Computer Game Applications Development

Study our world-leading Computer Game Applications Development degree and learn how to create games and script game mechanics.

Course detail

Start Date

September

Duration

4 years

Award Title

BSc (Hons)

UCAS Code

G450

Why Study Abertay's BSc (Hons) in Computer Game Applications Development?

Create games and interactive experiences or script game mechanics and programming tools by choosing a world-leading degree that arms you with the skills you need for a fast-paced and exciting career in the multi-billion pound computer games industry.

Widely recognised as the place to gain a games qualification, this degree will develop your skills in games programming, artificial intelligence for games, network programming, and interface design, making sure you’re adept in the use of industry standard game engines and technologies.

The programme boasts the best teaching in the area (a blend of industry and academic experience) and is designed to evolve as the games industry changes and technology advances. This ensures you’re well equipped for employment within the creative industries sector.

You’ll graduate with the confidence and skills required to work in one of the most demanding industries in the world, giving you a distinct advantage over other computing graduates intending to pursue a career in the games industry.

Throughout the programme, you’ll be given the opportunity to work closely with local and global games industries, as well as collaborating with other games related courses, including art, media and audio.

Open Days 2019

A day full of talks and tours, questions and answers, courses and accommodation.

Open Days are busy, fun and full-on. You’ll definitely want to go to a course talk, tour the facilities for the subject(s) you’re keen on, speak to tutors and students, and check out the accommodation.

We'd love to tell you all about Abertay, and show you why we're the right university for you.

Entry Requirements

Please note: All applicants must have a pass in Maths - National 5 grade B or GCSE grade B/5 or equivalent. National 5 Lifeskill Maths not accepted in lieu of Maths.

Please visit our Entry from College pages for suitable College courses.

Qualification Type Grade Requirements Essential Subjects
Higher AABB
A-Level BBC
Irish Highers H2H2H3H3
International Baccalaureate 30 Points
BTEC Extended Diploma DDM Creative Media Production, Electrical/Electronic Engineering, Engineering, IT, Art & Design
SWAP Access AAB Access to Physical Sciences, Access to Engineering
Qualification Type Grade Requirements Essential Subjects
Advanced Higher AAB Maths and Computing
A-Level AAB Maths and Computing
BTec Extended Diploma D*D*D* Creative Media Production (Games Development) and AS Levels in Maths at B
HNC - Our Entry from College pages list approved HNC courses
Qualification Grade Requirements Essential Subjects
HND - Our Entry from College pages list approved HND courses

Not sure if you're eligible for entry?

If you have the potential and motivation to study at university, regardless of your background or personal circumstances, we welcome your application.

We understand some people have faced extra challenges before applying to university, which is why is why we consider the background in which your academic grades have been achieved when making an offer.

If you expect to receive passes in three Scottish Highers (grades A-C) and have either ...

  • been in care
  • participated in a targeted aspiration-raising programme such as LIFT OFF, LEAPS, FOCUS West, or Aspire North
  • no family background of going to university
  • attended a school or lived in an area where not many people go to university

... we encourage you to submit an application.

Your Journey Starts Here

Computer programmers are the backbone of the games industry. This programme will develop the skills you require to become a highly sought-after games programmer in an exciting and burgeoning sector. 

 

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Information for International Applicants

Please provide certified proof of your English language level. Our accredited International English Foundation Course can help. To further enhance your academic English, Intensive English for Academic Purposes can help you achieve your potential.

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Entry Requirements by Country

Discover whether you're eligible for entry and learn more about the country-specific qualifications you need to study at Abertay.

Find out more

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English Language Requirements

Explore English language requirements for entry to Abertay University.

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English Language Courses

Discover the range of English language courses on offer at Abertay University.

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Visa Information

Learn more about visa requirements for studying at Abertay University.

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About Your Modules

The module information shown here describes the modules our students are taking this year. The modules do change over time to keep our programmes up-to-date and relevant. This means the exact modules you take could be different. If you receive an offer to study with us, you will receive a Programme Information document that sets out exactly which modules you can expect to take as part of your Abertay University degree programme.

Please note: As well as Key Modules outlined below, you may also be required to choose Elective Modules. 

Key Modules (2019/20)

Programming with C++ (CMP104)

Software development through learning to design and implement applications in C++. The fundamentals of classes and objects, including key features such as class descriptions, constructors, methods and field, together with method implementation through assignment, selection and iterative control structures. Module content: Object oriented program development; Introduction to Object Orientation; Programming constructs; Aggregate types; Classes and Objects; Security; User Interface Design; Program Development and Testing; Modelling data.

