Computer Games BSc degree programmes from University of the West of Scotland have been designed in collaboration with some of the UK’s top computer games companies. Our Computer Games Technology course, delivered at UWS Paisley campus, close to Glasgow, is currently one of only three undergraduate games development degrees in the UK to receive full Skillset accreditation.
The programme prepares you for a career as a games developer/programmer and can also equip you with the skills to work as a software developer.
In 2011, the games industry was valued at USD $65billion and expected to grow even further (Reuters). The console games market is expected to quadruple by 2015 and consequently, the demand for a skilled workforce to service this growth is expected to be significant.
- SQA Highers: BBBB (including Maths and preferably Physics, Computing or Technological Studies), plus SQA Standard Grade English.
- GCE A-Levels: BCC (including Maths and preferably Physics, Computing or ICT), plus GCSE English and preferably Physics.
- 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.
- GCE A-Levels: AAB (including Maths 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.
At the core of the games industry is the games console: Microsoft Xbox 360, Sony PS3, Nintendo Wii and the desktop PC.
Developing today’s console games can take years, cost millions of pounds and involve hundreds of developers: programmers, artists, musicians, producers, etc. The heart of the video game is written by the console games programmer, creating the world where gameplay takes place. UWS students will have access to industry-standard hardware, including our Playstation Games Development Studio, developed with Sony Computer Entertainment Europe.
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 portfolio of work.
The software engineering skills and programme development techniques studied in Year 1 are expanded. Graphics, animation and 3D modelling techniques are explored and you will study the design of computer games. Students continue to develop their skills in modelling, underlying physical processes (such as collisions, gravitation and momentum). Programming skills continue to be developed with options in mobile and web games.
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.
You will study advanced games programming techniques, the use of AI (Artificial Intelligence) techniques in computer games. Students also develop a complete computer game throughout the year as part of their games portfolio.
You will study console development techniques (eg for the PlayStation console) and the application of visualisation techniques in the construction of computer games. Students undertake a major individual project to develop a computer game. Options in the final year allow students to specialise in their areas of interest.
You have the option to undertake a year’s paid placement in industry, in the UK or abroad, to gain valuable work experience in the computer games sector.
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 and Blitz Games. Other opportunities include software development. Some UWS graduates have relocated to Japan and Canada to be at the heart of the gaming market.
Computer 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 www.skillset.org
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.
Part-time students must gain their award within 6 years if they wish accreditation.