This course is one of the first of its kind in the UK and has a graduate employment rate of 97%. It prepares you for careers as software architects, project managers or software developers. You may also operate as a software consultant or do further research.
In collaboration with a number of high profile industrial leaders and computer game innovators, we have created an advanced course producing graduates with the potential to become future leaders in the global computer games industry.
The course is for honours graduates in computing science or a discipline with significant computing and/or mathematical content, such as computing, information systems, mathematics, engineering, systems engineering or physics.
You will benefit from:
-An industrial advisory board made up from high profile UK games companies
-Industrial placements at leading game studios
-Industry-sponsored prizes each year in categories such as Best Team, Best Project and Best Student
-A technical focus on game engineering
Newcastle has a first class record of research related to the development of computer game technologies and 97% of our graduates are in employment following graduation. Our graduates have gone on to work as programmers for a wide range of companies including:
The staff delivering this course have international reputations for their contributions to the fields of online gaming, graphics and simulation, artificial intelligence, programming and human computer interaction.
You will be encouraged to play a full part in the life of the School, participating in seminars delivered by distinguished external speakers. The experienced and helpful staff at Newcastle will be happy to offer support with all aspects of your course from admissions to graduation and developing your career beyond.
The course is available over one year full time, leading to an MSc award. We will equip you with the skills and knowledge required to develop computer game software. We will also provide an international perspective on advancements in computer game development.
There are three phases in the course. Phase one (60 credits) consists of 20 hours per week of lectures. We will introduce core knowledge and skills through modules in:
You will also undertake a substantial amount of supervised and unsupervised practical work.
During phase two (30 credits), we emphasise the practice of computer game development through modules in:
-Research methods for gaming innovations
-Entrepreneurial skills for the game industry
-The development and assessment of an actual computer game (team exercise)
Phase three (90 credits) is the individual system development or research project.
We have a policy of seeking British Computer Society (BCS) accreditation for all of our degrees, so you can be assured that you will graduate with a degree that meets the standards set out by the IT industry. Studying a BCS-accredited degree provides the foundation for professional membership of the BCS on graduation and is the first step to becoming a chartered IT professional.
Our Computer Game Engineering MSc has Creative Skillset Accreditation as well as being officially recognised as a NVidia CUDA Training Center.
The School of Computing Science at Newcastle University is an accredited and a recognised Partner in the Network of Teaching Excellence in Computer Science.
You will have dedicated computing facilities in the School of Computing. You will have access to the latest tools for system analysis and development, as well as an allocated PC and desk space in a project lab. For certain projects, special facilities for networking can be set up.
You will enjoy access to specialist IT facilities to support your studies, including:
We have moved to the new £58m purpose-built Urban Sciences Building. Our new building offers fantastic new facilities for our students and academic community. The building is part of Science Central, a £350 million project bringing together:
*Subject to validation
The Msc Games Development course provides students with a higher-level understanding and direct professional experience through a multidisciplinary approach across commercial game projects.
This course is ideal for graduates who have completed our BA (Hons) Computer Games Design or BSc (Hons) Computer Games Programming undergraduates degree, as well as those who have graduated from other related technical and creative subject areas who are wanting to enter the video games industry.
We have collaborative partnerships in place with community organisations and employers including commercial and third sector organisations.
Students will be exposed to work on commercial games, providing them with an understanding of business and enterprise as well as preparing students for working within a commercial studio setting.
One of our modules allows students to link up with the Ipswich Waterfront Innovation Centre (IWIC), providing them with access to more facilities and covering a range of business-related topics in connection with games development.
Development Management (mandatory)
This module provides students with industry standard management methodologies and tools used to run team game developments.
Visual Scripting (mandatory)
In this module. students learn how to develop games using visual scripting tools at high and low levels, depending on their discipline and background.
Group Project 1 - Multiple Rapid Prototyping (mandatory)
For this group project, students concept and rapidly develop game ideas, learning how to work efficiently as a team.
Group Project 2 (mandatory)
In this module, students will work on a longer 12-week development project.
Business Development (mandatory)
This moduled covers a range of core business skills relevant to both the independent and large scale development studios. This will be delivered by the Ipswich Waterfront Innovation Centre (IWIC) where students will have access to the Entrepreneurial Programme as well as unlimited access to the IWIC facilities.
Final Project (mandatory)
The Final Project involves independent learning as an extended dissertation covering a detailed exploration of an element of the games industry.