Computer Hardware Architecture and Operating Systems (CMP101)

Introduction to the core ideas of computer architecture for students studying the subject of computing, building a mental model of the functioning of a typical computer system that can be used to reason about system (hardware/software) behaviour. Module content: Computer architecture; Data representation; Machine instructions; Operating systems; Networks.

Mathematics for Application Development 1 (MAT102)

Elementary algebraic and geometric skills to enhance their understanding of concepts used in computer graphics programming. Module content: Transportation of formulae; Coordinate geometry; Vectors; Matrix transformations; Kinematics.

Software Design (CMP102)

Some of the fundamental ideas of software engineering. Learn to develop and communicate designs for small and large-scale software systems. Module content: Problem-solving; OO Analysis Design and Implementation; Abstraction; Class modelling; Data design – an OO approach; Data design – a relational approach.

Games Programming (CMP105)

Introduction to the core concepts of computer programming through practical examples within game engines. Module content: Introduction; Expressions, variables and statements; Conditionals; Repetition and loops; Functions; Data structures; Classes; Modules; Files; Engines.

Data Structures and Algorithms 1 (CMP201)

Introduction to the standard data structures and algorithms that form the core of algorithmic thought in computer science that familiarises students with the idea of reasoning about the behaviour and performance of a computer programme. Module content: Reasoning about performance; Basic data structures; Sorting and searching; Trees; Graphs.

Mathematics for Application Development 2 (MAT202)

The necessary mathematical tools for programming 3-D object characterisations in computer graphics. Module content: Viewing Transformations; Lines and Planes; Matrix Transformations; Projection Matrices; Ray Tracing; Newtonian Concepts.

Graphics Programming (CMP203)

An introduction to the principles of 3D graphics programming, as part of which students develop real-time 3D graphics applications. Module content: The graphics pipeline; Graphical Primitives; Coordinate systems; Geometry ordering; Lighting; Applying 2D image data to 3D objects; Model processing; Data storage.

Data Structures and Algorithms 2 (CMP202)

Introduction to some of the practical performance concerns in the selection and implementation of algorithms, using a range of case studies drawn from typical real-world applications. Module content: Measuring performance; Parallel programming; Low-level programming with threads; High-level parallel programming; Instruction-level parallelism; GPU architectures, appropriate algorithms for GPUs, GPU profiling; Application case studies.

Game Programming and System Architectures (CMP208)

Game Programming and System Architectures Builds on earlier modules and introduces the necessary components to develop a 3D physics-based game application considering the hardware. Learn to integrate various components (3D graphics, physics, audio) and to develop a 3D game application that makes effective use of modern computer/console systems. Module content: Games Hardware (Introduction to Consoles); User Interfaces; Audio Engines; Physics Engines; Character Animation; Putting it all together – How – where to parallelise recognising console architecture; Multithreading.

Gameplay Mechanics Development (CMP302)

The principles of formalising, implementing, testing and iterating on functional game mechanics applied in the context of a game engine. Module content: Modern game functionality programming; Aspects of game Design; From Design to Function; Maintainable Design; Hardware Integration; Data logging, debugging and testing gameplay. Practices and Specifics related to gameplay functionality; Numerical analysis and data for game balancing.

Graphics Programming with Shaders (CMP301)

The computer graphics programmable pipeline and various graphics techniques. Develop and evaluate techniques used to manipulate 3D graphics in real-time. Module content: Graphics programming, Shaders; Development.

Network Systems for Game Development (CMP303)

The principles of computer networks as applied to the development of various types of networked computer games. Learn to develop and evaluate techniques used to implement networked computer games with a particular emphasis on real-time fast action games. Module content: Background to Network Computer Games; Network Protocols; Network Architectures for Games; Distribution of Functionality; Message Passing Structure; Latency Mitigation; Prediction; Testing.

