Computer Games Technology

Computer Games Technology

Designed in collaboration with some of the UK’s top computer games companies, this course will prepare you for a career as a games developer, scientific software programmer or general software developer. With opportunities for paid placement here in Scotland or abroad, the course is one of only five undergraduate games programming degrees in the UK to receive full Skillset accreditation. Based at our Paisley campus, near Glasgow, you’ll have access to our state-of-the-art development studios.

Entry Requirements

  • SQA Highers:
  • BBBB (including Mathematics and preferably Physics; Computing or Technological Studies), plus SQA Standard Grade English or equivalent.
  • GCE A-Levels: BCC (including Mathematics and preferably Physics; Computing or ICT), plus GCSE English and preferably Physics.
  • International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma: 24 points (to include 2 Higher subjects at 4 points).
  • Irish Leaving Certificate: BBBB.
    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.
  •  GCE A-Levels: AAB (including Mathematics and preferably Physics; Computing or ICT). 
  • SQA HNC/BTEC Level 4 HNC: Computer Games Development.
  • SQA HND/BTEC Level 5 HND: Computing or Software Development. For Year 2 entry, C++ (or Java or C#) and Maths must be covered in the appropriate HNC/HND 

Course content

In 2013, the games industry was valued at USD $93billion, with further growth expected (Gartner). The console games market is expected to quadruple by 2015, and demand for a skilled workforce expected to be significant. The UWS Computer Games Technology course is well-established; is designed in liaison with industry; and gives you access to industry-standard hardware, including our PlayStation™ Games Development Studio, developed with Sony Computer Entertainment Europe.

The course has been awarded PlayStation®First status, an Academic Partnership Programme run by Sony Computer Entertainment Europe (SCEE) and World Wide Studios Europe (WWS-E). PlayStation®First is awarded to select partners providing best practices in PlayStation® production values, research applications and game development skills. 

The course is also a member of the PlayStation® dev kit programme which gives you access to PlayStation® professional hardware and software (SDK).

Year 1

You will study the hardware and software components of computer games. Programming concepts are introduced and 2D graphics programming skills developed. The maths of the physical processes to be modelled in computer games is studied alongside the creative processes used in games construction. You will start to build your own portfolio of work.

Year 2

Software engineering skills and programme development techniques studied in Year 1 are expanded. You will study the design of computer games and more importantly the software design principles for creating game engines. You will continue to develop your skills in physical modelling, learning how to model underlying physical processes (such as collisions, gravitation and momentum).

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

You will study advanced games programming techniques, and the use of AI (Artificial Intelligence) techniques in computer games. You will also work with your fellow students in small groups to complete a computer game running on an engine you develop over the year as part of your games portfolio.

Year 4

You will study console development techniques (e.g. for the PlayStation™ console) and the application of visualisation techniques in the construction of computer games, and will undertake a major individual project related to games in an area of your own choosing. Options allow you to specialise in an area of interest.

Placement/Work-based learning

You have the option to undertake a year's week paid placement in industry, in the UK or abroad, to gain valuable work experience in the computer games sector.

Career prospects

UWS graduates are in high demand and many have already secured positions as games developers/programmers with some of the sector’s biggest games companies such as Sony or Rockstar North. Other opportunities include software development in scientific and industrial visualisation and embedded systems. Some UWS graduates have relocated to Japan, the US and Canada to be at the heart of the gaming market.

Professional recognition

playstationComputer Games Technology at University of the West of Scotland has been awarded PlayStation®First status, an Academic Partnership Programme run by Sony Computer Entertainment Europe (SCEE) and World Wide Studios Europe (WWS-E). PlayStation®First is awarded to select partners providing best practices in PlayStation® production values, research applications and game development skills.

At time of print, the Honours degree is accredited by Skillset, the Sector Skills Council for the Audio Visual Industries in the UK. For more information, see 

The Honours degree, at time of print, is also accredited by the British Computer Society as fully meeting the educational requirements for Chartered IT Professional registration. Students wishing to complete Chartered IT Professional registration will need to complete a year of further learning beyond graduation.

In addition, The British Computer Society has accredited the Honours degree as partially meeting the educational requirements for Chartered Engineer registration under licence from the UK regulator, the Engineering Council. Students wishing to complete Chartered Engineer registration will need to complete either an appropriate accredited Masters degree or appropriate further learning to Masters level.



Qualifications and durations

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

UCAS codes

  • G451 P BSc/CGT - Computer Games Technology - Paisley Campus

Course contact

Professor Thomas Connolly
0800 027 1000/+44 (0)141 849 4101

Useful Information

  • For course availability, check UCAS 

    NB The Honours degree is accredited by Skillset, the Sector Skills Council for the Audio Visual Industries in the UK, and the British Computer Society.

    Part-time students must gain their award within 6 years if they wish accreditation.

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