed modules may be available each year. Accompanying this you will undertake a major year-long independent research project of your own design, agreed by and supported by an academic supervisor. This project may be in any existing or emerging field of games research. There will also be opportunity in this module to collaborate with students from the BA Hons Games Design programme. You are encouraged to consolidate technical learning and professional research interests through this major project. Teaching and learning at level 3 again incorporate the modes of delivery and activity encountered at levels 1 and 2, however the emphasis at level 3 is on independent self-directed work that responds to learning within and across modules. 

Compulsory modules include:

  • Major Project: The aim of this module is to give you the opportunity to bring together the theoretical understanding and the practical skills you will have acquired from other modules. The projects typically involve producing a software product from conceptualisation through to successful evaluation and the production of a well crafted, substantial report to demonstrate the output of the research.  
  • Human Computer Interaction: This module is concerned with designing, evaluating and deploying usable, effective and interactive technologies. The aim of this module is to allow you to focus on key areas, approaches and developments in the field of the user experience.  
  • Internet of Things: The Internet of Things is a term used to describe an internet comprised of networked objects. The term incorporates but is not limited to concepts of ubiquitous computing; ambient intelligence; Machine to Machine communication (M2M). What unites these discourses is the question of how the deployment of ‘smart’ technology in public and social spaces will affect not only how we relate to each other but also how we understand ourselves as human beings. This module seeks to open up these questions for exploration through a practical project developing Internet of Things technology for deployment in public and/or social contexts. 

Optional modules include: 

  • Game Engine Development:  Games engines are developed and deployed to make the development cycle of computer games faster and more economical. This module aims to introduce you to the core components of game engine development including, but not limited to, graphics rendering, animation, game physics and collision detection.
  • iOS Game Development: This module will provide you with the space to learn, explore and absorb the core concepts, principles and techniques of creating games for apple mobile devices. The module will guide you through the core principles of programming in apple specific languages. Starting with an introduction to the apple programming environment, the module will progress delving into the various specifics of apples games related frameworks and languages.  
  • Artifical Intelligence for Games: The aim of this module is to understand and utilise artificial intelligence concepts and techniques for game environments and game development. The module will cover the basic theoretical issues in artificial intelligence and computing science, and to practical techniques for designing and implementing intelligent systems using a variety of high-level languages.
  •  Serious Games: This module investigates Serious Game Design and Development. It will look at the game design process considering game mechanics, game play as well as associated concepts such as gamification and how this relates to game design. It will also consider pedagogy and learning theory and how pedagogy and game elements need to be combined to enable the design of serious games.

Programme specification

Further information on this course is available in the programme specification. Please note that the programme specification relates to course content that is currently being studied by students at the University. For new programmes, the programme specification will be made available online prior to the start of the course.

Disability Advice

York St John University works hard to create an inclusive environment for all our students. We offer a range of disability advice services to assist students throughout their studies.

Teaching & Assessment

We believe in personal teaching with small classes and lots of contact time between our lecturers and students.


All modules are taught in small classes in the form of combined lecture and practical sessions. Classes are small, typically limited to thirty students. Each module is given in a four hour block, once 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. 

Contact hours

Each module has four hours of contact time, between lecturer and student, per week. Tutorial sessions may also be booked with lecturers. 

Self-study time

It is expected that students will spend about the same amount of time in self-study as they do in classes, which is about four hours per week per module. To aid this we run supported open learning sessons. These day-long sessions are year specific and students are able to come along and work in the labs, supported by a member of staff. 


The department is staffed by highly qualified staff. All our lecturers have PhDs and bring a wealth of knowledge and experience to the department and their teaching. 


All of our degree programes can be taken witha year-long placement between second and third year. The University has a wealth of experience and resources to help find a good placement for you. Additionally, all students will undertake a two-week placement as part of the Professional Project module in year two.  


A variety of assessments are used across the modules. We generally use course work-based assessment, either through a portfolio of work or specific coursework assessments. A couple of modules use exams as part of their assessments. Modules in year one generally assess a broad level of general knowledge of topics, with depth and detail being assessed increasingly throughout the second and third years. 

Entry requirements


The minimum entry requirements for this course are:

88 - 104 UCAS Tariff points

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

Calculate your tariff points.

Personal statement

Essential criteria

As well as a strong standard of written English, we also look for the ability to demonstrate knowledge and commitment to the subject. This can be done in a variety of ways, for example, through previous study or wider reading.

Valued criteria

Candidates can demonstrate a real enthusiasm for the subject that goes beyond achieving good grades in exams. Examples of this include further study, career plans and transferrable skills such as time management.

Terms and conditions

Our terms and conditions, policies and procedures contain important information about studying at York St John University. These can be accessed through our Admissions webpages.

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Discover life as a York St John student by visiting us. You’ll be able to explore our beautiful city-centre campus, meet our friendly staff and find out more about your chosen course.

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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 will depend on whether you're a UK & EU student or an international (non-EU) student. Tuition fees are charged for each year of your course.

Find out more about funding for Foundation Year and/or Placement Year by visiting the Funding Advice pages of our website.

York St John offer special reductions to students graduating from York St John University Undergraduate degrees in 2019 and continuing directly onto Postgraduate study. Find out more about discounts and scholarships.

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


Tuition fees

UK & EU 2019 / 20

The York St John University tuition fee for the 2019 entry to Foundation Degree, BA and BSc, PGCE Primary and Secondary and UG Health Programme degrees is £9,250 per year for UK/EU, Jersey, Guernsey and Isle of Man students.

Tuition fees may be subject to inflation in future years.

Fees & Funding

Overseas 2019 / 20

The York St John University tuition fee for the 2019 entry to Foundation Degree, BA and BSc, PGCE degrees is £12,750 per year for international students.

Tuition fees may be subject to inflation in future years.

International Fees & Funding

Additional costs and financial support

Course-related costs

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

Accommodation and living costs

View our  for detailed information on accommodation and living costs.

Financial help and support

Help and advice on funding your studies at York St John is available through our .

International students

We welcome international students from all over the world at York St John University and have a vibrant international community. You can find out more on our International Pages about how you can study with us and what it’s like to live and learn in York, one of the UK’s most historic cities.

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