Professional Project (DES310)

For this module, students will be required to work together on an interactive media project as part of a multidisciplinary team. Individual students will be expected to contribute to their team by taking on a professional role suited to their area of study. As part of the module, all students will be expected to: communicate with clients and relevant stakeholders; participate in pitching and presentations; research and test technical pipelines; create project documentation and planning materials; and contribute to the iterative design and development of a final interactive prototype. Module Content: 1. Team Organisation and Management - Attend and participate in team meetings, keep meeting minutes, and assign roles and responsibilities; Identify and overcome team problems, understand conflicts and approaches to conflict resolution, and engage with team building. 2. Communication and Professionalism - Demonstrate the ability to communicate within the team, with tutors, with clients/mentors, and with other stakeholders in a professional and respectful manner. 3. Development Methodologies - Understand and apply appropriate development methodologies framed by the requirements of a project and balance of a team, e.g. agile, scrum, lean, spiral, feature-driven, waterfall/traditional. 4. Research and Concept Development - Research similar products and competitors; Research and interpret the product marketplace, considering platform, user profiles, costs, regional differences etc.; Conduct visual and audio research; Iteratively develop design concepts in response to a given brief. 5. Technologies and Pipelines - Research software and hardware technologies; Develop a technical plan for game development; Research, develop, test and document production pipelines. 6. Style and Branding - Develop a brand for the team and the project; Research, develop, document, and communicate a defined visual and audio style; Produce marketing and promotional materials. 7. Pitching and Presentation - Use appropriate software, hardware, game engines, and other tools to deliver a working digital prototype; Engage with regular user testing to inform design iteration, demonstrating an appreciation of user experience. 8. Prototype Development, Testing, and Iteration - Use appropriate software, hardware, game engines, and other tools to deliver a working digital prototype; Engage with regular user testing to inform design iteration, demonstrating an appreciation of user experience. 9. Release Management - Manage the software development process using source control, defect tracking, and build processes. 10. Project Delivery - Consider the methods for delivering products to the market, including market cycles, digital distribution, and the publisher-developer relationship; Deliver a complete prototype with accompanying press kit.

Artificial Intelligence (CMP304)

Introduction to some of the many Artificial Intelligence techniques which are currently, or could in the near future, be used to enhance the development of intelligent systems applied to various application domains. Module content: ‘Traditional’ AI; Academic AI techniques; Applications of AI; Machine learning; Mining; Big data; Intelligence on the internet.

Audio Programming (CMP407)

An introduction to the theory and practice of digital audio and music for games programming students.The aim of this Module is to provide the student with the theoretical knowledge and practical skills required to implement audio facilities as a games developer and to work with audio professionals as part of a development team. Module Content: Introduction to Audio; Digital Audio; Audio Processing; Audio Design for Games; Audio Compression; Audio in Game Engines; Digital Music; Spatial Audio; Interface Design with Audio.

Applied Game Technologies (CMP404)

Emerging technology trends used in computer games development. Learn to develop and apply techniques using existing technologies to explore these trends. Module content: Human Computer Interface; Visualisation; Platform; Innovation.

Honours Proposal, Feasibility and Execution (CMP400)

This module provides the student with the opportunity to undertake the practical and development work for a major, in-depth individual project in an aspect of their programme. Normally the idea for project will be devised by the student and development work will be undertaken during this module. During term 1 proof of concept development will be undertaken to support the specification of a well-researched project proposal document. During term 2 the main development work for the project will be undertaken and completed. Module Content: Investigation, Research and Selection; Evaluating; Legal, Social, Professional and Ethical Issues; Proposal; Project Feasibility and Proof of Concept; Self-directed problem solving, Originality and Creativity; Self Motivation, Initiative and Insight; Software Design Skills; Recording, Reporting and Communication Skills; Employability and professional development.

Honours Project Dissertation - Computer Game Application Development (CMP403)

Present a major, in-depth individual project in the form of a dissertation in an aspect of your programme which allows for critical and insightful review and evaluation. Module content: Introduction; Investigate; Justify; Document; Evaluate; Communicate.

Tools Programming (CMP405)

The principles, practices and techniques in tool development. Learn to develop and evaluate software tools with particular emphasis on tools addressing the needs of the game industry. Module content: Background to Tool development; Legacy Codebases; Databases; Tool Design; Application programming; Review and application of established software engineering practices; Tool Creation; Code Review.

How the Course Works

 

Learning and Assessment 

A mixed assessment strategy is used on the programme. Most modules are assessed through coursework, which may include project work and student-led presentations. Some modules use a mixture of coursework and formal examination.

You’ll spend around 12-15 hours per week in lectures, tutorials and laboratories. Lectures are used to present key concepts, theories and techniques. Tutorials and laboratory-based activities increase your understanding of the subject and allow you to develop your competence and confidence in technological and theoretical work.

Throughout your degree, you’ll be required to actively participate in group work, discussions, seminars, and private study.

The course also allows for customisation, which lets you develop a specialisation, such as artificial intelligence, while building a broad foundation in game applications development.

For more information on the course content, please download the 2019 programme document - BSc (Honours) in Computer Game Applications Development (2018 document available here).