Research Methods (mandatory)
In this module, students will learn rigorous academic and commercial research skills.
Work-based practice is embedded throughout the duration of the course. All modules will relate to work-based learning, relating to commercial management processes or understanding production within a working environment. This will enhance employability and give graduates a greater understanding of games development within the work place.
Graudates can progress in to a range of careers including: Game Programmer, Games Designer, Games Artist, Quality Assurance, Serious Games Developer and Gamification Developer to name a few.
The MSc Game Development course will have access to the Eclipse Suite where students can access the facilities on specific days for independent working and group projects.
Students can benefit from a dedicated lab, access to two other game development labs and a range of game development hardware including, Oculus Rift, Emotive EPOC+ Brain interface, Leap motion, Myo, Phidget components for building custom game controllers, a range of mobile phones and tablets to test your games on.
Students will also have access to a common room area for MSc students and a custom games cabinet in which to run student games.
This is a technically oriented course for programmers interested in the technology of games. It is suitable for people seeking employment in programming roles within the games industry.
The course focuses on the implementation of real-time 3D applications using the C++ programming language in order to develop your understanding of 3D rendering and shader programming techniques.
You also study low-level hardware architectures for optimisation, including the novel architectures of games consoles and how to exploit them. We teach you project management techniques, including the stages of game production and the structure and operation of the games industry.
This course benefits from strong industry links with companies like Sony Computer Entertainment and Sumo Digital and industry accreditation from Creative Skillset and PlayStation®First. The lecturers have many decades of commercial games industry experience between them and share a passion for developing the next generation of talent.
This course is part of the PlayStation®First Academic Partnership Programme offered by Sony Computer Entertainment Europe (SCEE) and has been awarded PlayStation®First status by fostering best practise in game related development skills across PlayStation® platforms. The programme provides unique access to PlayStation® professional development hardware (dev kits) and software (SDK) to equip students with industry relevant game development skills across PlayStation®4, PlayStation®3, PlayStation®Vita and PlayStation®Portable.
The Steel Minions
Sheffield Hallam University has its own commercially-licensed game studio which provides workplace simulation to students on the University's games degrees. It was the first university studio in the UK to release its own PlayStation® title and has a range of PlayStation, iOS and Android games in development.
Postgraduate certificate modules
Postgraduate diploma modules
Good games software graduates are in high demand, and our course has been developed to meet the needs of the booming entertainment software industry.
We actively support your collaboration with external companies on your practical software development projects. This gives you real experience while learning and could lead directly to you gaining a job with one of these companies.
Games development is the fastest growing entertainment industry in the world. Our MSc gives you the highly specialised set of skills needed to stay at the forefront of this demanding and constantly evolving field. This course is accredited by Creative Skillset who is the industry skills body for the Creative Industries including games, and it works with and for the Creative Industries to develop skills and talent, supporting productivity and employability.
Created with involvement from industry professionals, the course programme focuses on the technical aspects of game development and the underlying fundamentals of computer science. We cover a range of core concepts, including C++ programming, physics simulation, concurrency, advanced graphics, artificial intelligence, and game engine architecture. You will have use of our dedicated games development lab, equipped with the latest console development kits and top-spec PCs, plus access to HIVE — our multi-million pound virtual environment lab, which provides access to emerging and new technologies for computer interaction, data collection and visualisation.
The course begins in September each year and lasts twelve months. There are two trimesters of taught modules, followed by an individual dissertation project during the third trimester. There is an option to take an extra trimester – immediately before the dissertation, adding an extra three months of study but letting you gain insights into industry through a module based on commercial practice, typically working with commercial clients and software.
Studying Computer Science at Hull, you'll benefit from an excellent experience for students, with a supportive student community. We have an international reputation for our research activities, with a strong record of industrial and public grant funding. We are also affiliated with Microsoft’s DreamSpark programme, which allows you to access the latest Microsoft operating systems and development software for home use. Once registered with the department, you can download the software free of charge.
This MSC is designed to support students with various levels of computing and programming practice experience. However, it is particularly suited to those with significant experience of writing code.
The modules in the first trimester are designed to allow a smooth transition to postgraduate study, regardless of your background.
As a route into research, the programme supports the development of postgraduate technical skills, alongside critical research, analysis and planning activities.
