Computer Games Development

Computer Games Development

The University of West of Scotland's BSc degree in Computer Games Development recognises that the fastest growing sector of the computer games industry is for game-playing on smartphones, tablets, internet sites and social networking spaces and this degree prepares graduates for employment in this rapidly changing environment.

The computer games marketplace has changed – huge growth in availability, use of personal computing platforms, and consolidation of social networking spaces have had significant impact. Faster and more easily available broadband has enabled gamers to access game technology almost anywhere.

The games developer for these exciting new “everywhere and everyone” marketplaces must be flexible, talented, creative and entrepreneurial. The games market demographic is potentially everyone with a smartphone, social networking account, or tablet computer.

Entry Requirements

  • SQA Highers: BBB, plus SQA Standard Grade English and Maths.
  • GCE A-Levels: BC, plus 3 GCSEs including English and Maths.
  • SQA HNC /BTEC Level 4 HNC : Relevant subject.
  • International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma: 24 points.
Standard Entry Criteria
    All applicants are expected to meet, as a minimum, our standard entry criteria available:
  • 5 subject passes to include 2 at GCE A Level, or an appropriate award of AQA, EdExcel, OCR or 5 subject passes to include 3 at Higher (C or above) for Irish Leaving Certificate or SQA. We will accept Welsh Baccalaureate qualification as being equivalent to 1 A Level.
  • evidence of proficiency in Mathematics and English, usually at least at SQA Standard Grade 1, 2 or 3 or GCSE Grade A, B, or C, or equivalent
  • In addition to standard qualifications, we will also consider other combinations of qualifications and experience such as BTEC National diploma.
  • We welcome applications from mature students and will take into account any relevant work experience and professional training when making a decision on your application.
  • SQA HND /BTEC Level 5: Computing or Software Development or Computer Games Development
  • Entry may be possible with: SQA HND /BTEC Level 5 HND / Foundation Degree: Computer
    Games Development 

Course content

We see you as a games developer from day one until you graduate and bring your own games into the market to be played. The programme introduces students to the complete product development lifecycle. This is a practitioner’s degree that encourages students to be creative.

Year 1

The games industry, games programming, professional issues in creative industries and Flash and animation for games and other creative industries are explored. At the end of the year you will produce an e-portfolio based showreel featuring your best work to present to employers.

Year 2

You will deepen your understanding of the essential parts of games creation, including games design, website programming, and games development for mobile phones, interaction design, games employment and games creation from engines. By the end of Year 2 you will be able to consider setting up your own games studio or taking an industry placement.

Sandwich Placement (Optional)

It is possible to undertake a placement on a full-time basis over a minimum 36 weeks duration, leading to a sandwich award. This can be taken either between Years 2 and 3 or between Years 3 and 4.

Year 3

The major work is a year-long team development project to create a working 3D game for release and play by the wider public. All teams will be working on real games, using real games engines with the intention of creating an employment ready show reel on their e-portfolio. The social implications of video games and advanced web games creation techniques are studied..

Year 4 (Honours)^

In the final year the major task is a work-related project and dissertation, probably on a real, work-related issue of use in your games studio development work. This could be on a topic related to games engines, game design, engine programming, marketplace analysis, revenue modelling, etc. In addition, there is a range of modules offered such as learning games, and the direction of the creative industries.

Placement/Work-based learning

Students have the option of undertaking a 36 week placement between Years 2 and 3 or Years 3 and 4.

Career prospects

The major games studios all have a growing interest in casual, portable, online and personal gaming platforms. However, they only employ the most talented and business-aware graduates. This is why we emphasise the need, from the start, to work on real-world tasks and to create a strong e-portfolio and showreel. Strong support is also given for those wishing to run their own games studio. The wide range of skills graduates leave with can be applied to a range of industries including mobile phone, PC, games, animation or social networking.

Professional recognition

At time of print the Honours degree at Paisley and Hamilton campuses is accredited by the British Computer Society as fully meeting the educational requirements for Chartered IT Professional registration. Students undertaking this Honours programme will need to complete a year of further learning beyond graduation if they wish to complete Chartered IT Professional registration. Part-time students must gain their award within 6 years if they wish accreditation.



Qualifications and durations

  • BSc - 3 Years
  • BSc Hons - 4 Years
  • BSc (Sandwich) - 4 Years
  • BSc (Hons Sandwich) - 5 Years
How to apply

UCAS codes

  • G610 A BSc/CGD - Computer Games Development - Ayr Campus
  • G610 H BSc/CGD - Computer Games Development - Hamlton Campus
  • G610 P BSc/CGD - Computer Games Development - Paisley Campus

Course contact

Dr John Sutherland
+44 (0)141 849 4101

Useful Information

  • For course availability, check UCAS 

    ^At time of print, the Honours year of study is not offered at Ayr or Hamilton campuses. Students wishing to take Honours will spend Year 4 at Paisley Campus. This is currently under review. Contact the Admissions Officer for update.

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