School of Computing and Mathematics

BSc (Hons) Computing & Games Development

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.

UCAS tariff
300
UCAS course code
G455
Institution code
P60
Duration
3 years
(+ optional placement)
Start date
September 2014
Course type
Full-time, Part-time route available
Location
Plymouth

Key features

  • 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
    • ISAD142 Applied Mathematics

      The module develops students' mathematical competencies with emphasis on application to software development projects.

    • AINT103 Browser based Game Technologies

      : Introduction to current technologies used to deliver browser based games content and the associated frameworks developed using these technologies. Students will implement a series of prototypes demonstrating core concepts.

    • CNET118 Computer Operating Systems

      CNET118covers the computer operating system in its role as the interface between application programs and the underlying hardware, and includes process management (including managing concurrency), memory management, filing system and application event loop.

    • ISAD143 Database Development

      An in-depth understanding of database concepts in reference to modern enterprise-level database development. Students will be able to learn relational databases and grasp different issues faced in real world database application development.

    • AINT102 Games Workshop

      The games workshop introduces core topics for games development including: production and design of assets, game play mechanics and interaction design, current practice and roles within mainstream and independent games development sectors, organisation and planning.

    • CNET115 Introduction to Computer and Information Security

      An introduction to the main principles of security for IT and networked systems, this module looks at the key security areas, beginning with underlying concepts and threats. You’ll then move on to address specific issues and technologies that relate to host systems and networked environments, as well as issues relating to security design.

    • SOFT140 Principles of Programming Structures & Algorithms

      Whatever language they’re written in, computer programme often use the same underlying methods to achieve their aims. These methods can be split into data structures (for holding data) and algorithms (for manipulating data). This module looks at data structures and algorithms from a general perspective, outside of any particular programming language.

    • SOFT144 Software Engineering for Games Development

      This module gives an introduction to software engineering, including programme design, fundamental programming techniques and the development of more advanced programming skills. Practical work is orientated around games development.

    • BPIE100 Stage 1 Placement Preparation

      Focusing on assisting you in your search for a placement, this module will also help prepare you for the placement itself.

    • ISAD135 Web Site Development

      This module enables students to develop web sites following good design practice and usability principles

  • 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
    • AINT205 Alternative Computing Paradigms

      This module gives you an overview of a range of different paradigms for computing and computing theory.

    • AINT206 Artificial Intelligence for Games Development

      An overview of current issues and techniques in Artificial Intelligence (AI), focusing on the development of AI techniques for use in software game development. Students will gain extensive practical experience in developing such systems using a contemporary high level programming language and appropriate game and / or physics engines.

    • SOFT237 CPD Software Development

    • ISAD211 Databases

      In this module, you’ll be introduced to the concepts and issues concerning multi-user, networked relational databases in a practical environment. You’ll also acquire a solid foundation in SQL.

    • AINT207 Design Process

      A production based workshop exploring design principles for interactive media. Creative process, production methods and project delivery. Strategies for project scoping, content design, production and interactivity for different platforms/contexts are developed and applied through focussed project work.

    • AINT209 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. Professional practice, enterprise and ethical issues are also covered.

    • PRCO203 Live Integrating Project

      The module provides students with the opportunity to engage in a team-based online/offline software development project. The project integrates the various aspects of software development encountered on the course (analysis, design, construction and project management).

    • SOFT233 Mobile Device Programming

      This module gives overview of several current mobile device development frameworks, eventually concentrating on a single one. As well as writing applications for a mobile device, the module looks at the similarities and differences between programming for a desktop computer and programming for a mobile device.

    • SOFT236 Object-Oriented Software Engineering with Design Patterns

      This module aims to develop object-oriented software engineering, using language such as C++ or Java as the vehicle for implementation. It will also introduce issues such as progression from analysis to design and the use of design patterns to enhance software development.

    • ISAD235 Server-side Application Development

      This module considers the nature of web application development, focusing upon the server-side technologies required to implement effective web-based software solutions.

    • BPIE200 Stage 2 Placement Preparation

      Building on the year one module (BPIE100), this module continues supporting you with your search for a placement and your preparation for the placement itself.

  • Year 3
  • 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. 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.
    Core modules
    • PRCO303 Computing Project

      The computing project gives you an opportunity to tackle a major practical, problem-solving project in an approved area of computing relevant to the course of study.

    • AINT304 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.

    • SOFT323 Programming for Entertainment Systems

      An introduction to software development using Microsoft DirectX, this module is mainly concerned with high performance real-time graphics. You can also investigate other aspects of DirectX.

    Optional modules
    • SOFT338 API Software Development

      Building your understanding of the variety of third party APIs for distributed cross-platform application development, this module develops your skills in critically evaluating and selecting appropriate third party software libraries for implementation. You’ll also develop the professional skills needed for successfully implementing and distributing your own API.

    • SOFT336 Cross Platform Application Development in C++

      This module develops your skills in cross-platform software engineering using the C++ language and a cross-platform framework.

    • AINT301 Evolutionary Computation and Artificial Life

      This module covers the theoretical bases of evolutionary computation and artificial life. It will focus on (a) the genetic algorithm and its application in search and machine learning and (b) artificial life methods and applications in adaptive behaviour, robotics and arts. You’ll also learn about the practical implementation of evolutionary and artificial life algorithms.

    • SOFT333 Graphics

      Exploring the 3D representation of models, their manipulation (such as scaling and perspective), rendering and lighting, you’ll also learn about image processing and some applied algorithms.

