Computer Games Design And Programming BSc (Hons)

Students working on a character model for use in a game
UCAS code GG46
Location Stoke-on-Trent Campus
Duration 3 Years

2017/18 New Entrants, Full Time

  • Home and EU students: £9,250 per year of study
  • International students: £10,900 per year of study
Course start September
LocationModeStart dateApply
Stoke-on-Trent CampusFull-time2017/18 Academic YearApply via UCAS

The best in UK! Alphr, the online partner of established computer magazine PC Pro, revealed its top five courses for Games Design at UK universities and our BSc (Hons) Computer Games Design and Programming came in at number one.

  • The RARE(TM) Motion Capture Studio is located at the University and is an integral part of the resources for this course
  • The Usability laboratory offers you the ability to observe game players using your creations
  • Modelling studied throughout the course using industry tools
  • View our resources

Course outline

TIGA accredited course

This course run in affiliation with games industry body, TIGA - will give you the skills you need for a career games production or for starting your own games company.

The computer games industry is a vast, new, exciting and expanding market. It grosses more than the film and music industries combined. On this course, you'll create designs for computer games, 3D models and animations and you'll learn programming skills to manipulate or create a games engine.

We work closely with our Visiting Professor, Mike Gamble (European Territories Manger for EPIC Games) to make sure the course content remains relevant, so you'll have excellent opportunities to gain employment in the games industry.

In Year 1, you'll gain a solid grounding in 3D modelling techniques. You'll learn about the reverse engineering of current games with accompanying games design documentation. You'll also learn the fundamentals of programming, engine development and rapid games prototyping.

In Year 2, you'll work on a collaborative group project as a member of a development team. You'll learn how to produce advanced engine scripting and continue to develop your games programming skills in a variety of languages such as C++ and C#.

In Year 3, you'll work as a senior or lead member of the collaborative development team and you'll expand your skills from the option route you choose, combing this with a major group project and an individual project.

Our academics come from a variety of backgrounds, including fine art, games design, interactive media technology, simulation and mathematical modelling. They've worked in the games industry and are engaged in research in fields such as military games simulation, gamification, reward in games and games engine research. In 2013, our very own Nia Wearn was listed as one of the UK's top 100 most influential women in the games industry.

Our state-of-the-art games design studio is sponsored by EPIC Games. Four times per year, games companies come to the university for development days and training. And you'll have the opportunity to mingle and socialise with representatives from these companies to build contacts for your future career.


Course Fees and Finance

The expected study pattern on this programme enables you to complete modules totalling 120 credits in your first year of study and the other 240 credits, split equally over your second and third years of study. If you follow this pattern of study you will pay a fee of £9,250 for your first year in 2017/18. The fee for your second and third year of study will be broadly the same, except that an inflationary uplift may apply each year.*

If you would like to know more about the fees listed and what this means to you then please get in touch with our Enquiries Team.


Undergraduate Loans:

UK and EU students who are studying for their first undergraduate degree may not have to pay these fees up front. For eligible students a loan is available from the Student Loans Company to cover the cost of tuition so you don't have to find the money to pay your tuition costs before or while you are studying. You won't have to start repaying the loan until you are earning more than (currently) £21,000 a year.

A loan is also available for part-time students studying at least 25% (30 credits) per year.

However, if you already hold a degree, or another qualification at the same level, you may not qualify for this loan.

For further information on eligibility and how to apply visit apply-for-student-finance.


Repayment (current arrangements):

9% of income over £21,000 per year.

Interest on the loan is charged at up to Retail Price Index** (RPI) +3% = 4.6% as of 2016/17.

If you are living in the UK: Your employer will deduct repayments when your salary reaches the threshold (currently £21,000 per year). Different arrangements are made to collect repayments from those living outside the UK.

For further information on repayment visit student loan repayment.


*The fees listed are for the 2017/18 academic year only. Any subsequent years may be subject to an inflationary uplift.

**RPI – the Retail Price Index is a measure of UK inflation. The UK Government uses the rate of RPI to set the interest rate charged on student loans.

Social media links

Industry links

Entry requirements

  • Typical UCAS Offer: 112 points
  • A levels: BBC, CCC plus B at AS


TIGA, Allegorithmic, Unreal, UKiE, Crytek logos

The course is accredited by TIGA which represents the games industry. Staffordshire University is also a TIGA member.

