The computer games industry requires individuals with a high level of practical skills, technical knowledge and experience, and our BSc Games Technology degree creates graduates who are steering their careers towards being a Technical Artist, a highly sought-after role in the industry.
Founded on the principles of User-Centred Design (UCD) and Human-Computer Interaction (HCI), this course can put you at the forefront of new gaming technology as you learn how to consider the user throughout each stage of the game design and development process.
You’ll learn how to establish, iterate and refine outcomes through investigative methods, including prototyping and usability testing as well as contextual enquiry and ethnographic study.
And, as this course sits alongside the established and highly regarded BA (Hons) Games Arts degree you’ll have plenty of opportunities to collaborate in making game prototypes together and take part in Game Jams with your peers, mirroring idea and team development within the games industry.
Facilities at our Farnham campus are first-class, with the very latest Alienware Aurora towers, 4k dual screens, RTX 2080 graphics cards, exploring game concepts using Unity and Unreal games engines. Later, you’ll be able to test your games on the very latest Dev Kits, including those from Sony PlayStation via Sony PlayStation First Academic Development Programme.
Career routes are plentiful in the computer games industry, which is consistently growing year on year (UKie Annual Review). London and the South East is home to 48% of the UK gaming industry and we have strong links with many of the most successful, including Supermassive Games, EA and Creative Assembly and many other developers.
This year will take you through fundamental games design processes and the technical foundations of 2D and 3D programming, understanding games engines, as well as planning and creating games. You’ll share theoretical units with students on the Games Arts course.
- You’ll be introduced to the key digital art and design skills needed to complement your technical skills, with which you’ll transform your research and develop ideas into functional assets for games. You'll learn how to approach problems creatively using a range of sources for reference and inspiration.
- Specific to this course, you’ll learn the fundamentals of working in Unreal Engine, using Blueprints, the basics of C++ programming and gain a solid grounding in gaming systems and platforms, the system architecture of these platforms and the similarities between them.
- You'll be introduced to fundamental mathematics for computing before moving on to Procedural and object-orientated Programming. You'll also demonstrate your technical understanding through this unit by producing simple games.
- Through the fundamental concepts of gameplay, computer games design, and computer games scripting and C# coding using the Unity games engine, you’ll learn about how games interact with users.
Moving Image Culture: Understanding and Interpretation
- Exploring influential video game examples and relevant theoretical and critical writing, you’ll analyse the cultural and artistic contexts in which the medium has been theorised, produced and played. You will also become familiar with the technological developments and conceptual transformations, before and after the so-called digital shift, establishing a firm understanding of the technical and intellectual changes which have influenced the development of the video game as a medium.
Year two will build upon your planning, design, asset creation and prototyping skills. You’ll start to specialise in a defined area, and continue to undertake shared units with students on the Games Arts course.
As the course progresses, you’ll develop your practical skills further in the programming language C++, alongside contextual studies.
- Through this unit, you will further build on your knowledge of digital systems and programming skills. Specifically, you will be introduced to C++, gaining an understanding of its key concepts and features and demonstrating your understanding in response to briefs. Complementing the explicitly technical focus of this unit you’ll be encouraged to be creative – your work may be entrepreneurial or speculative, you might look beyond gaming for entertainment to areas like ‘Serious/ Applied Games’, ‘Games as Social-Political Comment’ or ‘Games as Art’.
- Contemporary games production practices and workflows are crucial to the success of a game. You’ll learn how to work in small dev teams, iterate and develop to milestones while creating high-quality work. You’ll learn the process of making a game environment and the roles of those involved, specifically exploring mechanics, environment production techniques and workflows. From there, you’ll work in groups to create a prototype – in an iterative fashion as you would in contemporary game production practice.
- You’ll also work in a group to successfully pitch a game concept, and develop a prototype or ‘vertical slice’. Each member of your group will need to specialise in a specific area appropriate to their skills and interests, however, all members should be involved in the production.
Gaming in Contemporary Culture
- You’ll critically examine the position of computer games and gamers within culture and society, exploring gaming's relationship to gender, ethnicity, conflict and capital. You’ll also discuss ludology and its attendant concepts, including immersion, procedural rhetoric and cyber-individualism.