    • SOFT339 Parallel Computation and Distributed Systems

      This module will help you develop your skills in understanding and programming parallel and distributed computer systems. Introducing different parallel architectures, programming techniques and methodologies, it will also give you practical training in GPGPU architectures and programming techniques.

    • ISAD335 Professional Issues in IT

      This module considers the wider issues facing the IT professional and develops an awareness of issues of legislation, ethics and professionalism that affect the industry

    • SOFT335 Scripting for Digital Media

      This module explores the role of software within the interactive multimedia environment. Key elements such as Object Oriented Scripting, compression, graphics, are explored though practical production. The production of a working prototype uses the Macromedia authoring tools "Director" and "Flash".

    • CNET346 Security for Mobile Systems

      This module examines the security issues of mobile and wireless networks and associated devices. It introduces a number of key wireless technologies and identifies keys issues of concern when deploying mobile technologies and services in practice.

    • ISAD341 Software Development and Project Management

      This module develops your critical understanding of the issues associated with software development and project management.

    • AINT306 Sound Design

      Sound is an essential element of most interactive systems, this module explores contemporary techniques for developing immersive sound-scapes for interactive media, games design and entertainment robotics. Project work includes novel interaction through sampling, synthesis and audio analysis. A cultural perspective for related research and development is also provided.

The modules shown for this course or programme are those being studied by current students, or expected new modules. Modules are subject to change depending on year of entry.

Entry requirements

300 points including two A levels. Remaining points can be made up as you wish. One technical subject preferred. All subjects except general studies and Key Skills considered. International Baccalaureate: 30 points. Other qualifications (e.g. Access courses, National Diploma in related subjects) will be considered individually.
 
GCSE grade C in mathematics is acceptable for applicants who have already obtained this. Anybody sitting GCSE mathematics from 2013 onwards (current year 11) we will ask for a grade B as part of your offer.   A level students re-taking GCSE mathematics – we will accept a grade C. 
 
Direct entry to final stage from relevant courses is supported.

Note: we will accept students onto year two or year four.  Please contact us for further information.

Fees & funding

Home/EU £9,000 International £11,500 Home/EU part time £750 per 10 credits
For more information about our fees and funding please visit www.plymouth.ac.uk/money.

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. 

Apply for this course on the UCAS website.

For more information about submitting an application including application deadline dates, please visit the UCAS website.

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Institution code
P60
UCAS code
G455
Campus code
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Open days

A number of open day events are held each year, welcoming you to the campus to find out more about the University, accommodation, facilities and study opportunities.

Find out more from our open days section or register to come and see us using a short open day registration form.

  • BCS logo
    BCS, The Chartered Institute for IT accredited degree
  • TIGA logo
    We are a member of TIGA the trade body for the games industry
  • Guardian University Awards logo
    Winner in the Teaching Excellence category for the Guardian University Awards 2013
  • Interactive Systems Studio logo
    In house development studio team providing graduate opportunities, motivating start ups and developing IP
  • Explay logo
    Gold Sponsor and Exhibitor of Explay Indie Games Festival

Studying computing and games development at Plymouth University

Dr Dan Livingstone, current students, and graduates discuss what it’s like to study here and show you some of our facilities.

Watch our video to find out more about studying computing and games development at Plymouth University.

Facilities

Our dual boot studio is the base camp for the course - this is a proper development environment with industry-strength tools for cross-platform development. We also run our own servers and infrastructure so we keep pace with industry.

We have app development kits for both Apple and Android, open source and commercial software, tools for version control and agile project management.

Find out more about our facilities.

Projects from our computing and games development students

Watch a selection of student prototypes ranging from first year Kongregate releases, second year co-op prototypes and final stage projects.

You will also see the dual boot studio, the base camp for the course.

Free iPad mini

You will receive an Apple iPad mini to give you access to additional resources to support your modules, and to enable you to participate in interactive activities such as in-class voting and feedback.

Receive an Apple iPad mini to support your learning and manage your projects. Test and develop apps for iOS ready for release during your course.

Free eBooks

Free eBooks (worth over £300) for all first-year undergraduates on computing courses.

The eBook package covers core first year modules and can be downloaded to computer, laptop, iPad, iPhone, Android phone or Android tablet.

Optional industry placement year or paid short internship

The placement provides you with an opportunity to embed skills and knowledge developed during the first two years of the degree. We have a network of companies who recruit our students, either for short internship, placement or graduate positions.

While the placement is optional we strongly encourage securing a paid placement or internship prior to progressing to our final year.

Placements

Passionate about games, dedicated to the cause, and skilled enough to back it up. He’s been working on a client-facing project from day one, is revelling in the experience, and is exceeding our expectations as a developer.

Pete Everett, Managing Director of Playerthree, discusses their first placement student.

Find out more about Platerthree

Graduate profile - Marius Varga

Thanks to my degree and all I learnt during the course I am working for a 3D simulations programming and development company

3D simulations programming and development, Interactive Systems Studio

Find out more about Marius Varga

After the course

The course develops graduates with a unique blend of creative and dynamic ideas coupled with cutting edge technical skills.

This course offers many of the technical skills highly sought after in our industry.

Find out more about your future after the course

Academic Excellence Awards

Our scholarships reward achievement above and beyond that required for entry to a particular course of study.

At Plymouth University, we not only recognises academic excellence but also the value of people who push themselves the extra mile.

Find out more about how Academic Excellence Awards can benefit you