The course is also affiliated to a number of software companies who advise us on course content, including:

Teaching and learning

Level 4 Modules
The strategy for teaching is to formally support the Level 4 students in the form of lectures and tutorials. Often a method of combined lecture/ tutorial is used, where lectures are delivered in a lab alongside tutorial style interaction. Concepts are discussed and then techniques demonstrated and attempted by the students. There is a lot of teaching support at this level and 'Traditional Lectures' are kept to a minimum

Learning is primarily achieved during direct contact time with the lecturer. This is designed to ease students into university life and successfully make the transition from schools/college to university. At this Level subject specific skills are learnt in the form of principles and technologies that underpin the subject. Transferable skills in knowledge and understanding are of primary importance at this level to provide a solid foundation for learning at higher levels

Level 5 Modules
The Lecture/Tutorial scheme continues but students are encouraged to seek out their own sources of research material and this is demonstrated in such things as log books. Students are expected to engage to a greater extent with resourced based materials such as video tutorials available through the virtual learning environment. Students are offered support in surgery sessions and assignment workshops.

Learning time is split between lectures/ tutorials and the students own learning using such things as video tutorials. Subject Specific Skills are learned by applying the principles and technologies from the previous level and building up more advanced knowledge and technical skills. Transferable skills in problem solving and application to real world scenarios are emphasised at this level. Presentation skills and skills at group working are developed and milestones are used to introduce students to working to intermediate deadlines, as they will be expected to do in industry.

Level 6 Modules
Students will be given some combined lecture/ tutorials, but the expectation is that they drive their own learning and the formal teaching element is replaced by tutor support when needed. This support is given by the Project Supervisor and module tutors and students are guided very much by the assignment criteria for each module. Self-guided study is heavily emphasised

Learning is done mainly outside of the lecture/lab environment and led by the student themselves. By this point in their university career students will have had time to reflect upon their strengths and are encouraged to exploit those strengths in their project choice. Interest and strength in a subject is a very good self-motivator. Subject Specific Skills in applying the more advanced knowledge and technical skills learned at the previous level and applied especially in the Individual Games Technology Portfolio module.


Level 4 Modules
The assessment strategy is based on what is best to assess the level learning outcomes at Level 4. In general these are in the form of written reports that detail the work done on practical projects. As with the learning strategy the assessment strategy is designed to allow students a smooth transition from school/college to university.

Level 5 Modules
At this level the assessment of students aims to reflect an industrial situation. This still includes written reports and practical work, however at this level they are introduced to being assessed on working to produce log books, working to milestones and self-assessment and peer reflection, which would be encountered in industry. Group work and presentations are also used as assessment methods to replicate what would happen in industry.

Level 6 Modules
Assessment at this level is dominated by Individual Games Technology Project and The Individual Games Technology Portfolio modules. Students are assessed on their ability to take charge, plan, manage, and produce work to their own brief. Students are also assessed on their ability to demonstration reflection on the body of work they have embarked upon and demonstrate a range of life experiences to facilitate life-long learning.

Employment opportunities

The main aim is employability. It is expected graduates will be able to compete for jobs in the following areas.

- Games Technical Design
- Level, Quest and Mission Design
- Games Production and Publishing

To achieve these programme aims:
- To develop a theoretical understanding of design methodologies and encourage the students to use this as part of their own planning and design processes.

- To develop the ability to work successfully within a team that understands the workflow of the games or related industries.

The Staffordshire Graduate represents a set of qualities that the University passionately believes is necessary for success in the 21st century. The Staffordshire Graduate is a reflective and critical learner with a global perspective, prepared to contribute in the world of work.

The Junior and Senior Collaborative Games Development and Testing modules will combine to make a cross level games studio module and the students will be dedicate one day a week in a studio environment for 24 weeks in their level 5 year and 24 weeks in their level 6 year, producing a total of two published games by the time they graduate.

In levels 5 and 6 the strategy for learning takes on a realistic twist. Students will work across the academic years in a group studio environment for one day a week. The day will start with a ½hr lecturer followed by a ½hr group meeting to set out what is expected in that working day. The day will finish with a ½hr group wash up meeting to monitor what has been achieved that day.

The Level 5 students take on the junior roles within the games studio and they will be led by the Level 6 students who take the senior roles. Each group produce one game and students are assigned to the Art Department, Design Department or Engines/Programming Department reflecting the structure of a games company.

As the student moves from level 5 to level 6 they then progress from being a junior member of a team to a management role as a senior, creating a sense of progression through the company from a junior to a senior role.

Graduate destinations

Graduates from our Computer Games Design and Programming degree become indie developers - or if they work in a larger company they often become programmers.

One of our graduates now works at Goodgames Studios Germany as a Junior Games Balancer.

Our graduates work in many established Games companies such as Rockstar North, Codemasters, Sony and many more.

Programme specification


Enquiries Team
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t: +44(0)1782 294400
Enquire about this course