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.
Casual games studios now make up a high percentage of the UK games industry, producing games that are easy to pick up and play through websites, social networking sites, mobile phones, tablets and games consoles. Subject matter is typically non-violent, and gameplay often incorporates puzzle solving or an exciting twist on a simple mechanic.
This games design course gives you the business, theoretical and practical skills needed to succeed in this rapidly growing industry. You learn to develop compelling games with exciting mechanics and strong gameplay, both as an individual and as part of a team. While the main focus is on casual games design, the skills we teach also apply to roles within the broader games industry. As well as developing core theoretical and practical design skills, you also develop your entrepreneurial abilities to equip you for work as an independent developer in the social, casual and mobile games field.
There are two routes you can choose from to gain an MA Game Development:
You advance your knowledge and understanding of business, design theory and technical issues within the field of computer game design and related industries. In lectures and seminars you examine the specialist skills necessary to design and construct strong games pitches, demos and prototypes, as well as advanced creative and business solutions to the problems involved in independently developing computer games.
Modules offered may vary.
How you learn
You experience a number of different approaches to learning and teaching including:
Critical reflection is key to successful problem solving and essential to the creative process. To develop your own reflective practice at an advanced level, you test and assess your solutions against criteria that you develop in the light of your research.
How you are assessed
The programme includes a variety of assessment methods including presentations, peer review, critique, reports and production of artefacts.
From the beginning of your programme, we prepare you for a career in industry. In addition to your taught classes, we create opportunities for you to meet and network with our industry partners through events such as our ExpoSeries, which showcases student work to industry. ExpoTees is the pinnacle of the ExpoSeries with over 100 businesses from across the UK coming to the campus to meet our exceptional students, with a view to recruitment.
There are a number of internship options, including:
*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.