Bachelor of Games Development


Program Description

Undertake the Bachelor of Games Development at SAE and build your expertise in programming or games design. Apply skills and knowledge in this exciting industry in areas such as level design, social and mobile game development, game engine programming, gameplay programming, game design, project management, serious games and much more.

During your time at SAE, you will work with industry standard software such as Unreal Engine 4, Unity3D, Autodesk 3D Studio Max, and Maya. As a student in Games Development, you will also work with technologies such as Oculus Rift, Android, iOS and use industry standard programming languages such as C++, Javascript, and C#.

You will undertake specialized units designed for students to participate in real-world projects under the guidance of expert SAE staff. With this unique teaching style, you will demonstrate your skills and technical knowledge in a collaborative and creative studio-based learning environment.

Your Studies:

Each degree program is broken up into discrete stages, each designed to promote different skills.

Stage I – Foundational Skills Development
In Stage I, you will undertake a number of foundational units which will give you the essential technical skills and knowledge not only relevant to your discipline area but also give you the skills required to collaborate with other creative media students and professionals in later stages of the program.

  • Gameplay Scripting and Gameplay Programming
  • Level Design and Development
  • Principles of Game Design
  • Project Management and Professional Etiquette
  • Critical and creative thinking
  • Contemporary industry overview

Stage II – Interdisciplinary Projects, Media and Cultural Studies
In Stage II you will be working in simulated project groups where you are working towards large-scale deliverables each trimester. Within Stage II we will not only get you to apply your Stage I skills in a deeper context but help you work within the contemporary creative media workforce.

In Stage II we show you how your work contributes to and interacts with broader culture and media practice. This knowledge will enable you to work with a variety of other disciplines and artists and expand your potential on the global stage.

You will complete a number of real-world projects with students not only in your own discipline but in all other SAE disciplines.

In Stage II, you will be given the opportunity to work as project specialists within the following areas. The types of projects and project roles you choose to undertake will determine what area of specialization you fall within. Stage II has two studio modules with projects based on the following areas;

1. Games Programming

The SAE Games Programming degree is a highly focused program which delves deep into game-play and game engine programming. You will build your skills in existing software packages and frameworks such as Unreal Engine and Unity, using these to build your technical skill set and develop your own game tools, libraries, and engines. You will enhance your knowledge of C++ and object-oriented programming to build complex games and tools.
Throughout the program, you will be working with students from all other disciplines to build a rich and high-quality portfolio of work.

2. Games Design

In the Game Design specialization, you will work on a range of projects with your peers and SAE Facilitators which will build your skills and knowledge within the diverse scope of Game Design.

During the program, you will be able to pursue all facets of Game Design such as level design, systems design, economy design, combat and AI design, balancing, player psychology and much more. Best of all, we will give you the tools you need to be able to articulate design ideas into real working games. You will also explore complex artistic ideas that lead to original, personal games that are artistically meaningful to you. Work alongside other like-minded students and staff from all SAE disciplines to build a massive portfolio of projects.

Stage III
Stage III is the final part of your studies. Here you will undertake an interdisciplinary project of your choice to be the final and most ambitious portfolio project that you will undertake.

You will also finalize your studies by undertaking an elective module and completing a compulsory internship.

By the time you graduate, you will have; a professional online presence that you will have begun building at the start of the program, a wide range of interdisciplinary projects present in your portfolio, and a deeper understanding of the creative media fields and real-world experience.

Upon graduating from the programming or game design specialization, you will have significant experience working in simulated production environments. You will have learned industry standard workflow and product lifecycle. You will have a portfolio of game projects used to either begin your own startup or build your professional practice further.

Students in the programming specialization will have a range of portfolio projects which demonstrate an applied knowledge of C++ in the context of game-play programming and game engine programming. You will also have a demonstrated knowledge of building tools for game engines in languages like C#.

Game design students will graduate with a strong technical understanding of game development pipeline and tools such as Unity, UDK, 3D Studio Max, and Maya. Game design students will have the opportunity to engage in a diverse range of skills including visual arts, audio, story or character development and to explore artistic visions for what games could be. Designers will practice the creative development of games, working to be original, expressive and innovative.

You will learn

  • C++ programming
  • Middleware packages
  • Gameplay programming
  • Game engine programming
  • Tools development
  • Game design
  • Game psychology
  • Working prototype development
  • 3D pipeline
  • Level development
  • Maths, statistics, and logic

Your learning experience

  • Learn advanced-level industry-standard C++ programming language with a specialized focus on games development.
  • Use industry-standard middleware and development packages such as Havoc, Direct X, Ogre, OpenGL, UDK, Unity, and many more.
  • Experience a course designed in collaboration with industry partners, develop the skills the games industry wants.
  • Learn gameplay programming, game engine programming and tools development – you will be able to develop your own engines from the ground up and create your own tools including importers/exporters and scene managers.
  • Learn the design and technical skills to be able to articulate and implement high-level games concepts – these are key professional attributes required by the games industry and often not addressed in other HE games courses.
  • Develop high-level skills in games design, programming, 3D pipeline, games psychology, and working prototypes – learn how to make your ideas a reality.
  • Start making games in your first trimester.
  • Work with artists, designers, web and mobile developers, filmmakers, animators and audio specialists.


  • Games programmer
  • Games designer
  • Graphics programmer
  • Level developer
  • Mobile game developer
  • Simulation specialists
  • Physics programmer
  • Game physics engineer
  • Game lighting artist
  • Engine programmer
  • Game effects programmer
  • Game economy designer
  • Character designer
  • Control developer
  • Lead level designer
  • System designer
  • Character profiler
  • System designer
  • Game tester


SAE games graduates have been involved with many outstanding creative media companies, including:

  • Ubisoft
  • Pixel Hunters
  • Pixel bug
  • NGT2
  • Sound Force
  • Andante
  • Metropolis
  • Fetcher
  • V&S Games
  • Virsix
  • Dragon Master
  • After Work Games

Entry Requirements

Minimum Age

Students seeking admission to SAE must be at least 17 years of age at the time of application.

Academic requirements

Applicants must have successfully completed secondary studies (high school) or have completed the SAE Dubai Foundation course.

Applicants must meet English language requirements as outlined below.

English language requirements

International students need to provide additional evidence of language skills including one of the following:

  • International English Language Testing System (IELTS) with a band score of at least 6, or equivalent, OR
  • Completion of Year 12 English at an Australian secondary school or college, or equivalent.
Last updated Jul 2018

About the School

SAE, with 55 campuses in 28 countries, has been setting the global benchmark for creative media education since 1976. In Dubai, we proudly offer KHDA accredited certificates, diplomas, and bachelor de ... Read More

SAE, with 55 campuses in 28 countries, has been setting the global benchmark for creative media education since 1976. In Dubai, we proudly offer KHDA accredited certificates, diplomas, and bachelor degrees across 5 disciplines – Animation, Audio, Design, Film and Games. Read less