Accreditation

Playstation First Accreditation

Creative SKILLset Accreditation

Dare Academy

Every year, we run the prestigious Dare Academy project, where teams of students are given a unique month-long summer hot-housing experience with games industry mentors to build and polish an industry-standard game.

We then showcase the games at EGX, the UK's biggest games event, and the top three teams are flown out to visit international games partners and to be profiled.

This is a unique offer for Abertay games students and it ensures you stand out from the crowd.

If you’re applying from overseas or from outside Scotland, we have scholarships available to make your studies more affordable.

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#1

We're the number one university throughout Europe for computer games

1997

We launched the world's first computer games degree over 20 years ago

TOP

Industry accreditation from Creative Skillset - the quality mark for excellence

Programme Fees for 2019

Scottish & EU students

£1,820

Fees shown are payable annually and may be subject to increase each year. Fees are normally funded through the Student Awards Agency for Scotland for eligible students.

Please see our Undergraduate Fees and Funding page for further details. 

English, Welsh & Northern Irish Students

£9,250

Fees shown are payable annually and may be subject to increase each year.

Please see our Undergraduate Fees and Funding page for further details. 

International Students

£14,800

Fees shown are payable annually and may be subject to increase each year.

Please see our Undergraduate Fees and Funding page for further details. 

Scholarships

Rest of UK Abertay Scholarship - £2,300 per year for four years

This scholarship is intended to support students from England, Wales and Northern Ireland to study at Abertay. Scholarship is paid directly into your bank account in two instalments each year to support you with living and travel costs. No application necessary.

International Abertay Scholarship - £2,300 per year for four years

This scholarship is intended to support students from international countries (outside of the EU) to study at Abertay. Scholarship is paid directly into your bank account in two instalments each year to support you with living and travel costs. No application necessary.

In addition, we offer a range of corporate/philanthropic scholarships shown below, which are available to all students to support your studies with us. 

The Robert Reid Bursary

Two £1,000 awards for students who have overcome challenges to attend university.

Ninja Kiwi

The Ninja Kiwi Scholarship is a one-year scholarship of £1,500 and is open to students who are entering Year 4 of Games courses.

Careers

As the computer games industry continues to grow, so does the demand for first-rate game programmers and computer programmers with knowledge of developing applications using middleware such as game engines.

Upon graduation, you’ll possess a games-orientated programming degree, which is directly relevant to the needs of industry. The programme was created in response to industry requirements and is Skillset and PlayStation first accredited.

 

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Choose Your Path

We work with leading game developers such as Electronic Arts, Sony Interactive Entertainment Europe, Codemasters, 4J Studios, and Denki, making graduates from the degree highly employable within these industries.

Graduates have found employment as games programmers in a wide variety of different areas, such as creating console games for …

  • Sony PlayStation®
  • Nintendo
  • Microsoft

… as well as programming the latest mobile devices.

While pursuing their studies, some students have even created their own startup companies.

 

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Industry Links

Abertay has strong links with a wide range of companies including Sony, Microsoft, Ubisoft, FuturLab and Tag Games.

Industry engagement is an essential part of the degree. You’ll hear from industry speakers and receive mentorship from industry professionals as part of your group project work – this is as close as it gets to working for a games company. 

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Abertay Games Showcase

Check out a selection of exciting and fascinating games created by students on our world-leading games courses ...

Be Inspired

Game screenshot - Last Souls

Unistats

Unistats collates comparable information in areas students have identified as important in making decisions about what and where to study. The core information it contains is called the Unistats dataset (formerly the Key Information Set (KIS)).

Get inspired

Meet some of our Computer Game graduates and find out what they've gone on to do.

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Steven Taarland

Co-Founder of the Rainbow Jam, Steven helps to celebrate and promote LGBT+ themes in games.

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Isabella Wang

Isabella's Abertay degree gave her a significant edge in the job market in China. She's now a Chief Designer in Beijing.

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David Hamilton

Ninja Kiwi's Executive Vice President shares his journey from Abertay to over 100 million downloads.

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Related Courses

Check out the related courses below - there's a degree for everyone at Abertay.

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Abertay is conveniently located on a city centre campus, with all of its buildings within a quarter of a mile of each other. Shops, recreational facilities and the main bus and train stations are a short walk away.

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Why Abertay?

We're proud of our students and graduates, and we believe there's no better place to study if you're looking for a degree that helps you stand out as an exceptional candidate in an increasingly competitive job market.

Why Abertay?

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