Your third year will introduce you to the economics and management of the industry, as well as copyright, patents and legal concerns, and also give you the opportunity to showcase your own learning with your dissertation, pre-production project and final games’ prototypes.
Final Major Project: Pre-production
- This extended period of study allows you to develop a significant body of work either individually or in a group that demonstrates your skills, interests and your aspiration for your future role within the games industry. You'll begin this unit by developing a project proposal through which you will define the concept, scope, audience, and purpose of your Final Major Project, you will present this through a pitch to your tutors and peers. Alongside this proposal, you will produce a detailed production schedule committing to project milestones.
Final Major Project
- From the work you have undertaken in the previous unit, you’ll produce a fully resolved body of work, either individually or as part of a team. It should demonstrate your creativity, skill, knowledge and understanding of recognised games industry practices and pipelines producing outcomes to a professional standard.
- You'll undertake a substantial period of sustained, individually negotiated research on a subject related to the contextual and/ or theoretical concerns of your discipline or chosen area of practice, towards the provision of structured written argument.
Fees and additional course costs
The course fees per year for 2020 entry are:
- UK and EU students - £9,250
- International students - £16,250 (standard fee)
- International students - £15,600 (full early payment fee)
Additional course costs
In addition to the tuition fees please see the additional course costs for 2020 entry.
These fees are correct for the stated academic year only. Costs may increase each year during a student’s period of continued registration on course in line with inflation (subject to any maximum regulated tuition fee limit). Any adjustment for continuing students will be at or below the RPI-X forecast rate.
This course has studios with high-end PCs with Alienware Aurora towers and the latest RTX 2080 graphics cards, 4k dual screen monitors and Wacom Cintiq graphics tablets, with software including Unity and Unreal games engines. There is also a VR development studio and a dedicated Games Incubator Studio for graduate entrepreneurs looking to set up their own companies or looking to release games to market. In addition, our Farnham campus has sound production and Foley studios, pro tools and a specialist library.
On this course, you'll be exposed to a world of opportunities
Taking advantage of our proximity to the UK’s largest games hubs, our course connects directly with some of the best-known names in the industry, including:
- Supermassive Games
- Creative Assembly
- Two Point Studios
- Hangar 13
- Atom Republic
We also regularly welcome input from active industry practitioners, who can offer expert advice and guidance to students about the realities of working in the computer games market.
The UK games industry is the fifth-largest in the world, with plentiful opportunities, particularly in London and the South East where almost half the market is based. According to the Association for UK Interactive Entertainment, the games industry grew by 26 per cent between 2017 and 2018, and 82 per cent of games companies are looking to expand their workforce.
This course is uniquely focused towards producing graduates who are steering their careers towards being a Technical Artist working between both the artists, designers and programming teams.
You may also like to consider further study at postgraduate level.
UK entry requirements
The standard entry requirements* for this course are:
One of the following:
- 112 new UCAS tariff points
- Pass at Foundation Diploma in Art & Design (Level 3 or 4)
- Distinction, Merit, Merit at BTEC Extended Diploma
- Merit at UAL Extended Diploma
- 112 new UCAS tariff points from an accredited Access to Higher Education Diploma in an appropriate subject
- 27-30 total points in the International Baccalaureate Diploma with at least 15 IB points at Higher Level.
- And normally five GCSE passes at grade A-C and/or grade 4-9, including English language, mathematics (grade B/6) and science or physics (grade B/6).
Other relevant and equivalent Level 3 UK and international qualifications are considered on an individual basis, and we encourage students from diverse educational backgrounds to apply.
*We occasionally make offers which are lower than the standard entry criteria, to students who have faced difficulties that have affected their performance and who were expected to achieve higher results.
International entry requirements
To view the equivalent entry requirements for your country please check our website.
While a portfolio is not required for this course, if you choose to bring supporting material to your interview it should it be on a USB stick and contain work that demonstrates your interest in, and aptitude for, computer games and technology. Be prepared to talk about your interests and why you wish to pursue this course with us.
About the School
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