In lectures you’ll benefit from a range of techniques, from interpreting complex ideas through interactive discussions, to live programming or other problem-solving demonstrations.
Teaching and learning
We place a strong emphasis on practical laboratory sessions. These will significantly develop your core computer science skills, and enhance your employability through exposure to commercial projects.
As teamwork plays a key role in commercial software development and has great value as an employable skill, group work is used in a number of modules.
Practical coursework is the main form of assessment, and you will design, build and test software solutions to a variety of problems. This is complemented by written coursework. The largest assessment is the dissertation.
* All modules are subject to availability.
The MSc programme supports career development in a number of ways. These include a mix of modules focused on professional skills and a project involving group work, CV development and personal reflection. We have strong links with many of the UK's top game studios, including Electronics Arts, Sony and Microsoft, many of which recruit straight from our labs.
We also have a range of inspirational extra-curricular activities including the Three Thing Game, Imagine Cup Worldwide Software Development Challenge, Really Useful Seminars and Global Game Jam. They are designed to boost your CV and employability, and taking part costs very little.
By studying this Masters, you’ll be well placed to join one of the most performance-driven applications of computer science – the multi-billion pound global games industry. As a graduate, you will work at the top-end of the games industry and will develop computer graphics on high-performance platforms, or write engines for the next generation of games.
Developed in collaboration with a prestigious steering group, this course will build on your computer science knowledge to specialise in computer graphics, where programmers must push computing resources to the limit, using deep understanding of architecture and high-performance programming to generate new levels of graphical realism and visual effects on cutting-edge hardware platforms.
You’ll gain proficiency in low-level programming, a thorough understanding of multi-core and many-core programming techniques, game engine and tool development techniques, and fundamental insight into graphics and the practical techniques used in games.
Designed to meet the needs of industry
You can be sure that what you learn will be the technical skills required by industry as this course has been developed in collaboration with a prestigious steering group from industry comprising:
Members of our steering group will contribute to the delivery of the course ensuring that you learn the latest industry developments. You’ll also have the opportunity to engage directly with the games industry, through:
We are also a member of Game Republic, which is an industry-led professional games network that supports and promotes the Yorkshire and Northern England games sector. We hope that students of this course will take part in the Game Republic student showcase.
You will use workstations with high-end GPUs to act as DirectX12 and Vulkan games development platforms and have access to other specialist hardware including the latest Virtual Reality headsets for experimenting on. For learning games engine design and exploring new rendering techniques, students will be working with the source code of a leading game engine, Epic’s “Unreal Engine 4”.
Serious games and virtual reality represent a large, and actively growing, industry – the application of modern games technology in a wide range of areas around medicine, training, education, security and beyond. While educational games already represent a multi-billion dollar global industry, the recent growth in virtual reality has seen predictions that this market will grow to $150 billion dollars by 2020 (Techcrunch, April 6, 2015).
The MSc provides students with the skills to become a key part of this explosive growth, and potential to become key innovators in this exciting and rapidly developing area. The MSc offers students with prior programming/scripting experience the transferable skills to design, develop and analyse games and simulations for a range of application areas and to conduct interdisciplinary research in the serious applications of games technology, particularly in healthcare, education and training.
As Virtual Reality and interaction technologies approach mainstream adoption, new opportunities for the application of immersive games technologies in engineering, medicine and in the home are putting games at the forefront of innovation worldwide.
At the School of Simulation and Visualisation we already have years of experience working on a wide range of serious games based projects for industrial, medical, heritage and education clients, building on our research and our expertise in 3D modeling and animation, motion capture technology and software development. We are pleased to be able to share our experience and expertise with this MSc.
Core Research Skills for Postgraduates
Serious Game Design and Research
School of Simulation and Visualisation Elective: Choose one from
Interactive Heritage Visualisation
Applications in Medical Visualisation
Motion Capture & Interaction
Audio for games & interactive applications
Serious Games Development
MSc Research Project
You should have a Honours degree or equivalent professional practice in any of the following disciplines:
Computer science, computer graphics, computer programming, software development, mathematics, or physics
Computer games programming, game development, game design, game art, 3D modeling and animation, interactive systems
High calibre graduates from other disciplines may be considered if they are able to demonstrate an interest and ability in the field of serious games development.
IELTS 6.0 for overseas applicants for whom English is not their first language.
Scholarships and Funded Places:
Information on career development loans and financial support can be found in the fees and funding pages.